Morning Links

Morning Links: Alaska Edition

The state flag of Alaska.


Old Masters

Scientists believe that a drawing of a “thick-bodied, spindly-legged animal” in a cave in Borneo may be more than 40,000 years old, making it the oldest known work of figurative art. [The New York Times]

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston has come to the conclusion that a painting in its collection called Kitchen Maid (ca. 1620), previously labeled as being “in the style of Diego Velázquez” is, in fact, a work by Velázquez. [The Art Newspaper]

The Talent

Marty Nesbitt, a trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, has been named to the transition team of Illinois Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker. [KFVS12]

After a rough go as director of the Volksbühne Theatre in Berlin, former Tate Modern leader Chris Dercon has been hired as president of the French body that oversees the Grand Palais and the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. [The Art Newspaper]

The Pictures

Filmmaker Wes Anderson and his partner, author and designer Juman Malouf, have curated a show of some 450 wildly disparate artworks at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It’s titled “Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures,” and the museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art, Jasper Sharp, said that putting it together felt, at times, “like we were in some kind of insane Japanese game show.” [The New York Times]


Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday announcing that he will give up to $1 million toward a public art project with climate change as its topic. [Alaska Public Media]


The “Show Us Your Wall” series checks in with playwright and librettist Terrence McNally, who lives with his husband, Tom Kirdahy, in a home that sports paintings by Fairfield Porter and Jane Freilicher, plus a Thomas Hart Benton illustration given to him by writer John Steinbeck. [The New York Times]

Vox did a deep dive on museum gift shops, examining how they are stocked, what roles they play for institutions and visitors, and more. Some folks “begin with the shop in order to find out what is important to see in the museum!” Sharon Macdonald, the director of the Center for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage in Berlin, said. [Vox]


Daniel McDermon looks at the current show at the Museum of Sex in New York devoted to the great category-eluding artist Leonor Fini. “Although she was included in shows on Surrealism,” the exhibition’s curator, Lissa Rivera, said, “she didn’t really want to be associated with that group because André Breton, she thought, was a misogynist.” [The New York Times]

And Alyce Mahon, a Fini expert, said that the artist “was more vocal about not wanting to be described as a woman artist . . . she said that was a worse ghetto than any notion of Surrealism.” [The Art Newspaper]

An attendee at a recent New Museum event said that artist Laure Prouvost “shocked the crowd . . . by explaining that when her grandmother was alive, she had regularly tied herself to an airplane and floated through the clouds stark naked.” (But the museum’s artistic director, Massimiliano Gioni, noted that Provost is known for “blurring fiction and reality.”) [Page Six]


Kimberly Drew spoke with Stretch & Bobbito about her career in art, her earliest art memories, and quite a bit more. [What’s Good/NPR]

Here are photographs of Pierre Huyghe’s deeply mysterious show at the Serpentine Galleries in London. [Art Viewer]

And here are photos of Henning Bohl’s toothsome-looking exhibition at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz in Austria. [Contemporary Art Daily]

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