Art Movements

Grotte Chauvet cave paintings (photograph by Thomas T., via Wikimedia) The prehistoric art in France was given World Heritage status by UNESCO on June 22.
Grotte Chauvet cave paintings; the prehistoric art in France was given World Heritage status by UNESCO on June 22 (image via Wikimedia)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the “grand bargain” bankruptcy bills for Detroit, which transfers ownership of the Detroit Institute of Arts to a nonprofit trust.

The West Bank village of Battir in Palestine and the Grotte Chauvet cave paintings in the Ardèche department of France were among 26 new sites given World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Chicago will host its first architecture biennial in 2015, aimed at rivaling Venice.

Nicholas Penny is retiring as director of London’s National Gallery after six years.

The U.S. government seized a 13th-century “Madonna and Child” painting from Sotheby’s after it was discovered that the work had been stolen in 1986.

Thomas Ganter’s portrait of a homeless man won the BP Portrait Award. Ganter is the first German to be awarded the annual portrait prize, and as part of his victory he receives a National Portrait Gallery commission for its permanent London collection.

Eight Nigerian artworks were returned to the country by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston after research revealed their prominence was suspect, and likely illegally sourced from Nigeria.

Spain returned 691 artifacts to Colombia, including many reclaimed in a 2003 drug-trafficking case, which had been kept at the Museum of America in Madrid.

The reconfiguration of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus by architect Peter Zumthor was changed to protect the La Brea Tar Pits.

The Hague’s Mauritshuis reopened after an expansion and renovation, with works like Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” again on view in its galleries.

Renwick Gallery (photograph by Almonroth, via Wikimedia)
Renwick Gallery (photograph by Almonroth, via Wikimedia)

The Smithsonian is receiving $5.4 million from David Rubenstein to go towards renovating the Renwick Gallery. The building was the first in the United States designed to be an art museum.

Jack Shainman Gallery co-founder and artist Claude Simard died on June 24.

The Brooklyn Museum’s new board chair is the philanthropist Elizabeth A. Sackler, the first woman to serve in the position.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 2014 filmmaker in residence is Argentine director Lisandro Alonso, who plans to focus on people who live in the Amazon jungle.

Fiona Hall was named to represent Australia at next year’s Venice Art Biennale.

Business leaders in Cincinnati estimated it would take $331 million to turn the city’s Union Terminal and Music Hall into new cultural centers.

The National Corvette Museum in Kentucky found the February sinkhole that consumed eight cars is a tourist boon, with attendance up by 59%. The museum’s board has voted to preserve a segment of the hole.

Paris is naming a public square in the 13th arrondissement after Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Mes Aynak (via U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan)
Mes Aynak (U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan, via Flickr)

A $3 billion mining and petroleum contract is putting the ancient Mes Aynak archaeological site in Afghanistan under threat.

Bolivia’s congress in La Paz is running its clock in reverse to bring attention to the country’s cultural heritage.

The fate of the Warburg Institute library, relocated from Hamburg to the University of London to save it during World War II, is having its future decided by the High Court. The dispute is over the trusteeship of the library and whether it will be independent or part of the university.

The Sing Sing prison on the Hudson may open a museum in a neighboring obsolete power plant, complete with the “Old Sparky” electric chair on view.

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