“They don’t seem to want to work in the winter, and when it rains too much, their silk becomes viscous and cannot be used” that sounds a lot like me! But seriously, these spiders produced a stunning work of art. Hopefully it will travel from the American Museum of Natural History (in NY) to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (in DC).
Archive for the ‘Smithsonian’ Category
In Smithsonian news, LA and DC have made a respectable exchange in museum professionals. Today, it was announced that Anne Ellegood, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Hirshhorn will be leaving us for LA, but in return we got a new Director of the Hirshhorn, Richard Koshalek.
In Corcoran news, my favorite fundraiser is coming up in March – Artini. Since most of us in DC are still riding on the Obama stimulus plan (aka December, January and February, the inauguration months), why not continue to celebrate and also enjoy Maya Lin: Systemic Landscapes which opens March 14.
In DC gallery news, we’re all still here and everyone is doing fine. We have the fascinating Lesser Madonnnas exhibition opening tonight of new work by Corcoran School of Art + Design graduate Melissa Ichiuji. As a dealer and collector of her work, I highly advise a visit. And for my street art audience, expect a treat in June at Irvine…
In Manifest Hope news, where do I begin? Some important points: All the merchandise from the exhibition can be bought on this website. We raised over $20,000 for the Duke Ellington School of Arts. Arnold Schwaznegger is stunning. This link just sums up the experience.
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Acquires
Shepard Fairey Obama HOPE Portrait
from Irvine Contemporary’s Regime Change Starts at Home Exhibition
We are pleased to announce that the National Portrait Gallery has acquired Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama HOPE portrait through a generous gift of Tony and Heather Podesta. The unique hand-stenciled and collaged painting will be on view in the “new acquisitions” wing of the National Portrait Gallery in time for the inauguration of President Obama on January 20. Congratulations to Shepard Fairey on this important achievement, and many thanks to our friends Tony and Heather Podesta for their generosity and support of this acquisition at this historic moment!
Fit for a T: Portrait Gallery Gets Obama ‘Hope’ Collage
That campaign-defining image of Barack Obama that burned itself into your brain this past year is headed to the National Portrait Gallery.
The original red-and-blue “Hope” collage by graphic designer Shepard Fairey that inspired countless posters, T-shirts and buttons has been obtained by the gallery via a gift from Washington superlobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta.
The two are longtime fans of Fairey who have several other works of his in their large, eye-popping modern-art collection. Though they’ve donated to other local museums, this is their first to the Portrait Gallery — and the Portrait Gallery’s first Obama image to join its permanent collection.
“It seemed like a historic moment for the country, and a chance to do something for art and Democrats,” Tony Podesta, brother of transition co-chairman John Podesta, told us. The gift is in honor of their late mother, Mary K. Podesta, who became an ardent supporter of the future president after meeting him at their fundraiser for his 2004 Senate race. “She would giggle and say, ‘He liked my cooking!’ ” Heather Podesta recalled.
The surprisingly large work — 60 inches by 44 inches — will hang in the “new arrivals” gallery on the museum’s first floor, where its nearby neighbor will be the newly unveiled Laura Bush portrait. Gallery spokeswoman Bethany Bentley said it will be up by Inauguration Day.
(From The Washington Post, Reliable Source, Style, January 7, 2009 – image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery ©Shepard Fairey)
that while Al Gore popularized the term “Information Superhighway”, it was coined by South Korean-born American video artist, Nam June Paik, in 1974.
“I used the term (information superhighway) in a study I wrote for the Rockefeller Foundation in 1974. I thought: if you create a highway, then people are going to invent cars. That’s dialectics. If you create electronic highways, something has to happen.” (quote from telephone interview with journalist Tilman Baumgärtel).
And, even better, Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S. is just right around the corner at the American Art Museum.
at The National Portrait Gallery
Thursday, July 24, 2 p.m–7 p.m.
The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition “RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture” demonstrates the influence of hip hop in portraiture. These programs are planned to celebrate both the exhibition and the broad-reaching cultural impact of hip hop. Admission is free; no reservations required.
Live Broadcast: EZ Street, WKYS-FM 2 p.m.–6 p.m.
Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard
EZ Street is back at NPG! Visitors are welcome to listen in on a live broadcast with EZ Street, WKYS-FM (93.9) in the Kogod Courtyard.
Hip Hop Happy Hour, 5 p.m.–6:45 pm
Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard
While listening to EZ’s live broadcast, enjoy the hip hop and R&B beats with a cool drink in hand. A wine and beer cash bar will be open from 5 to 6:45 p.m.
Face-to-Face Portrait Talk, 6 p.m.–6:30 pm
Meet at F Street lobby
After the live broadcast, learn more about Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Ice T in the exhibition with guest curator Jobyl A. Boone.
Reel Portraits – Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky) and New York Is Now
7 p.m.; doors open 6:30 p.m.
Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium
Paul D. Miller is a conceptual artist, writer and musician working in New York. Using archival footage and early avant-garde cinema mixed with his own music, Miller composes New York Is Now as an exploration of memory through the interplay of images and sounds, creating a digital multimedia opera about a city made of improvisations, disjunctions, overlapping histories and multiple rhythms. A conversation with Miller follows the screening.
Hope to see you all on the 24th; this is a project I’ve been working on with the great people at the NPG and I promise a good time!!!
A while back I wrote a snarky post about the Young Benefactor’s Society of the Smithsonian asking me for a donation.
Well, I was once a young intern looking for a break and a sweet girl (who was a helluva of a follow-upper) got me to donate a framed Dalek (James Marshall) print.
Please go bid! for the good of the Smithsonian!
Today I received a letter from the Smithsonian Young Benefactors Society, of which I am a member, requesting that I donate a work of art for their 17th Annual Ball and Silent Auction held on September 15.
Firstly Sept. 15 is a bad date for anyone in the private sector in DC. It’s the beginning of the whole art market in DC marking the first evening of openings for the Fall 2007 program schedules at every gallery in the city.
Secondly, even as I contemplate whether “…as a Silent Auction donor, (I) will recieve visibility with thousands of young professionals through recognition…” some facts published this week (by Walter Robinson) resounded in my memory:
1. Lawrence M Small’s pay check increased in 7 years first by 40% over his predecessor, then to more than $535,000 and by the time he resigned this year, he was making $915,698.
2. Small’s pay increased while the amount of private donations to the Smithsonian decreased. Private donations hit an all time low in 2003 at $88 million, but finally rebounded to $132 million (which is still 10% lower than when Small began his career at the Smithsonian in early 1999).
3. He was able to conceal these facts by categorizing about $200,000 of that amount as a “housing allowance”.
4. He took “vacation” for 10 weeks a year, then another 3 weeks each year serving on “corporate boards”, which earned him an addition $5.7 million between 2000 and 2006.
5. Also during 2000-2006, his deputy, Sheila P. Burke, spent 400 business days, 1/4 of her work time away from the Smithsonian serving on “corporate boards” and pursued other endeavors, earning her $10 million in outside income.
Looks like the Young Benefactors Society needs to re-review their mailing list – they’re missing out big time…
Bad news. A recent external panel of museum directors has shown that the Smithsonian Institution‘s eight art museums are in trouble, financially, administratively and ideologically. The Art Newspaper reports that a three prong plan of action is required to remedy the abysmal situation:
1. the Smithsonian museums should be ‘truly excellent’ caliber
2. museums must cooperate to create institution wide programming to boost interest
3. Undersecretary for the Arts Ned Rifkin needs a bigger role in fundraising and collection management.
Such an announcement could not come at a worse time for the Smithsonian, as news broke of an internal audit showing Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into private trips and chandalier cleaning in his private home. Small has recently resigned, leaving a gap in Smithsonian leadership that only offsets the already disparaging news of the condition of some of America‘s finest collections.
The Castle, Smithsonian Institute