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Art Movements

This week in art news: Benjamin Genocchio was ousted as executive director of the Armory Show after the New York Times investigated sexual harassment claims, a judge approved the Berkshire Museum’s sale of works from its collection, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated.

Louvre Abu Dhabi (photo © Roland Halbe)

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

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opens to the public tomorrow. The museum’s inaugural display will consist of 600 artworks, half of which have been lent by 13 partner museums in France. Part of a larger cultural development on Saadiyat Island (Arabic for “Happiness Island”), the museum’s construction has been mired in controversy, with the Guardian equating working conditions to “modern-day slavery.” A 2015 report by Human Rights Watch concluded that migrant laborers working on the Island’s Louvre and Guggenheim museum projects were living in squalid conditions, subjected to wage theft and underpayment, and routinely had their passports confiscated. A few months later, in June 2015, a 28-year-old Pakistani man was killed on the Louvre Abu Dhabi construction site.

Benjamin Genocchio was replaced as executive director of the Armory Show art fair after the New York Times reported allegations of sexual harassment and “unwelcome touching.” The claims date through Genocchio’s tenure at the Armory Show, Artnet, and Louise Blouin Media. According to the Times, several women corroborated a meeting that took place at Artnet in August 2016, during which over 20 female employees gathered to discuss complaints regarding sexual harassment and the treatment of women in the office. In response to the article, Artnet stated that it “will not comment on specific personnel matters, even when characterizations by others of such matters are inaccurate.” Louise Blouin told the Times that she was unaware of any allegations regarding Genocchio.

Artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara was arrested by Cuban police two hours before he was due to participate in a press conference regarding the #00Bienal Havana Biennial.

The Berkshire Museum’s controversial bid to deaccession works from its permanent collection — including two works donated directly by Norman Rockwell — will go ahead after a judge ruled that the plaintiffs who filed suit against the sale had failed to make a sufficiently compelling case. The first works from the museum’s collection will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on Monday, November 13.

Journalism professors at New York University are refusing to teach at the school’s Abu Dhabi campus after faculty member Mohammad Bazzi was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates.

Beatrix Ruf attributed her resignation as artistic director of the Stedelijk Museum to a “misunderstanding” in an interview with the New York Times. Ruf resigned amid reports that she was continuing to reap profits from her personal art consultancy business while serving as the museum’s director.

A federal district court jury in Brooklyn ruled that 5Pointz developer Jerry Wolkoff broke the law when he organized the overnight whitewashing of artists’ work at the former 5Pointz building in November 2013. Judge Frederick Block has yet to deliver a final verdict.

Sir James Guthrie, “Statesmen of World War I” (1924–30) (© National Portrait Gallery, London)

London’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled new galleries dedicated to its early 20th-century collection. Works on display include a stained glass self-portrait by Pauline Boty and Sir James Guthrie’s “Statesmen of World War I” (1924–30).

Disney reversed its decision to ban the Los Angeles Times from preview screenings after representatives from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the National Society of Film Critics condemned the studio’s actions. Disney implemented the ban after the paper investigated its business dealings with the city of Anaheim, California.

Artist Dread Scott and New Orleans arts organization Antenna launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a reenactment of the 1811 Louisiana slave rebellion.

Italian officials approved a plan to divert large cruise ships weighing over 96,ooo tons further away from Venice landmarks including St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and the Ducal Palace.

The Victoria & Albert Museum will display a three-story section of Robin Hood Gardens, the Brutalist council estate designed by Alison and Peter Smithson. The structure is currently being demolished to make way for a new development.

Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Sol Friedman House in Pleasantville, New York, went on sale with an asking price of $1.5 million.

The Science Museum of Minnesota’s website crashed shortly after it restocked a hoodie worn by one of the lead characters in the second season of Stranger Things.

Transactions

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, “Four Studies of Male Heads” (ca 1636), brown ink and brown wash on cream antique laid paper; the Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts (photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Maida and George S. Abrams donated 330 Dutch Golden Age drawings to the Harvard Art Museums.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art acquired 800 photographs for its permanent collection using a $10 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation.

The J. Paul Getty Trust received a $5 million gift from philanthropists John E. Bryson and Louise Henry Bryson to establish a fund supporting the work of the Getty Conservation Institute.

A pair of Chinese famille-rose decorated cups from the Yongzheng period sold at Sotheby’s for $2,535,478.

The National Library of Israel and the Russian State Library agreed to share ownership of the Gunzburg collection, one of the world’s most important collections of Hebrew texts. Thousands of books and manuscripts will be digitized with the support of the Peri Foundation.

The Yale School of Art received an anonymous donation of $750,000. The gift will be used to establish a new art and social justice initiative.

The Terra Foundation for American Art awarded $100,000 to the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University. The grant will be used to develop a program supporting education and arts access for Chicago public schools in low income neighborhoods.

The Williams College Museum of Art acquired works by Robert Seldem Duncanson, James Van Der Zee, Sam Gilliam, and Maren Hassinger, thanks to a monetary gift from Clarence Otis and his wife Jacqui Bradley.

Edward Hopper’s etching “The Lonely House” (1923) was sold at Swann Auction Galleries for $317,000, an auction record for an etching by the artist.

Edward Hopper, “The Lonely House” (1923), etching (courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Transitions

Earl “Rusty” Powell will retire as director of the National Gallery in early 2019.

Creative Capital appointed five new members to its board of directors: Jane Brown, Michelle Coffey, Hasan Elahi, Bill Foulkes, and Penny Lane.

Julie Sherborn was appointed chief executive of the Art Newspaper.

Maureen Bray was appointed executive director of the Art Dealers Association of America.

The Holt-Smithson Foundation was established to honor the legacies of artists Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Lisa Le Feuvre was appointed the Foundation’s first executive director.

Sebastian Smee was appointed art critic for the Washington Post.

The French American Museum Exchange Board of Directors and Members voted to add the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to its network.

The Museum of Arts and Design established the Burke Award, an annual $50,000 prize for a “professional artist under the age of forty-five working in glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood.”

Performance Space 122 will reopen in January after 6 years of renovation.

Accolades

3Arts awarded $330,000 in grants to almost 100 Chicago-based artists.

Opportunities

From tomorrow, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will accept entries for designs for a National Native American Veterans Memorial. The deadline for entries is 3pm EST on January 9, 2018.

Obituaries

Trevor Bell (photo by Joseph Clarke)

Nicole Atzbach (unconfirmed–2017), curator of the Meadows Museum.

Trevor Bell (1930–2017), artist. Associated with the St. Ives group.

Nancy Friday (1933–2017), writer. Best known for My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies (1973).

Tzipora Jochsberger (1920–2017), founder of the Kaufman Music Center (formally known as the Hebrew Arts School for Music and Dance).

Bruce Kaji (1926–2017), founding president of the Japanese American National Museum.

Sue Margolis (1955–2017), novelist and broadcaster.

Mel Rosenthal (1940–2017), documentary photographer.

Thomas Segal (unconfirmed–2017), art dealer.

Virginia Thoren (1920–2017), fashion photographer.

Joan Tisch (1927–2017), arts patron and philanthropist.

Geoff Tootill (1922–2017), computer engineer. Developed ‘Baby,’ the world’s first stored-program computer.

Amelia Toledo (1926–2017), artist.

Joseph Wright (1947–2017), cartoonist and illustrator.

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