From the Latest Museum Unionization to an Orlando Museum’s FBI Raid: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Installation view of the "Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Thaddeus Mumford, Jr. Venice Collection" at the Orlando Museum of Art, 2022. Photo courtesy of the OMA.


Bacon Salvages Staid Sale – Francis Bacon’s $52.7 million portrait stole the show at Sotheby’s otherwise lackluster auction in London.

Plans to Return Benin Bronzes Move Forward – Germany and Nigeria are planning to sign an agreement that would see the contested Benin bronzes returned from Berlin to Africa.

An NFT Sale in a Crypto Winter – Christie’s NFT sale netted $1.6 million, providing some hope to collectors amid the crypto downturn.

Frieze Announces Seoul Galleries – The art fair juggernaut has released the list of more than 100 galleries taking part in its inaugural South Korean fair.

MFA Boston Reaches Union Agreement – After 18 months of negotiations, a strike, and an assist from the mayor, the Boston museum has come to an agreement with unionizing employees.

TEFAF Returns in Full Force – The Maastricht fair saw steady sales for Old Masters and plenty of museum interest at its first in-person fair since the pandemic.

Bonhams Buys Another Auction House – Continuing its acquisition streak, the auction house is adding to its growing portfolio with the purchase of Paris’s Cornette de Saint Cyr.

Star-Crossed Collaboration – Lena Dunham directed painter Issy Wood’s new music video, which stars Hari Nef (plus some of Wood’s own paintings).

Artists React to Roe v. Wade – Following the landmark Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, artists including Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger are responding with messages of dissent.



Orlando Axes Museum Director – The Orlando Museum of Art has fired its director following a stunning FBI raid of allegedly fake paintings by Basquiat.

‘Big Eyes’ Painter Has Died – Margaret Keane, who died at age 94, was a prolific painter of doe-eyed waifs, but her husband took credit for her work for years.

Yuga Labs Sues NFT Artist – The company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs is suing artist Ryder Ripps for trademark infringement.

Activists Glued Themselves to Van Gogh Climate protesters affixed themselves to a Van Gogh painting at the Courtauld, demanding the institution join their “civil resistance.”

Painter Sam Gilliam Has Died at 88 – The Washington, D.C.-based artist, who challenged the limits of abstraction and color, died of renal failure.

Armed Suspects Smash and Grab – TEFAF was evacuated as suspects smashed a jewelry display at the fair, though they did not make off with anything.

Met President Will Leave Next Year – In a surprise announcement, the museum said that Daniel Weiss would step down from his role as president and C.E.O.

Hagia Sophia’s Marble Floors Cracked – Since the building was converted from a museum to a mosque, it has undergone troubling practices leading to damaged marble tiles and worries about future conservation.

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.