Art Industry News: Robert Indiana’s Assistant Defends His $250,000 Salary + Other Stories

Plus, arts attendance in America is on the rise and a Nazi-looted Renoir painting is returned to its rightful heir.

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 Thursday, September 13.


Students Salvage Photos of Brazil Museum – Students in Rio de Janeiro are asking anyone who visited the National Museum of Brazil before it was destroyed by fire to share photos or videos they took of the site. So far, Luana Santos and her fellow museum studies have received 14,000 replies, including visitors’ drawings of their favorite exhibits. Meanwhile, UNESCO has sent experts to help recover the institution’s archive and any surviving artifacts. (Guardian)

Seven Female Gallerists Who Changed the Game – magazine offers a celebration—and a peek inside the homes—of pioneering art dealers Marian Goodman, Barbara Gladstone, Paula Cooper, Angela Westwater, Janelle Reiring, Helene Winer, and Mary Boone. (Some have rightly noted fatigue with this sort of listicle.) Although Boone’s recent run-ins with the IRS and Alec Baldwin go unmentioned, she gets credit where credit is due: Gladstone says Boone “made herself a brand before [Larry Gagosian] did. She made the art world sexy.” (W)

Robert Indiana’s Assistant Reveals His Six-Figure Salary – The late artist’s caretaker-turned-assistant told a probate court that he was paid $250,000 a year and received at least 118 works as gifts from the artist. “You’ve got to remember,” Jamie Thomas said by way of explanation, “that he paid another person $400,000 for absolutely nothing.” While the artist’s estate is untangled in court, works valued at $50 million have been moved from Indiana’s home into storage. (New York Times)

Looted Renoir Returned to Heir – A late Renoir painting, Two Women in a Garden (1919), was returned to the granddaughter of its original owner, collector Alfred Weinberger, at a repatriation ceremony in Manhattan yesterday. The work was seized by the Nazis from a Paris bank vault in 1941. The heir, Sylvie Sulitzer, flew from France to retrieve it. Five more paintings that belonged to her grandfather are still missing, including four by Renoir. (Courthouse News)


Skarstedt to Represent the Estate of Martin Kippenberger – The New York- and London-based gallery has announced that it will represent the estate of the German artist in the US in collaboration with Galerie Gisela Capitain in Cologne. The gallery presented the artist’s “Raft of the Medusa” series in New York in 2014.  (Instagram)

Second Round of Berkshire Works Sold – The Berkshire museum has sold seven more works of art from its collection as part of its controversial deaccession. Unnamed institutions have purchased works by Alexander Calder, Albert Bierstadt, and Benjamin West, while private collectors have picked up paintings by Thomas Wilmer Dewing and Charles Willson Peale. A Chinese screen and jar also sold yesterday at Sotheby’s Asia Week auction. (Press release)

Looted Shiva Spotted at Australian Museum – Indian police have identified a looted Dancing Shiva statue in the collection of the the Art Gallery of South Australia, one of 14 controversial acquisitions. The Adelaide institution’s acting director Lisa Slade said that it would not challenge a repatriation claim for the bronze, which it purchased in 2001. (ABC)


Is Glasgow’s Art Center on the Verge of Closing? – The city’s Center for Contemporary Arts, which is next door to the burned-down Glasgow School of Art, has remained closed since the devastating fire in June and has canceled 115 events to date. Local residents were allowed back into their homes at the end of August, but staff at the center have yet to be granted access to the site. (Glasgow Live)

Remai Modern Appoints Development Chief – Lisa Laskowski has been named director of development and chief development officer at the Saskatoon museum. She most recently served as chief development officer at the Royal University Hospital Foundation. (Art Daily)

Trafalgar Square Gets a Fifth Lion – As part of the London Design Festival, the London square’s monumental lions have a new, bright red companion. Created by designer Es Devlin with Google Arts and Culture, the new addition, called Please Feed the Lions, allows the public to “feed” words to the sculpture, which are translated into LED lights in its mouth. Devlin is known for creating stage designs for Kanye West and Beyoncé, among other stars. (Design Week)


US Arts Attendance Is on the Rise – The National Endowment for the Arts and the Census Bureau have released a new survey that shows arts attendance is up. The 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts estimates that more than half of American adults are now visiting museums and attending performing arts events at least once a year. (Press release)

French Art School Under Fire for Photoshopping Black Students – The Émil Cohl art school in Lyon, France, has apologized after it was caught digitally altering a photograph posted on the American version of the school’s website to make it appear as though there were more black students. The school says it was the American communications company it hired that decided to darken some students’ faces and photoshop two additional people into the picture. (CNN)

Jorge Pardo Has Designed an Art Hotel – The artist has designed the interiors of collector Maja Hoffmann’s L’Arlatan hotel, which opens in Arles, France, next month. Pardo has decked out the converted 15th-century palace in more than two million colorful Yucatán tiles, creating abstract mosaics throughout the space. (NYT)


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