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MAJOR PROJECTS. That Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC Selldorf Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to renovate the interior of his Gordon Bunshaft–designed house and its plaza that Washington Post reports and describes it as “the greatest physical reinterpretation of the museum in its history.” Details are still being worked out, but there are plans to add exhibition space, improve accessibility and fix other aspects of the infrastructure. Construction is scheduled for 2025. “It’s really about reimagining the museum for the 21st century,” says the director of the Hirshhorn. Melissa Chiuhe said post. Last year, the museum for modern and contemporary art received the artist license Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s proposal to revamp his sculpture garden.
BILLIONAIRE PATRON DAVID GEFFEN is the subject of a write-around profile by Adam Nagourney in which New York Times that focuses on his nine-figure donations to institutions like that Los Angeles County Museum of Artthe Museum of Modern Artand Yale University. Some interesting tidbits: Geffen (an ARTnews Top 200 collectors) once said that he has not flown on an airliner since 1979, and his first visit to the new David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York was scheduled to attend its opening gala last week. While the entertainment mogul didn’t speak for the story, the Lincoln Center CEO said, Katherine G Farleydid, saying that he told her about the redesign, for which he spent $100 million, “I want to leave this in your hands: I don’t need input on choosing the architect and driving the design forward.”
Speaking of Selldorf Architects and museum renovations: Architect Edward Jones slammed the company’s proposed renovation national gallery in London and argued that his proposal to move the building’s entrance from Trafalgar Square “to a side street was an act of vandalism”. [The Art Newspaper]
A memorial service was held Monday for the late diplomat, private equity giant and art collector Donald Blinken Metropolitan Museum of Art. Those present incl pace gallery founder Arne GlimmerMet director Max Holleincollector Ronald Lauderand President Biden. [New York Post]
A video circulating on the internet that appears to be a message from the broadcaster Eurostar about a German auction house selling works by Russian artists for the benefit of the Ukrainian armed forces and then destroying the material is a fake. The company in the video Bolland & MarotzHe said it was “outraged that our name is being misused”. [Reuters]
Today in London the first artist exhibition Sarah Biffin (1784–1850) in a century opens at Philip Mold & Company. A master miniaturist, Biffin had no arms and taught herself to sew and paint. In 2019 a work estimated at £1,800 was auctioned for £137,000. [The Guardian]
That Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco has appointed a new Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Programs: Key Jo Lee. She comes from Cleveland Museum of Artwhere she is currently Associate Curator of American Art. [Cleveland.com]
The controversial archaeologist of the 19th century Heinrich Schliemann is a “classic example of what an underdog can achieve at the end of his career”, Robin Lane Fox writes in a rollicking column about the adventurer-turned-merchant, whom some say is “a vandal, a liar, a fanatic, and a thief.” [Financial Times]
TECHNICAL UPGRADE. The market for NFTs may have cooled off recently, but museums continue to partner with artists experimenting with these digital tokens. Zachary Small reports in New York Times. A juicy anecdote comes from ChristianPaulwho was recently appointed curator of digital art at Whitney Museum in New York after almost two decades as an adjunct. “Usually I had to sell the idea of digital art to the upper levels of management,” Paul told dem Times. “Now trustees come to me asking if Whitney should be in the metaverse.” [NYT]