Art Industry News: Yikes, Sure Looks Like Kim Kardashian Damaged Marilyn Monroe’s Historic Dress at the Met Gala + Other Stories

Plus, Art Basel's parent company MCH is getting another round of investment, and Stanley Whitney joins Gagosian.

Not quite Gilded Age, but certainly gilded, Kim Kardashian attended the 2022 Met Gala wearing Marilyn Monroe's “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress—the most expensive dress ever sold at auction. Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan 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 Tuesday, June 14.


Puppies Puppies to Stage a Performance Inspired by Ana Mendieta at Basel – With Paris gallery Balice Hertling, the artist Puppies Puppies is going to stage a performance after Mendieta’s Untitled (Rape) from 1973, a work that is not suitable for those under 18. The “constellation” of performances starts with a two-and-a-half-hour “experimental lecture” about traumatic experiences. (ARTnews)

Uffizi Nets €70,000 From Michelangelo NFT Sold For €240,000 – The sale of an NFT based on Michelangelo’s famous painting Doni Tondo sold by the Uffizi last year made €240,000—but the Italian museum only pocketed €70,000 of that. The rest went to the Milan-based company Cinello, which minted the painting, and to the production of the digital art work. The revelation adds to ongoing debate in Italy over who owns and profits off of art in the metaverse era. (The Art Newspaper)

Kim Kardashian Does Seem to Have Damaged Marilyn Monroe’s Dress – If the whole Met Gala-Kim Kardashian furor has taught us anything, it’s this: Always listen to conservators! As it turns out, they were right to worry about the safety of Marilyn Monroe’s historic dress after Kardashian took it for a spin on the red carpet. Although Ripley’s Believe It or Not, which loaned Kardashian the gown, denied any damage had been done, new side-by-side photos, allegedly from before and after the Met Gala, show signs of stretched fabric and missing crystals. (Page Six)

MCH Is Refinancing – After being hit hard by the pandemic, MCH Group, Art Basel’s parent company, is getting renewed investment. Its two anchor shareholders—the canton of Basel-Stadt and Lupa Systems (owned by James Murdoch)—have agreed to invest between CHF 27 million and CHF 34 million each. MCH said this will “secure liquidity for the refinancing of [MCH’s] CHF 100 million bond and the further development of the company.” The parliament of Basel-Stadt still has to approve the investment. (TAN)


Biden Signs Bill to Move Forward with AAPI Museum – The U.S. President has signed what he called a “long overdue” bill to establish a commission to study the creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. The legislation follows a similar trajectory mapped out for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which was established by an act of Congress in 2003 and opened to the public in 2016. (CNN)

Aldrich Contemporary Names Chief Curator – The Ridgefield, Connecticut museum has promoted Amy Smith-Stewart to chief curator, making her the first woman to hold the position since the institution’s founding in 1964. Smith-Stewart has served as a curator at the Aldrich since 2013, mounting debut solo shows for artists including Genesis Belanger, Lucia Hierro, and Eva LeWitt. (Artforum)

Stanley Whitney Is Leaving Lisson to Join Gagosian – The acclaimed abstract painter, whose market has been on a sharp incline over the past few years, will now be represented by Gagosian. The New York-based artist will have his first exhibition at its Grosvenor Hill space in London next year. Whitney is leaving Lisson Gallery, which has represented him since 2015. (ARTnews)

Photographer Tarek Al-Ghoussein Dies at 60 – The Kuwaiti-Palestinian photographer was best known for his documentary-style landscape photographs of abandoned spaces. Sometimes, Al-Ghoussein would insert himself into images wearing a traditional Palestinian headdress. A cause of death was not immediately available. (The Art Newspaper)


Export Ban Placed on Duke’s Poussin Painting – The U.K. government has blocked the Duke of Rutland’s plan to sell a prize painting to maintain his castle. Confirmation by Nicolas Poussin found a buyer outside the country for £19 million ($23 million), but officials say the 400-year-old religious painting deserves to remain in the U.K. to benefit the public. They have issued a plea for a domestic buyer to come forward and match the price. (Telegraph)

Confirmation (ca 1637-1640). Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images.

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