Art Industry News: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Has Officially Entered the Chat on Kim Kardashian-Marilyn Monroe Dress-Gate + Other Stories

Plus, the market for female Old Masters is on the rise, and a Batman cover sells for $2.4 million at auction.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/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 Friday, June 17.


How Rose B. Simpson Sculpts Memory in Clay – Ahead of a trio of East Coast exhibitions, sculptor Rose B. Simpson chats with Jori Finkel about her unique brand of ceramic art, which is rapidly gaining art-world acclaim. “I think in clay,” the New Mexico-based artist said. “Clay was the earth that grew our food, was the house we lived in, was the pottery we ate out of and prayed with. So my relationship to clay is ancestral and I think it has a deep genetic memory.” (New York Times)

Female Old Masters Poised for Renaissance – As more artworks by female Old Masters like Artemisia Gentileschi and Judith Leyster fetch record prices at auction, specialists are bracing themselves for a boom in the once-stagnant market for artists who were largely ignored or had their paintings misattributed to male contemporaries. Thanks to dovetailing interests of celebrities like Victoria Beckham and international exhibitions spotlighting the work, “the appetite for them has increased exponentially,” a Christie’s specialist said. (Financial Times)

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Rep Denies Kim’s Damage – What, did you think this conversation was over? A representative from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has weighed in on the now months-long discussion over Kim Kardashian’s donning of the iconic dress designed for Marilyn Monroe. According to the rep, the nude-colored, crystal-embellished dress showed signs of being “pulled and worn” at the seams as far back as 2016, and said damage including “puckering” was identified well before Kim wore the garment to the Met Ball. (Complex)

Batman Cover Art Fetches Millions – The cover of the 1986 issue of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns fetched $2.4 million at Heritage Auctions on Thursday, joining an elite group of comic-book artworks to net millions of dollars at auction. Frank Miller, who wrote and drew the four-part story, said, “Roy Lichtenstein made all those gazillions of dollars basically tracing off old romance comics. It would be nice for the real item to go out there and be recognized.” (NYT)


Hip Hop Memorabilia Hits the Auction Block – Original vinyls, turntables, and other memorabilia highlighting the rise of D.J. Kool Herc will be offered at a sale organized by Christie’s and the consultancy Payal Arts International in August. More than 200 objects will be on view at Christie’s Rockefeller Center HQ as part of Hip-Hop Recognition Month. (NYT)

Jewish Museum Hires Contemporary Curator – Liz Munsell will join the New York institution as its new contemporary art curator. She previously served as a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she brought performance art into the collection and organized shows by Cecilia Vicuña and Pablo Helguera. (Press release)

Independent Names Exhibitors for 20th Century Fair – Independent has revealed the 31 galleries participating in its new 20th-century-art-focused fair, which will debut in September to coincide with the Armory Show. They include Cheim & Read, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, and James Fuentes. (ARTnews)

Graphic Novel Wins Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal – For the first time in 50 years, a graphic novelist has been awarded the prestigious Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal for her illustrated edition of the 2019 version of A Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. The award was announced at a British Library ceremony honoring the best books for children and young people. (Evening Standard)


Walter De Maria Installations to Close for Conservation – The artist’s installations The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), both part of Dia’s permanent collection, will close on June 19 while infrastructure upgrades are made to the galleries at 141 Wooster Street and 393 West Broadway. Both works have been on view for more than 40 years, and the conservation, which is part of a broader revitalization plan of Dia’s sites across New York State, will enable the iconic works to remain open year-round. (Press release)

Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room, 1977. © Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: John Cliett. Courtesy of Dia Art Foundation, New York.

Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room, 1977. © Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: John Cliett. Courtesy of Dia Art Foundation, New York.

Walter De Maria, The Broken Kilometer, 1979. © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Jon Abbott.

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