News
04.06.2005
Eavesdrop Issue 06_04.06.2005
The latest dirt from our very own gossip columnist, Aric Chen.

FOSTER AND MEIER PAY TO PLAY
Norman Foster and Richard Meier are filthy, stinking rich. At least that was our conclusion when our spy told us they were listed among the founding members of The Core Club, an ultra-exclusive social club that's being built on East 55th Street. Making Soho House look like a community center, The Core Club, scheduled to open in June, will charge fees amounting to $12,000 a year, plus a $45,000 initiation charge. But even that's apparently small potatoes. According to the club's publicist, founding members are subject to coughing uppget thiss$100,000 each. (We can't confirm all of them will actually pay that, and neither the club nor Foster's office would confirm his membership). In any case, all that buys the privilege of trolling the club's halls for potential clients, taking dips in its mineral baths and consulting its, ahem, life coaches. Maybe they'd coach members into giving their employees a raiseeSpeaking of which, we'd like to congratulate Richard Rogers, who just landed the #1 ranking in Building Design's list of UK firms with the best perks (Foster wasn't included). In addition to getting an increasing share of profits as they stay on, Rogers staffers receive such benefits as 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, four weeks leave for new fathers, as well as lunches prepared by an in-house chef for a palatable $5.

NPR KOWTOWS TO MOMA
NPR has axed its 21-year relationship with arts reporter David D'Arcy, and MoMA had something to do with it. As reported in The Los Angeles Times, D'Arcy, who also contributes to this paper, got into hot water because of a December 27 story that unflatteringly portrayed MoMA's opposition to efforts by the descendants of a Jewish art dealer who want to reclaim a painting, Egon Schiele's 1912 Portrait of Wally, that was taken from her by the Nazis in 1939. (MoMA doesn't own the work, but was exhibiting it on loan from Austria's publicly supported Leopold Foundation in 1997. It was eventually seized by the U.S. government, which still has custody pending litigation over its ownership.) While all the facts of D'Arcy's piece are widely known, his journalistic sins, according to NPR, reportedly include not giving MoMA a chance to respond (even though his request to speak with its lawyer was denied), not making it clear that MoMA doesn't have possession of the painting (though, having read the transcript, it seems pretty clear to us), and interviewing MoMA chairman Ronald Lauder in one context but using his response in another. (D'Arcy had asked Lauder about his position on the restitution of Nazi-looted artworks. Wait. Isn't that the same context?) Predictably, MoMA wasn't happy. But it's NPR's strange overreaction that makes us wonder what more there is to this story.

CALATRAVA GETS THE MET
Not many living architects get a show at the Metropolitan Museum. In fact, we can't think of a single one. But now we hear Santiago Calatrava will be the subject of an exhibition there from October 17 through January 22, 2006. As its name implies, Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture into Architecture will draw connections between Calatrava's art and architecture through about 50 sculptural works, architectural models, and drawings.

LET SLIP:achen@archpaper.com

Aric Chen