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THE WAR IN UKRAINE. Finland said that it is releasing artworks it had detained that were en route to Russian museums after appearing in shows in Italy and Japan, Graham Bowley reports in the New York Times . Halting the transport of the works last week, Finnish customs officials had cited sanctions against Russia. Relinquishing the works, Finland said it was acting in consultation with European Union officials; the E.U. said that it is updating its rules to exempt “cultural goods which are on loan in the context of formal cultural cooperation with Russia.” That is good news for the Russian museums that had loaned work to a blockbuster that just closed at Paris’s Fondation Louis Vuitton. However, at least two works from that show are not going back to their owners right now, the AFP reports: one belongs to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, Petr Aven, the other to a museum in Dnipro, Ukraine. For now, both will be held in France.
THE WRITER AND ART CRITIC ELEANOR MUNRO, whose classic 1979 book, Originals: American Women Artists, profiled figures like Alice Neel, Faith Ringgold, and Helen Frankenthaler, died on April 1 at the age of 94, Neil Genzlinger reports in the New York Times. In the 1950s, Munro was an editor at ARTnews, and in 1960 married its editor, Alfred M. Frankfurter, who died in 1965. Over the course of her long career, Munro wrote widely about art, religion, and more; her other volumes include The Golden Encyclopedia of Art (1961) and On Glory Roads: A Pilgrim’s Book About Pilgrimage (1987). Her papers reside at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.
A BASQUIAT BONANZA. A show about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat that was organized by his sisters, Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, just opened Saturday at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in New York, and the press is coming in hot: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue have stories.
MoMA PS1’s director, Kate Fowle, got the profile treatment from Robin Pogrebin, and discussed how she has been working to open up the Queens museum to its local community. One intriguing tidbit: Former PS1 chairwoman Agnes Gund said she would like to see the museum split from MoMA and establish an independent identity. Gund is a board member of both institutions, but her plan does not appear to be in the cards. [The New York Times]
The British School at Rome, a research center for the arts and humanities, has reportedly faced allegations from two dozen people that it has poor working conditions. The organization said that it has completed a “comprehensive, independent, and confidential” inquiry; its chair said that the organization “is now well-placed to develop the U.K.’s creative and academic presence in Italy.” [The Guardian]
An artist named Jesús Cees may face charges for painting a wildly colorful mural at a chapel in rural Spain that is a protected heritage site. Cees is unrepentant, and not quite done after four months of unauthorized work, but was forced to pause his efforts after falling from a ladder while painting its ceiling and breaking his wrists. [The Guardian]
“Fashion houses and art galleries have lately been looking toward acclaimed writers for collaborations that burnish their brands,” Cody Delistraty reports. Valentino has hired top writers to pen stories, and last year Gagosian started Picture Books, an imprint that pairs authors and artists. [Wall Street Journal]
Writer Aileen Kwun looked at the history of the Korean hanbok, noting that such traditional clothes figure in Nam June Park’s final work. [The New York Times]
A correction: Friday’s Breakfast incorrectly stated that “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration” was about to open at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The show was, in fact, about to open at the Mississippi Museum of Art—and has now done so. It is on view in Jackson through September 11, and arrives in Charm City on October 30.
JORDAN MOONEY, a legendary member of the 1970s London punk scene, died on April 3 at the age of 66, Penelope Green reports in the New York Times. Famed for her rubber outfits and towering hairstyles, and for performing onstage during Sex Pistols sets, Mooney was a kind of mascot for Sex, the clothing store started by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood where she worked. “I saw her as an English archetype,” critic Jon Savage told the paper. “Like a parody of a 1950s suburban housewife crossed with a dominatrix, the mirror image of Margaret Thatcher.” [The New York Times]