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FOR A STRETCH OF MONDAY, THE RICHEST PERSON IN THE WORLD was the luxury goods magnate and art collector Bernard Arnault, according to Forbes, with a fortune totaling some $186 billion. Later in the day, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos narrowly took back the number one spot, as the value of their respective stock holdings moved. (Here’s the latest ranking.) The magazine reports that Arnault’s fortune has climbed an astounding $76 billion since March 2020, on the strength of shares of LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and other brands. Arnault and his wife, Hélène Mercier-Arnault, are mainstays on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list. The rival French art collector and luxury kingpin François Pinault , for the record, has had his fortune more than double since last March, according to Forbes. It is now $55 billion.
CHANGE IS AFOOT AT STONE MOUNTAIN PARK IN GEORGIA, which is home to the largest Confederate monument in the United States: a 90-by-190-foot stone carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The association overseeing the park has voted to create a museum exhibit that addresses the Ku Klux Klan’s long history at the site, the Associated Press reports. The terrorist hate group staged a cross burning on the mountain in 1915. In addition, Confederate flags have been relocated from a busy walking trail. “We’ve just taken our first step today to where we need to go,” the board’s chair, Rev. Abraham Mosley, said. Mosley is the first African-American park leader, having been appointed by governor Brian Kemp last month. Critics have called for more extensive alterations. CNN notes that Georgia law currently prohibits the removal of the stone monument itself.
Some Cuban artists have called on the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana to cover works they have on view in solidarity with the artist and activist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who was detained after he began a hunger strike to call for greater artistic freedom in the country. [The Art Newspaper]
The pioneering graphic designer Ken Garland, who served as art editor for the storied Design magazine from 1956 to 1962, and who redesigned the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s peace symbol, has died at 92. [Dezeen]
A Winston Churchill painting that the politician gave as a gift to a beer baron who regularly supplied him with hundreds and hundreds of Cuban cigars is being offered by Christie’s for a price of around £2 million (about $2.84 million). The cigar shipments were apparently free of charge—a pretty sweet deal. [The Telegraph]
Arts advocates in San Diego, California, are decrying a proposed municipal budget that would maintain a 50 percent cut in arts and culture funding that the city’s mayor put in place at the start of the pandemic. [The Art newspaper]
Contemporary Art Daily, which has been serving up photos of vanguard-minded art exhibitions for more than 12 years, has a new project: Contemporary Art Library. It houses all those shows and adds many more, from more than 70 other art spaces. In all, it has 12,500 exhibitions on offer. [CAL]
Curator and artist (and ARTnews contributor) Francesco Bonami is getting in on the NFT game, planning a series of works titled “Life Is Simple” via a new platform called HOGE Mint. The first piece, an animated self-portrait by the 2003 Venice Biennale organizer, is available to view online. [Press Release/Yahoo! Finance]
THE MARKET FOR THE CLOTHING OF CELEBRITIES IS BOOMING. Dresses, sweaters, and basketball shoes linked respectively to Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and Bill Murray have been putting up huge numbers in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reports. What’s driving the gold rush? Darren Julien, whose Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, specializes in the field, explained: “Rich millennials don’t want Picasso and Monet. They want pop culture. That’s what connects them or, you know, is most appealing to them.” [The Wall Street Journal]
Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.