Peering into the Fogg

first_imgThe much-anticipated renewal of the Harvard Art Museums is nearing completion, and last week officials offered a sneak peek at the massive project’s progress.Wearing hardhats, protective gloves, safety goggles, and bright yellow vests, a small entourage led by museum director Thomas W. Lentz wove its way through the beams and boards of the construction site that is steadily morphing from a dark hole in the ground and a hollowed structural shell to a teaching and learning museum for the 21st century.“What has driven this entire project is our mission,” Lentz said, is “innovative teaching and learning,” developing new experiences in that field for students, faculty, and the community.When it opens next year, the new 205,000-square-foot building, which unites the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum under a spectacular glass roof, will include two entrances, five floors above ground and three floors below, a café, a museum store, an expanded art study center, a 300-seat theater, lecture halls, and teaching galleries.Function and form hold equal place in the ingenious design by Pritzker Prize-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano, who is known for works that include the sky-piercing, glass-covered tower called the Shard in London and the San Nicola Football Stadium in Bari, Italy, which blooms from the landscape like an enormous concrete flower.But one function was particularly vital to the Harvard project. For art lovers and worried experts alike, the main drawback to the original Fogg was its lack of climate controls. “Our internal joke,” said Lenz as he stood at the bottom of the steps of the 1927 Fogg’s original Quincy Street entrance, “was we would never lend to ourselves.” Now, he said, the climate-regulated galleries will be “what a collection of our stature really deserves.”For Lentz, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, the collection also deserves the chance to be seen — and engaged with — in innovative ways. Spatial constraints in the old facility meant only a fraction of the museum’s expansive collection could be exhibited. When the renovated and expanded facility opens next year, visitors will have 40 percent more gallery space to explore. And viewers will be able engage with that material in new ways.Standing in a smaller gallery on the dusty third floor, still empty and smelling of paint, Lentz explained that the new museum will not offer narrowly dedicated galleries for paper, photography, prints, or drawings. Instead of consigning such materials to a “paper ghetto,” these media will be displayed side-by-side with paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, offering visitors a more “contextual presentation.”The museum also will mingle works provocatively. For instance, American works of art will stand alongside European and Native American material. “In many ways, that’s a reflection of how American art history is now taught,” said Lentz. “In our view, that’s going to make for a more compelling presentation. We expect to see lots of interesting juxtapositions.”The galleries will remain small in scale, “human and intimate,” said Lentz, to encourage viewers to slow down, look, and truly connect with artworks. That intimate engagement will be strongly encouraged on the fourth floor.One level below the museum’s Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies is the art study center, where visitors can request up-close viewings of works of art. The center’s layout includes three study rooms, one each for the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museums, as well as two seminar rooms that can accommodate smaller groups of students.“The power, we believe, of an art study center,” said Lentz, “is it’s essentially art on demand. What you can have in here is an experience that is fundamentally different from walking through the galleries, sitting in a classroom, or looking at slides or PowerPoints.”There will be teaching galleries on the third level, including one that will function as a curatorial laboratory where students can study the art of installation and how to craft an “argument” by using works of art.Capping the building’s fifth floor is Piano’s glass lantern, a shining, slanted rooftop fitted with a complex series of mechanical shades that allow museum workers to control carefully the amount of light that flows into the space. The giant skylight disperses light through the conservation lab, study center and what now will be the central circulation corridor of the building, diffusing sunshine into the galleries and arcades and the beloved old courtyard below, and creating what Piano calls the “Light Machine.”According to Lentz, that courtyard, modeled after a 16th-century façade in Montepulciano, Italy, is now truly the emotional and symbolic heart of the museum. Previously, the space, which was only open on three sides, was “gloomy and static,” Lentz recalled. Thanks to Piano and his architectural team, the courtyard has been pushed open on all four sides and now includes 16 points of entry, along with a bluestone floor.The ground floor also serves as a pedestrian thoroughfare. The public will be able to stroll from the Quincy Street entrance through to a new, expanded entrance on Prescott Street, taking advantage of the café and store without paying admission. “We wanted to make it much more transparent, much more accessible,” said Lentz.Various flourishes contribute to the museum’s visual delights. For example, the new wing’s wooden façade, when seen up-close, surprises a viewer with its grain of rippled waves. The undulating clapboard made of Alaska yellow cedar will weather over time to a light gray hue. Another welcome and unusual detail can be seen in the museum’s winter gardens: small niches on the second floor of the new wing that will serve as intimate glass sunrooms populated with art that is not sensitive to light.Throughout the building, a vertical glass window becomes a transparent seam allowing visitors to see where the old Fogg structure and the new wing merge. Glass-tipped galleries at either end of the first floor facing Prescott Street will allow passersby to peek inside. “The porosity of this building,” said Lentz, “is radically different.”Ever-conscious of the building’s famous neighbor, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard, the only North American structure by the renowned modernist architect Le Corbusier, Piano has extended that structure’s graceful curving concrete ramp along the edge of the museum, bringing it under the cantilever of the new wing down to Broadway. Charles Klee, the principal at the architectural firm Payette, which is collaborating on the project, said Piano likes to say, “It’s a little bit like Le Corbusier putting his arm around the Fogg.”“A lot of people, when we began this, thought that we were just sort of rebuilding a very beautiful, static treasure house,” said Lenz. “My message is this is going to be a very different kind of art museum … I think the experience for viewers is going to be much more dynamic and much more integrated.”last_img read more

Delay Tactic?

first_imgDisbelief and frustration were the expressions on the faces of former Bong Mining Company (BMC) workers when the payment of overdue severance benefits was postponed indefinitely.Most of the would-be beneficiaries are already in their 60s and 70s.The chairman of the former BMC employees’ Committee, Jaye J. Larblah, announced Wednesday, January 15, that the payment, which was to be done on the same day, was deferred owing to alleged discrepancy figures that made up the US$4m, discovered by the Finance Ministry on Tuesday.In a sad but heartening tone, Mr. Larblah assured the more than 100 ex-BMC employees present of BMC’s immediate collaboration with the Finance Ministry for speedy rectification of the situation.According to the records from August 1990, the ex-BMC workers numbered at least 1,804.“We are sorry to inform you that the payments of your justified severance benefits have been postponed. We will certainly inform you through the media and text messages about the new date,” Mr. Larblah said, carefully counting his words.Some of the aged and downhearted former BMC employees and their widows wept at the news, including Ma Karpeh, the widow of caterpillar operator John Karpeh, when the announcement was made.Mrs. Nowah Pannoh, the wife of the late Samuel Pannoh, burst into cynical laughter, while Ma Petto, the wife of a disabled former caterpillar operator, whimpered when the news of “hold your heart, payment will be later” was interpreted to her in Kpelle.Oldman Kanneh, 67 , sat quietly in a state  confusion and rested the palm of his hands on his head amid the news about the postponement.He told the Daily Observer that his only worry is that he does not meet his demise before the final distribution of the BMC’s severance benefits.“I have lot of things to settle, son. My old lady is not well. And I have to make some refunds on lands I sold before my children kill me,” he said, as tears set in his brown eyes.He exhaled heavily: “Ah God,” he lamented in his Kpelle vernacular, “nobody can tell the sadness of a big-toothed man.”Alfred Nah, a relative to one of the beneficiaries, said: “Transportation… son, from Gbarnga to Monrovia, we have been on this three months, taking photos and making sure our name is listed.”An instant survey conducted by our reporter showed that most of the ex-BMC workers and relatives who came did so with the expectation of getting their respective checks. Most of them are living in rural Liberia and had to pay the high cost of transportation only to be disappointed.But an official of the ex-BMC Committee, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told the Daily Observer in a telephone conversation that the former BMC workers would begin collecting payment on Monday, January 20.He noted that the ex-BMC delegation had already corrected the discrepancy Tuesday but are expecting confirmation of the printing of checks and onward submission to the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) on Thursday.“We are on course for Monday, but maybe another thing may come up, so it is still indefinite until all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted,” the official said.The official, however, disclosed that they have resolved to pay those former employees of BMC who are still alive first and foremost, regardless of where their names fall on the list. All money for deceased employees will be paid later after a week of scrutiny to avoid further embarrassment.“Some of the deceased have more than one wife, while others have authorized another relative to collect their severance benefits. So, we have decided to stage a week-long verification process and then pay them.”The Liberian Government and ex-BMC workers signed an MOU for the payment US$4million of their US$8.9million to close a decade-long chapter in the case of the former Bong Mines Workers and those who illegally settled on the abandoned properties of the company.The deal, which brought the saga to a close, was signed at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, with J. J. Larblah, chairman of the former Bong Mining company employees End of Service Benefits Committee, signing on behalf of the former workers, and Finance Minister Amara Konneh signing on behalf of the government.The MOU signified the ex-BMC workers had waived the US$4.9 million to settle for US$4 million to end the long tussle between the government and the aged workers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgBRUCKLESS/DUNKINEELY NOTESINDOOR CARBOOT SALE BRUCKLESSDunkineely Community Ltd will be having an Indoor Car-boot Sale in Bruckless Community Centre on SATURDAY 29TH MARCH, 10AM – 2PM, so if you are interested in holding a stall, cost €10, why not come along on the day or contact the DCL for more info 074 9737052. And for all those bargain hunters out there why not come along and see what you can find!!!!! DUNKINEELY IN BLOOM 2014Dunkineely Community Ltd are hoping to run a Dunkineely in Bloom competition in 2014, to brighten up the town and surrounding areas. We are looking for volunteers!!!!Would you like to be involved, or be part of the organising, any help would be great. Please get in touch with DCL office 0749737052.KNIT AND NATTERA knitting/ crochet/ stitching group will continue Thursday 20th March 10.30am in Dunkineely Stables, where absolute beginners can learn from experienced old hands as everyone brings their own projects or chooses to knit a scarf or crochet a hat or stitch a bag for Team Hope Shoebox Appeal or some other charity. Please contact Vanessa Purdy in the DCL Office for more details on 074 9737052.DUNKINEELY J-CLUBMeets Saturday 22nd March 6.30pm-8pm, in Dunkineely Methodist Hall for all of National School age. Games, videos, Bible stories, craft and fun – all in National School are welcome – Cost €2 per sessionSTABLES YOUTH Meets Saturday 22nd March at 8.00pm. Come play Basketball/Soccer/X-Box or just chill with your friends. All in secondary school are welcome. Cost €2. Dunkineely Methodist Hall & Stables.DCL WALKING GROUPDCL walking group meets Tuesday morning, 25th March at 10am from the DCL office. Whether you would like to wander or speed walk for around an hour, it’s up to you and there will be a cup of tea afterwards…. Contact DCL office for more info on: 074 9737052DCL OFFICE Come into the office weekday mornings and use the internet (20c per half hour) or print documents (20c per page) or borrow books from DCL Library 20c per book. Contact [email protected] or call 074 9737052.DD LOCAL – DUNKINEELY TO LOOK ‘BLOOMING’ GREAT IN 2014 was last modified: March 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BriucklessdonegalDunkineelyNoteslast_img read more

What Has Happeneed To The Land Commission?

first_imgQUESTION OF THE DAYLand disputes continue unabated. The purpose of establishing the Land Commission is to facilitate speedy settlement of land disputes. There is no indication that sittings of the commission has started. Foroyaa will interview those concerned to find out what is stalling the process.last_img