From Murals Honoring the Late Kobe Bryant to the Threat of the Coronavirus: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

Jules Muck painted this mural memorializing former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant in Los Angeles, California within hours of the death of the two in a helicopter crash along with seven other people January 26 in Calabasas, California. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.


Old Masters, New Records – Sotheby’s Old Master sales in New York were a big hit, bringing in $76 million and setting new records.

Honoring a Legend – Hours after former LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, artists around the country began paying tribute with vibrant murals.

The Witching Hour – This week’s episode of the Art Angle podcast explores the art world’s recent turn toward the supernatural.

Remembering Survivors – An exhibition of portraits of Holocaust survivors went on view in Essen, Germany, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Signing at the Super Bowl – The artist Christine Sun Kim will sign the National Anthem alongside pop star Demi Lovato at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

In the Frame With Tyler Mitchell – The young photographer spoke to Artnet News about how his career has transformed since he shot Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue.

Super Mario Soars at Sotheby’s – The auction of late designer Mario Buatta’s prized collection hit a fever pitch at Sotheby’s, more than doubling its high estimate.


Devastating Fire Threatens Archives – A five-alarm fire at New York’s Museum of the Chinese in America threatened thousands of the museum’s artifacts and documents.

Institutions Shutter to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus – As the deadly disease continues to sweep through China, Beijing officials shut down the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, while, in Hong Kong, museums and public spaces were closed.

Art Basel Gets Battered – Exhibitors are urging organizers to cancel the upcoming edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, local dealers in Hong Kong are demanding that organizers do exactly the opposite.

Yale Nixes Survey Art History Class – Yale will cancel a beloved art history survey after getting complaints that it was too “Eurocentric.”

Getty’s Gaugin Is a Gaffe – The California museum discovered that what it thought was an “exceedingly rare” sculpture by Paul Gaugin, was in fact, a fake.

Instagram Policies Anger Artists – Another battle has erupted between artists and Instagram, after the social media platform began censoring what it calls “fake news.”

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