From Sotheby’s Big Botticelli Boon to the Pussy Riot Arrests in Russia: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

Original Pussy Riot print by Jonas Akerlund, © Pussy Riot.
Original Pussy Riot print by Jonas Akerlund, © Pussy Riot.


Holy Botticelli! – A portrait of a young man by Sandro Botticelli just sold for more than $90 million at Sotheby’s, making it one of the most expensive Old Masters ever.

Amanda Gorman Continues to Reign – A painting of America’s new favorite poet has entered the private collection at Harvard University, cementing her historic role.

Independent Announces New Digs – The New York art fair will take place inside a newly opened Cipriani downtown location in September of this year.

An Underwater Treasure Trove – Marine archaeologists discovered an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Greece filled with treasures from Spain and Tunisia.

What Would Charlotte York Do? – As the reboot of Sex and the City approaches, amateur screenwriter Katie White concocts some (very plausible) art-world storylines for everyone’s favorite Upper East Side gallerist.

Art Fair Musical Chairs – More fairs have rescheduled dates due to the ongoing pandemic, including TEFAF Maastricht, which will take place in September.

Cheech Marin’s Museum Approved – The actor’s forthcoming Chicano art museum got the green-light from city officials, bringing it closer to becoming a reality.


Pussy Rioters Arrested – Three members of the activist artist group were arrested during mass demonstrations in Russia protesting the jailing of Aleksei Navalny.

Inside Putin’s Palace – Part of what drove the Russian protests was Navalny’s YouTube essay on Putin’s secret palace, which he called a “new Versailles.” Here’s what’s in it.

Phillips Sales Decline – The auction house announced total sales declined by 16 precent this year, netting $760 million in 2020.

A Bizarre Art Thief, Foiled – A man who threw a stolen painting into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum after smashing a glass window has been arrested in Boston.

European Museums Hunker Down – As the health crisis continues, cultural institutions are facing huge financial deficits while remaining closed.

Centre Pompidou to Close – Paris’s famed contemporary art museum will close from 2023-2026 for a complete renovation.

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