Art Industry News: Everything You Need to Know About Jennifer Lawrence’s Impending Art-Boy Wedding + Other Stories

Plus, Winston Churchill's half-smoked stogie is heading to auction + police continue a 50-year search for a stolen Caravaggio.

Jennifer Lawrence in Paris on September 24, 2019. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jennifer Lawrence in Paris on September 24, 2019. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/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 Friday, October 18.

NEED-TO-READ

Google Resists Calls to Remove #MeToo Accusations of Subodh Gupta This week, Google submitted a formal request to the Delhi High Court to reverse its decision requiring the U.S.-based company to erase from its search engine results links to Instagram posts that accuse artist Subodh Gupta of sexual misconduct. On Monday, Google appeared in court to argue that its software “merely performs the task of indexing information… that is already available on independent third party websites,” and that it is not responsible for the nature of the content in question. (Art Asia Pacific)

Honoring the Natural History Museum’s Great Art Heist – The New York museum is celebrating many accomplishments for its 150th anniversary this year, but it has more or less avoided bringing up the “heist of the century” that happened in its halls in 1964, when three dapper surfers from Miami Beach robbed the museum of a few of its most precious gems. The twenty-something beach boys—Jack McNally, Allan Kuhn and Jack “Murph the Surf” Murphy—were busted not long after their bold robbery of the golf-ball sized sapphire called the Star of India, the Eagle Diamond, and the DeLong Star Ruby. The story is long, intricate, and features a Porfiry Petrovich-style prosecutor, and the Times has it all, with photos. (NYT)

More Details About Jennifer Lawrence’s Wedding to Art Boy Cooke Maroney – Art gallery director Cooke Maroney and actress Jennifer Lawrence are getting hitched this weekend, sealing the deal on the emergent trend of Hollywood’s growing love for artsy dudes. The two will get married at Belcourt of Newport a Rhode Island mansion from the Gilded Age. Guests will enjoy cured egg yolk and brussels sprouts, smoked pork belly with pickled apple, and ‘smores for dessert. (Vulture)

50 Years After a Caravaggio Was Stolen, Is It Too Late? – It was almost exactly 50 years ago when, on October 17, 1969, Caravaggio’s Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence disappeared into the night from a church in Palermo. To this day, it remains one of the art world’s more intriguing mysteries, vaguely traceable to a powerful Italian mafia boss and peppered with rumors of a shadowy deal with a Swiss art dealer. In 1989, an informant admitted to stealing the work and rolling it up with a carpet to get it out of the church. Prosecutors are now looking to Switzerland and talking to new witnesses, but, where ever it is, Caravaggio’s 17th-century masterpiece is probably very damaged. (Guardian)

ART MARKET

Winston Churchill’s Cigar Heads to Auction – A stogie once puffed by the British prime minister while attending a movie premiere could fetch up to $7,000 in December at Hanson’s Auctioneers. According to a press release, Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine were attending a film premiere at the London Coliseum, and, though Churchill took a few puffs, when he dropped the half-smoked stub to the ground, an eagle-eyed usher grabbed it as a souvenir. Now, more than six decades later, the tobacco is hitting the auction block in near-perfect condition. (Smithsonian)

Nicolas de Staël Goes for €20 Million  Is this the most expensive painting of a soccer match ever made? It very well could be. The French-Russian painter Nicolas de Staël’s 1952 Parc des Princes, an abstracted depiction of players on a field, went on the market for the first time at Christie’s in Paris on Thursday, October 17. It sold within its estimate bracket of €18 million to €25 million ($20 million to $27 million), and set a record for the artist, who died in 1955 at the age of 41. (Art Daily)

COMINGS & GOINGS

Archaeologists Uncover Trove of Egyptian Coffins – Egypt’s ministry of culture announced that a team of archaeologists unearthed a “huge cache” of sealed coffins in the city of Luxor. More than 20 coffins were found in pristine shape, with the engravings and detailed coloration remaining in tact “as the ancient Egyptians left them.” This is the second discovery within weeks Luxor, which formed part of the ancient city of Thebes on the west bank of the Nile river, and where a large necropolis called Al-Assasif once stood. (CNN)

Winning SF Artist Rejected for Monument Commission After Edgy Proposal – On August 9, the artist Lava Thomas was selected by San Francisco’s Arts Commission to design a new monument dedicated to Maya Angelou in the city. Two weeks later, the commission backpedaled on its decision due to fears that Thomas’s interpretation deviated too much from what they considered a traditional statue. The artist’s proposed sculpture would take the form of a bronze book depicting Angelou’s visage, etched with the quote, “If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” (TAN)

More Donors Pull Out of Desert X After Its Partnership With Saudi Arabia – The MaddocksBrown Foundation, an LA philanthropic organization, has pulled out funding of Desert X, following its controversial decision to partner with Saudi Arabia for its new show. The foundation was one of Desert X’s early donors, and had given it about $13,000 in donations since 2017. (LA Times)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Tracing the Career of Betye Saar at MoMA – The artist’s pivotal mixed-media work Black Girl’s Window is a focal piece within MoMA’s rethought curatorial agenda as part of a new standalone exhibition looking at Saar’s early years, tracing the prints and assemblages that preceded the famous work. Recently, the museum acquired 42 of Saar’s works on paper, some of which are included in the show. Though she finds it “smart,” journalist Jillian Steinhauer echoes a common refrain heard among critics, who wish the museum had jumped into more overlooked art stories with both feet: “[The] show ultimately feels like a prologue. MoMA has at last started to appreciate Ms. Saar; now it needs to tell her full story.” (New York Times)

A New Map Reimagined as “City of Women” In their 2016 book Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, writers Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro refigured a map of New York’s subway system, replacing stations with the names of famous female figures. Now, the duo has updated the map for “Navigating New York,” an exhibition on view at the New York Transit Museum through January 2020. Among the artists and other art worlders included on the map are Diane Arbus, Peggy Guggenheim, Emma Sulkowicz, and Harmony Hammond. (ARTnews)

Greta Thunberg Handwriting Is Now a Font – The face of climate activism worldwide has a new typeface. Greta Grotesk, designed by Tal Shub, is an homage to Thunberg’s Fridays for Future posters, paralleling lettering on two of her handwritten signs. It’s free to download. (Cool Hunting)


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