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The Headlines

CAPITAL PROJECTS.TheHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardenin Washington, D.C.,has tappedSelldorf ArchitectsandSkidmore, Owings & Merrillto renovate the interior of itsGordon Bunshaft–designed home and its plaza, theWashington Postreports, describing it as “the largest physical reimagining of the museum in its history.” Details are still being worked out, but the plan is to add exhibition space, improve accessibility, and fix up other aspects of its infrastructure. Construction is slated for 2025. “It’s really about re-envisioning the museum for the 21st century,” the Hirshhorn’s director,Melissa Chiu, told thePost. Last year, the museum of modern and contemporary artwon approvalfor artistHiroshi Sugimoto’s proposal to rework its sculpture garden.

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The Hirshhorn Museum is seen August 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

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How the Late U.S. Ambassador Donald Blinken Shaped Mark Rothko's Legacy

BILLIONAIRE ARTS PATRON DAVID GEFFENis the subject of awrite-around profilebyAdam Nagourneyin theNew York Timesthat focuses on his nine-figure gifts to institutions like theLos Angeles County Museum of Art, theMuseum of Modern Art, andYale University. Some interesting tidbits: Geffen (anARTnewsTop 200 Collector) once said that he has not flown on a commercial plane since 1979, and his first visit to the newDavid Geffen HallatLincoln Centerin New York was to attend its inaugural gala last week. While the entertainment mogul did not speak for the story, Lincoln Center’s board chair,Katherine G. Farley, did, and said that he told her, of the redesign he put $100 million toward, “I want to leave this in your hands: I don’t need any input on the selection of the architect and driving the design.”

The Digest

Speaking ofSelldorf Architectsand museum renovations: ArchitectEdward Jonesslammed the firm’s proposed renovation of theNational Galleryin London, arguing that its proposal to move the building’s entrance from Trafalgar Square “to a side street is an act of vandalism.”[The Art Newspaper]

A memorial service for the late diplomat, private equity giant, and art collectorDonald Blinkenwas held Monday at theMetropolitan Museum of Art. Those in attendance includedPace GalleryfounderArne Glimcher, Met directorMax Hollein, collectorRonald Lauder, andPresident Biden.[New York Post]

A video circulating on the internet that appears to be a report from the broadcasterEurostarabout a German auction house selling Russian artists’ work to benefit Ukraine’s armed forces, and then destroying the material, is a fake. The firm in the video,Bolland & Marotz, said it “is outraged that our name is being misused for it.” [Reuters]

Today in London, the first show of artistSarah Biffin(1784–1850) in a century opens atPhilip Mould & Company. A master miniaturist, Biffin had no arms and taught herself to sew and paint. In 2019, a work estimated at £1,800 sold at auction for £137,000.[The Guardian]

TheMuseum of the African Diasporain San Francisco has named a new chief of curatorial affairs and public programs:Key Jo Lee. She is coming from theCleveland Museum of Art, where she is currently associate curator of American art.[]

The controversial 19th-century archaeologistHeinrich Schliemannis a “classic example of what a late-career outsider can achieve,”Robin Lane Foxwrites, in a rollicking column about the trader-turned-adventurer whom some consider “a vandal, a liar, a fantasist, and a thief.”[Financial Times]

The Kicker

TECH UPGRADE.The market for NFTs may have cooled lately, but museums are continuing to work with artists who areexperimenting with those digital tokens,Zachary Smallreports in theNew York Times. One juicy anecdote comes fromChristiane Paul, who was recently named digital art curator at theWhitney Museumin New York after almost two decade as an adjunct. “Usually I had to sell the idea of digital art to the upper administrative levels,” Paul told theTimes. “Now trustees are coming to me and asking if the Whitney should be in the metaverse.”[NYT]