On the Arts
David Koch donates $35M for Dinosaur Hall
WASHINGTON — David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, has donated $35 million to the National Museum of Natural History.
The gift, which was announced Thursday by the Smithsonian Institution, will go to a new dinosaur hall, which has been high on the list of needed renovations at the museum. The Koch gift is the largest single donation to the Natural History museum.
Koch, a member of the museum’s advisory board for the past five years, previously gave $15 million to the museum’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. In 2006, he gave $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History in New York for its dinosaur exhibit.
The dinosaur hall has needed critical physical and scholarly updating for years. The present display is more than 30 years old.
The museum holds 46 million fossils, and the current presentation is one of the museum’s top draws. The existing hall will close in spring 2014 and the target date for completion is 2019. The museum plans to move dinosaur specimens to other parts of the museum for public viewing.
‘Little Prince’ discovery set to be auctioned
PARIS — Newly discovered draft pages of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince” have been put on display at a Paris auction house for the first time.
Following their surprise discovery in private hands two months ago in France, the handwritten pages about the young, curious prince who embarks on interplanetary adventures will be auctioned off later this month after a rare public viewing.
The text comprises near unreadable, annotated writings on two translucent paper sheets that when put to the light both read “Fidelity Onion Skin” — the watermark on Saint-Exupery’s signature paper.
After The Bible, “The Little Prince” is the most translated book in history, according to the Paris-based Saint-Exupery Foundation. The new pages will go up for sale May 16 at the Artcurial auction house in Paris.
PBS’ modern ‘Sherlock’ returns for 2nd season
WASHINGTON — Coming back beginning today to PBS stations is a new season of the BBC’s “Sherlock” on “Masterpiece Mystery!”
The popular modern reinterpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” mystery stories drew 4.6 million views per episode for season one on PBS.
It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, a veteran of the current war in Afghanistan. The new season offers three episodes.
Satchmo’s last trumpet recording now on CD
WASHINGTON — A live recording of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong playing his trumpet for one of the last times is being released to the public for the first time.
On Jan., 29, 1971, Armstrong was a featured performer at the National Press Club in Washington, celebrating the inauguration of fellow Louisiana native Vernon Louviere as the club’s president. The new album is called “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours: Satchmo at the National Press Club.”
The performance was Armstrong’s last recording made of him performing live that was meant to be played back some day. His later performances on trumpet were only quick TV snippets with Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson. Armstrong died July 6, 1971.
The nonprofit Smithsonian Folkway Recordings released Armstrong’s recording. The new album comes with 30 of Armstrong’s favorite Louisiana recipes, which were served at the press club.