Art Industry News: Jimi Hendrix’s Ming Dynasty Buddha Is Heading to Auction + Other Stories

Plus, how the Getty Center is prepared for a wildfire and remembering the achievements of Marvel Comics supremo Stan Lee.

Gered Mankowoitz, Jimi Hendrix, London, 1967, Camera Work, Berlin, Germany

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, November 13.


Peter Schjeldahl on How Warhol Eclipsed the AbEx Artists – Almost everything on display in the Whitney’s Warhol blockbuster “feels, even now, definitively new,” the New Yorker‘s art critic writes. After hitting a “walls of disdain from macho Abstract Expressionists,” Warhol’s “desperate ambition left him with no choice but to be a genius.” The survey shows how he was a Pop artists at the right time in the right place to “strip mine” the AbEx aesthetic and overshadow their fame. (The New Yorker)

The Dutch Museum Director Who Helped the Nazis – The director of Rotterdam’s Boijmans Museum acquired around 30 works looted by the Nazis during World War II. Nationwide research into the collections of Dutch museums and a new biography of Dirk Hannem has revealed the extent of the ambitious director’s collaboration with the Third Reich. But it also shows he tried, in vain, to prevent Jewish people being deported. (New York Times)

Jimi Hendrix’s Ming Dynasty Buddha Heads to Auction – An antique Chinese bronze Buddha owned by Hendrix has an estimate of $20,000 at Boston’s RR Auctions. Hendrix bought the Ming Dynasty statuette in Greenwich Village and displayed it in his New York apartment on West 12th Street. After his death it was kept by his friend Stella Benabou Douglas, the former Greenwich Village shop’s co-owner, whose husband had bought the crowned buddha for Hendrix as an impromptu birthday gift. “It was such a big thing for Jimi; I don’t think he ever had something old and precious like this,” she said. “He became very attached to it.” (Art Daily)

How the Getty Center Is Prepared for a Wildfire – The Getty is built to be fire-resistant, and the staff regularly trains with the LA fire department. Beneath the Getty’s carpark is a one-million-gallon water tank supplying the sprinklers in the center’s garden. Wetting the soil will help stop a wildfire from reaching the museum. Staff can increase the air pressure inside to prevent smoke damaging the galleries. (Popular Science)


Big Pink Diamond Could Sell for $50 Million – A 19-carat diamond called the Pink Legacy is expected to sell for up to $50 million at Christie’s in Geneva next week. Mined in South Africa 100 years ago, it was owned by the Oppenheimer family, which ran De Beers. Christie’s refuses to say who is the seller. (Art Daily)

A Rare Henry Moore Alabaster Goes on Sale – The only mask carved by a young Henry Moore in alabaster goes on sale at Bonhams in London. The piece, which dates from the early 1930s, has an upper estimate of $1.5 million, but Yorkshire Sculpture Park program director Clare Lilley expects it to sell for more. (Yorkshire Post)

Man Goes on Trial for John Lennon Theft – A 59-year-old has been charged with the theft of John Lennon’s personal effects, including diaries, letters, and glasses, which were stolen from Yoko Ono’s New York apartment in 2006. The objects were allegedly taken by Ono’s driver, Koral Karsan, whom police have been unable to detain. The man being charged, identified as Erhan G., is accused of receiving €785,150 ($882,000) for the items from a Berlin auction house in 2014. (AFP)


Opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum Delayed Again – The unveiling of what is set to be the world’s largest archeological museum has been pushed back. Instead of its planned partial opening in 2019 followed by a full opening in 2022, the museum should open its 5.3 million square foot space in 2020. (Blooloop)

Marvel Comics Supremo, Stan Lee, Has Died – As a writer, editor, publisher, and Hollywood executive, Stan Lee oversaw the success of Marvel Comics and created some of its most enduring characters—which, in his autumn years, he saw reborn as the heroes and heroines of globe-spanning movie franchises. His signature touch was to give superheroes, including the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, human doubts and frailties rare in comic books. But the secret of Lee’s success lay in his collaborative way of working, giving artists, such as Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, script summaries to illustrate, letting them fill in plot details. (NYT)

New President for France-Muséums – Sandra Lagumina has been named the new non-executive president of Agence France-Muséums, the agency in charge of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Lagumina succeeds Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière in the role. (Le Journal des Arts)

Museo del Barrio Gets $1 Million Gift – The museum’s board chair emeritus, Tony Bechara, gave the financial windfall to the Latino and Latin American cultural institution in New York. The money will go towards its curatorial and education programs, and establishing an endowment. (Press release)


Björk & Iris Van Herpen Collaborate on Concert for the Shed – The Icelandic singer and artist is working with the Broadway director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Tiffany, on a concert at the Shed arts center in Hudson Yards, slated for when it opens in spring next year. The couturier Iris Van Herpen and embroidery artist James Merry will also be involved in what Björk promises will be her “most elaborate stage concert yet,” titled “Cornucopia.” (Garage)

Keith Haring Show Comes to Tate Liverpool – The museum will stage a massive exhibition devoted to the late US artist, who passed away in 1990 at age 31. More than 85 works, including large drawings, paintings, and posters, will go on show at the institution from June 14 through November 10 of next year. (The Guardian)

Malibu Exhibition Cancelled Due to Fire – The DEPART Foundation is postponing its show openings, originally slated for November 17, due to complications arising from the devastating Woolsey Fire. Among other reasons, the home of one of the artists, Keegan Gibbs, was destroyed in the blaze. (Press release)

Paris Museum Presents Monet’s Water Lilies in VR – The Musée de l’Orangerie, the home of Monet’s “Water Lilies” cycle, unveils a VR experience today that tells the story of the artist’s obsession with his garden in Giverny, and how he turned his paintings of its water lilies into a memorial to the dead, and a symbol of France’s victory in the Great War. The French prime minister Georges Clemenceau persuaded his friend to complete the project despite Monet’s failing health. The VR experience and an online panoramic version are a co-production by ARTE, Lucid Realities, and Camera Lucida, supported by HTC Vive Arts. (Press release)

Rendering of Claude Monet, the Water Lily Obsession, by Nicolas Thépot.
Copyright ARTE France, Lucid Realities, Camera lucida productions, Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Gebrueder Beetz produktion, 2018.

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