Some of the world's most famous sculptures and paintings will soon be making a trip across the Atlantic. Michael Shapiro '71, director of the High Museum in Atlanta, has forged a partnership with the Louvre that will bring entire collections from the renowned Paris museum to the High for three years starting in October.
The Louvre in Atlanta project marks the first time in the Louvre's 212-year history that the museum has agreed to share entire collections with another museum for an extended period. Most of the works have never traveled to the United States and will represent such artists as Raphael, Rembrandt, Poussin and Velasquez.
The cultural exchange between the High Museum and the Louvre grew out of a long-standing friendship between Shapiro and Louvre president/director Henri Loyrette. "The High Museum brings a level of national stature and experience to this partnership that will benefit the Louvre. We have much to learn from one another and look forward to a mutually beneficial exchange of art and ideas," Loyrette said.
In addition to exhibitions, "Louvre Atlanta" will include joint development of educational programs, publications, symposia and films. The first educational exchange occurred in January when a group of Atlanta high school students visited the Louvre and lived with French families. French students will visit Atlanta this fall to learn about the High's collection.
In recognition of the partnership, French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu do Vabres visited the High Museum in November and awarded Shapiro one of his country's top cultural honors -- a knighthood in the order of Arts and Letters.
Mike Evans '05 had the oppportunity of a lifetime this fall when the Dalai Lama visited Belfast, Ireland, and the Playing for Peace program where Evans is director.
Playing for Peace (PfP) is a non-profit organization that engages children in basketball and life-skills activities that help them learn how to interact as friends and neighbors. Children ages 10-14 represent different religious, racial and cultural backgrounds and come from historically divided regions in South Africa and Northern Ireland.
Evans, who majored in communication studies and played varsity basketball at Hamilton, joined the PfP staff in Belfast in August. "This is our fourth year in Northern Ireland, but our first in Belfast," Evans explained. "As the program director I am responsible for starting a similar program from scratch in East Belfast -- the location of intense segregation and violence among Catholics and Protestants. We use basketball as a cross-community tool all over the world."
During the visit from His Holiness, Evans shared news of PfP's recent successes in Northern Ireland. "He responded mostly with smiles and asked if we'd thought of doing the program in other parts of the world."