NOTICED ON THE INTERWEBS-
- Oops. No, I mean REALLY oops. wow. Dudes, when your museum is full of Picassos and Matisses and your alarm system breaks, don't mail-order the replacement parts.
- And speaking of oopsies, a clerical error has resulted in the Wedgwood Museum being on the hook for L134 million in pension debt, and may force the sale of the renowned collection. Read the rest of the story
- Arakawa, Whose Art Tried to Halt Aging, Dies at 73: "Arakawa, a Japanese-born conceptual artist and designer, who with his wife, Madeline Gins, explored ideas about mortality by creating buildings meant to stop aging and preclude death, died Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 73. He had been hospitalized for a week, said Ms. Gins, who declined to give the cause of death. "This mortality thing is bad news,” Ms. Gins said by phone from her studio on Houston Street. She said she would redouble her efforts to prove that “aging can be outlawed.” Arakawa, who was known professionally by his surname, and Ms. Gins explored their philosophy, which they called Reversible Destiny, in poems, books, paintings and, when they found clients, buildings. Their most recent work, a house on Long Island, had a steeply sloped floor that threatened to send visitors hurtling into its kitchen. Called Bioscleave House (Lifespan Extending Villa), it featured more than three dozen paint colors; level changes meant to induce the sensation of being in two places at once; windows that seemed too high or too low; oddly angled light switches and outlets; and an absence of doors that would have permitted occupants even a modicum of privacy..." Here's the rest of the story ... and here's a slideshow about the house
May 21, 1471 - Albrecht Dürer, German painter and printmaker, was born in Nuremberg. "His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since. His well-known works include the Apocalypse woodcuts, Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolours mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium."
May 21, 1902 - Marcel Lajos Breuer, architect and furniture designer, was born. "One of the masters of Modernism, Breuer displayed interest in modular construction and simple forms. Known to his friends and associates as Lajkó, Breuer studied and taught at the Bauhaus in the 1920s. He later practiced in Berlin, designing houses and commercial spaces. In the 1920s and 1930s, Breuer pioneered the design of tubular steel furniture. Later in his career he would also turn his attention to the creation of innovative and experimental wooden furniture."
May 21, 1909: Berta Hummel (Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel), creator of the art which became the Hummel figurines, was born. "Born in Massing, Bavaria, she attended the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich in 1927 and entered the Franciscan Convent of Siessen in Bad Saulgau after she graduated in 1931. She spent her spare time painting pictures of children, which were made into popular postcards. Soon afterward, Franz Goebel, the owner of a porcelain company, saw the artwork. The convent granted him permission to make figurines based on Hummel's art. The first collection came out in 1935 and was an instant hit. In 1937, she published a painting titled "The Volunteers", which drew the enduring hatred of Adolf Hitler; one Nazi magazine wrote of her work: "there is no place in the ranks of German artists for the likes of her. No, the 'beloved Fatherland' cannot remain calm when Germany's youth are portrayed as brainless sissies." Hummel died at age 37 from tuberculosis. She was buried in the convent cemetery. Goebel, his team of artists, and the other nuns carried on her legacy through the figurines, all of which are based on her artwork."
ON OUR SHELVES-
May 21, 1951: The 9th Street Art Exhibition, also known as the Ninth Street Show, opened. This ground-breaking exhibition was a gathering of a number of notable artists, and it was the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively known as the New York School. The opening of the show was a great success. According to Altshuler, "It appeared as though a line had been crossed, a step into a larger art world whose future was bright with possibility."
ON OUR SHELVES-
“The Pacific Arts of Polynesia & Micronesia”
By Adrienne L. Kaeppler.
Published by the Oxford University Press in 2008.
“Comprising thousands of islands and hundreds of cultural groups, Polynesia and Micronesia cover a vast swath of the Pacific Ocean, stretching from Hawaii to the coral islands of Kiribati. This book introduces the rich artistic traditions of these two regions, beautifully illustrated with 100 color photos and 25 additional photos and drawings. From the textiles of Tonga to the canoes of Tahiti, Adrienne Kaeppler (a curator of Oceanic Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution) sheds light on religious and sacred rituals and objects, carving, architecture, tattooing, personal ornaments, basket making, clothing, textiles, fashion, the oral arts, dance, music and musical instruments, and boatbuilding”.