Art Industry News: Will Robert Soros’s $350M Divorce Destroy His Art Collection? + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the National Cathedral removes stained glass images of Confederate generals and Sotheby's releases prices for the controversial Berkshire Museum sale.

Robert and Melissa Soros in 2010. Courtesy of Jimi Celeste, © Patrick McMullan.

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 7.


V&A “Honored” to Have Support of Trump Donor – At a press preview of the museum’s fall program, V&A director Tristram Hunt said the museum has no qualms about accepting a £5 million donation from billionaire and Trump supporter Len Blavatnik. The museum welcomes donors of “all political views,” Hunt said, standing in the V&A’s recently opened Blavatnik Hall. (The Guardian)

Jerry Saltz Gives Kara Walker’s Show a Rave – The critic describes the exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins (which had a much discussed press release) as “the best art made about this country in this century.” The work is, he writes, “as terrifyingly beautiful as Goya’s masterpiece of Saturn devouring his children” in its unsparing representation of black life in America. (New York Magazine)

Will Robert Soros’s Art Collection Disappear in $350M Divorce? – Due to a stipulation in their prenup, billionaire heir Robert Soros and his estranged wife Melissa Schiff may have to forfeit their entire collection if they can’t settle on its value. Their holdings—which Soros wants to sell, but Schiff doesn’t—include works by Jeff Koons and Christopher Wool. (New York Post)

New London Neighborhood Seeks to Preserve Affordable Art Spaces – Dubbed “mini-Manhattan,” London City Island is a new neighborhood on the Leamouth Peninsula by Canary Wharf billed as an affordable creative hub. In September, new media and performance art space arebyte will become the first art venue to open there. (Art Daily)


Martine Syms Now Represented by Sadie Coles – Following a solo show at Sadie Coles HQ during Condo, the Los Angeles–based artist known for her video installations and photo-based work is now represented by the London gallery, as well as Bridget Donahue gallery in New York. (ARTnews)

Paddle8 Launches Street-Art Sale – The online auction house is holding a sale curated by street art dealer Steve Lazarides. Dubbed “Off the Wall,” the auction will run until September 14 and feature 55 works by big-name street artists such as Banksy, Futura 2000, and Shepard Fairey. (Press release)

Sotheby’s Releases Prices for Berkshire Museum Sale – The controversial sale of works from the museum’s collection is expected to make between $46.5 million and $68.6 million. Although the museum is selling 40 works in total, more than half of the sale’s proceeds is likely to come from two paintings by Norman Rockwell. (Berkshire Eagle)


Kate Millett Dies at 82 – The feminist author, artist, and women’s liberation activist died yesterday. She served as director of the Millett Center for the Arts and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. (Artforum)

New Staff at the Hals Museum – The Frans Hals Museum welcomes three new staff members: Melanie Bühler became curator of contemporary art on September 1, Geert-Jan Davelaar was appointed coordinator education and public outreach on August 1, and Marrigje Rikken will take up the post of head of collections on October 1. (Press release)

Minneapolis Collector Dies at 93 – Collector and philanthropist DeLores “Dolly” Fiterman, who devoted much of her time and money to supporting a long list of local institutions, died on August 19. (Star Tribune)

2018 Adelaide Biennial Artists Announced – The list of artists and collectives participating in next year’s Biennial of Australian Art, titled “Divided Worlds,” has been released. Highlights include Daniel Boyd, Tamara Dean, Ghostpatrol, and Pit + Pop. (Artdaily)


Chrysler Museum Gets Glass Donation – The museum, which is already known for its extensive glass holdings, has received some 97 glass artworks from the collection of Lisa and Dudley Anderson. It is the largest single gift of art to the institution since 1971. (Artdaily)

Brazilian Surfer Fakes War Photography – Today in truth that’s stranger than fiction, an investigation by BBC Brazil revealed that a Brazilian surfer who gained renown as a war photographer and a cancer survivor is a fraud. The man, who goes by Eduardo Martins, stole the identity of a Brit whose face he would Photoshop into other photojournalists’ pictures from war-torn countries. (Hyperallergic)

National Cathedral Removes Windows Showing Confederate Generals – After two years of debate, Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral has removed stainless glass windows installed in 1953 that feature images of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. (Press release)

Courtesy of The National Cathedral.

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