Art Industry News: Turns Out Ousted Whitney Board Member Warren Kanders Didn’t Actually Divest From the Tear Gas Business + Other Stories

Plus, Ernie Barnes's "Sugar Shack" will go on view at the MFA Houston, and Bernardo Paz donates 300 works to Inhotim.

Allison Kanders and Warren Kanders attend 2012 Whitney Gala at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 2012. Photo by Ben Gabbe/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 Tuesday, June 7.


Are Luxury Cars the New $100 Million Investment Strategy? – RM Sotheby’s sold an ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut for a record-busting €135 million ($143 million) last month, making it the fifth most expensive object ever sold at auction and the only non-artwork on the top 10 list. The watershed moment for the car market could mark a turning point as billionaires seek ever more diverse places to park their funds ahead of the forecasted recession. That said, the car’s buyer—rumored to be billionaire Swiss pharmaceutical heir Ernesto Bertarelli—does apparently intend to show it at events, and even have it driven. (Vanity Fair)

Ukraine Says 370 Sites Have Been Destroyed By War – Kyiv’s culture minister Oleksandr Tkachenko claims that Russian forces have destroyed 370 cultural sites in the first 100 days of their invasion of Ukraine. Churches have been the worst hit, but museums have also been targeted. “Culture is identity,” Tkachenko said. (Monopol)

Warren Kanders Is Still Selling Tear Gas – Records show that former Whitney board member Warren Kanders has not actually divested from the tear gas business following his ouster from the museum, despite statements to the contrary. Companies owned by or associated with Kanders are still selling chemical weapons that have been deployed against U.S. protesters and civilians around the world. In its annual shareholder report, Kanders’s Florida-based company Cadre Holdings disclosed Defense Technology LLC—which uses popular toxic compounds for tear gas in its products—among its subsidiaries. The companies did not respond to requests for comment. (The Intercept)

Sicilian Portion of Parthenon Marbles Is Reunited in Greece – The Antonio Salinas Museum in Palermo, Sicily, has reunited a fragment of the Parthenon Marbles with its original structure at the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The fragment depicts the foot of the Greek goddess of hunting, Artemis, on the throne. It was sold to the museum by the wife of English Consul Robert Fagan, who acquired it at the beginning of the 19th century. (Monopol)


Bernardo Paz Donates 300 Works to Inhotim – The Brazilian art collector and mining magnate has donated more than 300 works from his personal collection to his outdoor art complex Inhotim. The trove encompasses works by Arthur Jafa, Do Ho Suh, and Pipilotti Rist. Inhotim also announced the creation of an advisory board, which will be led by Paz and include 30 other members. (The Art Newspaper)

Phillips to Hold First Auction at Southampton Outpost – The auction house is set to host its first live auction in the tony enclave, where it has operated an exhibition space since August 2020. The sale, which begins at 12 p.m. on June 25th, features Modern and contemporary prints and multiples by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Catherine Opie, and David Hockney. (Press release)

Monuments Men Foundation Changes Its Name – Turns out the Monuments Men weren’t just men! To acknowledge the 27 women on the WWII art rescue team, the Dallas-based nonprofit, which seeks to continue the legacy of its namesake by reuniting owners with long-lost artworks, has changed its name to the Monuments Men and Women Foundation. (Dallas Innovates)


Ernie Barnes’s Sugar Shack Will Go on View at MFA Houston – The record-breaking Ernie Barnes work that sold for $15.3 million at Christie’s last month will go on view at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, per a tip from Wall Street Journal sleuth Kelly Crow. The Houston collector who acquired it, entrepreneur Bill Perkins, will loan it to the museum from June 15 through December. (Twitter)

Ernie Barnes, The Sugar Shack (1976). Image courtesy Christie's.

Ernie Barnes, The Sugar Shack (1976). Courtesy of Christie’s New York.

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