From the New York Times an article about a forthcoming exhibition at the NYPL on the artists' retreat, Yaddo.
In 1899 Katrina Trask, desolate over the death of their four children, proposed to her husband, Spencer, that they turn Yaddo, their 400-acre estate outside Saratoga Springs, N.Y., into an artists’ retreat. He was a baron of the Gilded Age. She was a pre-Raphaelite figure who wore gauzy white dresses and wrote poetry about the days of King Arthur, and she imagined the place as a perpetual house party of writers, artists and musicians.
There was writing, there was painting and composing, but it sounds like there more than a bit of sleeping around too. Among other choice tidbits from the article..."John Cheever used to boast that he had enjoyed sex on every flat surface in the mansion, not to mention the garden and the fields. It was at Yaddo that Newton Arvin, a literary critic and professor at Smith College, met and began a long affair with the young Truman Capote, or “Precious Spooky,” as he calls him in a couple of charming letters, on display at the library. The novelist Henry Roth met his wife, the composer Muriel Parker, there, and the novelist Josephine Herbst started enduring relationships with the painter Marion Greenwood and the poet Jean Garrigue (who was also having an affair with another Yaddo resident, Alfred Kazin).
Anybody remember the Nixon inaugural??
Wonder who will be the next POTUS?!?! (don't forget to Vote)
When the next president takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009, he will continue a tradition that began with George Washington in 1789. To celebrate this ritual of democracy, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has created "Called Upon By the Voice of My Country," an exhibit looking at the history and the pageantry of presidential inaugurations. The exhibit will run from October 30, 2008, until April 19, 2009.
Among the exhibits, First Lady Laura Bush's 2005 inaugural gown, publicly displayed for the first time, on loan from the White House. Report from MarketWatch.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has one less competitor for a $20 million collection of Lincoln artifacts...the Library of Congress has pulled out of the bidding.
When Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, IN closed earlier this year, the owners decided to bequeath the entire collection of Lincoln photographs, signed documents, historic textiles and other artifacts to another institution. Several museums and historical groups bid for the collection, but only a few finalists were chosen. A winner is supposed to be announced by the end of the year.
Among the memorabilia are hand-colored engravings with an image of a tousled Abe that were dropped on the crowd at the 1860 Republican National Convention. Story from Gatehouse News.
[Note: Sorry, no one posted this yesterday, time to plan ahead for next year.]
Today is Museum Day! Free admission to museums nationwide.
For more information see the the Smithsonian website.
If it is free it is for me. I think I will go to Bok Tower this year.
For scores of historic house museums, simply keeping the lights on has become a challenge. The Mount, Wharton's home in Lenox, MA, portrayed as part of a mural in the article below, is trying to stave off foreclosure with a major fundraising campaign. The Mark Twain House in Hartford can't even afford to buy energy-saving light bulbs that would slash its electric bill. Some of the financial strain is due to previous overspending; the Twain House Executive Director admits that a $19 million visitor center that opened in 2003 was too ambitious and costly.
Experts say this summer may make or break some sites, many of which already have cut their hours and staff and are struggling for donations in today's troubled economy. Chicago Sun Times.
Tristram Hunt Says The British Museum is now our top attraction. If only others would shrug off their deadening ways and follow its lead. "...there are fewer and fewer neutral spaces in our public realm for people to gather and reflect around art and objects which successfully encompass parts of their multiple, competing cultural hinterlands. The museum, as a quintessentially urban institution, is one such place. And it's high time, in the name of access and inclusion, other museums started shutting their gates more often."
Over at Trends in the Living Networks Ross Dawson participated in a Future Directions Forum at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, which after 20 years in its current location is looking to the future. He says The session raised many interesting questions and thoughts. His points below represent his perspectives as well as reflections on issues raised by people at forum. While the issues below were raised in the context of museums in areas like science, technology, and design, I think you'll be able to connect some of them to libraries as well.
The decision by a Sydney library to dump an exhibition about Palestinian refugees after a visit by counter-terrorism police the night before it opened has been criticised as an act of censorship. Sydney Morning Herald has the story.
Leichhardt Municipal Library was to launch the Al-Nakba pictorial exhibition last Friday. A local community group, Friends of Hebron, had developed the display of photos, poems and articles over eight months.
"We set up the exhibition at the library on Thursday night and the librarian … approved the exhibition, and said that it could be seen by children and other people who came into the library," said Carole Lawson, a Friends of Hebron member.
But that night, shortly before the library closed at 8pm, officers from the police counter-terrorism operations arrived at the library.
The Newseum.org presents this wonderful reminder of exactly what is important.
Do love and generosity and devotion exist today? I think that is something we must all ensure not just on Christmas but every day.
Happy Christmas to all.
JET writes "Museum Day is a nationwide event taking place on Saturday, September 29, 2007 where participating museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free admission to Smithsonian readers and Smithsonian.com visitors, allowing for one day only, the free-admission policy of Smithsonian's Washington, D.C.-based facilities to be emulated across the country.
This year you must present an admission card to the museums. Information on how to get this card can be found at this link