Art Industry News: How Salary Transparency Could Transform the Museum World as We Know It + Other Stories

Plus, David Zwirner now represents art star Michael Armitage, and the 9/11 Tribute Museum prepares to close permanently.

Alex Strada and Tali Keren, Proposal for a 28th Amendment? Is it Possible to Amend an Unequal System? in "Year of Uncertainty (YoU) — Phase I: Participate & Build." Photo courtesy of the Queens Museum.

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 Thursday, March 17.


Museums Reconsider Security After MoMA Stabbing – In light of the shocking stabbing at the Museum of Modern Art last weekend, some museums are stepping up their security procedures. Violence remains rare at cultural institutions and security personnel are usually unarmed. (“The last thing you want is a gunfight with 5,000 kids present,” said one security expert.) But some institutions are looking to balance their desire to present an open face to the public with a desire to make staff feel protected. (New York Times)

Artists Turn Nina Simone’s Home Into a Cultural Destination – Five years ago, four artists—Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Adam Pendleton, and Ellen Gallagher—joined forces to buy the childhood home of musician and activist Nina Simone for $95,000. Since then, they’ve worked to preserve the home and plan to transform it into a place of artistic invention that can support aspiring artists and musicians. (T Magazine)

What Could Salary Transparency Do for the Art World? – The introduction of wage transparency laws across seven states of the U.S., including New York, may offer a starting point to transform museums’ hiring practices and regulate wage structures. “The U.S. art world, including the museum sector, is notorious for being vague about salaries,” said Tom Finkelpearl, the former commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs. (The Art Newspaper)

U.K. Government Includes Art in Sanctions – In a new round of sanctions on Russia, the U.K. government announced tariffs on imports (including vodka) and a ban on the export of high-end goods to Russia and Belarus. Major auction houses, galleries, and dealers said this will have a minimal effect on them as they had already paused shipments to and from Russia. (Financial Times)


9/11 Tribute Museum to Close – The museum in Lower Manhattan—the smaller of two built in response to the tragedy—is preparing to close permanently as a result of lost revenue from international tourism. Admissions to the nonprofit institution plummeted 83 percent last year. The larger museum, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, remains operational. (Wall Street Journal)

David Zwirner Now Reps Michael Armitage – One of the biggest stars to emerge in recent years, the painter Michael Armitage has signed with David Zwirner. The mega-gallery will represent the Kenyan-British artist in the United States while White Cube continues to work with him in the U.K. (FT)

Evan Beard Moves to Masterworks – The former head of art services at Bank of America Private Bank is joining the fractional art company Masterworks as an executive vice president. Beard said Masterworks drives “the democratization of ownership of art as an asset class.” (Barrons)

Saudi Arabia Announces Venice Artist – The Riyadh-based multidisciplinary artist Muhannad Shono will represent Saudi Arabia at the upcoming Venice Biennale. The national pavilion will be organized by curator Reem Fadda and assistant curator Rotana Shaker. (Press release)


La Prairie Awards Inaugural Art Prize – The Swiss skincare brand awarded its first $80,000 prize to the Melbourne-based artist Atong Atem, who arrived Australia as a refugee when she was six years old. The Art Gallery of New South Wales will spend $50,000 acquiring Atem’s work, while $30,000 will fund a Zürich residency that will bring Atem to Art Basel. (Guardian)

Satellite Imagery Shows Before and After of Mariupol Theater Bombing – The Donetsk Regional Drama Theatre in Mariupol, Ukraine, where nearly 2,000 civilians were thought to be seeking shelter, was bombed by Russian forces yesterday. The death toll is still unknown. A satellite image of the theater before it was destroyed by the shelling clearly shows the word “children” written onto the pavement outside the theater. (Evening Standard)

Satellite imagery of Mariupol, Ukraine on March 14 shows an overhead view of the Mariupol Drama Theater, which was bombed on March 16. Notably, the word “children” in Russian is written in large white letters in front of and behind the theater. Satellite image (c) 2022 Maxar Technologies.

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