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Clark Center art collection going to Minneapolis

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UPDATED 6 p.m.: Here’s my longer, more detailed story for Wednesday’s print edition.

ORIGINAL POST: Willard “Bill” Clark and Elizabeth “Libby” Clark are sending their $25 million collection of Japanese art — currently housed in their small gem of a museum, the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, in Hanford — to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.┬áThe acquisition was announced today.

But don’t count that as a major blow to our area’s cultural scene. (Yet.)

The Clark Center will remain open for at least five years, with exhibitions featuring artworks from the collection rotating back to Hanford from Minnesota. The Clark’s director and curator, Andreas Marks, will continue to curate exhibitions at the Clark along with his new duties as head of the Japanese and Korean art department at the Minneapolis museum. The general public won’t really notice much of a difference.

After those five years? Hard to say. Currently the operating expenses of the Hanford museum are being subsidized by the Clarks, who are in their 80s, and they don’t want to pass that burden on to their family.

There’s another interesting local connection: A key player in the Minneapolis acquisition is Kaywin Feldman, director and president of the MIA. Many in the local arts community will recognize her name as the vibrant director who did so many great things with the Fresno Metropolitan Museum long before things turned sour.

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Photo: Cultural News

Donald’s weekend picks

Besides, as Mike Oz put it in his own picks, hoping that no more local businesses close …

1. EXPERIENCE AN OPERA MARATHON
Everything about Berlioz’s vast “Les Troyens” is epic — including its length. The first installment of the year of the Metropolitan Opera’s popular Live in HD series clocks in at 5 hours, 45 minutes. Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Bryan Hymel and Dwayne Croft lead the cast, portraying characters from the Trojan War. It screens at 9 a.m. Saturday at Edwards. Here’s the New York Times review of the production.

I still remember the time I saw Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and I swear it must have clocked in at close to six hours including two long intermissions. It’s kind of fun to just settle back and bask in a work of such length. [Details]

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Samurai at Fresno State

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If you’re on the Fresno State campus anytime between now and June 24 — or even if you’re not and would consider planning a trip — I encourage you to pop into the Madden Library to catch a beautiful little show titled “Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor.” It’s a great chance to visit the elegant Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery, which the library and university is touting as a new community-based arts space. The stars of the exhibition are four full suits of samurai armor along with dozens of samurai-related objects from the 13th through 20th centuries.

I wrote about the exhibition in my Sunday Spotlight column. The show is open during regular library hours.

Unfortunately, a mix-up at the library marred an opening-weekend visit for one Beehive reader. Bruce Whitsitt took his family Sunday to see the show and found the exhibition closed. A library staffer on duty told him it was only open Monday-Friday. When I received Whitsitt’s email, I checked with Marcia Morrison, the library’s development director. Here’s her response:

I am so sorry that the family who wanted to see our show was not able to do so. Apparently, our exhibit designer locked the room when he left Friday night and no one had been told to open it up on Saturday. The dean’s assistant had told staff that the show would be open but clearly that message was not transmitted properly. The exhibition was opened Sunday afternoon after the dean’s assistant arrived with the key. In the future, the show will be open every hour that the Library is open. We are posting a sign outside the gallery to that effect. The installation of signage wasn’t totally completed in time for the opening but will be finished today.

Now that the hours are assured, the weekends are actually a great time to visit the exhibition because parking is much easier (and free). The important thing is to check the library hours beforehand (an easy way is at its main website), because they vary, especially with spring break coming up.