Art Industry News: Courtroom Artist Defends His Unflattering Sketches of Taylor Swift + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Scotland Yard's art and antiques unit may close and the oldest known photograph of a US president heads to Sotheby's.

Taylor Swift performs at DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at Club Nomadic on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for DIRECTV)

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, August 17.


Holocaust Memorial in Boston Is Vandalized Again – A Massachusetts teen has been charged with throwing a rock at the New England Holocaust Memorial and shattering a glass panel on one of its 54-foot-tall towers. A Roxbury man caused similar damage to the monument in June. (New York Times)

Scotland Yard Art & Antiques Unit May Close – The Metropolitan Police Service has reassigned the detectives responsible for investigating art theft and forgery to the massive investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire. A former head of the unit, which also manages the London Stolen Art Database, is worried that the department’s days may be numbered. (The Art Newspaper)

Taylor Swift Sketch Artist Defends Himself – Fans of the pop star were quick to critique the courtroom sketches of Swift that surfaced online last week. Now, the artist, Jeff Kandyba, is defending his handiwork. Although he practiced drawing her before the start of the trial, “a person like Taylor Swift, who is very pretty—has perfectly proportioned dimensions on the face—is actually much harder to sketch,” he says. (Telegraph)

Denver Art Museum to Plough Ahead on Expansion – In November, locals will vote on a proposal to fund a quarter of the Denver Art Museum’s proposed $150 million expansion with public money. But officials say the renovation will go ahead even if the package does not pass—albeit with a longer timeline (ten years rather than two) and a more modest scope. (The Know)


Artists Auction Work to Fund Mueck Acquisition – It takes a village to make an acquisition. After a sculpture by Ron Mueck drew 135,000 visitors to Christchurch Art Gallery in 2010, the gallery has decided to raise AUD $1 million ($790,000) to purchase yet another work by the Australian sculptor. Forty-one artists will auction their own work in a bid to support the gallery’s fundraising effort. (Stuff)

Oldest Known Photo of a US President for Sale – The 1843 daguerreotype of America’s sixth president John Quincy Adams, discovered at an antiques shop in 1970, was thought to be the oldest surviving original photo of a US president. Now, a slightly older daguerreotype of a less grumpy Adams has surfaced. It will be sold at Sotheby’s in October (est. $150,000–250,000). (NYT)


German Architecture Pavilion Revealed – The Berlin-based architecture firm Graft and politician Marianne Birthler—who was in charge, from 2000–2011, of investigating Stasi crimes—will present “Unbuilding Walls” at next year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. The project explores urban development in the German capital after the fall of the Iron Curtain. (Press release)

Blanton Gets Leon Polk Smith Works – Collectors Jeanne and Michael Klein and the Leon Polk Smith Foundation have donated seven works by the hard-edge abstract painter to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. (Press release)


NYC to Present Installation About Climate Change – A temporary public art project by Isabelle Garbani and Jeannine Bardo involving a bicycle-powered ark was selected by Red Hook residents. It will be built this fall by local students and serve as a platform to host community programs next summer. (Press release)

US Capitol Has More Confederate Monuments Than Statues of Black People – Cities across the country are removing Confederate monuments from public spaces—but the US Capitol remains full of them. There are 12 statues commemorating confederate soldiers and politicians in the National Statuary Hall Collection—three times the number of statues of black people in the entire complex. (Washington Post)

Tate Modern Will Open a Ceramics Factory – Starting September 28, visitors can learn to mold and cast ceramic works at the London institution as part of artist Clare Twomey’s installation FACTORY: the seen and the unseen. (Press release)

See Jake Chapman’s Home, Art Collection, and…  Motorcross Track – The online video platform Nowness visited the veteran YBA artist at his home in Cotswolds, England, to talk about how moving from London to the countryside has influenced his work. (Nowness)

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