Art Industry News: Good News! Italy’s art thefts have declined due to mass surveillance by flying robots and other stories


Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most momentous developments in the art world and the art market. You must know that this Wednesday, June 9th.


Dismissed Thomas Cole painting will be on display in Philadelphia – Looks like New Jersey’s loss is Pennsylvania’s gain. Thomas Coles The bow of Nero, which was controversial by the Newark Museum of Art last month, will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art starting July 2nd. The painting is on long-term loan from the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen PhD Foundation, who purchased it from Sotheby’s last month. (The art newspaper)

Why sell art when foundations are increasing? – An unexpected benefit from the pandemic was a significant increase in museum foundations with the Los Angeles times an average increase of 24 percent in half a dozen Southern California art museums. In the meantime, the discussion about expropriating museum holdings in order to make ends meet has gained momentum in an inconsistent manner. The MCA San Diego Foundations saw 40 percent year-over-year growth, but the museum still took the opportunity to sell 10 works at auction. (LA times)

Art theft is on the decline thanks to … drones! – According to the Italian police Carabinieri TPC, art theft decreased by 17 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. Part of this decline can be attributed to the pandemic that restricted travel and fueled illegal online art sales, but part of it can also be attributed to the rise of high surveillance technology, including drones, that can help track down theft. The Carabinieri are now working with the Pompeii Archaeological Park to develop a state-of-the-art drone-based surveillance system that can serve as a model for other sites. (TAN)

Bavaria and heirs of Jewish collectors in dispute over Picasso paintingsThe Bavarian authorities have refused to refer a dispute over a Picasso work in its state collection to the National Commission for the Restoration of Art Lost During the Nazi Era. You disagree with a previous owner’s heirs who claim the Portrait of Madame Soler (1903) was sold under duress due to National Socialist persecution and refused to allow an independent body to arbitrate the dispute. (New York Times)


Hauser & Wirth expands in West Hollywood – The gallery will open a second location in Los Angeles in the fall of 2022. The new location in West Hollywood will take over a classic car showroom on Santa Monica Boulevard. The new location, which complements Hauser’s massive complex in the LA Arts District, is designed by Annabelle Selldorf and offers 5,000 square feet of exhibition space. (Press release)

Marianne Boesky and Night Gallery to Co-Representative Danielle McKinney – The New Jersey-based painter, whose nuanced portraits capture lonely female figures in moments of intimacy or spirituality, is co-represented by Night in LA and Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York and Aspen. Her exhibition “Smoke and Mirrors” is currently on view in the Night Gallery. (Press release)


Another (miniature) Lady Liberty comes to the USA – France will loan the United States a 10-foot bronze miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty, based on the plaster cast of the original work. It will be on display on July 4th to mark Independence Day and will then be on display in the gardens of the French Embassy in Washington, DC on July 14th to mark French Bastille Day. (AP)

PhD students criticized for removing Queen’s portrait – Oxford University students voted to remove a portrait of the Queen from the common room at Magdalen College because they see her as a “symbol of colonialism”. The decision has sparked backlash on Twitter and even prompted Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to interfere and call it “just absurd”. (Evening standard)


Uninvited pigeons flock to the Raphael exhibition – Nine tapestries by Raphael on display in the Royal Palace of Madrid were threatened by pigeons (and their droppings) after the galleries opened the windows to ventilate the room. So far, Spain’s National Heritage Institute has stated that none of the tapestries have been damaged and the gallery has installed harmless ultrasound equipment to deter the pigeons and carefully monitors the windows when they are open. (Not being a curator in the back seat, but … are there no window bars in Spain?) (Guardian)

Biennial destroyed works in Sweden – Outdoor sculptures by artists Joe Namy and Shilpa Gupta, which were shown at the Borås Art Biennale in Sweden, were destroyed just a week after their exhibition. Unidentified vandals burned Namy’s textile installation, sewn together by recent immigrants, and removed Gupta’s bronze sculpture of a seated man from her chair and tossed it into the Viskan River. On Instagram, Namy wrote that he was told the perpetrators were “most likely … drunk hooligans,” but “I don’t think this was just alcohol, this kind of violence comes from a darker place.” (Asia Pacific art)

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