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THE GARDNER GOES GRAPHIC: It’s not every day that a Venetian-style palazzo gets bathed in neon lights, but that’s just what Joseph Kosuth, a pioneer in the conceptual art movement, has done to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
This story first appeared in the January 31, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In honor of the esteemed institution’s centennial, Kosuth has created three installations including a large-scale textual one on the exterior that excerpts tidbits from letters swapped between the museum’s namesake, James McNeill Whistler and Bernard Berenson.
“The clusters of light look like lace during the day and stars at night,” said Pieranna Cazalchini, the museum’s curator of contemporary art. “We wanted to do something for the neighborhood and passersby that would shine outside the museum like a voice.”
Indoors, Kosuth cast some quotes from the museum’s archives on cloths draped over vitrines filled with letters between Gardner, Whistler and Berenson during their travels in Europe. Beginning in April, visitors can take a behind-the-scenes look at never-before-seen diaries, travel journals and other materials used in the making of the museum. John Singer Sargent’s drawing for a stairway and photos of Gardner atop a ladder painting the atrium’s rose-colored ceiling will be displayed through Aug. 21.
AT HOME IN MOSCOW: Versace will open a Home Collection boutique in Moscow next month, its second home store after Milan. The 1,620-square-foot store is located in the city’s Crocus City Mall, a stately structure of 540,000 square feet dedicated entirely to the luxury world. The store will carry the entire home collection, ranging from bed and bath linen to classical and modern furniture.
“Our Moscow boutique has consistently performed beyond our expectations, making it a logical market for expansion,” said Santo Versace, chief executive officer of Versace. “The Versace home collection has become a very important piece of our business, so it makes sense that we want to marry these rapidly growing areas.”
The new store also marks the launch of an interior design service for its customers.
“Since the line is so comprehensive, there will be an on-staff designer who will work with customers to help them realize their homes,” said a Versace spokesman. “This is a test and the service will likely be offered in other stores.”
The spokesman said the company is looking at areas where the home collection performs well and is considering appropriate locations.