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The jagged steel fragment of the south tower façade of the World Trade Center should be retained as a "fitting, realistic and moving monument to those who died there," wrote Metropolitan Museum director Philippe de Montebello on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times on Sept. 25, 2001. "A solemn and authoritative statement," it would become "a testament to renewal." That very day, workers began to take down the seven-story ruin, saving it for potential use as a memorial. Other commentators have suggested erecting new buildings on the site or building a park with commemorative art works there.

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced the second round of its National Design Awards, launched last year in conjunction with the White House Millennium Council. Winner for lifetime achievement is theater impresario Robert Wilson, who the Cooper-Hewitt called a "design poet." The plastic food-container company Tupperware, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., was honored for corporate achievement, and Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus, who is 96, was honored as a "design patron."

The Corcoran College of Art and Design (formerly the Corcoran School of Art) has received a $1 million gift from the estate of Washington Post photojournalist Arthur Ellis, who died in 1989 at age 77. The funds, bequeathed by the will of his wife Frederica, who died last year, are to establish a new Arthur J. Ellis fund for scholarships in the Corcoran's new photojournalism program. The fund has also received $400,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Los Angeles' famed folk-art attraction, Simon Rodia's Watts Towers, reopens this weekend after a seven-year restoration following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The three-day festival features performances, jazz and the " 20th annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival."

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow have exchanged paintings for the second time with the reciprocal loan of works by Thomas Gainsborough and Frans Snyders. Houstonites get to view the Pushkin's Snyders, A Fishmonger's Shop (ca. 1616-18), from Sept. 18 through mid-March next year, while the MFA sends over Gainsborough's Wooded Landscape with Woodcutter (ca. 1762-63). The swap is funded by Philip Morris, which is also underwriting the touring show, "The Impressionists and their Masters: Three Centuries of French Painting from the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts," which bows in Houston in December 2002. But before that, Houston sends "The Glassell Collection of African Gold from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston" to the Pushkin, the first exhibition of African art there, opening Dec. 3, 2001.

In response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has made general admission to the museum free from Sept 14 to Sept. 30, in an effort to provide visitors "a place of peace and reflection." Museum director Malcolm Rogers noted, "Great works of art remind us of the enduring value of all that is best in the human spirit...[we hope] that these works of art, some of them born out of suffering and grief, can provide solace and comfort at this time."

The press preview of the International Center of Photography exhibition "Helmut Newton: Work," slated for Sept. 26, was delayed after the photographer postponed his trip to the U.S. till mid-October. The new press reception is now scheduled for the morning of Oct. 18. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, Sept. 28 -- with free admission for the day.

Due to the World Trade Center disaster, the Fulbright benefit art show and auction scheduled for Sept. 25, 2001, at Sotheby's in New York has been postponed to a later date, to be announced. The exhibition, dubbed "Art Educates the World," features work of past and present Fulbright scholars, including Dale Chihuly, Chuck Close, Mary Ellen Mark and Philip Pearlstein. The event supports the Fulbright Legacy Fund of the Institute of International Education. For more info, go to the IIE website.

New Yorkers are dusting off their appointment books for the Public Art Fund's "Tuesday Night Talks" at the New School at 66 West 12th Street in Manhattan. Maurizio Cattelan holds forth on Oct. 9 -- but watch out, the "unexpected" is promised; on Oct. 23, Shirin Neshat is scheduled to discuss her recent films and her 2001 collaboration with Philip Glass; and Jeff Wall talks about what is called his "most ambitious photograph," The Flooded Grave, on Nov. 27, 2001.

But first the Public Art Fund unveils its new exhibition of contemporary art at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, organized in collaboration with the Commons Associates. "Temporary Residents" features works by Art Domantay, Austin Thomas, Beth Campbell and Ester Partegàs, beginning Oct. 3, 2001.

Kimberly Venardos, former director of the Old Master gallery Stiebel, Ltd., and managing director of Robert Wilson's Watermill Center out in the Hamptons, has opened her own gallery, Kimberly Venardos & Company, at 1014 Madison Avenue. First up are new paintings and drawings by Elizabeth Hauser, opening Oct. 18; off-site projects include "Logic of the Birds," a live performance and installation by Shirin Neshat and three collaborators opening Oct. 5 at the Kitchen on East 19th Street. For more info, check out the website at

The Williamsburg art scene in Brooklyn has a new gallery -- Schroeder Romero, which opens Friday through Sunday at 173A North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211, with a solo show by Peter Hendrick, Sept. 21-Oct. 28, 2001. Gallery principals are Lisa Schroeder, founding director of the nine-year-old Williamsburg gallery Feed, and Sara Jo Romero, former director of the Holly Solomon Gallery. The gallery stable includes Mike Asente, Erika deVries, Michele Kelly, Marsha Pels, Francesco Simiti and Randy Wray. For more info, call (718) 486-8992 or email