Art Industry News: Stonehenge Lovers Experiment With the Ancient Pie Recipe That Fueled Its Construction + Other Stories

Plus, a big Banksy sale at ABMB and Germany launches an online database of colonial artifacts.

Members of the Shakti Sings choir sing as druids, pagans and revelers take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury on December 21, 2016 in Wiltshire, England.(Photo by Matt Cardy/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 Wednesday, December 1.


Jeffrey Deitch to Represent the Estate of Rammellzee – Jeffrey Deitch gallery has announced it has nabbed the estate of the late graffiti artist and hip hop legend Rammellzee. Deitch is showing works by the creative legend at Art Basel this week, and is planning an exhibition of his artistic offerings at his Los Angeles gallery in fall 2022. (ARTnews)

Activists Oppose Obama Presidential Center Construction – A conservationist group has appealed to a Chicago judge to halt construction on Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum on the city’s South Side. Protect Our Parks said that construction will clear 1,000 trees on its proposed site in Jackson Park and repurpose public land for private use. The court seemed unsympathetic to the appeal and has not said when it will issue a ruling. (Courthouse News)

Stonehenge Builders Were High on Sugar – Researchers have found evidence near Stonehenge that the builders of the Neolithic monument gathered and cooked hazelnuts, sloe berries, crab apples, and other fruit. The discovery means that the builders ate sweet foods as well as pork, beef, and dairy, to fuel them in their monumental task. Volunteers at the English Heritage charity are baking their own “Neolithic mince pies” this festive season to mark the discovery. (Evening Standard)

Germany Launches Online Database of Art From Colonial Contexts – The German Digital Library has created a searchable online database of objects in public collection that were acquired during the colonial era. While not all acquisitions were necessarily looted or stolen, the inventory so far includes 8,000 artifacts and human remains so far in 25 institutions. The federally funded project aims to make it easier to repatriate objects in public collections that were taken “in ways that are legally or morally unjustifiable today.” (The Art Newspaper)


A Banksy Sells for $4 Million at ABMB – Maddox Gallery sold a Banksy piece depicting the Peanuts character Charlie Brown for $4 million at the VIP preview for Art Basel Miami Beach yesterday. The London-based gallery said the work sold to an American collector. (Press release) 

Art Historian Robert Farris Thompson Has Died – The renowned art historian Robert Farris Thompson has died at 88. The academic was known for his writings on art from Africa and the Afro-Atlantic context, and wrote the seminal book Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy. (Artforum)

Florence to Hold a Major Donatello Exhibition – The Palazzo Strozzi in Florence has announced a major Donatello exhibition opening in March at the museum and the nearby Museo Nazionale del Bargello. It will be the first serious survey of the Renaissance sculptor in the city in more than 40 years. Versions of the show will tour to London and Berlin in 2023. (The Art Newspaper)


Louis Vuitton Show Pays Tribute to Virgil Abloh – Abloh’s friend Kanye West was among the many collaborators who turned out to Louis Vuitton’s catwalk show in Miami paying tribute to the late designer and creative genius who passed away this week at 41 after a private battle with cancer. The show presented the designer’s final SS’22 menswear collection, which paid tribute to the Off-White founder’s creative career, and climaxed with a troupe of drones lighting up the sky with the message “Virgil Was Here.” Meanwhile, his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, has declared December 1 “Virgil Abloh Day” to honor the hometown hero. (Complex) (Evening Standard)


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