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The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has received a $2 million gift from trustee Joleen Julis and her husband, Mitch, museum officials announced. The donation is the largest gift from an individual ever made to the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum.

The donation will establish the “Future Fund,” a $4 million effort to re-design the museum’s lobby and sculpture garden, according to Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu.

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On Tuesday, March 11, 2015, Thomas P. Campbell, the Director and CEO of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced that David Chipperfield Architects (DCA) has been selected to redesign the institution’s Southwest Wing for modern and contemporary art. The British firm will also potentially redesign the neighboring galleries for the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, as well as additional operational spaces.

The Met’s selection process included an international design competition led by a committee of the museum’s Board of Trustees. According to a press release from the Met, Campbell said, “We based the final selection of an architect on three criteria: vision, experience, and compatibility. David Chipperfield’s global architectural experience and sensibility, along with his commitment to the collaborative aspect of creating architecture, make him a perfect partner on this milestone project.”

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The North Carolina Museum of Art’s new plan for the future involves the great outdoors: more parking, pathways, a redesign of the signature smokestack on the former detention center property and even a bus stop.

"Connecting people to the museum is a goal. It’s important to make the museum as accessible as possible. I get tired of hearing, ‘I couldn’t visit the museum because I couldn’t get there.’ It’s not fair,” said Dan Gottlieb, the museum’s director of planning and design and the person leading the plan for the museum’s 164-acre campus in Raleigh.

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The Harvard Art Museums at 32 Quincy St. announced the launch of their redesigned and expanded website. The website,, provides an enhanced digital platform, increasing access to the museums’ collections of approximately 250,000 objects.

Works from the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, comprising the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M. Sackler Museums, feature prominently throughout the site, and each of the approximately 250,000 objects also has an individual page with details about its exhibition history, provenance and conservation. Object images are a key component; users can examine works using the site’s improved scrolling and zoom functionality. In many cases, multiple photos are available of the same object at various stages in its history, offering insight into conservation and condition over time.

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“I started to cry a bit when I saw the finished result for the first time this morning,” said architect Annabelle Selldorf at the June 27 press preview of the newly expanded Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Michael Conforti, director of the Institute, also teared up as he addressed the crowd gathered to celebrate the reopening after 10 years and $145 million of time and funds were invested into reconstruction. Visitors might have similarly emotional reactions to the results, including Pritzker-winner Tadao Ando’s multipurpose visitor center, which prioritizes circulation and the views of lush hills behind the Clark; landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand’s stepped pools, which create a peaceful setting primed for meditation; and Selldorf’s redesign of the main museum building’s interior, which glorifies the Clark’s collection.

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New York’s Museum of Modern Art is reconsidering its decision to tear down the American Folk Art Museum’s former home on West 53rd Street in Manhattan. The famed institution received a wave of backlash after they announced that they would raze the building as part of its upcoming expansion.

On Thursday, May 9, 2013 MoMA officials announced that they have hired the New York-based architecture firm Scofidio + Renfro to helm the museum’s upcoming redesign and will consider plans that include the incorporation of the monumental building rather than its demolition. MoMA decided to level the Folk Art Museum’s former home because officials felt that its appearance did not mesh with their sleek, glass aesthetic. The structure, which is next door to MoMA, is also slightly set back from the museum’s main building making logistical issues problematic.

The Folk Art Museum erected the structure in 2001 and it quickly became a Midtown landmark thanks to its distinct design and sculptural bronze façade. However, in 2011, after a spate of financial troubles, the Folk Art Museum decided to move to a smaller location and MoMA purchased the building. After MoMA made the shocking announcement in April, many architects and designers, including the Architectural League of New York, voiced their opposition to the demolition plan.

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