Monday, March 26, 2007

Smithsonian's Lawrence Small Resigns

Just received from Roger Sant, Chair, Executive Committee, Smithsonian Board of Regents

At 12:30 this afternoon, Regent Patti Stonsifer and I will participate in a news conference to announce that we have accepted the resignation of Secretary Lawrence Small, effective immediately. At the same time, we will announce that Cristian Samper, currently director of the National Museum of Natural History, has been named by the Regents to serve as Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, also effective immediately. We also have asked Sheila Burke to continue as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. We appreciate her strong leadership, particularly during these past months.

Although the past few weeks have been difficult for us all, we believe that the important work of the Institution will continue and we hope you share our optimism for the future.

A search committee for a new Secretary will begin immediately under the chairmanship of Alan Spoon, a member of our executive committee.

We thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Below is the text of the news release distributed today and available shortly on PRISM and Also, the news conference will be available through Windows Media Player at mms://

Roger Sant

Chair, Executive Committee
Smithsonian Board of Regents
Update: The press release is here.

Update: WaPo picks up the story (revised once since the intial 1PM posting, which cited a Congressional leak instead of the press conference) here. According to some of the comments, this too appears to be Pres. Bush's fault.

Carrie Ann Baade at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art

Carrie Ann Baade: "Virtues and Vices - Surreal Portraits of the Commendable and Contemptible" opens on March 30, 2007 at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington, but the opening reception is Friday April 13th, from 5 to 9pm (includes a musical performance by the Absinthe Drinkers at 8pm) and then there's an artist's lecture on April 4th, from 12 to 1pm at the DCCA.

It's no secret that I love narrative work that also uses historical references, and thus I am really looking forward to seeing this talented artist's work, which is new to me. More later.

Gopnik in a kilt

The WaPo's erudite Oxford-trained, chief art critic pens an interesting review (which has already caused some comment flaming) on the current exhibition "Italian Women Artists From Renaissance to Baroque," at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

But my issue with the review are not the possible historical inaccuracies in the article, but this statement:

"Who and what you are matters to what your actions mean to others. My wife wears a skirt, and no one notices; if I did, I'd have to claim McGopnik blood to get away with it."


"Whas like us? Gie few an thur aw deed"

First of all, Scots wear kilts - not skirts... and "Mc" is generally the Anglicised version of the Irish Celtic form for "son-of," while "Mac", not "Mc", is the is true Scottish Gaelic form, and thus what Gopnik should have written to make his point.

So he meant "MacGopnik."

I know it's pedantic, but ...

Phoebe Washburn at ICA

A new Ramp Project by Phoebe Washburn goes on view this spring at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania. The 12th in a series of temporary works commissioned for the ramp, Washburn’s project can be seen April 20-August 5, 2007.

"Using massive amounts of collected scrap wood, Phoebe Washburn transforms ICA’s ramp by constructing an environmental installation that is both accumulative and regenerative. Working on site off of the existing architecture, she turns the windowed ramp into a makeshift terrarium/aquarium. Viewers wander amidst a variety of water plants and underwater scenes housed in fish tanks nestled in a darkened wooden tunnel. These miniature living landscapes are sustained by pumps and other necessary accoutrements in this green environment."

Every season ICA commissions an artist to create a new site-specific temporary installation for the ramp that links the first and second floor galleries. A transitional space, the ramp is 52-foot long and is visible from the street through architecturally-scaled picture windows on the building’s facade. This project is organized by Elyse Gonzales, Assistant Curator.

Call for 2007 MFA Graduates in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Deadline: April 14, 2007

"New Art Examined III" is a call for 2007 MFA graduates by the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia. All Masters of Fine Arts candidates who will receive their degree in the 2007 calendar year from institutions in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia are invited to submit work. Artworks in all media will be considered.

You can download the prospectus here or call the Center at (703) 248-6800.

Rousseau Reviews

Dr. Claudia Rousseau, writing in The Gazette, wraps up three Greater DC area exhibition (all in suburban Maryland) into one neat column as she reviews Tim Tate at Fraser Gallery, "Token" at Pyramid Atlantic, and the National Society of Arts and Letters Career Awards Competition at Heineman-Myers Gallery.

Read the reviews here.

Job in the Arts

Arlington County in Virginia is looking for a Public Arts Curator. Salary Range: $45,905.60 - $75,899.20 annually.

All applicants must submit an online application (unless the job announcement states otherwise) for each position for which they wish to apply. The application must be submitted prior to 11:59 pm on the posted closing date.

To apply online go to, click on CURRENT JOB OPENINGS, scroll down the alphabetical list of job titles and click on the one in which you have an interest. The link to the employment application (APPLY) is found on each job announcement. Once completed, your application information remains in the system for you to review, edit and submit for future Arlington job openings.