Art Industry News: An Author of Die Zeit’s Johann Konig Exposé Had a Conflict of Interest, a Competing Newspaper Claims + Other Stories

Plus, painter Henry Ossawa Tanner’s home faces demolition in Philadelphia, and the Wellcome Collection takes down its "medicine man" display.

Johann König. Photo: Lukas Gansterer.

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 Monday, November 28.


Art Basel Miami Beach Celebrates 20 Years – The FT looks back at how the art fair transformed the image of Miami from a sunny retirement city to a buzzy art center and gateway to the market of Latin America populated with a sophisticated class of collectors. (Financial Times)

Calls for Berlin Museum to Halt Construction – Conservation experts have come out against the forthcoming Herzog & de Meuron-designed Museum of the 20th Century for its poor environmental credentials, high-emission concrete material, and open-plan structure, which will require intense climate control. (Guardian)

German Media Accuses König Article Author of Conflict of Interest – German newspaper Berliner Zeitung has blasted Die Zeit for its decision to publish allegations of sexual misconduct against gallerist Johann König, which he denies. The newspaper notes that one of the investigation’s three authors, Carolin Würfel, is married to Alfons Klosterfelde, a gallerist and competitor of König’s. It also unearthed a fictionalized version of a similar story similar story about a journalist pursuing a #MeToo case against a powerful art dealer penned by Würfel for a Netflix-style series. Die Zeit’s editor in chief said Würfel was not involved in writing the article, and conducted “some, but not all” of the research interviews as a freelancer. Die Zeit also noted that she and her husband are separated. (Berliner Zeitung)

King Charles Loved David Hockney’s Yellow Crocs – The King complimented the 85-year-old artist’s choice of footwear to the monarch’s first luncheon for the Order of Merit. “Your yellow galoshes!” he remarked. “Beautifully chosen.” (Guardian)


Leonard Blavatnik Donates to the National Portrait Gallery – The first floor of London’s National Portrait Gallery will be renamed the “Blavatnik Wing” in honor of a £10 million donation from the British-American businessman’s foundation. The museum is slated to reopen in 2023 after a three-year closure and £35.5 million renovation. (The Art Newspaper)

Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Home Faces Demolition – The North Philadelphia home of the artist, who was one of the first internationally recognized African American painters, is at risk of demolition despite its National Historic Landmark status. The home is in disrepair and local preservationists are working to raise the estimated $300,000 needed to save it. (TAN)

Wellcome Collection Takes Down “Medicine Man” Display – The London museum said the exhibit, which has been on view for 15 years, “perpetuates a version of medical history that is based on racist, sexist, and ableist theories and language.” A new display featuring medical stories of those who have been historically marginalized will be unveiled over the next few years. (Evening Standard)


Spencer Tunick Takes Over a Sydney Beach – Thousands of naked people gathered on Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach to take part in a shoot orchestrated by American photographer Spencer Tunick aimed at raising awareness of skin cancer and promoting regular skin checks. (Guardian)

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.