Art Industry News: Museums scale back global ambitions to refocus on wellness and local communities + other stories


Art Industry News is a daily round-up of the most momentous developments in the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Friday, June 3rd.


Museums are still closed in Shanghai – The city’s two-month lockdown was officially lifted on June 1 – but museums remain closed, alongside gyms and theaters, and have not been given a timeframe for when they will reopen. Officials have offered rent relief to cultural spaces affected by the lockdown, but only certain galleries are eligible. A spokesman for the Yuz Museum noted that staff may begin returning to work next week to prepare the institution for its yet-to-be-determined reopening. (The art newspaper)

Italian curator Manfredi della Gherardesca has died – Della Gherardesca died of a sudden illness at the age of 60. He played a central role in the conception of the exhibition Les Lalanne: Makers of Dreams, currently on view at Ben Brown Fine Arts and Claridge’s ArtSpace, both in London. The curator and designer previously headed Sotheby’s Italian department. (press release)

How the local supplanted the global in the arts – Museums focus on wellness and local engagement rather than trying to appeal to a small class of global trendsetters through blockbuster exhibitions. After attending the Global Cultural Districts Network conference, writer Felix Salmon attributes this shift to a combination of prohibitive costs and changing values. Surprisingly, China is at the forefront of the “glocal” museum movement, having built 128 institutions over the past 30 years and discouraging international architects in favor of local talent. (axios)

Harvard Museum holds human remains – Harvard University holds the human remains of at least 19 people believed to have been enslaved and nearly 7,000 Native Americans, according to a draft report obtained by Harvard’s student newspaper. The report, released by the university’s steering committee on human remains in the Harvard Museum’s collections, calls on the school to return the remains to descendants. (Harvard Crimson)

movers & shakers

Yto Barrada wins the Queen Sonja Print Award — The Brooklyn-based and Paris-born artist is the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award, a biennial prize worth NOK 1 million (US$106,000) – the largest cash award for graphic art. The Queen Sonja Foundation also presented William Kentridge with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Meerke Vekterli, a Sami artist, with the Inspirational Award. (The art newspaper)

Dulwich Picture Gallery Drops Sackler Name — The South London institution is the fall at the latest the depraved Sackler name, albeit very subtle. On April 1, without public notice, the museum stopped using the title “Sackler director” to describe its director, Jennifer Scott. In March 2020, the Director’s Fund Foundation was established by Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler valued at £3.5million ($4.4million). . (The art newspaper)

Museum opens at slave trading port site — After more than 20 years of planning, the International African American Museum will open on January 21, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina. The 150,000 square foot institution will be located in Gadsden’s Wharf, once one of the most prolific slave trading posts in the United States. “An engaged engagement with history is a necessary stop on the road to healing and reconciliation,” said Tonya Matthews, executive director of the museum. (CNN)

Jim Carrey buys his first NFT — From the news department, you might have thought it had already happened :The actor-turned-artist has jumped on the NFT bandwagon. He announced on Twitter that he bought his first NFT on the SuperRare marketplace from Stockholm-based artist Ryan Koopmans. Carrey praised the moving image of a garden growing in an abandoned building because it “gently captures nature’s exquisite and unrelenting reinvention.” (Twitter)


Mixed Reactions to Thomas Heatherwick’s Jubilee Sculpture Architect’s sculpture tree of trees, installed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in honor of the Queen’s platinum jubilee, has met with mixed reactions. Critic Oliver Wainwright described the installation as a “massively revamped structure”, and on social media the work – which consists of hundreds of native British tree species – has been credited with the ill-fated Marble Arch Mound and a “cellular telephone tower.” (TAN, CNN)

A team of workers add the final pieces to the Queen’s Green Canopy ahead of the Platinum Jubilee. It consists of 350 native British trees planted in aluminum pots. Photo: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images.

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