Art Industry News: Bloomberg Businessweek Dedicates an Entire Magazine Issue to One Article Calling NFTs ‘a Modern Ponzi Scheme’ + Other Stories

Plus, employees say the Speed Museum is haunted by the ghost of its founder, and Ukraine sanctions collector Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Billboards display NFT art in Times Square during the 4th annual NFT.NYC conference on June 20, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/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, October 26.


A Deep Dive Into Michael Steinhardt’s Embattled Art Collection – The retired New York hedge funder and antiquities collector, who has surrendered 180 objects valued at $70 million to the D.A. and agreed to a lifetime ban on collecting antiquities, acquired his collection when standards around provenance were considerably lower. The norms have shifted dramatically over the past decade, to the degree that assistant D.A. Matthew Bogdanos suggests that Steinhardt represents a 19th-century collecting mentality of which we are now seeing “the last gasps.” (ARTnews)

Jordan Wolfson Chats With Anne Imhof – Wolfson—who describes Imhof as “a female version” of himself, “from Germany”—digs into cancel culture and the media’s trouble interpreting his work. “Just because you’re using triggering content doesn’t mean you support that triggering content. It means that you’re showing it for a reason,” Wolfson said. “Because it’s art, and you’re opening up a conversation, which is what art is supposed to do.” (Interview)

Bloomberg Goes Deep on NFTs – Finance journalist Matt Levine has penned 40,000 words about the NFT boom, likening most Web3 projects to Ponzi schemes. “Why do you think someone else will buy the tokens? Is it because you think they like the product?” he writes. “Or is it because you think they are planning to get rich by selling to a bigger sucker? Where does that end?” The lengthy treatise marks only the second time a single author has written a cover-to-cover issue of Bloomberg Businessweek in its 93-year history. (Bloomberg, ARTnews)

Is the Speed Museum Haunted? – Seemingly paranormal occurrences at the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, have been perpetuating a ghost story among employees that the museum is haunted by its founder, Hattie Bishop Speed. (For more accounts of haunted museums, see our Halloween round-up here.) (Hyperallergic)


Rijksmuseum’s Vermeer Show Gets Even Bigger – Next year’s Vermeer retrospective will be even more comprehensive than initially understood, bringing together 28 works from the Dutch master’s entire known oeuvre of 35. The blockbuster exhibition has been boosted by loans from the Frick Collection, which is in the midst of a building project, exempting it from its typical loan restrictions. (The Art Newspaper)

Dmitry Rybolovlev Among Figures Sanctioned in Ukraine – The oligarch mega-collector is among a cadre of Russians who have now been sanctioned by Ukraine, as the war against Russia continues into the eighth month. (Inside World Football)

Two x Two Fundraiser Hits Dallas – The live art auction and swanky gala raised nearly $9.5 million to benefit amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, at a celebration honoring artist Rashid Johnson. The evening was hosted at the Richard Meier-designed home of collectors Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. Top performing works included a painting by Spencer Lewis, which sold for $340,000, and a Rafa Macarrón that fetched $350,000. (Vogue, Vanity Fair)


Berlin Museum Turns Off Dan Flavin Work Amid Energy Crisis – The Hamburger Bahnhof’s iconic Dan Flavin neon installation has gone dark for the first time in more than 25 years to “save scarce resources.” Other local landmarks, including the Julia Stoschek Foundation, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Victory Column, are turning off architectural lighting to conserve energy. (The Art Newspaper)

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