Art Industry News: An Upstart Hong Kong Art Fair Draws 3,000 People Amid Worries About the City’s New Security Law + Other Stories
Plus, employees of the Carnegie Museums launch a union effort and a fire ravages Brazil's natural history museum.
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, July 1.
Protests at Oxford University Push to Remove Statues of Cecil Rhodes – Organizers behind the group Rhodes Must Fall Oxford continued to gather outside of Oxford University’s Oriel College last week. The activist group, which seeks to topple monuments to white supremacist colonist Cecil Rhodes, is concerned that the college’s independent commission, set up mid-June to consider Rhodes’s legacy and monument on campus, is stalling for time. The group maintains that the Oxford City Council’s planning process does not require a commission and that creating one could delay a decision by up to three years. (Hyperallergic)
What Worked and What Didn’t at the Met Breuer – Following news that the Met Breuer will not reopen after lockdown, instead transferring control of the storied Manhattan building to the Frick, ARTnews looks back at how the institution succeeded—and where it fell short. One overarching problem: “It never made much sense—certainly not to those unaware of the logistical particularities of the arrangement—as to why an exhibition should be at the Met Breuer as opposed to at the plain old Met.” (ARTnews)
New Hong Kong Art Fair Draws 3,000 – A new art fair spearheaded by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, Unscheduled, drew 3,000 people during its run from June 17 to 27, despite social-distancing guidelines and anxiety about the looming National Security Law, which enforces limits on free speech and dissent, that went into effect today. The pop-up fair, which was organized following the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong, “exceeded my expectations,” said Willem Molesworth, the director of de Sarthe Gallery Hong Kong, and co-organizer of the event. “The art market in Hong Kong remains resilient, strong, interested and invested in cultivating art emerging from Asia.” Organizers are now considering making the fair an annual event. (The Art Newspaper)
Carnegie Museum Employees Launch Union Effort – The Pittsburgh institution—which encompasses the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center and the Andy Warhol Museum—is the latest in a wave of museum workplaces to launch a union drive. Employees staged a virtual rally in which they solicited authorization cards from around 500 potentially eligible members. (TAN)
Intersect Art & Design Announces Exhibitors for Online Viewing Room – The art fair formerly known as Art Aspen (now Intersect Aspen) has announced 96 exhibitors from 26 countries for its 2020 online edition, which is live from July 22 to 26. Participants include Gallery 1957 from Accra, Ghana, The Breeder from Athens, Greece, and Paula Cooper Gallery from New York. (Press release)
Old Master Record Set at Dorotheum – A new record has been set for a Flemish Old Master at the Viennese auction house Dorotheum. The altarpiece painting Adoration of the Kings by Pieter Coecke van Aelst sold for €900,000 ($1 million), above its high estimate of €600,000 ($673,000). (FAZ)
COMINGS & GOINGS
The Getty and USC Acquire Paul Williams Archive – The archive of the prominent Los Angeles architect Paul Williams, who designed private homes for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, was long believed to have been lost to a fire. But as it turns out, most of his papers were safe in another location—and now, tens of thousands of those plans, drawings, and blueprints have been acquired by the Getty Research Institute and USC’s School of Architecture. (LA Times)
Dallas Museums Postpone Reopening Plans – The Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum postponed their planned reopenings on July 7 due to spikes in coronavirus cases in the state. Other institutions, like the MFA Houston, were among the earliest museums to reopen in the US; they remain operational with social-distancing measures in place. (Glasstire)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Fire Ravages Brazil’s Museum of Natural History – Nearly three years after the National Museum of Brazil in Rio was ravaged by an electrical fire, another national institution—the Museum of Natural History and Botanical Gardens of the University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte—has gone up in flames. On June 15, three storage rooms that held part of the museum’s 260,000-piece collection caught fire, damaging thousands of archaeological artifacts. (TAN)
Highlights of Milton Glaser’s Storied Career – The esteemed graphic designer behind the “I ♥ NY” logo died last week on his 91st birthday in New York. The New York Times looks back at highlights from his portfolio, from book covers and festival posters to the napkin doodle that led to the famous logo for New York City. (NYT)
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