Art Industry News is a daily round-up of the most momentous developments in the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, June 13th.
Smithsonian Returns Indigenous Artifacts (In Kind) – A collection of Mi’kmaw artifacts goes back to what is now Nova Scotia, Canada after being housed for decades in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The approximately 500 objects, including insignia, quillwork and woven baskets, were stolen by American anthropologists in the early 20th century. They will return home by 2025, which the Smithsonian describes as a “shared stewardship agreement.” (CBC)
Botched Picasso sale triggers lawsuit Incomplete payment and a complex chain of holding companies are the subject of a lawsuit filed by collector Stella Isabella Djohan in a New Jersey court against Neville Keating Pictures Limited. Djohan claims the company failed to pay the full price of $7.75 million for Picasso Mrs Assise (1958) and transferred custody of the painting to various companies without her consent. She asks the court to declare her the sole and true legal owner of the work. (The art newspaper)
Glenn Beck is now a painter – We regret to report that the latest right-wing figure to reinvent himself as an artist is Glenn Beck (although he dislikes the term “artist”). The conspiracy theorist and political commentator took up painting during the pandemic and is now exhibiting his work at Park City Fine Arts in Utah. Proceeds from the sales will fund Beck’s charitable work. Subjects include Teddy Roosevelt, a 1936 boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and, um, depictions of Jesus Christ as a prisoner in Mao’s China and a concentration camp. “I don’t want to do it [art] about politics,” said Beck. “This story matters to all of us.” (Deseret News)
Documenta increases security before opening – In view of the risk of vandalism, the Kassel Quinquennale will tighten its security measures. The exhibition organizers filed a complaint with local authorities after unknown persons broke into the exhibition space of Palestinian artist collective The Question of Funding and daubed it with graffiti, which was the focus of the exhibition’s anti-Semitism debate. Documenta opens to the public on June 18th. (monopoly)
movers & shakers
Michigan Museum builds grand pianos for female artists The Muskegon Museum of Art plans to build a permanent exhibition space dedicated to artists who identify with women, thanks to a $12 million donation from San Antonio-based collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt. The gift – which includes 150 paintings by 115 artists as well as $1.5 million in cash – comes as the museum is in the midst of an expansion that is expected to be completed by 2024. (ARTnews)
Austrian billionaire and collector dies after opening of private museum – Austrian department store heiress Heidi Göess-Horten, who opened a long-awaited private museum, the Heidi Horten Collection, in Vienna earlier this month, died at her home on Lake Wörthersee on Sunday. Their collection includes blue-chip greats and lesser-known Austrian artists. She was 81. (ARTnews)
The Morgan library gets a makeover – The Morgan Library and Museum in New York has completed a $13 million restoration of its 1906 landmark, designed by Charles Follen McKim, and the construction of an adjacent new garden. The 5,000 square meter green space houses sculptures from the Morgan collection. (New York Times)
FOR THE SAKE OF ART
Met exhibition features work by museum staff – Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s staff possess considerable artistic talent. They’re featuring it in the “Art Work: Artists Working at The Met” exhibit, which features the artistic contributions of more than 450 employees, including librarians, technicians, security guards, and volunteers. The show runs until June 19th. (Break New York)
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