Posts Tagged ‘Permanent Collection’
Christian Dior, Fall 2013 Collection
Fashion weeks are winding down, and once again many designers turned to art and art history for divine inspiration. At Christian Dior, Raf Simon recently partnered with the Andy Warhol Foundation to incorporate some of Warhol’s sketches from the 1950s into the house’s fall 2013 collection. Vogue’s Editor-at-Large, Hamish Bowles was charmed by the dainty flowers, pesky-looking birds, and glamorous beauty profiles that accented some of the looks that came sashaying down the runway. The Warhol Foundation is doing a very low-to-high-end job of licensing Warhol’s work into tons of contemporary products, from fragrances and skateboards to champagne, and now the Parisian runway.
Norton Simon Museum
As I was finishing up in this exhibition, I overheard a tour being given to what I presumed was a UCLA summer painting course. “We have the Getty in our own backyard, but the Getty’s collection kinda sucks. The Norton Simon’s is the really great collection of LA,” the teacher harped. I am paraphrasing. While I detest uninformed and unnecessary opinions (especially from arts educators) about which museum has the “best” collection, I can’t deny the Norton Simon has a pretty amazing one, and I don’t even like Impressionism. Significant Objects: The Spell of the Still Life presents a thematic cross section of the museum’s diverse collections and is an examination of “the ways in which these ostensibly mundane and insignificant subjects [harsh!] portrayed in painting and sculpture and works on paper are indeed significant.” Significant Objects does not present groundbreaking, paradigm shift-type discoveries or research, but is a huge success as a rich, educational opportunity for general audiences utilizing the permanent collection. Permanent collection show hurray! Here are the facts:
LACMA’s near acre of new exhibition space, the Resnick Pavilion, means LACMA has a lot of exhibitions to program. And they seem up to the task. After the three inaugural shows (Olmec, Fashion, and Eye for the Sensual), LACMA has managed to keep the Resnick Pavilion at full capacity. There are three shows currently in the space: David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, and LACMA’s ticketed blockbuster: Tim Burton. The shows keep with Michael Govan’s strategy for offering unrelated coinciding shows in the Resnick Pavilion.
Across from the Resnick Pavilion, is Renzo Piano’s other LACMA building, BCAM; it too has been kept full. The top floor is still stocked with Broadworks, the second floor is being deinstalled from the recent permanent collection show Human Nature, and the ground floor just had one of the massive Serra sculptures deinstalled, to make room for a new Burden work, which is going to be AWESOME.
Art Institute of Chicago
So I know, the holidays are over, and I missed this occasion slightly, but I still wanted to dish briefly, mostly to focus on the massive amounts of advertising the Art Institute did for this campaign. If you’ve walked in the Loop past a vacant storefront building, you’ve surely seen the massive ads about what’s going on at the Art Institute for the holidays. Or if you’ve been in a subway car recently you might have noticed. You know how sometimes a single advertiser will buy out all the ad space in an entire subway car? You could be in a car with only blackberry ads and find yourself really needing the ability to BBM. Well the Art institute did the same; one night I found myself overwhelmed with ads about something going on at the Art Institute called “Home for the Holidays”—there was even ads for it on the ceiling of the subway car.
The “Home for the Holidays” campaign was a concise (cost effective?) way of promoting several new things at the museum rolled into one campaign. Those things being: 1-the wreathing of the lions, 2 – the decorating of the Thorne Miniature rooms in holiday décor, 3 – the reinstallation of Chagall’s American Windows, and 4 – the installation of the museum collection of arms and amour. And although Chagall’s stained-glass windows aren’t so holiday themed, they sure reek of holiday spirit compared to suits of armor and battle axes.
The wreathing of the lions is a tradition now in its nineteenth year. Last year (2009) the Art Institute mixed tradition up a bit and had a design firm create contemporary wreaths for the lions. This year, the museum commissioned the Chicago-based firm Materious to design the lions’ holiday garb: giant cranberry wreathes. The rich pinks and reds are a strong punctuation on snow-filled Michigan Ave. (The wreaths also light up at night, and are solar-powered, oh hey!) The wreaths look a whole lot better than what they do to the lions when any local sports team wins a championship, and a whole lot better than the shoddy decorations over at the Field. Also notice how the wreaths match the graphics in the “Home for the Holidays” ad campaign.
Be prepared to be underwhelmed with the holiday decoration of the Thorne Rooms. (Full disclosure, I’ve always disliked the Thorne Rooms, but I know that a lot of people love them.) Only a measly six of the rooms were decorated this year; the museum says it’s going to make this a tradition so eventually maybe all the rooms will be dressed up. The decorations are tiny (duh) but also very hard to see, the English Victorian Era room has a Christmas tree, and someone decided the rich people who own the midcentury modern California room are Jewish.
The Chagall windows really did come “Home for the Holidays;” they haven’t been seen for five years during the construction of the Modern Wing. The museum also organized a small exhibition about the legacy of public art in Chicago with models and projects to accompany the windows’ return. The windows also went in for some heavy cleaning, shown in the video below.
The other things that came home (for the holidays) was a selection of the museum’s George F. Harding Jr. Arms and Armor Collection. The installation is complete with a fully-armed knight on horseback, massive tapestries, and cannon. While this installation has nothing to do with the holidays (come on, you know it doesn’t), the wall text gives a hint about to exciting things. It reads: “This temporary installation of arms and armor […] Plans are underway for a larger permanent installation […] This new gallery will be part of a series of galleries that feature the museum’s important collection of medieval and Renaissance Art.” Clearly some large-scale reinstallations are afoot at the Art Institute, ones that are probably going to affect large portions of its well-loved and loved-to-be-seen permanent collection of European art. I wonder how this will affect the museum in the coming years.
P.S. This story peeked my interest today. Starting in June, the Art Institute is getting rid of its free Thursday evening hours, quoting low attendance as a factor. Ahem, I have class on Thursday evenings across the street and know that the line to get in wraps around the building. Okay, I’ll be fair: the museum spokesperson said not enough Chicago residents were coming on those evenings and that it was mostly out-of-towners. AKA people the museum wants visiting during regular hours and paying full ticket price. “Taking free hours off the table was never an option,” said a spokeswoman—well legally you can’t (all museums in Chicago are required to offer 52 free days), so don’t pretend like you do this out of the goodness of your heart.
P.P.S I’m on break in LA, so expect a full report from the West Coast in upcoming posts.