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Art Commissioner Considers Smithsonian Refurbishment, Coin Design: NPR

The renovation of the Smithsonian Institute’s collapsing arts industry building will be on the agenda of the arts committee.

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The renovation of the Smithsonian Institute’s collapsing arts industry building will be on the agenda of the arts committee.

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Art and government make thorny companions. When President Harry Truman wanted to add a balcony to the White House American Art Commission I advised it. Truman built it anyway and expired those commissioners’ terms.When lawmakers cast all sorts of criticism Mayarin’s meditative design for the Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe Commission (CFA) has agreed to some concessions to appease critics, but has protected the basics of her concept.

More recently, the Biden administration has shaken the entire art agency for the resignation of four members, including Chairman Justin Schbow, appointed by President Trump.Then Biden immediately announced him Appointer To a committee of 7 people. All of them will meet for the first time today.

The American Art Commission was established by Congress in 1910 “to advise the federal government on issues related to art and national symbols and to guide the architectural development of Washington, DC.” The committee was selected for their artistic and architectural expertise.

“It’s a bit like a design court where you come and present your case to the judge,” says CFA Secretary Thomas Rubke. “The general idea is to improve the quality of the design of the capital and promote the dignity and beauty of the city.”

From huge monuments to coins in your pocket

In a particular year, the CFA reviews hundreds of cases that vary widely in scope and scale.The suggestions they review carry out a range from the design of barrel-shaped vaults with huge vaults for the underground of the DC Metro. station For small engravings for coins that fit in your pocket. In May 2021, the Commission reviewed the coin designs submitted by many states. For Mississippi, the choices were the Delta Blues motif and the world’s first lung transplant image. The CFA went to a lung transplant, even though a commissioner admitted that the image made him squeak.

Districts in these states of California are one of the designs considered by the CFA.

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President Trump’s CFA appointments are all white and male, telling themBow tie boy“Biden’s commissioners will make the agency more diverse. They are the principal of HGA Architects, Peter Cook, and his past projects include Howard, the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institute. Includes Hazel Ruth Edwards, University Professor and Chairman. Architecture; Justin Garrett Moore and Billy Chien, the first program directors of the Andrew W. Melon Foundation’s Humanities Program., Partner of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Barack Obama Presidential Center..

“They all bring a very different and important perspective to the committee,” says the architect. Kimberly Daudel, HOK Chicago Principal and Board Members National organization of minority architects.. Given the impact of the CFA on the collective culture of a country, Daudel considers diversity to be important. “Art and architecture, and what we see and feel, music and even other types of art, evoke emotions … and those emotions are based on our background and experience.” She says. “And having a committee that represents that diversity helps us really appreciate a wider variety of artistic expressions,” and “various ways to see the world.”

Lack of landscape architect

However, what the new CFA lacks is a professional landscape architect. Perigillot, the only landscape architect appointed by President Trump, was one of the members dismissed by the Biden administration.Omission is “deep concern” Ron Henderson, Professor and Director of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism Program at Illinois Institute of Technology.

People are enjoying the sun at the National Mall in Washington.

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People are enjoying the sun at the National Mall in Washington.

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” [National] The mall is a wonderful landscape of our democracy, “says Henderson. “And it’s a landscape, not a building,” Henderson points out, such as sinking, which CFA may face in the coming years. Tidal Basin And the need for safety around the US Capitol since the January 6 riots. “The concept of public space, the concept of monuments, climate change … these are all the powers of landscape architects,” says Henderson. “A precise way to address landscape history and contemporary concerns simply requires the presence of a landscape architect with the expertise to read public spaces.”

The new Fine Arts Commissioner needs to run steadily. The strong agenda of the first meeting will include a selection of new chairs, a review of the renovations of the Smithsonian Castle and the Arts Industry Building, and a plan for a new 10-story office building by the Cyber ​​Security & Infrastructure Security Agency. St. Elizabeth, National Historic Landmark and the country’s first federal-funded mental hospital. They also review some commemorative coin designs.

Art Commissioner Considers Smithsonian Refurbishment, Coin Design: NPR

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