Morning Links

Morning Links: Mysterious Wisteria Edition

 Wisteria, 17th–18th century Japan, attributed to Ogata Kōrin.

COURTESY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Power

“Museums and collectors are taking notice. New black curators and scholars are entering the field of art. Prices are astounding. Is this the moment African American art has been waiting for?” Charles Desmarais surveys the scene. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Leah Chase, who died over the weekend, was a storied New Orleans chef—and an art collector. “Her husband gave her a painting by the late African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, and her love of collecting was set. The walls of her restaurant were soon filled with pieces by artists like Elizabeth Catlett and John T. Biggers. It was considered by many to be Louisiana’s best collection of African-American art.” [The New York Times]

History

Gavin Brown’s Enterprise closed its downtown gallery space in New York. [ARTnews]

A conservator at a Dutch museum found a surprise underneath a prized painting by Claude Monet: “She X-rayed the work, and discovered something extraordinary: Underneath the ‘Wisteria’ was another painting—of water lilies.” [The New York Times]

“Willem de Kooning: Acrobat with a Paint Brush.” Stephen Elliott wrote about the painter on the occasion of his Mnuchin Gallery show. [The New York Review of Books]

“While the Barnes Foundation continues a $100m funding campaign towards its centenary celebrations in 2022, two smaller transactions—a $98,000 auction of objects and a $100 lease of its former suburban headquarters for 30 years—raise questions about the institution’s commitment to the legacy of its founder, Albert C. Barnes.” [The Art Newspaper]

Wry

What art did Queen Elizabeth show Donald Trump? “The Royal Collection has some of the world’s greatest Old Master paintings, ceramics, furniture, gold and silverware, jewellery and objets d’art, among other things. In view of this fact, it seems that the Queen has deliberately pitched this presentation at a rather low, people-pleasing level: a few prints, minor manuscripts, photographs and a statuette.” [The Art Newspaper]

English artist David Shrigley doesn’t much like Theresa May but he does like drawing and making electric guitars. [ARTnews]

Scott Indrisek reviewed fellow art journalist Elvia Wilk’s new satirical novel Oval. “At its heart, the novel feels like a prolonged elegy for the art world, a coming-of-age story in which maturity is defined by the ability to leave a tired scene behind. Wilk is an arts journalist, with bylines in Frieze and other publications, and it shows.” [Observer]

Misc.

Read an introduction to sky-walking artist Philippe Petit’s book On the High Wire that Paul Auster wrote, in advance of a reissue by New Directions later this month. [The Paris Review]

The new book Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum “offers a penetrating look at the segregated South during Redemption and Jim Crow.” [The Washington Post]

“Science and art are often thought of as incompatible. In most universities, they’re housed in separate buildings. In bookstores, they’re shelved in different aisles. But astronomy and art have been inseparable for centuries.” [Undark]

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