Art Industry News: Wait, Did the U.K. Government Just Change Its Tune on the Parthenon Marbles? + Other Stories

Plus, a bitter donor battle is dividing a Hamptons sculpture garden and the peerless collection of Samsung's late chairman gets a national tour.

Part of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum. Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via 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 Tuesday, November 16.


A Donor Battle Shakes Hamptons Sculpture Garden – More than 30 patrons of the LongHouse Reserve sculpture garden in the Hamptons are withholding further gifts to protest the organization’s dismissal of its longstanding director Matko Tomicic following the death of LongHouse’s founder, the textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen. The board, which is looking to expand the 16-acre garden into a museum that includes Larsen’s home, said it wanted a curator with wider experience. You know what they say about a LongHouse divided… (New York Times)

Samsung Chairman’s Art Will Be Shown Across Korea – The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, will exhibit the celebrated art collection of the late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee in a series of nationwide exhibitions running through 2024. The touring exhibition will be cohosted first by MMCA and the National Museum of Korea next year before heading to 10 different local museums over the next three years. (Korea Times)

The U.K. Government Changes Its Tune on the Parthenon Marbles – The British Museum should be in charge of deciding whether or not to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, the U.K. Prime Minister’s office said today. The announcement represents a shift from the government’s longstanding position that the marbles should remain in Britain. Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to discuss the subject in a meeting with Boris Johnson today. When asked about the meeting, a spokesperson at Downing Street said the British Museum operates independently and should have the final say on the subject. The museum has long claimed that the sculptures were obtained legally. (Guardian)

Art and Collectible NFT Sales Forge Ahead – The number of NFTs sold in the art and collectibles category dropped to just 86,870 last week, the lowest number of weekly sales since the first week of January 2021, according to the Block Research. But prices remain strong. The average price of an NFT in the category came in at $127,000 last week, among the highest numbers ever recorded. (The Block)


Yieldstreet Launches a New Fund for Art Investing – Call it the Masterworks effect. The investment platform Yieldstreet is starting a fund that allows investors to buy shares in a portfolio of artworks. Called the Art Equity Platform, the first fund will be under $10 million and includes works by George Condo, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf. A minimum investment of $10,000 is required. Ambitiously, the initiative aims for returns of between 15 percent and 17 percent over a five-year holding period. (CNBC)

New Curators at the Smithsonian – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art has appointed Diana Jocelyn Greenwold as curator of American art and Sol Jung as assistant curator of Japanese art. Greenwold was previously a curator at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine; Jung, a specialist in Japanese art history, recently earned her PhD from Princeton. (Artfix Daily)

Mary Bauermeister Wins the German State’s New Art Prize – The 87-year-old Fluxus artist won the first North Rhine-Westphalia Art Prize, a new award worth €25,000 given to a contemporary artist with ties to the northwestern German state. (ARTnews)

Restituted Spitzweg Drawing Goes to Auction – A Nazi-looted pencil drawing by German romanticist painter Carl Spitzweg that was restituted from the Gurlitt Collection is now on offer in an online sale at Christie’s through November 24. The depiction of a couple playing music for an elderly woman, which is estimated to fetch between €1,000 and €1,500, was originally owned by Jewish music producer and collector Henri Hinrichsen, who was murdered at Auschwitz in 1942. (Monopol)


Arthur Jafa Guest-Edits i-D Magazine – The artist and filmmaker, who recently debuted his latest work in New York, guest-edited the winter issue of the magazine i-D. Called the Darker Issue, it features innovators in the fields of film, photography, art, and activism, including photographers Deana Lawson and Ming Smith, video artist Kahlil Joseph, and Jafa’s art dealer Gavin Brown. (Instagram)


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