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Art Movements

The Belvedere Torso on display at the Vatican Museums (via Flickr/Stefano Costantini)

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

The Vatican has agreed to loan the Belvedere Torso to the British Museum. The sculpture, widely thought to be a Roman copy of a Greek original, will be exhibited as part of Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art. It will be the first time the sculpture has ever traveled to the UK.

The Detroit Institute of Arts reached its $100 million “grand bargain” fundraising goal.

The Punk band Stereo Fire Empire found a George Rodrigue painting and returned it to the New Orleans Police Department. The bandmates saw the painting, valued at around $250,000, leaning against a wall after performing at the House of Blues. The police hope to identify the thief with the use of DNA fingerprinting.

The Whitney Museum of American Art added over 21,000 collection entries to its online database.

Collectors Barry and Isabel Knispel are seeking damages from Gallery 63 Antiques for breach of contract and fraud. Lawyers for the couple allege that the gallery knowingly sold them a painting misattributed to Norman Rockwell in October 1994.

Beginning in March, London’s City Lit College will offer what is thought to be the world’s first-ever course in “selfies,” a class dubbed the “Art of Self-Portraiture.”

Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville joined a campaign to raise funds for the repair of the Old Grammar School at Bampton in Oxfordshire, England. The 17th-century building doubles as the Downton Cottage Hospital in the British drama series.

The budget for Zaha Hadid’s 2020 Olympic stadium design was reduced in the wake of ongoing criticism. Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki recently compared Hadid’s stadium to a “white elephant.”

Art collector Alberto Mugrabi is selling his three-bedroom home at 50 Gramercy Park North. The view from the apartment, which Robert Hughes described as “better” than a painting, can be yours for a mere $8 million.

Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev and curator Nadim Samman announced plans to establish a new biennial in Antarctica.

Transactions

Barbara Pennington, “Selma” (1965), oil on canvas (image © and courtesy Mint Museum of Art, Inc.)

The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, acquired Barbara Pennington’s “Selma” (1965), a monumental painting inspired by the civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has “wrapped up the art donation phase of its existence” with recent donations to 322 institutions.

Sandycombe Lodge, the London home designed by JMW Turner, will be opened to the public thanks to a £1.4 million (~$2.1 million) grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

According to the New York Post, Pablo Picasso’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso, is selling seven paintings by her grandfather to the tune of $290 million.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art agreed to lend over 130 works of Islamic art to the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, a new museum scheduled to open in Saudi Arabia next year.

The Japanese art collection of partners Sylvan Barnet and William Burto will be divided among four museums; The Harvard Art Museums, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Freer Gallery of Art.

The Seattle Art Museum received the collection of Virginia and Bagley Wright.

The National Gallery of Australia will
return a Buddha sculpture from the second century CE that was stolen from an archaeological site to the Indian government.

The Library of Congress purchased the archives of Chilean-born photographer Camilo José Vergara, best known for his images of urban blight and decay. A selection of the photographer’s digitized images can be found here.

Transitions

Camilo José Vergara, “Water Tower, Former Packard Plant, E. Grand Blvd. at Concord, Detroit ” (2000) (courtesy Library of Congress)

Graham Beal will step down as the director of the Detroit Institute of Arts on June 30.

Nicholas Cullinan was appointed the director of London’s National Portrait Gallery.

The Whitechapel Gallery appointed Alex Sainsbury as chair of its board of trustees.

Thomas Collins was appointed the new executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation.

The Newark Museum appointed Tricia Laughlin Bloom as curator of American art.

Timothy Paul Brown was appointed director of education at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati.

Katelijne De Backer was appointed director of the new Art Miami New York fair.

The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair will open a pop-up in New York this spring during Frieze New York. The fair will be held at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, May 15–17.

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art hired Kate Kunau as associate curator of collections and exhibitions.

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller Inc. will open a new gallery across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in midtown Manhattan.

Accolades

Creative Capital announced their award winners for 2015. Each project receives over $50,000 in direct funding.

Obituaries

Dorrit Dekk (1917–2014), renowned graphic designer.

Robert Reed (1938–2014), painter and Yale School of Art professor for nearly 50 years.

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