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It was announced on Monday, April 28, 2014, that The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Instagram account was selected as the Webby Award Winner in the Social: Arts & Culture category in the 18th Annual Webby Awards. The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award winners, is comprised of web industry experts. With 12,000 entries from all 50 states and more than 60 countries, and two millions votes in the Webby People’s Voice Awards, the 18th Annual Webby Awards were bigger than ever before.

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Paris’s Picasso museum, which houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of the Spanish painter’s work, is set to reopen its doors in September after being closed for five years for renovation, the culture ministry announced Sunday.

The popular museum was originally to be closed for a two-year renovation and the delay has caused controversy, with the painter's son Claude Picasso on Friday accusing the French government of indifference and saying he was "scandalised and very worried" about the future of the museum.

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To commemorate its 20th anniversary, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has reinstalled its permanent collection. This is the first time the institution has reimagined its holdings since it opened to the public in 1994. The Warhol’s collection, which includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, prints, and films by the Pop artist, has been hung chronologically across five of the museum’s seven floors. Well-known masterpieces will appear alongside rarely seen artworks and archival material when the galleries open to the public during a gala event on May 17.   

Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol, said, “We can’t wait to share the new look and feel of The Warhol with our visitors. Our goal is to both engage and educate our guests so that everyone leaves with a true understanding of who Andy was and why he matters so much. To keep the content fresh, the curatorial team will rotate artworks in all galleries on a frequent basis. It will be a fun experience and definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been to the museum in a while.”

The museum’s seventh floor will present artworks and objects that explore Warhol’s relationship with his hometown of Pittsburgh. Works on view include newly uncovered material relating to Warhol’s childhood and pieces from his family’s collection of rare paintings and photographs.

The gala in May will kick-off a year-long celebration at the museum, which is the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world.

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The New York City Department of Records and Information Services has added 30,000 historical photographs to its extensive online gallery. Among these images are over 2,000 photographs from the NYPD departmental files and Emergency Services Unit, dating from 1928 to 1941. The images depict everything from a plane crash in Brooklyn to Communist Party rallies in Madison Square Garden, a Nazi summer retreat in Long Island, and John F. Kennedy’s ticker-tape parade from the 1960 presidential campaign. The online gallery now boasts 90,000 photographs, the largest collection of New York City historical images in the world.

The never-before-seen pictures were scanned from vintage large-format film and glass-plate negatives, color transparencies, century-old lantern slides, 35mm Kodachromes, and prints in the Municipal Archive. The city plans to eventually digitize its entire collection. 

The photographs can be viewed here.

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York are joining forces with the Outdoor Advertising Association to execute the “outdoor art show,” Art Everywhere. The interactive art campaign will display images of the greatest American artworks on billboards and signs in select cities across the United States.

The participating museums have created a master list of 100 American artworks from their combined holdings and are asking the public to visit and vote for their favorite pieces. The 50 most popular works will be featured throughout August on approximately 50,000 billboards and signs across the country. Art Everywhere’s master list includes paintings, drawings, decorative objects, photographs, and multimedia works from the 18th century to 2008. Artists represented on the ballot include Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock.

Voting will remain open until June 20 and the chosen works will be unveiled on August 4.

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The Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine has acquired a late 19th-century camera originally owned by the American artist Winslow Homer. The dry plate camera was manufactured around 1880 and will enhance the museum’s existing collection of archival material related to Homer’s life and work.

The camera, which was donated to the museum by Neal Paulsen, a long-time resident of Maine, was designed for amateur photographers and renowned for its portability and ease of use. It was manufactured by Mawson & Swan, a photography business in England. Homer purchased the camera in 1882, during a two-year residence in Cullercoats, a small fishing village in northeast England. The date, “Aug 15, 1882,” and Homer’s initials are inscribed into the camera’s wooden plate holder.

Frank Goodyear, Co-Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, said, “We are so pleased to receive this exciting gift, which complements our current holdings of Homer’s work and documentation perfectly. The camera highlights Homer’s varying artistic interests, and helps to illuminate a lesser-known side of one of America’s greatest painters.”

Homer is one of the foremost figures in American art and is well known for his seascapes and marine paintings. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Homer was an avid traveler and spent time living and working in New York City, Paris, and England, among other places. However, during his years in Prout’s Neck, Maine, Homer produced some of his most defining masterpieces. Homer moved to Maine in 1883 and spent most of his time working in his studio, a former carriage house, just 75  feet from the ocean. Homer remained in Prout’s Neck on his family’s estate until his death in 1910. Homer’s paintings from this period are defined by their crashing waves, rocky coasts, and his expert use of light.

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art has a special exhibition on Homer and photography scheduled for August 2015. The show will feature the recently acquired camera alongside photographs taken by Homer.

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The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. will receive 30 photographs from Robert E. Meyerhoff, a longtime supporter of the museum, and his partner, Rheda Becker. The gift includes photographs by a number of German artists including Andreas Gursky and Bernd and Hilla Becker as well as works by Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The gift will substantially improve the National Gallery of Art’s photography collection, which contains few works by prominent living artists. The museum began assembling its photography collection in 1949 when Georgia O’Keeffe donated 1,720 photographs made by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, to the institution. The National Gallery of Art did not establish a separate photography department until 1990.

In 1987, Meyerhoff and his late wife, Jane, agreed to donate their entire art collection to the National Gallery of Art. The gift included works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, and Brice Marden and was displayed at the museum in 1996 and again in 2010. This recent gift will go on view when the museum’s East Building reopens in the fall of 2016 after a renovation and expansion.    

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Three Texas museums -- the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas -- are adding more than a combined 1,700 high-resolution works of art to the Google Art Project. The Art Project, which is part of the Google Cultural Institute, allows users to virtually explore works of art from international museums, institutions, and archives. Currently, there more than 57,000 high-resolution images of works ranging from oil on canvas paintings to sculpture and furniture.

The Amon Carter Museum has submitted 1,200 images to the Google Art Project, showcasing works by American artists such as Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler. The museum also contributed 200 photographs from its collection. The Dallas Museum of Art submitted around 500 works from its collection including “Sheaves of Wheat” by Vincent van Gogh. The Nasher Sculpture Center, which houses a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture, submitted images of works by Auguste Rodin and Mark di Suvero.

The exceptional quality of the images coupled with the Google Art Project’s custom-built zoom view, allows users to explore the finest details of  each object. Visitors can browse works by artist, title, medium, museum, country, time period, or collection. Virtual guided tours by experts are available on the site so that users can learn more about a particular work or topic.

To view works from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, visit the Google Art Project.

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Thursday, 20 February 2014 10:51

Picasso Museum Wraps Up Major Renovation

This June, the Picasso Museum in Paris will reopen following a five-year renovation. The institution, 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. The renovation cost around $71 million to complete.

Prior to the renovation, the Picasso Museum could only display a fraction of its 5,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, and documents. The project nearly doubled its exhibition space, allowing the institution to exhibit 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.

In mid-2015, The Picasso Museum will begin holding one major exhibition each year. The first annual show will be in collaboration with New York's Museum of Modern Art and will focus on Picasso's sculpture.

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:30

Protestor Destroys Ai Weiwei Vase in Miami

According to officials at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, on Sunday, February 16, a visitor smashed a vase from Ai Weiwei’s “Colored Vases” installation. The work, which is estimated to be worth $1 million, was destroyed by a local artist who was charged with criminal mischief and later released in lieu of bail. Maximo Caminero allegedly told a police officer that his act was a protest against the museum’s decision to exhibit only international art and its exclusion of local artists in its shows.

The Pérez Art Museum, which opened in December, released a statement saying, “As an art museum dedicated to celebrating modern and contemporary artists from within our community and around the world, we have the highest respect for freedom of expression, but this destructive act is vandalism and disrespectful to another artist and his work, to Pérez Art Museum Miami, and to our community."

Caminero claimed that he was inspired by one of Weiwei’s most famous works, “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,” a series of three photographs showing the contemporary Chinese artist dropping an ancient Chinese vase. Weiwei is no stranger to controversy and has openly criticized the Chinese government’s position on democracy and human rights.

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