umbrella on line

ISSN 0160-0699

Volume 30, No. 1, Mar 2007

News and Notes


MOMA has created a new curatorial department to focus exclusively on the growing number of contemporary artworks that use sound and moving images in gallery installations. Klaus Biesenbach was named chief curator of the New Media Department.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has put inventories for its archival collections on its website. These guides to the museum’s paper, sound and video archives allow researchers to establish what materials are available for study before visiting in person. MoMA is among a handful of institutions pioneering this type of resource.

Bode Museum in Berlin has reopened after almost 8 years as home to the city’s sculpture collection, a trove of Byzantine art and old master paintings. With renovations to the tune of $200 million, the neo-Baroque building which opened in 1904 and was severely damaged in World War II, is the second museum to open on Museum Island in Berlin.

Museo Nazionale Alinari delle Fotografia in the former dining hall of Florence’s Santa Maria Novella convent, contains 20 of the collection’s most important works and recreated them in relief for the benefit of the visually-impaired. There are also Braille descriptions throughout what is known as the Museo Tattile (Tactile Museum), a separate section inside the new building.


George Brecht: El Sourdog Hex is an exhbition of sculptures, drawings and statements from 1959 - 1973 at El Sourdog Hex, Zimmerstrasse 77 in Berlin, Germany. 22 January - 3 March.

Bank Art

Manhattan’s Park Avenue Bank branch has an exhibition of 10 Andy Warhol portraits, silkscreens of Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, Gertrude Stein and the Marx Brothers. They are on loan from the Jewish Museum, which recently acquired them.

Lost And Found

Found: The earliest realistic depiction of Stonehenge has been discovered in a manuscript dating to around 1440, in a library in Douai, in northern France. It shows a birds’ eye view of the stones, presenting the structure’s circular form and showing how it was constructed. It dates to AD 480-486. But the image is thought to be the first made from direct observation.

Found: A place to show Sol LeWitt’s work for 25 years, thanks to a colalboration with Yale University Art Gallery with a three-storey building at MASSMoCA.

Lost: 2 paintings by Picasso worth about $66 million have been stolen from a Left Bank home in Paris, the home of Picasso’s granddaughter. “Maya with Doll” (2948 and “Portrait of Jacqueline” (1961) were taken by night at the end of February. . Two drawings, one by Picasso, were also stolen.

DATELINE: Clarksville, TN

In Clarksille, Tennesse, the Customs House Museum canned the exhibit, The Fat is in the Fire by William Gentry, art student at Austin Peay State University. The museum’s director, Ned Crouch, removed Gentry’s three deep-fried flags because he thought they offended 99 percent of the Clarksville community. Gentry said he deep-fried three flags in peanut oil, egg batter, flour and black pepper to comment on obesity in America. His flags were printed with prhases such as “Poor people are obese because they eat poorly.”

DATELINE: Kennesaw, GA

An artist who opened to stir debate over global warming with his 175-ton quartzite and bronze scupture, Spaceship Earth, is instead struggling to solve the mystery of its spectacular crash at Kennesaw State University in Georgia on 29 December 2006.

Just three months old, the $1 million globe crated by Finnish-born artist Eino, was made of 88 chunks of Brazilian quartzite and adorned with raised bronze, signifying landmasses. A bronze statue of David Brower, a conservationist who was the first executive director of the Sierra Club, stood atop the 13-foot globe, and is now partly crushed. A steel time capsule, intended to be opened in 3006, is exposed amid the rubble.

Eino believes it was vandalism, not his craftsmanship, that caused the tumble, but Cobb county police had said they do not think vandalism caused the collapse. Some see the destruction as a symbolic need to care for the fragile earth.


Louis Kahn’s 1953 building at Yale University, the Art Gallery, has been restored to its remarkable artistry by Polshek Partnership Architects, with bold geometric forms, crisp lines, sensitive use of light, and the tactile love of materials. This is part of a larger renovation of the corner of Yale which contains Paul Rudolphs 1963 Art & Architecture building, now being renovated by Charles Gwathmey, and the construction of an addition for art history students across the street.

DATELINE: Battersea (London)

Gu Dexin, who is described one of China’s leading contemporary artists, has created an installation in a British ower station in Battersea. China Power Station: Part 1 consists of 100,000 apples left to rot in an iron cage. Critics think it’s a comment about the environment.

DATELINE: Luxembourg

Luxembourg is Europe’s new capital of culture and as a reesult has created the Museum of Modern Art (Mudam) designed by Ioh Ming Pei, the U.S.-Chinese architect of the Louvre Pyramid.


The new Beijing Centre for Creativity showcases digital artwork and hopes to ignite new ideas across the country. This is both showcase and studio, a web-wired museum and factory. Displayed are multimedia art, art films, digital video, interactive art, installation art, 3-D animation, online games and art, information technology, design, graphic design, architectural design, and fashion design. The concept is to create a World Art Museum, China’s first. Contributions will come from Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.