Art Industry News: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Is Raising Its Admission Fee to $30 as Inflation Comes for Us All + Other Stories

Plus, Postmasters gallery is going nomadic, and museums across America enjoy a "BTS bump" after pop star RM posts his art tour on Instagram.

A security guard stands at his post as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP 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 Wednesday, June 29.


Jeff Koons Balloon Sculpture Sold to Benefit Ukraine Humanitarian Effort – Danish collector Jens Faurschou acquired Jeff Koons’s sculpture Balloon Monkey (Magenta) for £10.1 million ($12.4 million) after a fierce battle with a Mandarin-speaking phone bidder at Christie’s London on Tuesday evening. The work was donated by billionaire Viktor Pinchuk and his wife and Olena to benefit humanitarian aid in Ukraine. (Artnet News)

K-Pop Singer’s Fans Flood to Museums’ Social Media – The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has experienced the so-called “BTS bump” after the K-pop star RM posted his visit to the museum’s Phillip Guston show on Instagram. Similarly, the National Gallery of Art’s tweet resharing his visit received the most engagement of any tweet from their account, at nearly 12,000 retweets and 40,000 likes. As art history professor Yang Jeong-mu said in a recent radio interview, exhibitions can be divided into two categories: “The ones RM went to and the ones RM didn’t go to.” (ARTnews)

The Met Is Getting More Expensive – Inflation really is everywhere, huh? Starting Friday, July 1, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will officially become the most expensive art institution in New York City. The museum is raising its ticket price by $5 across the board: adults will pay $30, seniors will pay $22, and students will pay $17. The “pay as you wish” option remains in place for New York state residents and students in the tristate area. “We think… having a modest increase for out-of-state and international visitors, for the first time in 11 years, is fair and appropriate,” a spokesperson said. (New York Post)

Artists Reflect on Sam Gilliam’s Impact and Legacy – Melvin Edwards and Rashid Johnson reflect on the legacy of their friend Sam Gilliam, the pioneering painter who died last weekend at 88. “You could fill the whole New York Times with just Sam, and forget the rest,” Edwards said. “That’s my emotional take on my friend. He was happy his work got more attention and more finance came his way, but it was a hell of a struggle. He always wanted to do the work, and he did it until he couldn’t.” (New York Times)


Banksy Awarded Honorary Professorship – The anonymous street artist will be awarded an honorary professorship at England’s University for the Creative Arts—though, naturally, he will not attend the ceremony. (Nice try, University for the Creative Arts.) The artist “uses his talents to disrupt the status quo, while challenging us all to confront some of the key issues of our time,” the university’s vice-chancellor Bashir Makhoul said. (The Art Newspaper)

Warhol Foundation Distributes $3.9 Million – Recipients of the latest round of grants, which will be distributed across 50 arts organizations in 18 states, include the Englewood, Colorado nomadic art museum Black Cube and Manhattan’s National Museum of the American Indian. (Hyperallergic)

Postmasters Is Going Nomadic – The forward-thinking gallery‘s current show by Gracelee Lawrence will be its last in Tribeca, where it has been since 2013. The dealers lost a “protracted legal battle” with their landlord over a pandemic rent settlement. “It may be a blessing of sorts,” said the gallery in an announcement. “In the course of 38 years, we had four permanent locations in New York… such a model seems to be unsustainable for progressive, challenging, experimental art.” The gallery plans to become nomadic for the foreseeable future. (Press release)


Magnum’s New Photo Sale Is All NFTs – For an upcoming sale to mark its 75th birthday, the august photography cooperative is venturing into the world of NFTs. A collection of 76 images will be dropped in packs of six drops over the next two weeks, starting today. A highlight for art lovers: an NFT of Philippe Halsman’s portrait of the great pop artist, Andy Warhol, US (1968). (Guardian) ⁠

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