Art Industry News: After Complaints, the Academy Museum Is Revisiting Hollywood’s Jewish Origins + Other Stories

Plus, Simone Leigh gets the New Yorker profile treatment, and the creative economy shrunk twice as quickly as the U.S. economy during lockdown.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo: Iwan Baan/©Iwan Baan Studios, courtesy of Academy Museum Foundation

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 Tuesday, March 22.


Simone Leigh Gives a Rare Interview – The New Yorker‘s Calvin Tomkins spent the day with Leigh at the Philadelphia sculpture studio where she’s fabricating the bronzes that will occupy the U.S. pavilion at the Venice Biennale. A large sculpture based on a West African ritual mask will be installed in front of the pavilion. The artist is working with production masters Shane and Julia Stratton, to whom she was introduced by Venice Biennale curator Cecilia Alemani. The curator will include a bronze casting of the work Brick House in her central group exhibition. (New Yorker)

So How Exactly Is All This Russian Art Getting Home Again? – The fate of Russian-owned masterpieces on loan in Paris, London, and elsewhere remains a big question mark. Normally, Russian couriers would travel to the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris to accompany the treasures from the Morozov collection, on view there until April 3, back home. Due to the Russian invasion, this is no longer possible. “Maybe we will have to put the works in storage, or store in an embassy, or keep the collection in the security and safety box we have in the foundation,” LVMH advisor Jean-Paul Claverie said. “The security of the paintings is our only objective.” (New York Times)

Academy Museum Revises Story of Jewish Founders – The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, which opened in September 2021, set out to offer an inclusive history of the film industry, including stories of people of color and women—but it overlooked the role of Jewish immigrants, like Harry and Jack Warner, Samuel Goldwyn, and Louis B. Mayer. To address the concerns, the museum plans to open a permanent exhibition dedicated to the origins of Hollywood, with a special focus on the Jewish men who helped establish the studio system. (NYT)

The Pandemic Hit the Arts Sector Harder Than the Broader Economy – New data released last week by the U.S.’s National Endowment for the Arts found that between 2019 and 2020, the art economy shrank twice as quickly as the broader U.S. economy. While the industry has regained some footing since, it has not yet returned to the amount of economic activity it saw in 2019. (Hyperallergic)


Daniel Palmer to Take Over SCAD Museum – The former curator of New York’s Public Art Fund will head down South to become the next chief curator of the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia. (ARTnews)

Mike Kelley Foundation Gives Grants to L.A. Orgs – The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts is handing out $400,000 to Los Angeles arts organizations. Eighteen recipients, including the Institute of Contemporary Art and JOAN, will receive grants between $10,000 to $30,000. (Los Angeles Times)

Korean Artist Nabs Hans Christian Andersen Award – The illustrator and picture book artist Lee Suzy has become the first Korean artist to be awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award. The distinguished prize, nicknamed the “Little Nobel Prize,” honors authors and illustrators behind children’s books. (Korea Times)


“Comfort Women” Sculptors Win Libel Case – Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung, the South Korean sculptor couple behind the “comfort women” statue that memorializes wartime sex slaves, won a libel suit in Seoul against an internet media operator who said that the sculptors’ works representing forced labor victims were modeled after a Japanese man. The outlet must pay 7 million won ($5,720) in damages. (Korea Times)

The 'Statue of Peace' is seen on September 16, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Peng Dawei/China News Service via Getty Images.

The ‘Statue of Peace’ is seen on September 16, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Peng Dawei/China News Service via Getty Images.

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