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THE WAR IN UKRAINE. The founder of Manifesta, Europe’s roving art biennial, Hedwig Fijen, has proposed holding its 2028 edition in Ukraine, with the aim of helping to “rebuild and re-strengthen the cultural ecosystem and infrastructure” in the country, Artnet News reports. (Its current iteration just opened in Prishtina, Kosovo.) Meanwhile, an Annie Leibovitz photoshoot of Volodymyr and Olena Zelenska, Ukraine’s president and first lady, for Vogue, has sparked controversy, with some commentators, and some Republican politicians, slamming it, Artforum reports. And critic Jason Farago has a lucid dispatch from Ukraine, reflecting on the power of culture amid a military conflict. “Through art we establish similarities between past and future, near and far, abstract and concrete, that cast received certainties into doubt,” he writes. “We look and listen in a way that lets thinking and feeling run parallel to each other.”
RECENT ACQUISITIONS. The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, has acquired a showstopper of a painting by the 19th-century Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Fort Worth Business reports. Titled Dog Guarding a Basket of Grapes (1836), it features grapes that look juicy enough to pluck off the canvas and a dog that, frankly, you could probably brush aside. The work has not been exhibited publicly in more than 50 years, and is the first piece of Austrian authorship to enter the Kimbell’s collection. Meanwhile, after sending three works from its collection—by Cézanne, Matisse, and Renoir—to auction, raising some $51.2 million to diversify its holdings, the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio has revealed some of its recent acquisitions, KTNV 13 Action News reports. They include an a lively Grace Hartigan, titled Harvester, from 1966.
Katy Siegel is joining the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as research director of special program initiatives, a newly created role. She is now senior programming and research curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art, whose director, Christopher Bedford, was tapped earlier this year to lead SFMOMA. [Artnet News]
Continuing a tradition that began in 1965, portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will be unveiled at the White House in September. The identity of the artists will be announced on the day of the ceremony. [The Associated Press]
Houston’s FotoFest announced the lineup of artists for its 2022 biennial show, which includes Laura Aguilar, Forensic Architecture, Dorothea Lange, Lorraine O’Grady, and many more. Titled “If I Had a Hammer,” after the Pete Seeger and Lee Hays song, it runs September 26 through November 6. [Glasstire]
Actor Johnny Depp sold a reported 780 prints he created for about £3 million ($3.65 million) via Castle Fine Art. The series—titled “Friends and Heroes”—depicts people like actress Elizabeth Taylor and artist-musician Bob Dylan. The works are “at the intersection of pop art and street art,” the gallery said. [BBC News]
HOMECOMING PARTY. A Norman Rockwell painting in the collection of the Sheldon Art Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln holds a special significance for crop insurance adjuster Peggy Montarsi: It shows her 13-year-old father and other relatives on her family’s farm in Indiana. Rockwell painted the work, The County Agricultural Agent (1947–48), for a story in the Saturday Evening Post. Montarsi recently paid a visit to the Sheldon, and 1011 NOW caught up with her. “I don’t think anybody really understood how big it would have been at that time because it was just this guy coming by taking pictures and having chicken dinner at the house,” she told the outlet. “And then it becomes an article in the magazine all over the nation.” [1011 NOW]