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A winding drive leads up to this pale-yellow Victorian house, sitting against a background of open fields with views of the surrounding mountains. The 1872 mansion, with a four-story russian domed tower at its center, is a mixture of Late Gothic, Queen Anne, and Romanesque Revival details.

Its owner, William Batterman Ruger Jr., or Bill Ruger, as he prefers to be called, is the eldest son of William B. Ruger Sr. the legendary gun designer and cofounder of Sturm, Ruger and Company. Since his retirement from the company in 2006, after a forty-two year tenure, Bill Jr. has pursued...

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On June 10, 2013, Bank of America announced the recipients of its 2013 Art Conservation Project. The program provides grant funding to international nonprofit museums to conserve historically and culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.

This year, Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project will provide funding for 24 works in 16 countries. One of the most significant undertakings is the restoration of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles. Built between 1921 and 1953, the Watts Towers are an iconic part of the city and have fallen into disrepair. The towers are part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Other projects include the restoration of Jackson Pollock’s (1912-1956) Number 1A, One, and Echo at the Museum of Modern Art; 13 mural drawings by Diego Rivera (1886-1957) at the Detroit Institute of Arts; four Tudor paintings at the National Portrait Gallery in London; a Rembrandt (1606-1669) study at the National Gallery in Prague; and a Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) photography collection at La Casa Azul in Mexico.    

Bank of America launched its Art Conservation Project in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2010. It was expanded to include the Americas, Asia, and Australia in 2012. Including this year’s recipients, Bank of America will have funded the conservation of 57 projects in 25 countries.

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Thursday, 28 February 2013 17:19

The Cloisters Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

The Cloisters museum and gardens, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. Assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that date from the 12th through the 15th century, the Cloisters houses approximately 3,000 works of art from medieval Europe.

To commemorate its 75th year, the Cloisters has a number of celebratory exhibitions planned. Search for the Unicorn: An Exhibition in Honor of the Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary will present the Unicorn Tapestries (1495-1505), a series of seven tapestries, which were a gifted to the museum by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. when the Cloisters opened in 1938. The Tapestries are the museum’s best-known masterpieces, but their history and meaning remain mysterious. The Unicorn Tapestries will be exhibited alongside approximately 40 works from the Metropolitan, sister institutions, and private collections. Search for the Unicorn will be on view from May 15-August 18, 2013.

In September, the Cloisters will mount an installation by Janet Cardiff (b. 1957). The Forty Part Motet (2001) is comprised of 40 speakers, each playing the sound of one singer in a 40-voice choral performing “Spem in alium numquam habui” (circa 1573) by the Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (circa 1505-1585). The installation will play on a loop in the Cloister’s Fuentidueña Chapel through December 8, 2013. The Forty Part Motet is the first piece of contemporary art to be featured at the Cloisters.

The Cloisters will wrap up its anniversary celebrations with the exhibition of six near life-size stained glass windows on loan from England’s historic Canterbury Cathedral. It will be the first time the panels have left the cathedral since their creation in 1178-80. Current repairs to the cathedral’s stonework required the removal of the windows, which have recently been conserved. The stained-glass windows that will be on view at the Cloisters feature six figures from an original cycle of 86 ancestors of Christ, the most comprehensive stained-glass cycle known in art history. The Romanesque masterpieces will be on view from March through May 2014.

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On January 3, 2013 researchers at the National Portrait Gallery in London announced that they had discovered hidden paintings beneath a number of Tudor portraits in the museum’s collection. The findings will be presented in the exhibition Hidden: Unseen Paintings Beneath Tudor Portraits in the museum’s recently remodeled Room 3.

 The exciting discoveries were made while researchers were analyzing works as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project, which aims to shed light on the working practices of Tudor artists through scientific techniques including infrared reflectography and x-radiography. This technical research, which allows for examination beneath the paint surface, unveiled the images behind the portraits.

Works on view include a portrait of the Lord Treasurer and poet, Thomas Sackville; a portrait of the first Earl of Dorset by an unknown artist, which boasts a completed painting of the flagellation of Christ beneath its surface; and a portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham. Walsingham was Elizabeth I’s Protestant spymaster and Secretary of State. Hidden beneath the portrait of Walsingham is a depiction of the Virgin Mary with the infant Christ and another figure believed to be Joseph or an angel.

Hidden Treasures will be on view through June 2, 2013.

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