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Ian Wilson
Ian Wilson

Gallery †March 2011



2) An art gallery/museum. Perhaps he wishes to photograph the pages of ancient manuscripts. The content is for sale, but at antique/historical prices. Is Eric expected to pay millions of dollars for the physical goods, or is it considered acceptable to make free copies photographically?




Gallery – March 2011



Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh banker and Treasury Secretary from 1921 until 1932, began gathering a private collection of old master paintings and sculptures during World War I. During the late 1920s, Mellon decided to direct his collecting efforts towards the establishment of a new national gallery for the United States.


However, Mellon's trial for tax evasion, centering on the Trust and the Hermitage paintings, caused the plan to be modified. In 1935, Mellon announced in The Washington Star his intention to establish a new gallery for old masters, separate from the Smithsonian. When asked by Abbot, he explained that the project was in the hands of the Trust and that its decisions were partly dependent on "the attitude of the Government towards the gift".


The new gallery was to be effectively self-governing, not controlled by the Smithsonian, but took the old name "National Gallery of Art" while the Smithsonian's gallery would be renamed the "National Collection of Fine Arts" (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum).[2][3][4]


In 2011, an extensive refurbishment and renovation of the French galleries were undertaken. As part of the celebration of the reopening of this wing, organist Alexander Frey performed 4 sold-out recitals of music of France in one weekend in the French Gallery.


The final element of the National Gallery of Art complex, the Sculpture Garden was completed in 1999 after more than 30 years of planning. To the west of the West Building, on the opposite side of Seventh Street, the 6.1 acres (2.5 ha) Sculpture Garden was designed by landscape architect Laurie Olin[19] as an outdoor gallery for monumental modern sculpture.


Beginning in 2011, NGA undertook an $85 million restoration of the East Building's façade.[23] The East Building is clad in 3 in (7.6 cm) thick pink marble panels. The panels are held about 2 in (5.1 cm) away from the wall by stainless steel anchors. Gravity holds the panel in the bottom anchors (which are placed at each corner), while "button head" anchors (stainless steel posts with large, flat heads) at the top corners keep the panel upright. Mortar was used on the gravity anchors to level the stones. Joints of flexible colored neoprene were placed between the panels. This system was designed to allow each panel to hang independent of its neighbors, and NGA officials say they are not aware of any other panel system like it.


The NGA hired the structural engineering firm Robert Silman Associates to determine the cause of the problem.[24] Although the Gallery began raising private funds to fix the issue,[24] eventually federal funding was used to repair the building.[23] In 2012, the NGA chose a joint venture, Balfour Beatty/Smoot, to complete the repairs. Anodized aluminum anchors replaced the stainless steel ones, and the top corner anchors were moved to the center of the top edge of each stone. The neoprene joints were removed and new colored silicone gaskets installed, and leveling screws rather than mortar used to keep the panels square. Work began in November 2011,[24] and originally was scheduled to end in 2014.[23] By February 2012, however, the contractor said work on the façade would end in late 2013, and site restoration would take place in 2014.[24] The East Building remained open throughout the project.[21]


When Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer donated his private collection to the Smithsonian and funds to build the museum to hold it (which was named the Freer Gallery), it was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual.[38] The gallery opened in 1923.[39]


More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology (renamed the National Museum of American History in 1980), opened in 1964. It was designed by the world-renowned firm of McKim, Mead & White.[40] The Anacostia Community Museum, an "experimental store-front" museum created at the initiative of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, opened in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in 1967.[41][42][43] That same year, the Smithsonian signed an agreement to take over the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration (now the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum).[44] The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum opened in the Old Patent Office Building (built in 1867) on October 7, 1968.[45] The reuse of an older building continued with the opening of the Renwick Gallery in 1972 in the 1874 Renwick-designed art gallery originally built by local philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran to house the Corcoran Gallery of Art.[46]


In 2011, the Smithsonian undertook its first-ever capital fundraising campaign.[55] The $1.5 billion effort raised $1 billion at the three-year mark. Smithsonian officials made the campaign public in October 2014 in an effort to raise the remaining $500 million. More than 60,000 individuals and organizations donated money to the campaign by the time it went public.[56] This included 192 gifts of at least $1 million.[56] Members of the boards of directors of various Smithsonian museums donated $372 million.[56] The Smithsonian said that funds raised would go toward completion of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building, and renovations of the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, and the Renwick Gallery.[56] A smaller amount of funds would go to educational initiatives and digitization of collections.[56] As of September 2017, the Smithsonian claimed to have raised $1.79 billion, with three months left in the formal campaign calendar.[57]


The president's 2011 budget proposed just under $800 million in support for the Smithsonian, slightly increased from previous years. Institution exhibits are free of charge, though in 2010 the Deficit Commission recommended admission fees.[117][118]


In 2001, the museum embarked on a major 150m renovation programme, called the "FuturePlan".[30][31] The plan involves redesigning all the galleries and public facilities in the museum that have yet to be remodelled. This is to ensure that the exhibits are better displayed, more information is available, access for visitors is improved, and the museum can meet modern expectations for museum facilities.[32] A planned Spiral building was abandoned, in its place a new Exhibition Road Quarter designed by Amanda Levete's AL A was created.[33] It features a new entrance on Exhibition Road, a porcelain-tiled courtyard (The Sackler Courtyard, inaugurated as such in 2017, but which lost its name in 2022[34]) and a new 1,100-square-metre underground gallery space (The Sainsbury Gallery) accessed through the Blavatnik Hall. The Exhibition Road Quarter project provided 6,400 square metres of extra space, which is the largest expansion at the museum in over 100 years.[35] It opened on 29 June 2017.[36]


The central garden was redesigned by Kim Wilkie and opened as the John Madejski Garden on 5 July 2005. The design is a subtle blend of the traditional and modern: the layout is formal; there is an elliptical water feature lined in stone with steps around the edge which may be drained to use the area for receptions, gatherings or exhibition purposes. This is in front of the bronze doors leading to the refreshment rooms. A central path flanked by lawns leads to the sculpture gallery. The north, east and west sides have herbaceous borders along the museum walls with paths in front which continues along the south façade. In the two corners by the north façade, there is planted an American Sweetgum tree. The southern, eastern and western edges of the lawns have glass planters which contain orange and lemon trees in summer, which are replaced by bay trees in winter.


In 2011 the V&A announced that London-based practice AL A had won an international competition to construct a gallery beneath a new entrance courtyard on Exhibition Road.[78] Planning for the scheme was granted in 2012.[79] It replaced the proposed extension designed by Daniel Libeskind with Cecil Balmond but abandoned in 2004 after failing to receive funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.[80]


The Exhibition Road Quarter opened in 2017, with a new entrance providing access for visitors from Exhibition Road. A new courtyard, the Sackler Courtyard, has been created behind the Aston Webb Screen, a colonnade built in 1909 to hide the museum's boilers. The colonnade was kept but the wall in the lower part was removed in the construction to allow public access to the courtyard.[81] The new 1,200-square meter courtyard is the world's first all-porcelain courtyard,[36] which is covered with 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles in fifteen different linear patterns glazed in different tone. A pavilion of Modernist design with glass walls and an angular roof covered with 4,300 tiles is located at the corner and contains a cafe.[35] Skylights on the courtyard provide natural light for the stairwell and the exhibition space located below the courtyard created by digging 15m into the ground. The Sainsbury Gallery's column-less space at 1,100 square metres is one of the largest in the country, providing space for temporary exhibitions. The gallery can be assessed through the existing Western Range building where a new entrance to the Blavatnik Hall and the museum has been created, and visitors can descend into the gallery via stairs with lacquered tulipwood balustrades.[35][82][83]


In 2004, the V&A alongside Royal Institute of British Architects opened the first permanent gallery in the UK[86] covering the history of architecture with displays using models, photographs, elements from buildings and original drawings. With the opening of the new gallery, the RIBA Drawings and Archives Collection has been transferred to the museum, joining the already extensive collection held by the V&A. With over 600,000 drawings, over 750,000 papers and paraphernalia, and over 700,000 photographs from around the world, together they form the world's most comprehensive architectural resource. 041b061a72


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