Art Industry News: Was Jackie O’s Portrait Stolen From Grey Gardens? + More Must-Read Stories
Plus, investigation reveals misconduct by the photographer Patrick Demarchelier and Art Basel's parent company posts a loss.
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 Monday, February 19.
Princess Diana’s Photographer Accused of Sexual Misconduct – Princess Diana’s personal photographer Patrick Demarchelier has been accused of sexual misconduct with young models. Conde Nast and GQ magazine have stopped working with the French photographer, who denies the allegations. Fifty models spoke to the Globe Spotlight Team about alleged harassment by 25 photographers, agents, stylists, casting directors, and other industry professionals. (Boston Globe)
Berlin Museums Chief Calls for Restitution Rules – Hermann Parzinger, who runs Berlin Museums, says international guidelines should be created for artifacts in public collections that had been looted during the colonial era. The president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation cited the Washington Principles on Nazi-looted art as a precedent. (The Art Newspaper)
Battle Rages Over Jackie Bouvier’s Teenage Portrait – Heirs of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis’s eccentric aunt and cousin are suing an East Hampton gallery owner, claiming a 1957 portrait of the former First Lady at age 19 was stolen from Edith and “Little Edie” Beale’s dilapidated home, the infamous Grey Gardens. Terry Wallace says he bought the painting by Irwin Hoffman from a reputable dealer. (The New York Times)
Artwork Hidden by Picasso Is Revealed – A landscape painted by an unknown artist beneath Picasso’s The Crouching Beggar (1902) has been revealed by experts from Northwestern University. X-ray fluorescence show that Picasso used the hillside, possibly in Barcelona, to shape the contours of the beggar’s back in his Blue Period work at the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Guardian)
Demand Skyrockets for Amy Sherald’s Paintings – Amy Sherald’s Chicago dealer Monique Meloche reveals the already lengthy waitlist for the artist has exploded since the unveiling of her portrait of Michelle Obama, with the gallery receiving more than 50 inquiries a day, including from prominent collectors around the world. The demand now exceeds the number of paintings Sherald is expected to complete in her lifetime. (Artsy)
Sotheby’s to Sell Major Doig – Peter Doig’s 1991 painting, The Architect’s Home in the Ravine, will lead Sotheby’s London evening sale on March 7, carrying an estimate of £14-18 million ($19-25 million). The early work references a Le Corbusier, and a building—the architect Eberhard Zeidler’s home—Doig remembers from his childhood in Canada. (Press release)
Art Wynwood Ticket Sales to Benefit Victims of Florida Shooting – The Miami art fair, which closes its seventh edition today, has promised to donate part of its ticket sales to victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. (Press release)
Art Basel Parent Company Posts Big Loss – MCH Group, the parent company of Art Basel, has announced a loss of around $119 million in 2017. The company blamed the majority on a “value adjustment” caused by the downscaling of the 2018 edition of the Baselworld watch fair and the difficult economic climate for exhibitions and the event business in Switzerland in general. To diversify, it bought London’s Masterpiece fair and the US live marketing company MC2 in 2017, and will launch the luxury car show Grand Basel this year. (Press release)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Germany’s Prestigious Museum Taps New Director – The Folkwang Museum in Essen, which houses one of the country’s preeminent collections of 19th- and 20th-century art, has appointed Peter Gorschlüter, a nart historian and curator who was previously deputy director of Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art. (Monopol)
Legendary Washington Art Patron Dies at 70 – Peggy Cooper Cafritz was a “grand dame” of the US capital’s art world, who worked to mend the city’s social and racial divides and created the country’s foremost arts-intensive high school. She also had one of the largest private collections of African American and African art until much of it was destroyed by a fire in 2009. (The Washington Post)
American Artist André Harvey Has Died at 76 – The self-taught sculptor leaves behind a legacy of hyperrealistic bronze animal works including cows, frogs, manatees, and pigs, that were made using the lost wax method. (Artforum)
German Photographer Candida Höfer Received Prestigious Prize – The world-famous artist who is renowned for her large-format photographs of empty interiors has been awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. Selected works spanning her career will be shown as part of the awards exhibition at Somerset House in London. Previous recipients include Martin Parr, who won the prize in 2017. (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Man Admits to Fraud Over Gardner Theft – On Thursday, Todd Desper pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to charges of fraudulently offering to sell a Rembrandt and a Vermeer that were stolen from the Gardner Museum in America’s largest ever art heist in 1990. It turns out Desper never had the paintings, but he is facing 20 years for wire fraud. His sentence will be handed down on May 15. (Business Insider)
Monochrome Paintings Donated to Moderna Museet – A Swedish art collector and gallerist is donating 12 abstract monochrome works to Stockholm’s Moderna Museet. Claes Nordenhake’s donation consists of work by Robert Ryman, Marcia Hafif, Olle Bærtling, and others, and will be displayed in a room at the museum later this year. (Press release)
Louvre to Send Ancient Treasures to Tehran – The Louvre is sending around 50 Greek, Roman, and Persian treasures to the National Museum of Iran, the first major loan show from the West to Tehran. Called “Louvre in Tehran” and sponsored by Renault and the energy company Total through its foundation, the show is a cultural coup for the French museum. (TAN)
“Three Billboards” Inspires Artistic Protests in London and Florida – Stunts inspired by the Oscar-nominated film Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missouri, have taken place in London and Miami as activists in both cities drove around three provocative red signs with black letters, respectively reading “71 Dead / And Still No Arrests? / How Come?” and “Slaughtered in School / And Still No Gun Control? / How Come Marco Rubio?” The London signs target government and police for negligence in the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower, while the signs circulating Miami take aim at Senator Rubio for the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (Hyperallergic / Vulture)
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