Art Industry News: Brussels Artists Are Outraged After the Parliament Buys Itself a $395,000 Statue of a Comic Strip Cat + Other Stories

Plus, the Glenstone gets a $1.9 billion windfall and Harry Philbrick gets a role at a Philadelphia museum.

Belgian cartoonist Philippe Geluck (L) works at the foundry "Fonderie Van Geert" in Aalst, northern Belgium, on October 8, 2021, as he presents the steps involved in the making of sculptures of his character from his comic strip "Le Chat". Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP 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 Wednesday, March 1.


Mitchell Rales Gives $1.9 Billion to His Own Art Museum – The billionaire who cofounded industry conglomerate Danaher Corp. has made one of the largest donations to the arts—to his own Glenstone Foundation. The windfall will support the operation and maintenance of the private museum in Maryland founded by Rales and his wife Emily, and it raises the Glenstone’s endowment to a level that rivals New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Bloomberg)

Park Seo Bo Diagnosed With Lung Cancer – The 91-year-old Dansaekhwa master revealed that he has recently been diagnosed with stage three lung cancer, but he is not giving up on painting and is asking his friends and the public not to call him out of worry. “I have lived enough, but I still have things that I wish to paint,” he wrote on social media. An art space dedicated to the artist located next to Gizi Art Base in Seoul’s Seodaemun-gu will open in May. (Korea Herald)

Fracas Continues Over Cat Museum in Brussels – Cultural stakeholders in Brussels are frustrated with the parliament’s decision to acquire a €370,000 ($395,000) sculpture from artist Philippe Geluck depicting his popular newspaper comic strip character, Le Chat, to be installed in the institution’s inner garden. Some have argued that the money would be better spent on grants supporting emerging artists, and it has raised the hackles of others who also oppose the government’s decision to spend millions of public money on a Musée du Chat, which is still in the works. It’s not even Garfield! (La Libre)

Michael Jordan Sneakers Could Break Records at Sotheby’s – The six Nike Air Jordan sneakers collectively known as the “Dynasty Collection” that NBA legend wore during the six 1990s championship games the Chicago Bulls has been unveiled at Sotheby’s Dubai. Sotheby’s did not disclose the price of the collection, which is expected to be sold in private. But to sneakers collectors, this collection is equivalent to “the Mona Lisa, the David, and a few of Monet’s Water Lilies rolled into one.”  (Wall Street Journal)


Tightrope Walker to Stage Performance at Museum – World-famous tightrope walker Philippe Petit, will scale a rope strung across the great hall at the National Building Museum this March, as part of a fundraiser to promote the upcoming Building Stories exhibition. Petit previously scaled a rope between the Twin Towers in Manhattan, and in Paris at the Notre Dame. (Fox)

San Francisco Museums Team up for Curatorial Enterprise – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the African Diaspora are planning a joint curatorial post to helm exhibitions that bridge the themes and collections of the neighboring institutions. Dreamed up by new SFMoMA director Christopher Bedford and executive director and chief executive of MoAD Monetta White, the future Assistant Curator of the Art of the African Diaspora will change every three years and aims to (The Art Newspaper)

Harry Philbrick Named Interim Executive Director at Philly Museum – The estranged father of ex-art dealer Inigo Philbrick, who was sentenced to seven years for defrauding his clients, has taken the position at the The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, leaving his post at the helm of Philadelphia Contemporary, which he founded in 2016. (Press release)

London Gets a Late Night Culture Weekend – Art of London, a cultural initiative spearheaded by the Heart of London Business Alliance, will launch its first edition of Art After Dark in partnership with Mayfair Art Weekend that brings institutions and galleries to remain open till 9 p.m. on March 23 and 24. Two more installments are expected to take place in the rest of the year. (Press release)


The Young V&A Will Reopen in Summer – After three years of £13 million ($15.7 million) redevelopment, the rebranded Museum of Childhood, aimed at kids under the age of 14 and families is set to open doors in Bethnal Green on July 1. Among the new works on show include an interactive Minecraft installation, new murals by street artist Mark Malarko, and the new thematic exhibition “Japan: Myths to Manga,” which will open on October 14. (Evening Standard)

Hiroshima / Japan - December 21, 2017: Brightly colored paper cranes at the Children's Peace Monument to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and thousands of children victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. ©︎ Mirko Kuzmanovic and Alamy Stock Photo.

Hiroshima / Japan – December 21, 2017: Brightly colored paper cranes at the Children’s Peace Monument to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and thousands of children victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. ©︎ Mirko Kuzmanovic and Alamy Stock Photo.

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