The Los Angeles Times’ David Colker reports that Lucia Eames has passed away. A designer in her own right, Eames also devoted the last quarter decade of her life to preserving the legacy of one of the most influential design duos in the last century: Charles and Ray Eames, her father and stepmother. In particular, Lucia Eames created a foundation that maintained the two-story Eames House and the furnishings within it—including 1,800 objects from the house’s living room alone, which were loaned to LACMA for its “California Design” show in 2011. Her own works were often steel or bronze, with geometric cut patterns. Particularly well known was her Wind Harp, 1967, a steel tower topped with an Aeolian harp that she created with her second husband, which stands in south San Francisco.
The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Boehm reports that artist Betye Saar will be honored with this year’s Edward MacDowell Medal. The award’s given by the MacDowell Colony in recognition of lifetime achievement. Saar will join an elite roster of honorees that also includes artists like Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Robert Frank, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jasper Johns, as well as composer Stephen Sondheim, writer Joan Didion, and architect I. M. Pei. Novelist Michael Chabon—chair of the MacDowell Colony— commended Saar for creating work “as inescapably recognizable as our own broken world . . . mapping it with fierceness, a sense of play and . . . wild accuracy.”
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced that several of its curators have been promoted: Jodi Hauptman and Starr Figura are now senior curator and curator, respectively, in the department of drawings and prints, while Joshua Siegel has been named a curator in the department of film. Hauptman joined the museum in 2002. She is the author of Joseph Cornell: Stargazing in the Cinema (1999) and winner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Charles Eldredge prize for distinguished scholarship in American art. Figura, meanwhile, had served in the department of prints and illustrated books since 2008, where she was Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten associate curator. She organized “German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse” in 2011. Siegel, who's been with the museum since 1993, has organized or coorganized over ninety exhibitions, including “Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema,” which opened earlier this year.
Evan S. Benn reports in the Miami Herald that the Perez Museum in Miami is facing a lawsuit that alleges two of its contractors failed to keep several five-ton-plus beams from collapsing during construction. The engineering firm Arup USA is demanding nearly $7 million from the museum and from the contractors it employed. “PAMM was included in the lawsuit based on its role as owner and in no way bears responsibility for any monetary damages claimed by the engineer,” said museum officials in a statement.
Sometimes, a thirty-two-second apology is just not enough: Maria Miller, Britain’s culture secretary under David Cameron, has stepped down after an ongoing public uproar. Under investigation for allegedly inflating expense claims, Miller had demonstrated a “minimalist show of contrition,” in the words of the New York Times’ Stephen Castle, which only further incensed her critics. In an editorial released by the Daily Mail yesterday, the affair was described as a “slow-motion car crash,” and Cameron acknowledged that public anger in the face of parliamentary expenses was “still very raw.” Miller has repaid nearly $10,000 of the expenses she claimed, and has been cleared of allegations that she financed her parents’ home using the public’s money.
Ekaterina Degot’s been elected artistic director at Academy of the Arts of the World, according to e-flux. Elke Moltrecht has been named the CEO. The nonprofit cultural institution was founded in 2012 by the city of Cologne, which wanted to foster “a society of artists and scholars” that “seeks to move beyond Eurocentrist doctrines of cultural history.” Degot teaches at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. The former senior editor of Openspace.ru, she also cocurated the first edition of the Bergen Assembly, a triennial in Norway.
Curator Leah Abir has been named the new chief curator at the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel. A recipient of the Artis Curatorial Fellowship with Creative Time in 2011, Abir has worked as associate curator and director of programming for Museums of Bat Yam. She’s independently organized exhibitions throughout Israel and written extensively for publications on visual art. Her appointment follows the departure of former chief curator Ruti Dirketor.
Cornelius Gurlitt, son of a Nazi-era art dealer, has reached a deal with the German government regarding the trove of looted artworks he’d held for years. According to Melissa Eddy in the New York Times, a task force of experts from around the world will have one year to investigate the works seized from Gurlitt’s apartment in 2012. Noting that the agreement “bypasses the thirty-year statute of limitations that applies to stolen property in Germany,” Eddy commends the recent developments as a sign that the German government’s motivated to resolve ongoing claims pertaining to Nazi-looted art.
The Guggenheim Foundation has announced its list of 177 Guggenheim Fellows for 2014. There are 178 awardees in total, including one joint fellowship, chosen from a pool of nearly three thousand applicants. This year's honorees in the fields of creative arts are as follows:
Drama & Performance Art
Young Min Moon
Mary Reid Kelley
Emily Fox Gordon
D. T. Max
The Milwaukee Art Museum has unveiled designs for its new 17,000-square-foot, two-story building, reports Mary Louise Schumacher of the |Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel|. Milwaukee architect Jim Shields’ plans will create a new lakefront entrance, as well as more exhibition space for the museum’s collection and a dramatic sculpture gallery that will be visible to passers-by. The museum has raised about $13 million of the $15 million it needs for the renovation.
Frieze New York will be using partial union labor at its upcoming fair this May at Randall’s Island, and will employ only union workers beginning with its 2015 edition, reports GalleristNY’s Zoë Lescaze. The news concludes an ongoing dispute between the fair’s organizers and employees that at one point led activists (on behalf of the Teamsters, the New York District Council of Carpenters and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and others) to stage an inflatable rat outside the fair last May. Calling the outcome of the latest negotiations “a great win,” George Miranda, president of the Teamsters Joint Council 16 and leader of the talks, said: “We’re satisfied with it. Our goal all along was to make sure it was 100 percent union labor, and that’s what we accomplished.”
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be establishing the John and Lisa Pritzker Center for Photography. Funded with a lead gift from the Pritzkers alongside support from other patrons, the 15,000-square-foot space will be the largest of its kind devoted to photography of any museum in the US, and will occupy almost all of the third floor of the expanded museum, which is designed by Snřhetta, and which will make its debut in 2016. Said John Pritzker, “The Bay Area has always played an important role in the history of photography and is home to a uniquely vibrant and engaged community of enthusiasts and private collectors.”