Björk’s MoMA Retrospective: When Technology Fails Innovation

Tuesday morning, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, I found myself standing a few feet away from someone clad in a black cactus costume. Its face was covered, and thus it took me a minute to realize the cactus was Björk. Situated in a room custom-designed for the occasion (6,000 soundproofing cones covered the walls and ceiling),the Icelandic icon introduced her new MoMA-commissioned piece, the short film “Black Lake.” “I’m very grateful that Klaus [Biesenbach] convinced me to do this exhibition,” Björk timidly announced, referencing the 12 years it took MoMA’s curator at large to snag her for an exhibition. “It’s been quite a journey, and a close relationship that I’m really grateful… Read More

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‘David Bowie Is’ the Movie Doesn’t Do ‘David Bowie Is’ the Exhibit Justice

A documentary about a museum exhibit is a hard sell. Why not skip the middle man and see the exhibit for yourself? But when it comes to David Bowie, there are no rules. Fans will not only come out for a documentary cataloguing the Victoria & Albert Museum’s groundbreaking David Bowie Is exhibit, they’ll travel far and wide to see the V&A’s career-spanning deep-dive in person. … Read More

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Memorable Movie Scenes in Museums

This week, two of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world celebrate anniversaries — the Smithsonian and the Louvre (168 and 221 years respectively). The cultural impact each museum has had on our society is astounding — making them rich locations for filmmakers throughout history. We explored ten scenes in cinema set inside (and around) museums that make use of the cultural and historical sites as beautiful backdrops, but also a metaphorical crossroads of human connection. … Read More

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Nude Self-Portraits in Natural History Museums

Swiss photographer Vicky Althaus has restaged the taxidermy tableaux in a natural history museum by posing within each scene, nude. The former thriving beasts have been stuffed for our “natural” education, but really, there’s nothing natural about them or the artificial landscapes they are situated in. Althaus’ presence draws attention to this in poignant and humorous ways. The photos suggest a greater dialogue about environmental and ecological visibility. Take a closer look at Althaus’ collection, which we first spotted on Beautiful/Decay, in our gallery. … Read More

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The Smallest Museums and Galleries in the World

We are completely enamored with small spaces, which is why we’ve explored tiny houses, slender buildings, delightful dwellings on micro islands, and more. After reading an interview with Alex Kalman, co-founder of alleyway institution Museum (located inside an abandoned freight elevator), we went searching for more of the smallest art and culture spaces the world has to offer. These museums and galleries are minuscule, but contain big ideas and fascinating finds. Visit some of the greatest compact cultural institutions in the world, below. … Read More

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Delightful Photos of People Explaining Artworks to Other People

New York-based artist Matthew Monteith conceived of his photo series Guardare (Italian for “to look”) while on the roof of the Villa Aurelia at the American Academy in Rome. He observed the director explaining a view of the city (the first image, below) and snapped a photo. … Read More

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10 of the Strangest Celebrity Museums

Paula Deen, perhaps the deadliest chef in America, will be the subject of a new museum Georgia. The southern comfort-food queen’s first husband, Jimmy Deen, and a local businesswoman want to transform Deen’s childhood home into a museum honoring her rise through the restaurant ranks. The Food Network star’s proclivities for butter will surely be highlighted — and battered, deep-fried, and consumed with abandon. Visitors might not live to tell about it. While Deen is a television favorite, the idea of an all-Deen museum seems rather odd. But it’s not the strangest subject for a cultural institution. Here’s a selection of other bizarre (and a few bizarrely charming) celebrity museums around the world. … Read More

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Beautiful Photos of Contemporary Nudes in Classic Museums

We’ve featured the beautiful photography of German-born artist Karen Knorr before, and her Muses and Majas series recently caught our eye on Art Sponge. Knorr was commissioned to photograph two prestigious museums: the Louvre in Paris and Madrid’s Lázaro Galdiano Museum (the original home of the Spanish art collector). She set contemporary nudes amongst the museum galleries, playing off the historical context of surrounding sculptures and paintings representing the Virgin Mary and Aphrodite. Knorr’s subjects become part of the exhibit, captured in repose behind the velvet ropes where visitors are forbidden to venture. See more of Knorr’s beautiful, dreamlike photos in our gallery. … Read More

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10 Incredible Repurposed Train Stations

The heyday of railway travel may have passed, but the nostalgic allure of architecturally striking infrastructure has ensured that it’s not the end of the line for many historic station buildings. We recently learned that Union Station in Denver, which opened to passengers in the late 19th century, will be transformed into a trendy hotel, with adjoining restaurants and a beer hall, by 2014. Click through to see how other train stations have been repurposed into thriving cultural centers, libraries, and… Read More

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