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Displaying items by tag: National Gallery of Art

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is ramping up endowment efforts after a wave of financial and administrative troubles left the institution’s future murky. Museum officials announced on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 that the amount of promised donations would raise MOCA’s endowment to $60 million, the highest in the institution’s 34-year history.        

Jeffrey Soros, the president of MOCA’s board, and trustee Eugenio Lopez, a prominent art collector, are helming the new fundraising campaign known as MOCA Independence. The goal of the campaign is to raise $100 million, which will allow the museum to continue operating as an independent institution devoted to contemporary art.  

MOCA’s troubles began in 2008 when overspending and dwindling investments left the museum with an endowment of a few million dollars. Eli Broad, a billionaire art collector and one of MOCA’s founding board members, gave the museum a second chance when he donated $15 million to the institution; Broad also pledged $15 million to match outsider contributions. While Broad’s generosity helped keep the museum afloat, MOCA struggled to find donors that would match his pledge.

MOCA’s troubles prompted partnership offers from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The museum declined both offers in favor of maintaining its independence.

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To this day, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is widely considered the greatest German artist ever to live. A master of drawings, watercolors, and engravings, Dürer produced the earliest known self-portrait drawing in European art at the age of 13 as well as some of the first stand-alone landscapes. The craftsmanship of his woodcuts was so exceptional that he singlehandedly changed the public’s perception of the medium from commonplace to fine art.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is currently hosting the exhibition Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina. The Albertina in Vienna, Austria holds one of the finest and largest collections of Dürer’s work including masterpieces such as The Great Piece of Turf, a watercolor nature study of the Renaissance; the beyond iconic chiaroscuro drawing Praying Hands; and his famous self portrait.

Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina presents 91 remarkable works from the Albertina as well as 46 related engravings, woodcuts, drawings, and prints from the National Gallery’s own collection. This exhibition, which is the culmination of decades of acquisition, study, and exhibitions of early German art at the National Gallery, will be on view through June 9, 2013.

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Friday, 22 March 2013 13:05

MOCA to Remain an Independent Institution

After partnership offers from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has decided to remain an independent institution. The museum has been struggling after a spate of financial issues and widespread criticism of its administration and overall direction.  

MOCA’s board released a statement on March 19, 2013 explaining, “The board is in agreement that the best future for MOCA would be as an independent institution. The Board understands that this will require a significant increase in MOCA’s endowment to ensure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve.” There are currently no artists on MOCA’s board after a number of high-profiled artists including John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and Barbara Kruger resigned earlier this year.

Earlier this month, LACMA Director Michael Govan offered to raise $100 million for MOCA’s two locations in exchange for the acquisition of the institution. The National Gallery was not interested in an institutional merger but offered to collaborate with MOCA on programming and research initiatives. Eli Broad, one of MOCA’s major benefactors, was in favor of partnering with the National Gallery.  

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Officials at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. announced that the museum’s East Building will undergo a $30 million renovation, adding over 12,260-square-feet of exhibition space and a rooftop sculpture garden to the structure. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei (b. 1917) and opened in 1978, the East Building houses the museum’s collection of modern paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints as well as study and research centers and offices.

The East Building galleries will gradually close beginning in July and ending in December 2013; they will remain shuttered for approximately three years once renovations begin in January 2014. The project will create two sky-lit Tower Galleries within the East Building, which will be adjoined by an outdoor sculpture terrace. The East Building will continue to house the museum’s modern art collection and may see the addition of a room dedicated to the work of Mark Rothko (1903-1970). Museum officials hope that the additional exhibition space will inspire future donations to the National Gallery’s permanent collection.

The East Building project is part a Master Facilities Plan, which started in the museum’s West Building in 1999 and involved bolstering the building’s infrastructure and renovating its main floor and sculpture galleries. A number of established Washington-based philanthropists are donating $30 million for the East Building project; it is one of the largest gifts the museum has received from private donors in a decade.

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Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:49

Google Launches Art Talks Series

Following the lead of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and PBS, Google will launch a series of monthly digital “Art Talks.” The project aims to bring gallery and museum collections to life through virtual hangouts with curators, museums directors, historians, and educators from the world’s most distinguished cultural institutions. The talks will explore various arts-related topics including the curating process, popular themes throughout art history, art education, and the significance of specific masterpieces and artists.

The first Art Talks hangout will take place at 8PM on March 6, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Deborah Howes, the museum’s Director of Digital Learning, will join a panel of artists and students to discuss the process of teaching art online.

Upcoming Art Talks include Caroline Campbell and Arnika Schmidt from London’s National Gallery discussing depictions of the female nude throughout art history (March 20, 2013) and a panel discussion of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s (1525-1569) Tower of Babel featuring Peter Parshall, curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (April 2013). Additional talks are planned for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico.

The talks will be posted on the Google Art Project‘s YouTube channel after they air.

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Now on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900, the first major survey of Pre-Raphaelite art to take place in the United States.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which formed in 1848, was a group of English painters, poets, and critics who rejected the traditional approaches to art and painting established by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael (1483-1520) and Michelangelo (1473-1564). Instead, the Pre-Raphaelites turned to medieval and early Renaissance art for inspiration often painting subjects from Shakespeare and the Bible. Pre-Raphaelitism, which rattled Britain from 1848 to 1900, was considered the country’s first avant-garde movement.

The exhibition at the National Gallery features approximately 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative objects by the movement’s leading members including John Everett Millais (1829-1896), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), and William Holman Hunt (1827-1910). Organized by Tate Britain in collaboration with the National Gallery, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design will be on view through May 19, 2013.  

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Ellsworth Kelly: Colored Paper Images is currently on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. through December 1, 2013. Kelly (b. 1923), a painter, printmaker, and sculptor, is best known for his hard-edge and Color Field paintings as well as for his involvement in the minimalist movement.

The exhibition at the National Gallery features a series of paper-pulp works that were first unveiled in 1977. The 23 works, which are drawn from the museum’s collection, feature erratic edges and irregular textures, a departure from Kelly’s previous works, which are comprised of sharp angles and precise curves. Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art said, “Kelly has long been recognized for his mastery of form and color, but even to those who know his work well, these Colored Paper Images will come as a revelation.”

A pioneering force in postwar abstraction, Kelly created his colored paper images by placing molds on single sheets of paper and filling them with colored and pressed paper pulp. Once the pulp settled, the molds were removed and the sheet along with the colored pulp was run through a printing press, fusing the damp paper layers together. Multiple impressions were made of each image.

The National Gallery of Art has a longstanding relationship with Kelly, which began in 1975 when the institution acquired its first work by the artist. The Gallery now owns over 200 pieces by Kelly including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

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As part of a yearlong celebration of Italian culture hosted by Italy’s foreign minister, Michelangelo’s (1475-1564) iconic work, David-Apollo, will be go on view today at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata unveiled the sculpture yesterday, December 12. David-Apollo will be on view in the West Building’s Italian galleries through March 3, 2013.

Michelangelo carved David-Apollo in 1530 for Baccio Valori, who served as the interim governor of Florence per the Medici pope Clement VII’s appointment. Michelangelo and the pope were at political odds, but the artist wished to make peace with the Medici through his work. Michelangelo never finished David-Apollo as he left Italy and never returned after Clement VII’s death.

Part of the Museo Nazionale del Barello’s collection in Florence, David-Apollo traveled to the National Gallery once before in 1949. The masterpiece’s installation in Washington over sixty years ago coincided with former president Harry Truman’s inaugural reception and attracted more than 791,000 visitors. In 2013, David-Apollo’s presentation will coincide with President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The Year of Italian Culture, launched by Sant’Agata under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, will bring a range of Italian masterpieces to nearly 70 cultural institutions across the United States. Works range from classical and Renaissance to baroque and contemporary and cover the realms of art, music, theater, cinema, literature, science, design, fashion, and cuisine.    

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Fans are breathing a sigh of relief after Washington, D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery of Art decided against selling its historic Beaux-Arts home and moving to the suburbs. The cash-strapped institution shocked fans with the proposal, which was announced this summer. Ultimately, the Corcoran’s board of trustees decided that the museum and its associated College of Art and Design, which is in close proximity to the White House, should stay put.

Designed by Ernest Flagg, the Corcoran Gallery opened to the public in 1897 and remains the largest privately supported cultural institution in Washington, D.C. The museum, which specializes in American art, is currently in need of $130 million worth of renovations. While the institution’s façade was restored last year, the galleries are still in need of a major overhaul, which is the main reason why Corcoran officials were considering the sale to begin with.

Although the institution has been struggling financially for years, strong reaction to the potential move has proved inspirational. The Corcoran is considering embarking on partnerships with like-minded institutions and collaborations with other D.C. museums, including the National Gallery of Art, have been explored.

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012 17:10

George Bellows Retrospective Opens Tomorrow at the Met

An expansive survey of works by the American realist artist, George Bellows, will open November 15 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibition features 120 works including the paintings of boxing matches and gritty New York tenements that Bellows is best known for. The artist also painted cityscapes, seascapes, war scenes, portraits, and made illustrations and lithographs over the course of a varied career that was cut short when Bellows passed away at 42.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Bellows moved to New York City in 1904 to study with the influential artist and teacher, Robert Henri, and soon became the youngest member of the Ashcan School. Dedicated to chronicling the realities of day-to-day life, Bellows made a name as the boldest of the Ashcan artists. The Met acquired Bellows’ Up the Hudson (1808), the institution’s first Ashcan painting, in 1911.

Organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in association with the Met and London’s Royal Academy of Art, the retrospective is the most comprehensive presentation of Bellows work in nearly fifty years. The exhibition will be on view through February 18, 2013.

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