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  • Denise Gardner. Photo: The Art Institute of Chicago.

    Denise Gardner Named Board Chief of Art Institute of Chicago

    The Art Institute of Chicago has appointed philanthropist, art collector, and marketing executive Denise Gardner chairperson of its board. Gardner, who in November will succeed outgoing board chair Robert M. Levy, is first woman, and the first African American, to helm the board of the Art Institute. She is additionally believed to be the first Black woman to lead a major museum board in the United States.

    “It’s hard to avoid the historical significance,” Gardner told the New York Times in a telephone interview. “That does add a sense of responsibility and pressure to succeed, and that’s fine

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  • Eunice Bélidor. Photo: Charlène Daguin/Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Appoints Eunice Bélidor as Curator

    Eunice Bélidor has been named the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Curator of Quebec and Canadian contemporary art (1945 to today) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, becoming the institution’s first full-time Black curator since it was founded 161 years ago.

    “Her experience coupled with her interest in stimulating dialogue and in focusing on themes and discourses that are too often marginalized make her a tremendous asset for the MMFA,” said Mary-Dailey Desmarais, the museum’s chief curator, in a statement.

    The Montreal native, a talented curator, critic, and researcher, spoke succinctly of her

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  • A Benin Bronze from the collection of the British Museum. Photo: Son of Groucho/Flickr.

    National Museum of Ireland Makes Plans to Return Benin Bronzes

    The National Museum of Ireland (NMI), Dublin, is the latest European institution to announce plans to repatriate its share of the renowned Benin Bronzes, part of a trove of more than 90,000 objects looted from what is now Nigeria by British troops in 1897 and scattered across the Continent, The Times reports. The museum joins Scotland’s Aberdeen University, which in March was the first to commit to returning its lone object; the Church of England; and German institutions including Berlin’s Humboldt Forum in doing so.

    NMI has said it is working on returning twenty-one of the objects to Nigeria;

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  • Adrienne Edwards.

    Whitney Promotes Adrienne Edwards to Director of Curatorial Affairs

    The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, has announced that it is promoting Adrienne Edwards from Engell Speyer Curator and curator of performance to director of curatorial affairs. In her new leadership role, awarded her in recognition of her contributions to the museum and to the broader field of the arts, she will form part of the team charged with the museum’s strategic planning. She will work alongside Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s senior deputy director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator in overseeing the curatorial department and molding the museum’s artistic direction.

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  • Frieze Los Angeles 2019. Photo: Mark Blower/Frieze.

    Frieze Los Angeles 2021 Canceled, New Venue Sought for 2022

    Frieze Los Angeles has announced the cancellation of its 2021 iteration, which it had already pushed from February to July, citing restrictions related to the continuing Covid-19 crisis. Fair planners will instead concentrate on the 2022 edition instead, which will take place February 17–20 in a large tent next to the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. This year’s event was to have been a nomadic affair, with organizers shut out of its traditional venue, Paramount Studios, owing to a pandemic-relate backlog of filming taking place there.

    “With only ten months until the 2022 dates, we

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  • Tourmaline, Salacia, 2019, 16 mm, sound, color, 6 minutes 4 seconds.

    Dara Birnbaum, Tourmaline Among 2021 Guggenheim Fellows

    The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced today the 184 recipients of its 2021 fellowships, which are awarded to scholars, writers, and artists based on prior achievement. In the Creative Arts category, awardees include Dara Birnbaum, Enrique Chagoya, Michelle Grabner, Sung Hwan Kim, Jesse Krimes, Jill Magid, Helen Molesworth, Chon Noriega, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Dread Scott, Cauleen Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Tourmaline, Christopher Williams, and Jake Yuzna.  

    Ranging in age from thirty-one to eighty-five, the fellows were selected from a pool of almost three thousand applicants.

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  • A rendering of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s expansion project. Photo: Safdie Architects.

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Plans Major Expansion

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, has revealed plans to expand its campus by 50 percent, allowing for a more generous hang of its collection as well as space for cultural and educational programming and community events. Moshe Safdie, the original structure’s architect, will oversee the project, which will increase the institution’s space from 200,000 to nearly 300,000 square feet.

    The original complex, completed in 2011, is an airy structure curved to echo the surrounding hillside and characterized by concrete walls, red-cedar bands, and a copper roof. The new

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  • Demonstrators at a protest against anti-Asian violence in New York’s Chinatown last month. Photo: Elvert Barnes/Flickr.

    Asian American Arts Workers Decry White Supremacy in Open Letter

    A group of Asian American arts workers taking the collective moniker StopDiscriminAsian (SDA) has penned an open letter protesting racism and xenophobia exacerbated by the pandemic; expressing support for marginalized communities, including immigrants and elders; and calling for the decriminalization of sex workers and for an alternative to policing. The letter, which to date has drawn more than eight hundred signatories, comes amid an intense wave of anti-Asian violence, including the killings of six Asian women working at Atlanta-area massage parlors.

    “We are art workers, we are educators, we

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  • Farah Al Qasimi. Photo: Matthew Leifheit. Courtesy Farah Al Qasimi.

    Public Art Fund Adds Farah Al Qasimi, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and Others to Board of Directors

    New York’s Public Art Fund has announced the addition of six new directors to its board, including artist Farah Al Qasimi, whose practice embraces video, photography, and performance, and media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, whose work melds architecture and performance art. Also named to the board were William Floyd, director of government affairs and public policy at Google; philanthropist Allison Russo; Karen Seymour, a partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell; and philanthropist Michael Sternberg, an adviser to alternative asset manager Warana Capital.

    “We are thrilled to welcome these six

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  • Gene Youngblood in 2012. Photo: Jcraford/Wikipedia Commons.

    Gene Youngblood (1942–2021)

    Visionary media arts theorist and critic Gene Youngblood, whose prescient 1970 book Expanded Cinema reshaped the fields of art and communications, predicted technological advances in filmmaking, and offered the first serious recognition of video and software-based works as cinematic art forms, died on April 6 in Santa Fe at the age of seventy-eight.

    Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1942, Youngblood spent most of the 1960s in Los Angeles variously working as a reporter and film critic for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, as a reporter for KHJ-TV, and as an arts commentator for KPFK. In 1967, he

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  • Vincent van Gogh, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (detail), 1884.

    Dutch Police Arrest Suspect in Night Thefts of Van Gogh, Hals Paintings

    Police in the Netherlands arrested an unnamed fifty-eight-year-old man in connection with the theft of two paintings, by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals, respectively. The works, whose total value is estimated at more than $25 million, were stolen from Dutch museums under cover of night last year.

    A search of the man’s home in Baarn turned up no trace of van Gogh’s 1884 Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, or of Hals’s 1626 Two Laughing Boys, the former valued at $6.9 million and the latter at $18.5 million. Though the search for both works continues, “this arrest is an important step in the

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  • St. Elmo Village, established in 1969, Mid-City. Photo: Elizabeth Daniels. © J. Paul Getty Trust.

    Getty Joins Forces With City of Los Angeles to Preserve Black Heritage Sites

    Getty and the city of Los Angeles are to announce a three-year initiative aimed at identifying and preserving Black heritage landmarks throughout Los Angeles, where only 3 percent of such sites are linked to African American heritage, the Los Angeles Times reports. The African American Historic Places Project will be jointly overseen by the Getty Conservation Institute and the LA Department of City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources, and is meant to more accurately reflect the city’s history.

    Ken Bernstein, chief city planner and manager of the Office of Historic Resources, acknowledged that

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