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A BIG BEQUEST. The British Museum in London revealed this week that it had received a large bequest of Chinese porcelains and jades from Sir Joseph Hotung, a member of a powerful Hong Kong family who died last year. George Osborne, chair of the British Museum’s board, told the Guardian that the bequest is “one of the most generous gifts we’ve ever received.” In it are a bounty of riches—namely, “246 jades, 15 very fine Yuan (1279–1368) and Ming dynasty (1368–1644) blue-and-white porcelains, and a dry lacquer head of a Bodhisattva,” per the Guardian. These objects are expected to go on view at the museum in the coming months, which may mean they’ll coincide with Sotheby’s sale of $50 million worth of art from Hotung’s collection.
VEGETABLE LOVE. Here’s a match for the ages: comedian John Oliver and a head of cabbage. On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the host married the vegetable in homage, apparently, to a piece of AI-generated art. Mashable reports that the ceremony was presided over by none other than actor Steve Buscemi. Some background: this unusual wedding between man and vitamin-rich food item was initially thought up by a Discord user named postpoopzoomies, and Oliver thought to realize it, even envisioning every step of his new relationship along the way. “What a journey we all just went on,” Oliver said, as he recounted it.
Ahead of an enormous Museum of Modern Art retrospective, photographer Wolfgang Tillmans got the New York Times profile treatment. Details about the show remain scant, though the piece contains one zesty tidbit: every photo in the show is a personal print that Tillmans has either drawn from his archive or reprinted. [The New York Times]
Climate change activists glued themselves to the frame of a Peter Paul Rubens painting at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich on Friday, marking the latest in a series of high-profile protests of the sort. Officials at the museum said the protestors had damaged the painting’s frame. [Deutsche Welle]
Curator Helen Molesworth is at work on a podcast about artist Ana Mendieta and her husband, the Minimalist sculptor Carl Andre, who was acquitted during a trial over her death. Titled Death of an Artist, the podcast will kick off next month. [Vanity Fair]
Jack Coulter, an artist with synesthesia, has crafted a painting that transcribes a speech by Greta Thunberg and music by The 1975 into abstraction. It will sell at Sotheby’s, where it is expected to net £20,000 ($23,400), with the proceeds going to Thunberg’s foundation. [The Guardian]
Staff at Ohio’s Columbus Museum of Art announced plans to create a union. Workers at the museum said they faced uncertainty during the pandemic, and one employee reported that the institution had responded in a “positive” way to their unionization effort. [The Columbus Dispatch]
A teacher’s TikTok about her $50 yearly budget for her art class has racked up 2 million views. “That’s just WRONG,” wrote one viewer. [Newsweek]
‘PHYGITAL’ AGE. The Hong Kong–based billionaire Adrian Cheng, who ranks on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, has certainly kept busy of late, having recently revealed plans to open a $1.4 billion seaside cultural complex in Shenzhen. His latest endeavor, it seems, has been an investment in Chiru Labs’s Azuki NFT collection. According to Artnet News, the Azuki Collection, while not as well-known as other NFT groupings, has brought its makers $29 million. In a tweet, Cheng revealed himself as its backer. He hinted at potential future arrangements similar to this one: “Artist collabs, expanding ‘phygital’ experiences, and innovative contributions to nouveau culture and art in web3 are all on the table and will be explored.” [Artnet News]