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  • A fourteenth-century Ife portrait that was repatriated to Nigeria this week. Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    The Met Repatriates Looted Benin and Ife Works

    New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has officially restituted three objects in its collection to Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). The Met had promised to return the objects this past June, and did so in a ceremony in New York on Monday, where the museum also signed an agreement promising to collaborate with the Nigerian government on future scholarship and loans of other artwork. Under this arrangement, the Met will lend some of its holdings to several Nigerian museums, including the planned Edo Museum of West African Art in Benin City. In exchange, the NCMM will

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  • The Brooklyn Museum in New York. Photo: Elisa Rolle/Flickr.

    Brooklyn Museum Receives Historic $50 Million Gift from New York City

    A $50 million gift to the Brooklyn Museum announced yesterday by outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio marks the largest donation in the museum’s history. The windfall from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs is the upshot of the shrewd politicking from Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak, who came to de Blasio in June 2020 with the request, The New York Times reports.

    “Our exhibitions and public programs have been embracing ideas for twenty-first century museums, but our building is absolutely mired in the 19th century. So it’s time to catch up,” she told the Times. The museum’s

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  • Christine Messineo. Photo: Ramsey Alderson.

    Frieze Appoints Christine Messineo Director of US Fairs

    Frieze organizers have hired art dealer Christine Messineo to direct its two annual US events, Frieze Los Angeles and Frieze New York. Messineo will take up her position on November 29, two months before Frieze LA opens its third edition next February in a new Beverly Hills venue.

    While her first job at an art fair, Messineo is no stranger to their booths. Previously a partner at New York’s Bortolami gallery from 2009 to 2015, Messineo moved to LA in to become a director at Hannah Hoffman Gallery. In 2020, she was named executive director of the Plan Your Vote initiative, whose campaigns used

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  • *A rendering of the Hexagon extension of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Image: SANAA/Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

    Moscow’s Garage Museum to Expand in Gorky Park

    Moscow’s Garage Museum is once again following the Moskva River down to Gorky Park, where it will expand into the long-abandoned century-old Hexagon exhibition pavilion that stands nearby its current building. The structure, designed by Russian architect Ivan Zholtovsky, is to be reimagined by Japanese architecture firm SANAA and will give the twelve-year-old contemporary art museum significantly more space in which to host exhibitions and programming.

    Built to house an exhibit of tools and machines at the inaugural All-Russian Agricultural and Handicraft Industries Exhibition, held in 1923, and

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  • Christine Y. Kim. Photo: Ye Rin Mok.

    Tate Modern Names Christine Y. Kim Britton Family Curator-at-Large

    London’s Tate Modern today announced that Christine Y. Kim will serve as the inaugural Britton Family Curator-at-Large (North American Art). Kim, since 2009 a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will divide her time between Los Angeles and New York, where she will focus on focus developing Tate’s collection of North American art through new research and acquisitions. She will step into her new role in January 2022.

    While at LACMA, Kim, a 2022 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow, worked to expand and diversify that institution’s collections, exhibitions, and programs and to foster

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  • Dave Hickey. Photo: Toby Kamps.

    Dave Hickey (1938–2021)

    Art critic Dave Hickey, known for his sharp wit and brash writing, died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of heart disease November 12 at the age of eighty-two. Lauded in The Guardian as “the Rhonda Rousey of criticism,” Hickey, who famously asserted that “the title of artist has to be earned,” stood out in his chosen field for his unalloyed appreciation for the highbrow and the gutter-dwelling, which he often addressed together in essays that startled in their honesty and in the breadth of knowledge evoked therein.

    Born in 1938 in Fort Worth, Texas, to a jazz musician father and a painter

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  • A rendering of the Zayed National Museum, to open in 2025.

    Abu Dhabi to Welcome Two New Museums in Addition to Guggenheim and Zayed

    Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), yesterday announced that the emirate plans to create two new museums in addition to the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Norman Foster–designed Zayed National Museum, both of which are slated for completion by 2025, The Art Newspaper reports. Al Mubarak revealed the news November 17 at the preview of Abu Dhabi Art 2021.

    Though he offered few details, Al Mubarak confirmed that the new institutions were already under construction and that they differ from two earlier planned projects,

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  • Jamillah James. Photo: Jasmine Clarke.

    MCA Chicago Taps René Morales and Jamillah James for Top Curatorial Roles

    The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has announced René Morales as chief curator and Jamillah James as senior curator. The Cienfugos, Cuba–born Morales is a twenty-five-year veteran of the art world, most recently serving as director of curatorial affairs and chief curator of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). He is currently staging a major exhibition of the work of Gary Simmons, which will launch at PAMM next year before traveling to the MCA Chicago in 2023. James, a New Jersey native who since 2016 has served as curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, co-curated with

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  • Jimmie Durham, Self-Portrait Pretending to Be a Stone Statue of Myself, 2006.

    Jimmie Durham (1940–2021)

    Sculptor and poet Jimmie Durham, who parodied and challenged Native American stereotypes in his work even as the question of his ancestry drew criticism and controversy, died November 17 in Berlin at age eighty-one. The news was confirmed by the Mexico City–based gallery Kurimanzutto, which represents the artist. Durham in 2019 received the Venice Biennale’s prestigious Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. “We should probably be giving him two lifetime achievements by this point in time,” noted the Biennale’s curator, Ralph Rugoff. “Durham has continued to find new, ingenious and cogent ways

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  • Robert MacPherson. Photo: Mark Sherwood/QAGOMA.

    Robert MacPherson (1937–2021)

    Australian conceptual artist Robert MacPherson, whose multivalent practice continually yielded iconic work that defied easy description, died in Brisbane, Queensland, November 12 at the age of eighty-four following a brief illness. The news was confirmed by curator Ingrid Periz. In the course of a career spanning forty years, MacPherson used mundane materials and quotidian images to make variegated works conjuring labels from minimalist to Fluxus but almost always slyly placing the contemporary and the cosmopolitan in service of the forgotten and the provincial. “MacPherson’s art is leavened by

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  • Nora Lawrence.

    Storm King Names Nora Lawrence Artistic Director and Chief Curator

    Storm King Art Center, of Windsor, New York, has appointed Nora Lawrence artistic director and chief curator. Lawrence, who has served as a curator at the outdoor sculpture center for ten years, will be the first to occupy the newly created role of artistic director. She will assume her new dual roles in January 2022, overseeing the museum’s curatorial program, collection, acquisitions, site-specific commissions, temporary exhibitions, publications, and archives. David R. Collens, who has served as director since 1974, will become director emeritus, in which capacity he will collaborate with

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  • Smithsonian American Art Museum. Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr.

    Smithsonian Reveals New Curatorial Appointments

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art has announced Diana Jocelyn Greenwold as the inaugural Lunder Curator of American Art and Sol Jung as the inaugural Shirley Z. Johnson Assistant Curator of Japanese Art. Greenwold, who was named to her role in September 2021, holds a BA from Yale University and a doctorate in art history from the University of California, Berkeley. Specializing in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American fine and decorative arts, she was previously curator of American art at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, where she stewarded that institution’s

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