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  • Gavin Williiamson, UK’s Secretary of State for Education. Photo: Hidden Harms Summit/Flickr.

    UK Government Halves Arts Funding in Higher Education

    Dealing a transformative blow to the country’s cultural status, the UK government is slashing spending on the arts in higher education by a gutting 50 percent and awarding the spoils to science and medicine. The idea of severely reducing funding for subjects related to arts and culture was introduced earlier this year by education secretary Gavin Williamson, who cited the Covid-19 crisis as one reason for the shift in allocation within a budget that is actually slightly higher than that of the previous year. Williamson pointed to an Office for Students (OFS) assessment of the arts as “high cost”

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  • Suzanne Cotter. Photo: Marion Dessard/Mudam Luxembourg.

    Suzanne Cotter to Lead Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

    Suzanne Cotter has been named director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. The Melbourne native, who has over thirty years’ international experience as a museum professional, will assume her new post at the Sydney institution in January 2022, replacing Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, who is departing after twenty-two years in the role.

    “We are thrilled that an Australian of Suzanne’s caliber will be returning to our shores to lead the MCA’s exciting next chapter,” said Lorraine Tarabay, chair of the museum’s board of directors, in a statement. “The board was impressed by Suzanne’s depth and

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  • A view of the Liverpool waterfront. Photo: Beverley Goodwin/Flickr.

    Liverpool’s Unesco World Heritage Status Yanked

    Unesco officials have rescinded Liverpool’s status as a World Heritage Site, naming planned waterfront developments as leading to “irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value” of the historic docklands area. The decision, which was arrived at via secret ballot at a Unesco committee meeting taking place in Fuzhou, China, was decried by Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson as “incomprehensible.”

    “Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition, having benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across dozens of listed buildings and the public

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  • Rebecca Ann Siegel. Photo: Frieze.

    Americas Director Rebecca Ann Siegel Exits Frieze

    Rebecca Ann Siegel, Frieze’s director of content and the Americas, is leaving the organization in August. The news comes less than two weeks after the announcement that Americas director Noah Horowitz will depart Art Basel, and as art fairs around the world struggle to get back on their feet in the wake of pandemic-induced setbacks.

    Siegel, a cofounder and editor of arts magazine Even, joined Frieze in 2018 as a publisher, taking the reins of Frieze’s New York and Los Angeles iterations in November 2020. At this time, Loring Randolph, Frieze New York’s artistic director, had departed in August

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  • Marian Goodman Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York 2021. Photo: Casey Kelbaugh.

    US Galleries Beginning to Recover from Pandemic

    Galleries in the United States are beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel into which they were plunged last year, courtesy of Covid-19. According to the 2021 Covid-19 Impact Survey released today by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), two-thirds of galleries surveyed said they planned to expand their rosters this year, with nearly half noting that their first-quarter 2021 earnings exceeded their expectations. Three-quarters of respondents said they planned to return to exhibiting at in-person art fairs.

    The new figures contrast sharply with those of

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  • Flooding in Hagen, Germany. Photo: Klaus Bärwinkel/Wikipedia Commons.

    German Floods Exact Heavy Cultural Toll

    The historic flooding taking place in Europe in recent days has impacted the art world in both local and global terms. Artnet News reports that renowned art dealer Inge Baecker, an early and tireless champion of Fluxus and Action artists and the onetime representative of Nam June Paik and Allan Kaprow, is among the 188 people thus far reported to have died as a result of the unprecedented heavy rains seen in parts of Europe, which have swept away whole towns and left thousands without power. Baecker, a resident of Bad Münstereifel, Germany, was said to be ailing and in need of a respirator,

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  • Elvira Dyangani Ose. Photo: MACBA.

    Elvira Dyangani Ose Named Director of Barcelona’s MACBA

    Elvira Dyangani Ose has been announced as the next director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Dyangani Ose, whose five-year contract begins later this year, will replace Ferran Beranblit, who helmed the museum for six years. She will be the first woman and the first Black person to lead the institution since its founding in 1987.

    A lecturer on visual culture at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dyangani Ose is a PhD candidate in art history at Cornell University, where she is expected to defend her dissertation this summer. Since 2018, she has served as director and chief

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  • Rendering of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s redesign for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Image: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

    Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Controversial Revitalization of Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden Gets the Go-Ahead

    The US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on July 15 voted 5–2 in favor of approving Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s final proposed redesign of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. The plans will next be submitted to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), which will rule on the matter September 2.

    Hirshhorn officials selected Sugimoto for the revamp following his renovation of the museum’s lobby. His plan for the sculpture garden unites museum, plaza, and garden via a flexible organic design that will increase space available for the museum’s modernist bronzes

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  • SFMomA. Photo: Fabrice Florin/Flickr.

    SFMoMA Slashes Programs, Positions, as Attendance Dips

    The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is planning to cut programs and positions, citing a decline in attendance. The cuts, which KQED reports were announced at an all-hands-on-deck meeting July 15, are said to encompass some of the institution’s most well-loved and long-running programs, including the Artists Gallery at Fort Mason Center. Inaugurated in 1946, the gallery will close in December. Also on the chopping block is SFMoMA’s film program; initiated in 1937, shortly after the museum’s opening, it will conclude at the end of the fall 2021 season. The institution’s online publication Open

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  • Kandis Williams. Photo: Ezra Petronio.

    Kandis Williams Wins Hammer Museum’s $100,000 Mohn Award

    Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum has announced multidisciplinary artist, author, and curator Kandis Williams as the winner of the 2020 Mohn Award. The prize is presented in conjunction with the biennial Made in L.A., whose 2020 iteration, “a version,” spanned the Hammer and the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens and was delayed by the pandemic. Williams, a cofounder of Cassandra Press and a visiting faculty member at CalArts, will receive $100,000, and the Hammer Museum will produce a monograph of her work, which encompasses collage, performance, and assemblage, among other mediums.

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  • Christian Boltanski. Photo: Didier Plowy.

    Christian Boltanski (1944–2021)

    Renowned French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski died in his hometown of Paris today at the age of seventy-six. Marian Goodman Gallery, which has represented the artist since 1987, announced the news. A master in the fields of sculpture, painting, photography, and filmmaking, he was perhaps best known for his trovelike works featuring multiple personal found objects belonging to anonymous owners, and for his photographic installations, with both categories of work evoking at once absence and presence, loss and memory, the mundanity of everyday life and the unknowable mystery of death.

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  • April Freely. Photo: Felli Maynard for the Queer|Art Community Portrait Project.

    April Freely, Director of the Fire Island Artist Residency, Dies Unexpectedly

    April Freely, a poet and essayist and the director of the Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), died unexpectedly last week. FIAR announced the news of her death July 9 via the organization’s social media accounts. Freely, described by FIAR in a statement as “a caring and thoughtful leader, a passionate organizer, and a wonderful friend,” one who was “committed to supporting LGBTQ poets and artists and expanding access for BIPOC communities,” had been with the organization for less than a year, having assumed her role there in October 2020. Early in her brief tenure, Freely already had big plans

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