Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art received a $5 million gift from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to digitize its archive of Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and women artists. “This extraordinary gift reinforces our work to add to our existing collections on underrepresented artists and enables us to share an ever more inclusive story of American art globally,” said Kate Haw, director of the Archives. The gift is among the largest the Archives has ever received. [via email announcement]
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Studio Museum in Harlem raised a record-breaking $3.9 million at its annual gala. The museum bestowed its 13th annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize to artist Diedrick Brackens. [via email announcement]
Harlem’s Cultural Performance Center at the Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park will be renamed the Robert Frederick Smith Center in recognition of a $1 million donation from Robert F. Smith, chairman of Carnegie Hall and the biggest donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. [New York Times]
The UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and its performing arts program, the Center for the Art of Performance, have acquired the Crest Theater on Westwood Boulevard in Lis Angeles. The landmark venue will be transformed into an off-campus performing arts space. [via email announcement]
A fire in the Dia Art Foundation’s museum in Beacon, New York led to the damage of a painting worth more than $1 million. The fire stemmed from a minimalist painting with electrical aspects by Mary Corse, which overheated. There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and employees and patrons were able to return inside after more than a half-hour. [Poughkeepsie Journal]
The Trump Tower board is seeking nearly $90,000 from the estate of Todd Brassner, an art collector who died in a 50th-floor fire on April 7. They are suing Brassner’s estate in the New York County Supreme Court for unpaid charges stemming from a lien on his apartment — according to their complaint, the collector defaulted on common charges (such as maintenance and utilities) in June 2015. [Washington Post]
Anish Kapoor‘s lawsuit against the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been transferred to Eastern Virginia, near the NRA’s headquarters, as part of the association’s attempt to have the case dismissed. Kapoor first sued the organization in March, after it featured video footage of his famous Chicago sculpture, Cloud Gate, in an advertisement. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea after sinking more than 2,400 years ago. The 75-foot long ship is believed to be from ancient Greece. A lack of oxygen a mile below the water’s surface has preserved the mast, rudders, and rowing benches all these millennia ago. [Guardian]
The Getty Conservation Institute has partnered with the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi to embark on a month-long conservation of earthen architecture in the World Heritage City of Al Ain. The project will train architects, engineers, conservators, and archaeologists to develop sustainable conservation methods. [via email announcement]
Clinton Hill‘s Community Board has greenlit the push to co-name a street in the neighborhood in honor of local legend, the late Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace. Hip-hop connoisseur and activist LeRoy McCarthy, most recently known for his guerrilla dedication to Aretha Franklin in NYC subways, has been advocating for the name change for five years, with little luck before now. Clinton Hill Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo has backed the proposition to co-name St. James Place as “Christopher Wallace Way.” The panel’s full board will soon vote, and the decision will go to the Council for final approval. [Brooklyn Paper]
The MacDowell Colony, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire, will name its library after James Baldwin. The writer was a three-time resident at MacDowell. [Washington Post]
Baltimore artist Gaia has painted a massive mural of legendary Baltimore drag queen, Divine thanks to a request from Jesse Salazar and Tom Williams, who now own the impressive artwork. The mural was created with permission and support from the estate of Divine and the photographer of the original photograph, Greg Gorman. Divine’s estate called the mural “an inspiring message for counter-culture types, the LGBTQ community, and those affirming body-positive representation. In many ways, she represents the strength of Baltimore’s character, and serves as a reminder of the city’s perseverance and authenticity. Divine is brassy, bold, and beautiful; just like Baltimore.” John Waters, a friend to the performer and Baltimore local, has also given the street art a thumbs up. [via email announcement]
In lieu of its annual, popular free outdoor sculpture show, Art Public, Art Basel Miami Beach will present a performance piece by Mexican conceptual artist, Abraham Cruzvillegas. [Miami Herald]
Nearly 200 years after its inception, The Saturday Evening Post has unveiled a digital archive of its issues dating back to 1821, including a gallery of its iconic covers. Norman Rockwell designed over 300 covers for the publication, which is one of the longest-running magazines in the US. [New York Times]
The Whitney Museum of American Art received a gift of sculpture and works on paper from the Mary Ann Unger Estate. The gift includes one sculpture and five works on paper produced by Mary Ann Unger between 1978 and 1980. “We are delighted that the family and estate of Mary Ann Unger have chosen The Whitney as the repository for these important works made by a pioneering female sculptor,” said Jane Panetta, an associate curator at the Whitney. “The gift will allow the Museum to make people aware of this important female American artist and adds to our holdings of work made by women of this generation.” Unger’s later work, “Across the Bering Strait” (1992–94) will go on view today in the artist’s former home and studio at 5 East Third Street, 8th Floor. The re-installation was curated by Alexandra Schwartz. [via email announcement]
This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.
More News from This Week
- From the Rubble of Brazil’s National Museum, the Oldest Known Skeleton in the Americas Is Recovered
- Tania Bruguera Shows Solidarity for Photographer Shahidul Alam at Tate Modern
- Easter Islanders Ask British Museum to Return Sacred Statue, Offering Replica in Return
- A Tribute to Christine Blasey Ford Appears at the Entrance of Yale Law School
- After Years of Protests, Shell Ends Corporate Partnership with National Gallery
- Art Institute of Chicago Offers Thousands of Free, High-Resolution Images
- NYC Council Hearing Exposes Opposition to Commercial Tenants’ Rights, Impacting Artists and Galleries
- Russia Strengthens Saudi Ties with Offer of a Kandinsky Exhibition, while Prominent Architects Bow Out of $500B Saudi Megacity
- Leonardo da Vinci May Have Had a Rare Eye Condition that Affected His Portraits
- NYC Allocates $198.4M for Largest Ever Cultural Budget
- A Museum Tweets Its Own Tribute to Pot(s), as Canada Legalizes Weed
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