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Week in Review: Museums Cautiously Re-open, Survey Says 95% of Artists Lost Income During Pandemic

Also, Sotheby’s and Google are holding an online charity auction to raise money for International Rescue Committee, and more.

A work by New Orleans based artist Thea Gahr designed with 2019 PPC fellows. (Image courtesy the People’s Paper Co-op)

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.

A spreadsheet highlights major income disparities at cultural institutionsAccording to a document by the group Indebted Cultural Workers, MoMA director Glenn Lowry takes home about 48 times the salary of an education assistant at the museum.

A group of staff furloughed from the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA) penned an open letter to director Neal Benezra and members of the executive cabinet asking the museum to retain its staff through economic measures like deaccessioning artwork and Benezra temporarily drawing a salary of zero.

Formerly incarcerated women and artists across the US are collaborating for an arts sale to create prints and other works to help free jailed Black mothers and caregivers by Mother’s Day.

The China Art Museum in Shanghai (lucia wang/Flickr)

A look into the cautious reopening of museums worldwide: institutions in the United States remain shuttered, but museums in Germany have begun to cautiously open their doors, and museums in Hong Kong were forced to close for a second time due to a second wave.

According to a survey by Americans for the Arts and Artist Relief, 95% of US artists have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Khamsah. / خمسه by Niẓāmī Ganjavī, 1140 or 1141-1202 or 1203 ‏نظامى گنجوى،‏ (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)

The Cincinnati-based nonprofit FotoFocus has canceled its 2020 biennial and is promising its $800,000 budget to Midwestern arts organizations.

The Tri-State Relief Fund for non-salaried arts workers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will give $2,000 grants to freelance and contracted workers, including art handlers, archivists, and others.

Access rare paintings and “manuscripts of the Muslim world” through the University of Pennsylvania’s digital library.

Transactions

Sotheby’s and Google are jointly holding an online charity auction to raise money for humanitarian aid group International Rescue Committee. Lots of interest include a virtual artmaking session with Mark Quinn and coffee with Hillary Clinton.

Swedish art advisory CFHill is privately selling “Eldslågor (Fiery Flames),” a watercolor made in 1930 by Hilma af Klint, who gifted the work to textile artists Elsa and Magda Jerud. The piece, which sold for $2,000 at auction in 1988, has an estimate of $300,000–500,000.

At Sotheby’s an Art Deco “Tutti Frutti” Cartier bracelet sold for $1.34 million, well over its estimate of $600,000–800,000. The multicolored bracelet set the record as the most expensive piece of jewelry that the auction house has sold online, and inspired the fantastic headline “Bored Rich People Are Shopping Online For $500,000 Bracelets.”

This Week in the Art World

The Chicago Artists Coalition has awarded $61,000 in unrestricted funding to 28 artists. | Chicago Artist Coalition

The shortlist of winners of the “LACMA not LackMA” competition was announced. | Artforum

Curator Deborah Cullen-Morales is the new program officer for arts and cultural heritage at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City. | The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Schubert Foundation named Diana Phillips as its president. | PR Newswire

Myriam Ben Salah will serve as Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. | e-flux

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro appointed Juliette Bianco as its new Director. | Greensboro News & Record

Art historian Nadine Oberste-​Hetbleck has been named the Director of the Documenta Archiv in Kassel. | Documenta Archiv

Christopher Carter, Daniel Salas, and Sebastien Scemla have joined the board of trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. | Artforum

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts appointed Iris Amizlev as its inaugural curator of intercultural arts. | Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

In Memoriam

Eavan Boland (1944–2020), Irish poet and educator | The New Yorker

Germano Celant (1940–2020), Italian art historian and critic | Artnet

 Yves Corbassière (1925–2020), French Action painter | France Info

Tina Girouard (1946–2020), performance and video artist | Artforum

Iris Love (1933–2020), archaeologist and dog breeder | New York Times 

Mario César Romero (1942–2020), Harlem art historian | New York Times

Paul J. Smith (1931–2020), curator and museum director | ARTnews

Fred the Godson (1985–2020), rapper | VICE

Ian Wilson (1940–2020), conceptual artist | ARTnews

Betsy James Wyeth (1921–2020), collaborator of painter Andrew Wyeth | The Art Newspaper

Zarina (1937–2020), Indian-American printmaker | Artforum

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