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Week in Review: Philly Mayor Proposes to Eliminate Arts Budget; Museum Expansions Continue in LA

Also, the New York Public Library acquired the archive of avant-garde dancer Martha Graham, and more.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philidelphia (Photo by Jessi Melcer)

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.

As Pennsylvania cultural grants are rescinded, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny introduced a 2021 budget proposal that totally eliminates the city’s $4.4 million allowance for the arts. Over 12,000 people have signed a petition in protest of the eliminated budget.

Jill Nelson, an award-winning writer and journalist, was arrested by NYPD officers for scribbling “Trump=Plague” on a boarded-up storefront near her house in Riverside Drive in Manhattan. “I frankly feel, as an African American woman and a person of color, that it’s open season on us in every way,” she told Hyperallergic. “From the disproportionate number of people who are dying of COVID-19, people with the worst healthcare, people who are doing the most vulnerable jobs, to young people beaten down for allegedly not social distancing.”

Variations on a photo by the author (clockwise from top left): no filter; after Wassily Kandinsky; after Shoen Uemura; after Paul Signac; after Yayoi Kusama; after Roy Lichtenstein. (created using Google Arts & Culture app)

 

In a new collaboration with the Getty, the Google Arts & Culture app lets you remake any photo as a work by van Gogh, Cézanne, Kahlo, Kusama, and other renowned artists.

Still from Jack Smith, “No President” (1967-1970), 16mm black and white film (copyright Jack Smith Archive; courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels)

With its annual fundraiser canceled, Visual AIDS launched a new online platform, “Not Over,” to encourage donations. The site features rare videos and performances by multi-generational artists including the late Jack Smith.

In California, all construction — including museum expansions — has been categorized as essential. While much of the art world is standing still, expansions at LACMA, the Hammer, and other museums are prompting both questions and criticisms.

Will Thompson, “untitled” (2020), oil on board, 23 5/8 x 15 3/4 x 2 inches

Hauser & Wirth’s new online exhibition, Homegrown, celebrates the artists among its staff. All proceeds will go directly to the artists; an additional 10% of gross profits will benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

A Chinese news agency released a propagandistic cartoon to herald its success at combating the coronavirus — that is admittedly entertaining.

Transactions

Bertram Ross, Gene McDonald, Helen McGehee, and Martha Graham in Clytemnestra. Photograph by Martha Swope. courtesy the Martha Graham Dance Company.)

The archive of avant-garde dancer Martha Graham found a new home in the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts. Ranging from audio and film recordings to choreography notes and correspondence, the archive includes tintype family portraits; photographs by Barbara Morgan and Soichi Sunami; and set drawings by Isamu Noguchi.

Swann Galleries held a successful sale of African Americana prints and manuscripts. The sale was led by an 1848 broadside offering a monetary reward for the return of three runaway slaves; this historical document sold for $37,500, rocketing over its presale estimate of $7,000–10,000. A map of Harlem night clubs made by E. Simms Campbell in 1933 also significantly surpassed expectations, selling for $27,500 against an estimate of $10,000–15,000.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino has acquired the archive of Gilbert, Florence, and Leslee See Leong, members of one of the earliest high-profile Chinese American families in Los Angeles. The collection features architectural drawings, hand-drawn menus, portrait photographs, and passports.

At the behest of her late son and estate manager Lin Jammet, 29 sculptures, drawings, and prints by English sculptor Elisabeth Frink joined the collection of the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. Notable works include large-scale sculptures Mirage I and Mirage II (1969), which were inspired by flamingos, and the Goggle Heads series (1967–69), imposing busts of men sporting goggles. 

This Week in the Art World

The Design Trust for Public Space appointed Matthew Clarke as its new Executive Director. | Via press release

The Define American Immigrant Artist Fellowship announced its 2020 Fellows. | Define American

The Baltimore Museum of Art appointed Kathy Rothkopf to the newly endowed position of the Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Director of the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies. | Artforum

Allan Schwartzman, Sotheby’s chair of fine art, has left the auction house to become an independent consultant. | Art Market Monitor

The inaugural M+ Museum’s Sigg Prize was awarded to Hong Kong-based artist Samson Young. | ARTnews

Los Angeles and Tucson-based photographer Mark McKnight has joined the roster at Los Angeles gallery Park View/Paul Soto. | Via email announcement

Hong Kong-based photographer Kam Wa Magus Yuen is the winner of the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize. | The Art Newspaper

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation awarded the 2019 Biennial Grants to 20 artists. | ARTFIX Daily

Phillips Hong Kong announced that Jonathan Crockett has been appointed the Chairman of Asia. | Via email announcement

Lauren Richman is the new Assistant Curator of Photography at Indiana University’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. | Artforum 

In Memoriam

Satish Gujral (1925–2020), Indian artist and architect | The New York Times

Motoko Fujishiro Huthwaite (1927–2020), “Monuments Woman” and educator | The New York Times

 Abraham Palatnik (1928–2020), Brazilian kinetic artist | ARTnews

Little Richard (1932–2020), “King and Queen” of rock & roll | NPR

Jaquelin Taylor Robertson (1933–2020), architect and urbanist | Architectural Digest

Alan Shestack (1938–2020), former director of the National Gallery of Art, D.C. | CultureGrrl

Thomas Sokolowski (1950–2020), former director of the Andy Warhol Museum | ARTnews

Paul L. Vasquez (1962–2020), “Double Rainbow Guy” | CNN

Betty Wright (1953–2020), American Soul and R&B singer | Billboard

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