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Secretary Kerry to award 2014 U.S. State Dept. Medal of Arts

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 11:23

US Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry. Image courtesy of US Department of State

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John Kerry will award the second U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts during a luncheon ceremony at 12:15 p.m. on January 21, 2015, in the Department's Benjamin Franklin Room.

The Department of State's office of Art in Embassies (AIE) confirmed that the distinguished recipients are Xu Bing, Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, Maya Lin, Julie Mehretu, Pedro Reyes, and Kehinde Wiley.

These seven artists will be honored for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the AIE program and international cultural exchange.

Art in Embassies was initiated by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, and formalized as part of the Department of State by the Kennedy Administration in 1963. One of the United States' premier arts organizations, AIE's public-private partnership has engaged over 20,000 individual and institutional participants in over 200 venues in 190 countries worldwide.

Over the past 52 years, AIE has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy by promoting cross-cultural dialogue through the visual arts, and by sponsoring dynamic artist exchanges worldwide. In 2012 AIE initiated the biennial U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts award to formally acknowledge artists who have played an instrumental role in promoting creativity, collaboration and understanding in support of American diplomacy.

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US Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry. Image courtesy of US Department of State

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 11:32

Guggenheim names Sara Raza for curatorial residency

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 13:22

Sara Raza. Guggenheim image.

NEW YORK – London-based curator, critic and editor Sara Raza has been selected for the third curatorial residency of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. In her role as the future Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa, Raza will join June Yap (South and Southeast Asia), Pablo León de la Barra (Latin America) and Guggenheim staff in realizing this multiyear program, which supports contemporary art, artists, education and professional exchange in three of the world’s most diverse and dynamic regions.

Raza will be the third regional curator to accept a two-year residency with the Guggenheim Museum. She will work closely with the Guggenheim’s curatorial staff to research, identify, and acquire recent artworks by artists of Middle Eastern and North African origin that represent the most salient artistic and cultural practices of the region. Artworks chosen by Raza will enter the permanent collection and form the basis of an exhibition that will open at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2016, and subsequently travel to the region. She will also work closely with education staff at the Guggenheim and each collaborating venue to program talks, workshops, and events related to the exhibition, and will be instrumental in extending the reach of the MAP initiative through related digital content on the project’s website.

Raza is an independent curator, writer, editor and educator who works on projects in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. She is the desk editor for West and Central Asia of ArtAsiaPacific magazine, and head of education and public programs and curator of the upcoming 2015 Public Art Festival, organized by Yarat Contemporary Art Space, to coincide with the 1st European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Over the past 10 years Raza has organized numerous exhibitions at institutions including the Maraya Art Center in Sharjah, where she was adjunct associate curator from 2012 through 2014, and worked with such artists as Adel Abidin, Wafaa Bilal and Mohammend Kazem, and launched the Maraya Art Park and international residencies program for Emirati and international artists (2012-14).

A former curator of public programs at Tate Modern (2006–08),  Raza chaired, taught and programmed one third of the education events at the museum, including symposia, artist talks, and artist workshops.

Raza holds a masters in Art History and Theory (20th Century) from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently a doctoral candidate, researching post-Soviet Orientalism, at the Royal College of Art. She is currently editing a book derived from her research titled Punk Orientalism.


 Sara Raza. Guggenheim image.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 13:36

NY Met Museum's spokesman Harold Holzer to retire

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:06
Harold Holzer. Image by Don Pollard, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art NEW YORK (AP) – Harold Holzer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's longtime chief spokesman, plans to retire this summer to focus on his work as a historian and writer.

Holzer has been at the institution for 23 years, most recently as senior vice president for public affairs.

His wide-ranging responsibilities included advertising, marketing, market research, tourism and attendance.

His duties were expanded in 2005 to include visitor services and multicultural audience development.

Holzer is a leading authority on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He has authored, co-authored and edited 46 books on the subjects.

The Met says it will miss his “quick wit, wry humor, felicitous prose and savvy advice.”

Holzer says he looks forward to starting a new chapter.

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Harold Holzer. Image by Don Pollard, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 January 2015 13:52

Film director Peter Jackson helping to open WWI museum

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Written by NICK PERRY, Associated Press   
Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:49
Peter Jackson at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. Image by Gage Skidmore. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Director Peter Jackson said Wednesday he's putting his energy into helping launch a museum to commemorate World War I after finishing his Hobbit movie trilogy.

If he has any plans for future blockbusters, he's not saying.

Jackson was speaking at his New Zealand postproduction facility where he was helping host an event to promote the local film industry. Directors Jane Campion and James Cameron also attended.

Jackson is a World War I history buff who owns a number of planes from the era.

He said the plan for the Wellington museum was to open during April to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli battle.

He said more galleries would be opened over the coming four years to mark other battles in which New Zealanders fought.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported earlier that Jackson had been recruited by the government to curate the museum, and he was expected to gather aircraft, tanks and other artifacts from private and public collections.

“That's where most of my time is now, which is good,” Jackson said Wednesday. “It's fun. And it's free. The exhibits will be very, very interesting, and I'm enjoying it.”

Jackson said he was also enjoying getting some rest after finishing the Hobbit – although he wasn't entirely done, because he was still working on an extended version for DVD release.

But he said he was happy to take a break from new film projects for a while.

“It's the first time in five years that I haven't woken up in the morning and had deadlines” he said. “... no phones ringing, screaming ‘When are we going to see this? When are we going to do that?’ And I'd forgotten what that's like. So I'll let that last for a little bit longer before I destroy it.”

The trilogy finale, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, has earned $545.3 million globally after opening in most places in mid-December.


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Peter Jackson at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. Image by Gage Skidmore. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:59

Museum director who helped protect Detroit's art to retire

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Written by DAVID RUNK, Associated Press   
Friday, 09 January 2015 11:46

Graham Beal. Detroit Institute of Arts image

DETROIT (AP) – The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, who helped to protect the museum's collection from possible sale during the city's bankruptcy and spearheaded a $158 million overhaul of the cultural attraction, on Thursday announced his plan to retire.

Graham Beal plans to step aside June 30 after nearly 16 years as director, president and CEO. In a statement, he offered thanks to those whose talents and passion for the museum helped bring what he described as artistic, scholarly, political and legal success.

“It has certainly been quite a ride with some amazing highs far outweighing the other kind,” said Beal, 67.

Beal's tenure included 2001 to 2007 renovation and reinstallation of the museum's collection as well as approval of a 10-year property tax in 2012 from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to support the museum. The city's financial turmoil, however, threatened to put the museum's future in doubt.

The museum was the focus of debate over whether city-owned art should be sold to ease the blow of Detroit's bankruptcy. An $800 million promise from foundations, major corporations and the state, called the “Grand Bargain,” helped protect the collection.

“Graham has also led the museum through extremely challenging economic times, developed international stature and respect for the DIA, strengthened the collection and initiated a culture change that resulted in the museum becoming more accessible to all,” said Eugene Gargaro Jr., the DIA's board chairman.

Instead of the more traditional museum model of grouping objects by time period or style, the museum used techniques honed in the presentation of temporary or traveling exhibits to showcase its permanent collection. It also boosted community outreach, putting up ornately framed reproductions of some of its most significant paintings on the streets of Michigan communities as part of its “Inside/Out” series.

Gargaro is putting together a committee and will hire a firm to find a new director, the museum said.

Beal, whose bow ties were a notable fixture of his attire, is a native of Great Britain with degrees in English and art history from the University of Manchester and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He served as director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1996 to 1999.

Under Beal's leadership, the institute hosted “Van Gogh: Face to Face” in 2000 and “Magnificenza! The Medici, Michelangelo and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence” in 2003 among its popular exhibitions. It also organized “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit,” which opens March 15.

“It has been 10 years since I conceived of the idea for this exhibition and I draw no small pleasure that it will mark my exit as director,” Beal said.




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Graham Beal. Detroit Institute of Arts image 

Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 13:08

Sotheby’s names Joshua Holdeman head of 20th Century Design

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 09 January 2015 11:26
Joshua Holdeman. Image courtesy of Sotheby's. NEW YORK – Sotheby’s has appointed Joshua Holdeman Worldwide Head of 20th Century Design, Photographs and Prints.

Holdeman joined Sotheby’s recently as Vice Chairman, Americas and his newly appointed role is effective immediately.

Holdeman began his career at Robert Miller Gallery in New York, which was among the first galleries to simultaneously present contemporary art, photography and 20th century design as a part of its program. During his nearly 10-year tenure at the gallery, Holdeman worked with artists and artists’ estates such as the estate of Joan Mitchell, the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the estate of Diane Arbus and Bruce Weber.

He joined Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg in 2001, where he founded its photographs department and oversaw a number of landmark sales, including the Seagram Collection of Photographs in 2003. In 2004, Holdeman began working at Christie’s as International Head of Photographs and 20th Century Design, before moving to the Post-War & Contemporary Department as an International Director and eventually to the Chairman’s Office.

During his tenure at Christie’s, Holdeman oversaw the sale of many market-changing events in New York, London and Paris, setting and resetting many world records along the way. He supervised many landmark single-owner sales as well as single artist sales, including those comprising the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, Line Vautrin, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Robert Frank and William Eggleston.

Joshua Holdeman. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 11:39

Barnes Foundation names Thomas Collins new director

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 09 January 2015 10:58
Thomas Collins. Image courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A major art institution in Philadelphia has a new leader.

The Barnes Foundation says Thomas Collins will begin serving as president and executive director in March.

The foundation houses a large collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces by artists including Matisse, Renoir, Cezanne and Picasso.

Collins has spent the past five years working in Florida as director of the Perez Art Museum Miami. Before that, he led the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y.

Wednesday's announcement comes a year after previous Barnes leader Derek Gillman stepped down to become a visiting art professor at nearby Drexel University.

Gillman oversaw the collection's move from a gallery in suburban Lower Merion to downtown Philadelphia after a years-long legal battle. Its new $150 million building opened in 2012.

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Thomas Collins. Image courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 11:06

James Henry Pepper named new exec. director of Gilcrease Museum

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Thursday, 08 January 2015 16:56
James Henry Pepper. Image courtesy of University of Tulsa Gilcrease Museum TULSA, Okla. - James Pepper Henry has been named as the new executive director of Gilcrease Museum at the University of Tulsa.

Pepper Henry comes to Gilcrease Museum from the Heard Museum in Phoenix where he has served as Director and CEO since 2013. At his direction, the Heard developed the BUILD!: Toy Brick Art at the Heard exhibition, which was the most successful summer exhibit in the museum's history, increasing museum attendance by 58 percent and memberships by 150 percent. USA Today noted BUILD! As one of its Top Ten must see exhibits in summer 2014.

Prior to the Heard, Pepper Henry enjoyed a successful six-year tenure at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska's premier art, history and science institution. There, he oversaw the completion of the museum's $110 million, 80,000-square-foot expansion. Pepper Henry is also a former associate director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

"Following a national search for a new executive director, Jim emerged as the right person to guide the next chapter of Gilcrease's history," said Steadman Upham, president of TU, which operates the museum for the City of Tulsa. "Jim has more than 20 years of experience in evolving leadership positions in museums across the country and has been involved in exhibition and program development that appeals to a broad audience, including new generations of patrons."

"I am honored to have been selected as the next executive director of Gilcrease Museum," said Pepper Henry. "I look forward to working with the Gilcrease National Board, the staff and the community to advance Gilcrease Museum.

"This is a real homecoming for me. I have lots of family and friends in Oklahoma. The museum's founder, Thomas Gilcrease, and I share Muscogee Creek heritage. That makes my appointment as executive director even more special. I look forward to coming back to Oklahoma to lead this great museum with its tremendous collection," Pepper Henry said.

As an associate director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) for nearly 10 years, Pepper Henry managed a wide variety of American Indian community-oriented programs, services and traveling exhibitions. He played a pivotal role in the establishment and launch of NMAI, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., that opened to the public in 2004.

Pepper Henry served as the founding director of the Kanza Museum in Kaw City, Okla.; interim curator of American Indian Art at the Portland Art Museum; gallery director at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center in Portland, Ore.; and gallery director for the Institute of Alaska Native Arts in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Pepper Henry is an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation, and affiliated with the Muscogee Creek nation. His mother is of Kaw and Muscogee Creek descent. He was the first enrolled American Indian to lead the Heard in its 85-year history. He is co-founder and president of the Kanza Ilóshka Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the cultural life-ways and traditions of the Kaw people.

He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and a recipient of the University's prestigious Council for Minority Education Leadership Award. He is also a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

Pepper Henry has contributed essays to various publications including Stewards of the Sacred, co-published by the American Association of Museums and Harvard University, and Native Universe: Voices of Indian America, co-published by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society.

Pepper Henry will assume his duties on March 30, 2015.

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James Henry Pepper. Image courtesy of University of Tulsa Gilcrease Museum
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 January 2015 17:12

World-traveling Evansville Museum chief finds new home

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Written by KELLY GIFFORD, Evansville Courier & Press   
Tuesday, 06 January 2015 11:20
Bryan K. Knicely. Image courtesy of the Evansville Museum EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Bryan Knicely always felt the need to wander and explore.

Growing up in a small Ohio town will do that to you. It was nothing against Coshocton, but Knicely knew there was more in store for him beyond its city limits.

The Evansville Museum's new executive director, who took the helm mid-October, has traveled all over the world and worked in several different capacities within the arts community. But what he has found in Evansville is something he hasn't felt since his youth – a place to call home.

“Sometimes you can get so busy climbing and trying to experience everything life has to offer that you don't stop to think about what will make you happy,” Knicely said. “`I found everything and more upon moving here.”

He took his first step along his winding and adventurous career path when he changed majors at the end of his junior year at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Despite participating in several arts extracurriculars growing up, Knicely's parents wanted him to study “something serious” during his college tenure. The thought of being an accountant and crunching numbers everyday wasn't for Knicely though, so he made the switch to managing and marketing with eyes toward a career in law.

Despite many law school acceptances, Knicely still wondered if becoming a lawyer was his true calling. After graduation, he decided to pack up his car and travel 8,000 miles across the country to clear his head. What he discovered along the way was a desire to pursue a career in the arts – a pursuit he truly began at Ohio State University where he received a masters of arts in art administration and policy.

It's been full-speed ahead since Knicely's Buckeye days. He would move onto several different roles in diverse arts institutions across the country, many of which gave him the opportunity to work internationally. He has worked with the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, the Maine Arts Commission, several different organizations in Columbus, Ohio, including the Greater Columbus Arts Council and most recently the Coral Springs Museum of Art in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., as its executive director.

You wouldn't know that his career was full of glittering accolades and achievements though. When reflecting on his career to this point, Knicely lingers on the beauty of coastal Maine or his love/hate relationship with the Ft. Lauderdale heat rather than the innovative arts programming he brought to the organizations he served while living there.

Knicely's experience working in varying disciplines made his transition into the executive director role seamless, said Mary Bower, who served at the museum's interim director following John Streetman retirement in 2012 after more than 37 years in the role.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have (Knicely,)” said Bower, chief curator and the Virginia G. Schroeder Curator of Collections for the museum. “We are really focusing on how to incorporate all the disciplines of the museums to future exhibitions and programs.”

Bower's guidance in the construction and opening of the Evansville Museum's new wing and Koch Immersive Theatre has inspired Knicely to explore new and diverse ways of experiencing art for future exhibitions and programs. Many of his goals for the museum stem from strengthening its ties to the region through partnerships and outreach. Knicely is also looking to update the River Town exhibit to be even more true to Evansville, as well as bringing in new technology for more interactive learning for visitors.

The city and region's heritage has always been a pillar at the museum but will be especially prominent in the coming years with the state's bicentennial in 2016. Bower said she and Knicely are in the planning stages for a multi-disciplinary exhibition focusing on the Ohio River Valley.

While walking through the museum's permanent collection, Knicely's eyes glimmered behind his thick-framed glasses as he scanned the art on display. The expansiveness of the collection still amazes him, and he said he has great respect for those who have shaped and cultivated the museum before his arrival.

“What brought me here were the people – those who I now work with and those who take residence here,” Knicely said. “They've shaped what I've come into, and I want to build upon the great work they've done.”


Information from: Evansville Courier & Press,

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Bryan K. Knicely. Image courtesy of the Evansville Museum
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 11:38

Nicholas Cullinan named UK National Portrait Gallery director

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 06 January 2015 10:22
Dr. Nicholas Cullinan. Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London LONDON – Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and co-curator of last year’s hugely successful "Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs" exhibition at Tate Modern, has been appointed director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, it was announced Tuesday.

The appointment by the gallery’s board of trustees, which has been approved by the prime minister, was made following the resignation of current director Sandy Nairne in June 2014. Nicholas Cullinan will take up his new post in spring 2015.

Since joining the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in early 2013, Cullinan has taken an important role in developing a number of projects including the program for the museum’s occupancy of the Whitney Museum of Art’s Marcel Breuer building in 2016 (following the Whitney’s move to another location), expanding and redisplaying the permanent collection and increasing the Modern and Contemporary Department’s base of supporters.

At the Met, he organized the exhibitions “Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa: The Venini Company, 1932-47” (2013); “Amie Siegel: Provenance” (2014); and devised and led, together with co-curator Andrea Bayer, one of the Met’s opening exhibitions at the Breuer building for March 2016. He has been responsible for a number of major works being acquired by the Met. Significant gifts he worked on include the donation to the museum of 44 pieces by Carlo Scarpa and 57 works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, dedicated to African American artists.

Previously curator of International Modern Art at Tate Modern (2007-2013), he worked on exhibitions such as “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” (2014), “Malevich” (2014), “Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye” (2012), “Tacita Dean: FILM” (2011), “Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia” (2008) and “Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons” (2008). While at Tate, Cullinan also worked on acquisitions and collection displays, founded a committee for Russian and Eastern Europe art and was involved with many aspects of the second phase of the Tate Modern project, for which the new building, designed by Herzog & De Meuron, is scheduled to open in 2016.

Cullinan was educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where he was awarded First Class Honors for his B.A. in History of Art, a distinction for his M.A. and where he also gained his doctorate. In 2003 Cullinan was visiting teacher for the M.A. Course at the Courtauld Institute. While studying there he was a part-time Visitor Services Assistant at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 2001-2003. He also served as board member of the Courtauld Association from 2011-2013. Cullinan is British and grew up in Yorkshire, although he was born in the United States in 1977.

The appointment of the gallery’s 12th director follows the decision by its current director, Sandy Nairne, to step down in February to pursue his writing and advisory work.

Sir William Proby, chairman of the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, London, said: “The trustees are delighted to welcome Dr. Nicholas Cullinan as the new director of the National Portrait Gallery. He is an outstanding curator and art historian, and has wide ranging international experience. We believe his flair and enthusiasm will allow us to build on the excellent work that Sandy Nairne has done over the past 12 years. On behalf of all my fellow trustees I would like to wish him every success in his new role and also express our thanks to Sandy Nairne for his outstanding contribution.”

Dr. Nicholas Cullinan. Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 12:03

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee turns 92

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Written by Scoop News   
Friday, 02 January 2015 14:19
Stan Lee in a photo taken by Edward Liu on February 28, 2007. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

LOS ANGELES - Many people count down to the day they can retire and enjoy a life of leisure. But for Stan Lee, the man who provided much of the foundation for the Marvel comic-book empire, his workdays have lasted well past the age of 65.

Earlier this week Stan Lee celebrated his 92nd birthday. The small gathering was held at his home in the Hollywood Hills with his family. Lee is known by every comic book fan as the co-creator of the Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men. Born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922 in New York City, he played a crucial role in building Marvel up from the small division of a publishing house to a giant corporation.

Despite being almost 30 years into what most consider their retirement years, Lee is the Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Enterprises, is still creating new characters for his company POW! Entertainment, and is also the founder and CEO of his own comics convention Comikaze Expo. In addition he is also the founder of the charitable organization Stan Lee Foundation that tries to improve access to literary resources, promote national literacy, as well as culture, arts, and diversity.

Lee has made cameo appearances in over 20 Marvel films and with the slate of movies already scheduled for the next few years, it looks like Lee will have plenty more appearances to make on screen.


Our thanks to Scoop e-newsletter, published by Diamond International Galleries, for sharing this story. Visit Scoop online at

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Stan Lee in a photo taken by Edward Liu on February 28, 2007. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Stan Lee in his supporting role as postman Willie Lumpkin in the 2005 movie 'Fantastic Four,' 20th Century Fox. Fair use of low-resolution image. All Marvel characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright © 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved. Stan Lee and his collaborator Jack Kirby (shown at lower left of cover) appear as themselves in the comic book 'The Fantastic Four #10' (Jan. 1963). This was the first of several such appearances by Lee and Kirby within the fictional Marvel Universe. The two are depicted as similar to their real-world counterparts, creating comic books based on the 'real' adventures of the Fantastic Four. Art by Jack Kirby, pencils; and Dick Ayers, inks. Fair use of low-resolution image to illustrate an educational article about Stan Lee. All Marvel characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright © 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 January 2015 14:47

Ex-Soviet artist has been working in US for nearly 40 years

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Written by AMY DeMELIA, The Sun Chronicle   
Friday, 19 December 2014 17:02
'Farmhouse Reflection,' signed 'Anatoly DvErin,' oil on canvas. Image courtesy of archive and Skinner Inc. NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Internationally acclaimed artist Anatoly Dverin's story is as colorful as his paintings.

His masterful paintings showcase peaceful landscapes ranging from the French countryside to Nantucket beaches, while his portraits evoke the lives lived by the lined and weathered faces peering out from his canvases.

“Rembrandt, eat your heart out,” he joked when asked about his work, which will be exhibited at The Preservation Framer all this month.

Now a resident of Plainville – or as he calls it, “the center of the universe” – the 79-year-old grew up in Ukraine. He learned how to sketch in his childhood while sitting next to his father, an artist who drew signs and banners for Soviet leaders.

During World War II, Dverin's father went to the front to fight, while Dverin and his family fled their hometown of Dnepropetrovsk just ahead of the Nazi invasion, ending up in Armenia.

After the war, they returned home to Ukraine, where whey found another family living in their apartment. So few homes survived the war, the family of four ended up sharing a basement with two other families.

Dverin's artistic talent was already growing during the war, when he drew on the inside of book jackets because paper wasn't readily available.

He later studied at the Institute of Fine Art in Kharkov, Ukraine, and became a member of the Artists Union of the USSR in 1964. To become a member of the union, which made making a living as an artist possible, artists needed to have their work shown in three national exhibitions in Moscow.

By the 1970s, Dverin and his wife, Lora, grew tired of the region's politics and the lack of artistic freedom. They applied for a permanent exit visa for themselves and their daughter Elena, only to find themselves harassed for the decision.

“If you were sitting on a stove and it was warm and cozy, you'd stay there. But if it got too hot, you'd jump. I jumped,” Dverin said of his decision to leave Ukraine.

While waiting for the visa, Dverin was expelled from the Artists Union and both he and Lora lost their citizenship. They were forced to turn in their college diplomas and driver's licenses.

Eventually, they were ordered to leave within 10 days and the family immigrated to the United States in 1976 with $200 in their pockets and without knowing any English.

Initially they settled in Brookline, and thanks to a realistic drawing of a stamp Dverin made on an envelope, scored a job at Rust Craft Greeting Cards, where he drew one greeting card per day.

Three years later, Dverin started Anatoly Illustrations and began producing commercial art. Meanwhile, he moved into painting with oils and pastels, which he still does today.

His landscapes, portraits and still lifes have garnered awards and recognition worldwide.

The exhibition at the Preservation Framer at 16 N. Washington St. will include more than 30 of Dverin's original paintings, along with another 30 prints, with many works for sale.

Matt Slobogan of The Preservation Framer was already familiar with Dverin and his work when the artist came into the shop to look at frames. Slobogan offered an artist's discount, to which Dverin responded, “How do you know I'm an artist? Maybe, I'm a doctor.''

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'Farmhouse Reflection,' signed 'Anatoly DvErin,' oil on canvas. Image courtesy of archive and Skinner Inc.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 17:12

George W. Bush's advice: Don't paint your mom or wife

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 09:56
George W. Bush, President Obama and Bill Clinton meeting in the Oval Office, Jan. 16, 2010.  Official White House photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. WASHINGTON (AP) – George W. Bush doesn't readily offer political opinions, but when it comes to portraits, he has some broad-brush advice:

“Never paint your wife or your mother.”

Bush's new book about his father includes a portrait he painted of his dad, the 41st president.

Bush tells CNN's State of the Union that “I think it's nice,” but his tough-to-please mother “kind of wasn't” happy with it.

The 43rd president also painted his wife, Laura. The verdict?

She didn't like it and neither did one of their daughters, “so I just scrapped it.”

Well, maybe not.

“I may have saved it although they probably think I destroyed it.”

Bush has said that an essay by Winston Churchill on painting inspired him to take lessons after leaving office.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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George W. Bush, President Obama and Bill Clinton meeting in the Oval Office, Jan. 16, 2010.  Official White House photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:04

Nadine Orenstein named Met’s prints, drawings curator

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Written by Museum PR   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:10
Nadine Orenstein. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art NEW YORK – Nadine M. Orenstein will become the Drue Heinz Curator in charge of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Feb. 1.

She will succeed George R. Goldner, who has been the chairman of the department since 1993.

Orenstein is currently a curator in the department who specializes in European prints and books through the 19th century.

“Over the course of his 21 years at the Met, George has proven time and again that he is a consummate connoisseur and scholar in his field,” said Thomas Campbell, director and CEO of the museum, in making the announcement. “He has led his talented team of curators in making an astonishing number of acquisitions – 8,200 –beginning with an exquisite Perugino drawing that was his first purchase for the museum. Our current exhibition, “ Paper Chase,” presents more than 60 superb works by such masters as William Blake, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Gauguin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Titian, in celebration of George’s accomplishments.”

Campbell continued: “I am certain that Nadine, an accomplished scholar, curator and writer with an impressive roster of exhibitions and publications to her credit, will carry on this tradition of excellence.”

Orenstein is currently in charge of the Dutch, Flemish and German prints and books through the 19th century. She has worked at the museum for much of her career.

She has organized several exhibitions at the Met, including “Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints” (2001), “Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), "Prints, Drawings and Paintings” (2003), and most recently "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine” (2011). She is also the lead curator of the current tribute exhibition to George Goldner, “Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints” (on view  through March 16).

She will oversee the work of the department on upcoming exhibitions and installations on Fragonard, Hercules Seghers, Michelangelo, the legacy of drawings curators William Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor, Renaissance textile designs, and early etchings in Europe.

Orenstein received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her dissertation was published in 1996 as “Hendrick Hondius and the Business of Prints in 17th-Century Holland.”


Nadine Orenstein. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:22

La Salle University's Bob Dylan archive getting rave reviews

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Written by JEFF GAMMAGE, The Philadelphia Inquirer   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:47
Bob Dylan 'Wanted Man' session autographed photo. Image courtesy of archive and Jaes Cox Gallery at Woodstock. PHILA., Pa. (AP) – The question has lingered in song since it was first posed in the 1960s:

How many roads must a man walk down – before he becomes the subject of a major university archive devoted to helping researchers discern the meaning of his every move and utterance?

The answer, my friends, ain't blowin' in the wind.

The answer is at La Salle University, which runs what it believes to be the nation's only academic collection focused on songwriter, poet, and troubadour Bob Dylan.

The Life & Work of Bob Dylan Collection, housed in the university's Connelly Library, holds loads of Dylaniana – more than 1,000 items, including rare bootleg records, concert posters, fan art, journals, DVDs, and tour T-shirts and programs.

“They have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of recordings of Bob that aren't readily available,” said Mark Sutton, an Australian who this year completed a doctorate on Dylan at the University of Sydney.

Sutton, writer of the tongue-in-cheek, guitar-and-vocal homage “I'm a Bigger Dylan Fan Than You,” saw Dylan perform 13 times just this year. He visited La Salle on what he called “a Dyl-grimage,” also traveling to see the singer's old New York City haunts and his hometown in Hibbing, Minn.

The collection holds 80 works of criticism and interpretation of Dylan's music, 40 books of scores and indexed lyrics, and eight separate periodicals devoted solely to the artist. Its 30 theses include 20 doctoral dissertations from colleges worldwide.

Fans in search of a little light reading before the academy concerts can dive into papers such as “The Alchemy of Individuation: A Case Study of Bob Dylan” and “Folksinger and Beat Poet: The Prophetic Vision of Bob Dylan.”

“There's some real obscure stuff in there,” said Haddonfield author David Kinney, who conducted research at the archive for his book The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob.

Kinney was interested in reading dissertations. And amused to find Dylan bootlegs stored in the same secure chamber as the university's invaluable collection of rare Bibles.

If it seems odd to find a Dylan center at La Salle – the Catholic liberal-arts school in the city's Logan section – that's because it is. In fact, it's odd for any academic institution.

“Rare books and manuscripts (departments) at universities are pretty risk-averse of what might be faddish, so they shy from contemporary collections,” said John Baky, La Salle's director of libraries.

But the idea of having a Dylan archive at La Salle, he said with no hint of musical irony, “struck a note.”

The school has embraced modern collecting, including the development of a compilation on the Vietnam War.

Dylan is now 73, and in many ways more popular than ever. About 20 years ago, Baky noticed the singer wasn't disappearing from the culture. If anything, he was getting more attention with each passing year – unusual for musicians, whose careers often flare and fade.

Baky also knew that prices for Dylan-related paraphernalia would only rise. So he began to gather items, accept donations, and buy what he could.

“Dylan, to me, was a cultural phenomenon, and if we didn't get the material contemporaneously, we were never going to get it,” he said.

Today, hundreds of people connect to the archive via the Internet each year, though perhaps only 10 physically show up. They're authors, researchers, aficionados.

“It's an incredible resource of musical material – all the Bob Dylan material is there, including covers of Bob Dylan by other artists,” said La Salle English professor Stephen Smith, who drew on the archive to create a course, “Dylan and the ’60s.”

The class emerged from his interest in the relationship between lyrics and poetry, an intersection familiar to Dylanophiles.

“I stayed away from the ‘spokesman for a generation’ stuff,” Smith said. “I don't know if he reflected what was happening in American society as much as he predicted it.”

Remember, he said, Dylan released “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which became an antiwar anthem, nearly two years before U.S. troops landed in Vietnam. And in 1969, with the nation riven by the war, he put out a country album, Nashville Skyline.

La Salle does not place a dollar value on the collection. But cost dictates much of what it can afford to add. Prices for sought-after Dylan material have soared, and even the stuff that's commonly available – original records, signed covers, or art prints – can cost thousands of dollars on auction sites.

Weirdly, the Dylan market has in a way worked in reverse.

Consider: Beatlemania drove a giant marketing effort that produced dolls, lunch boxes, and plastic guitars. Sales shrank as the band matured over time. Dylan, on the other hand, avoided the mass merchandising that could have accompanied his initial success in the 1960s. But now, older, he’s pumping out all manner of merchandise.

On his website, a “Like a Rolling Stone” T-shirt costs $34.99, and a “Shelter From the Storm” hoodie sells for $74.99. A signed harmonica is $5,000, and a set of seven signed harmonicas played by Dylan costs $25,000.

People sometimes seek to sell their collections to La Salle, like the Danish fan who offered more than 900 Dylan items. Archive directors loved his European concert posters, but already had much of the rest. The seller insisted on all or nothing, so no deal was struck.

The archive seeks goods that are useful for research, which tend to be print- and sound-related, while trying to discern what will be important in 50 or 100 years.

“You have to be very savvy,” said special-collections librarian Sarah Seraphin, who helps decide how the archive should grow.

She's fascinated by the academic interest in Dylan but not a fan of his music.

Baky describes himself as a fan but not a superfan, interested in Dylan mostly from an archival perspective. He explored getting tickets for Dylan's recent Center City shows at the Academy of Music, where the best seats were selling for $600 or more on secondary markets, then opted against it.

The price was too high.




Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-12-14-14 1742GMT

Bob Dylan 'Wanted Man' session autographed photo. Image courtesy of archive and Jaes Cox Gallery at Woodstock.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 17:29

Marianne Richter named director of Columbus Museum

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 13:13

Marianne Richter. Columbus Museum image.

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Marianne Richter was today named director of the Columbus Museum, a nationally known American art and history museum.

Fray McCormick, the museum’s president of the board, announced the selection of Richter. Chosen after a national search, Richter’s appointment was unanimously approved at the museum’s board of trustees’ meeting Nov. 18. The Muscogee County School Board approved the appointment at their Dec. 8 meeting.

Richter will join the museum on Feb. 18. She currently serves as director of the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Ind., a museum of American art known especially for its Edward Hopper painting and its strong American Regionalist collection.

“Marianne Richter is a highly qualified leader with the experience and credentials to implement our strategic plan and to bring lively new-art programming and enhanced public engagement to the Columbus Museum,” said McCormick. “The board is excited about her new ideas, leadership, curatorial skills, and strong track record at other art museums. She also has successful experience with outreach, fundraising and expanding her museum’s young-professionals group. Marianne has both the administrative skills and academic credentials to take the Columbus Museum forward to even greater success.”

Previous to her current position in Indiana, Richter served as operations manager and previously curator at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. The Briscoe was a start-up museum which opened to the public after Richter moved the Swope in 2011. From 1995 to 2008, Richter served as curator at the Union League Club of Chicago, a private club with an important art collection. There, she organized many exhibitions of Chicago and national contemporary artists. Richter has also held positions as curator of American art at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio and supervisor of education at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pa. She has curated more than 30 exhibitions, produced many publications, and lectured widely on American art.

Richter reached doctoral candidacy in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she specialized in 20th century American art. She holds a master's degree in art history from the University of Delaware and is a 1983 graduate of Oberlin College, where she was an art history major and history minor. Richter also attended the Winter Institute in American decorative arts at Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Delaware. “She is well equipped to integrate art and history in new ways at our museum,” added McCormick.

Richter will take the reins from Tom Butler, who has served as director for the past 20 years. The board saluted his many accomplishments at an event in his honor on Nov. 18, after Butler’s final board meeting. Butler will retire at the end of this month.


Marianne Richter. Columbus Museum image.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 13:27
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