Walk here along Zhoushan Road and you’ll stumble on a sign that signifies an otherwise unremarkable building at No. 59 as a landmark.
“During the World War II,” the sign reads in imperfect English, “a number of Jewish refugees lived in this house, among whom is Michael Blumenthal, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury of the Carter Government.”
The marker offers a clue to the hidden Jewish history of Shanghai and the incredible story of thousands of Jews who fled the Nazis and found refuge here in what was the Far East’s only Jewish ghetto. Among them was Blumenthal, who fled Europe with his family, spent part of his youth in Shanghai, then moved to the U.S. and served in the late 1970s under U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
The best way to learn about this unusual slice of Jewish and Shanghai history is on a tour with an Israeli expat named Dvir Bar-Gal. But be warned: This is no superficial glance at the highlights; this is a five-hour, $60 mini-course with Bar-Gal as professor. With his encyclopedic knowledge and intense passion, he brings to life a vanished world, attracting visitors from every continent, many of them descended from the Jews who only survived World War II because they found refuge in Shanghai.
“No other place in the whole world saved so many Jewish lives,” Bar-Gal said, adding that “there is no anti-Semitism in China.”
Bar-Gal begins the tour on the bustling Bund, explaining how Jewish merchants from Baghdad helped build Nanjing Road into the neighborhood’s commercial center in the 19th century. The landmark Peace Hotel, now owned by the Fairmont chain, was built in the 1920s by Victor Sassoon, part of a famous and wealthy Sephardic Jewish family.
Among the community’s rags-to-riches tales was that of Silas Hardoon, who started as a night watchman for the Sassoons and became a powerful real estate developer, helping to turn Nanjing Road into the “Fifth Avenue of China” in the early 20th century.
“Eventually he became the richest Jew in Asia, the real estate king of Shanghai,” Bar-Gal said.
The Kadoorie family, which founded the China Light & Power Company and today owns the Peninsula Hotel Group, is also descended from Sephardic Jews who got their start with the Sassoons.
A second layer was added to Shanghai’s Jewish community when several thousand Jews fleeing persecution in Czarist Russia arrived here at the turn of the 20th century. Many settled in Shanghai’s French Concession district and opened small businesses.
The third layer of Shanghai’s Jews consisted of European refugees fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s. Walking past small shops and tenements in Hongkou today, past street vendors and bicyclists, all of them Chinese, Bar-Gal said: “Imagine here a deli, a bakery, a grocery, a restaurant, a pharmacy,” run by Jews trying to recreate familiar rhythms of European life in their new city.
So many of the residents were Austrian that the area was known as Little Vienna. A Chinese diplomat who worked in Austria during World War II, Feng Shan Ho, is part of the story. Defying orders from his superiors, Ho issued lifesaving visas that allowed Jews to leave, most of them traveling by boat from Italy to Shanghai.
“Everyone else rejected them,” Bar-Gal said, referring to the limits other countries — including the U.S. — placed on admitting Jewish refugees. “In the late 1930s, Shanghai was the only option.”
Shanghai was open to Jewish arrivals despite the fact that the city was under control of the Japanese, who were Nazi allies. A Japanese diplomat in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, also issued thousands of visas that allowed Jews to escape Europe for Japan or China.
But eventually Japanese officials forced all “stateless” people living in Shanghai to move to Hongkou, and turned it into a ghetto. Some 20,000 Jews were crammed into the neighborhood, living as many as 30 to a room, Bar-Gal said. Disease and starvation were rampant, though the Jews tried to help themselves by setting up clinics, soup kitchens, schools and shelters.
“Where we walk today, we are in the heart of the ghetto,” Bar-Gal said.
A stone monument in Huoshan Park, a peaceful place with trees and benches, offers a description of the neighborhood in Chinese, Hebrew and English as a “designated area for stateless refugees” bordered by Gongping, Tongbei, Huimin and Zhoujiazui roads. But many buildings that once housed the refugees have been torn down, and more are slated for demolition.
Bar-Gal’s tour also stops at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and Ohel Moshe synagogue, where artifacts like passports, photos and a newspaper produced by the refugees are on display. The tour ends inside a tiny, dark apartment that once housed Jews and is now inhabited by several Chinese families. Here Bar-Gal, who is writing a book, describes another of his projects — an effort to find “the lost Jewish cemeteries of Shanghai” and create a memorial. He has found tombstones from the destroyed graveyards in towns and villages, in one case being used as a washboard.
His tour attracts visitors from around the world — Europe, Australia, North America — many of whom had family members living in Shanghai during the war. “They talked about the poverty, the starvation, the sickness,” said Chaya Medalie of Johannesburg, South Africa, who took Bar-Gal’s tour last year. “When you stand in it, you see it from a different perspective. It’s unbelievable.”
The Museum of Liverpool will launch 100 years to the very day that its iconic neighbour the Royal Liver Building opened its doors.
The largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, the new Museum of Liverpool, will open to the public for the first time on Tuesday 19 July.
One of the world’s leading history museums and a stunning new addition to the city’s famous waterfront, the Museum of Liverpool is the first national museum anywhere in the world that is devoted to the history of a regional city.
Demonstrating Liverpool’s extraordinary contribution to the world, it will showcase popular culture and tackle the social, historical and contemporary issues of the city.
Professor Phil Redmond CBE, chairman of National Museums Liverpool said: “Liverpool’s waterfront is known the world over, and we are pleased that we will soon be welcoming visitors to what is undoubtedly a stunning addition to that World Heritage Site.
“Liverpool’s role in history is also known the world over, as is its iconic symbol, the Liver Bird. It is fitting then that the first purpose-built museum to examine a city’s role in world history, is opening its doors 100 years to the day that the Liver Building itself opened for business.”
Until now, people have found it difficult to grasp the sheer size of the birds that perch on top of what was once the tallest building in Britain. Now visitors to the new Museum in July will be able see for themselves the magnificence of an 18ft life-size Liver Bird, overlooking the Three Graces.
Both the Liver Building and Museum of Liverpool are considered cutting edge architectural designs in their own right. The Museum is the newest symbol of Liverpool’s confidence as a great 21st century city.
Housing more than 6,000 objects, many which have never been on public display before, visitors can unearth an array of stories spanning the Ice Age to the present day.
People will be able to see the stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met, witness the city’s growth into the world’s greatest port, see first hand the last remaining carriage from the famous Liverpool Overhead Railway, and immerse themselves in the city’s rich sporting and creative history.
David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool said: “The Museum of Liverpool is all about telling the stories of the city and its people. This includes the times of struggle such as the Toxteth riots, the triumphs of our musical exports including The Beatles, and the dramatic histories of our football teams.
“Every single event has helped shape this city’s personality. The Museum of Liverpool is here to tell the tale, and like the Liver Building, will be around for many years to come.”
The £72m project is continuing apace, and internal fit-out of the major galleries is taking shape to such an extent that the three-phased opening of the Museum has been reduced to just two, with the second phase opening later this year. Discussions regarding plans for the launch day are currently taking place, and will be announced nearer the date.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow houses one of Europe’s greatest civic art collections, consisting of almost 10,000 items . Located in the beautiful surroundings of Kelvingrove Park in the city’s West End, the museum sits opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall (which houses the Glasgow Museum of Transport and International Sports Arena) and near to Glasgow University. Loved by locals and tourists alike, the Kelvingrove vies with Edinburgh Castle to be Scotland’s most popular attraction, and is, by some margin, the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London. The magnificent red sandstone building was partly financed using the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove Park. The gallery was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E. J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901 as the palace of fine art for the Glasgow International Exhibition held that year. Built in a Spanish Baroque style, the outside facades are constructed from red sandstone from Lochabriggs Quarry near Dumfries (which provided much of the stone for Glasgow’s Victorian-era expansion), the interior uses a much lighter colored sandstone from Giffnock. The buildings facades are adorned with sculptures by George Frampton, Francis Derwent Wood and other contemporary British artists. A popular local myth states that after construction, the architect realized he had built the gallery the wrong way round (with the ‘front’ facing into Kelvingrove park, rather than onto Argyle Street) and consequently threw himself to his death from the roof. Not only were there actually 2 architects, it had always been intended that the building face into the park and the ‘rear’ of the building is so impressive, visitors only realize it is the back when they walk around and view the front. During the 6 month’s of the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition, 11 million visitors passed through the new building. After the International Exhibition closed, the Kelvingrove reopened in 1902 as Glasgow’s civic museum and art gallery. The museum closed during World War II and its most valuable items were scattered, a fortuitous decision, when a German bomb detonated close by and caused significant damage to the building. The Kelvingrove reopened soon after the war ended and remained massively popular. In 2006, the Kelvingrove reopened after a three year refurbishment program and immediately tripled its visitor numbers to over 3 million in is first full year after reopening, making it the UK’s most visited museum outside London (only the National Gallery, Tate Modern and British Museum receive more visitors). The refurbishment work included opening up the first floor halls, creating new basement display and retail spaces and the complete restoration of the interior stonework. In addition to the galleries, visitors to the museum (which is free to enter) can enjoy its cafes and museum shops. The study centre and library are both open to the public for those who want to discover more about Glasgow’s museums and their collections. The museum hosts over 1.5 million visitors annually. Visit the museum’s website at … http://clyde-valley.com/glasgow/kelvingr.htm
The museum’s collections originally came from the McLellan Galleries and the old Kelvingrove House Museum. Donations and acquisitions over the years have increased the collection, including, most famously, “Christ of St. John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali, purchased direct from the artist by the museum’s then curator in the early 1950s for £8,200, a price considered very high at the time, even though Dali had been bargained down by a third from his original asking price and the sale included copyright to the image. The collections are displayed in 22 state of the art galleries. Amongst the artworks on display are paintings and sculpture from all periods of history, including works by Van Gogh (“Portrait of Alexander Reid” (once thought to have been a self-portrait)), Rembrandt, Botticelli, Turner, Millais, Whistler, Picasso, Monet (“Vetheuil”), Mary Cassatt *”The Sisters”) and L. S. Lowry (“V.E. Day”). Scottish works on display feature influential art from the Glasgow School of the late 19th and early 20th century including George Henry & E. A. Hornel, William Kennedy, Sir James Guthrie and “Motherless” by George Lawson. More contemporary work is also on display including Sophy Cave’s “Floating Heads” (more than 95 disconnected heads showing the whole rage of human expressions) hanging from the ceiling above the museum’s famous pipe-organ and Avril Paton’s “Windows in the West”. The Kelvingrove features more than just art, and amongst the natural history galleries, “Sir Roger” – a stuffed elephant (shot after a hormonal disorder made him extremely aggressive at Glasgow Zoo) – is a favorite with visitors, while a fully restored Spitfire hanging from the ceiling is a highlight of the scientific and technological displays. The decorative arts collection reflects Glasgow’s maritime trading heritage, as well as the expeditions of David Livingstone, with art and artifacts from dozens of cultures all over the world, including ceramics, glass, furniture, silverware, costumes, textiles and metal work. One gallery features a recreation of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh style dining room, emphasizing his importance to the history of art and design in Glasgow. The Kelvingrove is famous for its collection of arms and armor, including the ‘Avant’ armor (the earliest near-complete set of armor in the world, darting from around 1440), William Herbert, first Earl of Pembroke’s complete armor for man and horse (made by the Greenwich Royal Workshop in 1557) and rare medieval Scottish weapons amongst broad displays of European armor and weaponry.
The Kelvingrove has had a long reputation for holding major exhibitions, including the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ (1998) and Frank Lloyd Wright (1999) shortly before it’s refurbishment. This tradition has continued since the museum reopened, with temporary exhibitions now held in a the RBS Exhibition Gallery. “Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900” which was on display during 2010 set new records for visitor attendance, and showed 100 oil painting plus 50 works on paper by this influential Glaswegian group. The first exhibition dedicated to the Glasgow School since 1968, a condensed version of this exhibition is currently on view at the Royal Academy of Arts. The next exhibition to open at the Kelvingrove will be “Drawing (on) Riverside: An Exhibition by Patricia Cane”, which opens on April 15th and runs until August 14th 2011. Kelvingrove’s recent exhibition of work inspired by the construction of the Riverside Museum in Glasgow (housing the new museum of travel and transport) featured works by Patricia Cain, a Glasgow lawyer turned artist, who won the Aspect prize (Scotland’s premier prize for painting) in 2010 for her forensically detailed studies of the museum under construction. “Drawing (on) Riverside: An Exhibition by Patricia Cane” will be the artists first major solo exhibition and will draw on the works previously exhibited.
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The new Acropolis Museum opened today. It is located 300 meters from the famous ruins, and cost $181 million to build. Today, the new Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis. The new Museum offers all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century. Athens may be one of the most congested cities in Europe, but you won’t feel it here, staring up at the Parthenon’s columns as they turn to gold in the evening sunlight. Suddenly, your high-speed city break will feel like a proper Athens holiday.
Greek President Dimitrios Pandermalis wrote: “The new Acropolis Museum was designed with two objectives: the first to offer the best conditions for the exhibition of its exhibits and secondly to be a Museum that welcomes and befriends its visitors. A walk through its galleries is a walk through history – between the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods, but also in the ancient neighborhoods of Athens. The Museum offers many opportunities for rest and recreation, as well as a visitor friendly environment for some of the most emblematic works of antiquity.”
The monuments of the Acropolis have withstood the ravages of past centuries, both of ancient times and those of the Middle Ages. Until the 17th century, foreign travelers visiting the monuments depicted the classical buildings as being intact. This remained the case until the middle of the same century, when the Propylaia was blown up while being used as a gunpowder store. Thirty years later, the Ottoman occupiers dismantled the neighboring Temple of Athena Nike to use its materials to strengthen the fortification of the Acropolis. The most fatal year, however, for the Acropolis, was 1687, when many of the building’s architectural members were blown into the air and fell in heaps around the Hill of the Acropolis, caused by a bomb from the Venetian forces. Foreign visitors to the Acropolis would search through the rubble and take fragments of the fallen sculptures as their souvenirs. It was in the 19th century that Lord Elgin removed intact architectural sculptures from the frieze, the metopes and the pediments of the building.
In 1833, the Turkish garrison withdrew from the Acropolis. Immediately after the founding of the Greek State, discussions about the construction of an Acropolis Museum on the Hill of the Acropolis began. In 1863, it was decided that the Museum be constructed on a site to the southeast of the Parthenon and foundations were laid on 30 December 1865.
The building program for the Museum had provided that its height not surpasses the height of the stylobate of the Parthenon. With only 800 square meters of floor space, the building was rapidly shown to be inadequate to accommodate the findings from the large excavations on the Acropolis that began in 1886. A second museum was announced in 1888, the so-called Little Museum. Final changes occurred in 1946-1947 with the second Museum being demolished and the original being sizably extended.
By the 1970s, the Museum could not cope satisfactorily with the large numbers of visitors passing through its doors. The inadequacy of the space frequently caused problems and downgraded the sense that the exhibition of the masterpieces from the Rock sought to achieve.
The Acropolis Museum was firstly conceived by Constantinos Karamanlis in September 1976. He also selected the site, upon which the Museum was finally built, decades later. With his penetrating vision, C. Karamanlis defined the need and established the means for a new Museum equipped with all technical facilities for the conservation of the invaluable Greek artifacts, where eventually the Parthenon sculptures will be reunited.
For these reasons, architectural competitions were conducted in 1976 and 1979, but without success. In 1989, Melina Mercouri, who as Minister of Culture inextricably identified her policies with the claim for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, initiated an international architectural competition. The results of this competition were annulled following the discovery of a large urban settlement on the Makriyianni site dating from Archaic to Early Christian Athens. This discovery now needed to be integrated into the New Museum that was to be built on this site.
In the year 2000, the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum announced an invitation to a new tender, which was realized in accord with the Directives of the European Union. It is this Tender that has come to fruition with the awarding of the design tender to Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis and their associates and the completion of construction in 2007.
Visit The New Acropolis Museum at : http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/
The 40th edition of Art Basel takes place in the culturally rich city of Basel, Switzerland, from June 10 through June 14, 2009. As the world’s premier art show, Art Basel marks the annual reunion of the international artworld. This year, more than 300 exhibiting galleries from all over the globe were selected from a record number of more than 1,100 applications, and will be showing works by over 2,500 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Art Unlimited hall, with its 60 large-scale projects, and the Public Art Projects on the exhibition square offer further highlights.
The most spectacular event this year will be the presentation of “Il Tempo del Postino” at Theater Basel. Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno as a group exhibition that would occupy time rather than space, “Il Tempo del Postino” (Postman Time) presents a sequential display of time-based art on the theatre stage. Participating artists will include Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Trisha Donnelly, Olafur Eliasson, Peter Fischli / David Weiss, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Koo Jeong-A, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, Tino Sehgal and Rirkrit Tiravanija & Arto Lindsay. Furthermore Basel’s museums once again feature fascinating exhibitions, and will host a broad range of events.
Founded by a group of local gallerists, the first Art Basel took place in 1970 and has since then become the most prestigious art show worldwide. This 40th anniversary edition of Art Basel begins with a vernissage for invited guests on June 9 and opens to the general public from June 10 through June 14. The premier annual event regularly attracts some 60,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, curators, and art enthusiasts from across the globe, eager to see the most rigorously chosen overview of the international art market and to meet key movers of the international art scene. Covered by more than 2,300 media representatives, Art Basel earns its strong reputation based both on the quality and diversity of the exhibited art works.
Art 40 Basel will showcase all forms of artistic expression, including paintings, drawings, editions, and sculptures, installations, photography, performances, and internet and video art. Works costing a few thousand Swiss francs, by emerging artists, will be on display alongside museum-quality masterpieces priced in the millions.
Over 300 of the world’s leading galleries will be exhibiting at Art Basel. The galleries were chosen by the Art Basel Committee, an international jury of renowned gallerists, in accordance with strict quality criteria. Selected from a record number of more than 1,100 applicants, the sectors Art Galleries, Art Statements, Art Premiere and Art Edition include 75 galleries from the United States; 56 from Germany; 33 from Switzerland; 28 from Great Britain; 26 from France; 22 from Italy; 9 from Spain; 8 from Belgium; 7 from Austria; 5 from Japan; 4 each from Brazil, China and Poland; 3 from the Netherlands; 2 each from Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, Norway and South Korea; and one each from Argentina, Finland, India, Israel, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Once again more than 99 percent of last year’s exhibitors reapplied in the Art Galleries sector. This year’s strong roster of participants is reinforced by the additions of Johann König (Berlin), Dvir Gallery (Tel Aviv), Raw Art Gallery (Tel Aviv),Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou), Nils Staerk Contemporary Art (Copenhagen) and J Crist Gallery (Boise, Idaho, U.S.). The line-up of galleries showing 20th-century classics is augmented by Knoedler & Company (New York), Galerie Zlotowski (Paris), and Galerie Susanne Zander (Köln). The specialists in Art Edition are joined by Galerie Helga Maria Klosterfelde (Hamburg) and Galerie de Multiples (Paris), and the roster of photographic galleries is enhanced by the return of the Galerie Zur Stockeregg (Zürich). After a brief hiatus, David Nolan Gallery (New York), Galleria Raucci / Santamaria (Napoli), Greene Naftali (New York), Stuart Shave / Modern Art (London) and Team Gallery (New York) also rejoin Art Basel’s exhibitors.
On June 6th 2009, Punta della Dogana, the new art center for contemporary art of the François Pinault Foundation, opens its doors after fourteen months of renovation entrusted to the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The first exhibition Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, curated by Alison M. Gingeras and Francesco Bonami, is shown simultaneously at Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi and is shaped in response to the particular atmosphere of each space. With its triangular shape, Punta della Dogana split the Grand Canal from the Giudecca Canal. As center for contemporary art , the former monumental port of the city present a permanent exhibition of works from François Pinault Collection.
Undisputed masterpieces of contemporary art by such figures as Jeff Koons, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Cy Twombly, Takashi Murakami or Jake & Dinos Chapman are presented alongside pieces by emerging talents such as Matthew Day Jackson, Adel Abdessemed, Wilhelm Sasnal, Richard Hughes, Nate Lowman, Mark Bradford and Kai Althoff.
Conceived as a single exhibition that will unfold over the two venues, this presentation will be shaped in response to the particular atmosphere of each space: the inward-looking private sphere on one side, and the outward looking, world-at-large on the other. The two halves of the exhibition will constitute a dialogue between artists of different generations, covering a vast range of practices and aesthetic sensibilities.
François Pinault has entrusted the renovation of this 17th century edifice to Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Respecting the spirit of the original building, he has renovated the space in order to house a selection of works from the François Pinault Foundation, one of the world’s most important collections of contemporary art.
Punta della Dogana project
Tadao Ando drew up his plans for the new centre quickly. In effect, if one looks at his drawings one sees that, from the first, the broad outlines of the project were clear in his mind. The characteristic layout of the former warehouses, which occupy the triangular tongue of land where the Grand Canal meets the Giudecca Canal, was to be maintained.
And while extensive work on the foundations was to be carried out – to safeguard the structure from humidity and high water – the layout of the existing lofts was to be modified in order to create a space able to house the artworks of the François Pinault Collection. At a point almost dead-centre of the triangular floor plan, Ando immediately envisaged the creation of a new space standing the entire height of the building: a sort of pivot for the entire layout, this would occupy one of the middle warehouse aisles and was to be created in smooth and polished cement, a material that is now a recognised leitmotif of Ando’s architecture. This axial point – through which run all the routes within the structure – forms a cube, rising vertically within the volume of the building.
The work of restoration had to remove the unwanted accretions that had accumulated over time, with the new partition walls, stairs, walkways and service facilities all clearly identified as such. In effect, there is no attempt to disguise these new additions within the old body of the structure. Instead, there is a continual play of juxtaposition – almost as if Ando’s intention were to insert within the ancient building new volumes and levels that seem to mark out the stratifications added over time, organising them into a veritable spectacle of the structure’s own history.
Finally, he had the idea of creating gates for the water entrances that are explicit quotations of the wonderful gate that Carlo Scarpa designed in 1956. The design of these new doors and windows, though very modern, effectively employed Venetian traditional craft. Tadao Ando has thus succeeded in establishing a dialogue between old and new elements, creating a link between the history of the building, its present and its future.
François Pinault (born 21 August 1936) is a billionaire French businessman who runs the retail company PPR. He is a friend of former French President Jacques Chirac. According to Forbes List of billionaires (2008) he is ranked 39th in the world, with an estimated fortune of US$16.9 billion.
His holding company Artemis S.A., owns (or owned), among others, Converse shoes, Samsonite luggage, Château Latour, the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, and Christie’s auction house. Artemis also owns Executive Life (now Aurora Life) in California, which was sued by policy holders when the company failed.
Pinault owns one of the biggest collections of contemporary art worldwide. On the magazine ArtReview’s 2006 list of most powerful people in modern art, he was ranked in first place. In 2006 he obtained the ownership of Palazzo Grassi in Venice to display the collection.
Pinault led PPR through a long battle over control of Gucci, the Italian fashion house, which began with an attempted takeover of Gucci by LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. In March of 1999, Gucci asked PPR to acquire an ownership interest in Gucci to help fend off LVMH. The result was a struggle between the two richest men in France, both self-made billionaires — Pinault and Bernard Arnault, the Chairman of LVMH.
The dispute ended in September 2001, when LVMH agreed to sell its shares in Gucci to PPR for $94 a share. As part of the agreement, PPR promised to tender for the balance of the publicly traded shares at a later date. It completed that buy-in in July 2004 and took full control of Gucci.
In 1998, Pinault purchased a majority share of Christie’s auction house. In February 2000, A. Alfred Taubman, majority shareholder of rival company Sotheby’s stepped down amidst a scandal after the Federal Bureau of Investigation had investigated commission-fixing between the two companies. Pinault was not implicated, but rather it was his actions which precipitated the scandal. He fired Christie’s CEO Christopher Davidge over an allegation of extravagant spending. Davidge then admitted the collusion, which had gone on since about 1995, to Artemis’ CEO Patricia Barbizet. In October 2000, Sotheby’s CEO, Diana Brooks admitted her guilt in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence, and implicated Taubman. In December 2001, jurors in a high profile New York City courtroom found Taubman guilty of conspiracy. He served a year and a day in prison and Mrs. Brooks got 3 months of home confinement and a penalty of $350,000. International law permitted Christie’s to avoid prosecution (other than civil penalties).
Currently partnered to Mexican actress/producer Salma Hayek on March 9, 2007, they confirmed they were expecting their first child. On September 21, 2007, she gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. On July 18, 2008, Hayek and Pinault announced the end of their engagement. They later reconciled and were married on Valentine’s Day, 2009 in Paris. On April 25, 2009, they were married a second time in Venice.
Punta della Dogana
Fifty years after the realization of Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned design, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum celebrates the golden anniversary of its landmark building with the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, co-organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. On view from May 15 through August 23, 2009, the 50th anniversary exhibition brings together 64 projects designed by one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, including privately commissioned residences, civic and government buildings, religious and performance spaces, as well as unrealized urban mega-structures.
Presented on the spiral ramps of Wright’s museum through a range of media—including more than 200 original Frank Lloyd Wright drawings, many of which are on view to the public for the first time, as well as newly commissioned models and digital animations—Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward illuminates Wright’s pioneering concepts of space and reveals the architect’s continuing relevance to contemporary design.
The exhibition takes its title from Frank Lloyd Wright’s musings on the importance of interior space in shaping and informing a structure’s exterior. “The building is no longer a block of building material dealt with, artistically, from the outside,” Wright said. “The room within is the great fact about building—the room to be expressed in the exterior as space enclosed.” Few designs in Wright’s oeuvre so well illustrate the concept of designing “from within outward” as the Guggenheim Museum, in which the interior form gives shape to the exterior shell of the building.
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, stated, “Fifty years ago, the trajectories of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright became intertwined. When it opened in October 1959, the museum drew both criticism and admiration, but what was indisputable was that Wright had reinvented the art museum.” Armstrong continued, “How fitting that we open our fiftieth-anniversary celebrations with Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, an exhibition that documents and challenges how architecture influences the way we live and how we experience art.”
During his 72-year career, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959), who died just six months before the opening of the Guggenheim, worked independently from any single style and developed a new sense of architecture in which form and function are inseparable. Known for his inventiveness and the diversity of his work, Wright is celebrated for the awe-inspiring beauty and tranquility of his designs. Whether creating a private home, workplace, religious edifice, or cultural attraction, Wright sought to unite people, buildings, and nature in physical and spiritual harmony. To realize such a union in material form, Wright created environments of simplicity and repose through carefully composed plans and elevations based on consistent, geometric grammars.
Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward is organized in a loosely chronological order and is installed to be viewed from the rotunda floor upwards. Off the first ramp in the High Gallery is an original curtain depicting Wright’s native Wisconsin landscape from the 1952 Hillside Theater at Taliesin, Wright’s home and studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin (1911–59). On loan from Taliesin, this curtain creates the backdrop for a sound installation of recorded oral histories from the collection of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which feature the voices of clients, friends, apprentices, and architects reflecting on the revelatory experience of living and working in Wright-designed spaces.
Highlights of Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward include newly created three-dimensional scale models that examine the internal mechanics of functional space in relation to exterior form in a variety of Wright’s projects. Among these are an exploded version of the Herbert Jacobs House (Madison, Wisconsin, 1937); a mirrored model for Unity Temple; and a sectional model of Beth Sholom Synagogue (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 1953). Large-scale models of unrealized urban schemes for projects, including his Plan for Greater Baghdad (1957), the Crystal City for Washington, D.C. (1940), and the Pittsburgh Point Civic Center (1947), provide insight into Wright’s visions for the landscapes of the city. The models were developed by Michael Kennedy of New York–based Kennedy Fabrications Inc., which specializes in architectural models and prototyping, and Situ Studio, a Brooklyn-based firm focused on research, design, and fabrication.
The Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright In 1990, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was declared a landmark by the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission and in 2005 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On October 7, 2008, the Interior Secretary of the United States named the Guggenheim a National Historic Landmark in recognition of the museum’s significance within American history and culture. UNESCO World Heritage Center also is considering Wright’s legacy: ten of the architect’s most relevant buildings, including the Guggenheim Museum, Taliesin, and Taliesin West, his home and studio in Scottsdale and the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, have recently been included on the United States’ World Heritage Tentative List, which identifies the most significant cultural and natural treasures worldwide.
With its legacy grounded in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim is dedicated to exploring the connections between design, architecture, and other forms of art, especially in the context of the city. Design exhibitions organized by the Guggenheim have included the 2001 retrospective of the work of architect Frank Gehry, which became the most attended show in the history of the New York museum, and a retrospective of the work of architect Zaha Hadid in 2006. With such projects at the forefront, the Guggenheim has initiated the development of a broad program in which architecture and design become a means of expression to document, divert, and direct our increasingly urban societies.
Exhibition Tour Following the presentation of Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain, where it will be on view from October 6, 2009 through February 2010.
Publications Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward is accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue published by Skira/Rizzoli. With forewords by Phil Allsopp, Richard Armstrong, and Thomas Krens, the catalogue will include essays by Wright scholars Richard Cleary, Neil Levine, Mina Marefat, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Joseph M. Siry, and Margo Stipe.
In addition to the exhibition catalogue, The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum will be published on the occasion of museum’s fiftieth anniversary and in association with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. This first-ever book to explore the 16-year construction process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America will examine the history, design, and construction of Wright’s masterwork. Fully illustrated with preliminary drawings, models, and photographs, the book includes three major essays by Hillary Ballon, Neil Levine and Joseph Siry.
A hope the Jewish Museum Berlin has had for some time is now to be realized: The Museum will be granted its much-needed expansion into the area on the opposite side of the road which currently houses Berlin ’s Central Flower Market. The space provided by expansion into the market hall will satisfy the Museum’s urgent need for additional room for educational programs, the archive, the library, and research. André Schmitz, State Secretary for Cultural Affairs in Berlin , has approved the project, ensuring that the state of Berlin will hand over the use and management of the whole hall to the Jewish Museum Berlin . The Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg District Authority is seeing to the alteration of the land-use plan for the area between Lindenstrasse and Friedrichstrasse, in which the Central Flower Market premises are currently a designated “mixed-use” area. This will enable the hall to be used as a cultural center in future.
Hall Conversion Financed Through the Generous Support of the State and Private Sponsors
The building planned by the architect Bruno Grimmek between 1962 and 1965 will not be demolished, but merely modified to suit the requirements of the Jewish Museum Berlin . Construction work can begin in 2010 when the approximately 6,000 m² hall will be vacated by the Berlin Central Market, which will move to the Beusselstrasse. The costs are estimated at 10 million euros, of which the state – under the direction of Bernd Neumann, Minister of State for Cultural and Media Affairs – will cover 6 million. The remaining 4 million euros will be raised by the Jewish Museum Berlin through sponsors. Amongst the Museum’s supporters are a generous sponsor from the US and the American Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin : Their gift to the Museum is the design for the hall’s modification, for which it is hoped the Daniel Libeskind Studio can be won. Berlin ’s Kreuzberg district would thus gain a further architectural attraction, which alongside the Libeskind Building and Libeskind-inspired Glass Courtyard would complete the Lindenstrasse ensemble – without burdening public coffers with the expense of a star architect’s design.
Education and Research Will be Under One Roof
The expansion has become necessary due to the growth of the education and research areas at the Jewish Museum Berlin . The new building is to bring the education department, the archive, and the library under one roof, thus creating synergies between scientific research and educational work. Direct access to information, a clearer overview of what is on offer, and more room for exchange, transfer of knowledge, and encounters – the new location will ensure all these. The objective is to establish in the Lindenstrasse in Berlin one of the most important research and education centers on the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry.
Increasing Demand for the JMB’s Educational Programs
Since the opening of the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2001, its educational work has more than doubled. In addition to the roughly 7,000 guided tours each year, the Museum holds around 300 educational events such as training courses, seminars for students, vacation programs, workshops on special exhibitions and Jewish festivals, workshops about the archive featuring talks with witnesses, theater workshops, programs against antisemitism, project days, and training courses for teachers. Over 100,000 visitors per year come to these events. Furthermore, at least 10 times a year the Jewish Museum Berlin hosts large-scale educational events with up to 300 school pupils, for example as part of international youth meetings or commemoration days for schools such as the Anne Frank School.
This diverse range of activities and the increase in demand, particularly where whole-day activities are concerned, has resulted in a space shortage that will be solved with the expansion into the Central Flower Market hall. It will enable more events to be held at the same time and a clearer representation of findings. More space will also be available for educational work on a theme the Museum intends to bring into sharper focus: Integration, understanding, and tolerance in a multiethnic society. Moreover, the spatial proximity of the archives, library, seminar rooms, workshops, and multimedia activities will ensure more efficient logistics in the organization of events. Last but not least, it will take the pressure off the flow of visitors into the Old Building and the Libeskind Building , which are frequented by more than 750,000 people a year visiting the permanent and special exhibitions.
Growing Archives and Intensification of Scientific Research
The archival holdings of the Jewish Museum Berlin have likewise more than doubled since its opening. Further growth is expected in the near and mid-term future, since the last generation of Holocaust survivors is passing away. The Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) has the task of conserving this heritage by continuously adding to its collections. Furthermore, the archive would like to expand its holdings on postwar history of Jews in Germany .
In addition, there are the dependencies of important archives on German-speaking Jewry housed at the JMB: The holdings of the dependency there of the Leo Baeck Institute New York Archive have quadrupled since 2001. The Jewish Museum Berlin opened a dependency of the Wiener Library London in 2008. In cooperation with the British partners, the holdings, which have so far not been inventoried, are to be made accessible at the JMB.
The number of users has also risen appreciably: The holdings of the Jewish Museum Berlin , the Leo Baeck Archive, and the Wiener Library are in international demand. Inquiries from researchers come not only from Europe, but also from other parts of the world such as Israel , the USA , and Canada . The extension will not only ensure improved conditions for using the materials, but will also provide more space for collaboration with universities and other scientific institutions – an area that is to receive sharper focus. Alongside a fellowship program, more scientific events such as conferences, meetings, and lectures are planned.
Library Expansion and Improved Conditions for Users
The library at the Jewish Museum Berlin will also move into the extension. Initially planned as a reference library for employees, it originally housed around 70,000 media and has been used as a specialist reference library since 2001. The holdings have trebled in the past 10 years. As well as literature on German-Jewish history, culture, literature, music, art, and other humanistic sections, it also boasts a historical collection whose oldest book dates back to the 14th century. In 2005, the library began to collect audiovisual materials and thus became a media center.
Hidden away at the back of the Libeskind Building , the current library is not in a part of the Museum to which the public has free access. Therefore prior notification is required of its visitors, who are then accompanied by staff to and from the reading room. In the new building on the opposite side of the Lindenstrasse, the library rooms will be freely accessible making use of them easier and thus more attractive.