Pornhub Art Guides Rile Museums, Unseen Hokusai Drawings to Appear in London, and More: Morning Links for July 21, 2021

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The Headlines

YOU CANNOT BUY PR LIKE THIS. Some art museums are not pleased about being featured in Pornhub’s recently published guides to finding risqué art, the Daily Beast reports. The Louvre said that the adult-film platform “has heard from our lawyers. We expect the works to be removed at once.” The Uffizi  said that it had not granted the company permission to reproduce works it holds, as Italian law requires. The site’s “Show Me the Nudes” program highlights sexually charged museum works and includes original pornographic material. Pornhub has said that it will consider offering more guides, depending on the response to this first batch.

COVID-19 CASES ARE RISING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, the U.S. has issued a warning about travel there, and its museums are keeping distancing rules through at least August, but if the nation avoids a lockdown, its inhabitants are in for a treat: On September 30, the British Museum will unveil a show of 103 drawings by Katsushika Hokusai (maker of The Great Wave ) that have not been publicly exhibited in nearly two centuries, the Guardian reports. Hokusai apparently made the highly detailed, characteristically charismatic works on paper for a never-realized project he titled The Great Picture Book of Everything. The museum purchased the trove in 2019 for £270,000 (about $368,000). Had the book been completed, the show’s curators pointed out, the drawings would have been destroyed in the printing process.

The Digest

Starting today, those visiting museums and other cultural centers in France will need to show proof of a Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test. The rule applies for such spaces hosting more than 50 people. Next month, it will be required for restaurants, malls, and other sites. [AFP/France24]

The German art dealer Inge Baecker, who exhibited venturesome artists like John Cage, Mary Bauermeister, and Nam June Park, has died during the flooding in Western Europe. According to reports, the battery died on a respirator used by Baecker, and she was unable to seek help. [Monopol and Artnet News]

In an epic digital collaboration, two fragments of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead have been digitally reunited. The connection was made after scholars at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles noticed that material in its holdings matched text scanned by the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in Christchurch, New Zealand. [Smithsonian Magazine]

A survey of U.S. galleries by the Art Dealers Association of America found that 70 percent of them saw their revenue decrease in 2020, by an average of 35 percent. [ARTnews]

Many in the Polish art world are decrying a plan to remove Hanna Wróblewska as director of the Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, viewing it as part of an effort by the ruling Law and Justice party to push cultural institutions to the right. The nation’s culture ministry has defended the move, saying that “after such a long time a change in a managerial position may positively affect the condition of the institution and its further development.” [Art Review]

Corporate support for the arts dropped in South Korea during the pandemic, according to a study by the Korea Mecenat Association, with 2020’s $154.5 million in funding representing a 14.6 percent fall from 2019. [The Korea Herald]

The Kicker

IN AN INTRIGUING BIT OF ART-HISTORICAL DETECTIVE WORK, the Albertina’s chief curator, Christof Metzger, has proposed that an Albrecht Dürer drawing of a large table and beer tankards depicts a onetime gambling den in Aachen, Germany, the Art Newspaper reports. According to Dürer’s journals, it did not go well for the artist when he visited. “I went through 5 silver pence bathing and drinking with my friends,” he wrote. “I lost 7 stuivers gambling with Hans Ebner at The Mirror.” On the plus side, the art that may have resulted from the experience has lasted 500 years. [The Art Newspaper]

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

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