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December 2013 - The Happy New Year Edition Previous Issues

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So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto

Overview – Toronto Public Library Delivers $5.63 of Economic Impact for Every $1 Spent

torontopubliclibrary.ca, 9 December 2013


TORONTO, ON - "Toronto Public Library creates over $1 billion in total economic impact. For every dollar invested in Toronto Public Library (TPL), Torontonians receive $5.63. This benefit results from the market value of services delivered, or direct tangible benefits and the stimulus to Toronto’s economy from direct spending and re-spending (indirect tangible benefits). Direct tangible benefits represent a conservative measure of the market value of the services used. Direct spending represents institutional spending that directly impacts Toronto’s economy and is the total funding received from the City of Toronto. Indirect tangible benefits represent the re-spending by those who are paid by the direct spending within Toronto’s economy."


Canadian Museum of History is official

Canadian Museum of Civilizations’ media release, 13 December 2013


GATINEAU, QC — "Canada’s national museum of human history welcomes a new era in its own long and storied history following yesterday’s enactment of federal legislation transforming the Canadian Museum of Civilization into the Canadian Museum of History. Under its revised mandate, the Museum will tell the story of Canada and its people more comprehensively, inclusively and candidly than ever before. It will do so by focusing greater attention on the people, events and experiences that have shaped our country’s development, define the Canadian experience and underpin our national identity. The Museum will also continue to present special exhibitions exploring world history and cultures, and permanent exhibitions illuminating the historical achievements and continuing contributions of Canada’s First Peoples."


Cultural News, a monthly global round-up of what’s happening in culture, is a free service of Lord Cultural Resources. Excerpts are directly quoted from the articles – please click on the links to read the full articles on the original news sites. To receive it in your inbox rain or shine, please press the subscribe button above - it will take less than 30 seconds to become a subscriber. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest digest of cultural news.


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Turkey secures national pavilion at Venice Biennale until 2034

IKSV foundation will co-ordinate the pavilion

The Art Newspaper, 26 December 2013


TURKEY - "Turkey has signed a 20-year lease for a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, securing a venue in the Arsenale until 2034. The state-funded Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts will be the co-ordinator of the Turkish pavilion. More than 20 major private and public organisations have sponsored the new pavilion including the Vehbi Koc Foundation, which was established in 1969 by Koc Holding, the largest conglomerate in Turkey. Other funders include Garanti Bank and the private collectors Füsun and Faruk Eczacibasi. Turkey will participate for the first time in the Venice Architecture Biennale next summer (7 June-23 November)."


tadao ando connects the clark institute with new visitor center

designboom, 18 December 2013


MASSACHUSETTS, USA - "plans have been unveiled for a tadao ando designed visitor center at the clark art institute in massachusetts, USA. the building forms part of a large scale redevelopment at the site, which was masterplanned by cooper robertson & partners in 2001. the overall scheme will transform the campus, providing over 97,000 square feet of additional floor space and improving the gallery’s circulation routes. part of the museum’s final phase of development, the building is ando’s second project at the clark, after his ‘stone hill center’ was completed in 2008."

[see also Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute to open its transformed campus on 4 July 2014, WAN, 16 December 2013]


Heritage Center gets $600K donation

The Bismarck Tribune, 18 December 2013


BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA - "A $12 million goal of private sector donations for the North Dakota Heritage Center expansion nearly has been realized with a large donation announced Wednesday in Bismarck. Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined with State Historical Society officials at the Heritage Center to announce a $600,000 donation from the nonprofit Tom and Frances Leach Foundation. “We are getting so close to opening up our new Heritage Center. This project is going to be a wonderful facility,” Dalrymple said."


Gov. Bob McDonnell approves Fort Monroe master plan

Daily Press, 12 December 2013


HAMPTON, VA - "Outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell on Thursday announced his approval of Fort Monroe's master plan. The document guides how land and buildings will be used on the decommissioned Army post as the property just west of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel morphs into a civilian community. McDonnell's signature grants a number of powers to the Fort Monroe Authority, including the ability to sell homes and portions of the 313 acres it now owns. "It should be said that the board, staff and citizens have put in a lot of work toward this master plan," Fort Monroe Authority Executive Director Glenn Oder said. "It's been a big undertaking for our organization." The Army decommissioned the post in September 2011 and has since worked with the authority to sublease apartments to residents; commercial buildings to companies and public agencies; and the beaches and the fishing pier to the city of Hampton."


Mandela’s precious legacy saluted

Manitobans pay tribute to South African leader

Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 2013


WINNIPEG, MB - "IN Manitoba, Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives on in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and in the teachings of one University of Manitoba history professor with a passion for South Africa. "His contribution to global human rights is huge," said Stuart Murray, CEO of the museum opening Sept. 20, 2014. "I think one of the most recognized and significant social movements of the post-war era is the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa," he said Thursday morning before news of Mandela’s death was made public. "His legacy doesn’t end with South Africa."


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African contemporary art museum opens in Benin in former slave trade centre

New space will look to the future, but not deny the country’s troubled past

The Art Newspaper, 30 December 2013


BENIN - "The family-run Zinsou Foundation, which was launched in 2005 in Cotonou in Benin, has opened the first museum dedicated to contemporary African art in sub-Saharan Africa. The museum, in the nearby town of Ouidah, will host exhibitions drawn from the family’s collection, built over the past eight years to support African artists and the African art market, which is still fledgling in many countries on the continent. The foundation receives €800,000 a year, mainly from the family’s private income."


Holocaust Museum to Be Build in Greece

greekreporter.com, 22 December 2013


GREECE - "Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, on Friday unveiled plans to build a Holocaust museum to honor some 46,000 Jewish residents deported and killed in Nazi Germany’s death camps during World War II. “This is the fulfillment of a historic responsibility for Thessaloniki,” said Yiannis Boutaris, mayor of the city once known as the ‘Jerusalem of the Balkans’."


More science museums needed, says governor of Goa, India

attractionsmanagement.com, 20 December 2013


GOA, INDIA - "The governor of the Indian state of Goa has called for the creation of more science museums, especially in rural areas, in order to give young people the chance to learn from scientific findings. Bharat Vir Wanchoo was speaking at the 13th All India conference of heads of science museums and centres at the Goa Science Centre, where he highlighted that museums provide living evidence of the achievements of the country, while also playing an important role in educating future generations."


Vancouver businessman wants to create a Terry Fox museum

The Globe and Mail, 20 December 2013


VANCOUVER, BC - "A construction industry executive says he’s going to canvass for interest in developing a central museum to house all artifacts related to Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope. Doug Carter, vice-president of Precast Concrete Solutions, said Thursday a museum would reinspire locals and visitors from the rest of Canada through Terry Fox’s legacy."


Truck museum expansion planned

The Southland Times, 20 December 2013


INVERCARGILL, NEW ZEALAND - "A major project that could boost Southland's tourism industry is in the pipeline. The HW Richardson Group has been in talks with the Invercargill City Council about expanding its truck museum and opening it up to the public. Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt is hailing the possible expansion as a "wonderful" prospect for Southland, which could boost the tourism industry and create jobs. "I think it will be the best thing to happen to Invercargill in 2014." Mr Shadbolt said the company planned to have a cafe, expand its buildings and be open most days for tourists. "


Stalin’s story gets a rewrite—again

The museum at the Soviet leader’s birthplace promises a more “realistic” interpretation of his life

The Art Newspaper, 17 December 2013


GEORGIA, RUSSIA - "The museum honouring Joseph Stalin in his birthplace, the town of Gori, Georgia, will become more “realistic”, an adviser to Georgia’s ministry of culture has promised. While no longer “serving the cult of [Stalin’s] personality”, the institution will stop short of presenting an overly critical assessment of the Soviet dictator. It will not be “aggressive” about Stalin’s life and achievements, said Inga Karaya, a cultural heritage adviser to the Georgian minister of culture and monument protection, Guram Odisharia. According to the culture ministry, the new displays will be unveiled next year."


LVMH museum finally set to open

The Art Newspaper, 16 December 2013


PARIS, FRANCE - "A spokeswoman for Arnault confirmed that the venue will open next spring, adding that the new museum, led by the French curator Suzanne Pagé, will provide a platform for established artists and “young artists from emerging scenes worldwide”. An exhibition of works drawn from the Louis Vuitton Foundation at the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2009 included works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cao-Fei, Ryan Trecartin and Cyprien Gaillard."


Stonehenge a (enfin) son musée

Le Journal des Arts, 18 décembre 2013


AMESBURY, ROYAUME-UNI – « Après des années d’atermoiements le site de mégalithes anglais Stonehenge est enfin doté d’un musée qui tente de retracer son histoire et proposer au public ses diverses interprétations. »


Welcome to the new Stonehenge

New visitor centre will finally provide an introduction worthy of England's most famous ancient monument, replacing a blot on the landscape

The Art Newspaper, 11 December 2013


UK - "A new visitor centre is due to open on 18 December at Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, UK. Dating from 2500BC and by far the most important pre-Christian site in Britain and one of the greatest in Europe, Stonehenge attracts up to one million visitors a year and it is hoped that the new facilities will finally provide what the site deserves."

[see also Stonehenge Visitor Centre opens today, 2.5km west of historic rock formation, WAN, 18 December 2013]


Bruxelles s’offre un musée « Fin de Siècle »

Le Point, 6 décembre 2013


BRUXELLES, BELGIQUE – « Après quatre années de succès du Musée Magritte, le redéploiement des collections publiques belges se poursuit avec l'ouverture à Bruxelles d'un "Musée Fin-de-Siècle" mettant à l'honneur la création belge des années 1900 et alentour. »


Le centre Pompidou exposera à Malaga en 2015

Connaissance des Arts, 3 décembre 2013


MALAGA, ESPAGNE - « La mise aux normes des 6000m² du centre de Malaga, surnommé « le cube » par les habitants, coûtera cinq millions d'euros à la mairie. Le musée, qui ouvrira en 2015, accueillera une exposition permanente de 70 œuvres ainsi qu'une exposition temporaire annuelle ayant auparavant été installée à Paris. »


abandoned shaft hides secret elevator museum in NYC

designboom, 29 July 2013


NEW YORK, USA - "camouflaged amongst the dramatic skyscrapers and cosmopolitan locales of new york city lies an inconspicuous urban alleyway with a secret. tucked away inside the ground floor of an abandoned elevator shaft is museum, a one-room exhibition space packed with an assemblage of unconventional artifacts and found objects housed behind heavy, unmarked metal doors. the elevator museum showcases elements of everyday life, from tips jars and newsstand paper weights to toothpaste tubes from around the world and papers accidentally left behind in copy machines."


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Deloitte Real Estate, HOK and AECOM to consider restoration and repair options for Palace of Westminster in London

WAN, 19 December 2013


LONDON, UK - "Deloitte Real Estate, HOK and AECOM have been appointed to create a report showing the feasibility and costs of three potential options for the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster, London. Supported by Skanska, David Bonnett Associates and MFD International, the team will examine the cost, timescale, risks and benefits of three options:

1. continuing repairs and replacement of the fabric and systems of the Palace over an indefinite period of time

2. a defined, rolling programme of more substantial repairs and replacement over a long period, but still working around continued use of the Palace

3. scheduling the works over a more concentrated period, with parliamentary activities moved elsewhere to allow unrestricted access to the Palace for the delivery of the works"


Irish, Spanish and Russian teams battle it out for National Centre for Contemporary Arts

WAN, 16 December 2013


MOSCOW, RUSSIA - "Three teams have been selected to compete in the final stage of an international design competition for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) in Khodynskoe Pole, Moscow. Irish firm Heneghan Peng Architects, Spanish Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and Russian practice Mel will go head-to-head in the third phase of this closely-watched competition. The three practices were selected from an initial 900 entries to provide detailed designs for the new NCCA. The cultural complex will be situated in an area destined for future development and must meet the needs of art professionals and enthusiasts alongside the social needs of the local community."

[see also Heneghan Peng wins competition for NNCA in Moscow, WAN, 24 December 2013


Mateo Arquitectura begins design for €12m Portuguese Cultural Center with sloping plaza

WAN, 16 December 2013


PORTUGAL - "When designing the Cultural Center in Castelo Branco, Portugal, Mateo Arquitectura began not with the building itself, but with the plaza beneath. For Josep Lluis Mateo, it was important that the plaza slip gracefully beneath the building and therefore the team set out to to create a form that would appear to ‘float’ upon the ice rink at its base. In a short statement Mateo refers to the form as ‘compact and well insulated, a bubble of sheltered activity, but still related to the exterior’. "


'The world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver’

WAN, 12 December 2013


JAKARTA, INDONESIA - "Renderings have been released of the latest scheme in Jakarta by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM): the Pertamina Energy Tower and associated energy campus. The project was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony this week as construction work began on the consolidated headquarters for state-owned energy company Pertamina. Construction is due to complete in 2020. Anchoring the project will be a 500m-high office tower for 20,000 employees which SOM describe as ‘the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver’. The 99-storey structure is located at the centre of the campus, its slim silhouette tapering as it rises to a ‘wind funnel’ at the top which will harness the prevailing winds to generate energy for use within the offices."


Capacity for Ningbo Library to double following competition winning proposal by schmidt hammer lassen architects

WAN, 10 December 2013


NINGBO, CHINA - "schmidt hammer lassen architects has been announced first place winner in the competition to design a 30,000 sq m central library in Ningbo, China. Located in the heart of Ningbo New East Town the new library sits on the edge of a new ecological wetland area which will form a new cultural hub of the city. With its open and accessible design the winning proposal makes it possible to display the library’s collection of more than 2 million books and double the number of daily visitors. Founded in 1927, the Ningbo City Library holds the largest collection of historic and ancient books in the region. The old library attracts 3-4,000 visitors daily. The aim of the new library is to increase the number of visitors to 7-8,000 per day. To deal with this increase the new library will be organized with an open plan layout containing 3,000 study spaces."


Theatrical space for Dartmoor Arts Organisation realised in six days by Jerry Tate Architects and university students

WAN, 6 December 2013


UK - "Jerry Tate Architects worked alongside students at this summer’s Dartmoor Arts Week (UK) to design and construct a theatrical reception space for the Dartmoor Arts organisation. A central part of the summer schools’ ‘Spatial Structures’ course, the pavilion was completed in only six days as a collaborative exercise between students, Jerry Tate Architects and carpenters Henry Russell and Charley Brentnall. Rising from the curved base platform are 10 crescent shaped ribs, equally spaced to form a shell-like pavilion. These timber poles are tethered by nylon cords, which come to a final resting point anchored into the ground. The team worked together to build student confidence and construct an innovative structure. "


Lord Norman Foster presents his proposal for Norton Museum of Art in Miami

WAN, 5 December 2013


MIAMI, FL - "Three bold new pavilions, unified beneath a shimmering roof, herald the transformation of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. The masterplan, unveiled by Lord Norman Foster in Miami, allows the museum to almost double its gallery space and lays the foundations for future growth to become Florida’s leading cultural institution. The first stage of Foster + Partners’ masterplan will establish its key principles: the sympathetic setting of a ‘museum in a garden’, with the original axial arrangement re-established to unify the visitor experience, and the creation of new public facilities. The museum will become a focus for the community with event spaces separate from the Art Museum, strengthening its role as a cultural destination for Florida."


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6 Videos from the Past that Predicted the Future

Hyperallergic.com, 27 December 2013


WORLD - "Which television family do you prefer: the Jetsons or the Simpsons? If you picked the former, you will certainly enjoy this visit to the future past, when sci-fi-esque advertisements provided a vision of the then-future, which is now a part of our present reality. It’s as if Ray Kurzweil — inventor of the scanner and author of the seminal The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology — visualized these videos, which we found thanks to Mashable."


L’ancien entrepôt de Pantin « cathédrale du graff » survit grâce à une visite virtuelle sur internet

Club Innovation et Culture, 21 décembre 2013


PANTIN, FRANCE – « Depuis 2004, l’édifice emblématique du Paris industriel, immense bâtiment des Magasins Généraux de Pantin au bord du canal de l’Ourcq, à Pantin était devenu le point de ralliement des artistes de rue. Une véritable cathédrale du graff et des graffeurs constituée de 20.000 mètres carrés d’entrepôts désaffectés aux murs recouverts de tags. »


Le serious game franchit les grilles du château de Fontaineblau

Club Innovation et Culture, 18 décembre 2013


FONTAINEBLAU, FRANCE – « Le Livre des siècles,expérience de visite sur un mode ludique, est à la frontière entre le jeu vidéo et la leçon d’histoire. Il permettra au jeune visiteur (8 ‐12 ans) de découvrir seul ou en famille les pages de l’histoire de France qui se sont écrites à Fontainebleau. »


Online Tools for Artists & Audiences: A Case Study of the Pittsburgh Artist Registry and Pittsburgh Art Places

amt-lab.org blog, 18 December 2013


PITTSBURGH, PA - "2013 was a busy year for the Office of Public Art (OPA) here in Pittsburgh. Along with its regular duties of programming public art walking tours, organizing calls for entries, and facilitating webinars and artist lectures, OPA also re-edited its book Pittsburgh Art in Public Places, revamped the Pittsburgh Artist Registry, and created the Pittsburgh Art Places website. The following article analyzes how this organization, a public-private partnership between the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, made management decisions that led to the update of the online artist registry and creation of Pittsburgh Art Places."


A million first steps

britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk, 12 December 2013


UK - "We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of."


A look at the lighter side of concrete

WAN, 9 December 2013


WORLD - "Although it’s been in existence for some years, there’s an eye-catching phenomenon that’s capturing the imaginations of more and more architects, designers and building owners worldwide as word spreads and new developments are made. Translucent or light-transmitting concrete is going up in availability, down in price and getting ever more versatile. Some will be familiar with the sight of walls clad in translucent concrete, but German-based manufacturer, LUCEM, has now taken things to a new level. Floor level in fact, because LUCEM’s latest installation - which has just been completed in the lobby of investment advisor, London & Oriental’s London offices - features flooring for the first time."


Un robot-camera permet aux visiteurs à mobilité réduite d’explorer le château d’Oiron.

Club Innovation et Culture, 9 décembre 2013


OIRON, FRANCE –« « Norio » (anagramme de « Orion ») permet aux personnes à mobilité réduite de se promener virtuellement dans les salles de l’étage du château comme si elles y étaient. Pour diriger Norio, la personne est installée dans une salle du rez-de-chaussée équipée d’un ordinateur. »


Research Update: Making Data-Driven Decisions

amt-lab.org blog, 3 December 2013


USA - "Once arts organizations have identified data sets available to them internally (e.g., ticket sales, website analytics), it is important to recognize that these channels do not operate alone. How can marketers in arts organizations look at these multiple data sources, including new media channels, to conduct a more meaningful analysis? As a starting point, they can identify connections between their internal data sources and articulate goals for each relationship."


Vatican and Bodleian libraries launch online archive of ancient religious texts

Website funding from Polonsky Foundation includes Bodleian's 1455 Gutenberg Bible and aims to put 1.5m pages online

the guardian, 3 December 2103


UK and ITALY - "Some of the rarest and most fragile religious texts in the Vatican and Bodleian libraries, including ancient bibles and some of the oldest Hebrew manuscript and printed books, are being placed online in a joint project by the two great libraries, which will eventually create an online archive of 1.5m pages. The website launched on Tuesday with funding from the Polonsky Foundation includes the first results of the four-year project, including the Bodleian's 1455 Gutenberg Bible, one of only 50 surviving copies of the first major book printed in the west with metal type."


Get Some Culture with Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre

museumanthropology.blogspot.ca, 27 November 2013


WORLD - "Nintendo has a habit of using its DS and 3DS line of handhelds for more than just games. There were special Safeco Field and Disney Magic Connection apps that turned the DS into guides at the Seattle Mariner’s field and the Magic Kingdom, for example. Now, the Louvre gets its own guide with Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre. Even better, you don’t have to actually live in France and visit the museum to use it. The program is going to be added to the 3DS eShop, and people from any region can download it to go on virtual tours. It’s a rather attractive premise, and definitely makes the handheld more versatile."


Technology and art: Engineering the future

BBC News, 4 October 2012


WORLD - "Think art. What comes to mind? Maybe Picasso, Rodin, Dali. Now think technology - and you'll probably imagine a smartphone or a computer. Throughout history, technology has provided artists with new tools for expression. Today, these two seemingly distinct disciplines are interlinked more than ever, with technology being a fundamental force in the development and evolution of art. All over the world, people are engineering our future. The internet, digital fabrication, nanotech, biotech, self-modification, augmented reality, virtual reality, "the singularity" - you name it, all of this is altering our lives and our view of the world and ourselves."


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Art and Culture



1970s Commercial For Detroit's Art Museum Is Cheesy Perfection

The Huffington Post, 27 December 2013


DETROIT, MI - "Bad lip-syncing, cheesy poses and costumes, clumsily choreographed dancing and a silly jingle: this 1976 video for the Detroit Institute of Arts has all the makings of a terrible commercial. But the video, shared on YouTube by user Keith Norman, has recirculated at a moment when the museum faces an uncertain future, and suddenly all the cheesiness feels warranted. As Detroit hammers out details of a plan to settle its debts to creditors after bankruptcy, some have discussed selling works owned by the city in the DIA's collection. Last week, Christie's auction house released their assessment of the 2,800 city-owned pieces, putting their collective value between $454 million and $867 million. A Van Gogh self-portrait alone was determined to be worth between $80 million and $150 million."


Was Dürer’s father a fine artist too?

Painting long assumed to be by his famous son may be a self-portrait

The Art Newspaper, 25 December 2013


BERLIN, GERMANY - "A portrait of Dürer’s father, which has always been assumed to be the work of Albrecht the Younger, may in fact be a self-portrait by the master’s father, Albrecht the Elder. If so, it would transform our understanding of the younger artist. He may not have been the isolated genius he is believed to have been, but the son of a talented artist who has gone unrecorded as a painter. "


French officials return Egyptian antiquities looted after Arab Spring

The objects were due to be sold online

The Art Newspaper, 24 December 2013


PARIS, FRANCE - "Five antiquities looted and removed from Egypt after the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 have been returned by the French government to the Egyptian authorities. “Egyptian officials in charge of monitoring antiquities sales abroad spotted five Ptolemaic dynasty objects [323BC-30BC] for sale online, including two that were posted by a Toulouse-based auction house,” Ali Ahmed, an official at the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry, told the French newspaper Le Figaro. A head, torso and arm, which were part of a glass sculpture of a man, were among the stolen items. "


Google opens cultural institute in Paris

Internet giant plans to host exhibitions, conferences and artist residencies

The Art Newspaper, 23 December 2013


PARIS, FRANCE - "The Google Cultural Institute, which was launched in Paris on 10 December, aims to bring art and technology under one roof. The institute, which is housed at the internet giant’s Paris headquarters, is open to students, artists, curators and other art professionals and will host exhibitions, debates and conferences. A workshop space, which has a 3D camera, printer and giant interactive screen, is available for artists to create digital works. The institute is due to establish a residency for young artists, though Google would not confirm when this will happen."


Pussy Riot freed

The remaining two jailed members of the activist punk band were released under President Putin’s amnesty, but vow they will continue to fight for prison reform

The Art Newspaper, 23 December 2013


RUSSIA - "Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, walked free on Monday after an amnesty by the Russian president Vladimir Putin brought an early end to their prison terms. But the two members of the feminist collective denounced the amnesty and vowed to continue their fight for prisoners’ rights. "


Research uncovers lost African school of painting

Analysis of illuminated gospels suggests that first Christian manuscript art may have come from Ethiopia

The Art Newspaper, 20 December 2013


ETHIOPIA - "Evidence has emerged for a previously unknown school of painting in sub-Saharan Africa that may have been responsible for the earliest Christian paintings in manuscripts. New research suggests that illuminations in two Ethiopian gospels dating back 1,500 years were painted in the ancient kingdom of Aksum, and not in the Middle East, as previously believed."


Price placed on Detroit’s art

Christie’s releases its itemised appraisal of the 1,741 city-owned works in the Detroit Institute of Arts’s collection

The Art Newspaper, 19 December 2013


DETROIT, MI - "The most vulnerable works in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) now have price tags attached. Today, Detroit’s emergency manager released Christie’s itemised appraisal of the 1,741 works in the collection that were acquired by the city of Detroit. The city manager has said these works could be sold to help alleviate the city’s estimated $18b debt, though Michigan’s attorney general disagrees."


To A Long Life...

culturalchange.ca and museumforhumanrights.ca blogs, 18 December, 2013


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - "On the night Mandela died, I went to his house and joined the gathering- singing, dancing and reflecting. On my way home, at about 2:00 a.m., I was stopped by a roadblock. Suddenly, the whole convoy was in front of me. First the rows of military motorbikes, then the hearse. With crystal clarity, I saw his coffin wrapped in the South African flag, and with that, I knew it was really over. I sat crying, alone in my car on a deserted Johannesburg street- mourning my Madiba and all he represented for me."


Stones’ chance meeting to be marked with plaque

Classic Rock, 16 December 2013


UK - "The railway platform where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met by accident is to be marked with a blue plaque. The future Rolling Stones members ran into each other at Dartford Station on October 17, 1961, a year before the band was formed. The pair recognised each other because they’d both attended primary school in the town some years previously."


Hello Wood creates festive treat in Budapest that will be dismantled into presents in 2014

WAN, 16 December 2013


BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - "Straddling the blurred boundaries of art and architecture is this festive 10.5m-high treat from Hello Wood. Planted in the plaza in front of the Palace of Arts in Budapest, the conical structure takes the form of a Christmas tree, constructed using 365 wooden sledges. The architects behind this magical construction, Hello Wood, are a Hungarian practice who concentrate on design that can have a positive social impact. In this case, the Christmas tree is designed to bring joy to people who pass by and through it, exploring its wooden fronds and examining how the sledges fit together."


Secret Bids Guide Hopi Indians’ Spirits Home

The New York Times, 15 December 2013


LOS ANGELES, CA and PARIS, FRANCE - "The auction in Paris was set to move briskly, at about two items a minute; the room was hot and crowded, buzzing with reporters. More than 100 American Indian artifacts were about to go on sale at the Drouot auction house, including 24 pieces, resembling masks, that are held sacred by the Hopi of Arizona. The tribe, United States officials and others had tried unsuccessfully to block the sale in a French court, arguing that the items were religious objects that had been stolen many years ago. Now the Annenberg Foundation decided to get involved from its offices in Los Angeles. It hoped to buy all of the Hopi artifacts, plus three more sought by the San Carlos Apaches, at the Dec. 9 sale and return them to the tribes. "


We’re all poorer when art is locked up

Collectors who keep great works of art hidden away harm the reputation of the artists whose work they own

The Art Newspaper, 12 December 2013


WORLD - "The “Messiah” is one of the finest violins ever made. Since it left Antonio Stradivari’s workshop in 1716 many virtuosi have played it, including Yehudi Menhuin. Yet now it sits in a glass case. Silent. It was given to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford on condition that it would not be played again. There is something sad and wrong about this. Although in a public collection, it has been transformed into an object to be admired and marvelled at. But that is not what it was made for. In a sense it is no longer a musical instrument. A similar fate can befall some works of visual art."


Amazing images already entered to Lovers of Light competition. See below to enter yours...

WAN, 11 December 2013


SVALBARD, NORWAY - "VELUX, manufacturers of roof windows and champions of natural lighting, are welcoming entries to their Lovers of Light photography competition for the second year running. The daylight experts launched the competition to highlight the power of sunlight and celebrate the benefits of natural light. Following the immense success of last year’s competition - which received a staggering 9,000 entries - VELUX has issued the contest for a second time, challenging entrants to submit photographs that creatively interpret daylight in any form. This can be through a window, from a balcony, through a forest, across the sea... The possibilities are endless."


Google lance le plus grand musée du monde

Journal du Dimanche, 8 décembre 2013


PARIS, FRANCE – « L'institut culturel se veut ambassade, centre de conférences, showroom de technologies de pointe et lieu d'exposition d'art contemporain. »


Emily Carr sets auction record for a Canadian woman artist

The British Columbia-born painter’s work makes $3m in Toronto

The Art Newspaper, 2 December 2013


TORONTO, ON - "It was ladies’ night in Toronto on 28 November, when a painting by Emily Carr topped $3m (C$3.39 million, including 17% buyer’s premium, est C$1.2m-C$1.6m.) at Heffel Fine Art, setting a new record for a Canadian woman artist at auction. The painting is also the fourth highest price reached in Canadian auction history. “It’s one giant leap for the Canadian art market,” said the auctioneer David Heffel when, after a prolonged bidding session, he hammered down The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase), around 1928-30, to an anonymous buyer. "


Artistics, galerie d’art en ligne

La Baguette culturelle, 2 décembre 2013


FRANCE – “Dédié à la promotion d’artistes vivants et à la vente de leurs œuvres en ligne, Artistics.com se donne pour objectif d’accompagner la « digitalisation » du marché de l’art et de répondre aux attentes d’une nouvelle génération de collectionneurs. »


Alain de Botton: How art can make us happier

By thinking too much and feeling too little, we are missing out on the true enjoyment of art, philosopher Alain de Botton tells Alastiar Sooke.

BBC Culture, 29 November 2013


UK - "Type the words “Spring (Fruit Trees in Bloom)” into an online search engine and in less than a second you will be looking at a sparkling vista of trees erupting in a starburst of pale blossom like an exploding firework. The phrase is the title of an Impressionist oil painting by the French master Claude Monet that belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. According to the museum’s website, the painting was executed in 1873 in Argenteuil, a village on the River Seine northwest of Paris where the Impressionist artists used to gather. Signed and dated “73 Claude Monet” in the lower left corner, it is almost 40in (1m) wide and 24.5in (62cm) high. In 1903, when it was known as Apple Blossoms, it was bought for $2,100 by the New York art dealership Knoedler & Co. The Met acquired it in 1926."


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Creative Economies, Creative Cities, Innovation and Urban Planning, Cultural Tourism



Bulgaria: Staking out a vampire tourist trail

BBC News, 19 December 2013


BULGARIA AND ROMANIA - "Two towns in Bulgaria and Romania are planning to boost their tourist appeal by capitalising on their "vampire" past, it seems. Bulgaria's ancient city of Sozopol on the Black Sea coast is teaming up with medieval Sighisoara in Romania, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the ruler thought to have inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula. Last year, archaeologists in Sozopol found the 700-year-old skeleton of a man with an iron spike through his chest. The old pagan ritual was meant to prevent "bad" dead people from rising from their graves."


Historic Tempelhof airport set to be site of grand Berlin library

Plans for abandoned airstrip used to break Soviet blockade in 1948 to become hub for German capital's cultural life

The Guardian, 19 December 2013


BERLIN, GERMANY - "One of Europe's first city airports, Tempelhof, made history when western allies used it to break the Soviet blockade of West Berlin in 1948. But since its closure in 2008, politicians in the German capital have been unsure what to do with it. Now the site is set to be transformed from a historic monument to a hub of historic learning: on Wednesday the city senate unveiled two possible designs for a new central library adjacent to the airport's disused landing strip."


El Paso City Council: Master plan on bond projects to be created

Local architects, vendors to develop business plans

El Paso Times, 18 December 2013


EL PASO, NM - "The master plan for the development of a children's museum, Hispanic cultural center and multipurpose arena will soon start to take shape, with recommendations expected to be given to the City Council within six months. The El Paso City Council on Tuesday approved a $615,000 contract to a group of architects and local vendors to assess their potential size, amenities and programming, find possible locations and create business plans on how to best operate them."


Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio project in Shanghai gets off the ground

WAN, 5 December 2013


SHANGHAI, CHINA - "Construction is underway on a 420,000 sq m mixed-use development at the end of the Shanghai Bund. Comprising eight buildings and two soaring towers, the immense waterfront scheme has been designed by Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio. Wrapped in a crafted stone and bronze shell will be ‘Grade A’ office spaces, a boutique hotel, an arts and cultural centre and retail spaces incorporating concept stores, high-end shops, boutiques and restaurant amenities. At the core of these facilities is a landscaped plaza which enables pedestrians to animate the space and access all public amenities."


Shop in style at Hanjie Wanda Square in Wuhan by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio

WAN, 2 December 2013


WUHAN, CHINA - "An extravagant shopping mall in Wuhan designed by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio is now complete and ready to welcome shoppers to its generous number of branded stores, boutiques, restaurants and cinemas at the Wuhan Central Cultural Centre. Hanjie Wanda Square is concentrated at two atria situated to the north and south of the complex. Both atria incorporate grand funnel structures coated in 2,600 glass panels and house two panoramic lifts each. These glass panels have been digitally printed with an elaborate pattern to form an eye-catching aesthetic for the mall, meeting the ceiling at generous skylights."


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