Thursday’s Art Notes

BY Tom LeGro  June 3, 2010 at 11:40 AM EDT

A picture by Iranian photographer Reza Deghati

Iranian photographer Reza Deghati’s picture peeks over a train during an exhibition in the Paris subway. “Chemins Paralleles” runs until September 12. Photo by David Fritz/AFP/Getty Images.

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President Barack Obama awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Paul McCartney on Wednesday evening. The former Beatle performed in the East Room with Stevie Wonder, the Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Herbie Hancock, the White Stripes’ Jack White, pianist Lang Lang and the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl. Here’s video of the speeches by the president and McCartney. We’ll have some of the performance on Thursday’s program.

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California arts advocates suffered their third and worst legislative shutout in less than two months, reports the Los Angeles Times. The state assembly voted 76 to 0 in favor of a bill that would allow more students to skip arts instruction entirely during their high school years.

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Suffolk County prosecutors threw out 14 vandalism charges against graffiti artist Shepard Fairey, reports the Boston Globe. Fairey, who lives in Los Angeles, still faces 13 similar charges in other city courts. Meantime, Artinfo reports on recent developments in the Associated Press’ case against Fairey for copyright infringement.

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Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress who played the sexually-liberated Blanche Devereaux on the TV series “The Golden Girls,” has died. She was 76. Her manager said McClanahan died late Wednesday night of a stroke. McClanahan had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997 and had heart bypass surgery in 2009. Here’s a classic clip from the show:

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An antiquities curator at the Princeton University Museum of Art is the focus of an Italian criminal investigation of “the illegal export and laundering” of archaeological objects, reports the New York Times.

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An annual $150,000 prize has been established by the foundation of Tony-winning playwright-director Arthur Laurents and partner Tom Hatcher. The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award will be given for an unproduced, full-length play of social relevance by an emerging American playwright.