Art Industry News: Long Lost Treasure of Elvis Jewelry, Guitars & Weapons Heads to Auction + More Stories
Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know on Tuesday, August 2.
NEED TO READ
Oxford and Cambridge will return hundreds of Beninese bronzes – A total of 213 Beninese bronzes held in the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean museums in Oxford, as well as the Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, are set to be returned to Nigeria following a joint consensus of the governing councils of the two universities. This decision will probably be the largest repatriation of cultural treasures from the UK (Telegraph)
Ruangrupa Responds to New Controversy at Documenta – The curators and the artistic team of the quinquennial defended the images of the brochure Presence of Women, featured in an installation by the Archives of Women’s Struggles in Algeria, which recently sparked fresh controversy for the show, claiming they “are clearly not anti-Semitic”. Meanwhile, Documenta shareholders have appointed a panel of seven experts in “anti-Semitism, perspectives from global contexts and post-colonialism, art and constitutional law” to review all of the works in the exhibit. (Press release, Monopol)
Elvis Presley’s Lost Jewelry Has Been Auctioned Riding the wave of the hit film by Baz Luhrmann Elvis, a cache of nearly 200 items once belonging to the king is heading to the California-based GWS auctions on August 27. Titled “The Collection of Lost Jewels of Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker” and curated with the help of Priscilla Presley, the hoard of jewels Elvis gave to his manager had been around for a long time, but it’s only now that they have been assembled for fans to view and bid on. The sale includes jewel-encrusted gold rings, cufflinks, a guitar, and a 14-karat yellow gold ring adorned with the letters “TCB” flanked by diamond-set lightning bolts, which carries a minimum bid of $500,000 ( the letters stand for Presley’s favorite phrase: “taking care of business”). Other items include gold guns, boots, a motorcycle, and even the personal jet Presley bought for his father. (Reuters, Robb Report)
Jackson Pollock collage dispute returns to court – An untitled multimedia collage from around 1943 with an estimated value of $175,000 is back in court, yet again. The dispute emerges from the then-ongoing bitter divorce battle between former state senator Alexandra Kasser and Morgan Stanley executive Seth Bergstein, who argued he co-owned the work as part of the wedding. Kasser’s brother, Matthew Mochary, however, maintained that the Pollock was a gift from his mother. Last year, a Connecticut district court denied Mochary’s claim on the Pollock, but that decision was overturned by a federal appeals court in New York last week. Mochary now has the green light to pursue the legal battle outside of the divorce trial. (The arts journal)
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Abortion rights activists arrested at LACMA – Three activists associated with Rise Up 4 Abortion and Vets Rise 4 Roe, who staged a protest outside Chris Burden’s facility Urban light (2008), were discontinued. They chained themselves to Burden lampposts and sprayed fake blood at the site. The trio were arrested for criminal vandalism. (Los Angeles Time)
Rubell Museum Announces Leadership Appointment – Caitlin Berry will serve as the first director of the upcoming Washington, DC-based Rubell Museum, which is set to open to the public on October 29. Berry will work alongside the Rubells and Juan Valadez, director of the Rubell Museum Miami, to oversee community engagement and museum operations. Prior to joining the museum, Berry was director of the Cody Gallery of Art at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and director of Hemphill Fine Arts in DC. (Press release)
Is Singapore the new center of the Asian market? – Anticipation of next January’s new ART SG fair and the influx of capital and money from Hong Kong may have finally lifted the Southeast Asian city-state’s hopes of be a candidate for the next art center in Asia. The reality, however, is that the local art market is “nascent”, accounting for just one percent of all global art exports and imports, according to government data. (ART news)
FOR THE ARTS
Giant Jean Dubuffet sculpture will be moved after Google buys his house – The 29 feet high Monument with Standing Beast will be moved to its new home in a former bank building at 115 South LaSalle Street, with offices located in the James R. Thompson Center, after Google acquired the postmodern Helmut Jahn-designed building. The avant-garde French artist’s ten-ton sculpture has been a staple of Chicago’s Thompson Center since the mid-1980s.TANNING)
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