The Blanton Museum of Art Gets a Tasteful Refresh, and Other News

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The Blanton Museum of Art. Photography by Sloan Breeden/courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin

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The Blanton Museum of Art Gets a Tasteful Refresh

The Blanton Museum of Art might be most famous as the site of Ellsworth Kelly’s chapel Austin, which the late artist finished in 2018, but museum director Simone Wicha noted how “people have a hard time finding our front door.” That might be because the institution’s main two buildings blend in with the surrounding Spanish Revival–style architecture. To address this, she tapped Snøhetta for landscape improvements that will establish a bolder presence. 

The Norwegian-American firm achieved that by building 15 elegant, petal-shaped structures that form a shade canopy at the southern end of the two buildings’ shared Moody Patio. Each generates a playful dappled light effect during the day and will be illuminated at night, creating a one-of-a-kind visual marker for the museum that shields passersby from the sweltering Texas sun. Kelly’s chapel will be in good company: Animating the museum’s loggia is a site-specific mural by the late Cuban-American abstract painter Carmen Herrera, which joins the newly established Butler Sound Gallery whose inaugural commission, by composer Bill Fontana, recreates the sounds of Texas Hill Country wildlife. —Ryan Waddoups

Russell Craig and Jesse Krimes. Photography by Maurice Sartirana, courtesy of the Center for Art & Advocacy

Jesse Krimes is spearheading a new nonprofit to assist formerly incarcerated artists. 

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein’s Masterpiece painting in 2017 to establish the Art for Justice Fund, a temporary fellowship supporting artists working on criminal justice reform. After distributing $125 million in grants over six years, the initiative is now concluding but will continue its mission. The fund’s final act is a significant grant for the creation of the Center for Art and Advocacy, a nonprofit organization founded by Jesse Krimes, an artist and former inmate, as an extension of the Right of Return Fellowship. The new organization will offer fellowships, residencies, and educational programs to justice-impacted artists to restore their access to art and level the playing field for their future success.

All of LVMH’s 200,000 employees are set to receive environmental training by 2026. 

Vallée de la Millière, a picturesque wetland area near Paris owned by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is set to become a training destination for LVMH employees as part of a five-year partnership. The luxury conglomerate aims to train all of its 200,000 employees in environmental awareness by 2026, utilizing various sites including Vallée de la Millière and La Caserne, a sustainable fashion hub. The initiative seeks to engage employees across the company in environmental efforts and will offer tailored training programs for different job functions.

More than 3,400 concrete buildings in San Francisco may be at severe earthquake risk.

A draft list of 3,407 concrete buildings in San Francisco that could be at high risk of collapse in a major earthquake has been obtained by NBC News. The list includes famous historic sites, low-income apartments, and Twitter’s headquarters. Retrofitting these buildings to ensure their safety could take billions of dollars and several decades of work. The city has yet to decide when it will officially notify the tenants and owners of these buildings, raising concerns about the potential risks they are unknowingly facing.

Matrix ONE by MVRDV. Photography by Daria Scagliola

In Amsterdam, MVRDV finishes a laboratory made of 120,000 reusable components.

MVRDV has completed the construction of Matrix ONE, a laboratory and office building at Amsterdam Science Park. The six-story structure, spanning 140,000 square feet, is the largest building among the seven that make up the Matrix Innovation Center, a hub for sustainable solutions. Matrix ONE features a demountable design allowing for the reuse of materials, prefabricated concrete floors, and a material passport system, as well as a social staircase, green walls, solar panels on the roof, and other sustainable and health-conscious elements, earning it a BREEAM-Excellent certification.

The Supreme Court rules against Andy Warhol in a major copyright infringement case.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Andy Warhol was not entitled to use a photographer’s portrait of Prince for a licensed magazine image, narrowing the fair-use defense in visual art copyright infringement cases. Justice Sonia Sotomayor emphasized that both Warhol and the photographer were engaged in commercial licensing, and allowing commercial copying of photographs without significant alterations would undermine copyright protections. Justice Elena Kagan dissented, arguing that the decision would stifle creativity and lamenting that the majority failed to appreciate Warhol’s artistry. The case highlights the complexities of fair use in art and the implications for artistic expression, which some argue will be major.

RH posts a decline in first-quarter earnings as it pursues aggressive expansion plans.

RH has reported a decline in first-quarter earnings as it continues pursuing expansion plans. Net income dropped sharply to $41.9 million from $200.7 million in the same period last year. Despite the decline, the furnishings retailer is remaining optimistic about its long-term goals and transformation into a true luxury brand, with plans to open immersive design galleries in every major market and expand into hospitality and housing. The company is also focusing on its global expansion, with upcoming openings in European cities and the launch of RH England, a luxury travel destination.

SKKN by Kim

Today’s attractive distractions:

Insiders reflect on how the hit series Top Chef changed food media forever.

Behold, Vulture’s definitive list of the 100 hardest video game levels of all time. 

Nature’s artistic process is on full display at the Mikimoto Tatoku Pearl Farm.

Why do we roll our eyes at some celebrity beauty brands but celebrate others?

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