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The Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution’s decorative arts and crafts museum in Washington, DC, is due to reopen to the public on November 13 after a two-year, $30m renovation. Built in 1859 across from the White House, the Renwick is the first American building designed specifically to showcase art.

The inaugural exhibition, “Wonder”, will take over the entire museum. The Renwick commissioned nine contemporary artists, including Chakaia Booker, Tara Donovan, Maya Lin and Leo Villareal, to create site-specific, room-size installations out of unorthodox materials such as insects, tires and glass marbles.

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Friday, 06 March 2015 12:27

A New Bauhaus Museum will Open in 2019

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has announced plans to build a major museum honoring the Bauhaus School in Dessau, Germany. Founded by the modernist architect Walter Gropius in 1919, the Bauhaus stands as one of most influential design schools in modern history.

Gropius established the Bauhaus School in the city of Weimar, Germany, with a singular mission -- to “reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts.” In Gropius’ manifesto, Proclamation of the Bauhaus, he explains his vision for reversing the split between art and production by returning to the crafts as the foundation of all artistic activity and design. Gropius established the Bauhaus School and developed a craft-based curriculum to educate and train artisans and designers, giving them the tools needed to create functional and beautiful objects for the rapidly-modernizing world.

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Officials at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam announced that the museum will reopen to the public on April 14, 2013. The Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national institution devoted to arts, crafts, and history, has been closed for 10 years as part of a massive renovation and modernization project.

The museum is currently working to reinstall around 8,000 masterpieces from the national collection spanning from the Middle Ages to present day. While the Rijksmuseum’s main building was closed, the institution sent a selection of 400 works, including their most famous painting, Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) The Night Watch (1642), to the Philips Wing, a previously renovated “fragment building” belonging to the museum. The works formed a major exhibition titled Masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, which saw approximately 1 million visitors during its run.

The Rijksmuseum renovation cost approximately $481 million to complete and included restoring all eighty of the museum’s galleries with their original decorations and paintings as well as implementing the most up-to-date technologies and applications. The project was expected to reach completion in 2008, but a series of contractor issues and planning problems delayed progress.  

Museum officials expect attendance to increase significantly after the institution reopens; prior to the Rijksmuseum’s closure, it saw approximately 1 million visitors each year. The museum is also planning to stay open 365 days a year, which would make it the first national museum in the world to be open every day.

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