Art Industry News: These Over-40 Female Artists Just Won the Latest Round of $25,000 Anonymous Was a Woman Grants + Other Stories

Plus, billionaire art collector Sheldon Solow has died and Sotheby's announces a major new livestreamed auction on December 8.

Susan Unterberg during the Skowhegan Awards Dinner 2019 on April 23, 2019 in New York City, in front of previous award winners. Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan 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 Wednesday, November 18.


The UK’s Culture Scene Faces a Two-Year Blip – A Manchester University study about the UK art landscape after Brexit suggests that for the first two years after the UK leaves the European Union, cultural organizations are likely to become more inward-looking and less international. Institutions will be more reluctant to commission European artists amid uncertainty over Brexit well as future travel restrictions, which could interfere with insurance and shipping costs. The researchers also predict that English towns that voted for Brexit will suffer most from the loss of millions in cultural funding from the EU. (Guardian)

Met Calls for Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites – The Metropolitan Museum of Art has called for warring factions in Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the international cultural heritage sites in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, which have been threatened by the ongoing conflict. “The recent bloodshed and destruction in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a global tragedy of grave concern to us all,” the museum’s president and chief executive Daniel Weiss and director Max Hollein said in a statement calling for an end to the violence and destruction. (Press release)

Anonymous Was a Woman Releases 2020 Grants – The beloved New York-based art organization Anonymous Was a Woman, which issues unsolicited grants of $25,000 each to female-identifying artists over the age of 40, has announced its latest winners. They are: Navajo textile artist D.Y. Begay, 67; filmmaker and former gallerist Linda Goode Bryant, 71; American artist, poet, and sculptor Barbara Chase-Riboud, 81; Spanish artist Elena Del Rivero, 72; mixed-media artist Chitra Ganesh, 45; painter Karen Gunderson, 77; painter Virginia Jaramillo, 81; video artist Claudia Joskowicz, 51; sculptor and installation artist Karyn Olivier, 52; and multidisciplinary artist Juana Valdés, 56. Many of the award’s previous grantees have gone on to greater renown. This is the second round of grants issued so far this year: the organization’s once-anonymous benefactor Susan Unterberg previously issued $250,000 in emergency funding for artists suffering from lockdown. (ARTnews)

Can Selling Merch Online Save Museums? – As museums’ coffers continue to suffer from the prolonged shutdown, more are looking to boost their e-commerce game. But building a quality platform that meets the expectations of audiences accustomed to Amazon—not to mention developing a coherent digital marketing strategy to promote it—is no easy (or cheap) feat. Experts advise museums to start small and experiment with existing platforms such as the cultural education charity Art UK, which has an online shop offering merch from 64 different museums. (Apollo)


Taipei Dangdai Moves Its 2021 Dates – Taipei Dangdai is the latest art fair to reschedule its dates for 2021 from January. It will now run from July 2 through 4 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. Art Basel also recently announced it would push back its Hong Kong edition. (Press release)

Sotheby’s Announces New December Auction – The auction schedule continues its ongoing shakeup with a new Sotheby’s sale, scheduled for December 8. The Impressionist, Modern, and contemporary art auction will be livestreamed from New York and led by Pablo Picasso’s Buste De Femme Assise (1962), a portrait of Jacqueline Roque that carries an estimate of $8 million to $12 million. (Press release)

Rediscovered Tiffany Window Set Sells Big – Freeman’s Auctions in Philadelphia sold a rare set of 1902 stained-glass Tiffany Studios windows for $705,000, more than twice the presale estimate. The auction house says the seven-pane set was purchased by a local philanthropist who plans to put them on display in a museum. (Art Market Monitor)


Serpentine Appoints Director of Curatorial Affairs – Yesomi Umolu, the director and curator of Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago, has been named director of curatorial affairs and public practice at the Serpentine. In the newly created role, she will oversee the London institution’s curatorial, interpretation, and editorial outreach across all of its programs and help make it more inclusive and accessible. Read her op-ed for Artnet News about how institutions can dismantle structural injustice here. (Press release)

Billionaire Art Collector Sheldon Solow Dies – A college dropout who rose to become one of New York’s top real estate developers (as well as a prolific art collector), Solow has died at 92 from lymphoma. His collection, assembled under the auspices of an eponymous foundation, included works by Henri Matisse, Franz Kline, and Alberto Giacometti. (He received some scrutiny for the tax advantages he enjoyed via the hard-to-access foundation.) Solow is also is the seller of a major Botticelli headed to Sotheby’s in January with an estimate of $80 million. (Bloomberg)

New Director for New York’s Art Students League – Michael Hall has been named executive director of the storied independent art school. He has been the global head of operations and logistics at Art Basel since 2015, and replaces Michael Rips, who stepped down over the summer. A practicing artist, Hall has also served as managing director of New York’s Armory Show and worked at Hauser & Wirth New York. (Press release)


Gwangju Biennale Releases Artist List – Curators Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala have shared their artist list for the upcoming Gwangju Biennale, “Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning,” which is now scheduled to take place in February 2021 in the South Korean city. Participants include Sissel Tolaas, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jacolby Satterwhite, Korakrit Arunanondchai, and Cecilia Vicuna. (Press release)

Russia’s Museums Head Into Lockdown – All cultural institutions in Russia were forced to close yesterday and will remain shuttered until January 15, 2021. Museum leaders say they hope the government will provide emergency support for losses suffered during this second lockdown, as they did back in the spring. (TAN)

See Jordan Casteel’s Painting of Obama – Painter Jordan Casteel’s new portrait of the former president accompanies his exclusive interview with the Atlantic on his new book, A Promised Land, and what he views as the greatest threats to the American experiment. Casteel’s painting is based on a photograph of Obama by former White House photographer Pete Souza. (Atlantic)


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