Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" (1970) may become Utah's official state work of art. (photo by David O. Stevens/Flickr)

Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” (1970) may become Utah’s official state work of art. (photo by David O. Stevens/Flickr)

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

A bill proposed by Representative Becky Edwards (R-North Salt Lake) would make Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” the official state artwork of Utah — and would make Utah the first state to have an official state artwork.

The Queens Museum will give a retrospective to the legendary punk band the RamonesHey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk, co-organized with the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, will open on April 10.

A mouse died at the Museum of English Rural Life after crawling into a 150-year-old mousetrap on display in one of the institution’s exhibits.

A New York state court ruled that Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services will not have to pay damages of over $11.5 million for artwork damaged at its Brooklyn-based storage facility during Superstorm Sandy.

Christopher Rothko, Mark Rothko’s son, testified that he had “never” authenticated a work by his father at the Knoedler Gallery forgery trial. “It gets me involved in all sorts of questions that, frankly, I don’t want to deal with,” Rothko told the court. David Anfam, the author of Mark Rothko’s catalogue raisonné, testified that it was “outrageous” for the gallery to have included his name on a list of experts who had allegedly examined paintings later sold to collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole. Anfam told the court that the gallery’s letter “constitute[d] a proxy authentication.”

A New Jersey woman ended up with an Andy Warhol screenprint of a naked man’s crotch after buying a $200 couch on Craigslist. The couch’s seller gave her a box of junk that happened to contain the Warhol print, which is now on sale at Paddle8 for over $60,000.

The Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland announced that it will close the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

A federal judge allowed for the continuation of a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Friends of the Parks seeking to prevent George Lucas from building a $400-million museum on Chicago’s lakefront.

An amendment to the latest US federal budget has banned members of Congress, the President, Vice-President, and cabinet members from using taxpayer money to commission oil paintings of themselves.

Pablo Picasso's "Bust of a Woman" (1931) is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit. (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic)

Pablo Picasso’s “Bust of a Woman” (1931) is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit. (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)

The Gagosian Gallery will retain possession of Pablo Picasso’s “Bust of a Woman” (1931) until an ownership dispute with the the royal family of Qatar is resolved. Both parties claim to have purchased the sculpture from Picasso’s daughter, Maya Widmaier-Picasso. During the course of the legal dispute it was revealed that Gagosian had intended to buy the sculpture on behalf of Leon Black, the billionaire financier and collector.

The Louvre signed a historic deal with Iran regarding plans for cultural and scientific exchanges, training sessions, and archeological digs.

An online petition protesting the prospective privatization of the Victoria and Albert Museum‘s employment process has amassed over 43,000 signatures.

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen, Hong Kong’s last walled village, will be demolished to make way for a new development.

A national museum in Taiz, Yemen, was destroyed by Houthi shelling. According to a Lonely Planet entry on the institution, it was “not really a museum at all, but more the petrified palace of Imam Ahmed, this museum preserves the life and times of its previous and slightly peculiar owner.”

The Smithsonian Institution set a September 24 opening date for its National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Archaeologists from the Czech Institute of Egyptology found a 59-foot-long funerary boat from circa 2550 BCE in Abusir, near Cairo.

A number of Bradford-based politicians condemned the decision to transfer over 400,000 objects from the Royal Photographic Society collection at Bradford’s National Media Museum to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Simon Cooke, the leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, described the transfer as an “act of cultural rape.”

The building that has long housed the nonprofit art space Union Arts in Washington, DC, will be turned into a boutique hotel.

An ancient underground church adorned with colorful frescoes was discovered in the Turkish city of Nevşehir.

Art dealers in Santa Fe are protesting New Mexico’s proposed Senate Bill 226, which would impose a tax on artworks shipped out of the state.

Businessman and collector Ramin Salsali lost over $350,000 worth of art in the fire that consumed the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai in late December.

Shakespeare’s Globe is to stage a production of Hamlet at the Calais migrant camp known as the “Jungle.”

Billionaire art collector Hans Georg Näder has hired architect David Chipperfield to transform a 19th-century brewery in Berlin into an art museum, which is due to open in 2019.

Renzo Piano‘s proposal for a 72-storey London skyscraper was withdrawn by Westminster City Council following protests by a number of leading architects and conservation groups.

The so-called Rail Mail under London will open to the public next year. (photo by Matt Brown/Flickr)

The so-called Rail Mail under London will open to the public next year. (photo by Matt Brown/Flickr)

A one-kilometer-long underground railway in London that was used by the Royal Mail up until 2003 will open to the public in the spring of 2017.

The Lower East Side gallery On Stellar Rays will expand into the ground floor and basement of the building at the corner of Rivington Street and the Bowery whose second floor it currently occupies.

Publishing house Badlands Unlimited opened a “one-of-a-kind retail outlet” on the Lower East Side named Y.oung P.ublisher 99¢ & Up.

Starbucks started selling contemporary art at its Chelsea branch in New York.

The world’s oldest remains of tea were discovered in the tomb of Liu Qi (188–141 BCE), the fourth Han dynasty emperor, by a team of British and Chinese researchers.

TEFAF, the Dutch art fair that takes place every March in Maastricht, will expand to New York City with fairs in October and May.

A new art space named ALT opened in Istanbul’s Bomontiada cultural complex.


Rembrandt's "Portrait of Marten Soolmans" and "Portrait of Oopjen Coppit" were jointly acquired by the Louvre and Rijksmuseum. (images via Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons)

Rembrandt’s “Portrait of Marten Soolmans” and “Portrait of Oopjen Coppit” were jointly acquired by the Louvre and Rijksmuseum. (images via Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons)

The Louvre, Rijksmuseum, and Christie’s finalized the terms of a €160-million deal (~$179 million) for the two museums to jointly acquire Rembrandt’s portraits of Maerten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit.

Columbia University received a $13-million gift from the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, which will be used to establish a Japanese art center and an East Asian Buddhist art history professorship.

The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation donated $1 million to RxArt, a non-profit dedicated to the installation of art at healthcare facilities.

The University of Toronto Scarborough acquired a collection of 10,000 Chinese restaurant menus and related objects. Pieces from the collection were featured in the documentary The Search for General Tso.

Auguste Rodin‘s bronze sculpture “Iris, Messenger of the Gods” (ca. 1890–91), which once belonged to actor and painter Sylvester Stallone, sold at Sotheby’s in London £11,573,000 ($16,662,805), setting a new auction record for the French sculptor.


David Attenborough inaugurated the Attenborough Arts Centre’s £1.5 million (~$2.2 million) gallery extension at the University of Leicester.

The California African American Museum hired Studio Museum in Harlem curator Naima Keith to be its new deputy director.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) promoted two staff members and hired a new one: Jennifer Thompson will now head the museum’s department of European paintings; Alexandra Kirtley has been made a full curator of American decorative arts (she was previously an associate curator); and Jessica Todd Smith, currently the chief curator of American art at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, will be the PMA’s new curator of American art and manager of its Center for American Art.

New York Arbor, a new-artist run center in Rockaway, Queens, will open its inaugural show on March 18.

Katherine S. Howe, the founding director of Rienzi, will retire at the end of June.

Laura Paul was appointed interim director of the Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts.

The Walters Art Museum announced two staff promotions: Amanda Kodeck was appointed director of education and public programs, and Julie Lauffenburger was appointed director of conservation and technical research.

The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami hired two new staff members: Gean Moreno, who will serve as curator of programs, and Stephanie Seidel, who will be assistant curator.

Katharine Martinez, the director of Tuscon’s Center for Creative Photography, retired.

Benjamin Millepied will step down as the director of the Paris Opera Ballet on July 15 after less than two years on the job.


Zanele Muholi, “Zanele Muholi, Vredehoek, Cape Town, 2011” (2011), gelatin silver photograph, 34 x 24 in (86.5 x 60.5 cm) (© Zanele Muholi, courtesy Stevenson Cape Town / Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York) (click to enlarge)

Zanele Muholi, “Zanele Muholi, Vredehoek, Cape Town, 2011” (2011), gelatin silver photograph, 34 x 24 in (86.5 x 60.5 cm) (© Zanele Muholi, courtesy Stevenson Cape Town / Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York)

David Bailey, Zanele Muholi, and Walid Raad were among the recipients of the International Center of Photography’s 2016 Infinity Awards.

Emma Hart won the sixth annual Max Mara Art Prize for Women.

Philippe Parreno was awarded the Tate Modern’s 2016 Hyundai Commission.

Lewis Hazelwood-Horner was awarded the 2016 Columbia Threadneedle Prize for figurative art for his oil painting of an umbrella factory.

Rasel Chowdhury won the Dhaka Art Summit’s Samdani Art Award.

Apple received the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Chairman’s Award for its sensitive restoration and adaptive reuse of historic buildings when turning them into Apple Stores.

Zaha Hadid was awarded a gold medal for architecture from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Lauren Davis Fisher, Kenyatta Hinkle, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Nick Kramer, Nevine Mahmoud, Lee Relvas, Daniel R. Small, and Marisa Takal were awarded the Rema Hort Mann Foundation‘s Los Angeles Emerging Artist Grants. Takal also won the Foundation’s Stanley Hollander Award.

The California Association of Museums rewarded the Hammer Museum‘s education programs with a Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education.


Howard Koslow's series of Gulf Coast Lighthouse stamps, first issued by the US Postal Service in 2009 (via

Howard Koslow’s series of Gulf Coast Lighthouse stamps, first issued by the US Postal Service in 2009 (via (click to enlarge)

Joe Alaskey (1952–2016), voice artist. Performed the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat, and other beloved Looney Tunes characters.

Yvonne Chouteau (1929–2016), Native American dancer. Former principal dancer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

Arnold Greenberg (1932–2016), co-owner of the Complete Traveller bookstore, New York City.

Intizar Hussain (1923–2016), writer and novelist shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013.

Yoshiko Kakudo (1933–2016), curator emeritus of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.

Howard Koslow (1924–2016), painter and illustrator. Designed stamps for the United States Postal Service.

Murray Louis (1926–2016), dancer and choreographer.

June Mattingly (1932–2016), gallerist and art patron.

José Talavera (unconfirmed–2016), former gallery attendant at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

Murray Tinkelman (1933–2016), illustrator and Norman Rockwell Museum trustee.

Jenny Wormald (1942–2015), historian.

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Tiernan Morgan

Tiernan Morgan is the former producer of Hyperallergic. His articles have examined New York’s 1980s art scene and artist resale royalties. He also collaborates with artist and regular Hyperallergic contributor...