News

  • Art Fund director Jenny Waldman.

    UK’s Art Fund to Award $2.5 Million in Coronavirus Relief for Cultural Institutions

    The London-based charitable organization Art Fund has pledged $2.5 million in grants for museums and galleries in the United Kingdom impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to cushion the financial losses and expected drop in visitors and revenue as cultural organizations prepare to reopen. Nearly $2 million have been allocated for the immediate needs of institutions. The funds will go toward collections and exhibitions, the development of digital skills and infrastructure, audience engagement initiatives and reopening costs, and staff support, which were identified as the four key

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  • The lobby of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. Photo: Ninara/Flickr.

    Restitution Activists Arrested after Seizing African Artifact at Paris Museum

    The Musée du Quai Branly in Paris—an ethnographic institution that houses seventy thousand artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa—was nearly robbed on Friday when a group of men attempted to take a nineteenth-century funerary object from an exhibition of works from the museum’s permanent collection. According to Le Monde, the culprits of the foiled heist claim they were not going to keep the artifact for personal gain, but were instead trying to return it to Africa.

    The five activists—members of Les Marrons Unis Dignes et Courageux, an organization that describes itself as pan-African and claims to

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  • A woman wearing a face mask on her phone outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London. Photo: PA Images/Alamy.

    Art World Coronavirus Tracker

    Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has upended numerous cities and countries across the globe. Among the various sectors that have been heavily affected is the art world—an industry fueled by perpetual itinerancy as well as social gatherings of mass scale and close proximity. As the public health crisis escalates, arts organizations have shut down events, have announced postponements, or are carefully trying to trudge forward. Here is a continually refreshed list of major events and institutions that have made such decisions due to the virus as

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  • Christopher Columbus statue torn down outside of the Minnesota State Capitol building in Saint Paul, on June 10. Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr.

    Protesters Worldwide Continue to Topple, Deface, and Campaign for Removal of Racist Monuments

    While the debate over controversial historical monuments has been ongoing for years, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, cities across the globe are reassessing their public statues and their legacy of white supremacy with a renewed sense of purpose. Since May 25, the day Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police, anger over the pedestals built to glorify racist symbols has led to a reckoning. Protesters have vandalized, toppled, and advocated for the removal of the leaders of the Confederacy in the United States, as well as colonialists, slave traders, and imperialists in the United Kingdom

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  • Christine Wang, Angela Davis, 2016, and Kandis Williams, Degradation: Erasure II, 2016. Courtesy of Night Gallery.

    Galleries and Artists Fundraise for Black Lives Matter Movement, Lynda Benglis Joins Xavier Hufkens, and More

    Galleries and artists are working together in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Several have organized auctions, and others are selling works by individual artists for organizations working toward racial justice. California’s Night Gallery launched an online auction exhibition on June 8. Featuring works by Mira Dancy, Awol Erizku, Marisa Takal, Christine Wang, and Kandis Williams, among others, the event runs through June 22. One hundred percent of the gallery’s proceeds will go to initiatives such as the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the Los

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  • Antrepo 5, the future home of the Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum. Photo: Alper Tuzunoglu.

    Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture Opening Delayed Again

    The Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture (IRHM), which has been closed since 2008 and was scheduled to reopen this spring before the reopening date was pushed back to September, seems unlikely to welcome visitors in 2020. Though its $25 million Emre Arolat–designed building, which will also house the collection of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, served as the Istanbul Biennial venue last fall, it continues to face difficulties in funding, staffing, and construction.

    Curator Vasıf Kortun, who was named the museum’s founding advisor last May, quit in December. One of the problems raised by

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  • Ford Foundation president Darren Walker. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

    Five Foundations Pledge $1.7 Billion for Nonprofits

    The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are among the five major charities that have collaborated to establish a $1.7 billion fund to support nonprofits struggling with Covid-19-related financial losses, in an initiative spearheaded by the Ford Foundation.

    With a pledge of $1 billion, the Ford Foundation has made by far the largest contribution, as well as the unusual decision to raise funds by selling thirty- and fifty-year bonds, in addition to giving $550 million in grants. The MacArthur Foundation (with a $125 million

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  • A display of Benin Bronzes at the British Museum. Photo: Wikipedia.

    After Solidarity Statement, British Museum Faces Renewed Demands to Give Up Loot

    In an attempt to recognize and align with the Black Lives Matter movement, British Museum director Hartwig Fischer issued an online statement expressing the institution’s solidarity with the black and African American community—a move that has invited heated criticism from those who claim the words will ring hollow until the museum reckons fully with the looted objects in its collection.  

    “We stand with everyone who is denied equal rights and protection from violence in the fullest sense of these terms,” Fischer wrote. “These are challenges that we as a society must address, injustices that must

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  • Berlin Biennale.

    Berlin Biennale Announces New Dates for 2020

    The eleventh edition of the Berlin Biennale, curated by an intergenerational group of South American curators comprising María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio, has announced that the event will now take place from September 5 to November 1, 2020. Its program of performances, residencies, lectures, workshops, and presentations would have opened this week, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The biennial will be hosted at ExRotaprint—a tenant-run, artist-led project space that has served as an incubation lab for the biennial since last September—as

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  • Protesters wearing face masks and shields carry anti-terror bill placards as they march at a university campus in Manila on June 12, 2020. Photo: Miggy Hilario/AFP via Getty Images.

    Filipino Artists Unite to Fight New Anti-Terror Bill

    A group of artists, designers, filmmakers, writers, and other cultural workers in the Philippines have banned together to protest a new anti-terror bill that will allow the government to infringe on their civil liberties. They have launched an #ArtistsFightBack campaign and wrote a letter condemning the new legislation that has been signed by more than 1,500 people.

    “We, the signatories of this statement, have done our duty as citizens by studying the bill and discussing it amongst our peers and lawyers alike,” the letter reads. “It is clear: The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is filled with provisions

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  • Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Norton Museum of Art Director Resigns

    The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, announced that Elliot Bostwick Davis has stepped down from her position as director and CEO of the institution. Davis joined the museum last March, following the completion of a major expansion led by British architecture firm Foster + Partners. The renovation added new galleries, classrooms, and an auditorium, and included the refurbishment of its existing facilities and garden.

    “On behalf of all of us at the Norton and the people of the Palm Beaches, I’d like to thank Elliot, our leadership team, and our entire staff for the incredible

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  • Screen shot of Forensic Architecture video detailing their findings following an analysis of the 2011 British police killing of Mark Duggan.

    Forensic Architecture Probe into Police Killing of Mark Duggan May Reopen Case

    On August 4, 2011, Mark Duggan, a twenty-nine-year-old black man, was shot dead by British police in the Tottenham neighborhood of north London, inciting the largest riots in England’s modern history. On January 8, 2014, an inquest jury found that the killing was lawful. The verdict was contested by Duggan’s family, whose lawyers commissioned Forensic Architecture—a collective known for investigating human rights violations, and that often shows its work in art institutions—to look into the case and help challenge the conclusions reached by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

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