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A view of the Ai Weiwei exhibition at Mary Boone gallery on West 24th Street in November 2016 (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

On February 14, art gallerist Mary Boone was sentenced to 30 months in federal detention after she pled guilty to two counts of filing a false federal income tax return. Boone used business funds to cover over $1.6 million in personal expenses, including $24,380 at the beauty salon and $20,000 on luxury retail goods. She will pay over $3 million for unpaid taxes she owes for 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The gallerist opened her namesake Mary Boone Gallery in 1977 in Soho, where she first featured artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Barbara Kruger.

But over the weekend, Boone announced her decision to close her galleries for good ahead of her federal prison sentence, closing out the decades-long business with two shows, both opening in late March: Julia Wachtel in her Chelsea location and Derrick Adams at her Fifth Avenue gallery. Both will close April 27, while Boone has been ordered to report to federal prison by May 15.

“If I’m going to be the Martha Stewart of the art world, I would hope to do it with the same humility, humor, grace, and intelligence that she did,” the gallerist told ARTnews. “I’m trying to be optimistic and see this as a learning experience.”

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Jasmine Weber

Jasmine Weber is Hyperallergic's news editor. She is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, particularly interested in Black art histories and visual culture....

2 replies on “Mary Boone Will Shutter Galleries Ahead of Her Impending Prison Sentence”

  1. Whew! Good decision and good riddance! Hopefully it is not too late for her to learn some lessons about greed, privilege, abuse of power, and using art/artists for her own gains. Meanwhile, let’s see who’s next!

    1. Oh, she’ll manage to reappear… look at Martha Stuart or Gogosian.
      Weed like this needs something beyond industrial strength glyphosate. And even if it manages to do her in, it will also pollute everything in its surrounding….like OTHER galleries & their artists?

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