While art dealer Guy Wildenstein awaits a verdict on charges of tax fraud, he is apparently staying busy. News arrived today that he has joined with ARTnews Top 200 collector Hasso Plattner, a tech entrepreneur and arts education philanthropist, to form the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, a new foundation that is, in its words, “dedicated to advancing art historical scholarship by fostering the accessibility, cataloguing, and digitization of primary sources.”
Elizabeth Gorayeb has been appointed the Institute’s executive director. Gorayeb comes to WPI from Sotheby’s, where she served as the senior vice president and director of research. In her new position, Gorayeb will assemble a team of researchers, technology experts, and administrators tasked with digitizing catalogued resources and establishing a publishing imprint. The imprint’s first publication will be a catalogue raisonné of paintings and sculptures by Jasper Johns.
The Wildstein family has long been active in art-historical research and the publication of catalogues raisonnés through its Wildenstein Institute, which it founded in 1918, so this new endeavor would seem to be a play to compete in the growing digital catalogue market, which is home to companies like Artifex Press and panOpticon.
Beyond publishing, the WPI’s self-described aim is to “establish a robust digital inventory that will support new research and increase the accessibility of these materials to scholars.” It will also organize various public programs, like lectures and conferences, around the world.