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Art History

Paris Musées Releases 100,000 Images of Artworks for Unrestricted Public Use

January 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

Setting Sun on the Seine at Lavacourt” by Claude Monet (1880), oil on canvas, part of the collection at Petit Palais, Paris

This week the Paris Musées added 100,000 digital copies of its artworks to the public domain, making them free and unrestricted for the public to download and use. From Claude Monet’s “Setting Sun on the Seine at Lavacourt” to Paul Cézanne’s “Portrait of Ambroise Vollard,” the collection contains work from artists, such as Gustave Courbet, Victor Hugo, and Rembrandt, that are housed at 14 museums in Paris like the Musée d’Art Moderne, Petit Palais, and even the catacombs.

Each file contains the high-resolution image, a description about the piece, and the location of the original work, in addition to an exhibition history and citation tips. Most of the images available right now capture 2D works, although there are lower resolution files available of pieces that are not yet in the public domain, providing visitors to the site a chance to view more of the museums’ collections. The site also offers virtual exhibitions, with a project centered on the collections at Maison de Victor Hugo currently on view. (via Hyperallergic)

Portrait of Juliette Courbet” by Gustave Courbet (1844), oil on canvas, part of the collection at Petit Palais

Portrait of Ambroise Vollard” by Paul Cézanne (1899), oil on canvas, part of the collection at Petit Palais, Paris

Julia Jackson from the front ‘Stella’” by Julia Margaret Cameron (1867), photograph printed on albumen paper, part of the collection at Maison de Victor Hugo

Presentation in the Temple” by Jacques Daret (1434-1435), oil on wood, part of the collection at Petit Palais, Paris

Bronze medal of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (19th century), part of the collection at Musée Carnavalet

Portrait of Mr. Victor Hugo” by Léon Bonnat (1879), oil on canvas, part of the collection at Maison de Victor Hugo

Thirty-seven portraits of Voltaire” by Dominique Vivant-Denon (1775), print, part of the collection at Musée Carnavalet

 

 

 



Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art Will Collect Work Exclusively by Female-Identifying Artists in 2020

November 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Dwell: Aso Ebi” by Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2017), at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchased as the gift of Nancy L. Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff, Baltimore, in Honor of Kristen Hileman

2020, with its pleasing, almost futuristic symmetry, marks a timeframe to which many visioning plans drafted in the past 20 years were tied. This coming year will show whether the cultural, sustainability, and diversity plans from cities, companies, and organizations around the world will be achieved on schedule. One institution has recently declared a 2020 plan that’s a bold step toward equity and inclusion in the canon-making field of art museum collecting.

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced that in the coming year, all new acquisitions will be works by female-identifying artists. Shown here are several new acquisitions, many of which will be on display in 2020; all 22 exhibitions planned for the coming year are centered on female artists.

According to a statement from the Museum, the BMA is “working to shift the scales within its collections, acknowledging that women artists are still underrepresented in the museum field and within museum collections. We hope this will serve as a model and a first step towards better representation within our field.”

“No Apartheid Anywhere” by Valerie Maynard (1995)

Of the 95,000 works in the BMA’s permanent collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art, only 3,800 were created by women. Accounting for multiple pieces by the same artist, the number of female artists represented tallies 1,500.

“You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko. To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical,” Museum director Christopher Bedford said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun.

Explore more of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s collections and upcoming shows on their website, and stay up-to-date on new acquisitions via Instagram and Twitter.

“…we lost…for those who bear/bare witness” by Ebony G. Patterson (2018), at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Photograph: courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

“A Moment’s Pleasure” (installation view) by Mickalene Thomas, at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo: Mitro Hood

“Planes, rockets, and the spaces in between” by Amy Sherald (2018), at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

 

 



Design

The Twist: A New Gallery in Kistefos Sculpture Park Connects Two River Banks

September 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A sinuous new gallery and bridge reaches across the Randselva River in Jevnaker, Norway. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the aluminum-clad structure joins north and south river fronts on the campus of Kistefos Sculpture Park. 15,000 square feet of space allows visitors to explore Kistefos’s large art collection while also taking in the surrounding landscape through floor-to-ceiling windows. The Twist opened to the public on September 18th, with an exhibition featuring the work of conceptual artist Martin Creed and painter Howard Hodgkin. Kistefos Sculpture Park has  ticketed admission, which includes entry to The Twist, and is open seasonally from the end of May to mid-November. (via Design Milk)

 

 



Art

Bronze Sculptures of Regal African Women by Wangechi Mutu Make History at the Metropolitan Museum

September 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The Seated I, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create four bronze sculptures of African women collectively titled “The NewOnes, will free Us.” The seated women are nearly 7 feet tall and each weigh more than 840 lbs. The sculptures are the first works of art to fill the niches of the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade since the building’s completion in 1902.

Mutu’s sculptures, individually titled The Seated I, II, III, and IV, are dressed in coiled garments and feature polished discs on different parts of their heads. This ornamentation references the jewelry and lip plates worn by women in some African tribes. They also reference the West African and Greek tradition of caryatids, female figures carved out of wood or marble that were depicted as structural or metaphorical supports.

“Caryatids throughout history have carried these buildings to express the might and the wealth of a particular place,” the Nairobi-born artist said in a video interview on The Met’s website. Looking to use her sculptures as a way to stage what The Met calls a “feminist intervention,” Mutu added that she wanted to “keep the DNA of the woman in an active pose, but I didn’t want her to carry the weight of something or someone else.”

The NewOnes, will free Us” will remain on view in the museum’s niches through January 12, 2020. Follow along with Mutu’s travels and cultural inspirations on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

The Seated II, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated III, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated IV, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

 

 



Design

A Geological Landmark’s Phosphorescent Glow Inspires the National Museum of Qatar’s Cavernous Gift Shop

April 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Patches of natural and artificial light highlight the curved layers of the National Museum of Qatar’s recently completed gift shop. The massive undulating walls were constructed from over 40,000 pieces of timber that tower high above visitors’ heads and imitate the shape and feeling of the Dahl Al Misfir or Cave of Light. The Qatar landmark is an underground formation that contains a wealth of gypsum deposits, which illuminate the cave with a phosphorescent glow and often form clusters of rose-shaped crystals known as “desert roses.”

Koichi Takada Architects wanted to connect visitors to the museum back to Qatari desert landscapes, while also creating a natural extension of the “Desert Rose” concept created for the museum by French architect Jean Nouvel. In addition to the museum shop, the architects also designed its restaurants, including the Desert Rose Cafe, Cafe 875, and Jiwan Restaurant. You can see more of the firm’s previous projects on their website and Instagram, and take a look at the museum’s exterior here. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Artist JR Transforms the Louvre With a 2000-Piece Paper Optical Illusion

March 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images via @JRArt on Twitter

With the help of a small army of 400 volunteers, French artist JR (previously) pasted thousands of strips of paper around the Louvre in Paris, turning the courtyard around the museum into a massive optical illusion. Installed in honor of the structure’s 30th anniversary, the collage titled “The Secret of the Great Pyramid” provides a glimpse at what may lie beneath the iconic glass pyramid.

A follow-up to his 2016 work that made the museum disappear against the backdrop of the Louvre Palace, JR’s new illusion reveals a construction site with the tip of the pyramid at its center and a much larger structure extending down into a rocky quarry. In a “Photo of the Day” post on his website, the artist explains that the installation was designed to last a single weekend. “The images, like life, are ephemeral,” JR writes. “Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.”

Some visitors took pieces of the installation home, while other strips torn by foot traffic have been discarded. To see more of JR’s large-scale photo installations, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

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Photography

A Traveling Exhibition of 100 Stunning Selections from the 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

January 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"The golden couple" by Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands, Grand Title Winner 2018, Animal Portraits

“The golden couple,” Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands, Grand Title Winner 2018, Animal Portraits

Last fall Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten was the overall winner of the 54th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (previously) after being selected from over 45,000 submissions. His image, The Golden Couple, captures a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys against a wooded backdrop. Their bright blue faces glow against the lush forest of China’s Qinling Mountains—the only habitat where the endangered primates are found in the wild.

In total there were 19 category winners from the tens of thousands who submitted images of wildlife and natural environments from all corners of the globe. Winning images included a wasp carrying a perfectly round segment of mud, two owls nestled snuggly in a pipe, and a leopard dreaming on a low branch. The winners, plus a selection of other entries from the competition, are currently in an exhibition which will travel to Canada, Spain, Australia, and Germany. The next stop for “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” is the Field Museum in Chicago, which opens March 22 and runs through January 2020. (via Block Club Chicago)

"Pipe owls," Arshdeep Singh, India, Winner 2018, 10 Years and Under

“Pipe owls,” Arshdeep Singh, India, Winner 2018, 10 Years and Under

"Hellbent," David Herasimtschuk, USA, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles

“Hellbent,” David Herasimtschuk, USA, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles

"Mud-rolling mud-dauber," Georgina Steytler, Australia, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Invertebrates

“Mud-rolling mud-dauber,” Georgina Steytler, Australia, Winner 2018, Behaviour: Invertebrates

"Night flight," Michael Patrick O’Neill, USA, Winner 2018, Under Water

“Night flight,” Michael Patrick O’Neill, USA, Winner 2018, Under Water

"Windsweep," Orlando Fernandez Miranda, Spain, Winner 2018, Earth’s Environments

“Windsweep,” Orlando Fernandez Miranda, Spain, Winner 2018, Earth’s Environments

"Mother defender," Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain, Winner 2018, Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award

“Mother defender,” Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain, Winner 2018, Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award

"Lounging leopard," by Skye Meaker, South Africa, Grand Title Winner 2018, 15-17 Years Old

“Lounging leopard,” Skye Meaker, South Africa, Grand Title Winner 2018, 15-17 Years Old

"Bed of seals," Cristobal Serrano, Spain, Winner 2018, Animals in their environment

“Bed of seals,” Cristobal Serrano, Spain, Winner 2018, Animals in their environment

 

 

 

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Sailing Ship Kite