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The prestigious Winter Antiques Show, which is in its 60th year, will present a loan exhibition honoring the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Fresh Take, Making Connections to the Peabody Essex Museum will present over 50 paintings, sculptures, textiles and decorative objects from the Peabody Essex, one of the country’s oldest and most progressive museums. The exhibition will be on view during the entire run of the Winter Antiques Show, which will take place from January 24, 2014 to February 2, 2014 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

Highlights from Fresh Take, Making Connections to the Peabody Essex Museum include an 18th century inlaid ivory chair from India, a mahogany dressing chest by Thomas Seymour (circa 1810) and a 19th century portrait of the author Nathaniel Hawthorne by Charles Osgood. Jeff Daly, formerly a senior design advisor to the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will design the exhibition.  

Fresh Take will coincide with the Peabody Essex Museum’s 215th anniversary. The institution recently embarked on a $650 million campaign and expansion that will place the museum among the top 10 art institutions in the country in terms of gallery space and total endowment.  

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After leaving the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) board last year, California-based artist Ed Ruscha will join the San Francisco Museum of Art’s (SFMOMA) board. SFMOMA announced on Thursday, August 15, 2013 that Ruscha will take the one spot on its board reserved for an artist. He will serve on the board for a three-year term.

Ruscha has a profound relationship with SFMOMA and the museum is one of the few institutions in the world to have a complete collection of his seminal artist books, which he began making in the 1960s. SFMOMA also hosted Ruscha’s first retrospective in 1982. SFMOMA’s director, Neal Benezra, said, “Given his long history with SFMOMA and his exceptional knowledge and great influence in the art world, [Ruscha’s] input will be invaluable as we dramatically expand to become an international showcase for the best in contemporary culture.”

SFMOMA is in the midst of a $160-million renovation and expansion. Its central building is closed until at least early 2016.

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The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA has selected New York-based Ennead Architects to design their $200 million, 175,000-square-foot expansion. The project is part of the museum’s comprehensive, $650 million Advancement Campaign, which was announced in 2011. The goal of the Campaign is to celebrate outstanding artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people’s lives. Besides the expansion, which will include galleries, a restaurant and additional space for public programs and education, the endeavor includes reinstalling the museum’s collection, several infrastructure improvements and other initiatives.

Ennead Architects previously designed the renovation and expansion of the renowned Yale University Art Gallery. The firm has also worked on projects at the Brooklyn Museum, Natural History Museum of Utah and the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History.

Groundbreaking for the Peabody Essex Museum’s expansion project is expected to commence in 2015 and the new wing is slated to open in 2019. The museum will remain open throughout the renovation process until the final months, when the collection will be reinstalled.

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents 8 large-scale steel sculptures by Mark di Suvero (b. 1933) at historic Crissy Field for a free, yearlong exhibition. Organized in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks, the exhibition kicks off an extensive program of off-site exhibitions that SFMOMA will offer while the museum is undergoing a massive renovation and expansion. The museum is slated to re-open in early 2016.

Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field spans 5 decades of the artist’s career and coincides with di Suvero’s 80th birthday. The exhibition, which includes one never-before-seen sculpture, is the largest survey of the artist’s work ever presented on the west coast. Crissy Field offers striking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, which has long been a source of inspiration for di Suvero who immigrated to San Francisco from Shanghai as a child.

Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field will be on view through May 26, 2014.

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A major step has been taken in the Menil Collection’s master plan to create a “neighborhood of art” on their 30-acre campus. The Houston museum has chosen landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh to helm the expansion, which consists of the construction of six buildings dedicated to art, an outdoor sculpture park, bungalows, and green spaces spread across several blocks. Van Valkenburgh, who has offices in Brooklyn, NY and Cambridge, MA, has redesigned Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House (Washington, D.C.), Brooklyn Bridge Park (New York), Hudson River Park (New York), and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston). The London-based firm David Chipperfield Architects is directing the Menil’s overarching expansion plan, which includes the creation of new green spaces, walkways, visitor amenities, and gallery buildings.

Renzo Piano designed the Menil, which was founded by collectors John and Dominique de Menil, in 1987. The museum houses the de Menil’s comprehensive collection of 20th century art, which includes works by René Magritte (1898-1967), Man Ray (1890-1976), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), and Mark Rothko (1903-1970). The museum also includes a separate gallery dedicated to Cy Twombly (1928-2011), which was also designed by Piano.  

The first phase of the renovation is expected to kick off in September 2013.

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Monday, 03 June 2013 18:03

SFMOMA Breaks Ground on New Expansion

San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) broke ground on its highly anticipated expansion on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Around 300 supporters gathered to witness the kick-off of the construction project that will add 225,000-square-feet to the museum. The renovated space is expected to reopen in 2016.

 Snøhetta, an international architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design firm based in Oslo, Norway and New York City, designed SFMOMA’s expansion, which is expected to cost around $610 million. 89% of the capital has already been collected through fundraising. Officials upped their original estimate for construction from $555 million in May.

 SFMOMA’s expansion will more than double the existing exhibition space and provide nearly six times as much public space as their currently Mario Botta-designed building. The renovation will create a new outdoor terrace, a sculpture terrace, and state-of-the-art conservation studios. The museum will also take a more environmentally sensitive approach to day-to-day operations. SFMOMA hopes to gain LEED Gold certification by reducing their energy costs, water use, and wastewater generation.



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The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY has revealed the final design of its North Wing expansion, which is expected to open to the public in late 2014. The addition was designed by New York-based architecture firm Thomas Phifer and Partners and will add 26,000-square-feet to the museum. The project will create a new gallery for contemporary glass art and a 500-seat glassmaking demonstration venue in Steuben Glass’ former factory ventilator building, which is next door to the museum.

The contemporary art gallery will be in the minimalist style and feature large exterior glass panels that will allow sunlight to flood into the galleries, which will include massive curvilinear concrete walls. A state-of-the art light-filtering system will be used to adjust the natural sunlight to create ideal lighting for viewing the art. The new gallery will be the largest space dedicated to the presentation of contemporary glass art in the world.    

The Corning Museum of Glass, which opened in 1951, is the world’s leading art museum dedicated to the presentation, display and interpretation of glass and glassmaking. Since its inception, the museum has made a point of incorporating glass into its architecture. Karol Wright, the executive director of the museum, said, ‘Thomas Phifer’s design for the North Wing gallery marks a dramatic new chapter in the rich history of modern and contemporary glass architecture on our campus.” The project, which will cost $64 million to bring to completion, is being full-funded by the museum’s major benefactor, Corning Incorporated.

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013 18:32

Heritage Auctions Expands in New York City

Heritage Auctions, which is based in Dallas, TX, has announced that they will be expanding their New York City office. The company has leased over 5,000-square-feet of additional space next to their current Park Avenue location. The expansion, which has tripled the auction house’s space in New York, will include an area for private sales, a showroom for exhibiting auction highlights, and a saleroom for small, on-site auctions. Heritage will continue to hold their larger sales at the Fletcher Sinclair mansion across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Heritage, which was established in 1976, is currently the largest auction house specializing in collectibles such as rare coins, civil war memorabilia, fine and rare wine, and rare books and manuscripts. The auction house brought in around $900 million in sales last year.

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After a whirlwind of auctions last week in New York, which included a historic $495 million post-war sale at Christie’s, Phillips’ Contemporary Art Evening Sale on May 16, 2013 seemed quite subdued. The boutique auction house’s sale garnered $78.6 million and sold 81% by lot and 88% by value.

The highlight of the night was Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) Pop Art masterpiece, Four Marilyns (1962), which sold for $38.2 million. The sale confirmed that Warhol remains a powerful presence in the art market. During the auction two other Warhol works were sold -- Flowers (1964), which brought $2.4 million and Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) (1967), which sold for upward of $2 million. Other major sales that night included Jean-Michel Basquiat’s (1960-1988) Untitled (1961), which garnered over $4 million and Roy Lichtenstein’s (1923-1997) Still Life (1972), which also sold for upward of $4 million.

Phillips has undergone a number of changes in the past year. Following the departure of Chairman Simon de Pury in December 2012, the company changed its name from Phillips de Pury & Co. to Phillips. In February 2013, the auction house revealed 10,000-square-feet of new gallery space at the company’s headquarters on Park Avenue in Manhattan. The expansion was an attempt to compete with the major auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

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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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