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London’s National Portrait Gallery has decided not to accept a major donation from the Sackler Trust first promised in 2016. The institution had been considering the pledge in an internal review for more than a year. In a statement, the museum wrote that the organizations “have jointly agreed not to proceed at this time” with the donation. The £1 million (~$1.3 million) was meant to go towards “Inspiring People,” a $46 million redevelopment of the gallery’s Victorian building near Trafalgar Square. In February, photographer Nan Goldin, a vocal opponent of the Sackler family’s opioid-manufacturing company Purdue Pharma, said she would not show at the museum if they accepted the gift. [Financial Times]
When the Louvre in Paris loaned three paintings looted by Nazis to the Shoah Memorial for an exhibition called The Art Market Under Occupation, it was met with a surprise. The exhibition explores France’s troubling art market between 1940 and 1944; and the night before the exhibition opened, the curator, Emmanuelle Polack, presented the Louvre with a restitution claim on behalf of individuals claiming to be the works’ rightful heirs, descendants of a Jewish lawyer and art collector. The paintings in question are by Jean-Louis Forain, Henry Monnier, and Camille Roqueplan. [artnet News]
The infamous Vessel at Hudson Yards has garnered up controversy not for its strong resemblance to shwarma, but for its photo policy detailing that any photo with the Vessel in the background is up for grabs for Hudson Yards to use as it pleases. People who nabbed tickets for the Vessel signed an agreement that Hudson Yards can use their “photos, audio recording, or video footage depicting or relating to the Vessel” for “any purpose whatsoever in any and all media (in either case, now known or developed later),” including any images including their face. After a wave of social media backlash, the clause was changed so that now Vessel visitors “retain ownership of any photographs, text, audio recordings or video footage depicting or relating to the Vessel.” [NYT]
Indian businessman and art collector Nirav Modi was arrested in London for his alleged connection to a multi-billion-dollar fraud at the Punjab National Bank. Now, the diamond mogul’s art estimated $5 million art collection is being auctioned off by India’s tax recovery office to raise some of the $2 billion the tycoon is accused of swiping from the state-owned bank. [artnet News]
Artist Sterling Ruby is launching a ready-to-wear collection, S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA, to debut in June. “I’ve always been interested in the behavioral power that comes with clothing. For years I have been privately exploring garments as a medium, as something that impacts the way one can think, feel, and move,” Ruby said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to finally put my clothing out into the world.” [artnet News]
Lee Ufan has chosen a location for his art foundation, opening in the summer of 2020: the Vernon Hotel in Arles, France. [Le Figaro]
The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has purchased a pair of Champagne Standard lamps designed by Salvador Dalí and Edward James. Each lamp is made from 10 oversized brass champagne coupes stacked above one another, with a base “in the form of a Victorian papier-máché tray” covered in decorative gold ivy tendrils, berries, and leaves. The lamps were purchased using funds from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, and V&A members. “These lamps are of outstanding significance to the history of modern design and Surrealist art in Britain and we are delighted that the V&A is acquiring them for public enjoyment,” said Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion at the V&A.
This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.
More News from This Week
- Tate Will No Longer Accept Donations from the Sackler Family, Setting New Precedent
- Descendant of Slaves Sues Harvard for Rights to Daguerreotypes of Her Ancestors
- $2.8 Million in Met Museum Admission Revenues Will Go to 175 Cultural Nonprofits
- A Monument to Women’s Suffrage Receives Unanimous Approval Despite Controversy
- Russian Authorities Cancel Theatre Festival Under “Gay Propaganda” Law
- Former Artforum Employee Files Appeal Against Publication and Co-owner Knight Landesman
- How 3D Scanning Technology Went from the Louvre to the Auction House
- Los Angeles Gallery Opens Show With Title Targeting Artist, Using Ableist Slur
- Artists Hired by Apple Are Being Paid in AirPods and Apple Watches
- After Breaking Thumb off Terracotta Warrior, Man Points Finger at Museum
- Study Suggests Blue and Red Artworks Dominate Auction Sales