Arts Industry News: Italy’s New Right-Wing Minister of Culture Publicly Scolds the Uffizi Gallery for Closing on a National Day + Other Stories

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 Friday, November 4th.


Alex Katz Show Gets A Pan – The 95-year-old artist’s show at the Guggenheim, his second New York retrospective in nearly 30 years, “is perhaps this season’s biggest disappointment,” writes Alex Greenberger. Critics were particularly disappointed by the artist’s “banal” late work: “Katz’s practice has developed significantly over the years, just not in the way one would hope.”ARTnews)

Croatia moves towards Holocaust art restitution – After nearly a decade of hesitation, the Croatian government is taking action to return art looted during the Holocaust to the heirs of Jews whose collections were confiscated under the Ustaše regime. (New York Times)

Uffizi Gallery clashes with culture minister over bank holiday closure Italy’s newly appointed Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano slammed the Uffizi Gallery in Florence for closing its doors on Monday, an Italian national holiday. “It does not escape your intelligence that a closure of this nature is occurring […] is a disgrace to the image of the Uffizi Gallery and the entire national museum system,” he said. (ARTnews)

British Museum plans refurbishment of crumbling Parthenon marble gallery The museum plans to prioritize the renovation of the dilapidated Parthenon Marble Gallery amid mounting calls to bring the historical treasures back to Athens. The overhaul is part of the £1billion Rosetta project, the most expensive museum renovation in British history. (The art newspaper)

movers & shakers

DA Bragg brings 7th-century antiquity back to Cambodia – US authorities have returned the 7th-century Standing Sandstone Vishnu to Cambodia. According to the Manhattan DA, the sandstone work was looted from a temple under the direction of art dealer Doris Wiener, who had it smuggled to Manhattan in 1995 and sold to a private collector. (ARTnews)

Rafael Mason Elected to the Board of Directors of the Frick Collection – Mason is an operating partner at Bain Capital and previously worked at American Express where he helped bring the art of Kehinde Wiley and Julie Mehretu to platinum credit cards to support the Studio Museum in Harlem’s artists-in-residence program. (press release)

Archive of American Art Medal Winners Announced – Curator Lowery Stokes Sims received the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence, while magazine publisher Peter Brant and artist Ursula von Rydingsvard received the Archives of American Art Medal at the annual Archives of American Art Gala. (Smithsonian)

Phillips expands its business in Asia with two specialists – The auction house has appointed David Zwirner’s former Hong Kong director, Lihua Tung, as its new senior specialist and executive director of 20th Century and Contemporary Art. Yvonne Fong, formerly Senior Director at Simon Lee in Hong Kong, came on board as Senior Specialist and Senior Director. (press release)


Climate Change Museum comes to New York – The roving museum – which is trying to use art to mobilize the public to take action on climate change – has opened its first pop-up window to raise funds for a permanent home. The Soho Gallery is open until December 22 with a mural by David Opdyke. (TAN)

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