The Pepsi Cola sign, Long Island City, New York (2009) (via Flickr/Roger Braunstein) (click to enlarge)

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

The Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City was given landmark status. The four-stories-tall sign, which was reconstructed in 1993 following extensive storm damage, had been under consideration by the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission for 28 years.

The US Senate passed the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act. The bill, which has yet to be signed into law by President Obama, would ban the import of “any archaeological or ethnological material of Syria.”

The final resting place of the Loch Ness Monster model built for Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) was discovered by an underwater robot. The discovery was made during a survey of Loch Ness led by Kongsberg Maritime Ltd with the support of the Loch Ness Project and VisitScotland. The original model, which was built by special effects artist Wally Veevers, sank to the bottom of the Loch after Wilder requested that its buoyant humps be removed.

Sonar image of Wally Veevers’ monster model at the bottom of Loch Ness (courtesy Kongsberg Maritime Ltd) (click to enlarge)

The Ukrainian state security service recovered four of the 24 paintings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries that were stolen from the Westfries Museum in 2005. According to the BBC, reports indicate that the works were recovered from Ukrainian ultra-nationalists.

The Belgian government decided to eliminate the federal police unit committed to investigating the illegal trafficking of cultural property.
Protestors gathered outside Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art last weekend in opposition to a reported takeover of the museum’s collection by the Roudaki Foundation.

David Nahmad stated that the offshore entity International Art Center SA (IAC) was established by the Nahmad family “for discretion purposes.” “Everybody in the art world knows we buy under IAC,” the collector told The Wall Street Journal. The Nahmad family’s control of the company, which is the legal owner of an Amedeo Modigliani painting suspected of being Nazi loot, came to light as part of an investigation of the so-called Panama Papers.

A sign outside the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum (2015) (via Wikipedia) (click to enlarge)

The Obama administration designated the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum as the United States’ first national monument to women’s history. The house served as the headquarters for the National Woman’s Party until the group became an educational organization in 1997.

The Biblioteca Nacional in Argentina laid off 240 employees. María Pia López, the ex-director of the Museum of Books and Language at the National Library, told the Guardian that police surrounded the library in order to prevent laid off workers from protesting.

Oscar Murrillo described his decision to destroy his British passport during a recent flight to Sydney as a response to Western privilege. “Destroying my passport was a way of challenging the conditions in which I have the privilege of moving through the world, as a citizen,” Murillo told The New York Times. The artist was subsequently deported to Singapore following a two-day detention in Sydney.


Luca Signorelli, “Man on a Ladder” (1504–05), oil on wood, 88.3 × 52 cm (© The National Gallery, London) (click to enlarge)

Luca Signorelli’s “Man on a Ladder” was allocated to London’s National Gallery under the UK’s Acceptance-in-Lieu scheme. The work is one of six known fragments of an altarpiece commissioned in 1504 for the church of Sant’Agostino in Matelica, central Italy.

Sweden’s Nationalmuseum acquired a red chalk study of Hercules by Guercino.

The Dallas Museum of Art acquired works by Michelle Grabner, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Merlin James, and Lina Puerta.

Ontario committed CAD 27 million (~USD 21 million) toward the rebuilding of OCAD University‘s downtown Toronto campus.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $840,000 grant to Skidmore College’s Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. The grant will fund an initiative to “explore issues of identity and race, and to create new research resources and enhance public engagement with its collection.” The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and Skidmore College provided $360,000 in matching funds.

Donald Trump donated $100,000 to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.


Elmgreen & Dragset, “Van Gogh’s Ear” (2016), steel fiberglass, stainless steel and lights, 354 x 197 x 95 inches (photo by Jason Wyche, courtesy Public Art Fund, NY) (click to enlarge)

Artists Elmgreen & Dragset were appointed to curate the 15th Istanbul Biennial.

James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s music director for 40 years, will retire next month.

Jed Bernstein will step down as president of Lincoln Center next week.

Justin Garrett Moore was named as the new executive director of New York City’s Public Design Commission.

Okwui Enwezor will serve as the director of the Haus der Kunst for another five years.

Katie Ziglar was appointed director of the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dolla Merrillees was appointed director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Patricia Cariño was appointed curator and director of public programs at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.

Sandra Phillips, SFMOMA’s curator of photography, will retire on June 30.

Emma Ridgway was appointed head of programs at Modern Art Oxford.

Philanthropist Yana Peel was appointed chief executive of the Serpentine Galleries in London.

Quincy Houghton was appointed associate director for exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hannah Klemm was appointed assistant curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Singapore branch of the Pinacothèque de Paris closed down.

The Philadelphia Antiques and Art Show allowed dealers to exhibit works of contemporary art for the first time.

The first Antarctic Biennale is expected to launch next spring.


Carlos Quevedo Rojas was awarded a preservation prize by Architizer for his controversial restoration of Matrera castle in southern Spain.

Theaster Gates was awarded the 2017 Kurt Schwitters Prize.

Robert Storr was awarded the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers announced its 18th class of Fellows.


Malick Sidibé, “Self-Portrait” (1956), gelatin silver print in original frame of reverse-painted glass, tape, cardboard (courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art) (click to enlarge)

Julie Becker (1972–2016), artist.

Lenny “The Beard” Brenner (unconfirmed–2016), former art director of MAD magazine.

Tony Conrad (1940–2016), artist, filmmaker, and composer.

Andrew Derbyshire (1923–2016), architect.

William Hamilton (1939–2016), cartoonist for The New Yorker.

Henry Hobhouse (1924–2016), historian. Best known for Seeds of Change: Five Plants that Transformed Mankind (1985).

Janet Hodgson (1960–2016), artist.

Vladimir Kagan (1927–2016), designer.

Vint Lawrence (1939–2016), CIA officer and caricaturist.

Alan Loveday (1928–2016), violinist.

Getatchew Mekurya (1935–2016), jazz saxophonist.

William L. O’Neill (1935–2016), historian.

Joe Patten (1927–2016), technical director and resident of Atlanta’s Fox Theater.

Malick Sidibé (1935–2016), photographer.

Arnold Wesker (1932–2016), playwright.

Peter Williams (1937–2016), musicologist and keyboard player. J.S. Bach scholar.

Huang Zhuan (1958–2016), art historian and critic.

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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...