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Artnet News

Following the events of 9/11, museums were able to offer their own kind of sanctuary to a shell-shocked public. As the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon approaches, the museum world is doing its bit to mark the occasion. Some examples:
  • The New-York Historical Society has been presenting a series of exhibitions devoted to the construction and destruction of the World Trade Center under the overall title of "History Responds." Opening Sept. 10-Oct. 31 is "In Memoriam," a presentation of artifacts relating to the trade center and the events of 9/11. Also on view are exhibitions of photographs of the World Trade Center disaster site by David Margules, photos of forensic work at the Fresh Kills landfill and the NYC Medical Examiners Office by Richard Press, photos of people viewing Ground Zero by Kevin Bubriski, and a spherical panorama from the South Tower painted on a globe measuring 24 feet in diameter by Christopher Evans.
  • The Metropolitan Museum is showcasing two chalkboards used by firefighters who were dispatched to the World Trade Center from nearby fire stations. The "riding boards," painstakingly conserved by the museum, go on view for one week, Sept. 10-15, before returning to the East 85th Street firehouse for permanent display. The Met also plans concerts, poetry readings and will hand out an annotated list of works in the galleries that museum curators feel express "humankind's indomitable spirit."
  • The Morgan Library's "September 11th Observance" includes a small selection of works from its collection, including manuscripts of John Keats' Endymion, Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush and a first edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Admission is free on Sept. 11.
  • The Museum of Modern Art opens its MoMA QNS facility free of charge to the public on Sept. 11. Ordinarily closed on Wednesdays, MoMA plans to offer classical music to provide "an environment for contemplation."
  • Down in Washington, D.C., the Corcoran Gallery unveils the exhibition, "Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs," Sept. 7-Nov. 11, 2002. The exhibition features hundreds of photos of the 9/11 disaster taken by ordinary people, and was widely seen when it was exhibited in New York in a storefront in SoHo and later at MoMA. The Corcoran has mounted a call for photos of the crash site in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon as well; digital images can be submitted to
Speaking of the Metropolitan Museum, the grand dame of New York museums plans to open a new gallery this fall devoted to a native son of the borough of Queens -- Louis Comfort Tiffany. No doubt destined to become a top tourist draw, the glittering installation, part of the recently renamed Deedee Wigmore Galleries, features 70 works, from lamps and mosaics to jewelry, along with a selection of design drawings. Among the never-before-exhibited highlights are a recently acquired Queen Anne's lace hair ornament, originally made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. The new gallery, located in the first floor American Wing, opens Oct. 15, 2002.

Get a jump on this fall's Gillian Wearing survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, by grabbing the catalogue of the show. The 120-page Gillian Wearing: Mass Observation (Merrell, $29.95 hardcover) features essays by curators Dominic Molon and Barry Schwabsky on the Turner Prize-winning video artist and photographer who became notorious for videos and photographs depicting police officers, drunks and ordinary people wearing masks and confessing their secrets. The exhibition premieres at the MCA, Oct. 12, 2002-Jan. 17, 2003, before traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Sept. 3-Dec. 14, 2003.

The new art season is getting underway -- time to make travel plans! One destination is the 7th annual installment of Art Forum Berlin, Sept. 26-30, 2002, featuring approximately 180 galleries from more than 25 countries at the Berlin Messe exhibition halls. The fair is strictly cutting edge, and has named an "advisory board" to keep it that way: Ciléne Andréhn of Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm; Gerd Harry Lybke of Galerie Eigen + Art, Berlin/Leipzig; Christian Nagel of Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne/Berlin; Anthony Reynolds of London; Burkhard Riemschneider of Neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Aidan Salakhova from Aidan, Moscow; Barbara Thumm of Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin; and Thilo Wermke from Galerie Neu, Berlin. Among the U.S. dealers scheduled to participate are Elizabeth Dee, I-20 and Pierogi.

The Dahesh Museum of Art, located since its 1995 founding in a space at 601 Fifth Avenue upstairs from a men's clothing store, is moving to the 21,000-square-foot former gallery space of the IBM Gallery at 580 Madison between 56th and 57th Street (occupied more recently by the Freedom Forum media studies center). According to New York Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo, the deal was sealed thanks to landlord Edward Minskoff, an avid art collector.

One of the final art events of New York's long hot summer is a performance by New York City artist Nancy Hwang in Petrosino Park, a small, fenced-in triangle of asphalt located around the corner from the Storefront for Art and Architecture between SoHo and Little Italy. Hwang's performance, titled S, involves giving free shampoos, conditioning treatments and scalp massages to passersby. The project was designed to be an experiment in economic and personal exchange -- "in which intimate contact occurs between strangers." Hwang has outfitted the park with a professional shampoo station inside a circle of potted palms, and solicited in-kind donations of shampoo and conditioner from Laicale salon and plumbing from Dae-Heung Services. The performance is the third in a series for the artist, who previously tended a tiny bar at White Columns and gave anonymous manicures at Artists Space. It runs Aug. 27-Sept. 21, 2002, with performances slated for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. No appointments necessary.