Art Industry News: Top Wall Street Guru Says He’d Rather Invest in Art and Real Estate Than Stocks Right Now + Other Stories

Plus, Kyiv museums display captured Russian artifacts, and London's Royal College of Art reveals its $170 million upgrade.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/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, May 24.


Canadian Museums’ $617 Million Rebuild Draws Criticism – In British Columbia, a new proposal by the provincial government to spend CA$789 million ($617 million) to rebuild the Royal BC Museum in Victoria has come as a rude shock to the public. Many locals say that it is too high a price to pay for a “safer, more inclusive, and accessible modern building” in the midst of a pandemic, rapid inflation, and an affordable housing crisis. (The Globe & Mail)

What It’s Like to Watch the Auctions as an Art Critic – Jason Farago sat in the back of the salesroom at last week’s New York auctions and bemoaned the death of art valuation at the hands of anything but the market. As much of the art world insists on looking backward, it seems that thirsty collectors have become the ultimate arbiters of taste. “A bull run for art comes not only against a sliding equities market (though art price corrections often soon follow), but also in a moment of widespread high-cultural malaise,” Farago writes. (New York Times)

Will Art Actually Outperform Stocks? – Farago isn’t the only one making these observations. Guggenheim Partners Global Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd said he would rather invest in art and real estate than in stocks over the next five years. “Until we see some real panic we’re not going to see a real bottom,” Minerd said of the stock market. “Bear markets don’t end at fair value—they tend to overshoot.” (MarketWatch)

Kyiv Museums Display Russian Artifacts from Failed Siege – Ukraine’s curators have been busy scouring sites of conflict for artifacts. The Military History Museum recently opened an exhibition of captured Russian hardware brought to the capital by Ukrainian soldiers, including burned-out military gear, Russian passports, and military records. Meanwhile, the Museum of the Second World War is presenting a model of an underground shelter where a group of Ukrainians lived for a month, filled with original objects. (Guardian)


London Royal College of Art Unveils $169 Million Upgrade – Architects Herzog & Meuron unveiled the Battersea institution’s new 167,000-square-foot structure, described by the Guardian as the “brutalist love child of a factory and a multi-story car park.” The hulking brick building exudes a “split personality,” looking “like a factory” from one side and the “headquarters of a tech company” from the other. (Guardian)

The British Library Opens a Gold-Themed Exhibition – A new show at the London institution looks at how gold maintains its value across millennia and across continents. On view until October 2, the show includes diplomatic texts written on gold, a seal of Baldwin, the last Latin emperor of Jerusalem, and two rectangular gold seals from Burma. (Evening Standard)

Marina Abramović Show Gets (Another) Opening Date – After two delays, a highly anticipated retrospective of the Serbian performance artist will finally debut at the Royal Academy of Arts in London from September 23 to December 10. The show—which has “performative and participatory elements” that make social distancing a challenge—was originally due to open in September 2020. (The Art Newspaper)


Ukrainian Soldier Uploaded Images of Siege Before Capture – Dmytro Kozatsky, a Ukrainian fighter and photographer, shared poignant images with the Guardian to capture soldiers’ lives during war time. His battalion was sheltering at the Azovstal steel plant—a strategic flashpoint in the battle for Mariupol—until more than 2,000 soldiers, including Kozatsky, surrendered last week at the instruction of President Zelenskyy. While Kozatsky’s photographs go viral, the soldiers’ whereabouts are unknown. (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.