News

  • Dallas Unveils Plans for Revitalized Arts District

    Dallas has taken the wraps off plans for a revitalized arts district that will knit together many of the city's major cultural institutions, Michael Markowitz reports on Andante. The arts district, which could be complete in about ten years, is a collaboration among three architecture firms: Foster and Partners of London, Rem Koolhaas's Office of Metropolitan Architecture, and the Paris landscape architect Michel Desvigne.

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  • Las Vegas Museum Needs a Home of Its Own

    The new Nevada Museum of Art in Reno has been credited with helping spark a cultural revival in the city. Meanwhile, the art scene in Las Vegas is far from thriving. As Joseph Allen writes in the Las Vegas Mercury, several of the city's museums have closed in the last few years, and the Las Vegas Art Museum doesn't even have a permanent home. The LVAM is the last, best hope for an independent art venue in the city, writes Allen, but in order for it to function as the center of a thriving art scene, it needs a building to call its own.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly's Vision for Ground Zero

    “I've stopped counting the number of ground zero proposals that have come my way in the past two years,” Herbert Muschamp writes in the New York Times. But a recent proposal that Muschamp received in the mail—a collage featuring a green paper trapezoid positioned on a page of newsprint, representing a park at Ground Zero—made a more distinct impression. It is Ellsworth's Kelly's representation of his vision for the site. Like Joel Shapiro, John Baldessari, and Tadao Ando, Kelly believes that no buildings should be erected there at all.

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  • Official Report on Iraq Museum Looting Released

    Marine Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, who led a thirteen-member team that investigated the looting of Iraq's National Museum, released a report on his findings on Wednesday, Will Dunham reports on MSNBC. While more than 3,400 other stolen items have been recovered, Bogdanos said, more than ten thousand are still missing. The US military has created a “wanted” poster identifying thirty key missing artworks, including a Sumerian white-marble mask of a female deity dating back almost five thousand years and the copper Akkadian Bassetki Statue from 2300 BC.

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  • Resurrecting A Piece of Architectural History

    A seven-foot-tall original model of the World Trade Center used by the towers' architects has been restored and will become part of a museum exhibit in Lower Manhattan, Newsday reports. The model, which sat unnoticed in a warehouse for years, “would have undoubtedly ended up in a Dumpster” if preservationists hadn't tracked it down, said American Architectural Foundation president Ron Bogle. In early 2004, the model will be shipped to New York City for the planned opening of the Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park.

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  • Art Institute of Chicago's Director to Step Down

    James N. Wood, a museum executive known for even judgment and exacting taste that spread the reputation of the Art Institute of Chicago worldwide in his twenty-three years as director, said Monday he plans to retire in 2004. As the Chicago Tribune's Alan G. Artner and Charles Storch report, Wood has stated that the museum board's chairman, John H. Bryan, will lead a search for a successor. “Hopefully, they will have someone on board in six months,” Wood said.

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  • The Contested Legacy of Leni Riefenstahl

    Reflecting on the life and work of Leni Riefenstahl, who died at her home near Munich on Monday, The Guardian's Richard Falcon notes that interest in the seminal filmmaker and Nazi propagandist “shows no sign of abating. . . . [Jodie] Foster is now set to produce, direct, and star in a Riefenstahl biopic. One wonders what lessons the film will draw from a life whose greatest achievements survive time's sieve by preempting the gigantism of the Hollywood megabuck movie . . . and even the primacy of the ‘image’ in politics. The films remain as a challenge to historians and cinephiles alike, posing

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  • Migraine: The Source of de Chirico's Vision?

    An exhibition at Rome's Galleria Cà d’Oro makes the case that Giorgio de Chirico owed his hallucinatory sensibility to neurological phenomena associated with migraine, the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reports. The show—“Cranial Art: Works and Words Between Headaches and Metaphysics”—aims to demonstrate how the “spiritual fevers,” revelations and phantasms that the artist described and incorporated into his paintings could be interpreted as typical symptoms of migraine.

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  • Checking in on Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools

    In 1991, California architectural historian John Loomis visited Cuba and was struck by the “magic-realist architecture and landscape”—in particular, by the crumbling buildings of the defunct national arts schools. The book he published at the end of the 1990s, Revolution of Forms: Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools, rehabilitated Cuban revolutionary architecture at a stroke. As a result, the art schools—which are now listed by the World Monument Fund as one of the world's most endangered monuments—are being rebuilt. Checking in on the rebuilding project, The Guardian's Jonathan Glancey

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  • Canada's Arts Groups Say Good-Bye to Tobacco Sponsorship

    In 1998, Canada's federal government passed legislation banning the tobacco industry from sponsoring the arts. The ban has been phased in over the past five years, and Canada's arts groups are slowly resigning themselves to the fact that a major source of funding—analogous to Philip Morris in the United States—is on the verge disappearing. The Globe and Mail's Kate Taylor looks at both sides of the issue.

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  • Tourists Recount Brush with Da Vinci Thieves

    Olive and Graeme Reed, tourists from New Zealand, came face to face with the thieves who stole Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna with the Yarnwinder from a Scottish castle last week. They spoke with the BBC about their experience, reporting, “We heard the alarm going off, and the first man climbed over the wall and said not to worry. ‘Don't worry love, we're the police. This is just a practice,’ he said. When the second man came over the wall we felt something was going on.”

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  • Anti-Blockbuster Trend Continues

    At this time last year, Blake Gopnik writes in the Washington Post, the museum world looked as though it was doing some retrenching. Few blockbusters were on the roster; fewer shows of any kind had been announced than was the norm throughout the 1990s. This year, the trend is even more pronounced. There's hardly a single true blockbuster built around a famous name.

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