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The fashion industry stepped in once again to help fund ailing Italian museums. This time, Florence-based Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo made major donations, reinforcing their commitment to Italian arts and culture.

On Monday night, the Uffizi Gallery re-opened eight rooms following extensive renovations funded by a €600,000 ($678,702) donation from Ferragamo, WWD reported.

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Americans’ donations to arts and culture rose 9.2% in 2014, the highest increase in nine categories tracked by Giving USA, an annual report on charitable contributions.

Overall, however, arts and culture commanded a modest share of the philanthropic pie. Estimated gifts to arts and culture totaled $17.2 billion, according to the report compiled by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Although that was a record high, it represented only 4.8% of the $358.4-billion total.

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On April 28, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) unveils a major exhibition examining the contributions and the legacy of women working in the applied arts during the mid 20th century, a time when curatorial attention and prestige were lavished on
 their male counterparts and those working in the fine arts. Installed on two floors of the museum, “Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today” showcases works by three dozen artists associated with craft centers such as the Bauhaus in Germany and later, the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

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A mecca for the arts, New York City has also become one of the most multicultural cities in the country, with no single dominant racial or ethnic group and residents who speak more than 200 languages, according to the Department of City Planning.

Whether its cultural institutions reflect those demographics is another issue.

To find out, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs is embarking on its first effort to measure diversity at the city’s many museums and performing arts groups. The aim is to help cultural organizations connect with New York’s increasingly polyglot population.

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It is no surprise Montclair Art Museum has been awarded yet another prestigious grant. The Dodge Foundation just announced MAM has been awarded $75,000.

The Trustees of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation recently approved more than $2.8 million in 63 grants to arts, education, environment and media nonprofit organizations throughout New Jersey in its third and final grant cycle of the year, bringing the total amount awarded this year to nonprofits and other Dodge initiatives to more than $11 million.

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Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:21

New Textile Museum to Open in Washington, D.C.

George Washington University (GW) in Washington, DC, is beefing up its arts infrastructure. Less than two months after the university finalised its merger with the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the GW Museum and the Textile Museum announced they will open a joint facility on the university’s Foggy Bottom campus on 21 March 2015.

The museum is set to occupy both the Maxwell Woodhull House, a historic former home of a US Navy commander, and a 35,000 sq. ft addition designed by the local firm Hartman-Cox Architects. Since the university finalized its merger with the Corcoran in August, it has also assumed operations of the gallery’s Beaux-Arts building near the White House.

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After taking a second look at Los Angeles County government's spending capacity for the 2014-15 fiscal year, the Board of Supervisors has added $54 million to the $84.7 million in arts and culture spending it had authorized in June when the board OK'd the main county budget.

The arts funding was part of a larger "supplemental budget" process that allocated hundreds of millions of dollars, including money that went unspent in the 2013-14 fiscal year that ended June 30, and revenues that weren't certain when the Board of Supervisors passed the primary budget in June.

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The National Portrait Gallery will stage a major exhibition in 2015 of works by one of the world’s most celebrated portrait painters, John Singer Sargent. Organized in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the exhibition will bring together, for the first time, a collection of the artist’s intimate and informal portraits of his impressive circle of friends, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin.
Curated by Richard Ormond CBE, co-author of the John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonné, the exhibition "Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends" (12 February – 25 May 2015) will explore the artist as a painter at the forefront of contemporary movements in the arts, music, literature and theater, revealing the depth of his appreciation of culture and his close friendships with many of the leading artists, actors and writers of the time.

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All sorts of paths can lead to an art career—and a nation-wide media frenzy never hurts. Francesca Grillo hit the headlines last year, when she was accused, alongside her sister Elisabetta, of defrauding über-collector Charles Saatchi and his former wife Nigella Lawson of £685,000 ($1,140,500) with company credit cards. The sisters were found not guilty in December 2013.

One might have thought that Francesca had seen enough of the art world at the Saatchi-Lawson residence to want to start afresh somewhere else. Quite the opposite. She has teamed up with another former Saatchi employee, Sharrine Scholtz, to launch a gallery-without-walls, Laissez Faire Art.

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When “60 Minutes” did a flattering piece last year on this old West Texas cow town turned hip cultural mecca, it was following a path already taken by Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Marveling at oddities like the “Food Shark” and “El Cosmico,” and noting the harmony among cowboys and artists, reporter Morley Safer pronounced Marfa “a capital of quirkiness.” In closing, he bid a “fond farewell to the magic kingdom of Marfa.”

But while few doubt that the arts and tourism have rescued Marfa from decline, some see a price to be paid for being the darling getaway spot for well-heeled visitors from Houston, New York and California.

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