Art Industry News: Two of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s famous necklaces, including one with a secret feminist message, launch + 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, September 2nd.


UNESCO supports bid to place Odessa on World Heritage List – The United Nations Cultural Agency has backed a bid by Ukraine to put the historic city on the World Heritage List. The attempt to protect the Black Sea port is being made while fighting continues on the front line, only a few tens of kilometers away. The Odessa Museum from 1899 was already badly damaged. The cities of Kyiv and Lviv are also proposed for the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Reuters)

Taliban guard the museum they once looted – The National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, which reopened last fall after the Taliban took over the capital, is now guarded by the same armed militia that smashed through statues and other ancient objects deemed blasphemous there in 2001. A year after Western forces left, they protect the entrance and process visitors. (NPR)

RBG’s famous collars hit the auction block – We already know that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is auctioning gold – both her personal library and art collection have shaken the estimates. Now, for the first time, two of their famous collars – a signature part of their uniform – will be released at Bonhams alongside gloves, opera glasses and around 100 other personal items being offered for charity. One collar is embroidered with a phrase Ginsburg’s husband used to say when people asked him why he gave up his life to move for his wife’s job: “It’s not a sacrifice, it’s family.” Each collar will expected to cost between $3,000 and $5,000. (Wall Street Journal)

Architects of the industry’s first private sector union – Employees of 22-strong New York firm Bernheimer Architecture have formed what appears to be the only formal union at a private architectural firm in the United States. Workers hope to start a broader conversation about conditions in the industry and set industry-wide standards for wages and hours. (New York Times)

movers & shakers

Philadelphia Museum Workers Approve Strike – Workers earlier this week voted to authorize a strike, the latest step in a protracted industrial dispute. The decision follows the filing of a complaint about unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board. It addresses concerns including a lack of movement to resolve economic packages; reinstatement of temporary positions instead of full-time; and the museum’s “misrepresentation of what happens in negotiations.” (Philadelphia investigators)

V&A Announces New Trustees – Rosalind Blakesley, Rusty Elvidge and “anti-wake activist” Zewditu Gebreyohanes have been appointed as the London museum’s newest trustees. Gebreyohanes is the director of Restore Trust, an organization that has denounced the National Trust for its ‘wake’ policy. (Guardian)

Climate protesters plead not guilty Activists Hannah Hunt and Eben Lazarus have denied criminal damage charges after they taped themselves to the frame of John Constable’s 1821 painting The Hay Wagon in the National Gallery in London. The two students, who claimed they did not have the means to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court, pleaded not guilty through their lawyers on Wednesday. A hearing is scheduled for November 3rd. (evening standard)

Artnet Auctions Holds a White Glove Auction – Artnet Actions completed a white glove sale with “NO RESERVE”. The auction featured a selection of paintings, prints, photographs and more by sought-after blue-chip artists such as Andy Warhol, Marlene Dumas, Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg. It closed with a 100 percent sale rate by volume and generated more than 850 offers from around the world. (Artnet Auctions)


Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art to reopen in October – After a major improvement project, the institution will reopen with what it calls a more accessible, engaging, and educational display of more than 1,000 objects, many of which are newly conserved, acquired, or never seen before. Baghdad: Eye’s Delight, a temporary show, will focus on the city and its heritage. (press release)

The Museum of Islamic Art seems to float above the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Courtesy of Museum of Islamic Art.

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