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‘Intelligent design’: Frank Gehry’s surprisingly subtle $233m makeover of Philadelphia Museum of Art revealed | The Art Newspaper

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The Williams Forum at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, looking west into Lenfest Hall from the ground level. The architect Frank Gehry demolished a former auditorium and replaced it with a dramatic 40ft-high open space
Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell; courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Enlisting the creativity of Frank Gehry, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has completed a $233m renovation and reorganisation of the lower interior spaces at the heart of its landmarked 1928 Beaux-Arts building. The latest phase of a master plan for improvements that was approved by the museum’s board in 2004 and involved four years of construction, the so-called Core Project yields nearly 90,000 sq. ft of reimagined public spaces and new galleries that are due to open on 7 May.

“This is really making way for the future in lots of ways—infrastructurally, in terms of circulation, and setting the stage for a new space to be built,” says the museum’s director, Timothy Rub, referring to the next phase of the master plan. That calls for an underground expansion of almost 80,000 sq. ft beneath the museum’s East Terrace, embraced by the U-shape of the building.

Gehry knows the way buildings work and how to organise sequences of spaces
Timothy Rub, director, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Perhaps unusually for the architect, who is known for testing boundaries, Gehry took a deferential posture to the almost century-old building. Designed by Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele as a temple atop a hill, it was badly in need of systems upgrading—electrical, heating, water, air handling and networking.

“From the moment I started exploring it, I knew that Trumbauer and Abele had planned for the expansion all those years ago,” Gehry says, adding that he continues to be amazed by the intelligent design of the original museum. “I hope that people feel like my part of the design has been there all along and was just uncovered, because that’s kind of what I feel like we did.”

Gehry’s big move was to demolish an auditorium added in 1959 at the centre of the ground level and replace it with a dramatic 40ft-high open forum space. Accessed by two new sets of staircases, the multistorey forum connects with the primary entrance hall on the first floor and central great stairs, and is crucial to providing better circulation vertically and horizontally across the museum.


The north entrance of the museum, which was restored to public use in 2019 for the first time in decades. The Core Project involved four years of renovations across the institution, and the last stage will be unveiled on 7 May
Photo: Steve Hall, © Hall + Merrick Photographers; courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The forum, which will be used for events, performances and educational programmes, is ideal for large-scale works of art and will be inaugurated with Fire (United States of the Americas) (2017-20), Teresita Fernández’s map of the US and its dependencies composed of charred pieces of wood. Monumental works by El Anatsui and Do Ho Suh will be shown there over the next year and a half.

The back wall of the forum will eventually be opened up and become the central portal into the future underground addition. Its timeline is still to be determined and will require substantial new fundraising. (Roughly 90% of the money for the Core Project has been raised, according to Rub.)

Gehry has also restored a vaulted Guastavino-tiled walkway spanning 640ft, the entire breadth of the museum, and bisecting the forum on the ground level, as well as creating new two suites of galleries flanking the forum by relocating the store, restaurant and back-of-house operations from these spaces.


Gehry’s interventions included the restoration of a vaulted Guastavino-tiled walkway spanning 640ft, the entire breadth of the museum
Photo: Steve Hall © Hall + Merrick Photographers; courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Expert planning

“An often overlooked aspect of Frank’s work is that he’s a great planner,” Rub says. “He knows the way buildings work and how to organise sequences of spaces. That’s exactly what we needed in a building as big and as complicated as ours.”

Beyond modernising all the building’s systems, Gehry undertook a light-handed intervention in the main entrance hall, including a new coffered ceiling with integrated LED lighting that makes the cleaned tawny limestone walls glow. His most signature sculptural touch comes in the design of dramatic staircases that gently curve in two directions and are harmonically clad in limestone from the same quarries in Minnesota used for the original building.

The new 20,000 sq. ft of gallery space is split evenly between American art from 1650 to 1850—doubling the amount of space given to that collection—and Modern and contemporary holdings. “We knew these were great opportunities to reinterpret and diversify the presentation of our collection,” Rub says.


The Garden of Forking Paths, a 2017 performance by Nichole Canuso Dance Company; Canuso will present a newly commissioned interactive dance performance in the exhibition New Grit: Art & Philly Now
Photo: Katie Raines; courtesy of the artist

The reinstallation of more than 800 works in the early American galleries incorporates a more inclusive range of narratives centred on Philadelphia, dating from William Penn’s first meetings with the Lenape people in the late 17th century and including fresh connections with the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as the role of African Americans in the city’s cultural economy.

The Modern and contemporary galleries have a focus on Philadelphia as well, spotlighting 25 artists with a strong connection to the city, whether born, educated or currently based there. The inaugural show New Grit: Art & Philly Now includes such artists as Howardena Pindell, Jesse Krimes, Wilmer Wilson IV and Jonathan Lyndon Chase, grappling with personal, social and political issues from Black Lives Matter to immigration to mass incarceration.

“I wanted to do something contemporary that would be an acknowledgment of the fact that it’s a great city for arts education, but also there are a lot of artists working here,” says Rub, who calls the exhibition “a love letter to Philadelphia”.

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Marcel Duchamp Wasn’t the Only Artist With an Alter Ego. Here Are 6 of the Greatest Art Aliases of All Time | Artnet News

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We all have hidden selves, but rarely do people name them, let alone give them an entire body of work.

The idea of the alter ego is an ancient one. Cicero coined the term, describing it as a kind of alternative self, a “trusted friend.” Centuries later, Robert Louis Stevenson imbued the alter ego with a notorious tilt after writing his famed 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Musicians, for their part, have often embraced other selves as a means of experimenting with new sounds or styles: David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust, Beyoncé has Sasha Fierce, and (as every person of a certain age knows) Miley Cyrus had Hannah Montana.

Many artists, too, have cultivated alter egos, occasionally to the bafflement of the public. If that comes as news to you, please let this be your introduction to six of art history’s most infamous, interesting, and outlandish alter egos. 

Rrose Sélavy

Man Ray, Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp) (1921). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Who’s Who?: Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp)

Origin Story: A few years after introducing the world to the readymade with his infamous 1914 Bottle Rack, Marcel Duchamp surprised the art world again when he debuted Rrose Sélavy, his female alter ego.

The name was a riff on the French phrase “Eros, c’est la vie” (Eros is life). For whatever reason, a second “r” was added to the name in 1921 when Sélavy added her signature to Francis Picabia’s collage L’Oeil Cacodylate

Artistic License: Rrose Sélavy was an artist, muse, and creative experiment all in one. Sélavy sat for a number of now-famous portraits by Man Ray and Florine Stettheimer, and Duchamp credited a number of sculptures to her. 

A SAMO tag declaring, somewhat antithetically, that SAMO is dead. Photo courtesy YouTube.

Who’s Who?: SAMO (Jean-Michel Basquiat)

Origin Story:  While still in high school, Basquiat first gained glimmers of fame as “SAMO,” a graffiti tag he used that stood for “same old shit.”

Basquiat and his friend and collaborator Al Diaz invented the character while still in high school, and the pair often added a copyright symbol to the end of the tag in a signature gesture. “It was supposed to be a logo, like Pepsi,” Basquiat explained of the addition.  

Artistic License: The duo tagged SAMO throughout Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn between 1977 and 1980, and when the collaboration came to an end that year, Basquiat killed off the alter-ego, with a bevy of tags declaring “SAMO is dead.”

Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait (1927). Courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collections.

Who’s Who?: Lucy Schwob (Claude Cahun)

Origin Story: This is one case where the alias is the star of the show.

The French-born Surrealist photographer, sculptor, and writer Claude Cahun was born Lucy Schwob, but adopted the alter-ego early in her career. What’s more, her lifelong lover, step-sister, and collaborator Suzanne Malherbe also had an alter-ego, by the name Marcel Moore. In Paris, the couple were friends with the likes of Man Ray and André Breton. The latter famously called Cahun, “one of the most curious spirits of our time.” 

Artistic License: Cahun’s artistic practice could be interpreted as one extended exploration of role-playing. Her gender-bending photographic portraits imagine her as figures from a boxer to a masked theatrical performer and everything in between. “Behind the mask, another mask,” Cahun once wrote.

Leaving Paris in the 1930s amid rising anti-Semitism (Cahun’s father was Jewish), the pair headed to the isle of Jersey, off the coast of England, hoping to escape. Soon after, however, the island came under Nazi occupation. This time, the couple decided to stay put, and staged Dada-inspired interventions intended to create dissent within German military ranks, including sneaking notes about the absurdity of war into soldiers’ uniform pockets while disguised as men. 

Organic Honey

Joan Jonas, Vertical Roll (1972). Still courtesy of Joan Jonas/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Who’s Who?: Organic Honey (Joan Jonas)

Origin Story: Video art pioneer Joan Jonas has often pushed the limits of self-reflection and the omnipresent male gaze, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that she would turn that lens onto her own identity. In her early video works from the 1970s, Jonas often appears as Organic Honey, a glamorous alter ego.

Artistic License: Organic Honey appears as a protagonist in many of Jonas’s early video works, including her seminal Vertical Roll (1972), in which she appears wearing a disturbingly doll-like mask and donning a feathered headdress. 

 John Dogg

John Dogg, John Not Johnny (1987). Courtesy of Venus of Manhattan.

Who’s Who?: John Dogg (Richard Prince)

Origin Story: Richard Prince is notorious for appropriating familiar imagery—and his alter ego John Dogg is really no exception.

Prince has said that he fashioned Dogg as a version of a minimalist Neal Cassady, the legendary Beat Generation writer (and star character in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road). Prince came up with the persona in collaboration with dealer Colin de Land after deciding he wanted to show his work under a pseudonym. 

Artistic License: A number of works from the late 1980s are credited to Dogg, primarily ones that take car culture as their focus. Prince and De Land kept up the ruse for a number of years, with the duo occasionally publishing under Dogg’s name. Another fun fact: Prince’s friend, the writer Rachel Kushner, gave the name to a character in her novel The Flamethrowers

Shoji Yamaguchi

Theaster Gates at Prada Mode Miami. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Prada.

Who’s Who?:  Shoji Yamaguchi (Theaster Gates)

Origin Story: While this alter-ego was short-lived, its boldness merits a mention.

In 2007, Theaster Gates made an appearance at the exhibition opening of a little-known Japanese master ceramicist named Shoji Yamaguchi. Though Yamaguchi was an obscure figure, Gates told all present an enthralling story about meeting the artist way back in 1985. Following the bombing of Hiroshima, Yamaguchi had moved from Japan to Mississippi, where he married a Black Civil Rights activist and, over the years, designed plates specifically for soul food. The artist, sadly, had died in a car accident, but his son, who was present at the opening, was preserving his legacy.

Artistic License: Many were captivated and began to inquire about works. Only at the end of the night did Gates reveal that Shoji Yamaguchi was an invention of his own imagination, and the son a hired actor. The tricksterism of the night was meant to reveal the artifice of the art world and the biographical narratives eagerly construct around art-making. 

This content was originally published here.

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Mid-City Artisans is the new one-stop shop for locally made arts and crafts

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Owners George and Maria Harris opened Mid-City Artisans on Government Street with one goal in mind: “We man the store while you create.”

The idea began when the Harrises started doing craft shows and rented a vendor space in The Market at the Oasis in March 2020. By fall, they decided they wanted to look for ways to open a market more often and support other local makers.

“We wanted to open a place that would provide a six-days-a-week market, store and gallery where people can find items of quality that are locally made,” George says.

After originally looking at a space on Jefferson Highway for the concept, a space in Square 46 on Government Street became available. It was exactly what they wanted, and Mid-City Artisans opened its doors April 27. 

“We love Mid City,” George says. “We live in Mid City. This was such a desirable space, and Bistro Byronz moving in next door will be a real plus for us.” (Editor’s note: So will the new Tap 65. Find out more about that project here.)

There’s something for everyone at Mid-City Artisans. The beautifully sunlit indoor space is adorned with all kinds of items for sale from 66 local creators.

Large wooden furniture, beautiful pieces of artwork, handmade dolls and even “ear”-igami, or origami earrings, make the space colorful, eclectic and inviting. Other items for sale include body care products, candles, metal works, ceramics, pottery, handmade baby clothes, handbags, and artwork using mediums like resin, watercolor, acrylic, oil and charcoal.

Some of the large and unique wooden furniture was crafted by George himself. 

The Harrises are proud to say that Mid-City Artisans is 75 percent woman-owned vendors. They also say they are dedicated to everything about the market being fair for the artisans and the buyers.

“We want our merchandise to be known as right-priced,” George says. “It has whatever value is appropriate for the individual items. We want the artisans to also get their fair price.”

And the market is not just for selling work. The Harrises and their team are currently trying to secure more space at Square 46 to add a training room for classes taught by local makers. 

“We want to provide quality services with our training programs and our ‘Meet the Artisans’ events,” George says.

These events will tentatively start May 14. Mid-City Artisans will bring in two makers a week who will stay for 2-3 hours to work on their pieces or just be there to answer questions about the work.

The Harrises are also launching a digital component, called a “visualization station,” to help customers see if a piece is right for their home. Customers can email a photo of the inside of their house and staff will digitally add the piece of furniture they are considering to see what it might look like in the space. Eventually customers will be able to do it themselves on Mid-City Artisans’ website.

Customers can also scan the QR codes located on various pieces at the market to see the artist’s bio and view other works by the artist, Maria says.

Mid-City Artisans is now open, with a grand opening weekend planned for Friday-Sunday, April 30-May 2. It’s located at 516 Moore St. You can find more information on its website or on Facebook

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Easy Paper Tiger Puppet for Kids – Red Ted Art – Easy Crafts

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Easy Paper Tiger Puppet for Kids - Red Ted Art - Easy Crafts

Roar. Our love for Easy Tiger Crafts continues! Here we have our easy Paper Tiger Puppet Crafts! These paper puppets are soo easy to make, once you know the basics, challenge the kids to come up with their own designs!

The great thing about today’s craft is that you do NOT need a Tiger Puppet Printable! These hand puppets are based on basic shapes and everyone will be able to make them!!

This tiger craft would make a great addition to any Year of Tiger activities for Chinese New Year 2022 (and beyond!), or as part of an wild life study units. Or make them just because they are so cute!

What Year is the Year of the Tiger?

Year of the Tiger is in: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034.

In 2022, it will be the year of the Chinese Zodiac Tiger! Find our more about the Year of the Tiger here.

To make your Tiger Hand Puppet, you will need:

How to make a paper tiger puppet – step by step instructions!

Watch the video tutorial on auto play or check out the step by step instructions:

To save on paper, trim of a strip of orange first – you will use this later to make the tiger ears. If you have enough orange paper scraps, you can skip this!

Fold the paper along it long edge, approximately 1/3 of the way up.

Fold down the top long edge to meet, bt overlap the bottom edge. Secure with a glue stick or some sticky tape!

With the seam of your fold on the outside, fold your paper in half.

Then fold over flap.

Flip and fold over the other.

You will end up with a type of “M”. The point in the middle will be your mouth. The long sides of the M, fit you fingers.

Cut out all your paper tiger shapes. The basic hapes are simple – some orange ovals for the ears. You can add a second set of smaller ovals in contrasting colours if you wish. Or you can draw the inside of the ear in pen.

A large oval for the mouth part – draw on a black triangle for the nose, a line and some dots.

Glue these features in place. Note: the ears go in the “inside” of your hand puppet, so that they don’t get in the way of your hand.

Add eyes and more tiger stripes with your black pen and you are finished!

Isn’t he adorable?

You can add additional features such as a red tongue and tiger teeth!!

You can also experiment with different Tiger Face features – e.g. use our tiger corner bookmark for inspiration?!

We have many more great Homeamde Puppet Crafts for you here:

See more Chinese New Year Zodiac Animal Crafts here:

This content was originally published here.

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