Renzo Piano’s new addition to the Kimbell
As if Louis Kahn’s architecture for the Kimbell Museum were not sublime enough, the grounds of this fine Fort Worth establishment are now graced by a partner pavilion a few yards away by Renzo Piano. Houstonians have long bragged about Piano’s Menil Collection and now Fort Worth can boast its own example of the Italian architect’s singular knack for seemingly weightless simplicity.
From the Kimbell Museum website: “‘Close enough for a conversation, not too close and not too far away,’ remarked architect Renzo Piano, when describing the distance from the Kimbell’s new Renzo Piano Pavilion to the Louis Kahn Building. Piano’s structure, made of glass, concrete, and wood and surrounded by elms and red oaks, stands as an expression of simplicity and lightness some 65 yards to the west of Kahn’s vaulted, luminous museum landmark of 1972.”
Kimbell Museum of Art, Renzo Piano addition:
Photo by Allison C. Meier for Hyperallergic
New Director restores main entrance at Worcester Art Musem.
Matthias Waschek, the recently appointed director of the Worcester (MA) Art Museum, recognizes that one of the museum’s finest pieces is its sixth century mosaic of a Hunting Scene from Antioch. Covering most of the floor of the Renaissance Court (above), it is a striking introduction to this exceptional museum and its collection. According to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal, museum officials had relocated the front door to a side entrance in 2008 as a cost-cutting move. “In June 2012,” reported Judith Dobrzynski, “Mr. Waschek mounted a public campaign to raise the $60,000 needed for staff to reopen them; he got more than $100,000. To celebrate, he staged a ceremonial reopening, attended by state and local dignitaries, and waived the $14 admission fee for the rest of that summer.”
German authorities promise to release list of artworks recovered in the Gurlitt apartment.
One of the most spectacular art finds in modern memory was discovered in what The Wall Street Journal described on November, 4, 2013, as “the trash-filled apartment of an elderly Munich man.” The cache is believed to be about 1,500 works that could be worth around $1.35 billion. German authorities have been investigating the owner of the apartment, Cornelius Gurlitt, for some time on tax evasion. They reportedly discovered the art in the spring of 2011 and have been trying since then to identify provenance and value. Responding to increasing pressure to speed up their investigation and identify the owners of the artworks—many of whom lost their collections to the Nazis—authorities have begun posting details on the Lost Art database site, www.lostart.de. The emerging stories of families and their connections to this art will keep this story in the headlines for some time.
Above: Henri Matisse, Woman with a Fan (Sitting Woman), 1923. This painting belonged to Paul Rosenberg, Matisse’s Paris dealer, who stored it and other works by Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso in a bank vault in southwestern France in 1940. Mr. Rosenberg, who was Jewish, fled with his family fled to the United States and later tried for years to reclaim his collection. Cornelius Gurlitt's’ father, Hildebrand, amassed most of the works found in the Munich apartment, presumably during his time as one of the agents sent to ransack occupied France in search of masterpieces for Hitler’s planned Führermuseum.
Botanical Artists Society of Korea exhibition, Insadong district, Seoul
Sung-Eun and I had no planned itinerary in the Insadong shopping district, but we were pleased to have our materialist tendencies balanced by discovering an exhibition by the Botanical Artists Society of Korea. Tucked away in one of the galleries housed in a set of hanok buildings, the show included some 30+ drawings of succulents, most done in watercolor pencil. The variety and exquisite attention to detail kept us mesmerized for quite some time. If only I could find an image to share.
The Korea Furniture Museum, Seoul
Is the Korea Furniture Museum “the most beautiful museum in Korea”? CNN travel writers seem to think so and I can affirm that it is extraordinary. Perched on a hillside along the road I call Seoul’s Mulholland Drive, this lovely compound of traditional hanok buildings is as memorable as the furniture it displays. Visitors are greeted by the aromatic scent of pine in the newer buildings constructed in the traditional style; buildings from the imperial era are also part of the museum. The Korean chests, cabinets, boxes, and trunks from the imperial period to the modern era have been assembled by one collector and are displayed in a series of niches. Each niche may be closed off with a set of sliding screens, although why one would want to do so is unclear. A set of rooms in the Ladies’ Pavilion provide an idea of how sheltered Korean aristocratic ladies were. The view through the windows does indeed bring the outdoors in, as the guides observe, in order to emphasize the idea of being in harmony with nature. I recommend visiting in spring or fall to see nature in the most complete harmony with this lovely museum.
Photo by Leann Davis Alspaugh
The McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College and its Courbet exhibition
Surrounded by the formidable neo-Gothic buildings of the Boston College campus, this exceptional museum never fails to mount tightly-focused and provocative exhibitions. On view through December 8 is Courbet: Mapping Realism in which the curators explore Courbet’s influence on Belgian and American art. Courbet was long misunderstood in his native France, but his influence was considerable in Belgium and he was elated at his reception in America: “What care I for the Salon, what care I for honors, when art students of a new and great country know and appreciate my works?”
Read my review here
Photo: A view of the Courbet exhibit installation, © Boston College