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Monster Mash: Frank Gehry headed Down Under; Smithsonian settles asbestos suit; James Franco gets chatty

December 10, 2009 |  8:23 am


-- Starchitect's new job: Frank Gehry is set to work on a project in Australia, where he will transform a building for the University of Technology, Sydney. (Sydney Morning Herald)

-- Moving on: The Smithsonian Institution has settled an asbestos-related lawsuit with a former employee. (The Washington Post)

-- Celebrity chat: Actor James Franco discusses creativity, among other things, with performance artist Marina Abramovic. (The Wall Street Journal)

-- Ethically suspect: A nonprofit museum in New Orleans has given over gallery space -- and curatorial control -- to the Walt Disney Co. (Modern Art Notes)

-- Major acquisition: Russia's State Hermitage Museum has purchased 92 watercolor paintings valued at an estimated $4.8 million. (Bloomberg)

-- Getting the word out: PETA plans to hand out anti-fur stickers to children outside a staging of "The Nutcracker" in Philadelphia. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

-- Rebounding: Laurie Metcalf, who recently starred in the short-lived Broadway revival of "Brighton Beach Memoirs," has been cast in an off-Broadway revival of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind," directed by Ethan Hawke. (Playbill)

-- Big bucks: The final self-portrait by Anthony Van Dyck has sold for about $13.5 million at a Sotheby's auction. (Bloomberg)

-- For the kids: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's youth education program receives a $1-million gift. (The Baltimore Sun)

-- And in the L.A. Times: A new NEA report shows declining levels of arts attendance nationwide; details emerge on the county's $14-million bond issue designed to rescue L.A. Opera; art critic Christopher Knight on Leonardo da Vinci's "Angel" drawing.

-- David Ng

Photo: Frank Gehry. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times