Art Industry News: Bristol Removed Marc Quinn’s Unauthorized Black Lives Matter Sculpture One Day After He Installed It + Other Stories

Plus, the Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to reopen five days a week beginning August 29 and Museum Kampa catches fire in Prague.

A new sculpture, by local artist Marc Quinn, of Black Lives Matter protestor Jen Reid stands on the plinth where the Edward Colston statue used to stand on July 15, 2020 in Bristol, England. Photo by Matthew Horwood/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 Thursday, July 16.


How One Instagram Account Is Holding Museums Accountable – The anonymous Instagram account Change the Museum has been making waves in the art world, sharing stories of bad behavior ranging from microaggressions to overtly racist behavior within American museums. One post even sparked a controversy that ultimately contributed to the resignation of SFMOMA’s head curator Gary Garrels. The account was founded by a group of artists, curators, and art workers who hope to pressure museums to tackle their institutional problems from the inside. (Vulture)

The Met Details Reopening Plans for August – The New York museum will open its doors again five days a week, Thursday through Monday, beginning August 29. There will be three new exhibitions on view: Héctor Zamora’s Lattice Detour on the rooftop, “Making the Met, 1870–2020,” the museum’s 150th anniversary show, and an exhibition of the work of Modernist painter Jacob Lawrence. (New York Times)

Bristol Removes Marc Quinn’s Unauthorized Sculpture – The city of Bristol removed a sculpture by the artist Marc Quinn that was installed yesterday without authorization on the vacant plinth from which a statue of a slave trader was toppled in early June. The city’s mayor Marvin Rees says that it is up to the people of Bristol to decide what would replace the felled monument. Quinn’s sculpture was transported to the Bristol Museum “for the artist to collect or donate to our collection.” (BBC)

Prague Museum Catches Fire – Prague’s Museum Kampa was set ablaze yesterday after electrical cables caught fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze but had to evacuate some artworks from a gallery that filled with acrid smoke. Around 100 residents from the surrounding area were also displaced because of the smoke. It is not yet clear if any art was damaged. (AP)


Artnet Auctions’s Summer Editions Nets Almost $900,000 – The record-breaking summer editions sale at Artnet Auctions achieved $839,000, an increase of 161 percent over the equivalent sale last year. The average transaction value, $16,400, was also 71 percent higher than the average work sold in the 2019 sale. Top lots include Andy Warhol’s The Scream (After Munch), which fetched $336,000, and Rebel Without a Cause (James Dean) (from Ads), also by Warhol, which sold for $96,000. (Artnet Auctions)

Sotheby’s Stages “Help the Hungry” Auction – Artists including Tracey Emin, Anish Kapoor, and Yinka Shonibare have donated work to a Sotheby’s auction, the proceeds of which will help build London’s largest community kitchen. The works will be included in Sotheby’s contemporary sale online, which runs from July 20 through 30. (Press release)

Another Bacon Heads to Sotheby’s – A late-career work by Francis Bacon—whose triptych sold for $84.6 million at Sotheby’s Modern and contemporary evening sale last month—will be included in the house’s London hybrid evening sale on July 28. Bacon’s Portrait of John Edward (1986) carries an estimate of £12 million–£18 million ($15.1 million–$22.6 million). (Art Market Monitor)


The Director of Paris Museums Has Died – Delphine Lévy, the director of Paris Musées, has died suddenly at age 51 from a stroke. She oversaw the umbrella organization for 14 museums in Paris. (Le Monde)

London’s Southbank Center Lays Off Two-Thirds of Staff – The UK’s largest arts center, which includes the Hayward Gallery, is making two-thirds of its staff—up to 400 roles—redundant amid the ongoing shutdown. The center furloughed most of its 600 employees after it closed on March 17 and is predicting a £5.1 million ($6.4 million) deficit for the current financial year. The Hayward Gallery is expected to reopen to the public in August. (The Art Newspaper)

Minnesota Museum Fires Director – Kristin Makholm, who joined the Minnesota Museum of American Art in 2009 as its executive director, has been fired. The museum would not state the reason for her dismissal. It has been closed since mid-March and expects to reopen in February of next year. (Star Tribune)


Whistleblower Complaint Roils the Detroit Museum of Arts – The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Salvador Salort-Pons, arranged the loan of St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata by El Greco from a Dallas collector—who also happened to be his father-in-law. It now hangs in the reopened medieval and Renaissance galleries. Whistleblowers say that he did not disclose his family’s self-interest in the loan. (NYT)

Artists Nick Cave and Bob Faust Ask Community to Make #AMENDS – Since Thursday, yellow ropes and ribbons inscribed with personal messages have been installed at Nick Cave and Bob Faust’s multidisciplinary art gallery in Chicago. Called Dirty Laundry, the community project is part of a three-pronged initiative, “#AMENDS,” which aims to encourage individuals to examine racism in their own lives. Another chapter of the project covered the window of the facility with additional messages. (wttw)

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