Art Movements

This week in art news: two new studies suggested that China’s Terracotta Warriors were inspired by Ancient Greek sculpture, England scrapped its only remaining Art History A-level exam, and researchers found a long-lost film by Georges Méliès.

Zoe Leonard, “I want a president” (1992), a High Line commission (courtesy Friends of the High Line, photo by Timothy Schenck)

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

New findings suggest that China’s Terracotta Warriors may have been directly inspired by Ancient Greek sculpture.

Researchers at the Czech national film archives discovered Match de Prestidigitation (“Conjuring Contest”) (1904), a long-lost film by Georges Méliès.

Art History will no longer be available as an A-level subject in England following changes made by the former education secretary Michael Gove. According to the Guardian, only 839 secondary students sat the AQA exam board’s exam last Summer. Caroline Osborne, a teacher and a founder trustee of the Art History In Schools campaign group, described the decision as “completely crazy.”

A monumental edition of Zoe Leonard‘s “I want a President” was installed on the High Line. Leonard created the text piece, which starts with the sentence “I want a dyke for president,” during Eileen Myles’s campaign as an independent presidential candidate in 1992.

A French-Egyptian citizen returned a golden mummy mask to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, “Saint Justa” (ca 1665), oil on canvas, Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas, Algur H. Meadows Collection (photo by Michael Bodycomb)

The Meadows Museum cleared two paintings by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682) of Nazi-era provenance uncertainties following a museum-led investigation.

The Guardian published an open letter signed by a number of artists, academics, and activists, protesting Statoil‘s sponsorship of an interactive children’s gallery at London’s Science Museum.

Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum, described Britain’s view of its own history as “dangerous and regrettable” at the opening of  The British View: Germany – Memories of a Nation at the Martin-Gropius Bau.

Sweden’s Nationalmuseum uploaded 3,000 high resolution images to Wikipedia Commons.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts launched digital archive dedicated to its Fabergé and Russian decorative arts collection.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announced the first posthumous retrospective of the artist’s work. The exhibition will open at Tate Modern on December 1 and will later travel to the Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Hotelier Vikram Chatwal allegedly attacked dog walker Isabell Suquilanda and two russell terriers using a lighter and an aerosol can. The two terriers, named Molly and Finn, belong to British gallerist Sean Kelly.


Thomas Hart Benton, “Study for ‘Instruments of Power’ & ‘Deep South'” (ca 1930), oil on Masonite, 14 x 18 in, gift of AXA Equitable, 2016, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (© T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank, Trustee/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY)

The insurance company AXA donated 29 drawings and studies related to Thomas Hart Benton’s mural “America Today” (1930–31) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The company donated the mural to the museum in 2012.

Keith L. and Katherine Sachs donated $15 million toward the development of arts programs at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture received a $149,736 grant toward the digitization of its student work collection.

The original artwork for George Lepape’s 1927 Vogue magazine cover was sold at Swann Auction Galleries for $52,500 — a record for the artist.

Hallam Chow donated five artworks to the M+ museum in Hong Kong. The gift is comprised of works by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, L.N. Tallur, Sopheap Pich, Jompet Kuswidananto, and Eko Nugroho.

Art dealer Heiner Bastian and his family donated their home to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The house, which is designed by architect David Chipperfield, will be used for educational purposes.

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, acquired Casper Netscher’s “A Woman Feeding a Parrot with a Page” (1666).

Caspar Netscher, “A Young Woman Feeding a Parrot” (1666), oil on panel, 18 x 14 1/4 in, National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund, 2016


Jeffrey Uslip left his role as deputy director of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in order to accept “a new position at another institution.” Uslip was widely criticized for his handling of an artist talk with Kelley Walker, an event that sparked a boycott of the museum.

Joseph W. Polisi will step down as president of New York’s Juilliard School in June 2018.

Susan Lubowsky Talbott was appointed executive director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum [via email announcement].

Dexter Wimberly was appointed executive director of Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art.

Abraham Thomas was appointed curator-in-charge at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery.

Lehti Keelmann was appointed assistant curator of Western art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Gaurav Bhatia was appointed managing director of Sotheby’s India.

Denis Gardarin was appointed senior director of Paul Kasmin Gallery. Artists Mathieu Mercier and Naama Tsabar, both of whom were previously represented by Gardarin, joined the gallery’s roster.

Momenta Art closed its final exhibition.

The Mike Weiss Gallery permanently closed.

London’s tuition free art school, Open School East, will relocate to Margate next year.

The ArtBahrain fair changed its name to Art Bahrain Across Borders (or Art BAB).

Adrian Rosenfeld, the former director of the Matthew Marks Gallery, will open a gallery in San Francisco next year.

New York’s JTT gallery will relocate to 191 Chrystie Street next month.

The Musée Carnavalet will be closed untill late 2019/early 2020 for a€43m restoration.

Musée Carnavalet, Paris (via Flickr/Oliver Mallich)


Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Hala Wardé won the competition to design the Beirut Museum of Art.

Lola Gonzalez was awarded the 2016/17 Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art.

The two ArtPrize Grand Prizes were awarded to James Mellick and Stacey Kirby.


Portrait of Wolfgang Suschitzky by Gerard Malanga (2011) (via Wikipedia)

Peter Allen (1920–2016), radio broadcaster for the Metropolitan Opera.

David Antin (1932–2016), poet, critic, and performance artist.

Dario Fo (1926–2016), playwright.

Joan Marie Johnson (1944–2016), founding member of the Dixie Cups.

Klaus Kertess (1940–2016), art dealer and curator.

Elizabeth F. Rohatyn (1930–2016), arts and education advocate. Former chairwoman of the New York Public Library.

Morton Silverstein (1929–2016), documentarian.

Wolfgang Suschitzky (1912–2016), photographer and cinematographer.

Bing Thom (1940–2016), architect.

Andrzej Wajda (1926–2016), film director.

Michiyo Yasuda (1939–2016), artist. Color designer for Studio Ghibli.

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