Guaranteed Income for Artists, Superman Comic Sells for $3.25 M., and More: Morning Links from April 7, 2021

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The Headlines

EBAY HAS CALLED OFF A SALE OF DRAWINGS believed to have been made by an artist held at a Japanese-American internment camp in Manzanar, California, the Associated Press reports. “It’s seems unethical and immoral to put this artwork up on eBay to the highest bidder,” Shirley Higuchi, who has studied the incarceration program, told the agency. Japanese-American groups had criticized the sale. More than 100,000 people of Japanese descent living in the Western United States were detained during the war, including artists Ruth Asawa George Nakashima, and Isamu Noguchi, who chose to enter a camp, though he was exempt since he was living in New York. (His experience was the subject of a 2017 show at his namesake museum in Queens, New York.) “It’s absolutely preposterous to think that I am doing anything wrong,” the anonymous eBay seller told the AP. The drawings appear to depict Japanese landscapes. While the signature on them has not been identified, some believe it belongs to Giichi Matsumura, who died while incarcerated in 1945.

GUARANTEED-INCOME PROGRAMS FOR ARTISTS are popping upZachary Small reports in the New York TimesSan Francisco will provide 130 with $1,000 a month for six months, and a program in St. Paul, Minnesota will offer $500 monthly payments to 25 for 18 months. The news comes as many municipalities in the United States pursue universal-basic income programs, and as UBI advocate Andrew Yang is viewed as the frontrunner in the upcoming Democratic primary for New York mayor.

The Digest

As the M+ museum prepares to open in Hong Kong, its leaders are having to negotiate attacks from pro-Beijing forces. Enid Tsui has a deep dive into the high stakes of the hotly anticipated project. [South China Morning Post]

Fabergé is creating an egg inspired by the hit HBO series Game of Thrones that features diamonds and 18-karat white gold. Its price: $2.2. million. [Robb Report]

Venice’s government has issued a decree that restricts the rental of private property in ways that make it impossible to organize pop-up shows running the full length of its biennales. [The Art Newspaper]

Los Angeles and the Getty are collaborating on a three-year project to preserve sites of Black history in the city. [Artnet News]

Meet Rahul Kadakia, the Christie’s auctioneer who has hammered record prices for wristwatches, orange diamonds, and blue diamonds, among other luxuries. “Watching him work at the pult is like watching a thrilling whodunit; he really knows how to work the room,” one fan said. [The New York Times]

The first comic book to feature Superman—Action Comics #1—sold for $3.25 million in a private sale, according to the online auction and consignment company ComicConnect.com. The seller had acquired it in 2018 for just over $2 million. [Associated Press]

The Kicker

STATUES ARE GETTING STOLEN AND DAMAGED LEFT AND RIGHT. Pennsylvania police are on the hunt for a nearly 100-year-old bronze beaver sculpture, by Albert Laessle, that disappeared from Delaware County, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. There’s a $5,000 reward. In Oslo, someone tried to slice through an ankle of a beloved Gustav Vigeland sculpture of a baby throwing a tantrum, according to the Associated Press. It has been removed for conservation. And a group going by the name White Lives Matter said it stole a Confederate monument, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair, from a Selma, Alabama cemetery, the Art Newspaper writes. The collective said that it will turn the chair into a toilet if the United Daughters of the Confederacy does not display a banner at its headquarters in Virginia, for 24 hours, with this quote from Black Liberation Army activist Assata Shakur: “The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives.”

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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