July 5, 2013 |
Dancer and choreographer Joan Myers Brown, the founder of Philadanco and a commanding presence in the world of dance and arts education, and Laurie Olin, whose landscape-architecture firm is responsible for revitalizing the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and many other public spaces in the city, have been named recipients of the National Medal of the Arts, the White House announced Wednesday. In announcing the 12 winners of the nation's highest civic honor for excellence in the arts, President Obama cited Brown, 80, for carving out "an artistic haven for African American dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities.
March 7, 2012 |
After a few brief words of praise, the city Art Commission gave its unanimous blessing Wednesday to a soaring Ellsworth Kelly sculpture proposed by the Barnes Foundation for its new site on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. "This was an easy one," said architect Emanuel Kelly, a commission member. The commission's chairman, painter Moe Brooker, lauded the Barnes for bringing such high-profile attention to contemporary art. "I find that very exciting," he said. The Kelly sculpture, a slender stainless steel blade rising 40 feet, was commissioned and donated to the Barnes by the Neubauer Family Foundation.
January 23, 2009 |
In moments of sorrow, some like to send flowers. The museum world sends art. Starting just weeks after the death in June of Philadelphia Museum of Art director Anne d'Harnoncourt, the museum began receiving paintings, drawings and other items given in her memory. Among the gems: a small Georges Seurat oil on wood donated by Jacqueline Matisse Monnier, granddaughter of Henri Matisse; a Frank Stella painting from Museum of Modern Art president emerita Agnes Gund; and a colored-pencil drawing by Claes Oldenburg given by friend of four decades Marion Boulton Stroud, founder of the Fabric Workshop and Museum.
September 8, 2008 |
In death as in life, she got them to look at art. And to Anne d'Harnoncourt last night, they said thank you and good-bye. About 2,000 friends, colleagues and admirers gathered at the Academy of Music for a warm and polished tribute to d'Harnoncourt, the longtime Philadelphia Museum of Art director whose death from a heart attack June 1 shook the local arts community and the tight-knit international art establishment. The event, held on what would have been her 65th birthday, may not mitigate the kind of grief and dismay that has gripped the Art Museum in the last few months, but it does draw down an unofficial curtain on a summer of mourning.
November 10, 1998
Little did Philadelphians know, but the recent fight to save the Dream Garden mosaic was actually Round Two in the struggle to preserve privately owned artwork that's on public display. And Round One was a loss by knockout. More than a year before casino mogul Steve Wynn eyed Dream Garden, another work - the sprawling Ellsworth Kelly wall sculpture that, for decades, graced a downtown lobby - was purchased, carted off, resold and then donated to New York's Museum of Modern Art. The story of the Kelly sale, unearthed only now, is another wake-up call - as is the disturbing news, arrived last week, that there's still a "For Sale" sign on the Dream Garden.
November 12, 1986 |
An abstract painting by Jasper Johns, expected to fetch no more than $2 million, sold for $3.63 million at Sotheby's galleries, setting what Sotheby's said was a record for a work by Johns, for any contemporary artwork at auction and for any living artist. The 1959 work, an encaustic-and-newspaper collage titled Out the Window, was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder. "Collectors are willing to pay this kind of price because true masterpieces such as Out the Window are few and far between," said Lucy Mitchell-Innes, Sotheby's expert on contemporary art. The collage was one of nine paintings consigned by New York taxi-fleet heiress Ethel Scull, who battled her ex-husband, Robert, for 11 years in divorce court over possession of their extensive collection of contemporary art; she won title to Out the Window after a coin toss.
December 7, 1994 |
A specialist with the FBI met with Lower Merion police yesterday to discuss the investigation of what police say may be the largest art theft ever on the Main Line. Paintings worth approximately $900,000 were taken last week from a home at 1100 Ginkgo Lane in Gladwyne, police said. Works by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselman and Ellsworth Kelly are among the items reported stolen. The Kelly canvas, measuring 9 feet by 9 feet, is valued at $500,000, according to a Lower Merion police report.
March 19, 2012
"THAT IS the last goddamn straw!" roared Dr. Albert C. Barnes.The long-dead Dr. Barnes was complaining about the stark, stainless-steel sculpture commissioned to "grace" the exterior of the new Barnes Foundation Museum that is racing toward a May 19 opening (in time for the tourist season). The sculpture, by Ellsworth Kelly, is a 40-foot Popsicle stick with a zigzag center. "It looks like a giant middle finger held up to torment me," growled the ghost of the cremated Dr. Barnes.
April 30, 2013 |
Bernie Mason spent World War II moving Army tanks, sometimes picking them up and setting them down with his bare hands. He's not superhuman. And the tanks weren't some ultralight secret weapon. It was combat trickery. As a 21-year-old lieutenant, Mason helped lead a handpicked unit of artists and creative thinkers who deployed and arranged highly detailed, inflatable rubber tanks - and trucks, jeeps, and artillery - to fool the Germans into thinking the Americans had more firepower than they actually did or that the equipment was somewhere other than where it really was. Officially, the unit was the 23d Headquarters Special Troops.
July 2, 2012 |
Every so often Works on Paper Gallery sheds its somewhat staid personality as a purveyor of prints and drawings by blue-chip contemporary artists, and the change is so abrupt — so seemingly out of nowhere — that it always makes me smile. It turns out that Evan Slepian, the gallery's owner, fell under under the spell of street art four years ago and will probably continue his presentations of urban artists he admires. The latest to be given the privilege of reinventing the gallery's main space is Then One, an artist, designer, illustrator, and muralist who lives in northern New Jersey.