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The Frick Collection Plans Expansion, Renovation

frick interior

How do you expand a museum renowned for its “jewel-box” exhibition spaces and intimately scaled rooms? Very carefully, not at all, or with the starchitectural zeal of the likes of Renzo Piano, depending on who you ask. The Frick Collection is leaning toward the first approach, with a scheme announced today that would add a six-story addition “in keeping with the scale and design of the original house and the library wing” (goods news for purveyors of Indiana limestone) while renovating and expanding the interior spaces added in the 1930s and 1970s.

The proposed plan would allow the Frick to open its second floor to the public but also require it to fill in the space currently occupied by a gated garden. The museum has tapped New York-based Davis Brody Bond to design the project, which would increase space by nearly a third. Get the full scoop in the Frick’s press release, take deep cleansing breaths, and then relax by watching director Ian Wardropper‘s recent chat with artist Ed Ruscha about some of his favorite Frick masterpieces.

Hauser & Wirth Has Big Plans for Los Angeles

hauser wirth schimmelHauser & Wirth is heading West. Nearly a year to the date that the gallery announced the hiring of Paul Schimmel, formerly chief curator of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, comes word that the planned Left Coast outpost—Hauser Wirth & Schimmel—will occupy a historic 100,000-square-foot flour mill complex in L.A.’s downtown arts district.

The site, located a few blocks from The Broad in progress, is home to seven late 19th and early 20th century buildings and outdoor spaces. The gallery promises “innovative exhibitions, museum-caliber amenities, and a robust schedule of public programs that contextualize the art on view,” beginning with a pop-up exhibition in January of next year. The L.A. venue is slated to have its grand opening in January 2016.
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Cooper-Hewitt Appoints Brooke Hodge as Deputy Director

hodgeCurator, writer, and critic Brooke Hodge will join the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum as deputy director, a post that has been vacant since Caroline Baumann stepped up from that role in 2012 to serve as acting director following the death of Bill Moggridge. Baumann was named director of the museum last June. Hodge, who been director of exhibitions and publications at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles since 2010, will begin her new position on July 16 as the Cooper-Hewitt continues the countdown to its reopening after an epic renovation that will expand exhibition space by more than 60%. “I’ve known and admired Brooke since her involvement [as a guest curator] with the 2006 Triennial at Cooper-Hewitt, and I’m thrilled she is joining us at this critical juncture,” said Baumann in a statement released today. “Brooke will be diving into preparations for our opening later this fall, while partnering with me and museum teams on the exciting, future plans for the nation’s design museum.”

Tavern on the Green Reopens, with Central Park as Its Centerpiece

Following a brick-by-brick renovation, NYC restaurant Tavern on the Green is back, and its formerly over-the-top interiors have been transformed with a “robber-baron-meets-sheep-barn” aesthetic and the aspiration to be “food-centric.” We sent writer Nancy Lazarus to take a peek under the famous red canopy.

totg Central Park Room 2
The sunny Central Park room at the new Tavern on the Green was formerly known as the Crystal Room. (All photos courtesy Robin Caiola)

totg Bar Room Horse Mobile“Now we can be part of the park,” said restaurateur Jim Caiola, referring to the recently reopened landmark, Tavern on the Green. He and partner David Salama of Emerald Green Group were awarded a 20-year lease to the legendary restaurant, long associated with Broadway show parties, special family occasions, and a role serving as movie backdrop.

“Only the name, the beams and the shell of the Victorian building remain from the old Tavern”, said spokesperson Steven Hall. “Everything else was handpicked by Jim and David.” The pair renovated the interior, while the property’s New York City landlord worked on the exterior. Others involved in the restoration were architect Richard Lewis, lighting designer Ken Billington, and landscape architect Robin Key. It’s been a major investment and long haul.
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Comic Sans Gets ‘Neue’ Look

comic neue

Three years ago, digital designer Craig Rozynski set out to save Comic Sans, the blacksheep of the font family. The self-described “font philanthropist” has emerged from his hobby project with Comic Neue, a makeover of the awkward glyphs of the font that everyone loves to his hate. Free to download, Comic Neue aspires to be “the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy.” It’s the perfect choice for lemonade stand signage or passive-aggressive office memos. “Best of all, Vincent Connare, the creator of the original Comic Sans, told me it ‘should be more casual,’” says Rozynski. “The criticism has come full circle.”

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Five Things We Learned This Week: Robert Capa Comics, Black Toothbrushes, and More

• A new book by illustrator Dominique Bertail and writer Jean-David Morvan reimagines Robert Capa‘s iconic 1944 photo of Omaha Beach: as a (French) comic strip—with a hint of Doonesbury. Watch Bertail illustrate the cover in the video above, which is backed by a recently unearthed recording of Capa’s appearance on a 1947 radio program.

• Pentagram’s Abbott Miller and team are behind the fresh look of Sotheby’s, which extends from the 270-year-old auction house’s sharp new workmark (good riddance, strange Gill Sans hybrid! Hello, Mercury!), to the redesigned website, catalogues, magazine, and more.

Paul Cocksedge Studio is looking to Kickstarter to fund prototyping, tooling, and manufacture of the Double O, a bike light named for its distinctive shape. “I wanted to design a bike light and the inspiration for Double O comes directly from the shape of the bicycle,” says the London-based designer. “I wanted something that almost looked like the bike had designed it itself.”

Robert Fabricant of Frog Design is teaming with Cliff Kuang of Wired to pen User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play. The two have inked a deal with Farrar, Straus to publish the book about “how user experience design will rule the coming decade, just as technology ruled the last” according to Publishers Marketplace.

• All the cool kids have charcoal-infused black toothbrushes from Japan. Gets yours here.

Livingly Media to Upgrade Lonny

lonny601

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do series, we interviewed Livingly Media’s VP of content, John Newlin. Newlin is in charge of three sites: Zimbio (pop culture), StyleBistro (fashion), and Lonny (interior design).

Lonny launched in October 2009 as a lifestyle and home decor online magazine. It includes DIY tips (one recent article: How To Make Your Own Throw Pillows), interviews with designers, and plenty of gorgeous photos for inspiration. And soon, Newlin revealed, readers can expect a major upgrade:

Right now, we’re redesigning Lonny. It was one of the first so-called “digital shelter” sites, offering PDFs of print publications. We’ve since moved away from that format of replicating magazine pages. Because of mobile, we’ve decided to change direction and build the next thing in this shelter category. On mobile phones, Lonny is hard to read. The new Lonny will launch this spring.

To learn more about Livingly Media, including how the company acquired more than 10 million photos for its archives, read: So What Do You Do, John Newlin, VP of Content at Livingly Media?

Different Strokes: Lichtenstein Sculptures Bound for Parrish Art Museum

roy parrish

It was during a break in a college art history course discussion of Saussurean signifiers that we got to chatting up the dashing head teaching fellow, then in lukewarm pursuit of his Ph.D. After some good-natured banter about the arbitrariness of the sign, we ventured into more rational territory: “So, what are you writing your thesis about?” The color swiftly drained from his face and he stared at the ground before mumbling words that were only later discernible as “the sculptures of Roy Lichtenstein.” Everything turned out for the best, and the TF in question is now an associate professor at a leading research university, but to this day we can’t pass one of the Pop artist’s fiberglass houses or aluminum brushstrokes without feeling slightly queasy.

If anything can undo that association it’s the Parrish Art Museum. Next week the museum’s stunning new(ish) Herzog & de Meuron-designed home in Water Mill, New York will get its first long-term, outdoor installation in Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushtroke I & II (1994), part of a series of sculptures constructed mainly in the 1990s. The soaring, two-piece sculpture, made of painted and fabricated aluminum, tops out at 33 feet, taller than the museum itself: a monolevel extruded barn-as-studio made both rugged and stealth by cloudy concrete walls and a white corrugated metal roof. A temporary loan from collectors Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, Tokyo Brushtroke I & II will sit (in a cement brace) near Montauk Highway, acting as a colorful signpost of sorts for the Parrish.

SVA Adds One-Year MA in Design Research, Writing, and Criticism

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It was the great design scholar Ferris Bueller who once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” New York’s School of Visual Arts is heeding the need for speed and the importance of looking around with a one-year MA in design research, writing, and criticism. The new graduate program, which launches this fall, is an evolution of D-Crit (the two-year MA program in design criticism that has been sharpening design minds since 2008) streamlined into two semesters and eight months of studying images, objects, and environments, and learning ways to construct multi-format narratives that bring them to life from a faculty that includes Steven Heller, MoMA’s Paola Antonelli, and Murray Moss. “The program’s curriculum charts the cutting edge of design practice and is responsive to exciting developments in the media landscape,” says Alice Twemlow, the program’s founding chair. Learn more at next Sunday’s open house and info session.

Your 2014 AIGA Medalists: Chip Kidd, Louise Fili, Bill Moggridge, and 21 More Design Stars

centennial medalists

Frederic Goudy had one, so did Philip Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg. The Eameses had two. Pentagram is awash in them. George Lois wears his to bed. We’re talking about AIGA Medals, the graphic design world’s highest honor. This year, the AIGA is celebrating its centennial by bestowing medals on 24 design visionaries that “together exemplify the legacy of visual communications and the impact of design”: Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka, Richard Danne, Alexander Isley, Charles S. Anderson, Michael Donovan and Nancye Green, Chip Kidd, Dana Arnett, Stephen Doyle, Michael Mabry, Kenneth Carbone and Leslie Smolan, Louise Fili, Abbott Miller, David Carson, Bob Greenberg, Bill Moggridge, Kyle Cooper, Sylvia Harris, Gael Towey, Michael Cronan, Cheryl Heller, and Ann Willoughby. They will be presented with their James Earle Fraser-designed medals on April 25 at the AIGA Centennial Gala in New York City.

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