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On Sunday night, Maya Lin was standing in the main hall of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., next to a sculpture of Maya Lin. It was not of her own design, nor did it look anything like her work. It was by a fellow artist, the Berlin-based Karin Sander, who uses 3-D ink-jet printing to fabricate mini-models of men and women out of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It looks like a Maya Lin action figure. It’s called Maya Lin 1.5.

“Dorothy Moss, the curator, said that they’re always interested in new ways of portraiture,” said Lin, who currently has an installation up at the newly renovated Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian that re-creates the Chesapeake Bay using 168,000 marbles.

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The Salon Art + Design, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
November 12-16, 2015
The Salon Art + Design hosts the world's finest galleries in historical, modern and contemporary art and design. Visitors will find works from the great cabinet makers of 18th century France to English Arts + Crafts, Art Deco, Mid Century Modern to today's newest up-and-coming designers. The success of The Salon lies in the quality of the exhibiting galleries, the extremely international flavor of the material, and this eclecticism that is highly sought by today’s collectors and influencers. The Salon is a vetted fair and the only international fair of this caliber to...

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Monday, 21 September 2015 16:47

The Top 12 Museums for Modern Design in the U.S.

Modern design takes innumerable forms, making it difficult to define in an absolute way. From a streamlined Electrolux vacuum cleaner from the 1930s to Eero Saarinen's iconic Tulip Chair, all modern design objects explore the space where form and function meet and lessen the gap between art and the everyday. Below is a hand-picked selection of some of the country’s top museums for viewing, exploring, and learning about the fascinating and innovative world of modern design. 

1. The Renwick Gallery
Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006
For information call 202.633.7970 or visit

The beautiful and ever-evolving Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., set the tone for design museums in America. The first purpose-built art museum in the country, the institution shifted its focus to...


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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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The American metal sculptor Albert Paley is the subject of a major exhibition currently on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. “American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley” presents a retrospective of Paley’s varied career. The exhibition begins with his work as a jeweler and forger of metal, and progresses through Paley’s recent large-scale sculptural projects. The show was curated by Eric Turner, Curator of Metalwork, Silver, and Jewelry at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Paley began his nearly 50-year career as a goldsmith before shifting his focus to blacksmithing in the early 1970s. Spanning six galleries, the exhibition at the Corcoran presents everything from jewelry, furniture, and small-scale domestic metalwork to gates and doors. The exhibition’s centerpiece is “Portal Gates,” a 1974 commission for the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. One of Paley’s most significant projects, “Portal Gates” exemplifies the artist’s innovative style as well as his mastery of the metalworking craft. The Renwick Gallery, which was the Corcoran’s original home, is currently closed for renovations.  

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A $5.4 million donation from David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chief executive of D.C.-based private-equity firm The Carlyle Group, and a philanthropist known for contributions to landmarks of American history, has completed fundraising for the renovation of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.

The building, the Smithsonian’s third oldest, houses craft objects and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present, and the donation is the final part of a two year, $30 million public/private campaign to overhaul infrastructure and renovate the Grand Salon, which will be named in honor of Rubenstein.

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Friday, 10 January 2014 18:10

Renwick Gallery Begins Major Renovation

The Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian museum dedicated to American craft and decorative arts, has embarked on a $30-million, two-year renovation project. The museum shuttered its 154-year-old building last month for its first renovation in 40 years. The Renwick will restore parts of its building, refurbish historic features and make technological updates to its Grand Salon.

The project is being helmed by the Cleveland-based architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskosky. Applied Minds, an interdisciplinary company based in Los Angeles, will be responsible for transforming the Renwick’s Grand Salon into a high-tech, interactive art space.

The project is a 50-50 public-private partnership. So far the Renwick has raised $10 million from private donors.

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The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. has announced that its Renwick Gallery, which houses the museum’s American craft and decorative arts collection from the 19th to 21st centuries, will undergo a major renovation. The Renwick Gallery, which opened to the public in 1972, will close to accommodate the project in early 2014 and is expected to reopen in 2016.

Project details are still being worked out and an exact cost for the renovations is yet to be determined. The Smithsonian is planning to use public funds to pay for half of the project and the rest will be paid through private partnerships. The project has already received a $335,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures initiative, as the Renwick Gallery is located in a National Historic Landmark building. The building’s construction began in 1859 and went on to house the city’s first art museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, upon its completion.

Museum officials plan to convert all of the Renwick Gallery’s lighting to energy efficient LED lights and wireless Internet access will be provided throughout the entire gallery. Heating, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, and fire safety systems will all be gutted and replaced. This will be the Renwick Gallery’s first renovation in 40 years.

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