Art Industry News: 7 Tips to Verify if the Photographs You’re Seeing of Ukraine Are Actually Real + Other Stories

Plus, a new digital archive resurfaces the stories of women art dealers, and Dutch officials return a Wassily Kandinsky panting.

A resident takes a photograph of a new mural in Cardiff by artist My Dog Sighs depicting Ukraine's capital under siege on March 1, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/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 this Wednesday, March 2.


Manchester University Staff Sign Letter Backing Ousted Director – More than 100 staff members at Manchester University have signed an open letter protesting the Whitworth Art Gallery’s ouster of director Alistair Hudson. The letter decries the institution’s decision to ask Hudson to leave following a dispute over a statement of solidarity with Palestine included in a Forensic Architecture exhibition. The missive describes his dismissal as a “grave violation of academic and artistic freedom of expression” and demands that Hudson be reinstated and given an apology. (Guardian)

Ateneum Art Museum Halts Art Loans to Russia – Helsinki’s Ateneum Art Museum has halted a planned loan of work by artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela to Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery following the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine. “With ongoing hostilities, we cannot rely on the guaranteed safety of the works,” the museum’s director Marja Sakari said. “Words of peace have officially turned into acts of war, and this makes it impossible for us to loan out our works.” (Artfix Daily)

How to Tell If Photographs Are Actually Real – In wartime in the age of social media, you can’t believe everything you see. Case in point: Viral footage of a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter, lauded as the “Ghost of Kyiv,” turned out to be taken from a popular flight simulator game. To look at images critically, a photojournalism professor has a few tips: trust your gut, do a reverse image search, look for signs of manipulation, search for terms in the metadata, and be wary of low-quality images. (The Art Newspaper)

Kandinsky Painting Officially Returned – Dutch officials in Amsterdam have returned a Wassily Kandinsky painting to the heirs of a Jewish couple who sold it under duress during World War II. Kandinsky’s Painting With Houses (1909) was acquired by the city at auction in 1940 and has been at the Stedelijk Museum since then. The question of whether it should be returned ignited a wider debate about how the Netherlands should deal with restitution requests. (New York Times)


Obama Foundation Announces Art Commission – The Obama Foundation has commissioned a sculpture by artist Richard Hunt for its Library Reading Garden in Chicago. The sculpture, called Book Bird, depicts a bird taking flight from a book as a symbol of the liberating and transporting power of reading. (Press release)

A Digital Archive Resurfaces the Stories of Women Dealers – A new project, the Women Art Dealers Digital Archives, aims to correct an under-explored area of scholarship: the role women dealers have played in art history. The archive, which chronicles female dealers’ contributions beginning in the 19th century, is an open-access online platform aggregating research, oral histories, and resources that seeks to serve as a meeting place for academics. (TAN)

Adrienne L. Childs Wins High Museum’s Driskell Prize – Childs, who works as an adjunct curator at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., won the High Museum’s $50,000 David C. Driskell Prize. The art historian was recognized for her work on Black artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including the 2020 exhibition “Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition.” (ARTnews)

Ketterer Kunst Organizes Benefit Auction for Ukraine – Germany’s biggest auction house has organized a benefit auction to provide aid to Ukraine. The house will donate the total buyer’s premium raised from its online auction, “Printastic,” to Save the Children following the close of the sale on March 15. (Press release)


Alice Anderson Opens Show at Almine Rech – The British-French artist has opened a new show in London—and it’s worth your time. “Human / Non-Human Interactions” includes new copper wire sculptures and electrifying paintings made through Anderson’s “geometric dance” technique, which blends contemporary dance, kinetic art, and the influence of Nicolas Schöffer, “who attempted to create interactions between machine and human, robot and dancer,” according to curator Marie-Laure Bernadac. (Press release)

Alice Anderson, <i>Geometric Dances, Power Battery I</i> (2021). ©Alice Anderson–Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech.

Alice Anderson, Geometric Dances, Power Battery I (2021). ©Alice Anderson–Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech.

Alice Anderson performing a Geometric Dance with a drone, Archway, London, 2021. ©Alice Anderson - Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech.

Alice Anderson performing a Geometric Dance with a drone, Archway, London, 2021. ©Alice Anderson – Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech.

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