News Articles Library Event Photos Contact Search

Displaying items by tag: Renovation

From April 25 through April 27, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, will host its 33rd annual Fine Art & Flowers show. The event will feature around 50 floral arrangements, each inspired by a specific painting from the museum’s collection. Florists, garden clubs, and interior designers from all over New England will participate in the highly-anticipated event.

Paintings in this year’s show include everything from Baroque masterpieces to contemporary works. All proceeds from the Fine Art & Flowers event will benefit the Wadsworth’s special exhibitions, educational programs, and operating expenses. Visitors are invited to nominate their favorite floral display for the People’s Choice Award.

The Wadsworth Atheneum is the oldest public art museum in the United States and boasts one of the most extensive European art collections in the country, with exceptionally strong Old Master and Impressionist holdings. The museum is in the midst of a $33 million renovation and plans to reinstall its collection of European paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts before the restoration concludes in September 2015.

Published in News

Since 2012, the New York Public Library has received considerable criticism stemming from its plan to renovate its landmark building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. On Wednesday, April 16, the backlash continued when a group of scholars filed a lawsuit stating that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration approved the renovation project without fully evaluating its environmental impact.

The lawsuit argues that the project was approved the same day that the library submitted its application, which did not allow for an adequate assessment of the effects of the renovation. The suit asks the court to annul the approval and assign the matter to the City Council or another agency.

Initially, the New York Public Library planned to clear out the book stacks in the century-old back portion of its building, which would require relocating over three million volumes to a storage space under Bryant Park as well as another facility in Princeton, NJ. In July 2013, a group of historians and preservationists filed a lawsuit asking library officials and the project’s architect, Norman Foster, to reconsider their plan. The group also filed an application to have the library’s iconic Rose Main Reading Room landmarked in order to protect the book stacks. When the city approved the library’s proposal in December 2013, it demanded that the library develop a plan to protect the reading room and create an historical record of any book stacks that could be demolished in the renovation. The library has been working with Foster to create a new design that would retain the reading room and the book stacks. The plan has not yet been released.

Two lawsuits aiming to halt the renovation are still pending.

Published in News

On Monday, April 14, workers began placing scaffolding and protective netting around the former home of the American Folk Art Museum on West 53rd Street in New York City. Last week, the Museum of Modern Art, which acquired the Tod Williams and Billie Tsien-designed building in 2011 after the Folk Art Museum defaulted on more than $30 million in bond debt, filed plans with the city’s Department of Buildings for a partial demolition. MoMA made the controversial decision to raze the building last April.

Before demolition can begin, the Folk Art Museum’s striking bronze facade must be disassembled and stored. MoMA has made no further decisions about what will happen to the facade beyond its preservation. Demolition of the remaining structure is expected to last through the summer.    

The former Folk Art Museum will be leveled to create space for MoMA's upcoming expansion. The project is being helmed by the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro and will include a renovation of the museum’s main building. The new site will join MoMA’s existing galleries with a forthcoming 82-story residential tower, which will include exhibition space for the museum.

Published in News

The Louvre announced that it will reopen its 18th-century decorative arts galleries on June 6 following an eight-year restoration and reinstallation. The Parisian museum’s sweeping collection of more than 2,000 decorative objects will be dispersed among 35 newly-renovated galleries in the north wing of the Louvre’s Cour Carrée. The galleries, which boast 23,000 square feet of exhibition space, were originally expected to reopen last year. Before this extensive restoration, the galleries had not been significantly updated since they were installed in 1966.

The Louvre’s collection of royal furniture, decorative bronzes, rugs, tapestries, gold and silver ware, porcelain, jewelry, and scientific instruments, will be grouped into three stylistic movements: the reign of Louis XIV and the Regency (1660-1725), Rococo (1725-1755), and the return of classicism and the reign of Louis XVI (1755-1790). The galleries also feature a number of period rooms including a drawing room from the nearby Hôtel de Villemaré, which was acquired by the Louvre in the 1800s but has never before been displayed in its entirety. Before being reconstructed in the museum, the room underwent a lengthy conservation.

Jannic Durand, director of the department of decorative arts at the Louvre, said in a statement, “We wanted to achieve a happy medium between period rooms and exhibition galleries. Each object benefits from being in relationship with other objects. In some cases, this means creating a period room so our visitors can understand how people lived with these objects or so they can appreciate holistically the elegance and refinement of the 18th century. In other instances, it means curating display cases devoted entirely to porcelain, silverware, and even some pieces of furniture to underscore the history of techniques and styles.”

The Louvre worked with the celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia to create the new spaces for its collection of 18th-century decorative arts. The project was funded entirely by the patrons of the museum, including a $4 million donation from the American Friends of the Louvre.

Published in News
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:15

Picasso Museum Postpones Reopening

The Musée Picasso in Paris has postponed its reopening after announcing in February that it would open to the public in June. The museum has been closed for nearly five years for a renovation and expansion. Since the museum is under the stewardship of the French government, the Culture Ministry is responsible for determining an official reopening date.

The Musée Picasso, which holds one of the most comprehensive collections of Pablo Picasso’s work, initially closed for a two-year refurbishment, but once underway, the scope of the project expanded. Except for a few minor technical details, the renovation, which cost around $71 million, is complete.

Prior to the renovation, the Musée Picasso could only display a fraction of its 5,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and documents. The project nearly doubled the institution’s exhibition space, allowing the museum to display more of its illustrious collection. The museum will also be able to accommodate more guests than ever before and annual admission figures are expected to rise from 450,000 to 850,000.

The museum, which is located in a 17th-century Baroque mansion in Paris’ historic Marais quarter, first opened to the public in 1985. Most of its collection was left to the French state upon Picasso’s death in 1973. A number of works were also donated by the artist’s family, including his widow Jacqueline.

The Musée Picasso plans to reopen to the public by the end of the year.

Published in News

New York’s Brooklyn Museum has finished renovating two rooms from an historic home in Saratoga Springs, New York. The late 19th-century Parlor and Library of the Colonel Robert J. Milligan House have been conserved and refurbished for the first time since they were installed in the museum in 1953. The Brooklyn Museum acquired the rooms as well as their furnishings in 1940. 

The rooms have been repainted and bold carpeting has been added to the Library’s previously bare wood floors. The museum has also restored and installed the Parlor’s original chandelier by Cornelius and Baker of Philadelphia and decorated the rooms with recently acquired objects and several Victorian furnishings original to the rooms but not previously on view in Brooklyn. Each room illustrates a revival style popular in interior decoration in mid-19th century America -- the Parlor exhibits the Louis XV Revival style while the Library depicts the Gothic Revival style. 

The Milligan House was completed in 1856 and is still standing in Saratoga Springs.

Published in News

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, has acquired a rare self-portrait by the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who is widely regarded as the most important female artist before the modern period. The institution purchased “Self-Portrait as a Lute Player” from Christie’s New York using funds from the recently established Charles H. Schwartz Fund for European Art. It is the first painting by a female artist of the Baroque period to enter the Wadsworth Atheneum’s permanent collection.

“Self-Portrait as a Lute Player” is one of only three uncontested self-portraits by Gentileschi that are known to exist. The work was most likely commissioned by the Grand Duke Cosimo II de’Medici and was recorded in the Medici collection as early as 1638. The painting’s whereabouts remained a mystery until it surfaced in a private collection in 1998. It was subsequently featured in major Gentileschi exhibitions around the world. The Wadsworth’s recent acquisition expands the museum’s already-stellar collection of Baroque masterpieces, which includes works by Caravaggio, Claude Lorrain, and Nicolas Poussin.

“Self-Portrait as a Lute Player” will make its public debut alongside works by Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, Artemisia’s father Orazio Gentileschi, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 2015 following a reinstallation of the museum’s European collections in the Morgan Memorial Building, which is undergoing an extensive renovation.

Published in News

The Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington announced on Wednesday that it had decided to sell up to four works from its collection, to save the museum from closing. The institution found itself in grave bond debt following an expansion and renovation in 2005. The museum did not specify which works it plans to sell, but said that it expected to bring in $30 million from the sale, which is enough to pay off the institution’s $19.8 million bond debt and renew its endowment.

The Delaware Art Museum’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Miller, released an official statement saying, “After detailed analysis, heavy scrutiny and the exhaustion of every reasonable alternative to relieve our bond debt, the Trustees had two agonizing choices in front of them — to either sell works of art, or to close our doors. While today’s decision is certainly hard to bear, the closure of this 100-year-old museum would be, by comparison, unbearable.”

Miller went on to explain that repayment terms for tax-exempt bonds issues in 2003 for the expansion of the institution’s historic Kentmere Park building became accelerated due to restrictive banking regulations, causing the museum to default on performance covenants. At the same time, the museum’s endowment dwindled as a result of stock market performance, forcing the Trustees to make significant budget cuts, including staff layoffs and funding cuts for exhibitions.

The Delaware Art Museum, which focuses on American art of the 19th through the 21st centuries and English Pre-Raphaelite art of the mid-19th century, expects the sale to be finalized in the next six months.

Published in News

While in Amsterdam for the Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama visited the city’s celebrated Rijksmuseum, the first ever visit by a serving U.S. President to the museum. The Rijksmuseum’s General Director, Wim Pijbes, gave the President a tour in the Gallery of Honour, where masterpieces by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, and Johannes Vermeer are exhibited. The Gallery of Honour leads to a designated area where Rembrandt’s greatest masterpiece, “The Night Watch,” is displayed.

The Rijksmuseum re-opened to the public in April 2013, following a ten-year renovation. The project, which cost around $841 million, included restoring all eighty of the museum’s galleries with their original decorations and paintings and outfitting them with the most up-to-date technologies. Since its re-opening, nearly 3 million patrons have visited the museum, making it one of the most successful transformations of a museum in history.

Other notable figures who have visited the Rijksmuseum include Theodore Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, and Hillary Clinton. 

Published in News

The St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, will sell a number of works from its extensive fine art collection, including five portraits by Thomas Eakins. Eakins, a realist who lived and worked in Philadelphia, is widely considered one of the most important American artists in history.

Christie’s will facilitate a private consignment sale of the works, which mostly feature past faculty members and have been in the seminary’s possession for around 80 years.  A sixth Eakins painting, which was loaned to the seminary by the American Catholic Historical Society, will also be put up for consignment. In addition, the seminary is consigning a painting by the American Impressionist Colin Campbell Cooper as well as a work by the expressionist painter Alice Neel. Bonhams and Sotheby’s will broker those sales respectively. 

Before deciding to sell the works, the seminary had a committee of arts specialists and seminary alumni and administrators conduct a year-long study. The seminary looked into partnering with local museums and historical societies, hoping that one would offer to acquire the paintings, but none of the organizations voiced interest.

Proceeds from the sales will help fund a major renovation of St. Charles’ Main Line campus, which will include making the seminary smaller and renovating its existing facilities.

Published in News
Page 12 of 18