Art Industry News: A Musée d’Orsay Show Has Renamed Manet’s ‘Olympia’ After the Sitter’s Black Maid + Other Stories
Plus, archeologists may have found a buried Viking ship in Norway and the Supreme Court passes on a lawsuit against Nike.
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 26.
Museums Are Ramping Up Conservation of Chinese Paintings – There is a skills shortage in US museums as conservators of traditional Chinese paintings retire. New posts are being funded at the Freer/Sackler, the Met, the MFA Boston, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, but it takes ten years to train under a master in Beijing or Shanghai. There is only one US-born conservator in the field: the Smithsonian’s Grace Jan, who had to learn Chinese and then travel to the Palace Museum, Beijing as part of her training. (The Art Newspaper)
Are Museum Visitor Numbers a Form of ‘Voodoo Economics’? – No director wants their institution’s success to be measured by visitor numbers alone, but there’s a lot of pressure on metrics these days. The late curator Okwui Enwezor was skeptical about statistics: There is a lot of “fudging of numbers,” he told the podcast In Other Words, adding that attendance figures were a form of “voodoo economics.” And while automatic visitor counters going rogue is the stuff of a museum director’s nightmares, it became a reality at London’s National Portrait Gallery not long ago. (Art Agency Partners)
Paris Show Renames Manet’s ‘Olympia’ After Her Black Maid – A show at the Musée d’Orsay has temporarily renamed Manet’s famous painting Laure after the model who posed as the black maid. Other paintings in the exhibition “Black Models: From Gericault to Matisse” have new titles that acknowledge the overlooked people of color who inspired French artists. The museum’s curators joined forces with the US scholar Denise Murrell to research the groundbreaking exhibition, which re-centers those who have long been eclipsed from art history. (Guardian)
Acquavella Is Selling a $15 Million Cubist Portrait by Hockney in Hong Kong – New York’s Acquavella Galleries is selling David Hockney’s Henry Reading (1985) in Hong Kong. The painting, a portrait of curator Henry Geldzahler, is in a colorful Cubist style and is priced at around $15 million. Another portrait by the artist of Geldzahler and his partner sold for $49 million at Christie’s earlier this month. (ARTnews)
Carnegie Museum Acquires 40 Works From Its 2018 ‘International’ – As the 57th Carnegie International concluded yesterday, March 25, the museum revealed 40 works that it has acquired from the exhibition’s 33 participants, including those by Huma Bhabha, Sarah Crowner, and Alex Da Corte. (ARTnews)
Sotheby’s Nabs a Major Iraqi Modernist Canvas for Its Middle East Sale – With a pre-sale estimate of £350,000–500,000 ($456,000–652,000), Mahmoud Sabri’s 1963 canvas Al Mawt Al-Tafl (The Death of Child) is expected to lead the auction house’s London sale on April 30. In the 1950s, Sabri was forced into exile by the country’s fascist Ba’ath party; this work, part of the artist’s “Funeral” series, reflects his willingness to continue addressing political issues and the suffering of the Iraqi people. (Press release)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Governors Island Gets a Permanent Art Center – The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is opening a new 40,000-square-foot arts center in a newly revamped building in the historic district on Governors Island. The first permanent art space on the island, it will be home to an artist residency, exhibition spaces, and public programs, kicking off with exhibitions by Yto Barrada and Michael Wang when it opens this September. (Press release)
LACMA Downsizes Its New Building Plans – The most recent update to Peter Zumthor’s $650 million redesign for the Los Angeles museum envisions a slightly shorter and smaller building, possibly because LACMA wasn’t able to raise sufficient funds by the end of last year. The smaller building would command a shorter construction period, which is slated to begin toward the end of this year and last until the end of 2023. (Curbed LA)
Supreme Court Passes on Photographer’s ‘Jumpman’ Lawsuit Against Nike – The US Supreme Court turned away photojournalist Jacobus Rentmeester’s appeal in a lawsuit against Nike for allegedly basing its “Jumpman” logo on an image he captured of Michael Jordan dunking a basketball in 1984. The court denied the case with no comment after a Ninth Circuit panel determined last year that the jumping pose Jordan is depicted in is not entitled to copyright protection in itself. (Courthouse News)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Have Archeologists May Have Found a Buried Viking Ship in Norway – After spotting something unusual on ground-penetrating radar images of a national park in Norway, researchers may have discovered the buried remains of an ancient Viking ship. There are only three other examples of well-preserved Viking ships in Norway, and archeologists will use non-invasive methods to further study the ship, which may have been part of an elaborate burial for an important historic figure. (Newsweek)
British Aristocrat Unveils Playful Puppy Sculpture – Dog lovers, assemble! An exhibition about man’s best friend, organized in part by the Duchess of Devonshire, is opening at Chatsworth House in the UK. The show celebrates dogs of all manner in art, with star pieces by Constable and Landseer and contemporary work by Lucian Freud and Jeff Koons. See the artist Ben Long’s scaffolding sculpture of a dog in the garden of the Derbyshire estate below. (Press release)
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