Ruth Bader Ginsburg Statue Unveiled in Brooklyn, and Other News

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue in Brooklyn by Gillie and Marc

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A massive bronze statue of Ruth Bader Ginsburg now presides over Downtown Brooklyn.

The spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will live on at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn. The artists Gillie and Marc recently completed a massive bronze statue of the late Supreme Court Justice, who was born in the borough. “We had the honor and privilege to create Justice Ginsburg’s dignified likeness in everlasting bronze as a part of Statues for Equality,” the artists explain, referencing their project that seems to increase the city’s representation of women in public sculpture from three percent to ten percent. “The work is designed to provide the public with an opportunity to stand at her side, and gain inspiration from her journey fighting for equal rights.” New York governor Andrew Cuomo plans to create another statue that posthumously honors the Justice at some time in the near future.

In April, Netflix will debut a four-part series that documents the world’s biggest art heist. 

In the early hours of March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Guards had admitted two thieves masquerading as police officers responding to a disturbance call, who then tied the guards up and looted the museum over the next hour. The world’s biggest art heist remains unsolved more than three decades later, prompting director Colin Barnicle to create a four-part Netflix original docuseries. “From the beginning, Colin and Nick [Barnicle] were driven to tell this story as it really happened—equal parts drama, explosive true crime story, and a madcap comedy of errors,” says Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises. “The result is a massively entertaining series.” This is a Robbery debuts on April 7.  

Former lobby at the McGraw-Hill Building

Demolition of the lobby at Manhattan’s historic McGraw-Hill Building is nearing completion. 

Despite the best effort by preservationists to landmark the Streamline Moderne lobby of Manhattan’s historic McGraw-Hill building, demolition is nearly done. The lobby, originally designed by Raymond Hood and partially reimagined by Valerian Rybar in the 1980s, is undergoing a renovation by local firm MdeAS Architects after the New York Department of Buildings issued a demo permit in January. The owners notified the Landmarks Preservation Commission that they intended to salvage original lobby materials deemed historic, including lime green metal wall panels, elevator doors, chrome elevator accessories, terrazzo flooring, and blade signs.

MoMA is offering a free online course about reimagining Blackness and architecture.

The Museum of Modern Art’s recently opened exhibition “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America” is giving Black artists and architects the space to propose new ways forward within the built environment. Since many won’t be able to experience the show in person due to the ongoing pandemic. MoMA has introduced a free online program about this timely topic through Coursera. Called “Reimagining Blackness and Architecture,” the six-part course examines how the relationship between architecture and Blackness is both an identity and a lived experience, while creating room for Black architects, artists, and writers to educate students about structural inequality and community-driven alternatives across various media. 

“The contributions of Black makers and creatives—whether as community organizers, storytellers, or people shaping their own domestic spaces—are often erased, but we feel their impact every day,” associate curator Sean Anderson, who co-organized the course alongside MoMA’s Volkwagen fellow for digital learning Arlette Hernandez, says in an introductory discussion. “We hope that by taking this course, you’ll join us in preserving and celebrating the legacy of Black creatives past, present, and future.” 

Tower by Frank Gehry at Luma Arles, France

A twisting, shimmering tower by Frank Gehry will open at Luma Arles, France, this summer.

Frank Gehry’s latest blockbuster building is preparing to debut this summer. A twisting, geometric structure covered with 11,000 stainless steel panels, the tower will form the centerpiece of Luma Arles, a 27-acre cultural campus in Arles, France, founded by the Swiss pharmaceutical heiress and art collector Maja Hoffmann. “We wanted to evoke the local, from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to the soaring rock clusters you find in the region,” Gehry said about the tower, which will house galleries, project spaces, seminar rooms, an auditorium, and the foundation’s research and archive facilities. 

Tesla is plugging a utility-grade mega-battery into the Texas grid that faltered in February.

Tesla is quietly building a 100-megawatt energy storage facility in Angleton, Texas, shortly after the state’s grid nearly collapsed last month during unprecedented winter storms. The news leaked after onlookers spotted Tesla’s logo on a construction worker’s hard hat and public documents revealed that a Tesla subsidiary registered as Gambit Energy Storage was spearheading the project. It marks Tesla’s first major foray into the United States energy economy, cementing the company’s official mission statement of “accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” 

“I Hope...” by Chiharu Shiota

Today’s attractive distractions:

Scientists unlock the long-lost secrets of the storied “Antikythera Mechanism.”

Chiharu Shiota dangles hopeful letters from millions of lines of bright red thread. 

Pascal Greco captures Hong Kong’s lustrous neon signs before they fade away.

These new algae-covered clothes can suck carbon out of the atmosphere.  

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