Morning Links

Morning Links: Antarctic Edition

Adelie penguins in Antarctica.



Steve Wynn, the billionaire art collector who has been accused of sexual misconduct, has resigned as CEO of his casino and resort company, according to The Hill. Boone Wayson, the nonexecutive director of the company’s board, said in a statement published by the New York Times: “It is with a collective heavy heart that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, C.E.O. and friend Steve Wynn.” He also said that Wynn “an industry giant. He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today.” [The Hill / The New York Times]

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that, 20 years ago, in 1998, it killed a story with allegations of misconduct against Wynn after a meeting with the gambling magnate’s lawyers. [The Las Vegas Review-Journal]


Leonardo DiCaprio, whom we try to mention in at least a couple Breakfast with ARTnews editions a week, has invested in Magnus, the app that bills itself as the “Shazam for the art world” and aims to provide price transparency on artworks. “Asking for a price is very annoying, it’s like a beauty contest,” the app’s creator, Magnus Resch, told the Art Newspaper. [The Art Newspaper]

The “Show Us Your Wall” column in the New York Times paid a visit to the home of singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel (the daughter of Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel) in Lower Manhattan to see what kind of art she has. [The New York Times]


Deborah Solomon profiled Jasper Johns for the New York Times on the occasion of the artist’s retrospective at the Broad in Los Angeles. Among the stories she shares: in 1958, some at the Museum of Modern Art in New York worried that acquiring a Johns flag painting might open the museum “to attack from the American Legion or other chauvinistic groups,” as its curator, William Lieberman, put it. [The New York Times]


The Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio released a master plan for its campus that it intends to complete over the next 15 to 20 years that involves creating new park space and improving its grounds in various ways, WTOL reports. “The whole purpose of the plan is to be better not bigger,” said Adam Levine, the museum’s deputy director, who is not to be confused with the same-named Maroon 5 singer. [WTOL]

There’s another Picasso museum in the works. Catherine Hutin-Blay, a granddaughter of the artist, is taking steps to start one devoted to Picasso and his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, in Aix-en-Provence, the Art Newspaper reports. [The Art Newspaper]

Novel Approaches

In a rather unusual legal filing, a painter filed suit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the New Museum in New York, alleging that they are a “corporate museum cartel” that exercises improper power of the prices of artworks and the careers of artists. The artist, Robert Cenedella, is “known for thumbing his nose at the art establishment,” Bloomberg reports. [Bloomberg]

The Art Newspaper shares the story of two professors who have put together a study suggesting that artists and dealers could benefit by deciding to “forgo cash at the point of a work’s initial sale for fractional equity in that work going forward.” Blockchain technology could facilitate future sales of that work, they argue, which avoids the thorny issues around enforcing resale royalties. If Rauschenberg and Johns had taken that approach, they say, their investment would have handily outperformed the S&P. Counterpoint: one look at results in the day sales. [The Art Newspaper]

Toponymy and Geography

Have you ever wondered why so few place names in the United States sport apostrophes? It’s because the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which was formed in 1890, expressly prohibits them, the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes. There are five exceptions, one being Martha’s Vineyard, which came about in 1933 after locals fought for that rendering. Can you name the other four. (The writer of this column was unable to do so. —ed.) [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

It took us two days to read it (it’s long), but David Grann’s story in the New Yorker about the Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley is an absolutely incredible read. And the layout of the article and its photos are great too. [The New Yorker]

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