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Crimes of the Art is a weekly survey of artless criminals’ cultural misdeeds. Crimes are rated on a highly subjective scale from one “Scream” emoji — the equivalent of a vandal tagging the exterior of a local history museum in a remote part of the US — to five “Scream” emojis — the equivalent of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.
Magician’s Sculpture Vanishes
Verdict: Clearly the disappearing spoon sculpture trick was the crowning illusion of Geller’s career.
San Francisco Museums’ CEO in Trouble
The chief financial officer of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), Michele Gutierrez, has accused Dede Wilsey, the organization’s chief executive officer and board president, of unilaterally paying a sick staffer $450,000. Gutierrez’s complaint was delivered to both San Francisco City Hall and the office of State Attorney General Kamala Harris, and it could jeopardize FAMSF’s nonprofit status.
Verdict: Always check with the board before giving six-figure bonuses.
Florida Thieves Sign Gallery Guestbook
Megan Ohara and David Ziskoski stole $6,000 worth of jewelry created by artist Attila JK from his Palm Springs space, ICFA Gallery, but not before leaving a number of fake email addresses in the gallery guestbook — including “email@example.com” — Ohara’s real phone number, and, as the Sun Sentinel reported, “a drawing of male genitalia and a woman’s face labeled as ‘Meg.’”
Squatter Sold Stolen Art Out of Empty Mansion
A man named Jeremiah Kaylor was arrested after selling 11 artworks for a total haul of over $300,000 out of a vacant mansion where he had been squatting for at least two months in San Francisco’s swanky Presidio Heights neighborhood. Kaylor sold the works, which he found in crates inside the long-uninhabited mansion (currently on the market for $17.9 million), for fractions of their market value before being caught.
Verdict: Come on, Kaylor — flooding the market with steeply discounted works is a dead giveaway.
Korean Copycat Collects Comeupance
US artist Mike Womack recently learned via an email tip that his 2013 exhibition at ZieherSmith in New York City, Observer Effect, had been copied in its entirety by the South Korean artist Jeongwoo Hahn, who had won a $6,500 prize from the Seoul nonprofit Insa Art Space for the show. After being informed of the copy, Insa Art Space took down Jeongwoo’s show, demanded he pay back the $6,500 prize, and fined him.
Verdict: Geometric slabs of concrete aren’t that interesting to begin with, but having to steal someone else’s concrete slabs is even worse.
Basquiat Boosted and Brought Back
A Jean-Michel Basquiat painting valued at nearly €9 million (~$10.2 million) was stolen from and, within a few hours, returned to the Paris apartment of its owner. The short-lived theft was apparently spurred by the woman’s imminent divorce from her husband.
Verdict: When going through a divorce, always keep the Basquiats stashed away.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…