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The fashion industry stepped in once again to help fund ailing Italian museums. This time, Florence-based Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo made major donations, reinforcing their commitment to Italian arts and culture.

On Monday night, the Uffizi Gallery re-opened eight rooms following extensive renovations funded by a €600,000 ($678,702) donation from Ferragamo, WWD reported.

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Comic book superheroes are a part of our daily lives. They engage our imaginations on the pages of comic books, television and movie screens, as well as the Broadway stage and in the virtual world of gaming. Contemporary literature and art reference them; adults and children alike delight in donning superhero t-shirts, caps, and sneakers.

Since their introduction in the late 1930s, superheroes have been powerful role models, inspirational and enviable.

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Italy’s culture ministry has appointed 20 new directors to manage some of its top museums, including Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, with a number of foreigners brought in to revamp the way the country’s vast heritage is presented to the public.

Fourteen art historians, four archaeologists, one cultural manager and a museum specialist make up the new directors, who will be at the forefront of cultural reform in Italy. The majority have international backgrounds and half are women, although the culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said nationality and gender had no influence on Tuesday’s appointments.

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Tuesday, 30 June 2015 00:41

High Pay for NYC's Cultural Leaders

New York City’s leading museums and performing-arts groups may be nonprofit organizations, but their top jobs offer pay and perks that many in the private sector would envy.

Leaders at five of the city’s most prominent cultural institutions—the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Opera, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History—had compensation packages that exceeded $1.2 million in salary and benefits in 2013, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of recent tax filings for a dozen groups.

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We all know about NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, but TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being brokered between the United States and European Union, has received some attention in Europe and remarkably little in the US. The Partnership, which has been under development since 2013 and isn’t expected to be in place until next year, is aimed at facilitating trade between the two unions. It would streamline national and international regulations and make it easier for companies from one region to do business in the other.

Measures up for inclusion in TTIP, which is being hashed out in closed-door meetings from which the press and watchdog organizations have been barred, would discourage governments from introducing any legislation that might negatively affect companies’ profits — even laws intended to ensure the safety of consumers and the environment — and would enable corporations to sue governments that did pass such measures. But what does TTIP have to do with art?

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Americans’ donations to arts and culture rose 9.2% in 2014, the highest increase in nine categories tracked by Giving USA, an annual report on charitable contributions.

Overall, however, arts and culture commanded a modest share of the philanthropic pie. Estimated gifts to arts and culture totaled $17.2 billion, according to the report compiled by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Although that was a record high, it represented only 4.8% of the $358.4-billion total.

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The Rubin Museum of Art opened an installation of Nepalese art today to launch its "Honoring Nepal" programming series, which celebrates the culture of the earthquake-devastated country. The death toll from last month’s disaster is now over 6,800, with 14,000 injured and thousands missing, and the cultural loss of centuries-old temples, shrines, and historic sites that were damaged or destroyed is still being assessed.

The "Honoring Nepal" lobby installation is free and open to the public during museum hours, showcasing 13 artifacts selected from the roughly 600 Nepalese objects in the Rubin’s collections.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has announced a $1 million gift to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian Asian art museums, to support their ongoing work to promote his country’s art and culture.

The gift was announced during a dinner Wednesday at the Freer that was part of the Japanese leader’s official visit to Washington.

“I would like to express my appreciation to the Freer Gallery of Art for its dedication to Japanese art but also for giving us such a wonderful venue to promote people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the United States,” Abe said.

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A new museum in Washington will showcase a wide variety of art, history and culture through ancient textiles and a significant collection on the history of the nation's capital — while also signaling a major expansion in the arts for George Washington University.

The university opened the $33 million complex Saturday on its downtown campus where two museums will share one facility. The six-story complex is the new home for Washington's 90-year-old Textile Museum and its collection of 19,000 artifacts, along with a new museum featuring maps and documents tracing the capital city's history.

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:19

The Norton Museum Celebrates the Art of Tea

The act of drinking tea may be universal, but the art, culture and tradition surrounding it differs from one society to another. Tea pots, for instance, can be plain, or extremely ornate — and everything in between — depending on where you come from. In China, Korea, and Japan, the practice of drinking tea began in monasteries before spreading to the secular upper class. 

Introduced to British royalty in the 1660s meanwhile, tea-drinking became popular with the masses by the early 1700s, thanks largely to Thomas Twining, founder of Twinings of London. Exploring the beverage’s influence on art and culture around the globe, is an interesting exhibition opening this month at the Norton Museum of Art, with 182 objects spanning 1,200 years from the 700s to the 1900s.

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