#ArtsEd Roundup: Expansions and Renovations at the Smithsonian and the Harvard Art Museums
Last week, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute Wayne Clough topped off his six-year tenure by announcing Bjarke Ingels Group’s $2 billion revitalization project of the Smithsonian’s south campus on the National Mall, which will commence in 2016. Alongside his ongoing initiative to digitize the 138 million objects in the Smithsonian’s vast collections and an ambitious $1.5 billion fundraising effort, this project will include a restoration of the iconic Smithsonian Castle, new green spaces, and underground walkways and galleries to connect various museums. If completed it will be the most extensive construction project the National Mall mall has seen in the past century.
After a decade long renovation, The Harvard Art Museums reopened last Monday. The ambitious renovation unified all three formerly separate university museums—the Busch-Reisinger, the Arthur M. Sackler, and the Fogg—and their very distinct collections (German and northern European, Asian, Islamic and Indian, and Western art respectively) in a new state-of-the-art facility designed by Renzo Piano. The completion of this $400 million renovation is that much more remarkable since it comes at a time when many universities are rethinking large-scale costly construction projects and the position of and funding for the arts and humanities in education is regularly contested.
Check out what Forbes is calling “Da Vinci’s would-be desktop.” HP’s new Sprout, a “creation machine,” which includes both a high-definition touchscreen mat that allows users to write on it directly and a camera function to capture 3D objects, is being described as the new go-to tool for artists and designers. Explore it for yourself.
Last week The Google Cultural Institute launched a Civil Rights exhibition about the Little Rock Nine and a focus on life under Communism through the end of the Cold War across 10 country-specific online exhibitions, all of which should not be missed. Since its launch in 2011, the Institute has allowed users to explore over one-billion pixels-worth of primary resources, including videos, photographs, and archival materials of iconic moments and histories from across the world.