blogger to curate show in FirstLife

Wowzers! Blogger and photographer Laurel Ptak, who runs the twee-ly undercased photography blog, i heart photograph, will be curating a real-life art show at the tony-ly uppercased Higher Pictures Gallery on Madison Ave and 66th St. The show opens today.

If this blogger crossover trend keeps up, we should be given a seat on the board of the Museum of Something We’re Into (MoSWI) any year now.

Btw, the Higher Pictures Gallery manages all copyrights for The Estate of André Kertész, so you may want to think about licensing one when you stop by the show. They make a great stocking stuffer.

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lolcuriosities

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University gets its institutional wordpress on with a new blog, Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities. According to their “about” page:

Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities features new acquisitions, unique documents, and visual and textual curiosities from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. This ongoing exhibition is curated by Tim Young, Associate Curator of the Modern Books and Manuscripts Collection, and Nancy Kuhl, Associate Curator of the Yale Collection of American Literature.

Will we ever get tired of curiosities?? Of course we will. Just for the heck of it, I’ll preview the inevitable backlash with a couple of “lolcuriosities“:

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museum 2 collabo

Museum 2.0 launches a new project this week, coLAB, in conjunction with the New York Hall of Science, which allows anyone to participate in the once rarefied world of curators and meddling board members.  From now until October 17, participants are asked to submit feedback and proposals for an upcoming traveling exhibition at the New York Hall of Science about Human Enhancement Technologies.  In their words:

Museum 2.0 is launching an experiment in collaborative exhibition design. This one-week test will hopefully be followed by many more progressively ambitious projects to develop new tools for museums, scientists, artists, experience designers, visitors, and all kinds of folks to work together to create high-quality exhibitions.

Cringe on the “experience design”, but the idea is a neat one and kudos to the Hall of Science a lot of credit for giving it a shot.

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suggested donation suggests: museums in libya 2.0

Disturbed by the minimal web presence of Libyan Museums? Lamusediffuse, “a group of Fulbright Scholars from different parts of the World, sharing a common interest in improving lives for individuals by improving access to culture through digital technologies and their creations” were.  That’s why the took it upon themselves to create Museums in Libya 2.0, a web project available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

The project includes a virtual museum website for the Jamahiriya Museum of Tripoli, a museum that did not even have a presence on Geocities.  The virtual site culls information about the museum from across the internet and features everything from practical information about the museum (hours of operation, history of the museum, etc) to a digital gallery of objects and artifacts in the museum.

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lamusediffuse’s gmap of museums in Libya

MoOM-MoOM Room

Coudal Partners, which seems to be the Hanso Foundation of the tote bag and web design set, continues to update their excellent Museum of Online Museums.

The MoOM features an ever-changing, curated, list of links to museums and collection, large and small:

Here, you will find links from our archives to online collections and exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions: Start with a review of classic art and architecture, and graduate to the study of mundane (and sometimes bizarre) objects elevated to art by their numbers, juxtaposition, or passion of the collector.

The larger institutions featured are mostly design-related and well-covered, but there are tons of gems in the exhibition and collections section, many of which are hosted on personal websites, like the Faded Billboard collection, and the Gallery of Skatepark IDs.

And, just like a real museum, benefactors and board members get to throw their weight around a little bit!


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geocity museum of www

A partial list of museums with websites hosted on Geocities:

stumbleupon library

After twenty years of collecting the 60,000+ ephemeral films the make up the Prelinger Archives (acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002), Rick and Megan Prelinger founded the Prelinger Library in 2004.

The Prelinger Library is an appropriation-friendly, browsable collection of approximately 40,000 books, periodicals, printed ephemera and government documents located in San Francisco, California, USA

For an excellent description of the amazing work they are doing, check out Gideon Kraus-Lewis’s fine piece for the May 2007 issue of Harper’s (subscription only). A bootleg copy of the article is available via the Prelinger Library blog, here.

supersize my smithsonian souvenirs!

Just listened to this report about how the Smithsonian hired the retail-oriented consultancy group BerglassGrayson to evaluate their gift shops. Unsurprisingly, the firm returned with blazing criticism, lambasting the museum stores for their under performance and inefficiency compared to, say, non-museum retailers like Urban Outfitters.

And when there’s money-a-wasted (on cultural/arts organizations) in Washington, you can expect the Republican members of Congress to follow:

Sen. Charles Grassley: Money’s fungible so a dollar wasted in the business venture is a dollar of money that’s going to have to be made up by the taxpayers.

This, from the same Senator who earmarked a bill to secure $50 million dollars of money for an indoor rain forest in his home state of Iowa, a project dreamed up by the Iowan industrialist (and Grassley donor) Ted Townsend one day as he ran on his treadmill.

Anyway, the next chapter of the conclusion of this story is that the Smithsonian is now accepting bids from private companies to run its stores.

Next up: Barnes and Noble claims that only they can “right the ship” of the woe-fully inefficient and unprofitable Library of Congress.

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The Price of Freedom store at the Museum of American History.

upcoming explorations in convergence: eileen quinlan at whitney at altria

In a case of either actual curatorial independence or too-good-to-be-true “synergy”, The Whitney Museum of Art at Altria (née Phillip Morris) has announced their upcoming exhibition Undone: Tom Holmes, Tony Matelli, Eileen Quinlan, and Heather Rowe, opening September 18.

According to the press release:

In Undone, the perceived completeness of form, space, or identity is defined by its own fragmented, unfinished, or unraveling condition. The works, commissioned for this exhibition, reference and subvert viewers expectations about medium and exhibition space. (PDF)

A “subversion of the viewers expectations about medium and exhibition space”?
Except that in this case, the exhibition space is funded by (and located inside of) the corporate offices of a tobacco giant and the artist Eileen Quinlan‘s medium is smoke (and photography).

Also from the press release:

Eileen Quinlan’s photographs of smoke reflected in broken mirrors offer an unusually literal disclosure of process that’s contradicted by their own aesthetic opacity.

An “unusually literal disclosure”? Indeed.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could be one of our last chances to write wildly speculative posts about our favorite museum-inside-of-a-corporate-headquarters.