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Week in Review: Protests Against Ford Foundation Ramp Up; New Museum Protest Shut Down in the Bronx

Also, the 2019 MacArthur “Genius” grants have been announced, a $6.5 million Cimabue painting was discovered, and more.

Cimabue, private collection, The Mocking of Christ, ornamental border on a gold ground. Image courtesy of Eric Turquin and Actéon.

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.

This week, prison abolition activists have been mobilizing in protest of the Ford Foundation after its president, Darren Walker, published a controversial blog, “In Defense of Nuance.” The post focused heavily on New York City’s plan to close the Rikers Island prison complex and instead build four smaller detention facilities. Grassroots abolitionist organizations like No New Jails have been among the plan’s biggest opponents, calling it a harmful continuation of mass incarceration’s abuses. In an open letter, over 100 former and current Ford Fellows repudiated Walker’s request that prison abolitionists and city policymakers come together to create “a journey away from the extremes.” | Hyperallergic

One of Cimabue’s religious painting was hanging in a kitchen in Compiègne for 35 years before it was recognized. It will go to auction with a high estimate of $6.5 million. | Hyperallergic

Jeffrey Gibson’s “PEOPLE LIKE US” (2019) (photo by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Artists Mel Chin, Jeffery Gibson, Cameron Rowland, and Sarah Michelson are among the 26 winners of the 2019 MacArthur “Genius” grant. The special honor comes with a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000. | Hyperallergic

A festival in the Bronx organized by the New Museum was canceled less than an hour after it started. IdeasCity Bronx, which was supposed to feature a series of discussion panels, artist talks, performances, and workshops, was shut down after Bronx-based activists disrupted the event’s first session, held at Concrete Plant Park on the Bronx River. A number of local Bronx grassroots organizations that were slated to participate in the festival announced their withdrawal before the events commenced. | Hyperallergic

“Art Workers Support the Climate Strikers” banner in front of Tate Britain (courtesy of PCS Tate United)

On Friday, September 20, thousands of protestors in the UK and millions around the world joined the Global Climate Strike — the world’s largest-ever climate protest. Around 200 employees of British cultural institutions including Tate Britain, Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre, and the National Theatre left work and took to the streets in solidarity with young people protesting for climate action. | Hyperallergic

ImageNet will remove 600,000 images of people stored on its database after an art project exposed racial bias in the program’s artificial intelligence system. | Hyperallergic

A teletubby cozy covers a LinkNYC kiosk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

This week, a renegade Teletubby cozy appeared on the streets of Brooklyn. | Hyperallergic

The Amsterdam Museum will no longer use “Golden Age” to describe the 17th century Netherlands, saying it whitewashes its problematic colonial past. | Hyperallergic

“Gilded Coffin of the Priest Nedjemankh,” Late Ptolemaic Period (150-50 BCE) cartonnage, gold, silver, resin, glass, wood (image courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

An ancient Egyptian coffin acquired in recent years by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has gone back home to Egypt. The gilded sarcophagus, which was revealed as stolen after the Met acquired it in 2017 belonged to the late Priest Nedjemankh and is over 2,100 years old. It was smuggled out of Egypt in 2011, and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance indicated to Reuters that it was potentially one of many artifacts looted by the same trafficking ring. “So, you may well see a few more significant seizures,” he said. The Met released this statement to Hyperallergic in the wake of the coffin’s repatriation ceremony in New York: “The Museum is appreciative of both the government of Egypt and the District Attorney’s efforts, with which we closely cooperated.” This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.

Learn about opportunities you can apply for this month in our latest “Opportunities for Artists in September 2019.”

Also, check out Hyperallergic’s lists of must-see, fun, and insightful art events in New York and Los Angeles this fall.

This Week in the Art World

Firelei Báez, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Meiro Koizumi, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Prabhakar Pachpute, and Carrie Mae Weems were shortlisted for the Artes Mundi prize, which will be announced in January 2020. | TAN

Brady Doty was appointed senior director of David Zwirner Gallery. | via email announcement

Stan Douglas was named the winner of the Audain award for artists working in British Columbia. | Canadian Art

Jana Euler and Walter Price are now represented by Greene Naftali. | via email announcement

Richard Forster is now represented by Timothy Taylor Gallery. | via email announcement

Jill Hai and Louis Henry Mitchell have joined the Norman Rockwell Museum’s board of trustees. | via email announcement

Christopher Ketcham was named associate curator of public art and the permanent collection at MIT List Center. Selby Nimrod was been promoted to assistant curator for exhibitions. | Artforum

Christopher Le Brun stepped down from his role as president of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. | via email announcement

Séverine Lepape was appointed director of Musée de Cluny in Paris.Connaissance des Arts

Vivian Li was named curator of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art. | via email announcement

Amelia Manderscheid was appointed Bonhams’s senior director of postwar and contemporary art. | via email announcement

The Joan Mitchell Foundation announced the recipients of its annual grants. | Artforum

The National Gallery in Washington, DC has hired four new curators. Betsy Wieseman was named head of northern European paintings; Shelley Langdale was named head of modern prints and drawings; Brooks Rich was named associate curator of Old Master prints; and Aaron Wile was named associate curator of French paintings. | Art Fix Daily

Lawrence Rinder will step down as director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California. | via email announcement

In Memoriam

Huguette Caland (1931–2019), abstract artist | ARTnews

Bruce W. Ferguson (1946–2019), curator and SITE Santa Fe Founder | LA Times

Sol Stein (1926–2019), novelist, playwright, publisher, and editor | NYT

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