Art Industry News: National Endowment for the Humanities Awards $33 Million in Grants to 245 Exemplary Arts Projects Across the U.S. + Other Stories

Plus, the Mattress Factory has a new director and an inside look into Simone Leigh's highly anticipated Venice Biennale pavilion.

The New-York Historical Society. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
The New-York Historical Society. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/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 Friday, April 15. 


Holocaust Heirs Sue Israel Museum in Jerusalem  The institution is facing a lawsuit brought by the Jewish heirs of Holocaust victim Ludwig Marum for refusing to return a manuscript it is allegedly holding illegally. The 14th-century Birds’ Head Haggadah has been in the museum collection since 1946, but its provenance has been in question since Marum’s heirs demanded monetary compensation from the museum for allegedly illegally possessing the work. The suit, which four of Marum’s grandchildren filed in New York Supreme Court, is the first restitution case concerning a lost Holocaust-era object against any museum in Israel.  (The Art Newspaper)

St. Petersburg Artist Faces Prison Following Anti-War Protest – Sasha Skochilenko is facing up to 10 years in prison for an anti-war protest she staged in a grocery store on April 11. The 32-year old artist was recorded stacking the store with items covered in news reports about bombings in Mariupol, Ukraine. Skochilenko will be held in pre-trial detention until May 31, when she will face charges including spreading “knowingly false information,” according to the news site PaperPaper, which has been blocked in Russia. (TAN)

NEH Announces More Than $33 Million in Grants – The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced the 245 project recipients of $33.17 million in grants. Among the $4.4 million to be awarded to 30 grantees in New York, including the New-York Historical Society, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the media arts organization Women Make Movies. Other grantees include the Bishop Museum in Honolulu and the First Peoples Fund in Sioux City, South Dakota, which finances research, makes grants, and organizes programs with Native, First Peoples, and Indigenous American communities. (New York Times)


New Acropolis Director Says Parthenon Marbles Should Return to Greece – Nikos Stampolidis is putting pressure on Westminster to finally return the Parthenon Marbles. “It’s time for the matter to be closed,” Stampolidis said. “An act of the English parliament would be enough to return the friezes to Greece.” (France 24)

Mattress Factory Names David Oresick Director – The Pittsburgh kunsthalle appointed Oresick executive director to step in for departing chief Hayley Haldeman. Oresick studied under Dawoud Bey while earning his master’s degree in photography at Columbia College Chicago, and has held positions at Light Work in Syracuse, New York, and with the Pittsburgh nonprofit Silver Eye, dedicated to contemporary photography. He begins on May 16. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Simone Leigh Prepares for Venice – The first Black female artist to represent the United States at the so-called “art world Olympics” is busy putting the final touches on her project. Leigh has transformed the Jeffersonian-inspired pavilion into a “1930s African palace,” complete with a thatched roof propped for “an over-the-top Blackness,” the artist said. This edition of the Venice Biennale is no stranger to difficulties, and Leigh’s 24-foot bronze sculpture, Satellite, may not make it in time for the opening due to logistical snares. But Leigh isn’t letting it get her down. “Most artists don’t get this opportunity to see their ideas writ large in this way.” (New York Times)


Louis Vuitton Stages Show at Louis Khan-Designed Salk Institute – Nicholas Ghesquière, artistic director of women’s collections at the luxury designer, is bringing an architecturally inspired collection to the dramatic landscape of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, for the Cruise 2023 collection. The Brutalist building, which looks over the Pacific Ocean, was done by Khan in 1965. (designboom)


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