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In The Limelight For February 10, 2011: National Arts News

A look at what's in the limelight in national arts news this week.

Denver Art Museum

Photo: Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum has completed its project of re-attributing works of art in its Native American galleries to the artists who made them, rather than just to the tribe where those artists came from.

Here’s a look at what’s in the limelight this week in national arts news:

Denver Art Museum Revises Wall Labels In Native American Art Galleries

After a seven-months-long overhaul, the Denver Art Museum reopened its Native American wing this weekend with a revolutionary difference: Each wall label has been re-worded so that the work of art it references is attributed to an individual artist, rather than to that artist’s tribe. The change of policy is part of a conscientious effort on the part of curators to treat the works as art rather than ethnographic relics of the culture they come from. The New York Times reported that “the Denver museum has now embraced attribution more completely and comprehensively than any other institution.”

Striking Detroit Symphony Musicians Offered A Revised Contract

Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians have been on strike for the past four months. Last week, they were offered a revised contract that stipulates they must respond by this Friday, February 11. The implication of not reaching an agreement by that deadline, which was imposed by the DSO’s board of directors, is that the Symphony’s 2011-2012 season could be in jeopardy.

Google Launches Virtual Museum Tour

February 1 Google announced on its blog February 1 that it was launching the Google Art Project, which it’s calling “a new tool… [that] puts more than 1,000 works of art at your fingertips in extraordinary detail.” Using the same technology as they did for Google Earth, designers have virtually reconstructed seventeen major museums in such detail that a viewer can get even closer to each painting than he might in a real-life museum, where a security guard would be sure to ask him to step back from the wall. Museums that are currently available via the Google Art Project include The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Tate Britain & The National Gallery in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Other Internet News

Two new online projects allow music lovers to access and interact with music virtually: As a multi-year project will eventually include more than 8 million Web pages, the New York Philharmonic is in the process of developing a digital archive, which will be available to the public online. And the Johnny Cash Project allows fans of that legendary singer to create portraits of him which, compiled in an ever-evolving order, become a music video for his song “Ain’t No Grave.”

Colbert Portrait To Be Sold At Auction

In a bizarre intersection of popular and high art, the auction house Philips de Pury & Company announced February 4 that a portrait of the comedian Stephen Colbert will be up for auction in March. The painting, “Portrait 5: Stephen(s),” was completed on television during an episode of The Colbert Report. Colbert invited several artists, including Andres Serrano and Shepard Fairey, to alter the piece: Serrano drew a mustache on Colbert’s likeness, while Fairey added his signature stencil, which reads “OBEY.” The levity with which the piece was constructed may increase its value; proceeds from the sale will benefit DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that benefits classrooms.

Rachel Lyon

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Rachel Lyon came to Bloomington in 2009 to pursue her MFA in Creative Writing at IU. At WFIU, she is an announcer for All Things Considered and classical music, and she produces features for Artworks. Rachel's glad to be working in radio again after a long drought since her undergraduate years, when she was a DJ for WPRB, the independent station in Princeton, NJ.

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