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Photo Competition: Win My Pins
Photo Competition: Win My Pins

Madeleine Albright gave the phrase “statement jewelry” a new meaning when she used pins as a coded language with press and foreign leaders. In the spirit of our new exhibition, Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, on view now at the Legion of Honor, we want to see how you wear your pins to tell a story.

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Transits: Gerhard Richter’s "Strontium"
Gerhard Richter, Deinstall, de Young

“Transits” is a series that looks at the movement of art in the Fine Art Museums’ collection.

We spoke to Debra Evans, head conservator, and Victoria Binder, associate conservator, about the deinstallation of Strontium, the large-scale mural by Gerhard Richter that has been a significant feature of the de Young’s new building that opened in 2005.

Read more about the challenges of moving this massive artwork, the pressure of working against the clock, and why you shouldn’t bother asking a conservator for cleaning advice.

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Indispensable: t.w.five
Indispensable: t.w.five

“Indispensable” is a series that asks the de Young’s Artists in Residence to describe a tool that’s essential to their work.

“I cut myself all the time. She never does.”

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Meet Max Hollein
Max Hollein

Photo by FAMSF

On June 1, Max Hollein became the new director of the Fine Arts Museums. Born in Vienna, Max comes to us most recently from Frankfurt, where he directed the Schirn Kunsthalle (since 2001), as well as the Städel Museum and the Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection (both since 2006). Max studied art history at the University of Vienna and business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and began his career at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. We asked members to send their own questions to ask our new director.

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Photo Competition: “A Ruscha With Words”
The image on the far right (OK) should be cropped to eliminate the black strip at the bottom (it's background, not a part of the image). This might require the detail to be enlarged a bit to fit the rectangle.

L-R: Ed Ruscha, Rancho (detail), 1968. Oil on canvas, 60 x 54 in. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Steven and Alexandra Cohen, 2006; Ed Ruscha, There and Here, State II (detail), 2007. Color lithograph, 18 5/8 x 27 15/16 in. Gift of the Artist; Ed Ruscha, God Knows Where (detail), 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 in. Collection of Robert Lehrman, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman; Ed Ruscha, OK (State II) (detail), 1990. Color lithograph, 27 1/16 x 35 15/16 in. FAMSF, museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund. All images © Ed Ruscha

Along with a passion for California and the West Coast, a key theme in Ed Ruscha's work and Ed Ruscha and the Great American West is the abundance and playfulness of words. Throughout his career, Ruscha experimented with words, song lyrics and sayings, even filling notebooks with them and waiting for the moment that the temperature of a word becomes "really hot."

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Housekeeping: The Thinker
applying wax to The Thinker


Photo by FAMSF

In this post, Geneva Griswold, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation, explains how she and her colleagues keep Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker looking its very best. Read on for more about how the job involves a propane torch, why boat exhaust is an issue, and how hard it is to get to that awkward spot on the back of the leg. Read More »

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