Museums

In Paris, A Display From Hockney's Pixelated Period

David Hockney thinks his current exhibition may be the first one that's ever been 100 percent e-mailed to a gallery. The 73-year-old artist is standing in the space in question — the Pierre Berge-Yves St. Laurent Foundation in Paris — trying to talk about the works, when his iPhone rings.

More from NPR's Morning Edition.

Google Art Project

Google has done search, email, documents, video, and now...

Art.

From the Alte Nationalgalerie of Berlin to the Metropolitan in New York to the National Gallery of London, Google has taken extremely high resolution images of some of the most famous artwork and put it online. View the artwork online and create your own gallery of favourites.

Learn more at the Google Art Project.

Egyptians Remain Vigilant Guarding Libraries & Museums

From Discovery News: Egyptians are bravely defending their cultural heritage, according to a statement from Ismail Serageldin, librarian of Alexandria and director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

“The young people organized themselves into groups that directed traffic, protected neighborhoods and guarded public buildings of value such as the Egyptian Museum and the Library of Alexandria,” he said.

“The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters,” Serageldin said.

However, the risk for cultural and archaeological sites remains high.

The West Bank, where the mortuary temples and the Valley of the Kings are located, is without any security, with only villagers trying to protect the sites.

“All the antiquities in the area have been protected by the locals all night, and nothing has been touched,” Mostafa Wazery, director of the Valley of Kings at Luxor, said.

UPDATE: Sun Jan 30, 14:40pm EST: In a faxed statement, Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, confirmed that a total of 13 cases were smashed at the Egyptian museum, adding that other sites are at risk at the moment.

Comic Books Get Stripped at NY's Museum of Sex

From BookTryst, snippets of a new exhibit at the MOSEX museum. The adult, sexual kind of fantasy has inspired a genre of art with its own instantly recognizable icons: voluptuous women and muscle-bound men; fetish clothing featuring six-inch stilettos, leather, lace, and latex; bondage gear including handcuffs, masks, and corsets; and sadomasochistic props like whips, chains, and ropes. New York City's Museum of Sex has just mounted (pun intended) a new exhibition of the erotic art of comic strips and comic books in the 20th and 21st centuries, to "reveal how the comic book medium has been used over time to depict sexual fantasy, poke fun at taboo topics and lampoon icons of popular culture." Comics Stripped, a show made up of over 150 artifacts, including original drawings, illustrated books, comic books, magazines and videos, chronicles the history of "dirty drawings" from the Great Depression to the present day.

The Live-In Librarian

When Dave Sheppard helped out in the Warren (IL) High School library as a teenager, he didn’t know he would one day live in a library. However, on Saturday, Sheppard will be introduced to the community as the new librarian at Oneida’s (IL) Greig Memorial Library, and the first male in a lengthening list of live-in librarians.

Local taxes and other funding add up to a small library budget, so the library board’s solution continues to be an offer of living quarters plus a small salary.

Sheppard, who also works full time at Walmart, and his wife, Lois, will move into the library sometime after the holidays. A Gerlaw native, Sheppard and his wife have lived all over the Midwest, but currently live in his parents’ former home, a 130-year-old house in Gerlaw. They previously owned a paperback exchange bookstore in Monmouth which was behind the Warren County Public Library.

As he provided a tour of the six rooms on the upper level of Greig Memorial Library on Wednesday, Sheppard seemed comfortable with the concept of living in a library, an option that had not occurred to him before his response to the ad for his new position.

Smithsonian Censors Itself at the Behest of the Government

The Smithsonian Museum has been under pressure from Catholics and congressmen to pull pieces of an exhibit focusing on homosexuality and homosexual Americans. From NPR:

At least one critic has accused the Smithsonian of caving in to pressure from Catholics and from two Republican members of Congress. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia called the exhibition "an outrageous use of taxpayer money." A spokesperson for incoming House Speaker John Boehner told The Hill newspaper that "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January."

More from NPR.

Dream Job for 91 year old Librarian

Herb Jorgensen stands alongside a shiny, red 1931 Packard -- a stereotypical gangster car built when he was 12 years old.

Gazing across the car collection, the 91-year-old archivist for the Blackhawk Museum knows he's enjoying a car buff's dream job.

The Blackhawk Museum, the brainchild of Blackhawk developer and car collector Kenneth Behring, opened its doors in 1988. Now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, the museum boasts two spacious buildings and about 100,000 square feet of upscale exhibition space that plays host to a rotating display of nearly 100 automobiles.

For the past 22 years, Jorgensen has overseen the building of the museum's modest-size research library, a collection that currently stands at approximately 100,000 publications. Many are in excellent condition, while others, including a 1904 Auto Car magazine, have covers that are a bit dog-eared and showing their age. All of them, however, provide a glimpse into the history of a machine that has changed the world.

"It probably is as good a library on old cars that you'll find anywhere," Jorgensen said. Story from Contra Costa Times.

The Desk Setup: A Look At Librarian Computers

The Desk Setup

Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)

New York's Beautiful J.P. Morgan Library Gets a Facelift

The classic library has been around since 1906, was opened to the public in 1924 and recently received some refurbishment as reported by Art News.

Some history: At a contentious meeting of bankers during the 1907 financial crisis, J. Pierpont Morgan locked the doors of his private library and study in New York's Murray Hill, refusing to let his fellow financiers leave until they had agreed on a national-rescue plan. In that grand but intimate building, designed by Charles Follen McKim after an Italian Renaissance palazzo, Morgan also convened meetings of the acquisitions committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which he was president. After Morgan's death, the building became the heart of the institution that for more than 80 years has made his collections available to the public. Now the Morgan Library & Museum is restoring and reinstalling the rooms of his domain to better tell the story of its collections and the man behind them.

When the McKim building reopens on October 30, the North Room, originally the librarian's office, will be accessible to the public for the first time. Visitors will also be able to peer inside Morgan's vault. The interiors will be cleaned, the furniture restored, state-of-the-art lighting installed, and hundreds of additional objects placed on view. The refurbishment, which has closed the building since June, has cost $4.5 million. -- Read More

Seattle's Top Librarian Might Be Heading to Washington DC

After just a year and a half as the city librarian, Susan Hildreth may be leaving Seattle — at President Obama's request.

Hildreth has been nominated to be the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, she confirmed on Wednesday.

"It's a great honor," Hildreth said, adding that the opportunity to serve in Obama's administration is "very compelling."

The Senate must confirm her nomination, so it would likely be months before Hildreth took the position. The institute is responsible for distributing all federal funds allocated to the country's libraries and museums, she said.

Hildreth estimated that her annual salary is about $165,000. She would not comment on whether she pursued the position or if the White House contacted her.

Hildreth was named Seattle's librarian in November 2008. Since assuming the post in early-2009, she has led the library system through a challenging period of deep budget cuts.

Seattle Times reports.

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