The new galleries in the museum's iconic 1916 neoclassical building hold items spanning 5,000 years. Art history and humanities chair Gerald Guest at John Carroll University says the project will provide what he calls "an extraordinary canvas" to show off one of America's great art collections.
Recent reinstallations of Houston's two leading African art galleries — the Menil Collection's in 2008 and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's this summer — have given visitors ample opportunities to study and appreciate these incredible objects. But both galleries omit a chapter of African art history most people outside of Nigeria have no idea occurred because of laws keeping cultural property in the country.
A landmark traveling exhibition that makes its U.S. premiere Sunday at the MFAH after three European stops is about to change that. More than 100 magnificent copper, terra-cotta and stone sculptures from the ancient West African city-state of Ife (pronounced ee-fay), now a city in southwest Nigeria, display a level of sophistication and realism we normally associate with the European Renaissance.
But Ife sculptors mastered human anatomy, proportion and metal casting significantly earlier. Most of the work in Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria was created between the ninth and 15th centuries. More (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/7204376.html)
The British Museum is located in Bloomsbury, London Two charitable trusts established by the Sainsbury family have donated £25m to the British Museum in what is thought to be one of the biggest gifts to the arts for two decades. The Linbury Trust, established by Conservative peer Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover in the 1970s, will pay £12.5m to the museum over the next three years.
A further £12.5 million will come from the Monument Trust established by Lord Sainsbury's late brother Simon. The money will go towards a major redevelopment of the London museum's facilities, helping fund a new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre. A spokeswoman for the museum described the donations as "incredibly generous". The gift was a vital part of a project which would "benefit future generations". "This is an incredibly important project for the British Museum and has been planned for a long time," the spokeswoman added.
NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) announces the appointment of Susan M. Taylor as Director Designate. She will officially become the Museum's sixth director on September 1, 2010. Taylor will succeed E. John Bullard, who will retire as one of America's longest-serving museum directors. Bullard will remain on staff as Director Emeritus to aid Taylor in the transition and will continue to work on NOMA's centennial celebrations throughout 2011. "As NOMA commemorates a century of art, I am thrilled that Susan Taylor has been selected to lead the Museum into its next chapter of service and success," Bullard said. "I have known her for a number of years and know that she is an outstanding choice to lead our institution." A museum director for over 20 years, Taylor most recently directed Princeton University Art Museum, where she is well-known for instituting wide-ranging innovations in collections development, planning, programming and outreach. She is also deeply involved in the ongoing debate about collection ownership and cultural property issues, having successfully resolved several ownership claims for works of art in Princeton's collection. "I am delighted to be joining a museum of the caliber of NOMA," Taylor said. "To follow John's legacy and write the next chapter of the Museum's history is a remarkable opportunity." Taylor is the former director of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College. During her twelve-year tenure at Wellesley, she oversaw the construction of an award-winning museum facility designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. She holds art history degrees from Vassar College and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Bullard's retirement from NOMA has been planned for nearly a year. In September 2009, the Museum Board formed a search committee and in October enlisted the services of Laurie Nash of Russell Reynolds Associates. Taylor was selected from a large field of applicants. "Susan Taylor was selected from a field of strong candidates thanks to Laurie Nash of Russell Reynolds Associates," said Donna Rosen, trustee and member of NOMA's Search Committee. "I spoke to many museum directors around the country about Susan. Words that came up most often while describing her were 'imaginative, encyclopedic knowledge of the history of art, high standards, seizes opportunities, visionary, intelligent and of our time.' In fact, through the search process, all of these accolades were revealed." "NOMA is a true jewel in New Orleans' cultural crown and building on the great job John Bullard has done is a daunting task," said Stephen Hansel, president of NOMA's Board of Directors and Chairman of the Search Committee. "Susan Taylor was our Search Committee's overwhelming first choice because of her broad experience, charm, contacts and managerial expertise. We are confident that she will lead NOMA to even greater heights."