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WHAT WILL HELP THE ARTS SECTOR RECOVER FROM COVID? Getting money into the hands of art workers certainly can’t hurt. “Arts and culture workers are bees,” playwright and labor activist Matthew-Lee Erlbach says in an interview with CNN. “We will pollinate your community. Invest in us and you will get an outsized return.” Not even seeking financial returns, though, is an anonymous donor who has given $560,000 to the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. The funds will be “distributed to the 50, wildly diverse, artist-run” spaces and organizations that appeared in the center’s “Artists Run Chicago 2.0” exhibition last year, Steve Johnson writes in the Chicago Tribune. Among those receiving $8,000 grants are Bad at Sports, Western Pole, and Mujeres Mutantes . Such scrappy, freewheeling venues are where people actually get a chance to experiment—they keep art alive—but when they manage to receive support it is typically only through cumbersome grant processes. The remaining money from the donation is being used to fund 20 more grants for spaces run by artists identifying as BIPOC, women, queer, and/or with disabilities.
IT SEEMS THAT NOT A DAY GOES BY WITHOUT MONEY FLOWING into some intriguing cultural object, whether ultra-famous or obscure. To wit, the K-pop group BTS just sold outfits from its smash video “Dynamite” (822.7 million YouTube views and climbing!) for $162,500 at a charity auction, eight times the lot’s high estimate, Rolling Stone reports. Proceeds are going to MusiCares , which supports people involved in music who are in financial need. Meanwhile, two Michael Jordan rookie cards went for a record $738,000 each at Goldin Auctions, Robb Report says, and a portrait of the collector and museum founder Isabella Stewart Gardner, by an unknown 19th-century artist, made more than 25 times its high estimate—a cool $70,000—at Quinn’s Auction in Falls Church, Virginia, Antiques and the Arts Weekly notes. On a tangentially related note, Auction Technology Group, which owns the online auction site the-saleroom.com, is planning to go public, The Times of London reports, with a valuation of around £600 million (about $821 million).
The Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan has tapped artist and educator Jun Jieh Wang to be its next director, taking the place of Ping Lin, who resigned amid controversy over an exhibited work by Mei Dean E that addresses Taiwan’s bid for diplomatic recognition. [ArtAsiaPacific]
The attempted theft at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, this past weekend apparently centered on an Andy Warhol. Police are on the case. [WIVB]
Art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott weighed in on a proposal to install permanent fencing around the home of the U.S. legislature: “Closing off the Capitol would be an enormous symbolic victory for the insurrectionists.” [The Washington Post]
The Doomsday Clock, which was introduced in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to symbolize the looming risk of nuclear Armageddon, was designed by the late Chicago painter Martyl Langsdorf. Here’s the tale behind its creation. [Architectural Digest]
William and Lavina Lim recently donated more than 100 works by Hong Kong artists to M+ in the city. “I don’t think we’re saying goodbye to them—I think they’re in a better home,” William said. “It’s like your child marrying into a great family.” [Hong Kong Tatler]
Recent periods of war and unrest in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other countries have led to a number of cultural artifacts entering the market, with experts working to identify looted work. [AFP]
Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot unveiled their plans for the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre in Adelaide, Australia. [The Architect’s Newspaper]
Maximilíano Durón writes that the new documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light should be taken as “a call to create more documentaries looking at the work of Black artists—as well as Indigenous, U.S. Latinx, and Asian-American ones.” [ARTnews]
The late artist and scholar David C. Driskell, one of the stars of Black Art, is the subject of new exhibitions at the High Museum of Art and the September Gray Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Collector, dealer, artist, and businessman Kim Chang-il, the chairman of the Arario Group, has been sentenced to two years in prison for breach of duty involving his operation of a concession stand at the Cheonan Bus Terminal in that South Korean city. [The Korea Herald]
Artist Wendy Red Star’s latest project, at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, was inspired by the 1898 Indian Congress. [The Art Newspaper]
The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut, is reopening this month after a $9 million expansion and renovation. [Hartford Courant]
On January 31, artist and director David Lynch said he had a big announcement to make on February 1. He ended up announcing that he would continue doing his popular YouTube weather reports, despite earlier planning to announce that he was taking a break from them. [NME]
The East Coast of the U.S. is blanketed in snow. Lots of it. Here’s Amy Waldman on paintings of that stuff. [T: The New York Times Style Magazine]
SURE, YOU MAY THINK YOU KNOW YOUR NEW JERSEY HISTORY. Perhaps you have read John McPhee’s The Pine Barrens (1967) or watched all of the Sopranos, including its finest episode, “Pine Barrens,” more than once. But did you know that Joseph Bonaparte, older brother of Napoleon, “built a sumptuous estate in 1816 called Point Breeze in Bordentown,” near the state’s capital of Trenton, as Daniel E. Slotnik reports in the New York Times ? If you did, that is impressive. If not, Slotnik has the movie-worthy story about that grand compound, which once burned down, with Bonaparte’s neighbors working gallantly to save “paintings by Jacques-Louis David, Rembrandt and Goya, as well as the Spanish crown jewels.” Buckle up for this one! [The New York Times]
Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.