Morning Links: Stolen Work from MoMA PS1 Edition



Crime and Controversy

AM New York reports that two gelatin silver prints by Carolee Schneemann—valued at $105,000 together—were reported missing by MoMA PS1 October 30, and while they were returned in the mail November 3, the theft is still being investigated. Now, the NYPD is after a woman who was caught on surveillance footage mailing the works back to the Long Island City institution from a shipping store in Williamsburg. She was wearing glasses and a black ski cap, and is said to be in her 20s. [AM NY]

It was recently announced that Marina Abramovic is no longer planning to build the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art, which was announced with great fanfare and was set to transform the hamlet of Hudson, New York. And yet, as the New York Post reports, the $2.2 million raised for the effort has not been returned to donors. A spokeswoman for Abramovic said the money went to pay Rem Koolhaas, who designed the initial plans, but Koolhaas didn’t respond to requests for comment. Perhaps the Post‘s opening jab put it best. As the story begins, “The artist is present but the cash is gone.” [The New York Post]

ABC News has the report that a museum in Indonesia has removed a wax sculpture of Hitler that it had previously encouraged visitors to take selfies with. [ABC News]

As Washingtonian magazine reports, the U.S. Army still has a stash of Nazi art it’s held for 70 years. The story dives into the saga of how the trove—which includes some of Hilter’s watercolor works—ended up in a vault beneath a nondescript military base in Woodbridge, Virginia. [Washingtonian]

With a “seven-figure check,” Mary Boone has settled a lawsuit brought by Alec Baldwin, who alleged that she sold him a fresh copy of a Ross Bleckner painting he was hoping to acquire. According to the New Yorker, as part of the deal, the actor will also receive several Bleckner paintings and the opportunity to commission another. [The New Yorker]

Da Vinci Madness

Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is set to be auctioned at Christie’s in New York Wednesday—it’s guaranteed for $100 million, but could go for much, much higher—and to further psych up art lovers (and potential bidders) the auction house made a film that’s an extended montage of adoring visitors staring at the work as it toured the world in advance of going to the block. And People magazine reports that among those featured in the clip is a movie star who shares the man’s first name: Leonardo DiCaprio. [People]

DiCaprio is a collector, and so while he was maybe going as a potential bidder, perhaps he was just doing research. Over the summer Variety revealed that the actor will be playing da Vinci in an upcoming biopic of the artist. [Variety]

The film is based on Walter Isaacson’s recent biography, and the writer spoke with Public Radio International about da Vinci’s insatiable appetite for knowledge—his research filled more than 7,000 pages of notebooks. [PRI]

The New York Sales

In the New York Times, Scott Reyburn analyzed what’s on offer during the New York sales, which begin tonight and go through Friday. In an odd move, Sotheby’s is offering a Ferrari F2001 Formula 1 car, estimated at $4 million to $5.5 million, in its postwar and contemporary sale Thursday, while Christie’s has a David Hammons called Untitled (Basketball Drawing) that the artist made in 2003 by covering an NBA-standard ball in graphite and bouncing it up and down on a piece of paper. It’s estimated to sell for $1 million to $1.5 million. [The New York Times]

On Friday, ARTnews reported that Sotheby’s will not immediately be selling work consigned by the Berkshire Museum—including Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop, estimated to sell for $20 million to $30 million—after an associate justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court placed an injunction on the sale of the museum’s works until December 11. Some of the lots were set to be included in today’s American art sale. [ARTnews]

Even power couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are getting into the auction week spirit. The Daily Mail caught the two canoodling as they left Christie’s Rockefeller Center headquarters Thursday. [The Daily Mail]

The Nation’s Museums

CBS Philly has revealed that the entire collection of that city’s Barnes Foundation is now available to be viewed online. [CBS Philly]

In the Cleveland Plain Dealer, columnist Steven Litt looks at how the Cleveland Museum of Art can improve even after its recent renovations, completed in 2013, were greeted with widespread enthusiasm. [The Cleveland Plain Dealer]


The artist Daniel Arsham is color blind, but he recently got new glasses that help accentuate reds and greens. In an interview with Quartz, Arsham said that when he first got the new specs, “I just spent a lot of time looking at grass.” Now he’s prepping work that involves objects with more expressive tones, such as a pink rock garden and a room of purple balloons. [Quartz]

At CityLab, the writer Michael Friedrich takes an in-depth look at the artworks that have been installed on the High Line. In the writer’s view, High Line Art has installed many works that comment implicitly or explicitly on the issues of income diversity and gentrification that have come to be brought up when discussing the popular tourist attraction. [CityLab]

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