From the Art of Doobie-Smoking Dogs to a Wildfire at a Cape Town Library: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Detail of Anonymous, Genealogical tree of Dominican Order (1804).
Detail of Anonymous, Genealogical tree of Dominican Order (1804).

BEST👍

Why Are Dogs Smoking Joints? – In honor of 4/20, chief art critic Ben Davis answers the question on everyone’s mind: Why are there so many dogs smoking joints in old paintings?

Creative Conversations – Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams and artist Glenn Kaino spoke about the burgeoning creative renaissance for artists of color.

Sotheby’s Soars in Hong Kong – The auction house netted $122.5 million at its contemporary art sale, setting records for young artists Salman Toor and Avery Singer.

Uncovering Harriet Tubman’s Home – The long-lost cabin where the Underground Railroad leader grew up has just been discovered in Maryland.

Museum as Essential Business – The London Design Museum thwarted lockdown rules by transforming the space into a grocery store to stay open as an essential business.

Chicago Boosts Culture – The city’s government is planning to ramp up its public art budget by a staggering 15,000 percent as part of a new cultural recovery plan.

Mayas Made Long-Distance Contact – Archaeologists discovered that the ancient civilization had direct contact with people more than 800 miles away.

Sotheby’s Does Dinos – The auction house launched a new science and pop culture department to quench the public’s thirst for dinosaur bones and sneakers.

WORST👎

Wildfire Rages in Cape Town – A fire at the University of Cape Town Library gutted the collection of African studies.

Controversial Migrant Ship Returned to Italy – The capsized migrant ship that artist Christoph Büchel displayed at the Venice Biennale will be turned into a memorial in Sicily.

Museums Rally Against Macron – Angry museum leaders are banding together to petition the French president to allow them to reopen in May.

More Museums Sell Art to Stay Afloat – More institutions are taking advantage of relaxed (and controversial) pandemic-era rules to sell art at auction.

U.S. Returns Looted Antiquities – The D.A.’s office returned 33 antiquities to Afghanistan that are linked to disgraced dealer Subhash Kapoor.


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