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June 27, 2011

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The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is closing on July 4, 2011 -- to undertake a two-year-long, $64-million renovation and expansion. For visitors who would dare to hazard a visit on the final day, admission is free (typically it's $15). The Cooper-Hewitt scheme is to expand its gallery space by 60 percent -- exhibitions at the museum are hampered by the elegant townhouse setting -- and increase educational programming. In the meantime, the Cooper-Hewitt's shop, terrace and garden remain open for visits -- the garden boasts, in fact, the Target Imagination Playground for "design kids" -- and the museum is hosting several exhibitions off-site, including “Design with the Other 90%: Cities” at the United Nations, Oct. 15, 2011-Jan. 9, 2012.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is planning to shutter for six months, beginning in October 2012, to embark upon its own government-imposed building and security renovations. In the interim, the museum’s 1.5 million annual visitors can still view the 75 Van Gogh paintings and works on paper that it plans to transport to the nearby Hermitage Amsterdam.

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