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For much of his life, the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) lived and worked out of a cramped and cluttered atelier in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris where paint-stained surfaces were covered with busts and figurines and walls were sketched and scrawled over. The artist toiled day and night in this spartan setting, pausing for meals with plaster still stuck in his hair.

That 270-square-foot studio will be recreated exactly as he left it as part of the new Institut Giacometti, a research center and exhibition space that will open to the public late next year in the same arrondissement, or district, according to Catherine Grenier, the director of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti.

Published in News
Friday, 27 September 2013 18:10

Harvard Art Museums Launch Digital Magazine

While renovations on the Fogg Art Museum near completion, the Harvard Art Museums, which includes the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum and four research centers, has launched a digital version of its arts publication Index Magazine. The site will include articles, interviews and behind-the-scenes news.

The digital version of Index will supplement the print publication, which is available three times a year at various locations around the Harvard University campus. Index’s online iteration will present a platform for discussions about visual culture and content updates will take place daily.

Published in News
Friday, 19 July 2013 13:21

Smithsonian Battles Storage Issues

Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution, which is comprised of 19 museums and 9 research centers devoted to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” has seen an rise in troubles relating to their storage system. The Smithsonian currently has 130 million objects ranging from paintings and furniture to skeletons in their storage and maintenance facilities, many of which reside in damaged containers or poorly organized archives. During a recent audit, the National Museum of American History was allegedly unable to locate 10% of their collection.

The Committee on House Administration held a hearing on Wednesday, July 17th to discuss the challenges facing the care of the Smithsonian’s collections of art, archival footage and delicate objects. Smithsonian Inspector, General Scott Dahl, claimed that the institution is still employing poor storage space that was built in the 1950s and never intended for long-term use. A report from the Smithsonian’s inspector general in 2006 showed that not only were the storage facilities inadequate, but that security and inventory controls were lacking, leaving some of the country’s most precious treasures susceptible to theft or misplacement.

The Smithsonian has been working to fix their storage and maintenance issues for the past seven years and has invested $462 million in collections management and $390 million in facilities improvements. However, ongoing budget cuts have made fixing these issues once and for all, increasingly difficult. In addition, a large portion of the Smithsonian’s budget is currently being used to digitize the museum’s collection, which could take years.

Published in News
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 17:49

The Met Receives Monumental Gift Worth $1 Billion

Officials at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have announced that philanthropist and cosmetics mogul Leonard Lauder will donate $1 billion worth of art to the museum. The gift includes 78 Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures and will significantly improve the Met’s 20th century holdings. The Leonard A. Lauder Collection includes 33 works by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), 17 by Georges Braque (1882-1963), 14 by Juan Gris (1887-1927), and 14 by Fernand Léger (1881-1955); for a private Cubist collection it is unmatched in its quality and breadth.

Highlights from the Lauder Collection include Picasso’s landscape The Oil Mill (1909), which was one of the first Cubist images to be reproduced in Italy; Braque’s Fruit Dish and Glass (1912), the first Cubist paper collage ever created; and Picasso’s Head of a Woman (1909), which is considered the first Cubist sculpture. Together, these works tell the story of a movement that transformed the landscape of modern art. Cubism departed from the traditional interpretations of art, challenged conventional perceptions of space, time, and perspective, and paved the way for abstraction, a concept that dominated the art world for much of the 20th century.

Lauder acquired his first Cubist works in 1976 and has maintained his remarkable dedication to collecting for nearly 40 years. He continues to collect and is committed to looking for new opportunities to add to his gift to the Met. In coordination with Lauder’s remarkable gift, the Met is establishing a new research center for modern art. The center is supported by a $22 million endowment that Lauder helped spearhead. Grants for the center came from various trustees and supporters of the Met, including Lauder.

The Lauder Collection will be exhibited for the first time at this Met during the fall of 2014.

Published in News