• Berlin’s Humboldt Forum, at the site of the former Berliner Schloss palace. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Berlin’s Humboldt Forum to Celebrate Opening Online

    Berlin’s long, long-awaited Humboldt Forum, which has been under construction for nearly a decade, will livestream views of its rooms and exhibitions beginning at 7 p.m. on December 16, according to The Art Newspaper. The institution had been expected to begin its phased public opening on December 17, but those plans were scuttled owing to lockdown restrictions put in place by the German government through December 22.

    “A physical visit isn’t possible at the moment unfortunately, but we would nonetheless like to celebrate the completion of the Humboldt Forum,” said Humboldt Forum general director

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  • Tate Britain in London. Photo: Tate.

    UK Arts Institutions to Receive $426M Amid Steepest Economic Decline in Centuries

    UK finance minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday announced that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will receive a 2.3 percent boost in spending for the fiscal year beginning in April 2021, The Art Newspaper reports. That means a total of $426 million set aside for arts institutions, many of which were not eligible for (or did not apply for) the $2.1 million emergency rescue package for the arts the government put together earlier this year.

    The news arrives as a relatively bright spot in a bleak economic landscape: The UK economy is expected to experience its sharpest decline in three

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  • German Parliament.

    France to Reopen Cultural Institutions as Germany Contemplates Extended Lockdown

    French President Emanuel Macron today announced a two-phase reopening of France’s cultural institutions, while the German parliament is expected to vote to lengthen lockdown in Germany, according to Artnet News. The split reflects the uncertainty that continues to surround the handling of Covid-19 in Europe and globally.

    Citing culture as “essential to our lives as free citizens,” Macron in a televised address said that French art galleries, bookstores, record shops, and libraries will be allowed to reopen November 28. Larger institutions, including museums, monuments, and theaters, will reopen

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  • Zehra Doğa, BIGIHÊJ (REACH), 2020, acrylic, coffee, urine, felt pen on canvas, 98 1/2 x 86".

    Kurdish Artist Zehra Doğan Wins Inaugural Carol Rama Award

    Exiled Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan, who spent nearly three years in a Turkish prison for sharing her artwork depicting Turkish ruins on social media, has been named the winner of the inaugural Carol Rama Award. In addition to receiving $2,400, Doğan will collaborate with the award’s sponsor, Fondazione Sardi per l’Arte, and the Carol Rama Archive Foundation on a 2021 exhibition; her work will also be exhibited in early December as part of the Turin art fair Artissima, the award’s creator.

    A jury of international curators voted unanimously to award Doğan the prize, which is named for self-taught

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  • Fatos Üstek. Photo: © Christa Holka.

    Liverpool Biennial Director Fatos Üstek Resigns After Clash with Board

    Fatos Üstek has resigned from her position as director of the Liverpool Biennial after seventeen months on the job in the wake of a disagreement with the biennial’s board of trustees. Board members Fiona Banner and John Sharples resigned in support of Üstek. According to Artnews, all three left in October after Üstek and the board, which was characterized in The Art Newspaper as unsupportive, disagreed over the scope of her role.

    Originally scheduled to take place from July to October 2020, the Liverpool Biennial, like so many fairs and biennials worldwide, was put on hold this past March owing

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  • Francesco Polenghi. Photo: Margherita Paparoni.

    Francesco Polenghi (1936–2020)

    Francesco Polenghi, a painter whose unusual life course meant that his public career as an artist began only when he was in his late sixties, has died in his hometown of Milan, Italy, at the age of eighty-four, a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Coming from a family that had found success in the dairy industry, Polenghi attended New York University, where despite his early interest in art he graduated with a degree in economics in 1961. He remained in New York until 1966, before returning to Italy, where he worked in advertising—painting all the while. Fascinated by the philosophy and religions

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  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Museum of Fine Arts Boston Staff Vote to Unionize

    Employees of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston on Friday voted 133 to 14 to unionize, becoming one the newest bargaining units at a major US arts institution. The staff of the MFA will join the United Auto Workers, which is additionally home to unionized workers of the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum, both in New York.

    Voting on the issue, which finally came to the table after more than a year, were employees from thirty departments, including curatorial, conservational, development, visitor and member services, and IT. Votes were counted on Zoom in the presence of twenty observers.

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  • Isamu Noguchi in his Long Island City studio, 1960s. Photo: Martha Swope. © The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, NY / Artists Rights Society (ARS).

    Isamu Noguchi Becomes First Asian American Artist to Have Work in White House Collection

    This past Friday, with the installation of his 1962 sculpture Floor Frame in the White House Rose Garden, Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) became the first Asian American artist to have his work acquired for the White House collection. The two-part sculpture is typical of his minimalist, abstract, biomorphic oeuvre and was included in his 1968 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Made of black patina and bronze, the work constitutes a beam that appears to plunge into the ground, with a shorter section seeming to emerge some distance away.

    The White House Historical Association

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  • Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art, West Building. Photo: Wikipedia.

    National Gallery and Smithsonian Latest Institutions to Close in Response to Covid-19 Second Wave

    The National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC, will close on November 21 owing to a recent local and nationwide spike in Covid-19 cases, the institution announced yesterday. All seven of the city’s Smithsonian’s museums and the National Zoo will close on November 23. Neither the NGA nor the Smithsonian has offered a reopening date, but the closures are expected to last through the winter holidays, typically one of the busiest times of year for the museums.

    The news comes just days after the announced November 20 closures of Philadelphia institutions the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the

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  • A rendering of the cross-section from Hanover Street through galleries and workspaces. Photo: Jamie Fobert Architects

    Pace Gallery Announces London Expansion

    As other London galleries or would-be galleries scrap their plans or close their outposts in response to the double whammy of Covid-19 and a looming no-deal Brexit, the blue-chip Pace Gallery has announced its plans to expand its footprint in the city, where it will take over the 8,600-square-foot space abandoned by defunct mega-gallery Blain Southern in March.

    The new space, located in Mayfair’s Hanover Square, is slated to open in fall of 2021 and will be renovated by Jamie Fobert Architects, who designed Pace’s first London gallery, which it opened in Soho in 2011. The Hanover Square gallery

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  • The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

    Susan Dackerman to Step Down as Director of Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center

    Susan Dackerman, director of Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center, is leaving her post under pressure, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Dackerman’s departure comes on the heels of an independent investigation, launched at her request, into her administration, following allegations that at a toxic workplace thrived under her leadership.

    “Stanford has completed a careful analysis of the situation of Cantor Arts Center, including an external investigation of specific issues. Stanford and Cantor director Susan Dackerman have mutually agreed that Dackerman will be leaving the museum. Dackerman

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  • Yesomi Umolu. Photo: Nicolette Nunez.

    Serpentine Taps Yesomi Umolu as Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice

    Yesomi Umolu has been appointed director of curatorial affairs and public practice for London’s Serpentine Galleries, the institution announced today. Umolu is the first person to occupy the newly created position; in her role, she will spearhead the development of editorial and educational content for exhibitions, events, and other curatorial initiatives.

    Umolo is expected to take up her post in January 2021; the native Londoner is currently director and curator at the Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago, where she additionally lectures on contemporary visual art and spatial

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