6 October 2020

ArtNewsletter

Constantine | Cannon

Europe

Art patrons seek new ways to keep culture alive in a pandemic: Many philanthropists have used the pandemic to redirect their giving to the most urgent needs. In September, Vivien Duffield’s Clore Duffield Foundation stepped in with £2.5m of funding for 66 cultural organisations across the UK to support their education and community work, including large institutions such as the British Museum and Tate galleries as well as smaller bodies such as the Turner Contemporary gallery, the Leach Pottery and the Foundling Museum.

06.10.2020, The Financial Times: Art patrons seek new ways to keep culture alive in a pandemic

Royal Opera House to sell off David Hockney painting in bid to stay afloat: The Royal Opera House is to sell a David Hockney portrait thought to be worth as much as £18m to raise essential funds. The painting, which was commissioned for the Covent Garden building in the 1970s, is to go up for auction later this month in an unprecedented attempt to protect the venue’s future as a home for the Royal Ballet and for international opera.

04.10.2020, The Guardian: Royal Opera House to sell off David Hockney painting in bid to stay afloat

05.10.2020, Le Journal des Arts: Le Royal Opera House vend son tableau de David Hockney pour survivre à la pandémie

The organization in charge of rebuilding Notre Dame must be more transparent about its use of donations, a French court says: The French court of auditors has published a report insisting that the donations received to help rebuild Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral must not be used to fund the public body that is overseeing the restoration, but rather to directly fund the cathedral’s reconstruction.

02.10.2020, Artnet: The organization in charge of rebuilding Notre Dame must be more transparent about its use of donations, a French court says

01.10.2020, Le Journal des Arts: Notre-Dame : la Cour des comptes réclame une meilleure gestion des dons

French judge orders restitution of Nazi-looted André Derain paintings to family of Jewish art dealer: A Paris court of appeals has ruled that three Nazi-looted paintings by the Fauvist artist André Derain must be restituted to the family of a Jewish art dealer René Gimpel, who was killed in the Holocaust. The ruling follows a court’s refusal to meet Gimpel’s heirs’ request for restitution in August 2019, citing insufficient evidence of a forced sale, carried out under duress and at a low price point.

01.10.2020, Art News: French judge orders restitution of Nazi-looted André Derain paintings to family of Jewish art dealer

02.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: France ordered to return three Derain paintings to heirs of Jewish dealer René Gimpel

A museum puts its fakes on show: A German institution found that many of its Russian avant-garde paintings weren’t genuine. A new exhibition puts those works front and center, despite protests from the gallery that sold some of the works.

30.09.2020, The New York Times: A museum puts its fakes on show

02.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Original or fake? Museum Ludwig puts its Russian avant-garde art to the test

Trial of Quai Branly protestors in Paris centres on ‘political’ aspect of activist action: The trial of five protestors accused of stealing an African funeral pole from the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac earlier this year has begun in Paris, with the case hinging on whether the act was theft or a protest against colonialism. The African activist Mwazulu Diyabanza led the protest group known as Les Marrons Unis Dignes et Courageux, which describes itself as “a pan-African organisation fighting for the freedom and transformation of Africa”.

02.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Trial of Quai Branly protestors in Paris centres on ‘political’ aspect of activist action

30.09.2020, The New York Times: France’s colonial legacy is being judged in trial over African art

30.09.2020, The Guardian: Five activists on trial in France for trying to seize African funeral staff from museum

01.10.2020, Artnet: Activists who seized an African statue from a Paris museum are now on trial. Their argument: it wasn’t theft, it was political protest

Early works by Edward Hopper found to be copies of other artists: Most grad students in art history dream of discovering an unknown work by whatever great artist they are studying. Louis Shadwick has achieved just the opposite: In researching his doctorate on Edward Hopper, for the storied Courtauld Institute in London, Mr. Shadwick has discovered that three of the great American’s earliest oil paintings, from the 1890s, can only barely count as his original images. Two are copies of paintings Mr. Shadwick found reproduced in a magazine for amateur artists published in the years before Hopper’s paintings. The reproductions even came with detailed instructions for making the copies.

28.09.2020, The New York Times: Early works by Edward Hopper found to be copies of other artists

01.10.2020, The Times: Art student exposes Edward Hopper as not quite the American ‘original’

Museums warned not to drop contentious works: Museums and galleries have been warned by the government to stop removing controversial artefacts or risk losing their funding. Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said in a leaked letter that institutions could jeopardise their taxpayer support if they stopped displaying statues or objects because of public pressure. The letter read: “As publicly funded bodies you should not be taking actions motivated by activism or politics. The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country.”

28.09.2020, The Times: Museums warned not to drop contentious works

29.09.2020, Artnet: The UK government has warned publicly funded museums to stop removing controversial statues from view

02.10.2020, Le Journal des Arts: Le gouvernement britannique demande aux musées de ne pas retirer leurs statues

Two arrested for robbery and vandalism at Church of Sant’Agata al Collegio in Sicily: For the second time in under two months the Chiesa di Sant’Agata al Collegio in Caltanissetta, Sicily has been damaged by acts of vandalism and the theft of sacred objects.  On 22 September 2020, two suspicious suspects were seen walking at a fast pace away from the zone surrounding the church carrying an unusually shaped wrapped object.  Upon noting patrolling officers nearby, the pair picked up their pace, leading the city police to call for backup in order to stop them for questioning.

28.09.2020, ARCA: Two arrested for robbery and vandalism at Church of Sant’Agata al Collegio in Sicily

United States

The Mellon Foundation will invest a staggering $250 million over five years to overhaul America’s public monuments: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will commit an unprecedented $250 million to overhaul historical monuments in the US over the next five years, the philanthropic organization announced on Monday. The “Monuments Project,” as the ambitious initiative is called, is the most substantial effort in the foundation’s history.

05.10.2020, Artnet: The Mellon Foundation Will Invest a Staggering $250 Million Over Five Years to Overhaul America’s Public Monuments

Baltimore Museum to sell 3 blue-chip paintings to advance equity: As museums face increasing financial pressures and industrywide demands from staff to create more equitable workplaces, a second institution is taking advantage of the Association of Art Museum Directors’ temporary pandemic-era loosening of its deaccessioning guidelines: They now allow the selling of art from museum collections to fund the direct care of collections — not just the acquisition of other artworks.

02.10.2020, The New York Times: Baltimore Museum to sell 3 blue-chip paintings to advance equity

02.10.2020, The Art Market Monitor: Baltimore Museum of Art to deaccession major Warhol, Marden, and Still Works at Sotheby’s

03.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Baltimore Museum of Art will sell important paintings by Warhol, Still and Marden

05.10.2020, Artnet: American museums are taking advantage of relaxed rules to sell more than $100 million of art at auction this season

World

Archaeologist raises alarms over Azerbaijan’s shelling of an ancient city: Archaeologist Hamlet Petrosyan says a major Hellenistic and Armenian archaeological site, Tigranakert, has been shelled several times in Azerbaijan’s ongoing attack on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), the unrecognized republic populated by indigenous Armenians that is fighting a battle for self-determination.

03.10.2020, Hyperallergic: Archaeologist raises alarms over Azerbaijan’s shelling of an ancient city

A new report on transnational crime shows that the business of smuggling cultural property is not as big as people think: The World Customs Organization has released its annual report on transnational crime, which sheds light on the true scale of the smuggling of cultural property as it relates to other risk categories, from drugs and weapons to counterfeit goods.

28.09.2020, Artnet: A new report on transnational crime shows that the business of smuggling cultural property is not as big as people think

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