Art Industry News: A Winston Churchill Painting That Once Hung on the Onassis Family Yacht Heads to Phillips + Other Stories

Plus, Georg Baselitz resigns from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts over pandemic response, and why we don't need another Eli Broad.

Still from the documentary “The Other World of Winston Churchill,” showing Sir Winston L.S. Churchill's The Moat, Breccles in situ on the Christina.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Friday, June 4.


Maybe We Don’t Need Anyone to Fill Eli Broad’s Shoes – Critic Carolina Miranda offers an incisive reply to all that New York Times questioning about who would fill Eli Broad’s shoes following the formidable philanthropist’s death last month. In fact, she says, L.A. does not need another Eli Broad. Instead, it needs proper government funding to help museums become places that serve publics and not the patrons who sit on their boards. She also denounces the constant framing of L.A. as a city that is still emerging as a cultural capital, a line that has been reiterated for decades. (Los Angeles Times)

Georg Baselitz Resigns From Art School – Baselitz has resigned from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in solidarity with its president, Winfried Nerdinger, who has been under fire for his remarks about the pandemic. Nerdinger had decried the government for shrugging off artists as “completely unimportant” and for locking down art spaces. In response, some 20 faculty members wrote a letter denouncing his statements. Baselitz said the protesters’ behavior was “disgusting” and that he “does not want to continue sitting under the same roof with these courtiers.” (ARTnews)

A Lost Winston Churchill Owned by the Onassis Family Hits the Block – A verdant landscape, The Moat, Breccles (1921), painted by the former British Prime Minister will be offered at Phillips’s 20th century and contemporary art evening sale on June 23. The picture was long thought to be lost—but in fact, it was simply hanging in the saloon of the Christina, the yacht owned by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Around 50 years after Churchill gifted the painting to his friend, it will be sold by the Onassis family with an estimate of $1.5 million to $2 million. (Press release)

Black Wall Street Gallery Advocates for Police Inquiry of Damage – The owner of Black Wall Street Gallery in SoHo is calling on police to treat the vandalism of the gallery as a hate crime after it was struck three times in the past week. The gallery, which is hosting a show to commemorate the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, was defaced Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the 100th anniversary of the horrific event. (New York Times


A Painting Looted By Nazis Will Be Auctioned for Charity – The painting The Compassionate Child (The Beggar) by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, once owned by the prominent Jewish-Austrian collector Irma Löwenstein, is going on sale at Dorotheum in Vienna. The work had been looted by the Nazis, though it was eventually retrieved by Löwenstein’s heirs, the sight loss charity the Vision Foundation. It is expected to fetch between €150,000 and €200,000. (Press release)

David Zwirner to Rep Portia Zvavahera – Zimbabwe-based artist Portia Zvavahera will now be represented by David Zwirner in collaboration with longtime gallery Stevenson. Zvavahera’s gently figurative paintings will go on view at Zwirner’s New York gallery in fall 2021. (ARTnews)

Huang Yuxing Gets an Exhibition in Europe With Almine Rech – The rising Chinese art star Huang Yuxing is having his first exhibition with Almine Rech during Art Brussels Week. “Heaps of Brocade and Ash 锦” runs through July 31. (Press release)


Minneapolis Institute of Art Gets $19 Million in Gifts – The Minneapolis museum has received gifts totaling more than $19 million for its endowment and operations. They include $5 million for the creation of a chief diversity and inclusion officer and funding for a new curatorial position for Latin American art. (The Art Newspaper)

Curator Meg Perlman Has Died – Perlman, who lived with a disability as a stroke survivor, had a long career as an art curator. She worked with the Matisse family, the Rockefellers, and was the founding director of the Pollock-Krasner House. She died on June 1 at the age of 71. (Email)


“Charlie Bit Me” NFT Proceeds Will Go Toward College Funds – It’s just a fact: the happiest NFTs are the NFTs sold by people who were the subjects of memes as children, and now get to cash in on it. The early YouTube video of baby Charlie and his older brother Harry sold as an NFT for £500,000 and the boys, now nearing adulthood, say that they’ll use the profits to go to university. (BBC)

Meet the Instagram Account Immortalizing Your Trashed Art – For the past 10 years, Jason Osborne has been documenting and sharing submitted images of trashed art from around the world. The account, one writer says, “pays a final tribute to these disowned artworks before they fade into the trash heap of history.” (Hyperallergic)

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