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April 2015 Previous Issues

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Time to wake Toronto’s cultural 'sleeping giants'
In new book, Gail Dexter Lord and others argue that arts organizations should use soft power to advance their agendas.
Toronto Star, 4 May 2015

TORONTO, ON — "Museum-planning guru Gail Dexter Lord has a wake-up call for Toronto.
"Our large cultural institutions are sleeping giants,” Lord says. “They’re punching below their weight."
Alarmingly, total museum attendance in the city is dropping even as the population increases and museum attendance soars in other major cities. According to Lord, the way to move forward is for cultural institutions to collaborate with one another, and with civic and community organizations, using their cumulative clout to increase Toronto’s influence both in Canada and abroad. It would help, she notes, if the city had more visionary leaders like the late David Pecaut leading Toronto to cultural glory.

Parole d'experte: Le musée de la Réforme devrait mieux se vendre
Tribune deGeneve, 21 April 2015

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — "Le chocolat, l’horlogerie, les organisations non gouvernementales, les agences onusiennes et certaines multinationales sont, avec ses institutions culturelles, les atouts dont peut se prévaloir Genève en termes de soft power (entendez par là un pouvoir détenu par la société civile, qui ne doit rien à la puissance militaire ou à l’argent, repose sur les idées, la culture et convainc quelqu’un de faire quelque chose). Quarante musées, c’est une solide force de frappe, touristique bien sûr, mais aussi sur le plan de la qualité de vie, du bien-être social à travers les emplois, du rayonnement à l’étranger et de l’influence intellectuelle. Gail Dexter Lord, fondatrice et directrice, avec son mari, de la société Lord Cultural Resources, dispense depuis trente-quatre?ans ses conseils aux villes en matière de gestion et de promotion de leurs lieux culturels. Elle vient notamment d’effectuer un très gros mandat pour structurer le pôle muséal de Chicago. A Genève dans le cadre du congrès MuseumNext – qui a regroupé durant trois jours 550 délégués de musées au BFM – Gail Lord évalue le «pouvoir doux» de la Cité de Calvin en compagnie de Ngaire Blankenberg, avec qui elle a rédigé son dernier ouvrage, Cities, museums and soft power."

The book "Cities, Museums and Soft Power" by Gail Lord and Ngaire Blankenberg demonstrates why and how museums and cities are using their soft power to address some of the most important issues of our time. The book includes essays written by 14 cultural experts, drawing on museums in cities in Italy, Spain, the UK, China, Egypt, India, Canada, the USA and others. Soft power is the exercise of influence through attraction, persuasion and agenda-setting rather than military or economic coercion. In her keynote at the MuseumNext conference in Geneva from April 19-21, 2015, Gail Lord discussed why the next stage of museum development was to activate their 'soft power' in partnership with cities. MuseumNext is Europe's major conference on the future of museums. "Cities, Museums and Soft Power" can be ordered online.


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.


Our Clients and Lord Cultural Resources in the News


Mohammed bin Rashid Endorses AED 500 million Union Museum Project
sheikhmohammed.ae, 27 April 2015

DUBAI, UAE — "UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has endorsed today the implementation of the Union Museum project at a cost of AED 500 million. The 25,000 square-meter museum is adjacent to the Union House which witnessed the signing of the treaty establishing for the United Arab Emirates federation in 1971. Sheikh Mohammed, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was briefed by the members of the Board of the Union House on the final designs and external components of the museum and the timeline to implement the project, which celebrate a pivotal event in the history of the UAE. Present at the meeting were Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Chairman of Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al Tayer and Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Hilal Saeed Al Marri. Union Museum is a landmark that tells the federation formation story in 1971. The museum narrates the events from 1968 to 1974 and draw on the political and social circumstances surrounding this phase of UAE history. Union Museum emphasis on the historic value of the museum’s location and further aims to establish a cultural beacon to educate citizens, residents and visitors about UAE modern history, the comprehensive development taking place in the United Arab Emirates and the nation’s achievements."

Lord Cultural Resources has been working on this project in Dubai since 2013. Our team was responsible for the interpretive planning and exhibition design, while Moriyama and Teshima was responsible for the building's architecture.

Museum wins top international awards for innovation
humanrights.ca, 27 April 2015

WINNIPEG, MB — "The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) won four awards last night, including two gold prizes, in one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for innovation in digital media. The Museum was recognized at the annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in Atlanta, Georgia for outstanding achievement in three categories: for its mobile app, for two interactive games in the Canadian Journeys and Actions Count galleries, and for its overall digital infrastructure (Enterprise Content Management System or ECMS). The coveted MUSE awards are presented by the international AAM Media & Technology Committee, which selects winners among global institutions or independent producers that use digital media to enhance the museum experience and engage audiences. Other winners last night included world-renowned institutions such as the Smithsonian and the 9/11 Memorial Museum."

Lord Cultural Resources has been working with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights since 2000 when the idea was first imagined by the late Izzy Asper. A multi-disciplinary Lord Cultural Resources team led by Co-President Gail Lord helped The Asper Foundation to develop the concept and to craft the three-volume Master Plan and business plan that went to the Prime Minister. We provided the space program and assisted with the international architectural competition that selected Antoine Predock to design the building. In 2009-10, Lord Cultural Resources organized and facilitated the cross Canada consultation process that gathered human rights stories from thousands of Canadians in 19 cities. We have continued to provide advisory services to Board and senior management on all aspects of implementation, content and the inauguration.

Audain Art Museum set to open in late November
The Globe and Mail, 21 April 2015

VANCOUVER, BC — "An opening date and inaugural show have been announced for the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. The museum, envisioned and built by Vancouver homebuilder and philanthropist Michael Audain, will open to the public on November 21 with an exhibition of work by renowned Vancouver photographer Jeff Wall. “It’s been an amazing winter for construction,” says the museum’s executive director Suzanne Greening, adding that construction is on target. “We’re finally able to announce our opening date which is very exciting because we just want to get in and make it happen.” The 56,000 square foot museum designed by Patkau Architects includes a permanent gallery of just over 10,000 square feet, and a temporary exhibition space over two floors totalling just over 8000 square feet. It will be open year-round. The project had been budgeted at $30-million but Ms. Suzanne Greening says she believes the final figure may wind up a little higher."

Lord Cultural Resources provided space planning and business planning services to the planning team and subsequently continued to provide advisory services to the Patkau Architects through the design and development phases of the project.

Snøhetta and SANAA share first place in Budapest museum contest
dezeen.com, 15 April 2015

HUNGARY — "Norwegian firm Snøhetta and Japanese studio SANAA have been awarded joint first place in a competition to design one of the five new museums planned for Budapest's City Park (+ slideshow). The two firms were both named winners of the contest to design the New National Gallery and Ludwig Museum, although only one will be built. The winning structure will form part of the new cultural complex outside Budapest's city centre that will also include the Sou Fujimoto-designed House of Hungarian Music. Named Liget Budapest, the project is one of Europe's largest museum developments. Snøhetta plans to unite the gallery and museum under a large roof that doubles as a grand public terrace, similar to its Oslo Opera House."

Lordculture has been assisting Varosliget in planning of the Museum of Ethnography and the New National Gallery & Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art. In November 2013, Laure Colliex, Carolyne Krummenacker and Aline Mandai from Lordculture presented at the international workshop on Budapest's Liget cultural quarter planned for the City Park.

At the Helm of a Philanthropist’s New Los Angeles Museum
The New York Times, 12 April 2015

LOS ANGELES, USA — "Being the director of Eli Broad’s new museum might strike some people as a contradiction in terms. Mr. Broad is the headstrong billionaire philanthropist after all, whose influence and finances rescued the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and drove the redevelopment of Grand Avenue to revitalize downtown Los Angeles. How could someone running Mr. Broad’s private museum really have any power? But Joanne Heyler, 50, is accustomed to operating in Mr. Broad’s shadow, having run his Broad Art Foundation — which primarily lends works to other institutions — for 20 years. And as director of the Broad Museum — an institution to open here in September that will showcase some of the more than 2,000 important postwar and contemporary artworks amassed by Mr. Broad and his wife, Edythe — Ms. Heyler, by all accounts, has had an essential role in planning the museum and making it happen, though perhaps not ultimate creative control. The Broads are the institution’s sole donors so far, providing at least $340 million to build and endow it."

Lord Cultural Resources was initially hired to work with the design team to refine the space program, review the design, and comment on the museological standards for the building. Based upon this work and the company’s ability to deliver highly integrated services, Lord Cultural Resources also prepared a comprehensive Strategic Institutional Plan that took the museum to opening day on November 11, 2012.

Louvre announces single fare for collection, exhibits
france24.com, 12 April 2015

FRANCE — "The Musée du Louvre in Paris, the most visited art museum in the world, has announced it will introduce a 15-euro flat fee giving visitors full access in order to create "better synergy" between temporary exhibits and the permanent collection. The majestic Louvre drew 9,260,000 visitors in 2014, according to The Art Newspaper, and the museum predicts that attendance could reach 12 million by 2025. Roughly 70 percent of Louvre visitors are foreign tourists who come to see several famous pieces including "The Winged Victory of Samothrace", Vénus de Milo and, of course, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. French visitors, on the other hand, tend to skip the permanent connections in favour of the temporary exhibits. "For the past 18 months, the Louvre has been working on trying to create better balance and stronger links between the permanent collections and the temporary exhibits,” the museum said in a press release published Friday."

Lord Cultural Resources was part of the team of the French programming firm Pro-Développement planning the Louvre’s new Islamic Gallery in the Court Visconti in the Denon wing of the historic Louvre Palace building in Paris. Moreover, Lordculture, the European office of Lord Cultural Resources, provided functional and museological planning for Louvre's branch in Lens, as well as advice on the technical commission for architect selection, which was won by Tokyo-based firm Sanaa. Our Paris firm also advised on capital cost projections for Louvre Lens.

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Westmoreland Yogathon aims to raise money for art museum expansion
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 1 May 2015

GREENSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA — "Leave it to an art museum to come up with creative ways to raise money. To support its $38 million expansion, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art – due to open in October — is holding a Yogathon. Yoga enthusiasts and novices will be bending and stretching from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 9 at the museum’s temporary facility on Route 30 in Greensburg. “The cool thing is we’ll be doing the classes with art around us so it will be fun,” said Catena Bergevin, director of development for the museum."

Armani fetes 40 years in fashion with VIP gala, new museum
Reuters, 1 May 2015

MILAN, ITALY — "Italy's Giorgio Armani celebrated 40 years in fashion with a star-studded gala and opening of a museum dedicated to his designer business. The 80-year old designer, known for his clean cut and elegant collections, was joined by celebrities such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank and Tina Turner for the bash in Milan, headquarters to his fashion empire. Nicknamed King Giorgio, the designer, who once worked as a window dresser, is known for being hands-on in creating one of the most recognized fashion brands in the world.

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum opens to the public
The Straits Times, , 28 April 2015

SINGAPORE — "The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, the Republic's only museum dedicated to showcasing Southeast Asian biodiversity, opened its doors to the public on Tuesday. Guests who had bought tickets to the 2.30pm slot were enthralled by the museum's three star dinosaurs - Prince, Apollonia and Twinky - and 2,000 other exhibits ranging from giant crabs to birds. The skeletons of a dugong, short-finned pilot whale, as well as side-by-side comparisons of an orang utan and human skeleton, also delighted the visitors.

Munich museum to explore city's past as birthplace of Nazism
CTV News, , 28 April 2015

MUNICH, GERMANY — "The German city of Munich is opening a new museum dedicated to exploring its past as the birthplace of the Nazi movement. The Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism charts the rise of the Nazi party from its founding in the Bavarian capital in 1920, a year before Adolf Hitler became its leader. German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters praised the city Wednesday for tackling what she called "the long repressed confrontation with the special role Munich played."

Art Museum to Add Preschool
insideindianabusiness.com, 28 April 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, USA — "Through a partnership with St. Mary's Child Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) will expand its academic programming by offering a preschool for 3-to 5-year-olds. The program will be the first encyclopedic art museum preschool in the country. It is also the first museum preschool with a goal of supporting half of the students with full scholarships subsidized through grants and/or voucher support. The IMA is currently seeking philanthropic support to reach the goal of 8 scholarships in the first year. St. Mary’s Child Center, well known for providing the highest quality early childhood education available in our community, will provide program oversight and administration, teaching staff, and a curriculum following the Reggio Emilia approach, which uses art-focused experiences and emphasizes collaboration, critical learning, expression, and immersive experiences."

New civil war museum set to open in Newark
nottinghampost.com, 28 April 2015

ENGLAND, UK — "From executed kings to ordinary families, tales from one of Britain's bloodiest conflicts will be brought alive at a new £5.4 million museum. More than 60,000 people are expected to visit the National Civil War Centre in Newark each year after it opens its doors for the first time on Sunday. It tells the story of the civil wars in Britain and Ireland between 1638 and 1653 - which saw Newark besieged three times. England became a republic and five per cent of the population died during the war, while King Charles I was executed."

'MoMA was never founded to be a club'
Glenn Lowry stands by exhibitions that engage with popular culture and take some risks

The Art Newspaper, 27 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "Glenn Lowry’s 20th year as the director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York should have been cause for celebration. Last year’s programme included critically acclaimed exhibitions on Magritte, Matisse, Sigmar Polke and Lygia Clark, among others. It was also very popular: eight of the top ten best-attended shows in New York last year were at “the Modern”, according to our annual survey. Under Lowry’s leadership, the museum’s annual attendance has risen from 1.3 million to three million visitors, its endowment has grown from $200m to $1bn and it regularly makes important acquisitions. MoMA’s expansion, completed in 2004, almost doubled the size of the museum, and a new scheme will add a further 40,000 sq. ft of exhibition space."

Buffalo Science Museum campaign receives $350K grant from Wendt
bizjournals.com, 27 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "A $350,000 grant from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation has kicked off the public phase of a capital campaign to transform a portion of the Buffalo Museum of Science. Funds raised through the See It Through campaign will cover the remaining $1.2 million needed to restore the museum’s rooftop observatory and telescope, and update the final permanent exhibit space. The rooftop observatory opened in 1930, but closed to the public in 1999 due to structural issues. “We have been on a very aggressive target to update all eight of our permanent exhibit spaces,” museum President and CEO Mark Mortenson said in a news release. “Beginning in 2012, we have successfully opened six permanent exhibits with the generous support of private and corporate donations. Now we ask the community to help see our vision through by contributing to the restoration of our rooftop observatory and telescope.” The museum will open its seventh studio on biodiversity in fall 2015. The eighth and final permanent exhibit will be dedicated to flight and aerospace and will provide a digital transmission from the observatory for year-round solar observing. It will be on the fourth floor in the current Our Place in Space exhibit."

New museum to mark 100 years since liner Lusitania was sunk
independent.ie, 27 April 2015

IRELAND — "The Cunard flagship was torpedoed by the German submarine U-20 off the Cork coast on May 7, 1915 with the loss of 1,198 lives. The Old Head Signal Tower outside Kinsale in Co Cork, which overlooks the waters where the liner was attacked, has been restored and will be opened by Marine Minister Simon Coveney on May 7 as a dedicated Lusitania museum. The museum opening and a special re-enactment of the RMS Lusitania rescue in Courtmacsherry are key events to mark the centenary of the tragedy. The Courtmacsherry lifeboat was rowed several miles out to the site of the sinking - and, working with other vessels, managed to save 764 people. Lusitania centenary commemorations will start in Courtmacsherry over the May bank holiday weekend. Many of those taking part are direct descendants of those who tried to save passengers 100 years ago. Brothers Brian and Micheál O'Donovan will share the coxswain duties for the centenary rowing event. The O'Donovans are direct descendants of the 1915 coxswain, Tim Keohane, who was father of the famous Arctic explorer Patrick Keohane."

Unique underground tourist attraction: Of spies and espionage
eturbonews.com, 26 April 2015

CARP, ONTARIO — "In a small town, approximately twenty-five minutes outside Ottawa, below a non-descriptive steel structure, lies an incredible piece of history. Seventy-five feet below ground, in Carp, Ontario, is the story of espionage, spies, and a country’s survival plan during the height of the Cold War. This is Canada’s Cold War Museum: The Diefenbunker. Shelters designed to ensure the continuity of government in case of a nuclear attack, were authorized in 1958, by then Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker. Across Canada, a total of fifty such shelters were built. The facility in Carp was the largest. It’s four-stories deep, with enough underground storage for food, fuel, fresh water and other needed supplies, to accommodate 565 people, up to one month, without requiring additional supplies from the outside. The shelter was capable of withstanding a nuclear blast up to five megatons from 1.8 kilometers away."

Phase I of Cranbrook History Centre's Cranbrook Museum set to open
dailytownsman.com, 24 April 2015

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — "Exciting days are at hand for the Cranbrook Heritage Centre. The museum and archives complex, formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, will be holding a grand opening of Phase 1 of the new Cranbrook Museum and model railway display. Events are set for Friday, May 1 (members only) and Saturday, May 2 (general public). "The conceptual designs were done a year and a half ago," said Charlotte Murray, the Centre's Executive Director. "It's been evolving ever since. "Different members of the community have loaned us artifacts." Phase 1 of the Cranbrook Museum is the lower flow of the eastern side of the complex, known as the freight shed. It is now home to a growing collection of displays and artifacts representing a comprehensive history of Cranbrook and the East Kootenay. These include paleontological and paleogeological artifacts, natural history and wildlife (including donations from  Aasland Taxidermy), examples of heritage fashion (including, notably, one of the first wedding dresses ever worn in Cranbrook), and business and railroad history. There is also a section devoted to the Ktunaxa."

Italy’s MUSE to host 2015 edition of science centre and museum conference Ecsite
leisureopportunities.co.uk, 22 April 2015

ITALY — "The European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite) is set to descend on the Renzo Piano-designed MUSE (Museo delle Scienze) in Trento, Italy, for its 2015 annual conference. From 11 to 13 June, 1,000 delegates from the science centre community are expected at the Ecsite conference, which marks its 26th edition this year. The event is one of the sector’s leading stages for showcasing research into public engagement with science. The schedule revolves around more than 90 sessions, including talks by high-profile speakers, debates and workshops. There’s also a trade show event, Business Bistro, with more than 50 exhibitors. There will be ample networking opportunities. Keynote speakers include the food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart; European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas; and entrepreneur Andrea Illy of Illicaffè. This year’s overriding theme is Food for Curious Minds – which chimes with the topic of Expo Milano 2015: Feed the Planet, Energy for Life – although other subjects are on the Ecsite conference menu, including immersive experiences, travelling exhibitions, responsible research, staff exchanges, teenage audiences and synthetic biology."

San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum To Close In June; Searching For New Home After Rent Increase
sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com, 20 April 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — "San Francisco’s only museum devoted to comics, cartoons and animation is closing its doors at the end of June, but not forever. The Cartoon Art Museum has occupied its 655 Mission St. location in the city’s South of Market neighborhood since 2001 but the property owner is demanding more than double the current rent — an untenable increase for the largely donation-reliant museum, curator Andrew Farago said on Monday. It moved there after five years at another Mission Street location only about two blocks away. The prominent location, within a block of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Museum of the African Diaspora, had art lovers constantly passing by its doors. “We love the Yerba Buena arts district. Obviously we have a lot of company in terms of other museums right there in the neighborhood. It’s been great to us,” Farago said. “We’ve helped build up that neighborhood and that neighborhood has helped build us up. We’re big fans but we realize part of building that neighborhood up means we may have priced ourselves out of it,” he said. The museum’s board has been expecting the news it would have to close for some time now. It has been operating without a long-term lease for a few years and with the skyrocketing rents in San Francisco, the staff knew it was just a matter of time, Farago said."

Shanghai Natural History Museum opens
english.cntv.cn, 19 April 2015

CHINA — "The new site of Shanghai Natural History Museum has finally opened to the public after 9 years of design, construction, and arrangement. As one of China's largest museums of natural sciences, it is offering visitors a stunning array of life on our planet. In a section called A Meeting Across Time and Space, different forms of life from the oceans, skies and land masses from across time and space are exhibited to the public. A total of 11,000 specimens are displayed under 10 sections. From Africa halfway around the world, the 280-odd specimens displayed at the Walk Into Africa Section showcase the breathtaking beauty of the continent, thanks to the donation of one man. "I don't know how they could do a better job than they have here. They've created the palace, they've created the settings. Now it is up to people like us to take these young people and to make sure that they see the beauty, and they want this beauty to continue. I am so proud to be a small part of this great museum," said Kenneth E. Behring, African collection donor."

Los Angeles County Museum of Art Reveals New Acquisitions
The New York Times, 19 April 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA — "Before starting an ambitious capital campaign to finance the creation of a bold new building by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been engaged in a 50th-anniversary acquisitions campaign designed to boost a collection that has long been considered uneven. This weekend the museum announced that it had secured roughly $200 million worth of art as “anniversary gifts,” on top of the $500 million in art recently pledged by the former Univision chairman Jerry Perenchio. A show called “50 for 50: Gifts on the Occasion of LACMA’s Anniversary,” which will open April 26, reveals the scope of these new acquisitions. Highlights include a version of Hans Memling’s masterpiece “Christ Blessing,” donated by Lynda Resnick of POM fame; a verdant Monet garden landscape showing the artist’s wife, donated by the Hollywood veterans Wendy and Leonard Goldberg, and Vija Celmins’s dark 1964 painting, “T.V.,” which shows a television scene of aircraft combat or explosion, given by the film producer Steve Tisch. An imposing, sinuous wooden sculpture identified as a serpent headdress from Guinea came from the head of Activision, Bobby Kotick. Many of the gifted artworks are promised or future pledges. Mr. Perenchio’s also has a remarkably specific condition attached: his donation will occur only if the museum completes the Zumthor building, designed to replace four older structures on campus at a cost upwards of $600 million."

Mine Wars Museum grand opening announced
fayettetribune.com, 16 April 2015

WEST VIRGINIA, USA — "On May 16, the public is invited to celebrate the historic grand opening of the new West Virginia Mine Wars Museum in downtown Matewan. Headliners for the event include United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, the Wallace Horn Friendly Neighbor Radio Show, and mine wars historian David Corbin. But to open the doors, the museum still needs to raise about $10,000 to pay local people to take care of artifacts and give tours. Anyone can donate to the museum’s crowd funding campaign by going to www.igg.me/at/wvminewars. “We’re giving you an opportunity to come together with us in a history that has much more power than this little town,” says museum board member and retired school teacher Wilma Steele. “It’s the very spirit of being able to take nothing and build something. Whether it’s 10 dollars, 50 dollars, or a hundred dollars, every donation makes a huge difference,” adds museum board member Catherine Moore. “And we also have a lot of wonderful rewards for people who donate, like special edition bandanas, bumper stickers, posters, and even a personal tour of Matewan.” After you make your donation, mark your calendar for the grand opening on May 16. Museum doors will open at 10 a.m. Be sure to register for a deluxe door prize when you arrive."

Museums showcase projects for people with learning disabilities
museumsassociation.org, 15 April 2015

WORLD — "The Museums Association (MA) is publishing a range case studies to show how museums are collaborating with third-party organisations on projects for people with learning disabilities. The case studies are part of the MA's Museums Change Lives campaign, and will illustrate how museums can enhance wellbeing, impact communities and the environment and promote learning and contemporary thought. It encourages museums to think about how they inspire people and ideas. Among those museums in the new tranche of case studies on learning disabilities are: the British Library, the Museum of Liverpool and Manchester Art Gallery. All case studies will be published on the MA's website in due course."

Santa Monica Museum of Art to leave longtime home at Bergamot Station
LA Times, 14 April 2015

SANTA MONICA, CA — "The Santa Monica Museum of Art is suspending operations, calling a timeout to consider its options for a future away from its longtime but no longer hospitable home at the Bergamot Station art complex. Two current exhibitions that close Saturday will be the contemporary art museum's last shows at Bergamot Station, the former rail depot that the museum, which opened in 1988 at another location, moved to in 1998. Its farewell to Bergamot will be May 2 and 3, when it will host an annual fundraising event called “Incognito,” in which L.A. artists, including such notables as John Baldessari, Mark Bradford, Raymond Pettibon and Ed Ruscha, donate small pieces for the museum to sell. After that, Executive Director Elsa Longhauser and the museum's eight full-time employees will pack up and, starting in June, work out of offices in Century City that will become the planning hub for whatever is to come next — with rent paid for by a donor. The museum, which typically spends about $2million a year, has the flexibility to consider a variety of new locations because it has no art collection tethering it to a permanent spot that is specially equipped to store and preserve art."

Navy Federal Loan Paves Way for Marines to further Commemorate Heroes
military-technologies.net, 14 April 2015

VIRGINIA, USA — "Navy Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce the closing of a record-breaking deal with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation (MCHF) on a commercial construction loan to complete the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va. The total expansion is estimated to be $70 million, $20 million of which Navy Federal will lend to the Heritage Foundation. This marks the credit union’s largest commercial loan to date. “We are grateful to be the lender for this special project. The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle means a lot to us and our members, many of which are Active Duty and retired Marines,” said Jim Salmon, vice president of business services at Navy Federal. “It is important that we have places like the museum to keep history alive and honor our servicemembers.” The museum opened in 2006 and currently captures U.S Marine Corps history up to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Approximately 500,000 visitors come to the museum every year, including a yearly average of over 52,000 students. The expansion includes new exhibits and galleries to depict all the operations and campaigns that Marines have been a part of since 1975, including Beirut, Grenada, Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan."

Museum of African Design reinvents itself
bdlive.co.za, 13 April 2015

SOUTH AFRICA — "JOHANNESBURG’s Museum of African Design (MOAD) is relaunching itself as a meeting and work space. The museum’s April 16 relaunch will see it expand its exhibitions programme and turn itself into a working resource for people in the design world, museum director Aaron Kohn told BDlive on Monday. There would be meeting facilities, WiFi and coffee available. "It’s very similar to a shared office space model, but we wouldn’t have people permanently working here," he said. Mr Kohn said MOAD had turned away from the traditional donations-based fundraising model because it did not work well in SA, especially modern SA. "Donation is a difficult sell. Getting a name on a wall doesn’t do it for people and an 18A tax certificate doesn’t always cut it," he said. The Income Tax Act’s Section 18A allows tax deductions for donations to certain public benefit organisations."

Egyptian, German officials visit Minya's unfinished Aten Museum
english.ahram.org.eg, 12 April 2015

EGYPT — "Egypt and Germany are expected to sign a deal to complete construction in order to open the Egyptology museum next year, after over a decade's delay. Egypt's minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty visited the construction site of the Aten Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya on Sunday. He was accompanied by Ingo Meyer, mayor of the German city of Hildesheim, Regine Schulz, director of the Hildesheim Museum, and Friederike Seyfried, director of the Berlin Museum. During the tour, they discussed the completion of the third and final phase of the museum's construction to finally open it next year, after a delay of over a decade. Several financial and construction problems have stalled the museum's completion since Germany suggested its pyramid-shaped design in 1998. Set by the Nile in Minya, when it is finished, the museum is to exhibit artifacts from the rule of Ancient Egyptian monotheistic king Akhenaten, whose capital was located in Amarna, outside the modern-day city of Minya. During his rule, the king coverted to the worship of the god Aten, hence the name of the museum."

Country’s biggest aviation museum opens
praguepost.com, 12 April 2015

CZECH REPUBLIC — "Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka attended the opening of the biggest aviation museum in the Czech Republic, presenting more than two dozen historical aircraft, flight simulators today, which is marked as the World Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics. The museum bears the name designer and aviator Metodej Vlach who constructed the first Czech airplane powered by an automobile engine in Mladá Boleslav in 1912. The building of the museum lasted three years and cost it Central Bohemia Region over 170 million Kc. In 2014, it won the award for the best construction of the year. The museum presents World War I, interwar and World War II aircraft. It is divided in two parts — one shows planes that cannot fly and the other those that can operate."

New construction coming to Wilson after 57 years
kait8.com, 11 April 2015

WILSON, AR — "A small Mississippi County town is looking forward to change after 57 years without. The community of Wilson gathered Saturday to celebrate growth for its historic town square. “The town square defines our city,” said Wilson Mayor Becton Bell. “It's the first thing everyone notices when they come to town.”  Bell added this is the first ground breaking and new construction for the town square in 57 years. A new museum will be built as part of an extension of the Hampson Archaeological State Park in Wilson."

New $64 Million, 100,000-Square Foot Contemporary Art + Design Wing Completed at Corning Museum of Glass
azobuild.com, 10 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "Gilbane Building Company and Welliver are pleased to announce the completion of the new $64 million, 100,000 square foot Contemporary Art + Design Wing at the Corning Museum of Glass. Designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, the museum's new wing features a custom glass facade and skylight system, and provides the museum with 26,000 square feet of additional gallery exhibit space, as well as space for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions. Gilbane and Welliver served as construction managers for the unique and complex project. The 'heart' of the Contemporary Art + Design Wing is the new 500-seat Hot Shop Amphitheater located in what was previously the Steuben Glass manufacturing facility. Aligned with the development of this space is the re-design of the main access hall from the primary visitor's entrance located on the east elevation of the facility. The design concept required the installation of a 25,000 square foot glass roof to allow top light into the gallery."

Exhibit construction starting soon on damaged DuPage Children's Museum
dailyherald.com, 10 April 2015

NAPERVILLE, IL — "A new exhibit will be part of the fun when DuPage Children's Museum reopens its flood-damaged home in Naperville this summer. "Math Playground" will take up part of the second floor when an estimated $2 million renovation to the building at 301 N. Washington St. is complete, said Kim Stull, director of exhibits and operations. "Math Playground is going to be an opportunity for kids to really experience math in a physical way," Stull said about the exhibit that will focus on shapes. "It will be a really fun approach to math in a way that really is all about play and experiencing the spatial geometry." Meant for newborns to 10-year-olds, the new exhibit is just one element of renovations the museum is conducting after a pipe burst and flooded all three floors Jan. 8. The museum's main location has been closed since then, but in early February, it opened DCM@The Mall at Westfield Fox Valley shopping center in Aurora."

€1.3m museum to honour Michael Collins and other West Cork patriots
irishexaminer.com, 8 April 2015

IRELAND — "A €1.3m museum, dedicated to Michael Collins and two other West Cork patriots, is to open in Clonakilty at the end of June. Cork County Council, spearheading the project, is also appointing a five-person board to manage the museum at No 7 Emmet Square, a house where Collins once lived and worked. County councillors at a Municipal District meeting yesterday were updated on developments by council official Justin England. Mr England said the imposing corner building, painstakingly restored, will house a collection of photographs, letters and family papers associated with Collins."

Exhibit design firm chosen for museum
gillettenewsrecord.com, 8 April 2015

GILLETTE, WY — "A design firm committed to portraying the western way of life has been chosen to design the exhibits at the new Rockpile Museum. The Campbell County Commissioners selected St. Paul, Minnesota-based Split Rock Studios on Tuesday to design the exhibits in the museum, which is undergoing an $11 million expansion and upgrade."

Qatar Museums chief calls for further investment into region's institutions
leisuremanagement.co.uk, 7 April 2015

QATAR — "Qatar Museums (QM) CEO, Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, has called on the Qatari government to further enhance the region’s museum sector and inspire the country’s youth. Established in 2005 by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM is the leading authority for museums in Qatar, which aims to be a ‘cultural instigator for the creation generation’. “The museum industry is relatively new in the region and the interest of the audience is in the early stage. However, our government has begun to realise the importance of museums,” said Al Mahmoud, speaking at a “Generations of Culture” panel discussion at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar."

Foundation stone laid for site museum at Humayun's Tomb
newkerala.com, 7 April 2015

INDIA — "Union Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma Tuesday laid the foundation stone of a site museum - whose purpose is to provide better understanding of Mughal architecture - at the Humayun's Tomb complex here. The foundation stone was laid in the presence of the Prince Karim Aga Khan, chairman, Aga Khan Development Network. "This is a classical example of synergy between the government and a non-profit organisation in preserving the heritage of the country and taking it to the world," said Sharma. "This museum will be a recognition of cultural heritage of the country and help promote tourism," he added. As part of its urban renewal initiative, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is building the museum on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India. AKTC has undertaken conservation works on over 50 monuments in Delhi, including the restoration of Humayun's Tomb. The ministry of tourism has pledged Rs.49 crore towards the construction cost of the museum, which will include a permanent exhibit, galleries for temporary exhibits, an auditorium for film screenings, a souvenir shop and a cafe."

Dubai Crown Prince says museum project must be finished by 2017
arabianbusiness.com, 4 April 2015

DUBAI, UAE — "The Crown Prince of Dubai has issued directives ordering the "quick implementation" of the construction of the planned Museum of the Future. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, chairman of Dubai Executive Council and also chairman of the board of trustees of Museum of the Future, emphasised the importance of completing the project as per the set schedule. He added in comments published by news agency WAM that the museum will serve as a destination for inventors and entrepreneurs across the world. Sheikh Hamdan issued the orders as he chaired a meeting of the board of Museum of the Future, stressing the need to complete the museum by 2017."

MX_SI and the expansion of the Gosta Serlachius Museum in Finland
floornature.com, 4 April 2015

FINLAND — "Spanish studio MX_SI’s expansion for Gosta Serlachius Museum in Mänttä, Finland, opened in 2014, is a project with strong roots in tradition. There are two main elements in MX_SI’s project: the old Joennimei Manor House, the museum’s original home, and the landscape in which it stands, on the shores of Lake Melasjärvi, a forest and the island of Taavetinsaari, an integral part of the new exhibition route. Respect for and enhancement of these two simple but vital elements made the Spanish project the winner in an open international competition held in 2011 by the Serlachius Foundation and the Association of Finnish Architects, SAFA: a competition which turned out to be surprisingly popular, with 579 projects submitted by architects in 42 different countries."

Hancock County Agricultural Museum Expansion
kimt.com, 1 April 2015

HANCOCK COUNTY, IA — "Five years after the decision was made to expand the Hancock County Agricultural Museum, it will finally be completed this spring. The museum holds several different rare and unique farm equipment. All of their displays are donated to them, and according to the president, they have started to run out of room."

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Snøhetta, Cao Perrot and Schlögl & Süß Architekten present €34m Swarovski Crystal Worlds expansion
cladglobal.com, 28 April 2015

AUSTRIA — "A team made up of Snøhetta, Cao Perrot and Schlögl & Süß Architekten have created the architectural elements and designs for the €34m (US$37.3m, £24.3m) expansion of Wattens, Austria’s Swarovski Crystal Worlds. The museum, opened in 1995 to celebrate crystal-maker Swarovski’s 100th anniversary, was originally designed by artist Andre Heller, who was commissioned to design the 14-chamber museum. Reopening on 30 April, the expansion has nearly doubled the available space, creating an extensive park landscape across 75,000sq m (807,300sq ft) featuring unique crystal installations and new buildings. In addition, the museum has recruited a number of high-profile artists and designers to recreate five of the museum’s ‘Chambers of Wonder’."

Curtain rises on Indonesia’s first international-standard venue
worldarchitecturenews.com, 23 April 2015

INDONESIA "International studio, Benoy, has revealed images of the new interiors it has created at Jakarta’s flagship arts centre, Ciputra Artpreneur. Ciputra Artpreneur is one of Jakarta’s latest and most significant cultural venues, cleverly integrated into the top levels of the Ciputra World Jakarta Mall, a commercial landmark located at the heart of the city’s Golden Triangle. As a major new addition to the arts in Indonesia, the scheme delivers 14,000 sq m of performance and art facilities, including a 1,200-seat theatre, flexible and permanent exhibition galleries, a museum, and multifunctional rooms. The main event at Ciputra Artpreneur is its state of the art Ciputra Theatre – the first international-standard venue in Indonesia. It is capable of hosting large touring productions from around the world including opera, symphony and ballet. A proscenium-style auditorium with seating over two levels, the space accommodates 865 seats at stalls level and 365 in the balcony."

Safdie Architects designs museum to honour American war heroes
dezeen.com, 23 April 2015

SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — "Moshe Safdie's firm has unveiled its design for the National Medal of Honor Museum in South Carolina – a five-pointed structure that will present the history of the USA's most revered soldiers. The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award for valour in combat and has been awarded to nearly 3,500 recipients in its 152-year history. The new museum will tell the story of these soldiers and the wars they fought in. Safdie Architects proposes a concrete and glass structure located at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. It will comprise five galleries clustered together to form a five-pointed plan – reminiscent of the star-shaped medals. Built on pylons, the pentagonal structure will rise up by 39 metres to meet the height of the USS Yorktown, one of 24 aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy and now permanently berthed nearby. The walls of the museum will also be tinted grey-blue to match the ship."

Excitement builds as public opening of new Whitney approaches
The Art Newspaper, 22 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "The new Whitney Museum of American Art may not officially open to the public until 1 May, but VIPs have had ample opportunity to sneak a peek this week. And the buzz is reaching a fever pitch. In an early review, the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman described the Meatpacking District facility as “an implicit extension of the High Line—a perch to see and be seen”. Advance reservations to visit the museum on 2 May have already sold out, more than a week before the official opening. At a black tie dinner for donors on Monday, 20 April, guests included the talk show host Charlie Rose, the art collector and cosmetics tycoon Leonard Lauder, and the artists Chuck Close, Jasper Johns and Glenn Ligon, who has a neon work hanging in the museum’s fifth floor window. The former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, told the crowd that if someone had told him when he moved to New York in the 1960s that he would be spending his evening on Gansevoort Street, “I’d have guessed I’d have ended up in the meatpacking business.” The celebrations are scheduled to continue with a late-night party at the 200,000 sq. ft, Renzo Piano-designed building on Friday, 25 April. To be sure, the construction of a major museum in New York is a once-in-a-decade event. (And the Whitney has been planning this $422m building, which boasts sweeping views of the skyline and the Hudson River, since 2008.) But if the carefully orchestrated calendar of events designed to build positive buzz threatens to eclipse the more than 600 works on view in the inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See (1 May-27 September), do not tell the curators."

In Detail: Tobin Center For The Performing Arts
The Architect's Newspaper, 21 April 2015

SAN ANTONIO, TX — "Strangely out of place, yet harmoniously so, the recently completed Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio is the best work of architecture in the city in decades. Its closest rival, literally, would be the Central Library designed by Ricardo Legorreta in the 1990s a few city blocks away. It is a shame it has taken nearly 20 years for San Antonio to once again embolden itself with vision and purpose for its citizens. Looking at the Tobin one is first struck by the marked contrasts of the building itself. On the one hand there is the historic Spanish Mission facade of the Municipal Auditorium. And then there is the angular, asymmetric glistening folded metal screen that veils the addition, which comes alive at night with a dynamic lighting display. The project houses three performance spaces, the largest of which accommodates 1,768 people with no seat further than 150 feet from the stage. Its construction tells a tale of the changing times in architecture, where technology and craft are once again at the forefront. That is the tie binding the historic facade to its contemporary partner."

Pavilion for Works on Paper
worldarchitecturenews.com, 17 April 2015

HOUSTON, TX — "A new facility dedicated to the exhibition of modern and contemporary drawings broke ground on 27 March at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Designed by Los Angeles-based architect Johnston Marklee, the Menil Drawing Institute (MDI) will be the first facility of its kind in the United States and the first new building in 20 years to be built on the Menil’s 30-acre campus, which is currently being master planned by British architect David Chipperfield to enhance the visitor experience and provide for the institution’s growing and future needs."

What the International Spy Museum is Proposing for D.C.'s L'Enfant Plaza
architectmagazine.com, 16 April 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — "Last week, word got out that the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., was proposing a new location in the district's Southwest quadrant, and the project was being designed by London's Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Today, that project goes before the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts for an initial concept review, and the commission provided ARCHITECT access to the presentation materials as well as a few renderings. The Spy Museum is currently located at F and 8th streets NW, and has been searching for a larger space. In October, the museum withdrew a proposal by Philadelphia's MGA Partners and landscape architecture firm Olin for the city's 1903 Carnegie Library after the city's Historic Preservation Review Board declared that the proposal did not meet preservation guidelines. "It has long been the goal of the Spy Museum to identify a larger space than our current one to serve as a future, permanent home," says Spy Museum spokesperson Jason Werden over email. "However, this presentation does not solidify the Museum's move to L'Enfant Plaza." Gallagher & Associates is the lead exhibition design partner on the project."

Reiach and Hall gets green-light for £20m nuclear archive
architectsjournal.co.uk, 15 April 2015

ENGLAND, UK — "Reiach and Hall has been given the go-ahead for a new archive building in the Scottish Highlands for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The £20 million scheme on a brownfield site near Wick Airport will provide storage for paper and photographic records of the history, development and decommissioning of the UK’s civil nuclear industry since 1940s. The brief called for a ‘building of simple practicality’, and according to the practice the design aims to provide a ‘bold and dramatic form. The 6,186m2 triangular-shaped building features accommodation arranged around landscaped courtyards. The project is set to start on site in the summer and expected to complete in 2016."

Chipperfield’s Nobel Centre plans come under fire
architectsjournal.co.uk, 9 April 2015

SWEDEN — "Stockholm’s City Museum has written to the local planning department calling on them to throw out plans for the David Chipperfield Architects-designed Nobel Centre. The museum said the centre, which is planned for the Swedish capital’s historic Blasieholmshamnen area, would have a ‘particularly large impact on heritage values and the local environment’ and should be built elsewhere. A number of historic buildings including an 1876 customs house by Axel Fredrik Nystrom – the architect of Sweden’s Old National Archives, and two wooden warehouses from 1910 would be demolished to make way for the planned Nobel Centre. ‘The three buildings have special cultural values ??and are of great significance for the understanding of Stockholm as a port city’, said the museum’s director Berit Svedberg in a letter to city’s cultural committee."

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Museums Embrace Virtual Tourism With Beam
forbes.com, 29 April 2015

USA — "Suitable Technologies and eight US museums have partnered to give people with immobility or disabilities the opportunity and ability to visit and virtually tour museums in other cities or countries and not even leave their homes. The museums range from art: the de Young Museum, Seattle Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts; to space, human interest and computers, like San Diego Air and Space Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, Computer History Museum and the University of South Dakota’s Natural History Museum. Beam is a smart telepresence device that lets users interact with remote locations through a high end video and audio. In other words, have a meeting across the country, see a museum, connect with colleagues all from your physical location."

New National Blues Museum executive director calls progress 'incredible'
stltoday.com, 29 April 2015

ST. LOUIS, MO — "Dion Brown, the new director of the National Blues Museum, under construction downtown, admits he didn’t know much about the blues a few years ago. “I’m not a blues fan by nature,” says Brown, 50, who leans more toward the gospel sounds of Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin and the smooth jazz of Jeff Lorber and Najee. But then that changed. In 2011, he became the executive director of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Miss. Referring to his knowledge of the blues just four years ago, “When I went to Mississippi, I went there as a baby,” says the native of Decatur, Ill. “But I knew business. I’m an operations and business person. I tell kids to not paint yourself in a box in terms of what your field can be. And I fell in love with the blues behind hearing it live and hearing the stories behind it. Now I listen to it, enjoy it and appreciate it.” Brown brings all of that to the National Blues Museum, the $13 million structure set to open between November and early next year. The 23,000-square-foot museum will be interactive and technology-driven in its telling of the chronology of the blues."

Children’s Museum of Houston launches new app
yourhoustonnews.com, 28 April 2015

HOUSTON, TX — "The Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH) is “appy” to announce the debut of a museum app. The “More CMH” application will provide a hands-on, minds-on exploration of the Museum through video, images, and text. This new, free learning tool is immediately available to the public through Apple iTunes and Google Play. “The Children’s Museum of Houston ‘More CMH’ app will allow our visitors to experience the Museum in a whole new way. It will enhance our onsite exhibit interactivity and will encourage learning to be extended home,” said Museum Executive Director Tammie Kahn. The “More CMH” app will equip parents with an additional tool to engage their child in learning while visiting the Museum. The purpose is to enhance visitors’ experience and understanding of exhibits by exploring them and accessing information related to them. The app categorizes the exhibits based on theme, age, educational information, links to other educational sources, and suggests at-home activities which will continue to stimulate the minds of children even after they’ve left the museum."

Construction of the new Dubai Museum will use 3D printing
hotcopier.com, 27 April 2015

DUBAI, UAE — "Dubai. The destination is famous for its gigantic buildings and pharaonic real estate projects. Among the long list of architectural ambitions of the city, a project interests us most, that of the future Dubai museum (museum of the future). Because it is expected that the construction of the future building – which look like in the end a huge elliptical ring – make extensive use of 3D printing, particularly in the additive manufacturing process. Very few details have yet filtered on how the panels forming the set will be printed in 3D but the use of technology should allow a reduction in construction costs."

The Digital Future: How Museums Measure Up
The New York Times, 23 April 2015

USA — "The digital future continues to unfold at American art museums. The best recent innovations have been gathered in a new report, “Next Practices in Digital and Technology,” that the Association of Art Museum Directors is set to release on Friday. The report describes 41 museum projects that use digital technology to engage visitors, make collections more accessible and understandable or improve museum operations like ticketing and collections management. The projects cover a wide range. The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas is compiling a digital census of French sculpture in the United States that will be available as an internet portal. Working with 280 museums, the center has compiled records of 7,000 works made between 1500 and 1960 that can be found in public collections, museums, historic homes, and public spaces. The center estimates that it will add another 8,000 to 13,000 works before the project is completed in 2019. The Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts has replaced the traditional wall labels in its renovated Baroque galleries with iPads that present not only traditional curatorial information but also alternative labels written by area college students, religious leaders and educators, with an invitation for visitors to write their own labels."

Google Maps and Robben Island Museum combine history with technology
traveller24.news24.com, 22 April 2015

SOUTH AFRICA — "Cape Town - Google Maps released the first ­ever Street View imagery of Robben Island, as well as an audio-­visual tour hosted on Google Cultural Institute, on Wednesday, 22 April, five days ahead of South Africa’s Freedom Day. In an effort to marry history with the future, Google and Robben Island Museum partnered to make this global heritage landmark virtually accessible to the world via the internet, the Museum said in a statement. Luke McKend, Country Director for Google South Africa, explained the intentional launch of the project five days ahead of Freedom Day in South Africa, is because "Robben Island is a symbol of South Africa’s fight for freedom," and they hope to educate people around the world about this heritage, allowing them to explore the island from any device, anywhere in the world."

Jack White Makes Donation to Fund National Blues Museum's Technology Program
pitchfork.com, 21 April 2015

ST. LOUIS, MO — "Jack White has contributed a six-figure donation to the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, which is scheduled to open later this year. The museum has announced that White's money will fund the museum's "Mix It Up" program, which is a "creative blues experience".
"Mix It Up" will give visitors access to editing tools, which they can use to create new compositions and share them with others. The museum will feature exhibits about blues history and host educational programming. According to a press release, they're seeking additional funding to "enhance technology, expand exhibits, deepen the impact of community and educational programs, and create accompanying curriculum."

The Future Of Museums Is Reaching Way Beyond Their Walls
fastcoexist.com, 17 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "The American Museum of Natural History has always been one of the most popular destinations in New York City. With about 5 million visitors a year, an increase from 3 million in the 1990s, it—along with the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art—is among the top 10 most-visited museums in the world. According to its president, Ellen Futter, the museum (AMNH) is only behind Disney World and Disneyland as the top destination for families in the country. Even with this influx of people coming to its doorstep, however, the museum is now equally focused on drawing a crowd beyond its campus. "In the old days, a visit to a museum like ours would be a one-off. You come, you visit you go home," says Futter. "Now people have a relationships with us very often before they get here. They come, and [their visit] is like a giant exclamation point—and then they return home and continue to engage with us wherever they are." AMNH today is a sprawling outreach institution that is using apps, social media, and educational programs to slowly grow its reach. More than 100,000 people have so far enrolled in its free online courses, available through the platform Coursera. Many in the target audience are teachers themselves, who will presumably train students around the world in topics related to science, natural history, and today’s environmental challenges. (AMNH also became one of the first museums in the world to launch it’s own PhD program and recently received approval to start a masters program for teachers). In New York City, it hosts a wide array of programs for the general public, including seminars on how to understand climate change—and explain the science to others at, say, a cocktail party. Mobile apps are also now playing a role in extending the museum’s reach to connect visitors to additional learning. "One of the challenges in museums is that you see lots of really great stuff, but then you have no more ways to find out information about it," says AMNH chief digital officer Catherine Devine."

Recreating history with technology of the future
phys.org, 17 April 2015

UNITED KINGDOM — "The concept of virtual reality has been heavily used in Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters for decades, but few people have actually experienced it first-hand. This is about to change thanks to an innovative technology developed by a Newcastle University start-up, Chronicles VR that will allow people to experience museums in a unique way. Launched by partners Dominic Deane and Rachel Derbyshire, Chronicles VR is bringing virtual reality (VR) into museums by allowing people to explore historic artefacts in their original context. The duo create 3D models of objects in museums, which allow visitors to experience entire scenes from the past by wearing the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift 3D headset. In a scene that Chronicles VR recreated for the Great North Museum: Hancock, visitors can walk into a Greek villa and explore the virtual artefacts, the real versions of which can be found in the museum. Dominic, 21, said: "When you walk into a museum, the artefacts are described only by short text. That's really interesting, but I don't know anything about the object apart from where it was found and how old it is. But when you put a headset on to view the 3D models we create, you experience where that object was found and where it existed."

Techno museum to open in Frankfurt
dw.de, 16 April 2015

GERMANY — "The MOMEM - or Museum of Modern Electronic Music - is scheduled to open in 2017 in the heart of the techno metropolis of Frankfurt, reaffirming German's place as the spiritual home of electronic music. In the spirit of the innovative musical form, the museum will shrug off traditional museum exhibition traits and instead offer a space which invites visitors into the sensory world of electronic music, exploring many aspects of the musical form. Thematically it will tell the story of the history and cultural relevance of the form. Andreas Tomalla - aka Talla 2XLC - is the driving force behind the museum. Widely credited for inventing the word "techno," Tomalla pioneered the form with his "Techno Party" events in the 1980s. He remains active as a trance DJ and producer, and is the first honorary chairman of the Friends of MOMEM."

Tech talk: Brendan Ciecko, founder and CEO, Cuseum
theguardian.com, 3 April 2015

BOSTON, MA — "The tech company chief on museums, mobile apps and his vision to transform the way people engage with art.”

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Art and Culture


Leonardo’s muse keeps her secrets as portrait returns to Milan
Thinning the painting’s varnish reveals La Belle Ferronnière's fine features, but French experts unable to confirm her identity
The Art Newspaper, 1 May 2015

MILAN, ITALY — "It is fitting that the first major outing for Leonardo’s newly restored La Belle Ferronnière is to the city where the work was made five centuries ago. The painting, which is in the collection of the Louvre, Paris, has returned to Milan for Leonardo, 1452-1519, now on show at Palazzo Reale (until 19 July). The Italian exhibition has been timed to coincide with the Milan Expo (1 May-31 October). The work is also due to travel to the United Arab Emirates in 2016 for the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The sitter’s fine features and most of her delicate complexion have been recovered, thanks to restorers at the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France. They thinned the painting’s varnish, which measured between 40 and 60 microns and was almost as thick as the paint layers."

Museums in Europe and US draw up rescue plans for ravaged sites in Iraq
France takes the lead as calls grow for co-ordinated response after attacks by fanatics on Assyrian royal cities
The Art Newspaper, 1 May 2015

IRAQ — "European and US museums that preserve and display Assyrian artefacts fr om the ancient royal cities under attack by Islamic State (IS) are working to help their Iraqi colleagues prepare for a day when the sites are liberated. A coalition of the willing exists but it remains to be seen whether institutions will co-ordinate their efforts. Jonathan Tubb, the keeper of the Middle East department at the British Museum in London, urges organisations to do more than express outrage.
“We need to get over the threshold of despair—we can do something positive and constructive by preparing for the time when effective government control is restored,” he says."

Renzo Piano's new Whitney offers one of New York's largest art spaces
leisuremanagement.co.uk, 27 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "The Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum of American Art in New York’s Meatpacking District will open to the public this Friday (1 May), offering indoor and outdoor galleries, a conservation laboratory and the largest column-free exhibition space in the entire city. In the works for more than three decades, the nine-storey steel and concrete building was conceived as a ‘laboratory for artists’. Sitting between the High Line and Hudson River, the new museum is Piano’s response to the industrial setting amongst warehouses, railway lines and loft buildings. Landscape designer Matthew Nielsen and Netherlands-based garden designer Piet Oudolf worked on the outdoor spaces, while New York-based architecture firm Cooper Robertson worked with Piano to realise his vision. Turner Construction handled building work. "The design of this building emerged from many years of conversations with the Whitney, which took us back to the museum's origins," said Piano. "We spoke about the roots of the Whitney in downtown New York and about this opportunity to enjoy the open space by the Hudson River."

Renwick Gallery decorative arts museum to reopen in Washington
panarmenian.net, 25 April 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — "The Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution’s decorative arts and crafts museum in Washington, DC, is due to reopen to the public on 13 November 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 Art Newspaper reports. 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."

The Prada Foundation’s New Arts Complex in Milan
The New York Times, 22 April 2015

MILAN, ITALY — "For more than 20 years, the Prada Foundation has been staging contemporary art exhibitions in abandoned warehouses and disused churches here, bringing contemporary artists like Anish Kapoor and Michael Heizer to Italian audiences, often for the first time. The foundation has masterminded projects elsewhere, too, like the time the Belgian artist Carsten Holler created the Double Club, a restaurant and club in a Victorian warehouse in London, drawing patrons like Mick Jagger and Penélope Cruz. Recently, however, the Prada Foundation has set its sights on establishing permanent homes to present exhibitions and to show its vast holdings of art, mostly works from the 1950s to the present. Four years ago, it opened an outpost in an 18th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Now it is putting down roots on the site of an old distillery in a scruffy industrial neighborhood here. The Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA have created a sprawling complex with nearly 120,000 square feet of exhibition space that, when it opens on May 9, is poised to become a major international destination for the arts."

Art Institute of Chicago Gets $500 Million Gift of Art
chicagonow.com, 22 April 2015

CHICAGO, IL — "The Art Institute of Chicago has received one of the largest gifts in its history--an impressive trove of artworks from the collection of retired plastics engineer and philanthropist Stefan Edlis and his wife Gael Neeson. Edlis, age 89 and a veteran of WW II, has called Chicago home since the age of 25. The donation, which was announced yesterday, includes 42 Pop and contemporary pieces valued at approximately $500 million."

Young, Chinese and rich: New breed of buyer entering art market, says auction house
scmp.com, 21 April 2015

CHINA — "A younger generation of China’s rich is entering the art market, according to an official at the auction house Christie’s, and it is hoped they will offset a slump in sales partly created by the government’s crackdown on corruption on the mainland. Many of the new buyers have studied or worked overseas and have a good knowledge of art, said Cai Jinqing, the president of Christie’s China. “We’re seeing a new generation of Chinese collectors with a strong enthusiasm for art,” she said. Older collectors from China have mainly concentrated on buying work by Chinese artists in recent years, but younger art lovers are also interested Western art, particularly old masters, she said. “We’ve seen the number of Chinese collectors increasing substantially in recent years. It’s the right time for Christie’s to make our expertise, knowledge and global platform easily accessible for the Chinese collectors, she said."

China ‘is ready for us': Cirque du Soleil sold to investor group led by private-equity giant TPG Capital
The Financial Post, 20 April 2015

MONTREAL, QC — "Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté says selling the company to an investor group that includes China’s Fosun Capital Group could lead to a doubling of its market in Asia. “We have a Chinese partner who knows the market well, and who has a lot of international connections,” Laliberté said Monday during a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Montreal. “It’s certain that having a local [Chinese] partner will help develop our chances of success in a big way. We’ve done a lot of research in the past years and the market is ready for us.” Confirming reports last week, Laliberté announced he had completed a deal to sell 60 per cent of Cirque du Soleil to U.S.-based TPG Capital, 20 per cent to Fosun, 10 per cent by the the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, while retaining 10 per cent himself."

East Lansing library gets anonymous $1.5M gift
lansingstatejournal.com, 20 April 2015

MICHIGAN, USA — "An anonymous donor's gift of $1.5 million to the East Lansing Public Library "is by far and away the largest contribution that the city has ever received," Mayor Nathan Triplett said Monday. The money was received April 10 in a lump sum, library Director Kristin Shelley said. It's expected to spur several capital improvement projects at the facility, which hasn't seen any real renovations in nearly two decades. The library's annual operating budget is $1.8 million. Shelley made the announcement at a library event Friday. She also announced the beginning of a separate capital campaign to build on the donation. The goal is to raise an additional $1.6 million to $2 million by May 2016. "I'm thrilled," Shelley said. "The library desperately needs updating." Neither Shelley nor Triplett would name the donor, other than to say it was an individual. Shelley said she understood the person to be an East Lansing resident. The money was given for the sole purpose of renovating or expanding the existing library building, she said. Nothing was earmarked for operations, so the donation won't generate new jobs."

China's Citic Guoan Invests $150M in Dick Cook Studios
The Hollywood Reporter, 19 April 2015

CHINA — "Former chairman of Walt Disney Studios Dick Cook has announced the formation of Dick Cook Studios and said Citic Guoan, a unit of the giant Chinese conglomerate Citic, would invest $150 million in the studio. Based in Los Angeles, Dick Cook Studios will focus on the development, production, marketing and distribution of live-action and animated motion pictures, as well as television, digital, stage and other entertainment media. "This has been quite a journey for all of us as it takes time to find the right people you want to be in business with," Cook told a signing ceremony at the Beijing Film Market. The announcement came on Cook's birthday, and he joked that he was surprised to see so many people there for his party."

QPAC: Decision on heritage listing for cultural precinct imminent
abc.net.au, 17 April 2015

AUSTRALIA "Queensland's iconic performing arts complex could receive a 30th birthday present that could last forever: protection from development. Last year, the former Newman government unveiled a master plan for the cultural precinct in Brisbane's South Bank to allow a 30-storey tower above the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and over a Queensland Museum expansion. The new Labor Government wants to take the plan back to the drawing board. More importantly, a decision on whether to have it heritage listed is imminent. Designed in the 1970s and built in the 1980s in the late modernist style, Brisbane architect Robin Gibson's South Bank buildings drew Brisbane's eye towards the river, helped shape the facade of the capital and established the state's cultural precinct. QPAC has transformed both the arts scene and a city once known as a big country town."

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre plans $20 million campaign for expansion, endowment
post-gazette.com, 16 April 2015

PITTSBURGH, PA — "At a gala marking the final weekend of its 45th mainstage season, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Thursday night announced a $20 million campaign that will expand its PBT School and its presence in the region and the dance community at large. This summer, PBT plans to break ground on a 14,000-square-foot annex at its Strip District campus. In 2010, the company acquired the former St. John’s Rectory in Lawrenceville to create the Byham House residential facility for the PBT School’s out-of-town, high school-age students. The annex will be named in honor of the Byham family and will house two dance studios, expanded cross-training facilities, changing rooms and study areas for students. This expansion is expected to generate a 40 percent increase in enrollment in the next three-plus years and make it a more sustainable revenue source for the entire organization. An “aggressive timeline” has been mapped out for the construction, with hopes of having the facility ready to open in June 2016, says executive director Harris Ferris."

Endangered species to populate Pittsburgh zoo’s new ‘Islands’ exhibit
post-gazette.com, 16 April 2015

PITTSBURGH, PA — "Endangered species from tropical islands in Asia and South America soon will be housed in a 22,000-square-foot area as part of the newest exhibit at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Scheduled to open in June, the enclosure covered in rocky soil behind a commissary and next to the gorilla exhibit will be transformed into “The Islands.” The zoo opened the area, currently under construction, for a brief viewing Thursday. Featured animals will be Visayan warty pigs, clouded leopards, Philippine crocodiles, Galapagos tortoises and siamangs, which are small primates from Southeast Asia. Planning and design for the project began last year, said Ken Kaemmerer, curator of mammals. Construction began in the fall on an adjacent restaurant and grill. Construction of the exhibit began in January after the area was excavated. Bradley Smith, director of construction management for the zoo, estimated the overall project will cost $3 million. The finished product will include indoor and outdoor ponds for the crocodiles, climbing trees for the siamangs and several waterfalls, he said. There also will be a restaurant and grill where patrons can purchase gluten-free and vegetarian foods, with an outdoor deck overlooking other exhibits."

Met Makes Plans for Whitney Space
The Wall Street Journal, 8 April 2015

NEW YORK, USA — "What exactly the Metropolitan Museum of Art intends to do with its new space in the building once occupied by the Whitney Museum of American Art has been a question in the art world for some months. Wonder no more. On Wednesday, the museum unveiled its programming for the landmark Brutalist structure designed by Marcel Breuer, which will reopen to the public in March 2016 with two major exhibitions: one showcasing the historical sweep of the Met’s vast collection and the other dedicated to the Indian modernist artist Nasreen Mohamedi. Other planned shows include an exhibition on the early work of photographer Diane Arbus, whose archive was acquired by the Met in 2007, and a retrospective of paintings by the American artist Kerry James Marshall, whose work focuses on issues of black identity. The Met will develop and present programming at the Breuer building for the next eight years through an agreement with the Whitney, which still owns the building but will be reopening in a much larger facility downtown in May."
[see also The New Whitney Marks a Change in Museum Design, The Wall Street Journal, 9 April 2015]

Funding an art renaissance in the US
BBC News, 8 April 2015

UNITED STATES — "US art museums took a knock in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and attendances continue to fall. But some major investments and new approaches to fundraising have helped them rebound. On an unseasonably warm day in January, as the price of oil dropped by 50%, a group of Texans gathered at a swanky New York restaurant to present a multi-million dollar plan for the redevelopment of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. There were a number of jokes about the impact of oil prices on the portion sizes offered by the restaurant - two salad leaves and a pea, however artfully placed on a teaspoon of green mousse and a coin sized piece of fish, do not make a meal in Texas. But there was no joking about the importance of art to Houston's economy, which is fuelled by oil and energy and has been rocked by the plunge in prices. The city hopes the new campus, with its world class collections, international art school and conservation centre, will help attract the type of workers it needs to diversify and sustain future growth."

Seeing a Cash Cow in Museums’ Precious Art
The New York Times, 4 April 2015

GERMANY — "The director of the art museum here dreads the idea of losing some of his town’s biggest cultural attractions. He worries about a Henry Moore sculpture that has been on exhibition for almost 40 years, knowing it could vanish along with Renaissance panels and Eduardo Chillida benches in a sale to settle government debts. “There’s an expression in German: ‘Don’t sell your family silver,’ ” said the director, Hermann Arnhold of the Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History. “Would you sell the story of your family? If you sell important artworks, that means selling a part of your history.” Yet, what once seemed unthinkable is suddenly palatable in Europe: The continent’s art treasures more and more are losing sacred status as an inheritance belonging to the people. With government subsidies to public institutions being cut back, museums in countries like Britain, the Netherlands and Germany need the income from art sales to close budget gaps, make repairs or finance expansions. That has led to fears that masterpieces will disappear from public view to adorn the living room walls of a Saudi prince or hedge-fund billionaire."

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Security cameras, 10-minute visiting slots and two million tourists a year: Machu Picchu's plans £9million makeover to cope with overcrowding
dailymail.co.uk, 28 April 2015

PERU — "In 2007, Machu Picchu was named a 'New Wonder of the World'. With the ancient Inca city featured on bucket lists the world over, visitors queuing up for the perfect photo of its other worldly beauty, it's not surprising that cracks are starting to show. Since 2011, the number of average daily number of visitors has far exceeded the daily limit of 2,500 agreed to by Peru and UNESCO. Last year 1.1million people reached its dizzying peak. And now a new master plan, to be implemented between 2015 and 2019, calls for the re-conceptualisation' of Machu Picchu. The idea is to change the 'axis of the visitor experience' making the mountain into a part of the tourist experience as well as the Inca city itself, with the hopes that this can control crowd flow. Entry to the site will be moved to a visitor and orientation centre in the jungle below, and there will be three different routes through the site. A staff of certified guides and guards will be employed, and security cameras installed."

Qatar reveals designs for Al Rayyan World Cup stadium
leisureopportunities.co.uk, 27 April 2015

DOHA, QATAR — "Qatar 2022 World Cup officials have revealed plans for the fifth 2022 World Cup venue – the Al Rayyan stadium. The 40,000-capacity Al Rayyan will be located on the site of the existing Ahmed bin Ali Stadium – a 25,000-seat venue built in 2003 – with the old structure being demolished to make way for the new. Designed by a team including US-based masterplanners AECOM, Danish engineers Ramboll and UK architects Pattern, the stadium will feature innovative cooling technologies, such as roof angles and windscreens. The design intends to showcase Qatar’s heritage, with the façade of the stadium being formed from seven patterns, representing different aspects of Qatari culture."

France spends €56m recreating prehistoric cave paintings for new attraction
leisuremanagement.co.uk, 20 April 2015

FRANCE — "The French government has spent €56m (US$60m, £40.2m) recreating an exact replica of a cave discovered in 1994 containing a huge collection of prehistoric paintings of horses, mammoths and rhinos – among the oldest documented pieces on earth. The works – preserved thanks to a rock fall roughly 23,000 years ago – were quickly closed off to the public after their discovery on the basis that something as simple as breathing could erode the unique prehistoric gallery. As a result the French government, along with a group of engineers, artists and scientists, have been working since 2012 to create an identical replica just 2km (1.2m) away from the original site. Created from a 3D scan of the cave by Perazio Engineering, the new cave covers an area of 3,000sq m (32,300sq ft) with 8,200sq m (88,300sq ft) of developed surfaces (including floors, walls and ceilings). Architecture firms Fabre-Speller and Atelier3A worked on the masterplan for the development, while Franck Neau operated as landscape architect for the cave, co-ordinating with construction firm Campenon Bernard Regions and Vinci Construction France on the building work. During development, original techniques were used to create more than 1,000 paintings, hand prints and carvings, with the designers even going as far as to recreate the stalagmites and stalactites from the original site as well as the humid smell and cool temperatures associated with the original cave."

Gaziantep to open second biggest Safari park of Europe
dailysabah.com, 19 April 2015

TURKEY — "The Gaziantep Safari Park, whose foundations were laid almost a year ago on the instruction of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Sahin, will offer its visitors a safari experience almost as good as being in the African wild itself. Visitors will be able to observe nearly 200 animals from 70 different species in their natural habitat. Situated inside Gaziantep Zoo, which is the biggest zoo in Turkey and the second biggest in Europe in terms of its acreage and the number of animals it shelters, the Gaziantep Safari Park enables animals, including camels, deers, kangaroos and lamas, to walk freely within the range of the park. Currently, the park is undergoing environmental monitoring; however, it will open its doors on April 23, the National Sovereignty and Children's Day."

L.A. museums sign on to 'China Ready' program in bid to draw tourists
LA Times, 17 April 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA — "Milly Wu marched through the J. Paul Getty Museum's galleries of 19th century European paintings, stopping just long enough to frame Monets, Manets and, of course, Vincent Van Gogh's "Irises" with her smartphonecamera. With a series of clicks, masterpieces became souvenirs to share with her friends back home in Hangzhou, China. But when she reached the threshold of a gallery filled with opulent French furnishings from the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, the 11-year-old paused and let the camera dangle. "Wah," she gasped — Chinese for "wow."
"It's very beautiful," said her dad, Will Wu, an information technology professional who used to work for Hewlett-Packard and speaks some English. "Mr. Getty had a great eye for this type of item." The Getty and other Los Angeles museums increasingly have their eyes on people like the Wus, who embody the rapid growth in tourism from mainland China. The Getty has taken the lead, aiming to leverage such advantages as free admission, a striking garden to go with the art masterpieces, and a tram ride to a hilltop perch in Brentwood that affords sweeping vistas of L.A."

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