If you’ve traveled to other cities or countries this summer, you’ve likely visited a museum or two. With new installations, discoveries, and inspirations, museums are always changing. Here is a roundup of some exciting art news from around the world:
Taj Mahal: Did you know that preserving a monument can be hard work? Pollution, or harmful elements in the air and water, can often damage art that has been around for hundreds of years. Last month, the Supreme Court of India issued a ruling asking the state of Uttar Pradesh to either restore or destroy a famous monument. Why did the court issue such a dire warning? The Taj Mahal, a giant mausoleum, started turning yellow from industrial pollution and insect dung, and efforts to preserve the monument were failing. The government closed many factories around the Taj Mahal, hoping it would help reduce pollution, but the problem persisted. The court, on the other hand, was getting frustrated with the government’s slow response, prompting this dramatic statement. Let’s hope they clean up their act soon!
Digital Art Museum: The first digital art museum opened in Tokyo last month, with indoor and outdoor zones, as well as a Forest of Lamps where a tree house lights up when someone enters the room and a Tea House where cups and plates burst into colors. More than 520 computers and 400 projectors use digital art to transform the space into magical lands with graphics, color, and light!
Graffiti: What is graffiti tagging and why is it harmful? Publicly commissioned graffiti art is legal, but tagging—when offenders mark their “territory”—doesn’t just damage property, it’s also illegal. In San Francisco, California, seven men were recently charged with damaging property with graffiti tagging. Property owners had to pay to clean off inappropriate or unlawful art from their property. Furthermore, if graffiti tagging is on public property, the city has to spend money to clean it up. San Francisco said cleaning up graffiti tagging costs nearly $20 million a year. The district attorney says that “individuals like these are behind the city’s property crime challenge.”
Canada: Art from fifty indigenous women was displayed on billboards across Canada this summer. Why is this special? This is the first time art from so many indigenous, or native American, artists—especially women—has been displayed anywhere in Canada. Artists hope the art will change non-native people’s opinions of indigenous women and give them a sense of pride. The art prints, posters, and paintings are meant to showcase the power of these women and bring communities together.