We took a gander at the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History last weekend. To be honest, it pales in comparison to the entire backroom of incredible, naturally formed crystals, not to mention several of the large, many-faceted gems (that’s a cut crystal, we learned) elsewhere in the room. Oh and the crystal ball that was polished into a perfect sphere in China in 1923. Wowzors.
At any rate talk of diamonds always reminds us of this article from the Atlantic Monthly, Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? It is one of the greatest articles EVAR, in our humble. It’s all about the shady-as-fuck diamond industry, monopolies, the invention of a luxury through advertising and product placement, and other romantic and eternal qualities of the diamond industry.
It was two weeks ago that Suggesteddonation’s Andy Van Slyke wrote, â€œwe secretly hope a Poster Boy out there makes a remixâ€ of MoMAâ€™s Atlantic Pacific installation. (New York Magazineâ€™s obscurantist bio brings the uninitiated up to speed on Poster Boy’s antics).
Well, it seems that the weight of Van Slykeâ€™s Internet missive has spurred the masked man into action. On Saturday, Poster Boy assaulted the high-art reproductions, defacing, among other things, a Warhol Marylin. A print of a print of a print–sullied by a common hooligan! Scandal!
Somewhere, an art historian who spells authenticity with a capital A just ejaculated and keeled over dead.
We kid, we kid. Fuck those posters up, Poster Boy, but only if youâ€™re going to improve them. When it comes to street art, we favor dÃ©tournement and murals over, say, scratchitti and other vandalism-for-its-own-sake lameness. If youâ€™re going to subvert this offering from MoMA, we request that you delight us.
And a related correction: in our February 11 post on the Atlantic Pacific installation we wrote, Those hip motherfuckers over at The Happy Corp beat us to the punch reporting the news that MoMA has finished installing a project in the Atlantic/Pacific subway station. Thatâ€™s true, but incomplete.
The Happy Corp Global, the inscrutable advertising/creative media/promotional/design company, was actually MoMAâ€™s partner in the installationâ€”not just a vector in the blogosphere reacting to the event. Suggesteddonation.com regrets the error, and regrets that our spellchecker doesnâ€™t acknowledge the existence of the idiotic neologism â€œblogosphere.â€
What do you do when your alma mater sells off its entire art museum to private interests? Start a facebook group.
Brandeis recently announced the sale of its Rose Art Museum, much to the surprise of the Museum’s director and entire staff, who received the notice an hour before the school went public with the announcement. It seems that many of the University’s prime donors got Madoff’d, you see. Here’s director Michael Rush’s response.
The New York Times also had the Museum’s back.
Brandeis President and D’bag Jehuda Reinharz issued a public apology and, according to the Boston.com Exhibitionist blog, the Museum “as it exists today will eventually cease to operate and instead will be turned into an educational center for Brandeis students and faculty.” Sounds like some vague public private public partnership and partnering language to us!
It’s Lincoln’s birthday! Which means we couldn’t go to the Chamber of Congress and register our business today! Also, we recently learned of this awesome beardless “Young Lincoln” portrait that’s been causing quite a stir among certain internets communities.
What do you think? Did a horse really kick both these men in the face, therefore making them the same man?
Thanks to our secret Met Museum correspondent who secured us this deluxe yellow clip-on. Our own Josiah Tell is also collecting them as he goes about his mission to visit every room of the Museum.
We love cutie librarians as much as the next nerd, but this guy makes us embarrassed for our gender. See also!
Don’t get my wrong. I shindig till 2am, I tip my cap to random strangers, I do my very best to infuse the world with punchlines and good cheer. My social algorithms are cribbed from something a little more polysyllabic than Jugs and Barely Legal, and I’d like to think that I’ve passed the evolutionary watershed of ‘Ugg, me hungry.’
But damn is it hard to discuss quality books during happy hour.
To wit: I am a veteran dork of endearing proportions. I make obscure references to mixed, sometimes blank-faced results. I’m prone to grooving randomly to quality Elvis dance remixes. And I have this nasty, recurring habit of cruising half-price bookstore shelves like an old-skool leatherman cruising a bathhouse.
Tell me you can relate.
You are a girl whose below-the-equator bloodflow skyrockets at the sight of a textbook. You treat episodes of Jeopardy like a performance of Chippendales. You think knowledge is an aphrodesiac, like powdered rhino horn meets sun-kissed strawberry. You probably own a t-shirt that says, ‘Librarians do it in the stacks.’
We should discuss.
Why do bookworms get me hot? Because dumbasses get me ice cold. I love and lust after women whose brainpower could lay the smackdown on Deep Blue, whose thumb and forefinger callous from rampant dogears, whose personal libraries could pistolwhip an ox. If you’ve ever discombobulated a boy/girl in mid-coitus with a tangent about biotechnology, let me say two things:
A) That’s fucking hilarious, and B) You’re my kind of girl.
Honestly. I have friends with fetishes for everything from feet to blindness. Like somebody out there in the internet void doesn’t get all excited over the Dewey Decimal System?
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.Â 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.Â 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.
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.Â 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.Â 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.
lamusediffuse’s gmap of museums in Libya
Look who’s hiring! The augustly named Resnicow Schroeder is a PR firm that offers services exclusively to cultural institutions, kind of like Suggested Donation! We’d try and lay it out for you, but let’s let them explain it. How many buzzwords can you count?
Our customized, integrated approach builds on each client’s core identity and effectively interprets and communicates those assets to a broad variety of constituents, from the media to audiences, donors, community leaders, and other stakeholders. We offer the expertise and resources of a large firm, while maintaining the flexibility and personal commitment of a small one, enabling us to work in close partnership with our clients to distinguish their voice in an often noisy cultural environment.
But don’t be put off by an opening paragraph that tries too hard. The next time your cultural or arts organization is hit by a Katrina of bad press, Resnicow Shroeder is there for you, with their FEMAesque Crisis Management services:
Crisis Management: Our integrated approach to crisis management stabilizes organizations internally while containing and reversing negative public relations.
We will say, they do have a hell of a client list.
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.
The Price of Freedom store at the Museum of American History.
When SD reader L told us about MOBA, we thought she had a head-cold and $20 to blow on the admission fee. Silly us. She was referring to the Museum of Bad Art, a not-bad-meaning-good-but-bad-meaning-bad-meaning-good collection of some of the blurst artistic endeavors ever puked onto a canvas.
Aside from wonderful portraiture, beautiful landscapes, and cutting edge abstracts, MOBA has not been without its fair share of controversary*!
The Museum Of Bad Art has been embroilled in more than its fair share of controversaries over the years. We are most humbled to make public the fact that even within the confines of our esteemed Museum establishment, within the ranks of our very own Members, there is controversary. Pleads to make public these sordid details, to purge the Museum records of suspicion have not gone unheard. We are in the process of gathering information that shall unsully our reputation.
*not to be confused with controversy