Simply Streep is your premiere source on Meryl Streep's work on film, television and in the theatre - a career that has won her three Academy Awards and the praise to be one of the world's greatest working actresses. Created in 1999, we have built an extensive collection to discover Miss Streep's work through an archive of press articles, photos and video clips. Enjoy your stay.
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March 10, 2019 | Jennifer Trainer, Noah Bashevkin... | 74 minutes
North Adams, Massachusetts, grew up as a textile-mill town before the mill’s buildings were taken over by the Sprague Electric Company. After Sprague abandoned the factory in the 1980s, the town became one of the worst places to live in the state, a hub of unemployment and crime in the shadow of Berkshires cultural institutions like Tanglewood and the Clark Art Institute.
Enter a literally and figuratively outsized man named Thomas Krens, who had seen industrial spaces used to show art in Germany and wanted to do the same thing here. Without mentioning the more controversial aspects of Krens’ entrepreneurial streak (at the Guggenheim, his muddling of art curation with marketing and corporate promotion attracted scorn from art lovers and museum professionals), the film shows how he sold civic leaders on the idea of turning the mill’s decaying buildings into a showcase for contemporary art. Then-mayor John Barrett admits, “I wouldn’t walk across the street to see some of this art”; but he suspected the idea would be a boon to the town, and he pushed for it. He was joined by supporters from across the political spectrum, including Massachusetts governors Michael Dukakis and William Weld. (The latter, a Republican, features in an amusing story here.)