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Week in Review: NYC Theodore Roosevelt Statue Will Be Removed; New Orleans Museum Workers Expose Racism

Alumni and students of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Didier William, have signed letters of concern condemning the college’s non-affiliation policies.

Protesters protesting in front of and covering the Roosevelt statue with a parachute in October of 2016 (by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

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.

Former staff members at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) accused the institution of sustaining a “plantation-like culture” in an open letter released this week. Incidents include a staffer being asked to cut their dreadlocks and the permanent installation of a plantation parlor against the advisement of Black staff.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is at the center of controversy for asking faculty not to affiliate with the school in their activism activities. Alumni and students of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Didier William, have signed letters of concern condemning the college’s non-affiliation policies.

After years of protest, a Theodore Roosevelt statue will be removed from The American Natural History MuseumAn internal memo to the museum’s staff over the weekend was the first to announce the decision to remove the controversial statues on Central Park West.

A Black Lives Matter mural stretches from New York and Brooklyn Avenues on Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy (photo by Linda Shell, used with permission)

A community of artists is calling on the International Center of Photography to set ethical guidelines for protest photographyNoah Morrison, founding member of ICP Center Blackness Now, says the International Center of Photography’s response to their efforts has been superficial.

A new mural stretching 565 feet in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, memorializes over 150 victims of fatal anti-Black violence, including Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

According to a study conducted by the data analysis company BeenVerified, 1,712 Confederate Monuments remain standing in the USFor every monument that has been removed, 10 others remain.

Giampietrino and Giovanni Antonio Boltfraffio, copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” (ca. 1515-1520), oil on canvas, 119 x 309 inches (© Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates Limited)

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the “Last Supper” has faded and cracked over time, but an accurate reproduction likely made by one of his pupils has been digitized.

The New York Times reported that the Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to reopen August 29, but the museum has yet to issue an official statement.

Transactions

Mario Carreno, “Cortadores de cana” (courtesy Sotheby’s)

Facebook, which has become a hub for the trafficking of looted antiquities, announced a policy banning the “exchange, sale, or purchase of all historical artifacts” across its platforms (that means Instagram, too). The move comes in response to a report published by the Antiquities Trafficking & Heritage Anthropology Research project, which discovered that Facebook groups dedicated to antiquities trafficking had nearly 2 million members. The social media giant’s implementation of a blanket ban of historical artifact sales makes a lot of sense, as determining provenance on a case-by-case basis on its platforms would be Sisyphean.

In Sotheby’s hybrid live-online Impressionist & Modern sales in New York later this month, the auction house will be highlighting a collection of work by Latin American Surrealist and Modernist artists. The 35 works on offer include pieces by well-known names like Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, and Wilfredo Lam, whose 1943 painting “Omi Obini” is estimated at $8 million to $12 million. Sotheby’s began to incorporate Modern Latin American Art into its Impressionist & Modern Art sales two years ago.

Phillips London restarted its live auctions with a strong Design sale that had a 95% sell-through rate by lot. The sale, which was originally scheduled for March, garnered £5,323,750, or around $6.6 million, well over the pre-sale estimate of £4 million (about $4.9 million). The sale was led by Claude Lalanne’s “Unique Low Table” (1998), which sold for £312,500 (~$387,000), and records were set for several artist-designers including Edmund de Waal and Mario Gottardi.

This Week in the Art World

Wendy Red Star, “1880 Crow Peace Delegation: Peelatchiwaaxpáash/Medicine Crow (Raven)” (2014) (The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.)

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced new acquisitions including work by Wendy Red Star and Martine Syms. | Baltimore Museum of Art

Julie Rodrigues Widholm will be the new director of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). | via email announcement

The Hackney Council in London selected Thomas J. Price and Veronica Ryan to make public artworks. | Dazed

Director Jill Snyder has resigned from the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. | HYPEBEAST 

Sohrab Mohebbi will curate the 2022 Carnegie International. | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Venus Over Manhattan in New York City added the estate of Roy De Forest to its roster. | ARTnews

Shalini Le Gall was appointed to the position of Chief Curator of European Art at the Portland Museum of Art. | via email announcement

Beijing gallery Tabula Rasa is expanding to London. | Art Newspaper

Marc Chennault has joined the board of the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York. | via press release

Film still from Arthur Jafa’s The White Album (2018) (Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York/Rome)

Stockholm’s Moderna Museet acquired Arthur Jafa’s “The White Album.” | Moderna Museet

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York selected 47 art organizations as its Spring 2020 grantees. | ARTnews

Hauser & Wirth has expanded to the Hamptons. | artnet

The Musée de l’Elysée announced the nominees for the Prix Elysée. | e-flux

Jessica Silverman Gallery now represents Andrea Bowers. | ARTnews

Upstart Co-Lab launched a coalition consisting of 10 cultural institutions including BRIC and Souls Grown Deep Foundation. | Barron’s

In Memoriam

Anna Blume (1936–2020), German photographer | ARTnews

Chris Busa (1946–2020), Provincetown Arts founder | Wicked Local Provincetown

Gaylord Chan (1925–2020), Hong Kong Modernist painter | Art Newspaper

Paolo Giorgio Ferri (1947–2020), Italian art restitution prosecutor | New York Times

Paul Fortune (1950–2020), interior designer | Architectural Digest

Li Zhensheng (1940–2020), Chinese photographer | Guardian

Robert Richardson Jr. (1934–2020), biographer | New York Times

Joel Schumacher (1939–2020), popular filmmaker | Variety

Carlos Ruiz Zafón (1964–2020), Spanish novelist | Guardian

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