From a Union Victory at the New Museum to the Death of Jonas Mekas: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this weeks news—fast.

Jonas Mekas during the 54th New York Film Festival at The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.


The New Museum Unionizes – Employees at the New Museum voted to unionize in a landslide decision, and will now join the Local 2110 of the United Auto Workers. The decision comes after two weeks of troubling allegations of poor working conditions and low pay at the institution, which is known for its progressive credentials.

A Surprising Discovery at Oscar de la Renta’s New Shop – Construction workers stumbled upon a painting that had been hidden for decades in an historic Paris building where the luxury fashion house is opening a new boutique.

Salvador Dalí Walks Again – A Florida museum dedicated to Salvador Dalí has unveiled plans for an interactive experience with the artist himself, thanks to a very surreal bit of artificial intelligence technology.

The Inception Effect – A small corner of the Internet is fascinated by a Swedish woman’s painting of a swan—so much so that paintings of her painting, plus paintings of those paintings, are all being documented in an amusing Reddit subthread dedicated to the so-called “Droste Effect,” of pictures inside pictures.

Art Imitates Life – The main character in If Beale Street Could Talk, an adaptation of a James Baldwin book, is an artist, whose prop works of art were made by some real-life sculptors.

From the Shredder to Stuttgart – Banksy’s semi-shredded artwork will live at Germany’s Stuttgart Staatsgalerie, but—in a nod to its cheeky creator—viewers will have to find the work in the museum if they want to see it.

What’s in a Name? – Did you know there was a cruise ship Paul Gauguin? Or a Renoir Consulting Group? Or a Salvador Dalí Desert? We rounded up (and ranked) unexpected things named after famous artists.



Mourning the Death of an Avant-Garde Giant – The filmmaker, critic, and godfather of underground cinema, Jonas Mekas, died at age 96 at home in Brooklyn.

Lawsuit Over Trade Secrets Pits Galleries Against One Another – A former employee at Lehmann Maupin Gallery is accused of stealing valuable information just days before she decamped for a top position at Lévy Gorvy.

Remembering a Pioneer of Cat Photography – Walter Chandoha, the man who practically invented the art form decades before memes of cute kitties besieged us day and night, passed away at age 98, having captured felines in every pose over the course of his decades-long career.

Ex-Artforum Staffer Will Appeal Court Decision – Amanda Schmitt has announced that she will be appealing the dismissal of her case against Artforum and Knight Landesman, whom she alleges sexually harassed her for years.

Spies? We’re Just Tourists! – Suspected international spies are using “cultural excursions” as a cover for allegedly surreptitious activities, claiming they are just art-loving tourists, not masters of espionage.

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