Anonymous, “Daoist deity: Marshal Xin of Thunder” (16th century), ink, color, and gold on silk, gift of Kathleen and William J. Cavanaugh (photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

A lawsuit between Simon de Pury and retired Sotheby’s executive Ruedi Staechelin revealed that Gauguin’s “Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?)” (1892) was sold in 2015 for $210 million rather than the widely reported figure of $300 million — laying waste to its claim as the most expensive painting in the world.

Art supply superstore Hobby Lobby forfeited over 3,000 Iraqi antiquities and agreed to pay a $3-million fine for the ill-gotten goods, which it smuggled into the US and intended to display at the forthcoming Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston will let visitors observe the restoration of a 12-foot-tall, hanging scroll portrait of mythological demon queller Marshal Xin. The work, which has been dated to China’s Ming dynasty, is thought to have been displayed at a county government temple.

Romanian artist Mihai Topescu has been working with fellow artists and volunteers to paint over 600 trees in the Dumbrava Forest with eco-friendly paint. The action seeks to highlight the ongoing issue of illegal logging in the country.

The China Netcasting Services Association announced new rules to prohibit portrayals of homosexuality online. The regulations demand that online platforms hire a minimum of three “professional censors” to remove videos of what the organization considers to be “abnormal” sexual activity.

The Museum of Fine Arts Bern cancelled its preview of works recovered from Cornelius Gurlitt’s collection due to customs complications.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, San Diego (via Wikipedia)

The Getty Conservation Institute completed its four-year conservation of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The Institute’s campus was designed by architect Louis Kahn.

According to the New York Times, the Metropolitan Museum of Art made an agreement to create a new space for Leonard A. Lauder’s 2013 gift of Cubist artworks by 2025.

Stephen Skinner, a scholar of medieval manuscripts, concluded that the author of the Voynich manuscript was likely a Jewish physician based in northern Italy.

The Dallas Museum of Art’s México 1900–1950 show became its second most attended exhibition in the last five years. According to the museum, over half of the show’s viewers were first-time museum visitors.

The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania will present the first-ever US retrospective of artist and designer Nathalie Du Pasquier, BIG OBJECTS NOT ALWAYS SILENT, in September.

A proposal for a statue of Margaret Thatcher in Parliament Square was rejected by the government, Royal Parks, and local residents. According to the Guardian, Thatcher’s daughter, Carol, wrote a letter to the Public Memorials Appeal last year objecting to the absence of a handbag in the design.

Austin’s Cultural Arts Division launched the Art Space Assistance Program to assist arts organizations struggling with rent rises.


J.M.W. Turner, “Ehrenbreitstein” (1835), oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 48 1/2 in (photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

J.M.W. Turner’s “Ehrenbreitstein” (also known as “The Bright Stone of Honour and the Tomb of Marceau, from Byron’s Childe Harold”) (1835) was sold at Sotheby’s for just under $24 million.

The Museum of London received a £10 million donation from the Goldsmiths’ Company.

The RISD Museum acquired works by Derrick Adams and Andrea Zittel [via email announcement].

The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art acquired two new works by Ai Weiwei.

The Blanton Museum of Art acquired Vincent Valdez’s “The City I” and “The City II.”

The New Orleans Museum of Art acquired 10 works of art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, including works by Thornton Dial, Ronald Lockett, Joe Minter, Mary Proctor and the Quilters of Gee’s Bend.

Thornton Dial, “Shack Town” (2000), 92 x 76 x 70 in (© Estate of Thornton Dial, photo by Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio)


Judith Hayner will retire as executive director of the Muskegon Museum of Art later in the fall.

Isaac Applbaum was appointed to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s board of trustees.

Lisa Marei Schmidt was appointed director of the Brücke Museum.

Carol S. Ward was appointed executive director of the Morris Museum.

Beatrice von Bormann was appointed curator of art 1860-1960 at the Stedelijk Museum.

Rodrigo Valenzuela was appointed an assistant professor at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.

The Hyde Collection promoted three of its staff members: Colette Broestler, Kayla Ditlefsen, and Keri Dudek.

The Art Dealers Association of America added four new members: Andrew Kreps Gallery, Di Donna Galleries, Luxembourg & Dayan, and McClain Gallery.

Philadelphia’s Snyderman-Works gallery will permanently close in August.

Baltimore’s Platform Gallery will open its final exhibition later this month.

Annette Bening was appointed president of the competition jury for the upcoming Venice International Film Festival.

Sprüth Magers will reopen its refurbished London gallery at the end of September.


Olu Oguibe was awarded Documenta 14’s Arnold Bode Prize.

Matthias Bruggmann was awarded the 2017 Prix Elysée.

Guadalupe Rosales was appointed the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s first Instagram artist in residence.

The Art Fund named the Hepworth Wakefield art gallery as its 2017 Museum of the Year.

The New York Foundation for the Arts announced the recipients and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program.


Jose Luis Cuevas, “Siamesas” (via Wikipedia)

Bryan Avery (1944–2017), architect. Designer of the London Imax.

Estelle Berg (1940–2017), collector.

James Berry (1924–2017), poet.

Morton Cohen (1921–2017), scholar of Victorian literature.

Kelan Philip Cohran (1927–2017), musician and educator.

Jose Luis Cuevas (1934–2017), artist.

Jan Fontein (1927–2017), Asian art scholar and former director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Pierre Henry (1927–2017), composer. Pioneer of musique concrète.

Denys Johnson-Davies (1922–2017), Arabic translator.

Naseem Khan (1939–2017), cultural activist and journalist. Founder of the Minority Arts Advisory Service.

Barry Norman (1933–2017), film critic.

Heathcote Williams (1941–2017), poet, dramatist, and pamphleteer.

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Required Reading

This week, the Getty Museum is returning ancient terracottas to Italy, parsing an antisemitic mural at Documenta, an ancient gold find in Denmark, a new puritanism, slavery in early Christianity, and much more.

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...