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Tidbits: Unrelated Developments At A Few Museums

Every now and then, little bits of news come along that command attention, but not an entire post. So I’ve gathered a few into one:

  • Remember last June when I wrote here about the Worcester Art Museum’s campaign to raise $60,000 to reopen its historic doors? The money was raised lickety-split, and to celebrate the results — about $94,000 at the time — director Matthias Waschek offered free admission to the museum through August. Now the museum reports that the “Open the Door” campaign raised more than $100,000 and that attendance during July and August jumped 151% versus the same months in 2011.
  • The Dallas Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth are less than 40 miles apart, but they are nonetheless collaborating and planning to show the same exhibition in 2013: Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy will run in Dallas from May 26 through Sept. 15 and then in Fort Worth from Oct. 12, 2013, through Jan. 12, 2014. The exhibit marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and tells a story that today would seem odd (and I doubt would happen). According to the press release (which includes details on the art that was chosen and for where):

Five days prior to the presidential couple’s arrival in Fort Worth, descriptions of the presidential suite at the Texas Hotel were released to the public. Unhappy with the couple’s accommodations, Owen Day, the art critic for the Fort Worth Press, proposed the idea of the installation to prominent art collector and leader of the Fort Worth Art Association Samuel Benton Cantey III. With the support of Ruth Carter Johnson (now Ruth Carter Stevenson), board president for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art; collector Ted Weiner; and Mitchell Wilder, the Amon Carter Director, Cantey conceived a three-part exhibition that would unfold in the parlor, master bedroom, and second bedroom of Suite 850.Drawing on local private and public art collections, each room of the suite was outfitted with works of art that befitted the tastes and interests of President Kennedy and the first lady (guess where Eakins’s Swimming {above} went).

  • Talk about collaborations (and captive audiences!): The Dulwich Picture Gallery is mounting an exhibition at the American Embassy in London this fall of the United States of America which “can be viewed by members of the public awaiting visa interviews in the Consular waiting room of the Embassy.” The show, called Across the Pond and inspired by the city of London, will display art created by young artists during a long-term programme sponsored by the Gallery at the Salmon Youth Centre — evening drop-in sessions that are part of the Gallery’s Urban Youth programme and that involves visiting artists including Erica Parrett, Liz Charlsey-Jory, Joanna Veevers and Ruth Dupre. The Dulwich Picture Gallery began its youth program a dozen years ago to offer cultural activites to at risk kids. For some silly reason, the Gallery does not allow the public to see its press releases, so I cannot link to it. (There’s a lesson there…)


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