Jennifer Schuessler reports in the New York Times that the New York Public Library will release more than 180,000 photographs, postcards, maps, and other items in the public domain from the library’s special collections as downloadable high-resolution files on their website. Users will also have the freedom to circulate the files at will. According to Ben Vershbow, the director of the library system’s technology division NYPL Labs that has led the project, “We see digitization as a starting point, not end point…we don’t just want to put stuff online and say, ‘Here it is,’ but rev the engines and encourage reuse.”
Most items included in this release have already been accessible via the library’s digital collections portal, the difference being that the files are now available for free and immediate download. NYPL Labs was an intiative started in 2011 and in the future plans to offer “Remix Residencies,” which will provide funds for users’ projects that incorporate the public-domain materials.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts has announced that it has welcomed six new members to its board of trustees. Mark A. Douglas, president of FMC Agricultural Solutions; Robert E. Kohler, professor emeritus of the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania and longtime PAFA donor; Jannie K. Lau, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary at InterDigital; Kelly Lee, chief cultural officer of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy; Jay H. Shah, CEO of Hersha Hospitality Trust; and June Marshall Smith, a member of the academy’s Women’s Board since 2014, were elected in June.
“The expertise, enthusiasm, and leadership they bring to the table will be invaluable to PAFA’s continued success in fulfilling our mission of promoting the transformative power of art and art making,” board chair Kevin F. Donohoe said. Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America’s oldest school of fine arts and museum.
John Gruen, a cultural critic who wrote for the New York Herald Tribune, New York Magazine, the New York Times, Vogue, Artnews, Architectural Digest, and Dance Magazine, died on Tuesday at the age of eighty-nine, Margalit Fox of the New York Times reports.
The composer, self-taught photographer, and author, wore many hats. In Gruen’s own words, from his 2008 autobiography, Callas Kissed Me…Lenny Too!: A Critic’s Memoir, he was a “writer, critic, journalist, bon vivant, gadfly, busybody, father, husband, queer, neurotic workaholic,” and a “handmaiden to the stars, reveler in reflected glory, and needy intimate of the super-famous.”
He authored several books including numerous biographies such as The Private World of Leonard Bernstein (1968) and Keith Haring (1992). His photographs are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. The Whitney owns hundreds of his images, which include portraits of Yoko Ono, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, and Willem de Kooning, among many others and presented the exhibition “Facing the Artist: Portraits by John Jonas Gruen” in 2010.
Born as Jonas Grunberg in France in 1926, Gruen, the youngest of four brothers, moved with his family to Berlin then Milan before fleeing to New York in 1939 to escape Mussolini. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, where he met his wife, the late painter Jane Wilson. Gruen did graduate work at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, and worked as a book buyer at Brentano’s, publicity director at Grove Press, and a photographers’ agent. He would eventually own homes on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and in Water Mill on Long Island. He is survived by his daughter Julia Gruen, the executive director of the Keith Haring Foundation.
Artist Rashid Johnson has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Guggenheim Foundation. He will be the first artist on the board since Hilla Rebay, the Guggenheim’s founding director and curator.
Johnson’s work has appeared in the museum’s show “Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim,” 2015, and in 2012 he was short-listed for the Hugo Boss Prize. His solo exhibition “Message to Our Folks,” 2012, appeared at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, traveling the following year to the Miami Art Museum; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Kemper Art Museum.
The chair and president of the Guggenheim foundation, William L. Mack and Jennifer Blei Stockman, said, “Widely celebrated for his compelling contributions to contemporary art, Rashid is a dynamic and accomplished practitioner whose work is represented in the Guggenheim collection.”
According to Nate Freeman of Artnews, Patton Hindle, RJ Supa, and Courtney Childress, three former Lower East Side gallery directors, have announced that they are cofounding Yours Mine & Ours gallery, which is scheduled to open on September 11.
The three gallerists will also serve as codirectors of the 54 Eldridge Street space. Named after a 1968 Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda comedy, the gallery will present works by Todd Bienvenu, Jeremy Couillard, and Mandy Lyn Ford. More details will be announced in the upcoming months.
Hindle, who currently serves as director of the gallery and institutional partnerships at Artspace, is the former head of Dodge Gallery, which was located on Rivington Street before it closed in 2014. Childress is the ex-director of Bushwick’s Life on Mars and the Bowery’s On Stellar Rays, and RJ Supa coowned Louis B. James gallery on Orchard Street, which closed last Sunday.
After five years, gallerists David Fierman and RJ Supa decided to permanently close Louis B. James Gallery in order to pursue other projects. Fierman will establish a new space on Henry Street and Supa is cofounding Yours Mine & Ours with former Lower East Side gallery directors Patton Hindle and Courtney Childress, both venues expect to open in September.
In a joint statement Fierman and Supa said, “We would like to thank all of the artists who have given us the privilege of exhibiting their work. Thank you to everyone who has supported us. We’re looking forward to seeing you in our future endeavors.”
The 143 orchard street space represented artists such as Jeremy Couillard, Bruce Davenport, Jr, Nora Griffin, Kelly Jazvac, Nikki Katsika, Martin Roth, and Isaac Resnikoff. The gallery’s website will remain online as an archive of the venue’s past exhibitions.
The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center has announced that Jeff Arnal was appointed executive director. Arnal will be responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership and further developing the institution’s programming and resources. He will start in the position on August 1.
“Having worked in the arts and nonprofit sector for the past two decades, first as a composer and percussionist, and later as a curator, writer, administrator, and producer, Jeff is uniquely suited to lead BMCM+AC,” cochair Brian Butler said. “We look forward to working with him to sustain the college’s tradition of exploring historic paths and forging new ones.”
Arnal cofounded Free Range Asheville, a platform for performance, research, and discourse in 2015. For three years he worked as a senior specialist for the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, a subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia. Arnal served as a consultant for National Sawdust, a performing arts venue in Brooklyn, and in 2001 he cofounded Improvised and Otherwise, an interdisciplinary festival for emerging artists in the borough. Arnal earned his MFA in music from Bennington College and his BA in interdisciplinary studies: music composition and filmmaking from the University of Maryland.
“Working with my new colleagues and the dynamic Asheville arts community, I look forward to creating programs—from intimate experiences to celebratory events—that offer a variety of entry points to engage with and interpret content that mirrors the evolving conditions of contemporary arts and culture,” Arnal said.
Established in 1993 in Asheville, North Carolina, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center preserves and pays tribute to the history and legacy of innovation of Black Mountain College (1933-57). Arnal, who succeeds Katherine de Vos Devine, is taking the helm of the organization one month after it opened a new gallery space and inaugural exhibition, “Randy Shull/Wide Open: Architecture and Design,” as part of a three-year expansion project.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit announced that it has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the Ford Foundation in support of two curatorial fellowships that will begin in January 2017.
“Without [the Foundation’s] support, this fellowship could not have been realized,” Elysia Borowy-Reeder, MOCAD’s executive director, said. “Museum education can be, and should be, reinvented to be at the service of young people.”
The program will provide recent graduates in art history, or a related field, with the opportunity to gain experience as a museum professional and contribute to the institution’s curatorial research on artists working in the Southwestern region of Michigan. The fellows will collaborate with museum staff to organize exhibitions, produce a publication, and develop public programming. and The candidates will be nominated by MoCAD’s newly launched Maggie Allesee University Advisory Council and chosen by the museum.
Renderings have been released by the Asian Art Museum for its twelve-thousand-square-foot expansion unveiled earlier this year, reports Adam Brinklow in Curbed.com. Brinklow notes that the museum occupies “a historic building that’s been home to several landmark institutions,” and so the initial designs, by the New York– and LA-based firm wHY, will first have to be approved by the city’s Architectural Review Committee.
Most of the $25 million required for the expansion is coming from the museum’s board members. Construction is currently planned to begin in 2017.
P.P.O.W. Gallery has announced plans to expand, Alex Greenberger of Artnews reports. In September, the gallery will open a new 2,000-square-foot project and installation space that will also serve as a showroom on the sixth floor of 535 West 22nd Street, three floors above the gallery itself.
Wendy Olsoff, cofounder of P.P.O.W., said, that the growing gallery was running out of room to hold meetings and conduct research, and so would be expanding into a space previously occupied by Morgan Lehman. “We felt like, if we didn’t take it now, it would be a mistake.” She added, “It’s not like opening a space in Hong Kong, but for us, it’s a big deal.”
A project by Katharine Kuharic will inaugurate the space. The artist will work on producing portraits of every United States president in the weeks preceding the election and gallery-goers will be invited to watch her paint. Established in 1983, P.P.O.W. first opened in the East Village. It moved to SoHo in 1988 and finally settled in Chelsea in 2002. The gallery represents artists such as Ann Agee, Sandow Birk, Timothy Horn, Hunter Reynolds, Jessica Stoller, Martha Wilson, and Thomas Wodruff. In addition to the expansion, the gallery also welcomed Trey Hollis who was appointed associate director.
July 21, 2016, 3:04 PM: An earlier version stated that P.P.O.W. would be moving into Julie Saul Gallery’s space. P.P.O.W. is moving into the space previously occupied by Morgan Lehman. The article has been updated to reflect this information.