Art Industry News: The Hermitage Is Sending Its Leonardos to Italy in a Rare Loan + Other Stories

Plus, Instagram will allow users to appeal censored posts and archaeologists discover England's King Tut's tomb.

Leonardo da Vinci, Benois Madonna. Collection of the State Hermitage Museum.
Leonardo da Vinci, Benois Madonna. Collection of the State Hermitage Museum.

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 Thursday, May 9.


New York Opens a Harrowing ‘Auschwitz’ Exhibition – “Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away” at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage is a focused look at the Holocaust. Many items are on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, including a freight car that was used to transport prisoners to the death camp and a single red leather dress shoe that belonged to an unknown woman. The exhibition travels from Spain, and includes 700 objects and 400 photographs and drawings from Auschwitz, 30 items from other lenders, as well as objects from the museum’s own collection. (New York Times)

Instagram Will Now Let Users Appeal Censored Posts – The social media platform will create an appeal process for users who feel that their posts have been taken down in error. The platform will begin with posts that include nudity before including other types of sensitive content. Artists have been at the forefront of protesting Instagram and Facebook’s alleged censorship. The National Coalition Against Censorship and artist-photographer Spencer Tunick plans to create a nude installation on June 2 in New York to challenge the social media giants’ control of artistic nudity. (Daily Mail)

The Hermitage Is Lending Its Leonardo Paintings to Italy – Amid heated competition to borrow the few surviving—and rarely loaned—Leonardo da Vinci paintings on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, the Russian museum has agreed to send Leonardo’s Benois Madonna to small galleries in Italy. (The Louvre is also keen to borrow the painting for its blockbuster show.) The Hermitage is also planning to lend another Leonardo, the Litta Madonna, to Milan’s Museo Poldi Pezzoli for a show opening in November, ruling out a Paris appearance. (The Art Newspaper)

What We Learn From Artists’ Self Portraits – More than 30 artists bear their inner selves in a new exhibition, “The Self-Portrait, From Schiele to Beckmann,” at the Neue Galerie in New York. With a focus on German and Austrian painters, the exhibition ranges from the tender to the profoundly harrowing, such as German-Jewish surrealist painter Felix Nussbaum’s Self-Portrait With Jewish Identity Card and Self-Portrait in the Camp, relaying a rare glimpse into the artist’s experience before his murder in Auschwitz. (NYT)


Italian Galleries Can Stop Paying Artist Royalties – Galleries in Italy will no longer have to pay artists resale royalties when selling an artwork for the first time. Only works being resold are subject to royalties. The deal was struck after six years of negotiations between 24 art galleries, the Italian Association of Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries, and an Italian royalties collecting agency.  (TAN)

Art Chengdu Expands in Its Second Edition – The recent edition of the fair moved to the Chengdu Century City New International Exhibition and Convention Center, located in the Sichuan capital’s southern business district Tianfu in China. The expanded iteration, open from April 30 through May 2, is a sign of a booming art market in China’s provincial city. (TAN)

Art Mover Convicted of Trying to Sell Stolen Sculpture – A man who formerly worked for art movers Cadogan Tate admitted in court to trying to sell La Grande Nuit by French sculptor Henri Laurens to a Mayfair antiques market. The art mover handled the sculpture, which was stolen from the London home of a Swiss multi-millionaire. (Evening Standard)


MOCA LA Names Mia Locks Senior Curator – After the much-publicized firing of curator Helen Molesworth from the Los Angeles museum, new director Klaus Biesenbach has named Mia Locks its new senior curator and head of new initiatives. She is a former assistant curator at MoMA PS1, who co-curated the 2017 Whitney Biennial. (LA Times)

Tennessee Launches a Triennial for 2021 – Venues in four cities will take part in the inaugural Tennessee Triennial of Contemporary Art in 2021. Andrea Zieher, co-founder of New York’s ZieherSmith gallery, will organize the exhibition in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. It will feature work with a political edge made by US-based artists. (ARTnews)

Boston Will Get a New Art Museum – Pace founder Arne Glimcher has donated $1 million to his old college, Boston’s Massachusetts College of Art and Design, so that it can build a new art gallery. The $12.5 million MassArt Art Museum is due to open in February 2020. (ARTnews)

Russian Billionaire Sponsors a Guggenheim Scholarship – Vladimir Potanin, the Russian billionaire who is a trustee of the Guggenheim Foundation, is funding a new conservation scholarship. Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong announced the project, called Conserving Contemporary Art in the Digital Age, in Venice this week. (Press release)


Anglo-Saxon Royal Grave Is Hailed as England’s King Tut Tomb – A gravesite found in 2003 between a pub and an Aldi supermarket in Southend in the South of England turns out to be the final resting place for an Anglo-Saxon prince. Archaeologists have discovered gold and other high-status artifacts buried with him. Locals have nicknamed the Anglo-Saxon the “King of Bling,” and media have dubbed him England’s King Tutankhamen. (BBC)

Hilma af Klint Redefined What It Means to Be a Popular Artist – After the record attendance for the visionary artist’s show at the Guggenheim New York, Scott Indrisek at Garage speculates on which other artists might be unconventional hits at the museum box office. Frontrunners include Betty Tompkins, Robert Colescott, and the Outsider painter and photographer Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. (Garage)

The Prado Unveils Its Restored Fra Angelico Masterpiece – The Madrid museum has unveiled The Annunciation by Fra Angelico after a major restoration project of the 15th-century altarpiece. “We have recovered the intense white light that envelopes the bright and transparent colors of Fra Angelico,” the Prado’s chief restorer, Almudena Sanchez, told AFP. (El Pais)

Dahn Vo Takes a Biennale Puppet for a Walk – One of the mannequins displayed in the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale enjoyed a moment of freedom in the Giardini. The life-sized puppet, created by artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, was spotted out and about in a wheelchair aided by the Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vō. The reason for the unexpected performance, which one Instagrammer described as a friendly “kidnapping,” was unclear at the time of publication. (Instagram)


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.


Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In