From The T-Rex That Ruled Auction Week to a Contagious Gallery Dinner: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Christie's sold a nearly complete skeleton of a T-Rex named Stan at its evening sale in November 2020 for $28 million ($31.8 million after fees). Courtesy of Christie's.


Museum Loans From a Late Night Host  TV Host John Oliver is offering to lend his collection of weird artworks to cash-strapped museums—plus he’ll be giving out $10,000 to each museum and to nearby food banks. 

Graffiti Artists Win BigIn a victory for graffiti and aerosol artists, as well as for advocates of the Visual Artists Rights Act, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the landmark case over the destruction of graffiti mecca 5Pointz, sealing a $6.8 million win for artists.

A Dust Bunny Drawing Discovery A trove of Duncan Grant drawings of muscle-bound men were thought to have been destroyed—turns out they were just tucked away under a bed. 

Looted Artifacts Head Home France’s National Assembly approved the restitution of looted artifacts to Benin and Senegal after years of delay. Since a groundbreaking 2018 paper on looted artifacts, the nation has returned all of zero. 

Metal-Detector Enthusiasts Uncover An Ancient Saxon LeaderThe remains of a pagan warlord were discovered by two amateur metal-detector enthusiasts, along with a host of ancient luxury goods. 

Quite A Buzz After a fly made an unexpected cameo in the US Vice Presidential debate this week, we turned to art-historical precedents to interpret its symbolism.

The $28 Million King of Auction Week A T-Rex skeleton named Stan was the undisputed king of Christie’s contemporary art auction, selling for roaring $28 million.


A Museum Veteran Exits Amid Allegations — After an internal investigation into racial bias allegations, veteran Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector has left the museum, despite having been cleared by the inquiry. 

Split Your Losses? Hong Kong Police recovered a Mao scroll that was stolen as part of a $645 million art heist—but it’s been cut in half. 

Ruffled FeathersCollectible stamps of ducks have been caught in the political melee this year, as the US government is requiring artists to design the stamps with a tribute to hunting.

Trickle-Up EconomicsThe top 17 percent of Germany’s art galleries made 80 percent of all revenue last year, a new report finds. 

An Uninvited Dinner GuestA Berlin gallery dinner is believed to be the source of an outbreak of coronavirus that is ripping through the city’s cultural demimonde.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.