Art Movements

This week in art news: artists responded to the election of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin unveiled a giant statue of Vladimir the Great, and the Royal Ontario Museum apologized for the “colonial, racist and Eurocentric premises” of a 1989 exhibition.

(via @davidshrigley/Instagram)

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

Scores of artists — including Wangechi Mutu, David Shrigley, Hank Willis Thomas, Tauba Auerbach, and Molly Crabapple — responded to the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

Vladimir Putin unveiled a 55-foot-tall monument to Vladimir the Great outside the Kremlin in Moscow. The statue has been criticized for its political implications since Vladimir is considered the spiritual founder of both Russia and Ukraine. The monument has also been interpreted as a “metaphor” for Putin himself.

The Royal Ontario Museum issued an apology for the “colonial, racist and Eurocentric premises” of its 1989 exhibition Into the Heart of Africa. The apology was made at a reconciliation event with the Coalition for the Truth about Africa.

In the aftermath of the US election, the Brooklyn Museum is offering free admission all weekend (November 12 and 13) “as people search for a sense of national unity.”

The city of Orlando announced that it will purchase the Pulse Nightclub in order to turn it into a memorial. Forty-nine people were killed by a gunman at the gay club on June 12 — the deadliest mass shooting in US history. “It has great significance not just for the LGBTQ community and for the Hispanic community but for all of us that live and love Orlando” stated Buddy Dyer, the mayor of Orlando. “We don’t know exactly what type of memorial we want to create there … but we do know that we want to maintain the site for a period of time — 12 to 18 months — so that people from around the country and world who want to visit the site can do so.”

Authorities are investigating an arson attack on the entrance of the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum in New Orleans. The words “Dismantle White Supremacy” were spray painted on the Robert E. Lee Monument down the street from the museum.

Leonardo da Vinci, “St. John the Baptist” (c. 1513-16), oil on walnut wood, 27.16 x 22.44 in (via Wikipedia)

Leonardo da Vinci’s “St. John the Baptist” (c. 1513-1516) was redisplayed at the Louvre following a nine-month restoration.

Thousands of protestors marched against widespread cuts to cultural services in London. According to the Guardian, 340 libraries nationwide have been closed since the government began cutting council funding in 2010.

The Shanghai Cultural Bureau censored Sun Xun‘s woodcut animation, “Some Actions Which Haven’t Been Defined Yet In The Revolution” (2011), from an exhibition at the Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai. According to the Art Newspaper, a sign was placed beside the screen for the film which read: “The work is unable to be shown as part of the exhibition due to non-technical reasons.”

A painting found in storage at the Holburne Museum in Bath was attributed to Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

Austrian authorities arrested six suspects in connection with a criminal group attempting to sell fake paintings by Pablo Picasso.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is returning a leaf from an illuminated manuscript after Italian authorities proved that it was torn out of a codex in the collection of the Museum of Santa Verdiana in Castelfiorentino.

The Victoria & Albert Museum announced that over 1.5 million people have attended its traveling David Bowie exhibition, making it the most visited show in the institution’s history.

The skeleton of Paul Gauguin‘s father was discovered at Fuerte Bulnes, a remote fortress in Chile.


Rembrandt van Rijn, “Cornelis Claesz Anslo, Preacher” (1641), etching and drypoint (courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Rembrandt’s 1641 etching of Cornelis Claesz Anslo was sold at Swann Auction Galleries for $60,000, an auction record for the print.

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia received a $10.5-million donation from the Canadian government, the Doggone Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Sotheby’s reported a net loss of $54.5 million for its third quarter.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art acquired over 200 paintings and 500 prints from the estate of David Shapiro — the largest gift in the museum’s history.

The Cy Twombly Foundation donated five bronze sculptures to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Youngjune Hahm, the chief curator of the Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul, has said that he will resign following accusations of sexual harassment from a number of young women.

Gordon Knox was appointed president of the San Francisco Art Institute [via email announcement].

Aaron Seeto was appointed director of Indonesia’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara.

Brian Lee Whisenhunt was appointed executive director of the Rockwell Museum.

Sara Arrhenius was appointed vice chancellor of the Royal Institute of Art in Sweden.

Eduardo Rabassa was appointed commissioner of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery [via email announcement].

The Kirkland Museum in Denver was relocated “very slowly” with the use of carrier beams, steel cables, and eight sets of articulating wheels.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) announced a $24-million renovation project to create a 22,000-square-foot conservation center.

The National Park service approved a proposal to built a 20,000-square-foot museum on Liberty Island, New York.

Herzog & de Meuron won the competition to design a new £108-million (~$135 million) campus for the Royal College of Art in London.

Big Medium launched the Tito’s Prize, a new $15,000 award for an Austin-based artist.

New York’s Bortolami gallery will relocate to to 39 Walker Street in Tribeca next year.


(Left) Jiha Moon, “Anang” (2015), earthenware, underglaze, glaze, wire, synthetic hair, plastic barrette, 14.5 x 12 x 4.5 in and (Right) Cosmo Whyte, “Stranger than the Village” (2015), 35 x 26 in (courtesy Artadia)

Jiha Moon and Cosmo Whyte were announced the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Artadia Award.

The Norton Museum of Art announced Svenja Deininger as its 2017 Recognition of Art by Women artist [via email announcement].

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation announced the recipients of its 2016 Awards for Artists.


Rosamond Bernier (1916–2016), renowned lecturer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Raoul Coutard (1924–2016), cinematographer.

Yaffa Eliach (1937–2016), historian. Founder of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn.

Arnold Mesches (1923–2016), painter. Put under surveillance by the FBI for alleged communist sympathies.

Jean-Jacques Perrey (1929–2016), electronic music pioneer.

Pinise Saul (1944–2016), jazz singer and anti-apartheid activist.

Kay Starr (1922–2016), jazz and pop singer.

Giles Waterfield (1949–2016), art historian, curator, and novelist. Former director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

James Stephanoff, “Viewing at Dulwich Picture Gallery” (c. 1830), watercolor (via Wikipedia)
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