Warby Parker Confidentially Files for a Listing, and Other News

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Eyewear disruptor Warby Parker confidentially files for a stock market listing in the United States.

A pioneer in the disruptor brand movement when it launched in 2010, the New York–based company is looking to ride the wave of new listings in the stock market. It was last valued at $3 billion after a $245 million funding round in 2020 and is slated to open 35 more brick-and-mortar stores this year despite the pandemic-induced uptick in e-commerce. 

A 2,800-year-old castle from the lost kingdom of Urartu gets discovered in Eastern Turkey.

A team of archeologists on an expedition in Eastern Turkey discovered a castle that dates back to the Kingdom of Urartu (also known as the Kingdom of Van), which ruled from 860 B.C.E.–590 B.C.E. and was known as a producer of arts and metalwork. Ancient walls, a cistern for water storage, and ceramic fragments were uncovered when the group investigated the site after spotting it by accident in the mountains of the Gürpinar district of eastern Van province. Plans to excavate the site should provide a window into the kingdom’s opaque history. 

The Shaker Museum by Selldorf Architects

Shaker Museum reveals new Selldorf Architects-designed home in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Renderings of Selldorf Architects’ retrofit of a Victorian-era former hotel building show a tri-level, glass-encased passageway connecting the original edifice with a new structure. The $18 million complex will house the most comprehensive collection of materials and, most notably, furniture associated with the Shaker movement in the world. “Shaker Museum will be a world-class cultural institution that tells the Shaker story through both the exploration of material objects and the values by which this extraordinary group lived,” says Lacy Schutz, the museum’s executive director. “The facility itself will include permanent and rotating exhibitions that contextualize the collection and the Shaker ethos. State-of-the-art climate-controlled storage facilities will help us preserve and protect the collection for generations to come, including the most fragile and significant artifacts.”

President Biden will return $2.2 billion earmarked for Trump’s border wall to the Pentagon.

The Biden administration will return $2.2 billion in Defense Department funds allocated to fund former President Trump’s border wall back to the Pentagon. The funds, which represent the unspent balance of the $3.6 billion that Trump earmarked for the wall, will be used for deferred defense projects such as a missile field expansion in Alaska and a school for U.S. military children in Germany. The administration will use remaining funds to “remediate urgent life, safety, and environmental issues resulting from the previous administration’s border wall construction,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. 

The Centre Pompidou’s forthcoming satellite in Jersey City

Jersey City locals are balking at the high price of Centre Pompidou’s upcoming outpost there.

The worlds of art and real estate did a double take when the Centre Pompidou announced it would open a satellite location in a former industrial building in Jersey City. In exchange for access to the museum’s 120,000 artworks and network of experts, the city has agreed to foot renovation costs exceeding $40 million and $6 million annually for project development. Legislators and longtime residents have balked at that price, noting that the city recently raised taxes on homeowners for lack of school funding. Rolando Lavarro, a city councilman, only learned of the news through a New York Times article well before its costs and long-term viability could be scrutinized. Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop says that the state’s Economic Development Authority is contributing nearly $15 million with other funds coming from philanthropists and developers, but those deals have yet to materialize. Regardless, the Pompidou hopes to stay in the city permanently and become an economic engine for Jersey City the same way MoMA PS1 is for Queens.

Artists sever ties with the Barbican after staffers expose its “inherently racist” work culture.

Artists and collectives are distancing themselves from London’s Barbican Centre after staffers published a dossier that details the institution’s “inherently racist” work culture. “Barbican Stories” contains nearly 100 anonymous firsthand accounts of racism and discrimination at the institution, which is the largest performing arts center in Europe. In response to the dossier, the designer Thandi Lowenson and curatorial platform Culture Arts Society have pulled their scheduled programming from the institution. A spokesperson for the Barbican said the institution would launch an independent review, but creators of the dossier anticipate the review will side with the institution. “The only way this independent review could happen is if it is truly independent,” the employees told Artnet News. “Made up of artists and workers whose only intention is to get rid of racism at the Barbican.”

Casa Vicens by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona

Today’s attractive distractions:

Airbnb users can now stay in Antoni Gaudí’s first designed home in Barcelona.

The New York Botanical Gardens finally opens an Infinity Room by Yayoi Kusama.

World wide web creator Tim Berners-Lee defends auctioning its code as an NFT. 

Here’s how art handlers are very carefully moving a 30-ton Diego Rivera fresco.

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