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Looks like the Metropolitan Museum of Art is planning a rock 'n' roll millennium. The Met's Costume Institute is collaborating with Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on an exhibition tentatively titled "Icons of Rock Style," Dec. 9, 1999-Mar. 19, 2000. When asked to comment, embarrassed Met curator Richard Martin said, "No interviews!" The show, sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger USA, examines "the influence of rock on fashion" via outfits from almost 20 rock stars from the 1950s to the present. Look out, deep thinking ahead! The Met is abandoning its august standards in hopes of packing in the socialites for what is called the "party of the year" -- the Costume Institute's annual benefit, to be held on Dec. 6 (co-chairs are Tommy Hilfiger, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Estée Lauder scion Aerin Lauder). The exhibition subsequently appears at the Hall of Fame in Cleveland, May 12-Sept. 10, 2000, and the Barbican Centre in London, dates to be announced.

The 50-year-old Janis Gallery in New York has shut down amidst a flurry of lawsuits between the two sons of the gallery founder Sidney Janis, who died in 1989. The feuding siblings are gallery principal Carroll Janis, 67, and his older brother Conrad Janis, 71, the Beverly Hills television star known for roles on "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Mork and Mindy." Conrad claims that Carroll schemed to "loot" the family business, according to the New York Post, while Carroll says that Conrad took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the gallery for personal use, resulting in its closing last month. The Janis Gallery is believed to hold a multimillion-dollar inventory of works by mondernist masters like Josef Albers, Jean Arp and Piet Mondrian. Art-world insiders have known something was up at the gallery since the gallery library began turning up for resale on the shelves of Ursus Books.

Deutsche Bank board member Herbert Zapp has filled the bank's new London headquarters with 5,000 British and German art works, most of them on paper and costing under £800. Deutsche Bank art consultants Alistair Hicks and Mary Findlay told the Financial Times that the overall cost of the collection is £1.5 million. Among the bigger ticket items is a stainless steel sphere by Anish Kapoor in the entrance hall and works by Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Simon Patterson and Rachel Whiteread. Each room on the building's top two floors is dedicated to a single artist, complete with relevant critical tomes left tactfully on the side. The "commercial advantage" to the art patronage, says the FT, is that Deutsche Bank offers an art advisory service to its wealthy clients, and also lends money with art as collateral.

English power-collector Charles Saatchi has published a massive coffee-table tome titled Young British Art: The Saatchi Decade, featuring 800 works from the 1,300 he owns by yBas (he's got 3,000 works in all). The egoistic enterprise includes press clips chronicling Saatchi's success and timelines placing the artwork's creation in relation to world events. Saatchi artist Richard Patterson told the Sunday Times that "Saatchi is certainly doing closure at the moment; he's done 'Sensation!,' and now with The Saatchi Decade he's drawing a line under that." Young British Art: The Saatchi Decade, published by Booth-Clibborn Editions is available at the bookstore for $87.50.

Coagula Art Journal, the fearless newsprint art gossip sheet that the art world loves to hate, opens its own gallery in downtown Los Angeles on Sept. 10. Coagula Projects is located on a ground-floor space at the Brewery Art Complex, a mile from the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. "This is a commercial space emphasizing new Los Angeles artists," said Coagula publisher Mat Gleason. The space opens with "Dry Run," including Desiree Buckman, Lavialle Campbell, Scott Katano, Marion Lane, Vito Lorusso, Mike McMillin and Michael Salerno. Coagula Projects brings the number of galleries at the Brewery to four, the others being L.A. Artcore, Eye-Five and Brewery Project, as well as the private dealer AAA Art.

Coagula also announced that Baird Jones is replacing Charlie Finch (aka Janet Preston) as its New York editor. Jones' column will be called "The Baird Jones Report" and will premiere in the September issue.

Ruhrgas, an Essen-based German energy company, has donated $3.5 million for construction of a replica of the famous Amber Room for Peter the Great's palace in St. Petersburg. The original Amber Room, over 100,000 pieces of amber carved into flowers, Prussian royal emblems and other designs at the beginning of the 18th century, was dismantled by German troops in 1941; it disappeared in 1945 and is believed to have been destroyed by fire. Russian craftsmen began their reconstruction in 1979 from photographs, and presently about 40 percent of the work is completed. Ruhrgas has imported natural gas from Russia for more than 25 years and is the biggest west European buyer of Russian gas. The Ruhrgas gift has prompted speculation that it may encourage Moscow to return some of the 200,000 German art treasures and 1.5 million valuable books taken by the Red Army to Russia at the end of the war.

The Eli Broad Family Foundation of Santa Monica, Cal. has recently changed its name to the Broad Art Foundation. Created in 1984 by the L.A. megadeveloper, the foundation has amassed a collection of over 650 works by contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Terry Winters.

The first New York Ceramics Fair is slated for Jan. 20-23, 2000, at the National Academy of Design at Fifth Avenue and 89th Street. Among the exhibitors are Garry Atkins, Highgate Antiques, Roderick Jellicoe, Stewart Parish, Ursula Riedi, Don Treadway and Maria and Peter Warren. The fair is produced by Caskey-Lees of Topanga, Cal. and Sha-Dor of Baltimore, who also team up to create the New York Arts of Pacific Asia Show and the New York Tribal Antique Show.

"Salvador Dalí's Optical Illusions," billed as the first major exploration of the artist's preoccupation with optics and visual perception, debuts at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., Jan. 21-Mar. 26, 2000. The exhibition, curated by Dawn Adés, a professor at the University of Essex in Colchester, England, traces Dalí's pictorial experiments via 60 dreamscapes. The show is scheduled to appear at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., Apr. 20-June 18, 2000, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, July 23-Oct. 1, 2000.

The National Catholic Reporter is running a contest to design a new, bolder image of the Son of God for the 2,000th anniversary of his birth. The Catholic newsweekly is offering a $2,000 prize to the winner and invites entries in all forms of visual media, from stained glass to photography and computer art, reports The Boston Globe. A three-member jury will select 10 finalists, and the winners will be announced and displayed in the Christmas issue on Dec. 24, 1999. Entries should be sent by Oct. 18 to Art Search, National Catholic Reporter, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64111. The entry fee is $20, payable to the National Catholic Reporter. For more info visit the NCR website.

New acquisition on view at the Dallas Museum of Art is Sherrie Levine's After Man Ray (La Fortune), a lifesize billiard table based on Man Ray's 1938 painting La Fortune. Levine's work -- one of an edition of six -- features the three carefully positioned billiard balls and stylized table legs of Man Ray's original. The acquisition is a gift from an anonymous donor.

National Endowment for the Arts chairman Bill Ivey has named Saralyn Reece Hardy as new director of the museums and visual arts division. Since 1986 Hardy has been director of the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kan., where she oversaw a ten-fold expansion of its budget, to $500,000, and a relocation to a new exhibition facility. Hardy succeeds Jennifer Dowley, who resigned her NEA post in May to head the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Great Barrington, Mass.

SIR HUGH CASSON, 1910-1999
Sir Hugh Casson, 89, architect who was president of Britain's Royal Academy of the Arts from 1976 to 1984, died in London on Aug. 15. Knighted in 1952, Casson designed the coronation decorations for Queen Elizabeth, and also earned acclaim in 1951 as the director of architecture of the Festival of Britain, the urban fair that produced the first major postwar public buildings in London.

E.B. SAIDENBERG, 1911-1999
Eleanore B. Saidenberg, 88, art dealer who with her husband ran an eponymous Upper East side art gallery that was Picasso's primary U.S. representative for many years, died at her home in Manhattan on Aug. 20. She was a founding member of the Art Dealers Association of America.