Art Industry News: Pop Artist Peter Max’s Children Are in a Colorful Battle to Control His Empire + Other Stories

Plus, a call for a Brexit from Unesco and a troubled museum gets a new boss.

Peter Max unveils Ocean Drive magazine cover at Hyde Midtown at on June 27, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Manny Hernandez/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, July 28.


The Fall of the Artists Pension Trust – The experimental (but for-profit) artist fund, which was established in 2004 to offer artists financial security, is facing a revolt from participants. Some 2,000 artists gave about $70 million worth of their personal art to the Trust, in the hopes that the pooled investments would provide them a stream of retirement income. But to date the company has only made small payouts that are few and far between, and when participants voiced concerns, “the company all but disappeared and they lost track of where their art was being held.” (New York Times)

A Call for a Brexit from UNESCO – Outraged by recent Unesco statements criticizing development around Stonehenge and the Liverpool waterfront, Simon Heffer declares that it is time to start ignoring the U.N. body, which is, in his assessment, “a vehicle for Third World countries to gang up with each other against the supposedly imperialist, capitalist West.” Its “World Heritage Site” status is irrelevant to tourism and a tool for U.N. bureaucrats to meddle in local affairs. “This is in fact an ideal moment for Britain to learn to live without Unesco,” he writes. (Telegraph

Peter Max’s Kids Go to War for Control – Adam and Libra Max, the children and part-owners of their famous artist father’s company ALP, are locked in a bitter fight. Adam has filed a suit accusing Libra of a “hostile takeover,” after she refused to show up at a July 12 shareholder meeting where he joined forces with Peter Max’s legal guardian in voting to dissolve ALP. His lawyer told the Post that Adam’s “income has been reduced to zero and he’s been completely shut out of the business.” Libra’s lawyer calls the new claims “warmed over milk and meritless.” [New York Post]

Hitler’s Horse Statues Are Handed Over to Government – After a long legal dispute, a pair of bronze horses made by artist Josef Thorak for Adolf Hitler will be handed over to the German government. The pieces were forgotten on a Soviet military base in outside of Berlin, in East Germany, and were then acquired by collector Rainer Wolf. The German government plans to exhibit the horses, but has not yet revealed further details. (The Art Newspaper)


Turner Prize Will Return to Tate Liverpool After 15 Years – The Tate Liverpool will host the shortlisted Turner Prize artists this fall for the annual exhibition in fall 2022. Every other year, an institution outside of London hosts the esteemed art prize’s award exhibition. (BBC News)

Little Island Will Host Over 450 Artists in Monthlong Festival – A festival is planned for New York’s popular new tourist island, set to run from August 11 to September 5. It will feature 450 artists and 160 performances that range from music to dance and comedy. Many events will be free, but those in its 687-seat amphitheater will be ticketed. (NYT)

Guggenheim Fills Two Top Posts – Ty Woodfolk will join the famed institution as deputy director and chief culture and inclusion officer, a newly created post. Trish Jeffers will join as the deputy director for HR. The museum had faced criticism for its lack of racial equity last year. The two begin on September 7. (Press release)

Museum of Arts and Design Gets a New Director – Timothy R. Rodgers, a veteran of the Phoenix Art Museum, will be the New York museum’s 11th director in just eight years. The museum’s board of trustees hopes he can help stabilize the institution after a bumpy year of cutbacks and executive staff turnover. (NYT)


You Can Draw on the Floor of the Turbine Hall – At the Tate Turbine Hall, Japanese artist Ei Arakawa’s project “Mega Please Draw Freely” invites everyone to doodle and draw on the floor. The show is on until August 29. (Press release)



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