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Art Movements

This week in art news: Iran’s National Museum opened an exhibition of works from the Louvre, activists planted satirical merchandise in the American Museum of Natural History, and the MFA Boston revised its wall labels to address sexual abuse allegations leveled against Egon Schiele.

Rembrandt van Rijn, portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (1634), joint acquisition by the Dutch State and the French Republic, collection Rijksmuseum/collection Musée du Louvre, 2016 (photo by David van Dam)

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 at Tehran: Treasures from France’s national collections opened at Iran’s National Museum, the first major exhibition by a western museum in the country’s history. The show is the culmination of a cultural exchange agreement ratified between France and Iran in January 2016.

The Clean Money Project planted satirical merchandise inside the American Museum of Natural History’s store. The group is calling on the museum to remove billionaire Rebekah Mercer from its board of trustees. The Mercer Family Foundation has funded organizations rejecting the scientific consensus around fossil fuel-driven climate change.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, produced new wall labels detailing the sexual abuse allegations leveled against Egon Schiele for its exhibition Klimt and Schiele: Drawn.

BAE Systems withdrew its sponsorship of the Great Exhibition of the North days after a number of artists pledged to withdraw from the festival in protest. Over 2,300 people signed an online petition calling on the exhibition’s organizers to deny sponsorship from the British defense, security, and aerospace company. BAE Systems has come under increasing scrutiny for providing arms to Saudi-Arabia and has long been the subject of war profiteering and fraud allegations.

Rembrandt’s pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (1634) went on display at the Rijksmuseum’s High Society exhibition following a major restoration. The paintings were jointly purchased by the Dutch and French governments from the Rothschild family in 2016 for €160 million (~$197 million).

The US arts and culture sector contributed $763.6 billion to the nation’s economy in 2015 — more than the entire GDP of Switzerland — according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Emmanuel Macron appointed author and economist Felwine Sarr and art historian Bénédicte Savoy to investigate the repatriation of African artifacts held in French museums.

The Cover of Mr Chow: 50 Years, featuring Keith Haring’s 1986 portrait of the eponymous restaurateur (via Prestel)

Prestel published Mr Chow: 50 Years, an illustrated memoir by restaurateur and art collector Michael Chow. The book features work by Mr. Chow regulars, including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Ed Ruscha, and Keith Haring.

Raymond Pettibon was arrested for violating a restraining order against his wife, Aida Ruilova.

Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Alex Jones’s conspiracy theory website InfoWars. The site is currently selling a poster featuring Pepe alongside Donald Trump, Milo Yiannopoulos, Roger Stone, Matt Drudge, Kellyanne Conway, and Jones himself.

Dario Franceschini, Italy’s minister of cultural heritage, lost his parliamentary seat to Maura Tomasi of the center-right Eurosceptic Northern League.

A judge authorized the federal government to seize Martin Shkreli’s assets, including his unique copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin — for which the former hedge fund manager reportedly paid around $2 million — a Picasso painting, and a copy of Lil Wayne’s album Tha Carter V. Shkreli, often referred to in the press as “Pharma Bro” and “the most hated man in America,” is best known for hiking the price of Daraprim by 5,000% overnight.

The French High Court annulled the conviction of Pierre and Danielle Le Guennec who were found guilty of possessing 271 works stolen from Pablo Picasso’s estate. A new trial has yet to be scheduled.

Max Beckmann’s “Eisgang” (1923) will remain part of the Städel Museum’s collection following a “goodwill agreement” between the Frankfurt museum and the heirs of the painting’s original owner, Fritz Neuberger. As part of the agreement, a plaque will be displayed detailing the deportation and murder of Neuberger and his wife Hedwig by the Nazis.

A Claude Monet painting that belonged to collector Kōjirō Matsukata (1865–1950) was returned to Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art after it was found “rolled up in the corner” at one of the Louvre Museum’s storage facilities.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled” (1982) (© 2017 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS)

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled” (1982) will go on display at the Seattle Art Museum on March 21 — the second stop of the painting’s world tour (the painting is on view at the Brooklyn Museum until Sunday). Japanese billionaire  Yusaku Maezawa purchased the work at Sotheby’s last year for $110.5 million, a record price for a work by an American artist.

The San Francisco Arts Commission voted to remove “Early Days,” a bronze sculpture of a fallen Native American looking up at a missionary and a vaquero (cowboy). The sculpture is part of a larger monument created by Frank Happersberger and dedicated on November 29, 1894.

Preservation Chicago announced its seven most endangered sites of 2018.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver launched the “Octopus Initiative,” an art lending program for residents of Metro Denver. Twenty local artists will be commissioned to create work for the program’s launch.

Visitor attendance to London’s National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery fell last year by 17% and 35% respectively, a decline attributed to a lack of blockbuster exhibitions by the Art Newspaper‘s Martin Bailey.

A replica of the Venus de Milo was outfitted with 3D printed prosthetic limbs as part of a campaign by Handicap International. The organization also outfitted sculptures in the Tuileries Garden and throughout Paris.

LEGO announced that its botanical toy sets (which comprise “1-2% of the total amount of plastic elements produced by the LEGO Group”) will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane.

An unknown person/persons yarn-bombed a toilet at the Guggenheim Museum in an apparent tribute to Maurizio Cattelan’s gold toilet, “America,” (2016).

Transactions

Nancy Holt, “Sun Tunnels” (1973-76), Great Basin Desert, Utah. © Holt-Smithson Foundation/Licensed by VAGA/NY. Photo: ZCZ Films/James Fox (courtesy Holt-Smithson Foundation)

The Dia Art Foundation acquired Nancy Holt’s “Sun Tunnels” (1973–76) from the recently formed Holt-Smithson Foundation.

A painting of an Italian Mastiff recently attributed to Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (aka Guercino) was sold at Cheffins auction house for £570,000.

The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) acquired Childe Hassam’s “Bleak House, Broadstairs” (1890).

The Mennello Museum of American Art acquired 14 paintings and 5 sculptures from its founder, Michael A. Mennello. The gift includes works by John Sloan, George Wesley Bellows, George Luks, John White Alexander, Louis Ritman, Robert Henri, Josephine Hopper, Deborah Butterfield, and Gaston Lachaise.

London’s National Portrait Gallery acquired a selection of photographs of renowned English footballer Bobby Moore.

A 19th century doll created by Antoine Edmund Rochard was sold at Theriault’s for $333,500, a record for an antique doll.

John Williams bequeathed his complete library of concert music, sketchbooks, and film scores to the Juilliard School.

The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art plans to deaccession around 450 works.

Creative Capital received a $150,000 grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to fund weekend artist workshops.

Erik Nitsche’s poster “General Dynamics / Hydrodynamics” (1955) (part of the Atoms for Peace series) was sold at Swann Auction Galleries for $5,500, a record for the work.

Erik Nitsche, “General Dynamics / Hydrodynamics” (1955) (part of the Atoms for Peace series), poster, 50 x 35 1/2 in (courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Transitions

Andrew L. Schoelkopf was appointed president of the Art Dealers Association of America.

Cheryl Henson was appointed to the Museum of the Moving Image’s board of trustees.

Jennie Ash was appointed executive editor of Art League Houston.

Cristiana Perrella was appointed director of the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, Italy.

Pati Hertling was appointed deputy director of Performance Space New York.

Louise Lippincott will step down as the curator of fine arts at the Carnegie Museum of Art on July 1.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art appointed Michael Gallagher as deputy director for conservation and Sherman Fairchild as chairman of paintings conservation.

The Toledo Museum of Art promoted Halona Norton-Westbrook to director of curatorial affairs, and Andrea Gardner to director of collections.

Lili Chopra was appointed executive director, cultural programs and grants & services of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council [via email announcement].

Hans Ulrich Obrist was appointed The Shed’s senior program advisor.

Sotheby’s appointed Lisa Chow as deputy chairman, jewelery, Asia and Jessica Wyndham as head of department, jewelery, Asia.

The Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette, a new contemporary art space created by the Lafayette retail chain, will open in Paris tomorrow.

The Arkansas Arts Center detailed its plans for an estimated $70 million renovation.

Regina Rex closed its gallery on the Lower East Side.

The Swiss Institute will open its new building in the East Village on June 21.

NME magazine ceased print publication.

Jean-Marie Appriou, Lucas Blalock, Shara Hughes, and Magali Reus are now represented by Galerie Eva Presenhuber.

Lucas Blalock, “Green Blanket, Red Palms, Yellow Glory” (2016–17), archival inkjet print, 49 5/8 x 61 3/8 in (courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber)

Accolades

Oscar Muñoz was awarded the 2018 Hasselblad Award in Photography.

Architect, urban planner, and educator Balkrishna Doshi was awarded the 2018 Pritzker Prize.

John A. Farrell was awarded the New-York Historical Society’s annual Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize in American History for Richard Nixon: The Life.

Industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa and landscape designer Edwina von Gal were named the recipients of the 2018 Isamu Noguchi Award.

Hide & Seek” by Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers of Dream The Combine, in collaboration with Clayton Binkley of ARUP, was named the winner of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program.

Ward Sutton was awarded the 2018 Herblock Prize.

Opportunities

MTA Arts & Design launched an open call for a new Percent for Art project to be installed at 145 Street station in New York. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 16.

Obituaries

The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto (via Flickr/Steve Harris)

Barbara Alston (1943–2018), singer and founder member of the Crystals.

Kalmon Aron (1924–2018), artist and Holocaust survivor.

Sonja Bata (1926–2018), collector. Founder of the Bata Shoe Museum.

Trevor Baylis (1937–2018), inventor. Best known as the inventor of the wind-up radio.

Charles C. Bergman (1933–2018), chairman and CEO of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

Romano Cagnoni (1935–2018), photographer.

Gillo Dorfles (1910–2018), artist. philosopher, and critic.

Boyd Jarvis (1958–2018), musician and producer.

Sean Lavery (1956–2018), dancer.

Barbara Lekberg (1925–2018), sculptor.

Jesús López-Cobos (1940–2018), conductor.

James Luna (1950–2018), artist.

Dorka Nieradzik (1949–2018), makeup, hair, and visual effects designer.

Keith L. Sachs (1945–2018), collector and philanthropist. Trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Russ Solomon (1925–2018), founder of Tower Records.

Richard Weinstein (1932–2018), architect.

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