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Friday, 07 October 2016 12:44

Design Unveiled for New Statue of Liberty Museum

A new interactive museum honoring liberty and mass immigration will be the the first building constructed on Liberty island in decades. The $70m project design plans were unveiled Thursday morning. Designer Diane von Furstenberg, chair of the fundraising campaign raising money for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, said, “Lady Liberty is a symbol of everything America’s about: freedom, hope, possibility and resilience.” The museum will be designed by architecture firm FXFOWLE.

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Museums have traditionally been spaces of contemplation, refuges from the outside world where visitors can bask in front of masterpieces in quiet serenity.

Well, that's if you don't live in New York City.

In the Big Apple, even art museums can be crushed with crowds and airport security-style lines. These are massive buildings with some of the best collections of art in the world—it's natural. The Metropolitan Museum's attendance stood at a near-record 6.16 million people in 2014; the Museum of Modern Art's was more than 3 million, and if recent visits to the packed new Whitney are any indication, it will blow the old Breuer building's attendance out of the water.

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It was the Roaring Twenties. Women bobbed their hair and hiked their skirts, and an estimated 100,000 speakeasies flourished in New York City in the face of Prohibition. Yet there was an oasis of calm: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Central Park. Overlooking the leafy landscape on the Upper East Side, the private homes of the privileged rose with the stock market and multiplied into elegant neighborhoods. In 1926, a small residence hotel with a Beaux-Arts façade opened at 20 East 76th Street and seamlessly blended into the neighborhood. The Surrey was luxurious and discreet; qualities movie actresses Claudette Colbert and Bette Davis and other celebrities appreciated. Later, John F. Kennedy made the popular residence his home in the city.

But by the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Surrey had lost its luster, until new owners launched a $60 million, 14-month-long renovation. Debuted in 2009, the aura of the 17-story, 190-room hotel‘s historic past remains intact, but interior designer Lauren Rottet has added a contemporary flair, helped along by the installation of thirty-one original works by international artists...

Continue reading this article about the Surrey Hotel, which was reinvigorated by the leading interior designer Lauren Rottet, on

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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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New York City is allocating another $23 million for arts education in the upcoming school year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said Tuesday the city will hire another 120 arts teachers.

It also will rehabilitate dilapidated arts facilities in dozens of schools.

The funding is part of the budget approved by the City Council last week. It covers fiscal year 2015, which began Monday.

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When demolition begins on 540-544 West 26th Street in New York, three prominent contemporary art galleries -- Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, and Stephen Haller Gallery -- will say goodbye to their current spaces. Located in Manhattan’s booming Chelsea neighborhood, the two-story property, which includes a neighboring parking lot, will be transformed into a 130,000-square-foot commercial and office space with community facilities. The site will be co-developed by commercial real estate broker, The Manhattes Group LLC, and Savanna, a real estate private equity firm and asset management company.

Stephen Haller Gallery, which has been in Chelsea for over a decade, plans to open a new location in the neighborhood. Lehmann Maupin and Tony Shafrazi Gallery have yet to announce their plans for the future. Lehmann Maupin has a second gallery on Chrystie Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

The Manhattes Group and Savanna have not released a start date for the project.



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The Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City is currently presenting the exhibition “Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein -- Walls.” The show includes paintings, drawings, and collages dating from the early 1970s to the 1990s, some of which have never been exhibited before.

All of the works on view feature walls as the main subject matter. The exhibition illustrates how Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein both explored space and the notion of reality versus illusion in their work. Pieces such as Johns’ “Untitled,” which features a well-known Picasso image hanging on a wooden wall, and Lichtenstein’s “Trompe L’oeil with Léger Head and Paintbrush,” which includes an image from Fernand Léger, show how both artists also played with appropriation and referentiality in their wall works.

The Castelli Gallery was founded by the pioneering art dealer Leo Castelli in 1957. The gallery quickly became the international epicenter for Pop, Minimal, and Conceptual art and exhibited works by Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Lichtenstein, and Johns. Castelli passed away in 1999 and the gallery is now directed by his wife, Barbara Bertozzi Castelli. The Castelli Gallery maintains a commitment to exhibiting the best of postwar American art.

“Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein -- Walls” will be on view at the Leo Castelli Gallery through June 27. 

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Friday, 25 October 2013 18:09

The Met Signs Amendment to its Lease

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has signed an amendment to its lease with New York City dating back to 1878. The new amendment confirms and continues the 42-year-long agreement under which the Met and New York first established a discretionary admission policy for the institution. The new amendment also authorizes the museum to consider a range of admission modifications in future years, which would need to be reviewed and approved by New York City before being implemented.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met, said, “It is important to make clear as we sign this amendment that we remain very much committed to maintain – and further widening – public access to the Museum. Toward this end, we recently expanded our hours by opening the Met seven days a week, and have enhanced programs designed to reach out to attract visitors from every community of the City. The effort to broaden and diversify audiences will continue. At the same time, however, faced with perennial uncertainties about future funding sources, the Met and the City concluded that it makes sense now to consecrate our longstanding and wholly legal admissions policies.” Campbell added, “We are extremely grateful that the City, which has long provided essential operating support to the Met, has moved now to reaffirm a policy that not only allows visitors to pay what they wish at the door, but has encouraged us to offer same-week entrance at no additional cost to the Cloisters museum and gardens in Fort Tryon Park, and has enabled us to provide free-with-admission access to all special exhibitions, as well as cost-free gallery tours, curatorial lectures, library access, and visits by New York City school groups. We expect and trust that the museum and the City will continue to work cooperatively into the future to preserve full access to the Met under the generous admissions policies so wisely created in the past.”

The Met currently has a pay-what-you-wish admission policy for its more than six million annual visitors. According to the new lease terms, the museum may set the terms of admission to its permanent galleries to the general public, including admission fees and days and hours the Museum shall be open to the public, with permission from New York City.

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Friday, 28 June 2013 13:39

The Met Does Away with Metal Admission Pins

The iconic colorful metal buttons that have served at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s admission tickets since 1971 are no more. Due to the rising cost of the tin-plate pins, the museum will employ a new paper ticket system that will include detachable stickers, which will serve as proof of admission. The buttons will be discontinued on Monday, July 1, the same day that the Met will switch to a seven-day-a-week schedule. It was previously closed on Mondays.

The Met’s admission buttons have become a symbol of New York City culture and a popular souvenir for tourists. Their badge’s most recent iteration features an “M” appropriated from a 16th century woodcut based on a Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) drawing. After the Met introduced their unique admission tokens over 40 years ago, a number of institutions followed suit and they are now commonplace in museums around the world.

In addition to bringing production costs down from 3 cents per button to 1 cent per paper ticket, the new system will also be more environmentally friendly.

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Friday, 31 May 2013 14:34

Whitney Unveils New Logo

The Whitney Museum of American Art has unveiled a new logo, which will replace its thirteen-year-old all-capital letter design. The new logo features a thinly drawn, slanted “W” known as the “responsive W” as the letter shifts in size and shape depending on where it appears and which artwork its accenting.

The revamped logo is part of the museum’s overhaul, which includes a major relocation from uptown to downtown Manhattan. The new Renzo Piano-design building is expected to open in 2015. The Whitney’s new location will include an 18,000-square-foot gallery, which will be the largest column-free exhibition space in New York City.

Experimental Jetset of Amsterdam, a small, independent, Amsterdam-based graphic design studio, designed the museum’s new logo.

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