Art Industry News: George Lucas’s Museum Has Been on a Buying Spree of Thrilling Art by the Likes of Frida Kahlo and Alice Neel + Other Stories

Plus, Givenchy teams up with artist Josh Smith, and a stolen Klimt found behind a garden wall makes its museum debut.

George Lucas addresses the Investment Company Institute's annual general membership meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel May 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/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 Monday, October 4.


Ancient Roman Temple Discovered in Lebanon – A temple with a history that can be traced back to the early Roman period (31 B.C.E to 193 C.E.) has been discovered in the most elevated part of the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre, situated on the southern coast of Lebanon. The site, which was believed to be home to rituals and worship activities, is expected to greatly increase our understanding of Tyre in antiquity, according to archaeologists. Further excavation and studies will continue in 2022. (ARTnews)

Threatened Swedish Artist Dies in Traffic Accident – The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who received death threats after he published a sketch of the Prophet Muhammad with a dog’s body, has died in a traffic accident. He was 75. Vilks had lived under police protection since 2007, when his sketch made international headlines and led Al-Qaeda to put a bounty on his head. Local media reports that Vilks died after a truck collided with the civilian police car he was riding in with two officers. (The officers’ fate is unclear.) Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident. (AP)

George Lucas’s Museum Is on a Buying Spree – The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, founded by George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, has been busily building out its collection ahead of its 2023 opening—and it’s telling a story that goes far beyond Star Wars memorabilia and Norman Rockwell paintings. Recent acquisitions include Alice Neel’s Fish Market (1947), which was included in the artist’s well-reviewed Met retrospective, Judy Baca’s archive of her Great Wall of Los Angeles project, a Frida Kahlo self-portrait, and a painting of a nymph attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi and an associate, purchased for $2.1 million at Sotheby’s last year. (The Art Newspaper)

Stolen Klimt to Star in Museum Show – A painting by Gustav Klimt that was discovered hidden behind a garden wall 22 years after its theft in Italy will star in a new exhibition dedicated to the artist at the Museum of Rome in Palazzo Braschi. The show, which opens on October 27 and runs for five months, will feature other paintings by Klimt alongside sculptures and drawings, and will explore the Austrian artist’s relationship with Italy. (USA Today)


Contemporary Istanbul Releases Exhibitor List – The Turkish art fair will return for the first time since the city went into lockdown with 56 galleries and nonprofit art organizations from October 7–10. Participants at the event’s new location, Tersane Istanbul, include Marlborough Gallery, König Galerie, and Zilberman. (Art Africa Magazine)

Givenchy Teams Up with Artist Josh Smith – Matthew M. Williams, Givenchy’s creative director, has incorporated the “happy-freaky” work of Smith into several of the looks for his fall collection, which debuted in Paris this weekend. Smith’s ceramic sculptures and Grim Reaper paintings are rendered in bright colors on bags, vests, and hats. (Vogue)

GaryVee NFTs Fetch More Than $1 Million at Christie’s – Entrepreneur and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk, known as GaryVee, found an eager audience for five works from his so-called VeeFriends collection at Christie’s. The NFT doodles, offered in Christie’s postwar to the present sale on Friday, fetched $1.2 million. (CNBC)


Major Portrait Show Arrives at the Rijksmuseum – With “Remember Me,” the Amsterdam institution is tracing the origins of European portraiture, a form that its curators argue isn’t so different from the selfies of today. The ambitious exhibition brings together masterworks by the likes of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Jan Gossart, and Sofonisba Anguissola. It runs until January 16, 2022. (Press release)

Sofonisba Anguissola Zelfportret aan de schildersezel (ca. 1556-1557. ŁaŃcut Muzeum Zamek w ŁaŃcucie.

Sofonisba Anguissola, Zelfportret aan de schildersezel (ca. 1556–57. ŁaŃcut Muzeum Zamek w ŁaŃcucie.

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.