Art Industry News: The Uffizi Galleries Have Raised Ticket Prices By 25 Percent, Citing Mounting Energy Costs + Other Stories

Plus, Gerhard Richter's last color chart painting hits the block and Igshaan Adams joins the roster at Thomas Dane.

A visitor photographs Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus at the Uffizi Galleries. Photo by David Silverman/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 this Thursday, April 13.


Is This the Dawn of the “Metaverse Winter”? – It’s spring, but it seems winter is setting in for the metaverse industry, much like it did for the crypto world last year. Disney has announced the dissolution of its metaverse department that was set up in February 2022; Walmart cut its “Universe of Play” from metaversal game Roblox after just six months. And Meta has undertaken several rounds of layoffs, the newest affecting 10,000 employees. (Jing Culture & Crypto)

Gerhard Richter’s Final Color Chart Painting Heads to Sotheby’s – The last work in Richter’s most famous series is 4096 Farben from 1974, and it is coming up for auction at Sotheby’s New York on May 18. It carries an estimate of $18 million to $25 million. The work also featured on the cover of the catalogue raisonné of the artist, who announced his retirement from painting in 2017, though is still making works on paper. (Press release)

Debate Over Uffizi Ticket Prices – The Florentine museum’s hiked ticket prices are causing a controversy. Full-price tickets now cost €25 in high season (March 1 to November 30), when they used to cost €20. The government stressed that the move was justified due to rising energy prices, but the move has prompted a debate on what the cost of accessing culture should be. (The Florentine)

British Museum Returns Oceanic Sculpture to Polynesia – London’s premiere museum has loaned the famed A’a sculpture, a sandalwood stylized depiction of a man, to the Te Fare Iamanaha/Musée de Tahiti et des Iles (Museum of Tahiti and The Islands) for three years. The work is one of the earliest Polynesian sculptures and is on loan to the museum along with five other works.  (The Art Newspaper) 


Blanton Names First Curator of Latino Art – The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin has named Dr. Claudia Zapata as the first-ever associate curator of Latino art. The new position was funded by a $500,000 grant from the initiative Advancing Latinx Art in Museums developed by the Ford Foundation, Getty Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Terra Foundation for American Art. (Glasstire)  

Igshaan Adams Joins Thomas Dane – The gallery will work in collaboration with blank projects and Casey Kaplan to represent the South African artist. His solo exhibition will be presented in October 2023, to coincide with Frieze London. (Press release)

Kickstarter Names New Head of Arts – Danny Baez is the new Head of Arts at Kickstarter, where he will oversee the visual and performing arts categories. A native of the Dominican Republic, Baez worked as an apprentice to Rirkrit Tiravanija, served as external affairs representative for Gavin Brown, co-founded the non-profit ARTNOIR, and most recently opened the community space REGULARNORMAL.  (Press release)


Macron Pays a Visit to the Vermeer Show – For the first official state visit in 23 years, president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Birgitte visited Amsterdam and The Hague. During their stay in the Dutch capital, the two stopped by the Vermeer show at the Rijksmuseum—lucky for them. For the rest of us, the blockbuster show, which received rave reviews, is totally sold-out. (Press release)

(L to R) Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Brigitte Macron, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Maximaat and Director of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Taco Dibbits pose for a photograph in front of the painting ‘The Milkmaid’ by Johannes Vermeer during a visit to the exhibition of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer at the Rijskmuseum in Amsterdam on April 12, 2023. Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images.

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