OPENINGS & CLOSINGS
The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., will open the Edgar N. Putnam Event Pavilion, a 2,500-square-foot glass structure, in the spring. The pavilion will host exhibition openings, lectures and musical events.
The Aspen Art Museum has broken ground for its new building. The structure will have 12,500 feet of exhibition space, including a classroom, cafe and rooftop sculpture garden. The design, by architect Shigeru Ban, incorporates strong wood and glass elements, and is meant to echo the museum’s mountain surroundings.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston is set to reopen Jan. 18 after a nine-week closure for construction of a new wing, restoration of the museum’s tapestry room, lighting upgrades and changes to the entrance. The new wing, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, adds 70,000 square feet and will house galleries, a greenhouse, a restaurant and a 296-seat concert hall.
Exhibition galleries at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, which closed in July, are expected to reopen in 2013. The galleries, located in New York’s historic Carnegie Mansion, are being renovated as part of a $64 million campaign that will increase exhibition space by 60 percent, improve the National Design Library, and increase the endowment.
Also closing for a major facelift is UrbanGlass, which is renovating its space at the historic Strand Theater in Brooklyn, N.Y. When it reopens in 2013, the facility will have new furnaces, as well as gallery and retail space.
GIFTS AND GRANTS
The Akron Art Museum in Ohio has opened the largest public collection of glass by the artist Paul Stankard, who is renowned for incorporating realistic sculpture in paperweights. The collection, a gift from Mike and Annie Belkin, contains 64 glass pieces. The works will be on display on the museum’s Myers Industries, Inc. Balcony, renovated especially to house Stankard’s work.
Deena and Jerome Kaplan, of Bethesda, Md., have given the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh a sizeable collection of contemporary crafts. The 23 objects, on view at the museum through 2012, include ceramics, wood and furniture by artists including Kenneth Ferguson, Viola Frey, Sam Maloof and Judy Kensley McKie. The Kaplans’ home and collections were featured in the Spring 1996 issue of AmericanStyle.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum has received a gift from collector and patron Fleur Bresler to create an endowment for the position of curator of craft at the Renwick Gallery. Nicholas R. Bell, the current curator, will hold the title of The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art. In 2010, the Breslers, who assembled a notable collection of American crafts, gave the Renwick 66 pieces of wood art.
AWARDS & CELEBRATIONS
Bruce W. Pepich, executive director of the Racine Art Museum, has been given the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award. Pepich, whose career with RAM spans 37 years, oversees a collection of more than 5,000 works and a studio art program that offers classes for children and adults.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Mass. Founders Harry Holl and Roy Freed were honored at a program in May. The museum’s two-fold mission is to exhibit works by artists with Cape Cod associations and to preserve the heritage of this artistic community.
COMINGS & GOINGS
Larry Wright is the new managing director of the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Wash. Wright was formerly chief executive of the National Mentoring Partnership in Washington, D.C.
Heather McElwee has been named new executive director of the Pittsburgh Glass Center. A glass artist, McElwee has been with the center, a nonprofit public-access studio and gallery, for 10 years.
The Art Institute of Chicago has chosen a former curator, Douglas Druick, as its new director. Druick, who joined the museum 26 years ago, headed the department of prints and drawings. He replaces James Cuno, who left earlier this year to become head of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
John Spiak, formerly curator of the Arizona State University Art Museum in Phoenix, is the new director and chief curator of the Grand Central Art Center of California State University Fullerton. The center is in Santa Ana.
The Rhode Island School of Design has named John W. Smith director of its Museum of Art. Smith was formerly director of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.