Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In
Search
World News Archive (2008)
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

View all (98) posts »
 

Photography Gift for Israel Museum

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 01, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
A trove of photographs spanning 160 years that includes examples of the medium's greatest hits has been donated to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem by the New York collectors Noel and Harriette Levine.
For more than three decades the Levines have amassed a collection of 125 works, from 19th-century images by the British photographers William Henry Fox Talbot, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson to Modern masters like Man Ray, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston and contemporary figures like Cindy Sherman and William Wegman.

The collection is viewed by experts as important in its scope and rarity, and most institutions can no longer afford to buy such prime examples, given the rise in their market value.

The Levines are well known in the world of photography. A gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is named after them, and they have donated photographs to the Met as well. Mrs. Levine is also a member of the visiting committee to the Met's photography department.

The Levines have supported the Israel Museum since 1994, when they presented a gift of 80 signed works by Andre Kertesz. Three years ago they donated $12 million for the museum's photography department; their current gift includes $1 million to endow the department. (Mrs. Levine's sister, Patricia Gerber, added $1 million to that pot.)

Since its founding in 1965, the Israel Museum has put together an encyclopedic photography collection, which now includes more than 55,000 works.

"This gift, along with the endowment, positions us to be a major force in the field," said James S. Snyder, the museum's director.

TAG IT YOURSELF

Seeking more creative ways to connect to their audiences, some museums' Web sites have started blogs where visitors can question curators or share their opinions of exhibitions. Now the Brooklyn Museum has invited the public to tag, or apply electronic keywords to, objects in its collections that are cataloged at brooklynmuseum.org.

The goal is to enable other visitors to enter specific search terms that might not be incorporated into the museum's online catalog entries — say, "mystical," "bug," "ugly" — and then find their way to the relevant artworks.

"Our data is very specific to information we need to know," Shelley Bernstein, the museum's manager of information systems, said of the museum's own entries. "But the way curators and museum professionals see an object isn't necessarily the same as the way a student or the general public would think to describe it."

Internet visitors who click on objects are encouraged to apply any keyword that comes to mind, as long as it's not vulgar. The museum will then add these tags to its database.

"It's a high-volume way of sharing our collection," Ms. Bernstein said.

To encourage public participation further, the museum invites visitors to register online, joining what it calls its posse. Those participants can play a game to see how many tags they can come up with, object by object. Top taggers, as the museum calls them, will receive video messages from museum staff members thanking them and urging them to continue.

TEXAS SCULPTURE LOAN

With the help of the Met, the 360-acre main campus at the University of Texas, Austin, is poised to become a destination for modern sculpture. Rather than let them languish in storage, the museum is lending the university 28 pieces by artists like Beverly Pepper, Tony Smith and Louise Bourgeois.

They will remain there on long-term loan, where the public will have a chance to see them, and they will also be used by students for educational purposes.

"It was a happy coincidence," said Gary Tinterow, the Met's curator of 19th-century, Modern and contemporary art. "We had identified a number of sculptures that were not likely to be placed here and at the same time had learned that the University of Texas was pursuing a sculpture initiative."

Mr. Tinterow said many of the works had been acquired in the first few years after the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for Modern art opened in 1987. A space in that wing was originally used exclusively as a sculpture court, but it was transformed into a gallery for both paintings and sculpture in 1993 after it was renamed the Blanche and A. L. Levine Court, after two donors. The sculptures were also acquired with the Met's roof in mind, but that exhibition space has also changed. Rather than showing works from its collection there, the Met uses it for annual single-artist installations, like this summer's Jeff Koons exhibition.

The University of Texas has opened a three-part public-art initiative. "We realized that the campus could benefit from a public-art program," said Andrée Bober, the founding director of that program.

Apart from the Met's loan, the university has created an acquisitions fund for buying and commissioning works for public spaces throughout the campus. As the university undergoes considerable construction and renovation, it has adopted a percent-for-art policy whereby 1 to 2 percent of the budgets for those building projects go toward acquisitions of art.

The Met's sculptures will be installed in two stages. In the first phase 17 sculptures will be placed outdoors and in campus buildings, starting this month. An additional 11 will be installed in the Bass Concert Hall in January after its renovation is completed.

The university is paying for the installation, shipping and insurance; the Met is not charging a loan fee. The loan agreement is renewable in five years.

In other long-term loans of works from the Met's storage areas, 15 pieces of armor — swords, helmets, gauntlets— are currently at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and 212 casts, primarily Greek and Roman, are at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta.

By Carol Vogel
For The New York Times

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
 
Thank you for taking the time to participate in the survey below.

Membership Management Software  ::  Legal