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There were some big transitions and goodbyes in the Boston arts community this week. The latest is the announcement that Thomas Lentz, director of the Harvard Art Museums, will be stepping down in July. The decision comes just two months after the unveiling of the six year-long, $350 million renovation that defined Lentz's tenure at the Museums.
The city also said goodbye to two prominent artists. Roxbury-native John Wilson, best known for his bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., which stands in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., passed away last Thursday at the age of 92. And Robert Guillemin, known by most as "Sidewalk Sam," passed away on Monday at the age of 75. The two are celebrated for treating art as a crucial part of every day life.
- "The news comes as a surprise to some in the museum world who thought [Thomas] Lentz might stick around to enjoy the fruits of his many years of labor. But to others in the know, the announcement is no surprise at all."
- "Over the course of four decades, Mr. Guillemin sketched his own entry into the city’s history, recreating the masterpieces of famous artists on Boston’s pavement and cracked cement. Unlike the original paintings that hang guarded and cared for in museums, his art was destined by design to last months at best, and sometimes only hours until rain washed his work into the closest gutter."
- "'Essentially, he felt that his main objective as an artist was to deliver a message to people about black dignity, about racial justice, about poor people trying to get a better deal in life,' [Wilson's] wife said. But also, sketching constantly on index cards and any available scrap of paper, Mr. Wilson composed portraits of family members, friends, and life unfolding around him."
This segment aired on January 30, 2015.
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