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AUCTION ACTION, PART 1. Big news out of New York: 29 of the 81 pieces that have been on loan to the Museum of Modern Art from the William S. Paley Foundation for more than three decades will be auctioned this fall at Sotheby’s, with the proceeds going to the museum, Kelly Crow reports in the Wall Street Journal. All told, the lots are expected to total between $70 million and $100 million. A 1963 Francis Bacon triptych may cover half that low estimate; it is pegged to go for more than $35 million. MoMA said that it will use the funds to expand its digital offerings, and possibly buy digital art. It is also considering a plan to offer degrees in partnership with a university, the Journal reports. In an interview with the paper, MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, said, “We’re just beginning to dream.” Paley, the CBS founder and MoMA chairman who died in 1990, amassed a formidable collection that also included Pablo Picasso’s Boy Leading a Horse (1905–06). That one, now on view on MoMA’s fifth floor, is among those not being sold.
AUCTION ACTION, PART 2. A folio from the Shah Tahmasp Shahnameh, an illuminated manuscript commissioned by Shah Tahmasp of Persia in the 1500s, will be offered at Sotheby’s next month with a top estimate of £6 million (about $6.91 million), the Guardian reports. And a collector who paid $2,000 for a faded print of an 1894 Alfred Stieglitz photograph at a Connecticut auction house has discovered another copy, perfectly preserved, hiding behind it, Artnet News reports. Love it when that happens!
JEAN-LUC GODARD, 1930–2022. The legendary French filmmaker died yesterday at 91, by assisted suicide, and tributes and appraisals have come from Richard Brody in the New Yorker (“No one did more to make movies the art of youth”), Owen Gleiberman in Variety (“the filmmaker who changed everything”), Stephanie Zacharek in Time (“one of the greatest of all time”), and many others.
Workers at the Dia Art Foundation voted to form a union by a vote of 101 to six. The employees will be joining Local 2110 of the United Auto Workers, which also represents staffers at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, and others cultural institutions. [The Art Newspaper]
In an effort to safe energy, Paris will now turn off the lights of the Eiffel Tower at 11:45 p.m. instead of 1 a.m., reducing its power consumption by an estimated four percent. [Reuters]
Archaeologists working on a cattle ranch in the Valle de Santo Domingo in Mexico this summer have been unearthing remnants what is believed to have been an important center—and perhaps the capital—of the Sak Tz’i dynasty, a Maya civilization that was active between the years 250 and 900. [The New York Times]
NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER. The forthcoming National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs may change its name to something more “appropriate and inclusive,” according to a government official, ABC News (the Australian one) reports. Names are currently being workshopped. And the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s managing director, Vincent Ciccarello, is headed to the Art Gallery of South Australia, where he will take up a newly created position focused on philanthropy, InDaily reports.
Designer Kate Driver’s home in the Venice section of Los Angeles sports art by Denise Kuoferschmidt, Stephen D’Onofrio, Deb Lawrence, and many more. And the “house drink,” you are wondering? Grapefruit margaritas. [Architectural Digest]
SEED MONEY. Next month, MoMA will open a show about Just Above Midtown, the storied New York gallery that was a hothouse for vanguard Black artists during its run from 1974 to 1986. The New York Times looked at its legacy, and its founder, Linda Goode Bryant, recalled that artist Romare Bearden advised her that she would need $50,000 to get started. “I said, ‘I don’t have $50,000, I don’t know anyone who could give me $50,000,” Goode Bryant told the paper. “So no, we’re going to do this with the resources we have.’ And those resources were basically my credit cards.” [NYT]