The Design Museum Announces a Charlotte Perriand Retrospective, and Other News

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Salon d'Automne by Charlotte Perriand

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The Design Museum in London announces a major retrospective of Charlotte Perriand.

Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life” will showcase the work and ideas of the French architect and designer by presenting her creative process through a series of photographs, sketches, notebooks. It marks more than 25 years since the Modernist’s last exhibition in London, which was also staged at the Design Museum in collaboration with Perriand’s family and Fondation Louis Vuitton. According to the museum, this exhibition will help bring her ideas back to life with faithful reconstructions of her most famous interiors, including her own studio apartment in Saint-Sulpice.

The award-winning modernist architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen dies of Covid-19 at age 91. 

The Washington-based architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen, a master of Modernism who studied under Louis Kahn and Philip Johnson, has died at age 91. Throughout his illustrious career, Jacobsen became perhaps most well-known for his pavilion-style residences that were often affectionately called “Monopoly Houses”—tidy, pristine white structures that resemble the board-game pieces. He also notably designed a Cape Cod–style house and guesthouse on Martha’s Vineyard for former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. “Good architecture never shouts,” Jacobsen once told the Washington Star. “It’s like a well-mannered lady, kind to its neighbors. It takes a double take to know what she’s there at all.” The architect reportedly succumbed to Covid-19 complications in an assisted living home in Front Royal, Virginia. 

Hans Christian Andersen Museum by Kengo Kuma

A museum by Kengo Kuma dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen will open in Denmark.

This summer, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen will open in Odense, Denmark. The museum, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, will offer a new perspective on the beloved author by blending architecture, sound, light, and images into a “complete artistic setting” that creates constant encounters between visitors and Andersen’s fairy tales. For the design, Kuma drew inspiration from Andersen’s fairytale “The Tinderbox,” in which, according to the firm, “a small world suddenly expands to a bigger universe.” 

The audio brand Sonos announces Roam, its first truly portable and versatile speaker. 

Two years after releasing its transportable speaker, Move, Sonos will debut its first truly portable product—i.e. designed to leave the house. Described by the brand as its “most versatile speaker ever,” Roam can connect to Bluetooth or WiFi, has a day-long battery life, and can be charged wirelessly with any Qi wireless charger. Best of all: it’s dust-and-waterproof.

The Smithsonian adds the first vial of the COVID-19 vaccine to its permanent collection. 

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C., has added empty Moderna and Pfizer vials to its collection documenting the ongoing global health crisis. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s March 2020 declaration that the COVID-19 outbreak was classified as a pandemic. Since the virus first reached the U.S. this past year, deaths from the disease nationwide have surpassed 525,000. The news shortly follows the Smithsonian’s last pandemic-related acquisition of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s 3-D printed model of the SARAS-CoV-2 virion—the blue ball affixed with distinctive orange spikes—that he used to explain the disease to the public during his briefings. 

Marabar (1984) by Elyn Zimmerman

National Geographic will move an Elyn Zimmerman sculpture threatened by a building expansion. 

National Geographic has promised to preserve and relocate an outdoor sculpture by Elyn Zimmerman that was allegedly preventing the society’s ability to expand its campus in Washington, DC. Admirers of Marabar (1984), a seminal granite-and-water artwork by Elyn Zimmerman, had organized a campaign to preserve it after the organization’s plans to build a new entrance plaza and pavilion called the sculpture’s future into question. At a recent meeting of the Historic Preservation Review Board, representatives assured that they would work with Zimmerman and organizers to find a new home for the sculpture as well as cover all costs for its safe removal and reinstallation. 

President Joe Biden’s newly passed stimulus bill allocates $470 million for arts relief.

Under the new plan, $135 million will be appropriated to both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It also sets aside $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The arts and culture funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 exceeds the Trump administration’s 2020 CARES Act by $395 million.

Today’s attractive distractions:

Art-world provocateur Kenny Schachter sold his own grandma using NFTs.

These “backyard compostable” sneakers are made using kombucha waste.

A performance by SO-IL and Ana Prvački feels newly relevant during Covid-19.

In Oregon, a bunch of trees grouped together to form a massive smiley face.

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