• The US Embassy in London. Photo: US Embassy London.

    Art Missing from Embassies May Be Linked to Government Officials

    Several recent cases of art missing from embassies has raised questions over whether government officials are abusing their diplomatic immunity, the Art Newspaper reports. In one of the most recent high profile cases of art theft, Ladislav Otakar Skakal, a former honorary consul at the Italian embassy in Cairo, was charged and ordered to stand trial for attempting to smuggle 21,855 artifacts from the country. According to The Telegraph, the Egyptian authorities recovered some of the cultural objects in a container that Skakal was trying to ship from Alexandria to Salerno, Italy, last year.

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  • El Museo del Barrio in New York. Photo: William Alatriste.

    Facing Criticism, El Museo del Barrio Instates Community Outreach Initiatives

    Earlier this year, community activists sharply criticized El Museo del Barrio in New York for being out of touch with its roots as an institution founded by a coalition of Puerto Rican educators, artists, and activists. Demonstrators who held an action at the museum in June called for change, and in March, more than two hundred people signed an open letter demanding institutional reforms. Following the pushback over programming, hiring, and other issues, El Museo del Barrio revealed that it is forming a community advisory council and is launching various outreach initiatives.  

    “This year we have

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  • Centre Pompidou-Metz. Photo: Guido Radig/Wikipedia.

    Chiara Parisi to Lead Centre Pompidou-Metz

    The Italian art historian and curator Chiara Parisi has been chosen as the successor of Centre Pompidou-Metz director Emma Lavigne, who was named president of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris this summer. Parisi currently serves as curator of contemporary art at Villa Medici’s French Academy in Rome.

    Her appointment still needs to be approved by the museum’s board of directors and will be made official on November 28. The French daily newspaper Le Figaro confirmed the news with the president of the institution, Serge Lasvignes.

    Previously, Parisi served as director of the International Center for Art

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  • Lori Spector. Photo: Peter Hauser. Courtesy of Phillips.

    Phillips Names New Regional Directors of Scandinavia and Switzerland

    Phillips has appointed Lori Spector as senior international specialist of twentieth-century and contemporary art and as regional director of Zurich, and Kirsten MacDonald as regional director for Scandinavia. Spector has most recently been working as an art advisor and dealer between Zurich and New York and will be tasked with building Phillips’s presence in Switzerland, and MacDonald comes to Phillips from Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, where she was head of sales and shipping.

    Previously, Spector worked in the Impressionist and modern art department at Christie’s New York before moving to Phillips

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  • Gillian Jagger in New York, 1964. Courtesy of David Lewis Gallery.

    Gillian Jagger (1930–2019)

    Sculptor Gillian Jagger, known for her incorporation of natural materials like animal carcasses and fallen trees into formidable installations, died at eighty-eight years old on October 21. Her death was confirmed by her wife, Connie Mander.

    Jagger was born in London in 1930 to sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger, with whom she shared a love of animals, and Evelyn Isabel Wade. Charles died when Gillian was only four years old; three years later, Evelyn married an American man and moved herself and her two daughters to Buffalo, New York, narrowly avoiding the beginning of World War II. Following

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  • Paul Rucker (Courtesy of TED) and Nontsikelelo Mutiti (Photo: Dominic Sindayiganz Photography).

    Virginia Commonwealth University’s ICA Announces Research Fellows and Staff Promotions

    The Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) announced today its inaugural research fellows, Paul Rucker and Nontsikelelo Mutiti, and the promotion of two staff members. Egbert Vongmalaithong, the institute’s current retail manager, has been appointed assistant curator for commerce and publications, and assistant curator Amber Esseiva was named associate curator.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Paul, Nontsikelelo, Egbert, and Amber in their new roles at the ICA,” said Dominic Willsdon, executive director of the institute. “The launch of the new Research Fellows

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  • Hank Willis Thomas, Unity, 2019. Photo: Matthew Lapiska/New York City’s Department of Design and Construction.

    Hank Willis Thomas Statue Unveiled in Brooklyn

    On Saturday, November 9, a new, monumental public artwork by Hank Willis Thomas, titled Unity, was permanently installed near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. According to the artist, the twenty-two-foot bronze arm and hand whose index finger points up toward the sky is “intended to convey to a wide audience a myriad of ideas about individual and collective identity, ambition, and perseverance.”

    The $284,000 project is also meant to pay homage to the borough’s unique character and is part of a revitalization project that aims to overhaul the Tillary Street corridor in downtown

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  • Sally Dixon in conversation with Gunvor Nelson, ca. 1975. Photo: Robert Haller. Courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art.

    Sally Dixon (1932–2019)

    Sally Dixon, an early champion of avant-garde film, has died at age eighty-seven in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, the institution to whom Dixon donated more than thirty rare films in 2005, announced the curator’s death. She was known not only for her institutional support of such work but also for her hands-on approach to assisting artists—she even appeared in some of their films.

    Born in Seattle in 1932, Dixon became interested in film in the ’60s, when her father-in-law gave her a handheld camera on which she began to experiment. Educated in art at Carnegie Mellon,

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  • Installation view of Rory Pilgrim’s The Undercurrent, 2019–ongoing. Photo: Daniel Nicolas. Courtesy of the artist and andriesse eyck galerie.

    Rory Pilgrim Awarded the Netherlands’ $44,000 Prix de Rome

    British artist Rory Pilgrim has won the Netherlands’ Prix de Rome, which honors cultural producers under the age of forty. The $44,000 award, which also comes with a residency at the American Academy in Rome, was presented by the Dutch minister of education, culture, and science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, at a ceremony attended by Queen Máxima on October 31.

    Pilgrim received the award for his new fifty-five-minute film The Undercurrent, 2019–, which is centered on a group of young people in the city of Boise, Idaho, and how their personal hardships are connected to their greater societal concerns,

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  • Sepake Angiama. Courtesy of the Institute for International Visual Arts, London.

    London’s Institute for International Visual Arts Names Sepake Angiama Artistic Director

    The Institute for International Visual Arts (Iniva) in London has appointed Sepake Angiama as its new artistic director. Angiama most recently served as curator of this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial, which closes on January 5, 2020. She has also held positions at Hayward Gallery, Turner Contemporary, the International Foundation Manifesta, and Documenta 14. She succeeds Melanie Keen, who departed to lead the Wellcome Collection.

    “We are thrilled that Sepake will be joining us at this exciting time,” said Anita Bhalla, the chair of trustees at Iniva. “Her vast experience will ensure that

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  • The Scottish National Gallery. Maciek Szczepaniak.

    National Galleries of Scotland to Sever Ties with BP

    The National Galleries of Scotland announced on Monday that it plans on ending its relationship with the oil giant British Petroleum, citing the current “climate emergency.” The move comes almost a week after a new report, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” was published in the journal of Bioscience. The study has been endorsed by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries.

    “Despite forty years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament,” the study states. It also declares the need

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  • Pinacoteca de São Paulo. Photo: Levi Fanan. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

    Two Indigenous Art Exhibitions to Split $250,000 Sotheby’s Prize

    This year’s Sotheby’s Prize, which honors curatorial excellence and celebrates institutions that are working to present shows on under-recognized areas of art history, has been awarded to two exhibitions of indigenous art that are set to open in Brazil in 2020 and 2021. The curatorial projects will share a monetary prize of $250,000. “In recognizing these projects, we hope to embrace a city and a country grappling with its biggest and most timely issues—issues that are equally relevant to the rest of the world,” Allan Schwartzman, cocreator of the prize and chairman and executive vice

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