Art Industry News: Notre-Dame Is Partially Reopening by Letting the Public View an Art Show in Its Crypt + Other Stories

Plus, the musical Cats! becomes an unlikely savior of a beloved British museum and an artist leaks a tape of Trump bragging about low Black voter turnout.

View of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as work paused. Photo by Robin Utrecht/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Studios/Future Publishing/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, September 9.


T.S. Eliot’s Estate Rescues the Brontë Museum – T.S. Eliot’s estate has donated £20,000 ($26,000) to help the financially struggling Brontë Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire stay open. The funds are coming from an unlikely place: the royalties to Cats!the musical inspired by Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Eliot reportedly had a connection to the museum; he knew the man who donated Haworth Parsonage, where the Brontë family lived, to the Brontë Society in order to found the museum. (BBC)

Artist Leaks Tape in Which Trump Hails Low Black Turnout – The former lawyer-turned-artist Tootsie Warhol has leaked a secretly recorded tape of Trump bragging about the low Black turnout in the 2016 election. In the recording from a private meeting with a group of civil rights leaders, which Warhol attended as then-chief of staff of civil rights leader Harry Wachtel, the president-elect says, “Many Blacks didn’t go out to vote for Hillary [Clinton] ‘cause they liked me. That was almost as good as getting the vote, you know, and it was great.” (Politico)

You Can See an Art Show in Notre-Dame’s Reopened Crypt – Notre-Dame’s crypt reopens today with an art exhibition exploring the history of the cathedral. The crypt was mostly undamaged by the fire that gutted the landmark 18 months ago, but it took more than a year to clean out the lead dust before visitors could safely return. The show includes paintings, photographs, and drawings of the cathedral throughout history, including extracts from films in which it has appeared. The show is the first step in reopening the archeological crypt’s museum, which used to accommodate 170,000 visitors a year. (AFP)

Mark Bradford on His Quarantine Paintings – The LA-based artist is presenting a new series of paintings made during quarantine in an exhibition that exists both online and IRL (sort of), on top of Hauser & Wirth’s LA gallery. The canvases are six by eight feet wide, the arm span of the artist. While he normally works with assistants, who do the preparatory legwork, Bradford completed these pieces top-to-tail in isolation. (Los Angeles Review of BooksNew York Times)


UK Surveys COVID Impact on the Visual Arts Sector – A new survey of more than 1,000 self-employed arts workers by the UK-based Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) has found that 44 percent have permanently lost contracted work during the lockdown, and 58 percent are worried about their ability to secure future work. Smaller organizations and museums are particularly feeling the squeeze. In light of the findings, CVAN is advocating for greater government support of the industry. (Press release)

Jack Shainman Gallery Announces Community Initiatives – Jack Shainman Gallery has announced a new program of community initiatives called States of Being, which comprises a series of interventions, happenings, and community outreach in the name of social justice. In a presentation conceived by artist Nick Cave and designed by Bob Faust, the gallery will install the words “Truth Be Told” on the façade of its space the School in Kinderhook, New YorkIts 20th Street window already reads “8m46s”—referencing the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. (Press release)

NADA Adds 21 New Members – The nonprofit New Art Dealers Alliance has expanded its membership ranks, adding 21 new gallery members from eight different countries. New additions include New York’s The Hole gallery, Nir Altman of Munich, and the Lima-based gallery Ginsberg. (Press release)


The Met Names a Curator of Native American Art – Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha) has been appointed the museum’s inaugural associate curator of Native American art. Norby will join the staff of the American Wing, which houses the Met’s vast collection of Native artifacts, on September 14. (Press release)

Philadelphia Museum Of Art COO Is Stepping Down – Gail Harrity, the president and chief operating officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will step down next year after 23 years in the position. The museum says the 70-year-old’s departure is unrelated to the controversies that have engulfed the institution this year, including reports that a former manager, Joshua Helmer, abused his power with younger female staff. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Virgil Abloh Is Designing Cars Now – Together with Mercedes-Benz, the shapeshifting artist and designer is releasing a G-class customized with his signature touches. “My ultimate goal in this project is inspiring young artists, engineers, designers to question the status quo,” Abloh said in a statement. A replica of the design, called “project geländewagen,” will be auctioned as part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated auction (also co-curated by Abloh), which launches September 14. (designboom)

Renovated Rothko Chapel Gets Ready for Its Close-Up – The Rothko Chapel in Houston will soon reopen after a year-and-a-half-long restoration. Part of a $30 million campaign called Opening Spaces, the project aims to honor Rothko’s original intentions with the building and ensure its conservation. The interfaith church, founded in 1971, welcomes 100,000 visitors a year and is overseen by the Menil Collection. (WSJ Magazine)

Bryan Schutmaat for WSJ Magazine.

Bryan Schutmaat for WSJ Magazine.

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