Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Museums

Museums Use Technology to Stir Interest in the Artistic Past

Technology
This article is part of our latest Fine Arts & Exhibits special report, about how art institutions are helping audiences discover new options for the future.Twenty-five-hundred years ago in a workshop in Athens, a master potter and his apprentice were creating a vase depicting Hercules driving a bull to sacrifice when the potter had a eureka moment — instead of painting figures the usual black, why not red. Red? No one had ever done that before.“Something extraordinary happened to them on that day that changed the course of history,” said Alexia Roider, the creative head of Zedem Media, an animation studio based in Cyprus. By applying some different substances to the clay and controlling the temperature inside the kiln, the potter changed the colors and the effects of the paint on the ...
A ‘Holy Grail’ of American Folk Art, Hiding in Plain Sight

A ‘Holy Grail’ of American Folk Art, Hiding in Plain Sight

LifeStyle
John Foster was driving through St. Louis in 2019 when he spotted something unusual on the front porch of a home just east of Forest Park.“I thought, ‘That doesn’t look like just a piece-of-concrete lawn ornament,’” said Foster, a St. Louis-based author, historian and art enthusiast.He couldn’t stop at the time, but the remarkable carving — a pair of seated stone women, their bodies flecked with moss — stuck in his mind. He returned a few weeks later and knocked on the door.“Can I take a closer look?” he asked the couple who answered, Sally Bliss and her husband, Jim Connett.He bent down and examined it. The faces were obscured by the green moss, but the distinctive small mouths resting directly beneath vertical noses, nearly closed eyes, and contrast in surfaces between the flatness of th...
The Academy Museum Finds Good Intentions in Messy Film History

The Academy Museum Finds Good Intentions in Messy Film History

LifeStyle
Tucked in the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which opened Thursday in Los Angeles, is a surprisingly modest exhibit of “significant Oscars.” The museum, after all, is the latest venture of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that each year entertains, inflames and invariably stupefies movie lovers of every taste and critical persuasion with that gaudy bacchanalia of self-love known as the Oscars.Given the academy’s focus on all things Oscar, its latest production could have played up the event even more than it does. Yet while the awards invariably loom large, as does Hollywood — this is very much an academy endeavor, as the many nods to Steven Spielberg underscore — the long-delayed museum has embraced a tricky, complicated brief to accentuate the pos...
Thierry Mugler Returns to Paris With ‘Couturissime’

Thierry Mugler Returns to Paris With ‘Couturissime’

LifeStyle
It’s been 20 years since Thierry Mugler, the enfant terrible of 1980s and ’90s Paris fashion who turned fashion shows into rock events, stepped down from his namesake company. But he didn’t retire.He designed costumes for Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity” show in Las Vegas, and for Beyoncé’s 2010 “I Am … World Tour.” He wrote, directed, and designed “The Wyld,” a stage extravaganza that premiered in 2014 at the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, “based on Nefertiti, the most amazing supermodel ever,” the 72-year-old said from his home in Berlin earlier this month.But it has been pop culture’s recent embrace of Mr. Mugler’s eye-popping fashion — tailor-made for the Instagram age — that has thrust him back into the cultural conversation. For the 2019 Grammys, Mr. Mugler dressed Cardi B in three of...

He Taught Ancient Texts at Oxford. Now He Is Accused of Stealing Some.

LifeStyle
He had impeccable credentials. No one disputes that.Dirk Obbink was an esteemed lecturer at the University of Oxford. He had received a MacArthur Foundation grant in 2001 for his work with papyrus, and held a prominent post helping to run the Oxyrhynchus Papyri — the world’s largest collection of ancient papyri, held by the Egypt Exploration Society and housed at Oxford’s Sackler Library.So roughly a decade ago when the craft shop chain Hobby Lobby began to build a collection of ancient artifacts related to the Bible, it made sense to touch base with Obbink.Hobby Lobby’s president, Steve Green, was leading an effort to create a national museum that focused on the Bible. So between 2010 and 2013, the chain says it paid about $7 million dollars to Obbink for seven batches of antiquities incl...

Saving the Artwork of the South: Deep Investment, and a Drone

LifeStyle
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — “I’m the conjurer of all my ancestors, 400 years of African people in America,” said Joe Minter, surveying the dense outdoor environment of artworks he has forged from refuse over the past 32 years across his half-acre yard, facing two of the largest African-American cemeteries in the south. Nodding to the tombstones, he added, “they have given me the privilege of being their spokesman.”Minter described receiving the word of God in 1989 to “pick up what has been thrown away, put it together and put my words on it.” Ever since, the artist, now 78, with a gift for mechanics and previous jobs in construction and auto repair, has been building “African Village in America.” It is a succession of improvised sculptures that bear witness to the history of the diaspora and of civ...

Review: ‘Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror’ Divides and Conquers

LifeStyle
“Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror,” the largest survey of the artist’s work anywhere to date, officially opens next Wednesday, and is designed to be not just a blockbuster, but a blockbuster x 2.The American artist’s last East Coast survey, at the Museum of Modern Art in 1996, had 225 works; the new one has twice that number. The earlier show filled two floors of MoMA; this one spreads over two museums, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It looks differently splendid at each.Should you make an effort to see both halves? Absolutely. They’ve been designed as separate but complementary experiences, and each, though different in content and emphasis, tells a full Johns story. Yet it’s the story they tell together that’s the truer one, the one that lets a notoriousl...
Met Costume Institute and Brooklyn Museum Bring Back Fashion

Met Costume Institute and Brooklyn Museum Bring Back Fashion

LifeStyle
I also don’t think that the words Bolton has attached to each look — the “lexicon” part: “freedom,” “fluency,” “coziness,” “calm” — will make any real impression on visitors. But I bet what people will remember is how coherent certain overarching themes are: the elegant black dress, draped just so on the body from Charles James through Isabel Toledo and Rick Owens; the structured skirt suit; the camel cashmere; plush homemade knit; denim (of course!); and the really terrific opening room featuring a bouquet of patchwork clothes by everyone from Ralph Lauren to SC103 and Puppets and Puppets. And the whole thing may make visitors think twice about American fashion, which was the goal.That said, I also bet people will be drawn to the Dior show, which demands less of the viewer. It’s like a Ma...
Adam Pendleton Is Rethinking the Museum

Adam Pendleton Is Rethinking the Museum

LifeStyle
The Marron Atrium of the Museum of Modern Art is a big, awkward space, a hollow that rises from the second to the sixth floor. Since opening amid MoMA’s 2004 expansion, it has hosted many projects — but few as complex as “Who Is Queen?” by Adam Pendleton, which arrives on Sept. 18.Over several months, the artist has built three black scaffold structures 60 feet high, off the walls, like an endoskeleton. Each forms a layered, irregular grid, with internal ladders and landings. The ensemble fires off references — De Stijl, Le Corbusier’s Unités d’Habitation, Manhattan tenements. But the use of lumber — two-by-fours and so on — evokes humble home-building, and the overlaps where planks are bolted together generate a kind of shimmer and rhythm.Pendleton, 37, is best known as a painter of abstr...
Searching for Bird Life in a Former ‘Ocean of Forest’

Searching for Bird Life in a Former ‘Ocean of Forest’

Technology
Andrea Morales Rozo, who teaches biology at the Universidad de los Llanos in central Colombia, guided the team at the nets, from which she skillfully extricated birds unharmed. Ms. Morales Rozo has been studying the blackpoll warbler, a species that migrates between the Amazon and Canada; she was part of a group that recently compared museum specimens and field-caught birds and learned that the warbler’s northward range had shifted by nearly 400 miles in 45 years.Dr. Cuervo, the expedition leader, offered calm, fatherly support to those at the processing table. It’s not always obvious how best to describe a bird’s colors, for example, and second opinions were often requested. Was a wing “verde café,” greenish brown? Or was it “verde olivazo,” olive green? Was a female bird’s brood patch, t...