Art Industry News: Are High Reproduction Fees Killing Art History? + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, London's Lord Mayor returns Nazi loot and a Fernando Botero bronze worth $490,000 is brazenly stolen in Paris.

A conservator at the Centre of Research and Restoration of the Museums of France restores the armor of Francois de Montmorency in Paris on June 28. PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/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 this Tuesday, November 7.


Lord Mayor of London Returns Looted Painting – The Lord Mayor of London has returned a Dutch Old Master painting looted by the Nazis in 1945 to the Netherlands. The Oyster Meal by Jacob Ochtervelt (around 1664-65) was restituted to the 96-year-old daughter of Smidt van Gelder, the director of the children’s hospital in Arnhem. The painting had been on display at the Lord Mayor’s official residence for almost 30 years. (The Art Newspaper)

Academics Say Fees Are Killing Art History – British scholars have penned an open letter to protest the fees that institutions such as Tate and the British Museum charge for reprinting historic artworks in academic publications. They argue that the “unjustified” fees “inhibit the dissemination of knowledge” and impose expensive charges on scholarly papers that bring in little commercial revenue. (The Times)

German Art Critics Pick the Best of 2017 – The year may not be quite over yet, but the Sprengel Museum in Hanover was given top marks by the German members of the International Association of Art Critics for its engaging contemporary art shows and thoughtful acquisition policies. The exhibition “Surreal Objectivity. Works from the 1920s and 1930s from the Nationalgalerie” at Berlin’s Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection was voted the best German show of 2017. (DPA)

Egypt Recovers 354 Antiquities From the Emirates – According to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, the ancient artifacts were stolen over various periods. The police in the emirate of Sharjah have seized the works and the local emir, Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, ordered their restitution to Egypt. (Le Journal des Arts)


Captain Scott’s Group Photo Heads to Auction – When the explorer and his team arrived at the South Pole in 1912, they found out they had been beaten in the race by Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian crew. Nevertheless, they took a photograph—the last one ever of the five men, who died on their way back. “You can almost see the disappointment in their faces,” says a specialist at Sotheby’s London, where the photograph is expected to fetch more than $1,500 next week. (Daily Mail)

PPOW to Represent Ramiro Gomez – The LA-based artist will have his first solo show at the New York gallery next spring and will be included in the gallery’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach next month. Gomez’s practice focuses on the invisible labor of the unacknowledged worker, both within the art world’s system and in everyday life. (ARTnews)

A Rare Rodin Goes on Auction – Venus Washing was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s retrospective of the French sculptor in 1963 and comes from a private collection in Belgium. Designed in 1890 and cast in 1945, it is estimated to fetch €300,000 at a Paris auction on November 10. (Inquirer)

Lisson Now Represents Mary Corse and Channa Horwitz – The gallery will represent Corse in London, while Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery continues to work with her in LA and Lehmann Maupin represents her in New York. Corse will receive a major survey at the Whitney next year. The gallery will also represent the estate of Horwitz in London and New York. (Press release)


Sharjah Biennial Curators Announced – The 14th edition of the biennial, which opens March 2019 and is titled “Leaving the Echo Chamber,” will be organized by curators Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons. Each will organize a separate exhibition that addresses an “echo chamber” of information and history. (Artforum)

New Zealand Pavilion Curators Named – New Zealand is getting an early start on 2019’s Venice Biennale. Dr. Zara Stanhope and writer-turned-curator-and-gallerist Chris Sharp will organize New Zealand’s presentation of Dane Mitchell at the 58th Biennale. (CreativeNZ)

British Sculptor Edward Allington Has Died – Jo Volley, who worked with Allington at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art, has penned an obituary for the artist, who died at 66 from liver disease. He will be remembered for his generosity and contributions to art education; his work is represented in the collections of Tate, the Henry Moore Institute, and the British Museum. (The Guardian)


Fernando Botero Bronze Stolen in Paris – CCTV footage captured a thief breaking into Paris’s Bartoux Gallery on Saturday and discreetly fleeing with a bronze by the Colombian sculptor. The work weighs 10 kilos (22 pounds) and is estimated to be worth around $490,000. (Le Journal des Arts)

California Coastal Commission Nixes Installation – The Laguna Art Museum has been directed by the California Coastal Commission to cancel a proposed installation of a floating streetlight—Seascape by Pablo Vargas Lugo—just off the California coast due to environmental concerns. (SF Chronicle)

Oslo Hunts for Missing Art – The Norwegian capital is hoping to track down 1,600 missing works of art, including one by Edvard Munch’s sister Inger, from the City of Oslo Art Collection. The collection’s 19,000 work-strong display is spread out across the capital at various schools, nursing homes, fire stations, and other civic locations. (TAN)

Mysterious Erection in Austria – Authorities are trying to track down the artist who managed to sneak a giant phallic sculpture atop Mount Oetscher’s 1,893-meter peak. Hikers discovered the wooden sculpture and, if no one comes forward to claim it, the work will mostly likely go to the landowners, believed to be an order of monks. (Mirror)

The wooden sculpture at Mount Oetscher’s peak. Photo courtesy of @MarikasBergUndNaturerlebnisse, via Facebook.

The wooden sculpture at Mount Oetscher’s peak. Photo courtesy of @MarikasBergUndNaturerlebnisse, via Facebook.

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