Sackler Closes Briefly to Prepare for Exhibit

Posted May 9, 2007 at 6:05pm

The Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery prepares for a new exhibition, “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” by closing its exhibition spaces on May 14.

Visitors, however, will continue to have access to the Freer Gallery of Art with the exhibit “Taking Shape: Ceramics in Southeast Asia.”

“Encompassing the Globe” features about 250 objects illustrating the influence and interaction in the 16th century between Portuguese sailors and cultures from around the world. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, maps and books reflecting travels from Europe to Brazil and from Africa to Asia.

According to gallery spokeswoman Rebecca Fahy, the new exhibit will take up most of the gallery space and it is the largest of its kind for the Sackler gallery. Some items focusing on West Africa also will be displayed in several galleries of the adjoining Museum of African Art.

“This is the first time we’ve done such a large exhibition,” Fahy said.

Jay Levenson, director of the international program at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will serve as the guest curator for the exhibit. Among the featured items include 16th-century maps, ivory hunting horns and terra cotta statues from Brazil.

“Encompassing the Globe” will open on June 20 and will run through Sept. 16.

Newseum Dedicates Theater After Gift

The Annenberg Foundation will give $15 million to support the Newseum, the biggest amount any organization has donated to the museum, the Newseum announced Tuesday afternoon.

In recognition of the gift, the museum will name its 535-seat interactive theater the “Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater.” The space is expected to be one of the highlights of the 250,000-square-foot museum, which is scheduled to open on Oct. 15.

“This very generous gift continues the tradition of the Annenberg Foundation supporting the advancement of a free press and better journalism,” Newseum CEO Charles Overby said.

The Newseum has announced a total of $79 million in gifts from 11 media organizations, foundations and families in the past year.

— Marnette Federis and Elizabeth Brotherton