“The National Children’s Museum (NCM) announced that it will relocate to Washington, D.C. from its location at National Harbor in 2015. The current site in Prince George’s County, Md. has welcomed more than 250,000 visitors in the two years since opening, though challenges such as lack of nearby public transportation, available space and affordable options to expand the building have made it difficult to extend the museum’s exhibits and programming to a broader community of children, families and tourists throughout the metro area.
According to Chairman of the NCM Board of Directors S. Ross Hechinger, limits to accessibility and program space have created barriers to fulfilling the museum’s mission in recent years. “The mission of the National Children’s Museum is ‘to inspire children to care about and improve the world.’ By returning to the District, the Board believes the museum can better serve all children across the metropolitan area, as well as the thousands of tourists who have been our traditional visitors,” said Hechinger. Hechinger acknowledged both Prince George’s County and state of Maryland government officials for their support for NCM at National Harbor.
Washington, D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans said he endorsed the Board’s decision to relocate to the District, stating, “As a former board member, I am delighted to welcome the museum and its dedicated staff back to the District. I anticipate the new administration will be eager to embrace such an important institution that will benefit children of all ages for years to come.”
Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams echoed Evans’ support, saying, “A new location in D.C. will mean all children, regardless of their ZIP code, will be able to walk through the museum’s doors and be inspired.”
LuAnn Bennett, co-chair of NCM, is leading the search for a new location in the District, which will be announced as soon as the site is confirmed. During the transition, NCM plans to continue operating the institution’s many successful programs throughout the region. The museum expects to continue to serve a quarter of a million children through various trademark programs and events, such as annual participation in the White House Easter Egg Roll, July 4th on the Mall activities, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) in collaboration with Children’s National Medical Center, and the Family Literacy Projects on a Budget® programs.”
“After nearly a year-and-a-half of planning, BIG has revealed its plans for the campus redesign, which includes renovations to the Smithsonian Castle, new entrances for the National Museum of African Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and improved access to the Freer Gallery of Art and to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.”
“Forty years ago this month, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden opened to the public with great fanfare. As the first museum on the National Mall devoted to modern art and one of the world’s leading museums of contemporary and modern art, the striking round building is home to a highly regarded permanent collection and pioneering exhibitions that reflect the best art of our time.
Continuing in that tradition, the museum kicks off its yearlong 40th anniversary celebration with two new exhibitions Oct. 16. “At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection” and “Days of Endless Time” feature works by more than 60 artists. A series of free public programs is planned as part of the anniversary celebration. The museum has also made a number of new acquisitions in this anniversary year, including significant works by the Guerrilla Girls, Laurel Nakadate, Catherine Opie and Thomas Struth. (more…)
“A public memorial service for the Corcoran Gallery of Art will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at 500 17th Street, NW Washington, D.C.
Following a procession from the Corcoran, the service will continue at Oak Hill Cemetery 3001 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C. at 3:30 p.m. at the site of William Wilson Corcoran’s mausoleum. (Please note: there is street parking only and carpooling is encouraged.)
The location and time of a reception where friends in the community are encouraged to share remembrances and farewell comments will be announced in the memorial service program that day. A guest book will be available at all sites.
Small, personal Corcoran-related tributes will be collected throughout the service for cremation after the memorial. Those bringing tributes are requested to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope. The ashes will be mailed at a later date. An In Memory of the Corcoran Gallery of Art Facebook page has been created for posting Corcoran memories.
Attire: Guests are encouraged to wear black or dress in period clothing of the Victorian era as a tribute to William Wilson Corcoran: black arm bands, men in mourning coats, women in dark veils with black umbrellas. (more…)
“I am a member of Phillips Collection but yesterday when I went for a quick afternoon glimpse of the excellent “Luncheon of the Boating Party” I was alerted to the fact that the gallery is free right now for everyone. This is because they are in the process of exchanging out the 3rd floor exhibit. I think entrance is usually $15ish so this is a nice perk. Thought you might like to share it out with readers!”
Ed. Note: Phillips says they’ll be free until the next exhibit (except for weekends) on Sept. 27th
“Opening this weekend in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is an installation by contemporary Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, whose art uses everyday objects such as yarn, shoes, and keys to create room-filling works that have deep personal meaning. In her installation, called Over the Continents, she used 350 donated shoes and 4 miles of the same shade of red yarn used in the yarn bomb. Part of the Freer|Sackler’s Perspectives series of contemporary art, Shiota’s work will be on view for the next year. The yarn bomb, unfortunately, can only stay up through Labor Day.
The yarn bomb was installed the evening of August 28 and revealed early in the morning on August 29, the day before Perspectives: Chiharu Shiota officially opened to the public. We had been knitting for about two weeks to create all of the pieces.”
Ed. Note: I missed a bunch of cool/notable stuff last week while I was on vacation – I’ll try to play catch up and post the good stuff the rest of this week – if you think I missed something really big – please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail – thanks!
As the students of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, we’ve seen our community hollowed out. Our faculty, staff and peers, the lifeblood of this institution, are struggling to define their future purposes in the Corcoran as it moves beneath the umbrella of your institution and the National Gallery of Art. Our administration informs us that the Corcoran’s curricula, buildings and the very people that make up our school are at risk for termination – or already dismissed. The future students of the CCA+D may enter a school that in no way resembles our beloved family.
The most important aspect and promise of this institutional agreement is that we function as our own “academic unit within the university’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.” The recent news of our entire staff’s termination, the infrastructure and institutional memory of our school, renders that promise moot and physically and spiritually guts our community and mission.
Since March 2013, we have repeatedly asked the Corcoran Director’s Office for a voice in decision-making processes and planning conversations going forward. We have been polite in our requests and made our concerns and priorities clear. Over the course of the last 15 months we have been granted a total of three meetings. It is our conclusion that the Directors’ Office neither listens to, nor represents, our point of view, thus we ask to engage with you directly.
Our appeals are simple and reasonable: honor your original promise. Let us keep the spirit of the Corcoran intact. We define that spirit as an extension of the Corcoran’s mission statement: Dedicated to Art and the Encouragement of American Genius. This occurs daily in our classrooms and galleries; it thrives as a result of our professors’ fostering our artistic abilities; it evolves as a result of interdepartmental collaboration; it is realized by our public exhibitions and our engagement with the global community.
We know and understand that things must change. We envision our small college
thriving within your university and becoming the 21st-Century art school about which you have spoken. Your actions function as an undermining of this very goal, and a destruction of everything that we have built over so many years. You don’t want this. You don’t want to start from scratch. You don’t want a demoralized student body and faculty. We think, as the students who came to this amazing arts school, that you would want all of the energy, the knowledge and legacy to be the foundation of this new and exciting center of the arts.
We realize that concessions must be made, but in order to retain any of the amazing qualities of our college, we require, first and foremost, its people. We require the immediate rehiring of key staff and a commitment for the employment of our faculty matching their commitment at the Corcoran. We require stability for our community outreach programs, including NEXT, ArtReach, Gallery 31, and all existing student organizations. We require intimate and interdisciplinary settings in which to learn from our professors. We require our faculty’s autonomy to create and administer our curricula. And we require a commitment from you to come forth with a plan for a collaborative vision.
Most importantly, these issues need to be addressed publicly and with the highest level of transparency. At all future discussions we need to have a meaningful presence and voice.
We ask for a consistent series of meetings scheduled with a representative student group and GWU representation, including Dean Ben Vinson.