A Retro Retreat Debuts in The Berkshires, and Other News

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A Retro Retreat Debuts in the Berkshires

Once an enclave for wealthy families during the Gilded Age, Lenox, MA, punches above its weight in the cultural sphere. Home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer stomping grounds, Tanglewood, as well as Shakespeare & Company, the small Berkshires town also has a rich history of novelists who passed through during the mid-19th century such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Fanny Kemble. That legacy is front and center at the new Life House, a rehabbed ‘70s-era retreat that honors its lodge-style origins while bringing it into the modern age.

From the crackling fireplaces to library lounge stocked with vintage books to writing desks in the 65 guest rooms, the retro literary theme is tastefully executed. At the farm-to-table restaurant, Club Room, custom Murano glass chandeliers crafted in Venice by Sogni di Cristallo and artist Lei Xing’s nature-inspired mural set a convivial atmosphere for elevated pub grub (short-rib grilled cheese, artisanal charcuterie boards). Art also plays a significant role in the rooms, where Annie Lynch’s collage works of female figures superimposed in local landscapes are displayed next to framed poetry by Russell Markus. —Nate Storey

The new Jeffrey E. Gundlach Building at the Buffago AKG Art Museum. Image courtesy OMA New York

The Buffalo AKG Art Museum will reopen in May after a lengthy renovation by OMA.

“The former Albright-Knox Art Gallery, now named the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, will reopen to the public on May 25, with a vastly renovated and expanded campus designed by the OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu. A $20 million commitment from New York State, announced Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul, completes the Buffalo museum’s $230 million capital campaign, believed to be the largest for a cultural institution in the history of western New York. The expansion is a “transformative project that will provide a significant boost to Buffalo’s future,” said Governor Hochul, whose hometown is Buffalo. The museum has been closed since construction began in November 2019.” [H/T The New York Times]

The sustainability-minded Woolmark Prize names eight finalists for the 2023 edition.

“The Australian-based fashion prize for young talent picked A. Roege Hove, Bluemarble, Lagos Space Programme, Marco Rambaldi, Maxxij, Paolina Russo, Rhude and Robyn Lynch as finalists for its 2023 award. The designers will receive $39,700 to develop a six-piece collection using Merino wool, while mentored by a number of fashion experts. The International Woolmark Prize winner, selected in April, will receive $133,000. Another finalist will be awarded the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, and receive $67,000. Past recipients of the Woolmark Prize include Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino Garavani, Gabriela Hearst, Rahul Mishra, Matty Bovan, and Bode. Last year’s winner was British-Guyanese menswear designer Saul Nash.” [H/T Business of Fashion]

Activists at SFMOMA supporting the Iranian protest movement. Photography courtesy of the anonymous protesters

Activists unfurl red banners in SFMOMA’s atrium to support Iran’s women-led protests.

“For the second time in less than a month, art activists have made major U.S. museums a showcase for a message in support of the current protest movement in Iran. The nation’s unpopular mandatory hijab law has been under fire since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16, after her arrest at the hands of Tehran ‘morality police’ for wearing her headscarf improperly. Eyewitnesses claim Amini was the victim of police brutality. On Thursday evening, a group of anonymous artists hung eight banners bearing Amini’s portrait and the words “Women, Life, Freedom” from the third floor of the SFMOMA atrium, between the pair of massive Julie Mehruti paintings that flank the stairwell. The banners were identical to those unfurled at the Guggenheim last month, but the two protests are said to have been staged by different groups.” [H/T Artnet News]

Italy warns that museum admission prices may rise to help ward off climate protests.

“Following a climate protest in which activists threw flour on a Warhol-painted BMW in Milan, Italy’s cultural minister warned that admission prices could rise as museums increase security measures put in place to foil future climate protests, Adnkronos reported. ‘The continuous attacks and outrages that increasingly occur to the detriment of our artistic and cultural heritage require us to rethink and reinforce the level of protection [in museums],’ Gennaro Sangiuliano said in a statement. ‘[These actions] lead us to take immediate measures, starting with covering all the paintings with glass barriers.’” [H/T Robb Report]

George Lois, the wry ad maven who reinvented Esquire covers in the 1960s, dies at 91.

“George Lois, a Madison Avenue ad maven who in the 1960s injected counterculture ethos into Esquire covers, wounding boxer and anti-war activist Muhammad Ali with arrows and drowning Andy Warhol in a can of Campbell’s soup to depict the collapse of avant-garde art, died Nov. 18 at his home in New York. Though Mr. Lois designed groundbreaking campaigns for brands such as Stouffer’s, Xerox, Tommy Hilfiger, and MTV—his “I want my MTV” commercials and posters were a staple of 1980s culture—his Esquire covers, the subject of a MoMA exhibition, were considered his magnum opus.” [H/T Washington Post]

“Temple of Boom” by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang at the National Gallery of Victoria. Photography by Diego Fedele/EPA

A chromatic Parthenon recreation pops up at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria.

“Far from Athens itself, the Parthenon is being rebuilt in Melbourne, Australia as part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s annual architecture commission. Temple of Boom is designed by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, who conceived of the project during lockdown. The structure is made of glass-reinforced concrete and rises from the NGV gardens like a piece of sumptuous Meccano. It invites the public to reflect not only on the Parthenon’s beauty, but its complicated history.” [H/T The Guardian]

Icelandic outerwear brand 66°North names Kei Toyoshima as its new creative director.

“You might not have heard of 66°North yet but the Icelandic outerwear brand is betting that you will within the next few years. After a small series of inroads intended to secure fashion credibility, 66°North has secured Kei Toyoshima as its new creative director. Toyoshima joins 66°North after a year and a half as Bottega Veneta’s head designer of ready-to-wear menswear and two and a half years at Haider Ackermann.” [H/T Highsnobiety]

Droog Rag Bench by Tejo Remy for Balenciaga. Image courtesy of Balenciaga

Today’s attractive distractions:

A new study finds egg whites can effectively filter microplastics from water.

Design Within Reach is gearing up for its annual Champagne Chair Contest

This layered concoction is a Balenciaga bench, not a giant Subway sandwich.

Two pieces of furniture that belonged to Marie Antoinette hit the auction block.

All Stories