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Wisps From an Old Man’s Dreams ‘Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs,’

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Near the end of his life, Henri Matisse’s preferred attire was evening wear, by which I mean pajamas. They were the ideal uniform for the invalid, insomniac night worker and waking dreamer he had become in the decade before his death at age 84 in 1954. And it is the dreamer and worker we meet in “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs,” a marvelous, victory-lap show that arrives from London, where it drew more than 500,000 viewers at the Tate Modern last summer, and opens in a larger form at the Museum of Modern Art on Sunday.

Why is late Matisse pulling such crowds? Partly because of a popular image of the elderly artist, derived from photographs and long in circulation, as a serene, bespectacled pasha propped up in a bed in sunny Nice surrounded by doves and flowers. And the cutouts themselves, so photogenic, have an exceptionally direct appeal: color, line, beauty without reservation.

But the reality, of the life and the work, was far more complicated. In the years around 1940, Matisse must have felt he was living a nightmare. In 1939, he and his wife of more than four decades legally parted ways, at her instigation. Two years later, he was found to have abdominal cancer and underwent a grueling operation. During World War II, he fled Paris, only to have danger follow him. In 1943, he had to abandon his apartment in Nice when the city was threatened with bombardment and rent temporary quarters in Vence several miles away.

It so happened that his new Vence home had a pretty, prophetic name: Villa le Rêve, Dream House. And remarkable art came into being under its roof, though never easily. The cultural critic Edward W. Said, in his book on “late style” in art, wrote: “Each of us can readily supply evidence of how it is that late works crown a lifetime of aesthetic endeavor. Rembrandt and Matisse, Bach and Wagner. But what of artistic lateness not as harmony and resolution, but as intransigence, difficulty, unresolved contradiction?” I would say that Matisse had at least one foot in the second category.

Surgery had left him debilitated, basically chair and bed bound. Painting and sculpture had become physical challenges and, I think, emotionally, too freighted with make-it-new demands. At the same time, sheer relief at having survived mortal crises prompted a rush of creativity. His solution, before he even recognized it was such, was almost child-simple. He picked up more manageable materials and tools: sheets of paper paint-washed by assistants, sturdy scissors, and plain tailor pins. What he made from them was a hybrid of chromatic brilliance and dimensional complexity, work that was not quite painting, not quite sculpture and — this was the really radical part — not necessarily permanent.

Cut-paper art, decoupage, was not new to Matisse.

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Morales Is The Favorite In Bolivia Elections~~A good story….

imagesBolivia’s President Evo Morales is expected to win a third term in today’s election. Morales has paved the way for his re-election through his skilled handling of the economy.

~~   LISTEN TO THE STORY   ~~

Thursday/Friday San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast from NWS

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
440 AM MDT THU OCT 9 2014

.SHORT TERM…(TODAY THROUGH FRIDAY)
ISSUED AT 434 AM MDT THU OCT 9 2014

COMPLICATED FORECAST ON TAP THIS MORNING AS TROPICAL MOISTURE FROM
THE REMNANTS OF WHAT WAS ONCE HURRICANE SIMON DRIFT NORTHWARD
ACROSS THE REGION WITH LOW PRESSURE SPINNING ACROSS WEST CENTRAL
ARIZONA. THIS LOW IS EXPECTED TO LIFT INTO THE FOUR CORNERS REGION
BY MIDDAY…PROVIDING GOOD UPSLOPE FLOW INTO OUR SOUTHERN VALLEYS
FOR MUCH OF THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS. EMBEDDED CONVECTION
EXPECTED TO GENERATE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL LATER TODAY IN THIS
REGION AND EXPECT FAIRLY EFFICIENT RAINFALL PRODUCTION AS
PRECIPITABLE WATER VALUES APPROACH ONE INCH…OR CLOSE TO 3
STANDARD DEVIATIONS ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. EVEN WITH
A WEEK OF DRYING IN MANY AREAS…POTENTIAL FOR LOCALLY HEAVY
RAINFALL BETWEEN 7 AND 10K WILL BE ENHANCED FOR A PERIOD THIS
AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. RECENT BURN SCARS…SUCH AS THE
PAPOOSE NORTH OF PAGOSA SPRINGS…WILL ALSO BE AREAS OF CONCERN
LATER TODAY. AS A RESULT…WILL BE ISSUING AN UNCONVENTIONAL FLASH
FLOOD WATCH FOR A SLICE OF TERRAIN BETWEEN 7 AND 10K ALONG THE
SOUTHERN SAN JUANS. ABOVE THE 10K LEVEL…TEMPS WILL BE COLD
ENOUGH TO SUPPORT SNOW AND LOCALLY HEAVY SNOW WILL BE
POSSIBLE…ALTHOUGH BEST ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE CONFINED TO
LOCATIONS ABOVE PASS LEVELS. HOWEVER…CONFIDENCE IS HIGH THAT
THOSE AREAS ABOVE 10K ALONG OUR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS
THAT RECEIVE SNOW…WILL PICK UP AT LEAST 3 TO 6 INCHES BY EARLY
FRIDAY MORNING. AS A RESULT…WILL ALSO ISSUE A HIGH ELEVATION
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY BEGINNING THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY
FRIDAY MORNING. AGAIN…THIS WILL NOT BE HITTING THE MAJORITY OF
OUR POPULATED MOUNTAIN LOCALES…BUT POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOWFALL IS DEFINITELY IN THE PICTURE. CLOUD COVER AND
PRECIPITATION WILL HELP TO HOLD TEMPS BACK A BIT TODAY AND HAVE
NUDGES MAX TEMPS DOWN A BIT.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATED H2O vapor map @ 15:15

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Cliff Ward’s Mani stone recovered

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~Revisiting Cliff’s place on the Mesa after 11 years and changed hands; for some reason I dug into a pile of stones we stacked up to support his prayer flag pole raised so many years ago…  and there was his Tibetan Mani stone…..~

Rain & rain/snow mix for the San Juans~~Wednesday night & Thursday

THE REMNANTS OF BAJA TROPICAL STORM SIMON WILL  SPREAD INTO THE SAN JUAN FROM THE SW WITH INCREASING HIGH CLOUDS TODAY.  BETTER MOISTURE WILL FOLLOW AND WILL WORK ITS WAY NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPING OVER THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS BY THE AFTERNOON.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY INCREASING CHANCE FOR SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AS A BETTER SURGE OF SIMONS MOISTURE AND ENERGY REACHES THE FOUR CORNERS. ACTIVITY WILL GENERALLY REMAIN OVER THE SOUTHERN HALF OVERNIGHT…THEN WILL SPREAD NORTHWARD THROUGH THE DAY ON THURSDAY. SNOW LEVELS WILL REMAIN QUITE HIGH DUE TO THE SOUTHWEST- TO-NORTHEAST TRAJECTORY OF THIS SYSTEM…BUT THE HIGHEST PEAKS COULD SEE A LITTLE SNOW.

 

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Berkeley’s Fight For Free Speech Fired Up Student Protest Movement….

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Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on the campus at the University of California, Berkeley, on Dec. 7, 1964. The Movement celebrates its 50th anniversary this week

 

 

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley. That movement launched the massive sit-ins and protests that would help define a generation of student activism across the country.

These days, thousands of students casually stroll past scores of information tables in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, on everything from the fossil fuel debate to voter registration.

But 50 years ago, before the Free Speech Movement, UC students were barred from distributing flyers about the major issues of the day. In 1964, it was the civil rights struggle.

“It was the passion that fueled the Free Speech Movement,” says Lynn Hollander Savio, who was a senior at Berkeley in October of 1964.

Hollander Savio says that many students had spent the summer on voter registration drives in the South. Back at Berkeley, they set up information tables to tell other students about civil rights. When the school administration tried to shut them down, the students were incredulous.

“The tables were used to give out literature, to recruit members and nobody was interested in fighting with the administration,” she says. “We had bigger fish to fry.”

Hollander Savio — short, spry, grey hair — is 75 now. Gazing across Sproul Plaza, she recalls that day when a former math grad student, Jack Weinberg, was arrested for distributing civil rights literature. He was thrown into a patrol car while thousands of curious students watched.

~~  LISTEN/READ  ~~  This is classic history

the turn~~~

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aaahhhh, the turn-

I can smell it

in the air

Danny Macaskill conquers the impossible again in new video: The Ridge

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#TheRidge is the brand new film from Danny Macaskill… For the first time in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.

~~~  WATCH  ~~~

road tripping…….

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Django

black lab deceiver,

autumn viewing

 

The Most Ambitious Environmental Lawsuit Ever

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A refinery and wetlands near Myrtle Grove, La. Credit Jeff Riedel for The New York Times

In Louisiana, the most common way to visualize the state’s existential crisis is through the metaphor of football fields. The formulation, repeated in nearly every local newspaper article about the subject, goes like this: Each hour, Louisiana loses about a football field’s worth of land. Each day, the state loses nearly the accumulated acreage of every football stadium in the N.F.L. Were this rate of land loss applied to New York, Central Park would disappear in a month. Manhattan would vanish within a year and a half. The last of Brooklyn would dissolve four years later. New Yorkers would notice this kind of land loss. The world would notice this kind of land loss. But the hemorrhaging of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands has gone largely unremarked upon beyond state borders. This is surprising, because the wetlands, apart from their unique ecological significance and astounding beauty, buffer the impact of hurricanes that threaten not just New Orleans but also the port of South Louisiana, the nation’s largest; just under 10 percent of the country’s oil reserves; a quarter of its natural-gas supply; a fifth of its oil-refining capacity; and the gateway to its internal waterway system. The attenuation of Louisiana, like any environmental disaster carried beyond a certain point, is a national-security threat.

Where does it go, this vanishing land? It sinks into the sea. The Gulf of Mexico is encroaching northward, while the marshes are deteriorating from within, starved by a lack of river sediment and poisoned by seawater. Since 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has delisted more than 30 place names from Plaquemines Parish alone. English Bay, Bay Jacquin, Cyprien Bay, Skipjack Bay and Bay Crapaud have merged like soap bubbles into a single amorphous body of water. The lowest section of the Mississippi River Delta looks like a maple leaf that has been devoured down to its veins by insects. The sea is rising along the southeast coast of Louisiana faster than it is anywhere else in the world.

The land loss is swiftly reversing the process by which the state was built. As the Mississippi shifted its course over the millenniums, spraying like a loose garden hose, it deposited sand and silt in a wide arc. This sediment first settled into marsh and later thickened into solid land. But what took 7,000 years to create has been nearly destroyed in the last 85. Dams built on the tributaries of the Mississippi, as far north as Montana, have reduced the sediment load by half. Levees penned the river in place, preventing the floods that are necessary to disperse sediment across the delta. The dredging of two major shipping routes, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, invited saltwater into the wetlands’ atrophied heart.

~~~  READ MORE  ~~~

Apostles, Disciples and Pilgrims…. Burnie Arndt

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The PATH was crowded this morning.
For a moment the MYTHS seemed solid.
Between the REALITY and the ILLUSION falls the …….

Can Psychedelics Expand Our Consciousness?

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Coming late in a new book by Sam Harris called Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, this passage snapped me to attention. It’s not that Harris’s book had lulled me up to that point: It’s a provocative, informative and, at times, infuriating look at consciousness and the self. Its main argument is that techniques exist, meditation prime among them, to reduce human suffering by helping us to understand that the self — as conventionally understood — is an illusion. Our feeling of “I” is a product of thought, and thoughts merely come and go in our consciousness; there’s no self behind our eyes or in our head and when we grasp this, it’s easier to unmoor ourselves from the sources of suffering in our lives.

The ways in which Harris supports this thesis are worth reading. Yet as a parent of a college-age daughter, I found that it was his move beyond meditation — Harris’s expressed hope that his kids, once they become adults, will ingest psychedelics — that made me stop and think hard. Is Harris’s wish an ethical one? What can my field of anthropology bring to bear in thinking about this matter?

On this topic of psychedelics, Harris has an advantage that I lack. Not only has he spent considerable time in serious meditative practice, he also has experienced moments of immense beauty and love — and other moments of total terror — on MDMA (ecstasy), psilocybin (mushrooms) and LSD. I grew up in the ’60s in a family whose lives centered closely on law enforcement — my father was a captain in the New Jersey State Police — and I wasn’t exactly the drug-experimenting type. In high school and college, I watched a few friends go through trips good and bad, but that’s as close as I got.

Harris is candid about the risks of ingesting psychedelics:

“There is no getting around the role of luck here. If you are lucky, and you take the right drug, you will know what it is to be enlightened (or to be close enough to persuade you that enlightenment is possible). If you are unlucky, you will know what it is to be clinically insane.”
Harris describes one LSD trip as plunging him into “a continuous shattering and terror for which I have no words.”

Some readers, Harris notes at the outset, may want to consult their mental-health professionals before carrying out any of the ideas he endorses (including meditation), and he concludes that after expanding one’s consciousness through drugs “it seems wise” to find other practices that “do not present the same risks.”

So how should we think about the psychedelic-ingestion experience in connection with a search for enlightenment? Research in neuroscience certainly shows real change in the brain from the action of psychedelic drugs. But I don’t think it’s enough to say that the outcome of any given trip is a matter of which drug one ingests — and of individual luck.

~~   READ MORE   ~~

When Can A Big Storm Or Drought Be Blamed On Climate Change?

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Melbourne visitors and residents took to the waters of Australia’s St. Kilda Beach in January 2013 to escape a fierce heat wave.

 

Nowadays, when there’s a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It’s a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there’s a new field of research that’s providing some answers. It’s called “attribution science” — a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it’s a change in climate that’s altering weather events … and when it isn’t.

The principles start with the premise that, as almost all climate scientists expect, there will be more “extreme” weather events if the planet warms up much more: heat waves, droughts, huge storms.

But then, there have always been periodic bouts of extreme weather on Earth, long before climate change. How do you tell the difference between normal variation in weather — including these rare extremes — and what climate change is doing?

That sort of discernment is difficult, so scientists have had a rule, a kind of mantra: You can’t attribute any single weather event to climate change. It could just be weird weather.

Demonstrators gather near Columbus Circle before the start of the People’s Climate March in New York Sunday. Organizers are hoping 100,000 people worldwide might participate in the rally.
The Two-Way
Large Protests In Hundreds Of Cities Vent Ire Over Climate Change
Then they took a close at last year’s heat wave in Australia.

The chances that the continent’s extreme temperatures reflected normal variation is “almost impossible,” says Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the Hadley Center of the Met Office, in Exeter, Great Britain. “It’s hard to imagine how you would have had those temperatures without climate change,” he says.

Stott is one of a group of researchers analyzing the patterns of “extreme weather” events in the past and comparing them with the patterns Earth is experiencing now. The intensity of last year’s Australian heat wave was statistically “off the charts,” he says. Climate change had to be behind it.

Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist with the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is also part of this “climate forensics” movement. “It’s almost [taken] for granted that climate change is influencing all manners of weather events,” Hoerling says. The question now, he adds, is: “How did it influence, and in which direction? Did it make [an extreme weather event] more likely or less likely — and by how much more likely or less likely?”

Dozens of these researchers just published an analysis of 16 weather events from 2013 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and what they found was a mixed bag. Some events, like the big floods in Colorado, were not that unusual. But it does look as though climate change was involved in the intense heat waves in the western Pacific.

The ongoing California drought drew opposing views. Two research teams said they couldn’t find any reason to blame climate change. But Stanford University’s Noah Diffenbaugh, a member of a third team that examined the drought, disagreed. He says there’s a very rare, high-pressure “ridge” in the atmosphere over the northern Pacific that is diverting moisture away from California, exacerbating the drought.

~~  READ MORE OR LISTEN  ~~

Aral Sea’s Eastern Basin Has Dried Out, NASA Photos Show by BILL CHAPPELL September 30, 2014

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Images from August 2000 (left) and August 2014 (right) show the drop in water levels in the Aral Sea.

“For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried.”

That’s the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.

Once the world’s fourth-largest lake, the Aral Sea has been broken apart and drying out since the 1950s and ’60s, when the Soviet Union diverted two rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, to provide irrigation for farms.

Another factor in this year’s decline, experts say, is a drop in rain and snow levels in the lake’s watershed.

The Aral Sea’s shrinkage has made headlines before — as in 2008, when Reuters reported it had been reduced by “70 percent in recent decades in what environmentalists describe as one of the worst man-made ecological disasters.”

Geographer Philip Micklin, an Aral Sea expert from Western Michigan University, tells NASA that this is “likely the first time it has completely dried in 600 years, since Medieval desiccation associated with diversion of Amu Darya to the Caspian Sea.”

And as a NASA page about the Aral Sea notes, the desiccation has brought other problems with it:

“As the lake dried up, fisheries and the communities that depended on them collapsed. The increasingly salty water became polluted with fertilizer and pesticides. The blowing dust from the exposed lakebed, contaminated with agricultural chemicals, became a public health hazard.”

California Is Burning

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California’s Central Valley is one of the most fascinating places in America. The grassy, flat-bottomed basin occupies the core of inland California, roughly 13 percent of the state’s total land area, sprawled out between the Sierra Nevada range to the east and the Coast Ranges to the west. Once a primordial seabed, it’s now fertile ground.

Thanks to the Sacramento River watershed, which snakes up the middle of the valley, nearly 300 different crops are cultivated in the region, forming 8 percent of America’s total agricultural output — seven million acres constituting “the richest food-producing region in the world,” according to The Los Angeles Times’s Louis Sahagun.

It is also home to a diverse array of wildlife — the Tule elk, the San Joaquin kit fox and the iconic pronghorn antelope. One of North America’s oldest and most vibrant Basque communities is also found here. Similar in climate and topography to parts of Spain, the Central Valley is well equipped to foster the centuries-old shepherding traditions of the Basques in Europe.

The area is a linchpin of California’s many ecologies: natural, agronomical, anthropological.

But in recent years, the valley has withered from lush to parched, in part because of a combination of drought and relentless over-farming. “Decades of irrigation have leached salts and toxic minerals from the soil that have nowhere to go,” writes Carolyn Lochhead for The San Francisco Chronicle. “Aquifers are being drained at an alarming pace. More than 95 percent of the area’s native habitat has been destroyed by cultivation or urban expansion, leaving more endangered bird, mammal and other species in the southern San Joaquin than anywhere in the continental U.S.”

The drought may cost the region’s farmers upward of $1.7 billion in damages and lost crops, resulting in more than 14,500 farmhand layoffs, Mr. Sahagun writes. “Central Valley irrigators will only get two-thirds of their normal water deliveries,” he says. “Additional pumping of groundwater to replace those shortages will cost farmers about $450 million. About 410,000 acres, or 6 percent, of the irrigated cropland in the Central Valley will be fallowed this year.”

A video compiled by The New Yorker, featuring the beautiful photographs of Matt Black and Ed Kashi, lays out the plight of Central Valley farmers in black and white. The haunting images show barren stretches of dry dirt, gnarled and blackened trees seemingly raising their bare branches in desperate prayer to the cloudless sky, skinny sheep butting heads over shallow troughs of murky water.

~~  READ MORE/WATCH VIDEO  ~~

PRETTY FACES – AN ALL FEMALE SKI FILM

 

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By Joel Gratz
Monday, September 29 2014 9:44am

Lynsey Dyer is a professional skier that looked at the numbers and knew that something didn’t make sense.

Even though about 40% of skiers are women, only 14% of athletes in last season’s major ski films were female. And the season before that, the number was only 9%.

Lynsey “wanted to give young girls something positive to look up to…their Blizzard of Ahhs, Ski Movie or High Life, but done in a way that also shows the elegance, grace, community and style that is unique to women in the mountains.”

And instead of working to get a few more women in other company’s films, Lynsey decided to make her own film, showcasing only female skiers. The popularity of this concept is huge as the film’s premiere in Boulder, CO on Tuesday September 30th, is already sold out. But there are many more tour dates this fall:

October 3, Roxy Theatre, Revelstoke, BC
October 4, Sturtevant’s, Sun Valley, ID
October 8, Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City, UT
October 15, Volcanic Theatre Pub, Bend OR
October 15, Roxy Theatre, Missoula, MT
October 16, The Mountaineers , SEATTLE, WA
October 17, Pink Garter Theatre, Jackson, WY
October 19, Don Thomas Sporthaus, Birmingham, MI
October 22, Portland, Oregon with EVO Gear
October 23, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington, VT
October 25, Brava Theatre, San Francisco, CA
October 29, Egyptian Theatre, Boise, ID
October 30, Backcountry Essentials, Bellingham, WA
November 8, Lone Peak Cinema, Big Sky, MT
November 11, Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman, MT
November 13th, Hadley Farms Meeting House, Hadley, MA
November 14, with WomensMovement.com, Durango, CO
November 15, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
November 16, Marriott Park City, Park City, UT
November 22, Gold Town Nickelodeon, Juneau, AK
November 26, The Sitzmark at Alyeska, Girdwood, AK
December 7, Tahoe Art Haus Cinema, Tahoe City, CA
December 12, South Lake Tahoe, NV
December 13, Taos Ski Valley, Taos, NM

 

 

~~~  WATCH TRAILER  ~~~

A Museum Is in Aspen, but Not of It

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Aspen, Colo. — The trend in boutique museum building reached a chilly, sun-gilded peak a few years ago and has leveled out, at least in the United States. These days we mostly get unsexy makeovers and add-ons, and the critical conversation has moved on. Still, celebrity commissions appear. A Renzo Piano-designed satellite for the Whitney Museum of American Art is underway in Lower Manhattan. And last month, a new home for the Aspen Art Museum designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize, made its debut here.

The building, which opened to a mixed local reception, has its virtues and they are not small; it also embodies some of the absurdities and contradictions that have given “starchitecture” a bad name. Yet the Aspen museum itself as an institution — which is modest in size, collects no art and has free admission — offers, at least potentially, a working model for what a new kind of 21st-century museum, regional or otherwise, could be.

The particular regional setting in this case is a promising one. Aspen, set high in the Rockies, is physically gorgeous. Socioeconomically, it’s a very strange place. Founded as a gold-and-silver mining camp in the 19th century, it is now a migratory perch for a significant percentage of the nation’s financial elite. Dozens of Forbes 400 billionaires own property here. Land-grabbing mansions dot the hillsides. Private jets jam the tiny Aspen airport like a fleet of waiting cabs.

~~  READ MORE / PHOTOS ~~