Around the Art World in Six Minutes

From Banksy to Romania's digital museum, all the news to start your week.

A Banksy mural in San Francisco that is now the object of a preservation initiative. Photo: Courtesy Save the Banksy, via Kickstarter.

The How-To: Plenty of public artworks by the street artist Banksy have turned up at auction lately, but what if you find yourself in possession of such a work with no intention of selling in, only of restoring it and sharing it with the public? Such is the predicament of San Francisco’s Brian Greif, who owns a large mural of a rat that the secretive British artist painted on a Haight Street house in 2010. He is now having it restored, and hopes to secure a public venue for it—though several museums, including SFMOMA, have turned down his donation offers—the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In the meantime, he has launched a Kickstarter campaign to aid in the restoration, dubbed “Save the Banksy.”

The Review: As we approach the centenary of the beginning of World War One, institutions around the world are responding with exhibitions about the conflict, including the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin. “The World at War, 1914–1918,” which Edward Rothstein reviewed for the New York Times, tracks the experience of the war by way of the personal effects of soldiers and citizens. “Has there been another war in which so great a portion of a culture’s artistic creators shared experience of the conflict—often beginning with enthusiasm and ending in disillusion?,” Rothstein asks. “If history is often said to be told by the victors, here, history was told by disenchanted writers and artists.”


The Digital Museum in Pecica, Romania.
Courtesy architect Claudiu Ionescu; Photo: B. Iorgovan.

The List: The Guardian mercifully gave Jonathan Jones a break from making art historical lists—and us a break from scrolling through them—and instead has a fascinating roundup of 10 artistic or cultural research and development projects from around the world. Among them are the Rijksmuseum’s Rijksstudio, an online database of 150,000 digitized artworks available for remixing and merchandising—complete with pop-up shops and an Etsy partnership—and the Digital Museum in the small Romanian village of Pecica, which uses virtual reality-like 3D simulations to let visitors explore the galleries and collections of other museums all over the world.


Ikea’s Lufsig toy.
Photo: Courtesy the Victoria and Albert Museum, via Facebook.

The Behind-the-Scenes Feature: How does the team of four curators behind the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new Rapid Response Collecting initiative go about acquiring the most important design objects of our moment? The Telegraph tracks down the stories behind the squad’s acquisitions to date, including Ikea’s plush wolf toy “Lufsig” (above), made famous in 2013 when a distraught citizen threw it at the chief executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-Ying, during a town hall meeting. “I think the idea that you need the passage of time before you know what to collect is redundant,” team member Corinna Gardner tells the Telegraph. “The stance we are taking is much more politically and socially minded… Some might even say polemical.”

The Extra-Curricular: In a move that may have unforeseen consequences for artists working with new media and Internet art, the United States Supreme Court published a decision aimed at curbing the number of frivolous lawsuits filed by so-called “patent trolls” trying to prevent companies and individuals for implementing ideas they claim to have had first. “The [tech] industry is plagued by an increasing number of ‘patent trolls,’ companies that exist solely to force money out of others using patents, and many large companies now spend an enormous amount of time and money defending themselves from patents that should never have been granted in the first place,” explains Wired’s Klint Finley. “Legislators and activists have long pushed for new patent laws in an effort to solve this problem, but recent efforts have stalled, and today’s court decision can help limit the problem while other bills are penned.”

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