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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.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Arts
Researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology say the risk of COVID-19 transmission is far lower in museums and theaters than any other indoor activity, including supermarkets and restaurants.
Employment in the arts, entertainment, and recreation in New York City has plummeted by two-thirds during the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest decline among the city’s economic sectors in 2020.
Dartmouth Community Opposes Leon Black-funded Arts Center
Dartmouth College alumni and students are calling for the school to rename the Black Family Visual Arts Center following revelations of Leon Black’s financial ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. “The building represents an ever-present insult to all Dartmouth survivors,” said members of Dartmouth Community Against Gender Harassment and Sexual Violence.
Facebook “Unfriends” Australian Organizations
Last week, over 500 Australian arts organizations discovered their Facebook pages had been removed as a result of the platform’s reaction to a recent federal regulation over media guidelines. The government soon announced that Facebook “intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days,” but the repercussions for small organizations could be long-term.
In Other News
The Baltimore Museum of Art has received gifts totaling over $1 million in support of its long-term financial plan to increase access and equity within the museum. The museum had previously planned to fund the initiatives using proceeds from the sale of three major artworks, a proposal that drew sharp criticism from many in the arts community.
The Palm Springs City Council rejected a bid to fund the installation of a Desert X artwork, citing the biennial’s partnership with Saudi Arabia.
Meme artist Tommy Marcus raised over $1 million for Planned Parenthood, donated ironically in Rush Limbaugh’s memory. During his life, the ultra-conservative commentator lambasted the national nonprofit and accused it of “sexual perversion.”
New findings reveal that a curious inscription on Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” — saying the work “could only have been painted by a madman” — is by the artist’s hand.
While protests over free speech in Spain rock the country, the last statue of dictator Francisco Franco has come down.
Thomas R. Ellis and Brian Robinson were elected members of the Guggenheim Foundation board of trustees.
Tim Kent is now represented by Hollis Taggart.
Christine Kuan was named president and executive director of Creative Capital.
Candice Madey has opened a new, eponymous gallery.
Cameron Shaw was appointed executive director of the California African American Museum, where she has served as deputy director and chief curator since September 2019.
Rajie Cook (1930–2021), assemblage sculptor best known for creating the ubiquitous pictograms used to identify restrooms, emergency services, and more | New York Times
Peter G. Davis (1936–2021), classical music critic for the New York Times and New York magazine | New York Times
Arturo Di Modica (1941–2021), sculptor of the Wall Street “Charging Bull” | Wall Street Journal
Milford Graves (1941–2021), free-jazz drummer, scientist, and educator | NPR
Barry Le Va (1941–2021), sculptor and installation artist | ARTnews
Rupert Neve (1926), pioneer in modern studio recording | Guardian
Helen Rae (1938–2021), contemporary artist | Tierra del Sol Gallery
Douglas Turner Ward (1930–2021), founder of the Negro Ensemble Company in New York | Playbill
Walt Disney built his media empire animating fairy tales; he did not start making films set in a Nazi-occupied Europe by choice.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye features a riveting performance from Jessica Chastain, but proves less interesting than the documentary it’s based on.
In The Contest of the Fruits, the art collective Slavs and Tatars investigates language, politics, religion, humor, resilience, and resistance in a pluralistic world.
Rafał Milach sharply documents three international border walls and how they impact our sense of identity and memory.
Protesters splashed paint on the entryway of the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown, Manhattan.
Seven artists and curators, including Dona Nelson, the featured artist for this year’s Tim Hamill Visiting Artist Lecture, are giving public talks at BU School of Visual Arts.