Author Archives: Katherine Boyle

Egypt fights looters stealing its antiquities with spacecraft and statecraft

The closest comparison is Swiss cheese: holes in vast swaths of land where looters, armed with machine guns and bulldozers, take to ancient archaeological sites in search of international paydays. To the untrained eye, these holes, visible in satellite images, seem haphazard. But to experts, these deep pits, spanning acres of land, are the work of sophisticated traffickers.

Read full article >>

Hirshhorn Interim Director Kerry Brougher to become director of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum

Kerry Brougher, the interim director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, will become director of the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum in Los Angeles. News of the final negotiations was first reported by Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. An academy spokesman confirmed the report that Brougher will lead the forthcoming museum, a $300 million project expected to break ground later this year.

Read full article >>

‘Art Everywhere’ advertising campaign to celebrate American masters

Come summer, billboard advertisements across America will get an artistic overhaul from Lichtenstein, de Kooning, Pollock and others.

In August, images of 50 great American artworks will pop up on as many as 50,000 billboards, subway platforms and public advertorial displays across the country as part of “Art Everywhere” campaign celebrating America’s artistic legacy. The campaign is coordinated by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America in concert with five museums: the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Read full article >>

Planning commission goes to war with Gehry Partners over Eisenhower Memorial design

The National Capital Planning Commission voted 7 to 3 to disapprove the design and building plans for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. The commission accepted the NCPC executive director’s recommendation that Gehry Partners ’ design be amended because of the proposed size, scale and configuration of the large columns and tapestries on the four-acre site in Southwest Washington.

Read full article >>

Air and Space Museum’s Milestones of Flight gallery begins two-year renovation

Since the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum opened in 1976, its entrance, filled with famous aircraft and artifacts, has remained largely unchanged. But the Milestones of Flight gallery is about to receive a major overhaul thanks to a $30 million donation from Boeing, the largest single corporate gift the Smithsonian has ever received. The renovation is set to begin this month and will take two years to complete, opening in 2016 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Air and Space Museum and the 100th anniversary of Boeing. The first extensive renovation of the grand hall will kick off years of change for Washington’s most popular museum in need of an updated design to match a broadening educational mission.

Read full article >>

Federal appropriations requests increased for Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art in 2015

Federal appropriation requests for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art increased in President Obama’s 2015 fiscal year budget, released Tuesday. While budget appropriations likely will change once congressional appropriation committees weigh in, the proposed increases to arts funding accompany sweeping increases to federal spending that total more than $55 billion in new appropriations.

Read full article >>

For real ‘Monument Woman,’ saving Afghan treasures is unglamorous but richly rewarding

Laura Tedesco hasn’t seen the film yet. But the State Department’s “Monument Woman” knows exactly what she would do if rockets rained down on the National Museum of Afghanistan.

“If I were at the museum and it were being rocketed, you better believe I’d be like, “Wait! I’ll get the Kanishka, you get the Buddha!’ ” Tedesco said. “All the other people at the museum would say the same thing.”

Read full article >>

For Paris couture shows, venues as chic as the fashions they showcase

Just hours before the Versace couture show began in Paris last month, Donatella, the creative force behind the brassy Italian house, snapped a photo of the most glittering piece on display.

“My beautiful room!” she wrote on Instagram of a neo-baroque chandelier, dozens of which hang in the former Hôtel Potocki, where Versace staged its 2014 spring couture show. Before any of her Swarovski-encrusted models sailed through the city palace — which now, fittingly, houses the Paris Chamber of Commerce — bundles of purple, orange and gold stage lights illuminated the 19-century fixtures, turning the gilded room into a Technicolor mirage. As is custom at Paris fashion shows, the artistry of the setting matched the workmanship of the clothes. Though Donatella’s muse of season, Lady Gaga, sat front row, many eyes were fixed on the ceiling.

Read full article >>

Smithsonian will not reopen Arts and Industries Building after renovation

The Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building, one of the oldest buildings on the Mall, will not reopen after a $55 million renovation, according to Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough. The original home of the Smithsonian museums has been closed for renovations since 2004 but was scheduled to reopen this year after ongoing maintenance and renovation.

Read full article >>