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THE WAR IN UKRAINE. Amid the fighting, UNESCO called for “protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage,” the Associated Press reports. Members of the Ukrainian art world have taken up arms, Vanity Fair writes. In the country’s west, the Lviv Art Palace has become a staging ground for aid: the AFP captures the frenetic scene. BBC News has updates on how museums are safeguarding their collections. Two major Russian museum officials have left their posts, ARTnews reports. Simon Rees quit as director of the Cosmoscow fair when the war began, according to the Financial Times. And the Venice Biennale said it is supporting Ukraine‘s efforts to stage its pavilion, and that that it will “not accept the presence at any of its events of official delegations, institutions or persons tied in any capacity to the Russian government.”
U.S. MUSEUM BLOTTER. The estate of collectors Norman Stone and Norah Sharpe Stone has donated $10 million and more than 300 works to the San Francisco Museum of Modern, Datebook reports. Artists represented in the gift include Carrie Mae Weems, Jeff Koons, and Danh Vo. Norah died in 2019, at 81; Norman last April, at 82. The Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, will close in May for two years for the construction of a $100 million pavilion, per the Associated Press. And the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri has received $5 million from the Sunderland Foundation for its $25 million master plan, which it is scheduled to complete by its centennial in 2028, the Springfield News-Leader reports.
THE NFT REALM. The $69 million man, Beeple, just opened his first gallery show, with Jack Hanley in New York, and it is drawing crowds, Shanti Escalante-De Mattei reports in ARTnews. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post notes that NFTs are selling for an average of less than $2,000 , down from a $6,900 high, according to one tracker. In the New York Times, critic Blake Gopnik has a think piece on NFTs. Has so-called “NFT art” resulted in “any kind of sea change in what art looks like, what it means or what, in some profound sense, it is?” he asks. “Hardly at all.” And Bloomberg did a deep dive on the recent mass CryptoPunk sale that was nixed at the last minute. Its “cancellation could have serious, long-term implications for traditional auction houses, along with the NFT market in general,” James Tarmy and Muyao Shen write.
The Ojibwe artist Jim Denomie, who made brilliantly colored, sometimes Boschian, paintings of life and strife in the United States, has died on Tuesday at 66. The Minneapolis Institute of Art will open a solo show of Denomie’s work next year. [The Art Newspaper]
For the first time in six centuries, bronzes made by Donatello have been moved from their homes in Italian churches to Florence for a blowout show at the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Bargello. [The Guardian]
The countdown to the Venice Biennale is on, with the grand event opening to the public on April 23. More than 80 nations are staging pavilions, and Alex Greenberger has a guide to them all. [ARTnews]
Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo—who is principal of the firm CM Design Atelier, and who organized the Lagos Biennial in 2019—has been tapped to curate the 2023 Sharjah Architecture Triennial. [Dezeen]
BLOOM BARGAIN BUSTED. An eagle-eyed volunteer at a charity shop in Cardiff, Wales, spotted a rare 1936 edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, BBC News reports. The volume was set to be priced at £1 (about $1.33), but it is now being sent to auction, where it is expected to go for around £800 ($1,070). The volunteer said that the item was donated by “a gentleman we’d not seen in the shop before and none of us knew.” Curiously, two summonses from 1946 for firearms possession were found within the pages of the novel. [BBC News]