Art Industry News: British Museum Workers Announce Plans to Go on Strike During Busy School Break + Other Stories

Plus, Sargent’s Daughters West names a director and Dua Lipa collects Damien Hirst NFTs.

A view into the glass-roofed courtyard of the British Museum. Photo by Waltraud Grubitzsch/picture alliance via 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 Monday, January 30.


Hermès and MetaBirkin Head to Trial – The French luxury brand is taking digital artist Mason Rothschild to court over trademark infringement after the artist released his MetaBirkins NFT collection, which depicts the fashion house’s famed Birkin bag without permission. The case will proceed today in a Manhattan federal court. (Coin Telegraph)

Politician Decries Tate Britain’s Drag Queen Story Time – The Conservative party’s Emma Harriet Nicholson, who is a current member of the House of Lords, wrote an open letter to the Tate’s board of trustees condemning the museum’s decision to invite drag queen Aida H. Dee to perform to a children’s group, calling it “propaganda.” The letter came with a petition signed by 3,500 people protesting Tate’s imposition of “gender ideology” on children. “We do not programme artists in order to promote particular points of view, nor to reconcile differing points of view,” a Tate spokesperson said in response to the uproar. (ARTnews)

British Museum Staff to Strike – More than 100 employees on the museum’s visitor services and security teams who are members of the Public and Commercial Service union (PCS), the country’s largest civil service union, will be among the latest in the U.K. to go on strike over pay and pensions disputes, with a seven-day action planned from February 13. The country is expected to see the biggest strike day in a decade this Wednesday. (Evening Standard)

Dua Lipa Collects Hirst NFTs – The Grammy award-winning pop star’s love for butterflies is evinced by not just her outfits but also her choice of art. The 27-year-old singer-songwriter revealed that she owns at least four out of five of Damien Hirt’s limited butterfly prints from the series The Empresses, named after women rulers throughout world history. The limited edition prints are part of an NFT collection produced by Hirst and Heni in early 2022. (The Art Newspaper)


Phillips Partners With ICA San Francisco – The auction house has embarked on a three-year partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, with the house supporting one exhibition at the institution each year starting with the group show “Resting Our Eyes,” which just opened last week. (Press release)

Sargent’s Daughters West Names Director – Angela Robins will take on the role of director for the gallery’s new Los Angeles-based outpost, returning to the art world after leaving to become a winemaker. The inaugural show at the gallery, titled “Death of Beauty,” features an all-star lineup, and opens on February 14. (Press release)

Skowhegan Raises $21 Million – The Maine-based school of painting and sculpture has exceeded its 75th anniversary capital campaign, with donations from art-world honchos including Eleanor Acquavella, Donald Moffett, and Paula Volent. The funds will help upgrade the on-campus facilities for students; two new structures are slated for completion this year: a Flex Space and a series of Natural Amphitheater Spaces. (Press release)


Saatchi Yates Open New Gallery in Saint James – The London gallery has just inaugurated its new 10,000-square-foot gallery space in Bury Street with a solo show of paintings by the Cologne-based, Lebanese artist Omar El Lahib. The vast ground floor exhibition will present breakthrough artists while private rooms are reserved for secondary market presentations. (Press release)

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.