Art industry news: Museums scale back global ambitions to refocus on well-being and local communities + Other stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Friday, June 3.

NEED TO READ

Museums are still closed in Shanghai – The city‘s tough two-month lockdown was officially lifted on June 1, but museums, along with gyms and theaters, remain closed and have not been given a timeline for reopening. Authorities have offered rent relief to cultural spaces affected by the lockdown, but only certain galleries are eligible. A Yuz Museum spokesperson noted that staff may begin returning to work next week to prepare the institution for its as yet unspecified reopening. (The arts journal)

Italian curator Manfredi della Gherardesca has died – Della Gherardesca died at the age of 60 following a sudden illness. He played a central role in the conception of the exhibition “Les Lalanne: Makers of Dreams” currently on view at Ben Brown Fine Arts and Claridge’s ArtSpace, both in London. The curator and designer previously headed the Italian division of Sotheby’s. (Press release)

How the local supplanted the global in the arts – Museums are pivoting to focus on wellbeing and local engagement rather than trying to appeal to a small class of global tastemakers through blockbuster exhibitions. After attending the Global Cultural Districts Network conference, writer Felix Salmon attributes this change to a combination of prohibitive costs and changing values. Surprisingly, China is a leader in the “glocal” museum movement, having built 128 institutions over the past 30 years and discouraged international architects in favor of local talent. (Axios)

Harvard Museum Holds Human Remains – Harvard University holds the human remains of at least 19 people who were likely enslaved and nearly 7,000 Native Americans, according to a draft report obtained by the Harvard Student Newspaper. The report, released by the University’s Steering Committee on Human Remains in Harvard Museum Collections, calls on the school to return the remains to descendants. (Harvard Crimson)

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Yto Barrada Wins Queen Sonja Print Award — The Paris-born, Brooklyn-based artist is the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award, a biennial prize that comes with a cash prize of NOK 1 million ($106,000), the largest monetary prize for art chart. The Queen Sonja Foundation also awarded William Kentridge the Lifetime Achievement Award and Meerke Vekterli, a Sami artist, the Inspirational Award. (The arts journal)

Dulwich Picture Gallery Drops Sackler Name — The South London Institution is the last to file Sackler’s tainted name, albeit very subtly. In the absence of a public announcement, the museum stopped using the title “Director Sackler” to describe its head Jennifer Scott on April 1. As of March 2020, Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler’s master fund endowment was valued at £3.5 million ($4.4 million). (The arts journal)

Opening of a museum on the site of the slave trading port — After more than 20 years of planning, the International African American Museum will open on January 21, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina. The 150,000 square foot institution will be located at Gadsden’s Wharf, once one of the most prolific slave trading posts in the United States. “Engaging with history is a necessary step on the path to healing and reconciliation,” said museum CEO Tonya Matthews. (CNN)

Jim Carrey buys his first NFT — From the news department you might have thought already happened :Tactor-turned-artist has jumped on the NFT bandwagon. He revealed on Twitter that he purchased his first NFT from the SuperRare Marketplace by Stockholm-based artist Ryan Koopmans. Carrey praised the moving image of a garden growing inside an abandoned building for “gently capturing nature’s exquisite and relentless reinvention”. (Twitter)

FOR ART

Mixed reactions for Thomas Heatherwick’s Jubilee sculptureThe sculpture of the architect tree of trees, which was installed on the grounds of Buckingham Palace to honor the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, is getting mixed reactions. Critic Oliver Wainwright described the installation as a “massively over-engineered structure”, and on social media the artwork – which is made up of hundreds of native British tree species – has been compared to the Unhappy Marble Mound and a “cell tower”. (TANNING, CNN)

A team of workers add the final pieces to the Queen’s green canopy ahead of the Platinum Jubilee. It consists of 350 native British trees planted in aluminum pots. Photo: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images.

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