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.
March 18, 2012 |
The CIA couldn't do a better stealth job than the Barnes Foundation. With the new Barnes museum set to open in mere weeks, the foundation appears to have carried out much of the complex job - almost industrial in its scale, but oh so delicate in its handling - of packing up and moving billions of dollars in art objects from the suburban Main Line to a new home on the Parkway. Like any proper covert operation, this one is being undertaken on a need-to-know basis, and those in the know aren't talking.
December 24, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - Television's highest-earning actress and a San Francisco art museum chief are two of the key figures in the bid to establish a new museum on the National Mall in Washington devoted to the history and culture of American Latinos. But Eva Longoria, who will rally public support for a bill in Congress to create the museum, and Jonathan Yorba, chairman of the museum-lobbying group that picked her, also played key roles in the creation of a problem-plagued Los Angeles museum and cultural center focused on the contributions of Mexican Americans in Southern California.
November 25, 2011 |
Terror, patriotism, the free market, racial equality: It's not farfetched to say that the issues of the American Revolution still obsess us. Now, with the announcement that a new Museum of the American Revolution will open in 2015 at Third and Chestnut, we will have a place dedicated to sorting them out. "It's a great opportunity to really deepen our understanding of the formative moment," says Daniel Richter, director of the McNeil Center for...
November 20, 2011 |
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln is mounted under glass, like a diamond in a snow globe, in its new home at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. The lead ball and several skull fragments from the 16th president are in a tall, antique case overlooking a Civil War exhibit in a museum gallery in Silver Spring, just off the Capital Beltway. The military museum, known for its collection of morbid oddities, moved in September from the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
August 28, 2011 |
SOFIA, Bulgaria - Giant statues of Soviet dictators Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin. Paintings of enthusiastic socialist laborers. A huge red star that graced Communist Party headquarters. As Europe marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet collapse, this nation that's still shaking off its troubled communist legacy is opening a museum dedicated to the totalitarian past. A debate is raging on whether the museum romanticizes the Soviet era or teaches new generations about its horrors.
July 31, 2011 |
On an otherwise unremarkable day about a decade ago, Lloyd DeWitt found himself poking around in the storage vaults of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Recently hired as assistant curator for the John G. Johnson Collection, DeWitt was seeking a deeper familiarity with the breadth of the collection, bequeathed to the museum in 1917. Among the paintings packed away in the darkness was a small head of Christ painted on wood and attributed by a stream of scholars to Rembrandt's workshop, but not to the great 17th-century master himself.
May 21, 2011
Museum recalls 'Freedom Riders' MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Several of the "Freedom Riders" who were attacked by a white mob in Alabama's capital city in 1961 as they tried to integrate Southern bus stations returned to a former Greyhound station Friday for its dedication as a museum. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia said he teared up when he walked through the station where he was beaten on May 20, 1961. He said the celebration Friday showed how far the nation had come. When the Freedom Riders set out to integrate bus stations in 1961, then-Alabama Gov. John Patterson called them fools.
May 3, 2011 |
John Fitch was so penniless that he leased his only horse to farmers. So he was relying on his own legs that Sunday in April 1785 as he trod the four miles from the Neshaminy Presbyterian Church to his lodgings in rural Warminster, Bucks County. A prodigious walker, Fitch was hobbled by an arthritic knee, so his pace was more akin to a saunter, conducive to rumination. When a horse-drawn carriage passed by, a thought arose: Why not harness steam to propel such a vehicle? Though Fitch had only two years of formal education and had never seen a steam engine, he was a mechanical genius who resolved to create one on paper.
May 1, 2011 |
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - A museum focusing on early civil rights history in western Massachusetts has opened. The W.E.B. Du Bois Center recently unveiled the Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers and will feature items related to the African-American experience in Berkshire County and the rest of the state. The museum will display rare books and documents connected with civil rights icons such as Frederick Douglass, performer Paul Robeson, writer Langston Hughes, and Great Barrington-born civil rights pioneer Du Bois.