Art Industry News: 10 Women Accuse Berlin Dealer Johann König of Sexual Misconduct + Other Stories

Plus, Meta starts testing NFT features across Instagram and Facebook, and Tate (gasp!) removes the accent in Cézanne's name.

Johann König. Photo: Lukas Gansterer.

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 Thursday, September 1.


Ex-Trustees at Orlando Museum Speak Out – Former trustees of the Orlando Museum of Art say they were kept in the dark about the FBI’s interest in their Basquiat show, which was full of purported fakes. Several say they learned only after the works were seized that the museum had received a subpoena prior to the show’s opening; when they called a meeting to raise concerns over the director and board chair’s conduct, they were terminated via previously unenforced term limits. (Orlando Sentinel

Meta Debuts NFTs on Instagram and Facebook – The social media behemoth started testing NFT features across platforms this week. Select U.S. users are now able to connect their digital wallets to Instagram and Facebook and post their NFTs, tagging creators and collectors. Ethereum and Polygon are the blockchains supported, but there are plans to include Solana and Flow down the road. Third-party wallets from Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet are supported; Coinbase, Dapper, and Phantom wallets are due to be launched later. (ARTnews)

Johann König Faces Accusations of Sexual Misconduct – German reporters from Die Zeit spoke with ten women who alleged various instances of sexual misconduct by heavyweight German art dealer Johann König. König denies the allegations. (Zeit)

Dealer Daniella Luxembourg Plants a Flag in New York – The London-based, Israeli-born dealer is poised to open a new space in New York’s Fuller Building with her daughter, Alma, this week. After splitting with her longtime business partner Amalia Dayan, the gallery was renamed Luxembourg & Co. and opens its new location with a show of early works by Joan Miró. “Our aim is not to make our clients rich—though they have become it,” Luxembourg said. (Financial Times)


Tate Removes Cézanne’s Accent Ahead of Blockbuster Show – When visitors arrive at London’s Tate next month, they might be surprised to encounter the subject of its blockbuster exhibition: Paul Cezanne—minus the accent. The museum is removing the accent aigu over the “e” in the artist’s last name in keeping with Philippe Cezanne’s decision to spell his grandfather’s name as it would have appeared in his native Provence. The move is a nod to “continue to look at Cezanne afresh,” according to a Tate spokesperson. (TAN)

Artist Freed After 8 Years in Saudi Prison – Ashraf Fayadh has been freed from a Saudi prison after 8 years and 8 months following his arrest in 2014 for a list of offenses including “objecting to fate” and “having an illicit relationship with women.” Fayadh is of Palestinian origin, but was born in Saudi Arabia and helped boost its contemporary art scene at home and abroad. Since his incarceration, scores of arts organizations around the world have called for his release. (TAN)

Former VF Staffer Sues Netflix Over Portrayal in Anna Delvey Series – Rachel Williams, the former Vanity Fair photo editor who was bilked out of more than $60,000 by the fake heiress and would-be art impresario, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix. Williams’s lawyer said that his client is suing because her real name and details were used in the series, which “made her out to be a horrible person, which she is not” which caused “personal humiliation, distress… as well as damages to her earnings/potential earnings.” (Indie Wire)

Museum of Islamic Art Will Reopen With a New Look – Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art is set to reopen in early October—just in time for the World Cup—following an 18-month closure during which its collection was reimagined and reinstalled. The galleries will present more than 1,000 never-before-seen objects. (The Art Newspaper)


Han Solo Blaster Sells for Over $1.1 Million – The only surviving blaster (there were originally three) used by actor Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope sold at Rock Island Auction Company earlier this week for $1.1 million, shattering its $300,000 to $500,000 estimate. The prop, located in the inventory of the London prop house Bapty & Co., was once presumed to be lost forever. (Press release)

Image courtesy Rock Island Auction Company

Image courtesy Rock Island Auction Company.

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