Art Industry News: Dozens More Works in the Met’s Collection Have Been Linked to Disgraced Dealer Subhash Kapoor + Other Stories

Plus, a diplomat takes the helm at Belgium's AfricaMuseum and Rachel Rossin joins Magenta Plains.

Looted antiquities recovered from art dealer Subhash Kapoor. Photo courtesy US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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 Monday, March 20.


NEA Report on State of the Arts – New data on the art and cultural sector shows that it had a larger impact on the U.S. GDP in 2021 than in previous years. It also grew more rapidly than the wider economy. The report was organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. None of the 35 cultural industries evaluated have yet bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. (The Art Newspaper)

Painters Swindled by Fake Collectors – The growing trend of fake check scams is affecting artists. In each case reported by the New York Times, artists were offered a good price for artworks by fake collectors who sent checks to cover the price of the work, plus shipping costs. The checks bounced after the artists forwarded the shipping fee by money order to a person who was arranging the delivery. (New York Times)

Antiquities Linked to Subhash Kapoor at the Met – The Indian Express has listed works of art that are still in the collection, which are linked to the disgraced dealer who is serving jail time in Tamil Nadu, India, on charges of burglary and theft of antiquities. The list includes 18 sculptures and 59 paintings. Manhattan’s district attorney has already handed back hundreds of artifacts connected to Kapoor. (Indian Express)

U.K. Museum Visitor Numbers – At U.K. museums, visitor numbers are up post-pandemic and many museums in the nation saw numbers increased by more than 200 percent in 2022, according to the annual figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Museums and galleries in the U.K. reported an overall increase of 158 percent in footfall; heritage and cathedral sites followed with a 55 percent increase. (Museums Association)


Belgium’s AfricaMuseum Gets a New Director – Diplomat Bart Ouvry has been named head of the AfricaMuseum, whose contentious collection displays have often caused controversy due to Belgium’s egregious colonial history. He will leave his role as European Union ambassador to Mali to take up the role. (Le Journal des Arts)

Bracelet Donned by Dietrich Could Fetch $4.5M – A “Jarretière” diamond-and-ruby studded bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels worn by Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950 film Stage Fright is hitting the auction block at Christie’s this June. Estimated to fetch up to $4.5 million, the bauble comes from the collection of Anne Eisenhower, granddaughter of the late president. (Robb Report)

Rachel Rossin Joins Magenta Plains – The mixed media artist, who has become a force in the realm of virtual reality has joined the gallery stable. Rossin’s work is currently on view in the Whitney Museum’s lobby as part of the exhibition Refigured. (Press release)


You Can Bring Ai Weiwei’s Middle Finger Anywhere – The Chinese  activist and artist’s famous digit is now available to superimpose anywhere on-the-go, thanks to the power of Avant Arte. The work riffs on Ai’s famous work Study of Perspective, and is on view as part of thea artist’s show at the Design Museum in London; screenprints of Ai Weiwei’s Middle Finger in Red (2023) are being sold for 24 hours on Avant Art’s platform starting March 30. (Press release)

Public submission. Courtesy

Public submission. Courtesy

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