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 British Museum is hiring a team of curators specifically dedicated to monitoring the rampant looting of Egyptian and Nubian artifacts. UK-based experts in archaeology, partnered with a sophisticated database, will work alongside experts in Cairo and Khartoum to observe shady provenances on precious cultural objects. Auction houses, galleries, and eBay will be under close watch. The team will report any objects possibly eligible for restitution to law enforcement agencies, including Scotland Yard and US Customs. [Artnet]
The European Parliament has passed a resolution to identify and recover looted art, calling for a comprehensive database of Jewish-owned artwork seized by Nazis during World War II. The resolution pushes to identify and recover works of art and cultural goods including books, manuscripts, and ritual items. The resolution notes estimate that 650,000 pieces of art were stolen during the war — an estimated 110,000 works remain missing. [via email announcement]
Korean car manufacturer Hyundai will continue its partnership with Tate through 2024 by funding five curatorial positions at the museum. The new posts will make up a newly-founded research center to widen the scope of contemporary art beyond Europe and North America to host symposia and workshops. Sook-Kyung Lee, a senior curator of international art at Tate, will lead the center. The museum writes that the center’s aim is “the reframing of art histories for the 21st century.” Two of the five posts will be based in South or East Asia and the Middle East or North Africa. [via email announcement]
Italy’s cultural landscape has been under constant shift for years as the nation tries to revamp its arts institutions despite contradictory stances on nationalist allegiances. In 2015, the New York Times reported that the Italian Culture Ministry had launched an international search for new museum directors to revive its museums. But in 2017, an Italian court annulled the appointment of five of 20 international directors. Now, Italy’s populist culture minister, Alberto Bonisoli, has signaled a plan to reestablish the presence of Italian directors at the nation’s institutions, saying that while not opposed to international museum leadership, “I don’t feel the need to go abroad.” [Artnet]
— Christopher Marte (@ChrisMarteNYC) January 23, 2019
On January 23, 65th Assembly District Committeeman Chris Marte spotted a letter taped to the entrance of Jared Kushner’s newly-purchased, multi-million dollar Hotel on Rivington with a fictional proposal for the Trump Presidential Library and Museum. Its aim is to “see extensive documentation of the life and presidency of America’s 45th president,” including his tax returns from 1990 to 2017, plans of the Trump World Tower project in Moscow, and diplomas from the long-dead Trump University. Visitors will even get to buy their very own Putin postcards, Russian flags, and KKK hoods on their way out through the (likely gold-gilded) gift shop. [Bowery Boogie]
After a city-wide push to keep Banksy’s “Season’s Greetings” in a South Wales town, an Essex-based dealer, John Brandler, has purchased the street art for an undisclosed six-figure sum. Ian Lewis, a steelworker who owns the garage on which the mural is painted, sold the work for a lower offer than others, as Brandler “agreed to keep it in the town” and establish an urban art center there. [The Art Newspaper]
The modernist Union Carbide building at 270 Park Avenue has been marked for demolition. Howard I. Shapiro & Associates, a demolition consulting company, has officially filed the permits with the Department of Buildings to tear down the 1961 building. If the building is torn down, it will become the tallest skyscraper in the world to be voluntarily demolished. Last February, the city and Chase announced plans to tear down the Union Carbide for a new 70-story building, the first major development announced after the approval of the Midtown East rezoning. The demolition has been met with continued protest. [Curbed]
“If I don’t have my rent in … I will be evicted … I can’t even go to my family, Mr. McConnell. My family is with federal government.”
Faye Smith, a security guard at the Hirshhorn Museum and one of the fuloughed workers who descended on McConnell’s office this week. Via WaPo pic.twitter.com/Ze2uqBbGnh
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 19, 2019
Faye Smith, a security guard at the Hirshhorn Museum and one of the furloughed workers affected by the longest government shutdown in history, visited Mitch McConnell’s office to urge him to end the shutdown for the sake of workers and their families across the nation. [WUSA9]
Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that Camden, New Jersey was named one of five Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Public Art Challenge winner. The city will receive $1 million for a public art project titled “A New View,” which will transform sites affected by illegal dumping — an issue they say is rampant in the city, and costs Camden $4 million annually — into dynamic art spaces. [via email announcement]
Ilene Forsyth, professor emerita of art history at the University of Michigan, has gifted $8.2 million to the university. Part of the funds will establish a professorship in medieval art, honoring her late husband George H. Forsyth Jr., a medieval architectural historian who served as chair of the UMich Department of History of Art and director of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. The gift will also establish the Ilene H. Forsyth Fund, intended to support departmental initiatives including post-doctoral fellowships; a visiting scholars program; a student and faculty exchange program; new seminars and symposia; faculty research; and study trips for art history students. [UMich]
The Mauritshuis in the Netherlands has acquired the painting “St John the Baptist Preaching” (1627) by Pieter Lastman, “Rembrandt’s most influential teacher.” The painting was purchased from a US owner with funds from the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation and a private donor. “We have been on the lookout for an outstanding example of Lastman’s work, due to the impact he had on the young Rembrandt,” said Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who made our wish come true, especially the private donor and the Friends of the Mauritshuis.”
This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.
More News from This Week
- New Museum Staffers Vote to Unionize
- Activists Fool Media by Claiming Gas Company Would Pay California Fire Victims
- Thanks to Government Shutdown, the Galaxy’s First Art Satellite Stalls in Outer Space
- Trump’s Shutdown Puts Hotly Anticipated Tintoretto Exhibition in Jeopardy
- W.A.G.E. Asks Artists to Demand Payment and Withhold Content from 2019 Whitney Biennial
- The Cleveland Museum of Art Added 30,000 Artworks to the Public Domain
- Brazil Dissolves Its Ministry of Culture
- The Restoration of the Tomb of Tutankhamen Is Complete
- Government Shutdown Jeopardizes Major Exhibition Celebrating Women’s Suffrage Centennial
- Lehmann Maupin Gallery Files Lawsuit Against Ex-Employee for Allegedly Stealing Client Data and Trade Secrets
- After Sacklers Named in Opioid Lawsuit, Met Museum Says It Will Review Its Donation Policy
- The Best Signs from the 2019 Women’s March
- After Teen Smashes Artifacts at Denver Museum, Damages Estimate of $2M Turned Out to Be $100,000
- How Teaching Artists Configure Into the Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike
- Zimbabwe Biennial Postponed Following Government’s Violent Response to Protests
- SheBuiltNYC Had an Ambitious Plan for New Monument to Women, But the City Went in a Different Direction
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
Murch’s painted dust can be so tangible you feel compelled to wipe off the picture.
“As we grieve her loss, we call for full accountability for the perpetrators of this crime and everyone involved in authorizing it,” they wrote in an open letter.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The planned center will be named after Fred Rouse, a Black man who was lynched in the city of Fort Worth in 1921.
The researchers found that when eyes meet, certain areas of the brain start experiencing “neural firing.”
Curated by Clare Dolan, this solo exhibition in Frenchtown, NJ contains new and unearthed paintings, sculptures, and prints selected from the organization’s 60-year history.
From 1968 to 1973, the Nihon Documentarist Union did radical documentary work in Japan. They made two films in Okinawa before, during, and after its reversion.
Every corner and crevice of Columbia University’s MFA Thesis show feels lived in, reflecting not just artists’ experience quarantining with their work, but also that of re-entering society.
Sprawling across the Joshua Tree region, nine site-specific works consider the ways in which people have relocated to the desert, destroying what came before them, and cultivating new life.