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New York City's Park Avenue Armory has announced that the Thompson Family Foundation has donated $65 million towards a programming endowment.

The endowment allows the Armory to increase the number and frequency of performing and visual arts presentations. More importantly, the money increases the reach of its arts education initiatives for underprivileged public school children.

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The Williams College Museum of Art has received a donation of 68 works of contemporary art from the collection of computer programmer and philanthropist Peter Norton.

WCMA is one recipient in a series of gifts to university and college art museums throughout the country. The art, from Norton’s personal collection, is intended to support the integration of the visual arts in higher education, to connect diverse audiences with contemporary art, and to foster creative museum practice.

The gift to WCMA is part of Norton’s second such philanthropic project, following one in 2000 in which he gave more than 1,000 pieces to 32 institutions.

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The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have acquired the first painting to enter their collections by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), an artist whose work helped to define Romanticism in the visual arts.

Delacroix’s “Portrait of Charles de Verninac” (circa 1826), acquired by purchase from an anonymous American collector with resources from the Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Income Fund, depicts with great liveliness the artist’s nephew, less than five years his junior. They had been close companions since childhood and corresponded frequently as their adult lives separated them.

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The Arkansas Arts Center, the state's premiere center for visual and performing arts, presents "30 Americans," on view April 10 through June 21, 2015, in the Jeannette Edris Rockefeller and Townsend Wolfe Galleries.

"This exhibition presents a sweeping survey of artwork by many of the most influential African-American artists of the last four decades," said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. "For years, I've searched for an exhibition of this kind but couldn't quite find what I was looking for – an exhibition with powerful interpretations of cultural identity and artistic legacy. When I came across '30 Americans,' I knew this was exactly what I wanted patrons and visitors of the Arts Center to experience. These themes are universal in nature and speak to the larger human experience."

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The Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation today announced that they have named Thomas “Thom” Collins as the new Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation. An innovative educator, accomplished art historian, administrator and author, Mr. Collins, a Philadelphia native, has more than 20 years of experience at some of America’s top arts institutions. He comes to the Barnes after serving for five years as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida (PAMM).

“Thom is a national leader in the visual arts and is recognized for his expertise and breadth of knowledge in education and art history. His track record in museum leadership, community outreach, and development makes him the right choice to lead the Barnes Foundation at this time,” said Joseph Neubauer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Barnes Foundation, who led the search committee.

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Over the last few years, Culture Shed, the visual- and performing-arts institution planned for the Far West Side of Manhattan, has been nurtured by prominent designers (Elizabeth Diller and David Rockwell); substantial city support ($75 million); and influential advocates (former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his deputy, Daniel L. Doctoroff). Hanging over the project was always a question: Who is going to run it?

Now there is an answer: Alex Poots has been named artistic director and chief executive. 

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The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College has received a gift of 75 works of contemporary art from the collection of the computer programmer and philanthropist Peter Norton. This is the first in a series of gifts to university art museums and teaching museums throughout the country—drawn from Norton’s personal collection—to support the integration of the visual arts in higher education, foster creative museum practice, and engage diverse audiences with contemporary art.

Norton initiated his first large donation project in 2000, gifting over 1,000 pieces from his collection to 32 select institutions. His gift to the Tang Teaching Museum represents the inauguration of his second major donation project.

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The Contemporary Arts Center will have a new visual arts curator beginning in January 2015. New Orleans area native Andrea Andersson is returning home after having lived in New York City since 2001, where she was a freelance curator and taught at New York University and Barnard College.

Andersson, 36, who spoke by phone while visiting Montreal, who attended St. Martin Episcopal school, said that she grew up in Metairie, "right on the levee, looking over the lake."

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San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts announced today that it will dramatically restructure its organization, suspend programs, and lay off key staff by the end of this month.

Included among those furloughed are Visual Arts Program Director Kevin B. Chen, Outreach and Community Engagement Program Director Rebeka Rodriguez, and Theatre Program Director Sean San José, as well as all communications staff. Intersection Incubator, the organization’s fiscal sponsorship program, supports 125 smaller organizations annually — it will remain intact. Intersection will continue to provide a performance platform for Incubator Program and Innovation Studio. Randy Rollison, presently Program Director Artist Resources, will assume the role of Interim Director.

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Thursday, 20 February 2014 10:54

Venetian Masterpieces Go on View in Oregon

The Portland Art Museum in Oregon is the only U.S. venue for "Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music." The show focuses on La Serenissima" or "the most serene," the period between the early 16th century and the fall of the Venetian Republic at the end of the 18th century that was defined by a surge in artistic innovation. During this time, music and art flourished thanks to painters such as Tintoretto, Canaletto, and Guardi, as well as composers such as Willaert, Gabrieli, Monteverdi, and Vivaldi.

Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibition is the first to explore the important interrelationships of the visual arts and music in Venice's civic ceremonies, festivals, and culture. The show will present 108 objects from 38 lenders including paintings, prints, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculptures, original period instruments, and early music texts. Period music will be audible in the galleries to create a more comprehensive visitor experience.

 "Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music" will be organized by theme. Sections will include -- Basilica of San Marco, which will explore Venice's center of religious devotion; Civic Pageantry, which will look at the many festivities and processions held throughout the year in Venice; The Scuole and The Ospedali, which will explore the impact that schools and hospital orphanages had on art and music in Venice; Musicians and Concerts, which will look at the impact and importance of music in the city; Popular Music; and Mythology and Opera.  

 "Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music" will be on view at the Portland Art Museum through May 11, 2014.

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