Morning Links

Morning Links: Former Saddam Hussein Palace Turned Museum Edition

Former palace. Courtesy

The former palace.



“Despite pressure to resign as head of the board at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the controversial arts patron Diane (Dede) Wilsey managed to hold onto most of her power at a board meeting here Tuesday.” She gave up her CEO title but remains head of the board. [New York Times]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has laid off 34 employees from its 2,200-member work force in an effort to help cut its $30 million deficit. Other cost-cutting measures include potential plans by the Met to reduce the number of annual exhibitions from 55 to 40. [New York Times]

The Basrah Museum in southern Iraq, which once served as Saddam Hussein’s private palace and later suffered profound damage during the 2003 invasion, was partially reopened to the public yesterday. [The Art Newspaper]

Re-Excavated Art

Earlier this summer, archaeologists in Glasgow, Scotland, briefly re-excavated a 5,000-year-old slab of stone containing incised swirling geometric decorations. Their intention was to use modern surveying technology to better record the artwork, which had been buried back in 1965 due to vandalization and damage from the elements. [LiveScience]

Lebanese-American novelist Rabih Alameddine on the works of art he posts on Twitter that have earned him a semi-cult following: “The more beautiful the image, the more frustrated I am in my writing. If I post a whole series of Matisse, then I’ve reached a dead end. If I do Monet, I’m going nowhere.” [New Yorker]

Roger Catlin on the contemporary art on display at the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture: “It has a quiet authority, needing not to make a case for African-Americans in art, but merely putting it on display.” []

Bodypaint, Anal Beads, and Ayahuasca Art

A closer look at the multisensory artwork of American artist Donna Huanca, who covers live models in bodypaint, anal beads, and smells associated with ritual hallucination. [The Guardian]


An interview with Takashi Murakami. [Complex]

Images from an exhibition of art based on the popular animated TV show Bob’s Burgers is currently taking place at Spoke Art gallery in New York. [Paste Magazine]

A collection of the artist Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art for Star Wars is being turned into a book. Here are some of the rarely seen images that will be included. [Gizmodo]

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