Only 60 calendar shopping days ’til 2014! Keeping track of time takes on a typographical twist with the 365 Typography Calendar, which sets each month in a different typeface. The calendar is the brainchild of Pentagram veteran Kit Hinrichs, who produces it through his San Francisco-based design office. “So many people, designers included, have no idea who designed the beautifully crafted typefaces that are very much a part of our everyday life,” he says. “I wanted to enable people to become more aware of type as a designed object.” The dozen typefaces celebrated in the 2014 edition were nominated by members of the illustrious Alliance Graphique Internationale, and in addition to holidays, the calendar notes the birthdays of the type designers along with their brief biographies or explanations of what inspired the design.
Photos from Ed Ruscha’s “Royal Road Test.” (Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.)
Ed Ruscha‘s silhouetted “Rooster” (1987) sold for a sweet $605,000 yesterday at Sotheby’s, but the real crowing is about Texas. This week the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin announced its acquisition of Ruscha’s archive. The trove includes five personal journals filled with preliminary sketches and notes; notes, photographs, correspondence, and contact sheets relating to the creation and publication of his artist’s books such as Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1962) and Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966); and materials relating to his short films “Miracle” (1975) and “Premium” (1971). “The thought that my working documentation could be in this magnificent repository is a wonderful honor and destination of great respect,” said Ruscha in a statement. “I now see that the Ransom Center is the home to end all homes.”
(Photos courtesy Studio Olafur Eliasson and Keystone/Christian Beutler)
Rolex’s Arts Initiative gives new meaning to the phrase “ones to watch.” For the past decade, the luxury watchmaker has paired mentors and protégés in dance, film, literature, music, theatre, visual arts, and—beginning last year—architecture for year-long creative collaborations. The program, which encourages dialogue between artists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines, has devised dynamic duos such as Anish Kapoor and Nicholas Hlobo, Zhang Yimou and Annemarie Jacir, and SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima and Yang Zhao.
Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice was the setting for a festive gathering held earlier today to announce the seven creative wizards who will serve as mentors for the 2014-15 program: Olafur Eliasson (visual arts), Alejandro González Iñárritu (film), Michael Ondaatje (literature), Alexei Ratmansky (dance), Kaija Saariaho (music), Jennifer Tipton (theater), and Peter Zumthor (architecture). As for the emerging talents, it’s pick-your-own-protégé. Each of the mentors will choose a talented young artist to join them for a year of creative collaboration—and a grant of 25,000 Swiss francs (approximately $28,000, at current exchange rates).
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is waging a campaign to preserve the Astrodome and 34 other endangered places.
Endangered cultural and historic places: don’t leave home without (preserving) them. American Express is pitching in to help the National Trust for Historic Preservation in its work to save America’s historic places. The company will provide the privately funded nonprofit with a $2 million grant to help protect architectural, cultural, and natural heritage sites at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. Part of a $15 million, ten-year pledge made by American Express to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the grant funding will go to overall support of the National Treasures program—a revolving portfolio of endangered places that includes the Astrodome in Houston, Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia, Miami Marine Stadium in Miami, and Union Station in Washington, D.C.—as well as funding for specific preservation needs at some of the locations.
Call it the little upside-down plane that could. The inverted Jenny is flying—slowly, wonkily, posssibly with Snoopy (in Red Baron garb) at the controls—to the rescue of the U.S. Postal Service, now in the throes of a liquidity crisis that has reached $20 billion in net losses over the last two years. Fear not, philatelists, because it’s nothing National Stamp Collecting Month and a beloved misprint can’t solve!
The Postal Service recently issued a new $2 version of the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history—the 24-cent 1918 Curtiss Jenny Inverted airmail stamp. The new stamp was dedicated as part of the opening festivities for the William H. Gross Gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum (just days before the government shutdown put a damper on things).
The original misprinted stamp stumbled into circulation near the end of World War I. The snafu sadly echoed that of the nation’s first airmail flight (which the stamp was created to commemorate): The pilot got lost, flew in the wrong direction, and crashed. It is widely believed that only one 100-stamp sheet containing the inverted image of the Curtiss JN-4H plane, or “Jenny,” made it to public sale, a move attributed to a Washington, D.C., post office clerk who had never seen an airplane. A single Inverted Jenny stamp sold at auction in 2007 for $977,500.
(Photo: Lizette Kabré)
Elmgreen & Dragset‘s “Prada Marfa” has amused art lovers, bemused cowboys, and confused Gossip Girl viewers since the sealed-shut, fully merchandised boutique popped up on a blistered stretch of highway 90, just outside of Valentine, Texas and 37 miles northwest of Marfa. A co-production of Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa, the site-specific, permanent land art project has recently come under scrutiny from the Texas Department of Transportation, which has classified the structure as “an illegal outdoor advertisement” in violation of a 1965 act aimed at controlling billboards.
“The right definition of advertisement must be based on criteria more accurate than just including any sign which contains a logo,” say Elmgreen & Dragset. “It is advertisement only when a company either commissions someone to make such a sign, pays for its execution or makes a sign themselves in order to promote the company’s products.” The artists are careful to note that Prada did not commission the work, nor was the Italian fashion house involved in its creation. “They kindly gave us the permission to use their logo after we asked them, due to founder Muccia Prada’s personal interest in contemporary art, and she donated shoes and bags, which have never been renewed but stay the same–as a historic display–inside the sculpture.”
Syracuse, New York-based artist Carrie Mae Weems is among the 24 new fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Announced today, the 2013 cohort of MacArthur Fellows—selected for “their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future”—also includes choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, writer Donald Antrim, and audio savior Carl Haber, an experimental physicist developing new technologies for preserving inaccessible and deteriorating sound recordings. Each fellow will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. The MacArthur Foundation has previously bestowed its unrestricted largess upon fellows such as architect Jeanne Gang, typographer Matthew Carter, filmmaker Errol Morris, artist Tara Donovan, and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton. Click below to watch the foundation’s video of Weems at work:
Wheel’s Up. A rendering of the New York Wheel, to be built on Staten Island.
The wheels of Uniform Land Use Review Procedure are a-turnin’ for the New York Wheel, the London Eye-style “observation wheel” bound for the isle of Staten. At 625 feet—roughly 60 stories—high, it will be the world’s tallest and function as the all-seeing, crowd-concentrating anchor for a new outlet mall: a 340,000-square-foot retail complex designed by SHoP Architects. New York’s City Planning Commission recently announced its support for both the wheel and the development known as “Empire Outlets,” marking the final stage of land use review that will end in a City Council vote scheduled for October 30—and sure to be followed by the sight of savvy young New Yorkers costumed as giant wheels for Halloween. Both projects are slated to begin construction next year, with a grand opening planned for 2016.
From the graffiti-encrusted bathroom stalls of CBGB to…the gleaming mid-century showroom of French & Company, as captured (at right) by Cecil Beaton. Prepare to part ways with the punk paraphernalia, because the Met is going glam. As New York Fashion Week puts the focus on spring 2014, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has seized the opportunity to do the same: announcing this week that the Costume Institute’s 2014 exhibition will be “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.”
On view from May 8 through August 10 of next year, the show will explore the legendary Anglo-American couturier’s design process and his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that have served as touchstones for the likes of Oscar de la Renta, who will co-chair the May 5 Costume Institute benefit along with Bradley Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and of course, Vogue‘s Anna Wintour. Aerin Lauder will act as chair of chairs, as her burgeoning lifestyle brand is underwriting the exhibition.
Craft theorist and historian Glenn Adamson has been tapped to direct the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. He comes to MAD (beginning October 15) from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, where he serves as Head of Research, a role that has encompassed initiating and shaping major exhibitions (he co-curated the V&A’s recent Postmodernism show), managing partnerships with museums and universities, and leading academic fundraising, among other responsibilities. Adamson succeeds Holly Hotchner, who stepped down at the end of April.
It’s a pivotal moment for MAD. In addition to a directorial changing of the guard, chief curator and VP of collections David Revere McFadden will retire from his position at the end of 2013, capping off a 16-year tenure at the museum. Meanwhile, plans are well underway for next year’s fifth anniversary celebration (can it be that long since MAD moved into its quirky Columbus Circle home?), which will include “Inspired,” an exhibition showcasing works that have joined the museum’s collection since the opening of its new building in 2008.