Art Industry News: Experts Warn That the Ocean Is Not Finished With the Titanic, and Is Now Disintegrating the Accursed Boat + Other Stories

Plus, Broadway is getting a Frida Kahlo musical, and a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card could fetch $10 million.

Sets of breakfast dishes from the sunken Titanic (1912) are shown in New York in 1987 as they were found by expedition Titanic 1987. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

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 Tuesday, July 26.


A Frida Kahlo Musical Is Coming – The legendary artist’s family has authorized the development of Frida, The Musical, a Broadway show that traces the career, loves, and losses of the 20th century figure. The project will be produced by Valentina Berger and BTF Media, featuring music by Mexican composer Jaime Lozano and lyrics by Neena Beber. The first workshop is slated for 2023. (Deadline)

Collectors Are Selling the Site of a Longtime Sculpture Park – Collectors Sherry and Joel Mallin are selling their Pound Ridge, New York, estate, which for years has housed their 1,000-plus artwork collection. Buckhorn Sculpture Park, which sprawls across more than 14 acres and includes a 1930s house and a museum-quality exhibition space, carries a price tag of $8.5 million. The art is not included. (Bloomberg)

UNESCO Warns Titanic Is DisintegratingUNESCO renewed a warning that underwater cultural heritage worldwide is at risk, including the remains of the Titanic. Expeditions to its site, pollution, and bacteria have all contributed to the breaking up of its debris—and UNESCO experts estimate the remains will be gone by 2050. Calling the oceans and bodies of water the “largest museum,” the body is pushing for preservation. (Egypt Today)

Laurie Anderson Makes an Appearance on 60 Minutes – Anderson Cooper interviewed the acclaimed art-world heroine Laurie Anderson. How does the artist define her work? “With a gun to my head, I say I tell stories. And those look like paintings sometimes. They look like, you know, songs. They look like films. They’re just stories.” Anderson’s largest-ever exhibition in the U.S. is now on view at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (CBS)


Collectors Promise Trove to the North Carolina Museum of Art – Randy Shull and Hedy Fischer, collectors based in Asheville, North Carolina, and Merida, Mexico, have pledged more than 100 works of contemporary art to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Works by artists including Pope L., Graciela Iturbide, Abraham Cruzvillegas, and Betye Saar will figure in the upcoming exhibition “Start Talking: Fischer/Shull Collection of Contemporary Art,” which opens in September. (Press release)

Artnet Auctions Adds Photo Specialist – Simone Klein has joined Artnet Auctions in the new role of senior international specialist for photographs. Klein previously led the photography department at Lempertz Auctioneers as well as Sotheby’s European photography department, and served as global sales director for the Magnum Photos agency in Paris. Artnet Auctions’ photography sales have spiked 78 percent since 2020; specialists are now accepting consignments for the fall season. (Press release)

Jack Nicholson’s Joker Costume Sells for $125,000 – Heritage Auctions held a two-day Hollywood & Entertainment Signature® Auction over the weekend—among the top lots was the purple suit Nicholson wore onscreen in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. After a prolonged bidding war, the lot fetched $125,000. George Clooney’s Batman suit from 1997’s Batman & Robin sold for $57,500. (Press release)


Mickey Mantle Card Expected to Bring in $10 Million – In other Heritage news, the house plans to sell a 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps rookie card in its sports auction on August 27–28. The same card made the cover of the New York Post in 1991 when Alan Rosen sold it to an anonymous buyer for a then-record $50,000. Now, that buyer—Anthony Giordano—is parting with the card, which has been graded a Mint+ 9.5. At a time when the market for sports collectibles is reaching new heights, it is expected to fetch more than $10 million, a record for the priciest sports card ever sold. (Press release)

The Mickey Mantle card. Photo: Heritage Auctions.

The Mickey Mantle card. Photo: Heritage Auctions.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.