Week in Review: NYC Museums Announce Reopening Dates; Kentucky Gets Its First Public Monument to a Woman

A pile of funerary urns that were unearthed in the southern part of the Umedahaka burial grounds in Osaka’s Kita Ward. (image courtesy Osaka City Cultural Properties Association)

Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

Kentucky will raise a public statue of a woman for the first time in its history. The monument will honor teacher and principal Nettie Depp, who in 1913 became the first woman to be elected as Superintendent of Barren County Schools. Hyperallergic looked into her complicated legacy.

An ancient burial ground with more than 1,500 bodies has been discovered at a redevelopment site in Osaka’s Kita Ward in Japan. Researchers believe it to be Umedahaka, one of seven historically significant graveyards in Osaka that dates back to the late Edo Period (1603–1867 CE).

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago plans on converting its part-time visitor experience associate positions to full-time roles, shrinking the team from 28 to just eight employees, starting in September. “This isn’t really what we asked for,” one MCA employee told Hyperallergic. “A lot of the part-time staff don’t necessarily want to be full-time, they have other commitments. What they were asking for was more support.”

The Palestinian artist Mohamed Badarne has withdrawn from a forthcoming exhibition with the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in protest of the Gulf country’s decision to normalize its relations with Israel in a Trump-brokered diplomatic agreement last week.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the New York Public Library (NYPL) has released its “Essential Reads on Feminism,” a compilation of more than 200 non-fiction and fiction books for adults, teens, and children.

Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a collective of over 4,000 BIPOC women and nonbinary documentary film professionals, has launched a searchable directory of its members.

Magnum Photos, one of the world’s leading photo agencies, said it will reexamine its archive after facing allegations of selling photos that promote child abuse.

A recommendation to move a monument to Confederate general Robert E. Lee to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond was made unanimously by the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol during a meeting on August 7.

The tech giant Apple has filed a notice of opposition against the meal-planning app Prepear claiming that its logo, a green pear, “readily calls to mind Apple’s famous Apple Logo and creates a similar commercial impression.”

A new text message bot developed by Code for Anchorage with data from the Canadian nonprofit Native Land encourages land acknowledgment by making it easier for those in the US to learn which Indigenous territories they’re standing on.

Plan your visit to see art in person again with our growing list of reopening dates at major New York City institutions.

Agustín Querol y Subirats (Spanish, 1864–1909), A Baby Rolling Over, 1884–87. Terracotta, 15 ¾ x 25 ¼ x 8 ¾ inches Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas (photo by Kevin Todora)

Transactions

The U.S. Court of Appeals in California ruled on a longstanding restitution case, declaring that Camille Pissarro’s “Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, Effet de Pluie” (1897) will remain in the ownership of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation in Madrid. The painting formerly belonged to Lilly Cassirer, a Nazi-persecuted Jewish woman who was forced to exchange it for a travel visa in 1939. Her descendants had believed the work to be lost until her grandson saw it in Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and summarily brought suit, claiming that the museum didn’t perform due diligence when it acquired the work from Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1993. At trial in 2019, the museum was acquitted on the grounds that it didn’t know that the work was Nazi-looted; now, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed that ruling.

In an analysis of the UK art market, HMRC reported that fine art exports have dipped from £2.06 billion (~$2.7 billion) to £560.6 million (~$738.6 million) year-over-year, a 75% drop. Imports also fell dramatically, from £553.2 million (~$729 million) to £111.4 million ($146.8 million). The fine art trade with the US has experienced the steepest decline, with US imports falling more than 85%. Ivan Macquisten of Artnet argues that, while the losses are real, there are several mitigating factors at play, including temporary export license restrictions related to the pandemic that did not impact actual sales.

The Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas announced the acquisition of five 17th and 18th century Spanish drawings and one 19th century terracotta sculpture. The drawings, which were purchased from Madrid’s De la Mano Gallery, include works by Mariano Salvador Maella, José Camarón Bonanat, Francisco de Herrera the Elder, and Pedro Duque Cornejo as well as an Alonso Cano drawing, a rare acquisition for a US museum as the bulk of his work belongs to Spanish institutions. The sculptural work, made by Catalan Moderrnist Agustín Querol y Subirats, depicts a baby rolling over and is the first piece of 19th century sculpture to enter the museum’s collection. It was donated by art historian Dr. Michael P. Mezzatesta and the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director Emeritus of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, in honor of Dr. William B. Jordan, the Meadow Museum’s founding director.

Skowhegan 2020 honoree El Anatsui. Image credit October Gallery.

This Week in the Art World

The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture named its 2020 awardees, which include the artist El Anatsui, the Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies, and the late curator Barbara Hunt McLanahan | Via email announcement

James and Deirdre Dyson will open an art gallery at their South Gloucestershire home. | The Art Newspaper

Helge Achenbach announced plans to open a sculpture park in Düsseldorf. | Artnet

The National Academy of Design (NAD) has named Gregory Wessner as executive director. | The Art Newspaper

The Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York reopened its Artist-in-Residence program. | Via email announcement

Painter Van Hanos will join the roster at Lisson Gallery. | The Art Newspaper

Artist Hebru Brantley signed with Willam Morris Endeavor (WME). | Artsy

The Wildenstein Plattner Institute (WPI) issued a counterclaim against researcher Marc Restellini. | The Art Newspaper

Loring Randolph left her position as director of Frieze New York. | ARTnews

TEFAF has appointed finance chief Charlotte van Leerdam as managing director. | The Art Newspaper

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, in Utrecht announced its 2020 Fellows. | e-flux

Ballroom Marfa announced the appointment of Daisy Nam as curator. | ARTnews

In Memoriam

Bill Arnett (1939–2020), collector of Black vernacular art | ARTnews

Ben Cross (1947–2020), London-born film actor | Associated Press

Ron Gorchov (1930–2020), abstract painter | ARTnews

Gisèle Halimi (1927–2020), French lawyer and activist | The New York Times

Luchita Hurtado (1920–2020), Venezuelan-American artist | New York Times

John Nixon (1949–2020), Australian artist | The Sydney Morning Herald

Claire Shulman (1926–2020), former Queens borough president | The New York Times

Also, an ancient burial ground was discovered in Japan, Magnum Photos will reexamine its archive following allegations that it sold photos that promote child abuse, and more.Read MoreNews, Week in ReviewHyperallergicRead More

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