Art Industry News: An Iceberg Collapse at the Titanic Museum Injures Guests + Other Stories

Plus, turns out Neanderthals decorated their caves and some Steve Jobs memorabilia hits the block at affordable prices.

A half-scale replica of the Titanic hitting an iceberg is a main feature of the Titanic Museum as viewed on October 18, 2016 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. (Photo by George Rose/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, August 3.


Kerry James Marshall Gets the New Yorker Profile Treatment – It was only 5 years ago that the Alabama-born painter was the subject of his first major retrospective—“Mastry” opened at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago before heading to the Met and MOCA Los Angeles. At that time, “there were still people in the art world who didn’t know who he was,” notes curator Helen Molesworth. Now, Marshall is one of the most famous living artists. “Kerry has such a whimsical, quizzical mind,” commented fellow artist Arthur Jafa. “His paintings take on the whole weight of Western civilization.” (New Yorker)

Why the September 11 Museum Needs Reform – The museum has struggled through the pandemic, fired staff, suspended its annual Tribute in Light commemoration at Ground Zero, and faced criticism for how its exhibits promote Islamophobia. According to authors Todd Fine and Asad Dandia, a new documentary, The Outsider, looks at the creation of the museum and “illuminates how its leadership made top-down decisions that condensed and weaponized the memory of September 11 into a quasi-religion that can be relied on to indefinitely fuel a vengeful American nationalism.” (Hyperallergic)

Ice Wall Injures Guests at Titanic Museum  Three people were hospitalized on Monday night when an ice wall collapsed at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Located in the tourist town also known for Dollywood and other attractions, the museum is one of two Titanic attractions run by Cedar Bay Entertainment (the other is in Branson, Missouri). It features a half-scale replica of the Titanic and the enclosed “iceberg wall” that allows visitors to feel what the ice mass that wrecked the Titanic was actually like. The attraction closed briefly, and then immediately reopened on Tuesday. (WBIR)

Study Confirms Neanderthals Made Cave Art – A study published on Monday has found that it was indeed Neanderthals who painted the stalagmites in a Spanish cave 64,800 years earlier. Red pigment was either splattered or blown on the rock surfaces at Cueva de Ardales. It had previously been thought to be naturally occurring iron oxide. Though much more rudimentary than the cave art of homo sapiens, these new findings still show “the symbolic systems of some Neanderthal communities.” (Guardian)


Serpentine Launches Artist Fellowship Program – London’s Serpentine Galleries has a new program that supports projects at the intersection of art, politics, and community practice. “Support Structures for Support Structures” includes ten inaugural artists, who each receive £10,000 to develop projects. The include Abbas Zahedi, Beverley Bennett, and Nawi Collective, among others. (ARTnews)

James Cohan Expands With Tribeca Gallery – James Cohan will open a 5,000 square foot space in Tribeca, adjacent to his 48 Walker Street location. The space will launch on October 7 with an exhibition by Gauri Gill. (Press release)

Steve Jobs Memorabilia Hitting the Auction Block—for Cheap – On August 12 at RR Auction, several items once belonging to the Apple co-founder are going for sale, including a bomber jacket he wore and his old business cards. An old job application by the Macintosh inventor (with an NFT included) just sold for over $300,000—but the items in the upcoming RR sale are all under the $1,000 estimate mark. (9 to 5 Mac)

Cruise Passengers Unhappy With Venice Boat Ban – As a ban on cruise ships entering the Venice lagoon took effect on August 1, the NYT follows the tale of Vittoria Comparone, who booked a honeymoon cruise that promised views of an approach to the famed city of canals from the deck of a giant boat. Instead, she woke up with a view of a shipyard, barbed wire, and a cooling tower in nearby Monfalcone, Italy, one of several destinations absorbing the displaced ships. “It’s not exactly as charming as Venice,” she says. (New York Times)


See the Muralist Who’s Documenting British Medal Wins in Real Time – Ben Mosley, who is on the official team of artists-in-residence for the Olympic 2021 Games, has been drawing a mural that captures each British medal win as it happens. The mural is on show in Carnaby Street in London. (Evening Standard)


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