The MoMA and the American Folk Art Museum
The worlds of fine art and architecture are at loggerheads over New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and its planned demolition of the now-vacant American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) next door. The Museum purchased the building in 2011 to assist the AFAM in paying off construction costs and now plans to tear it down. Why? Because their facades are a mismatch and because the floors won’t line up for the MoMA’s intended expansion.
Tempers flared pretty quickly, with many New Yorkers rushing to defend the arguably off-putting facade of the AFAM and pointing out the building’s architectural value. Bloomberg derided the MoMA’s actions as a “flabbergasting act of cultural vandalism” and blasted the MoMA’s decision as a “troubling sense of empire.” On the other hand, the building has narrow, unusual gallery space, something that could have been a factor in the AFAM’s lackluster attendance at that location. For now, the story seems to be settled despite the acrimony, but this should remain a test case for any cultural institution or city wishing to tread carefully when dealing with beloved architecture.
Never-before-seen Warhol photographs
In 1981, British photographer Steve Wood met a friend while attending a film festival in France. He also met his friend’s new husband and a mutual friend of theirs: a skinny, white-wigged American artist by the name of Andy Warhol. Wood managed to get in some photographs of Warhol (quite a few posing with a sunflower, for some reason), took home the film, developed them, filed them under ‘W,’ and then forgot about them.
While we’re on the topic, have you seen Plains Art Museum’s Warhol exhibition yet?
Public Domain Review
The world of copyright law and intellectual property, can be a confusing and frustrating topic. Big content providers (e.g., Hollywood or Disney) are continually looking for ways to derive revenue from licensure of their works and extend the intellectual property shelf life of their works. Consumers want to buy a movie or a book and know that it’s theirs and, barring that, will take to piracy to build their libraries. Further muddying the waters are the scores of remixers out there walking the fine line of fair use. The tension between them all means that commonsense copyright overhaul reflecting mutual benefit for all–and modern techonology–might be impossible.
Things are much simpler in the public domain, and that’s where the Public Domain Review comes in. Created by the Open Knowledge Foundation, the Public Domain Review seeks to explore and promote the world of public domain works to modern audiences through channels like a “fortnightly” email and Pinterest boards. The Public Domain Review also features some hardcore analysis, like this extensive look at the importance of the Brothers Grimm as we celebrate the 200th year of their first edition. In other words, Public Domain Review celebrates the beauty in the creative works we all own, and that is definitely something worth celebrating.
Internet sleuths track down the (possible?) name of the new Boards of Canada album through some glitchy clues buried in YouTube and SoundCloud clips. Great piece of viral marketing, too.
Video: an interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle via the Internet Archive, h/t Public Domain Review. Eat your heart out, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Image: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Fukurokuju Writing with His Head, via Public Domain Review. Yeah. That guy is writing with his giant head.