Newport Art Museum Receives Anonymous $5 Million Gift

The Newport Museum of Art

The Newport Museum of Art in Newport, Rhode Island, has received a historic gift of $5 million from an anonymous donor. The institution will designate $4.7 million to its endowment, more than doubling its funds. An additional $50,000 from the donor will be used to support museum operations.

Executive director Norah Diedrich said, “The Newport Art Museum looks forward to 2017 and beyond with renewed energy and excitement. An updated strategic plan is underway, as well as innovative programming, partnerships, and constituent engagement initiatives designed to have a lasting impact.”

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July 24, 2017

Robert Loder (1934–2017)

Robert Loder.

The director of Gasworks and Triangle Network, Alessio Antoniolli, has announced that Robert Loder, the collector, philanthropist, and cofounder of the Triangle Network—an international consortium of small-scale arts organizations and projects that support and disseminate the work of emerging artists through artist-led workshops, residencies, exhibitions, and outreach events—has died.

Created with artist Anthony Caro in 1982, the Triangle Network started with an artists’ workshop in upstate New York in the summer of the same year and soon expanded its activities to South Africa, where Loder had previously founded the African Arts Trust to support black artists from the country in 1959. Starting in 1968, Loder became a trustee and then served a ten-year term as chair of the Mental Health Foundation. He was awarded the title of CBE for his service.

Loder was the treasurer of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and later became its chairman in the 1970s, but he will perhaps be best remembered for founding Gasworks, a nonprofit contemporary visual arts organization based in London, in 1994. As part of the Triangle Network, Gasworks has collaborated with over 250 artists from seventy countries, provided studios for London-based artists, commissioned many of the first major exhibitions in the UK for emerging UK-based and international artists, and maintained an international residencies program in London.

July 24, 2017

Fire at French Maritime Museum Destroys Three Paintings from the Louvre

Alexandre Casati, La Vente du Poisson (The Sale of Fish), ca. 1836, oil on canvas, 25 x 32".

After last week’s news that several works in the Louvre’s collection had been damaged by water from recent thunderstorms in Paris, Naomi Rea reports at Artnet that three paintings on longterm loan from the Louvre to the Maritime Museum on the French island of Tatihou have been destroyed in a fire most likely caused by lightning.

Located off the coast of Normandy, the Maritime Museum, also lost works ranging from Bronze Age furniture and historical objects such as artifacts from the 1692 shipwrecks during naval battle of La Hogue to paintings from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. “Several thousand ethnographic pieces related to the maritime have been destroyed or largely damaged by the fire,” Alain Talon, director of heritage and museums of the English Channel, said. “As for the paintings, about 200 works were totally destroyed, representing a financial loss of nearly two million euros.”

The three works on loan from the Louvre, Alexandre Casati’s nineteenth-century La Vente du Poisson (The Sale of Fish), as well as two anonymous, seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, are estimated to be worth roughly $46,000.

July 24, 2017

BAM Names Ashley Clark Senior Programmer of Cinema

Ashley Clark.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music announced today that Ashley Clark has been appointed senior programmer of cinema. Clark will work with BAM’s associate vice president of cinema, Gina Duncan, to curate and conceive independent film programs and series.

“Ashley’s passion for film is palpable and evident both in his curation and writing,” Duncan said. “I’m excited to have his insight and perspective as we create a more cohesive, accessible, and dynamic film program at BAM.”

Clark began his association with BAMcinématek on the series “Space is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film” in 2015, and has since curated “Behind the Mask: Bamboozled in Focus” and this year’s “Major League: Wesley Snipes in Focus,” which Nick Pinkerton covered for artforum.com. Clark is also the author of Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2015), and has written for Film Comment, Sight & Sound, and The Guardian.

July 24, 2017

University of Michigan Museum of Art Hires New Director

Christina Olsen

Lindsay Knake reports at MichiganLive that the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has hired a new director for its museum. Christina Olsen will run the institution for the next five years, starting October 30. The UM’s board of regents approved the appointment last week. Olsen has been the director of the Williams College Museum of Art in Massachusetts since 2012 and has a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to her tenure at Williams College, she worked at SFMoMA, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. The previous director of the UM Museum of Art, Joseph Rosa, became the director of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle last summer.

July 24, 2017

Raymond Sackler (1920–2017)

Raymond and Beverly Sackler, 1999.

Raymond Sackler, the philanthropist and founder of the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, best known for its creation in 1995 of the synthetic version of morphine called OxyContin, has died, according to a report by Sam Roberts in the New York Times. Raymond and his wife Beverly financed the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gallery for Assyrian Art and the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Freer and Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, as well as the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University, the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Tel Aviv, and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Medical Research Center at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, among other institutions and cultural programs. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1995 for his contributions to science and the arts.

Born in Brooklyn in 1920, Sackler graduated from the borough’s Erasmus Hall High School and then earned a bachelor of science degree from New York University in 1938. He pursued his medical degree at Anderson College of Medicine in Glasgow, due to the imposed quotas on the number of Jewish students admitted to medical school in New York, and he also joined the British Home Guard and served as a plane spotter during World War II. Sackler eventually graduated from the since-closed Middlesex University Medical School in Waltham, Massachusetts. He and his brother Mortimer founded the Creedmoor Institute of Psychobiological Studies at the state hospital in Queens Village, NY, and along with another brother named Arthur they bought a small Greenwich Village drug manufacturer, the Purdue Frederick Company, in 1952, of which Raymond and Mortimer became cochairmen.

Their company began experimenting with generic oxycodone, which was originally invented in Germany during World War I, to create a time-release formula capable of spreading the analgesic narcotic’s effects across twelve hours and allow patients in pain to sleep through the night. Before their eventual development of OxyContin, they created MS Contin in 1984, an extended-release, morphine-based drug to relieve cancer pain.

July 24, 2017

Istanbul Biennial Announces Artists for Fifteenth Edition

Galata Greek Primary School, one of the venues for the fifteenth Istanbul Biennial.

After previously announcing the theme for the fifteenth Istanbul Biennial, to be curated by Elmgreen & Dragset, organizers have now released the exhibition’s full list of participating artists. Set to open on September 16, the show will be installed across several venues, including the Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul Modern, ARK Kültür, the Pera Museum, the Yoğunluk Atelier, and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam in addition to other offsite locations. The participants in this year’s biennial are as follows:

Heba Y. Amin (Born in Cairo, lives in Berlin)
Mark Dion (Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, lives in New York)
Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe (Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Dayton, Ohio, both live in New York)
Kasia Fudakowski (Born in London, lives in Berlin)
Pedro Gómez-Egańa (Born in Bucaramanga, lives between Bergen and Copenhagen)
Lungiswa Gqunta (Born in Port Elizabeth, lives in Cape Town)
Andrea Joyce Heimer (Born in Great Falls, Montana, lives in Ferndale, Washington)
Morag Keil and Georgie Nettell (Born in Edinburgh and Bedford, both live in London)
Olaf Metzel (Born in Berlin, lives in Munich)
Mahmoud Obaidi (Born in Baghdad, lives in Burlington, Ontario)
Henrik Olesen (Born in Esbjerg, lives in Berlin)
Erkan Özgen (Born in Mardin, lives in Diyarbakır)
Leander Schönweger (Born in Meran, lives in Vienna)
Dan Stockholm (Born in Thisted, lives in Copenhagen)
Ali Taptık (Born in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul)
Bilal Yılmaz (Born in Manisa, lives in Istanbul)
Volkan Aslan (Born in Ankara, lives in Istanbul)
Alper Aydın (Born in Ordu, lives between Ordu, Ankara, Konya, and Istanbul)
Monica Bonvicini (Born in Venice, lives in Berlin)
Louise Bourgeois (Born in Paris, died in New York)
Latifa Echakhch (Born in El Khnansa, lives in Martigny)
Candeğer Fürtun (Born in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul)
Kim Heecheon (Born in Seoul, lives in Seoul)
Mirak Jamal (Born in Tehran, lives in Berlin)
Fernando Lanhas (Born in Porto, died in Porto)
Victor Leguy (Born in Săo Paolo, lives in Săo Paolo)
Klara Lidén (Born in Stockholm, lives in Berlin)
Mahmoud Obaidi (Born in Baghdad, lives in Burlington, Ontario)
Lydia Ourahmane (Born in Saida, lives in Oran and London)
Rayyane Tabet (Born in Ashquot, lives in Beirut)
Young-Jun Tak (Born in Seoul, lives in Berlin)
Kaari Upson (Born in San Bernadino, California, lives in Los Angeles)
Kemang Wa Lehulere (Born in Cape Town, lives in Cape Town)
Yonamine (Born in Luanda, lives in Harare)
Xiao Yu (Born in Inner Mongolia, lives in Beijing)
Mahmoud Khaled (Born in Alexandria, lives in Trondheim)
Adel Abdessemed (Born in Constantine, lives in London)
Njideka Akunyili Crosby (Born in Enugu, lives in Los Angeles)
Alejandro Almanza Pereda (Born in Mexico City, lives in Guadalajara)
Berlinde De Bruyckere (Born in Ghent, lives in Ghent)
Vajiko Chachkhiani (Born in Tbilisi, lives in Berlin)
Gözde İlkin (Born in Istanbul, lives in Istanbul)
Liliana Maresca (Born in Buenos Aires, died in Buenos Aires)
Lee Miller (Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, died in Chiddingly, East Sussex)
Aude Pariset (Born in Versailles, lives in Berlin)
Sim Chi Yin (Born in Singapore, lives in Beijing)
Dayanita Singh (Born in New Delhi, lives in New Delhi)
Tatiana Trouvé (Born in Cosenza, lives in Paris)
Tsang Kin-Wah (Born in Shantou, lives in Hong Kong)
Andra Ursuta (Born in Salonta, lives in New York)
Fred Wilson (Born in New York, lives in New York)
Yoğunluk (Founded in Istanbul, live in Istanbul)
Monica Bonvicini (Born in Venice, lives in Berlin)
Stephen G. Rhodes (Born in Houston, Texas, lives in Berlin)
Tuğçe Tuna (Born in Mons, lives in Istanbul)
Burçak Bingöl (Born in Giresun, lives in Istanbul)
Lukas Wassmann (Born in Zurich, lives in Berlin)

July 24, 2017

Lygia Pape’s Daughter Sues LG Electronics for Copyright Infringement

Left: Lygia Pape, Ttéia, 2003. Photo: Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features. Right: Screenshot of LG's wallpaper.

Claiming that the South Korean company LG Electronics is using an image similar to her late mother’s installation of golden threads that bisect in a dark room—Ttéia, 2003—as a wallpaper option available on their K20 V mobile phone, the daughter of the seminal twentieth-century artist Lygia Pape is now filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against LG, several vendors of its mobile phones, and Getty Images Korea, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Sarah P. Hanson reports in the Art Newspaper that the complaint states that LG had previously sought to license an image of Ttéia from Projeto Lygia Pape, the artist’s estate administered by her daughter Paula Pape. After she had denied LG’s repeated requests via Getty Images, the plaintiff says the company ignored the advice of its copyright agent and proceeded to create an “unauthorized derivation” of Pape’s work that it then sought permission from the estate to use instead.

The Projeto Lygia Pape rejected this “unequivocally,” noting that a license would not be granted “under any circumstances” as the artist had refused to engage in commercial transactions around her art for much of her life. Regardless, LG went ahead and used a similar image anyway, according to the complaint. Paula Pape is seeking a jury trial to award damages, plus a permanent injunction against LG prohibiting further shipment or sales of their device or promotional materials, and furthermore demands that the company reveal the identity of the image’s creator and destroy all unauthorized derivations. Her lawyer, Paul Cossu, of Cahill Cossu Robinson & Noh LLP, said, “Because the image is the default wallpaper in the phone’s software and is featured on the box it comes in, Ms. Pape has asked the court to recall all packaging, advertising, and other materials that contain the infringing image, including the phone itself if the wallpaper cannot be otherwise removed therefrom.”

LG’s counsel, John A. Mancini of Mayer Brown LLP, could not be reached for comment. For more on the artist, see Briony Fer’s review of her exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in the October 2011 issue of Artforum.

July 21, 2017

Neil MacGregor, Director of Berlin’s Humboldt Forum, Extends Contract

Neil MacGregor.

After two years as director of Berlin’s Humboldt Forum, Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum, has extended his contract, Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper reports. MacGregor will remain at the helm of the institution until its opening in 2019.

The museum and communication center, which will be housed in the refurbished palace in the center of the city, aims to bring diverse cultures together to examine contemporary issues such as migration, religion, and globalization.

MacGregor joined the institution in 2015 along with two other founding directors, Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and art historian Horst Bredekamp. “Setting up this unique cultural project continues to be a wonderful task from my point of view,” MacGregor said, adding that he hopes to take on an advisory role after the Humboldt Forum opens.

July 21, 2017

Bavaria Returns Nazi-Looted Painting to Heirs of Jewish Collector

The Raising of Lazarus, circa 1530–1540, a Nazi-looted painting by an unknown German artist that was returned to an heir, Frank Winkel, at a ceremony in Munich on Friday.

After discovering one of the works in its holdings was looted by the Nazis then bought by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering—the highest-ranking official of the Nazi Party charged at Nuremberg—the Bavarian State Paintings Collection retuned a painting to the heirs of a German banking family, Catherine Hickley of the New York Times reports.

The painting, The Raising of Lazarus, ca. 1530–1540, by an unknown German artist, has been in the possession of the state collection since 1961. Estimated to be worth $250,000, it was one of more than one thousand works that had been amassed by Goering and recovered by the Monuments Men when the United States military seized his holdings at the end of World War II. The family was alerted to the painting’s location by a company that assists families in their search for missing artworks. After negotiations with the descendants, the Bavarian State Paintings Collection agreed to buy back the piece.

James von Bleichröder, the son of the Jewish banker Gerson von Bleichröder, who served as the personal financial advisor to Otto von Bismarck, owned the piece before it was confiscated by the Nazis and auctioned in Berlin in May 1938. It was returned to Frank Winkel, who is a descendent of James von Bleichröder’s daughter Ellie—a Theresienstadt concentration camp survivor—at a ceremony in Munich. The heir of Maria Christina von Bleichröder, the wife of James’s son Wolfgang, is also a beneficiary.