Thursday’s Art Notes

BY Arts Desk  January 21, 2010 at 10:34 AM EDT

Indian school children perform a dance during a rehearsal for the forthcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi. Photo by Manpreet Romana/ AFP/ Getty Images

Indian school children perform a dance during a rehearsal for the forthcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi. India celebrates Republic Day on January 26. Photo by Manpreet Romana/ AFP/ Getty Images

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The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is growing. Today, a new modern addition designed by Renzo Piano was unveiled. The plan won’t affect the original structure, but will increase gallery space, move the main entrance and provide the museum with a larger cafeteria.

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Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the temple of the wife of Ptolemy III, Queen Berenike. There were over 600 statues found, including a great number of cat figures.

A more modern treasure was drudged up in Britain recently. A self-portrait by Lucien Freud, depicting the artist with a black eye after a fight with a taxi driver, has been re-discovered after spending 30 years in private hands. The painting will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s in February.

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As America continues to see dwindling government financial support for the arts (yesterday, the state of New York announced major cuts), Europe may be starting to follow suit. The New York Times looks at changes in the arts culture of Europe, as some countries are taking baby steps towards a future where more funding comes from private sources rather than their current system of being almost entirely publically funded.

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There are several stories today about the business side of the distribution of entertainment over the Internet. Fighting growing competition in the e-book market (ahem, Apple), Amazon tries to lure authors by promising 70 percent commission for sales of the digital editions of their works on the Kindle system. Youtube is launching its own online movie rentals for independent films, starting with Sundance Film Festival titles from last year and from the upcoming festival, which starts next week. There are more details about a Hulu plan to charge viewers to watch TV shows on their website. And last night on the NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown talked to analysts about the New York Times’ move to begin charging for web content.