Week in Review: Asian American Arts Workers Denounce White Supremacy; NFT Prices Plummet

Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

Open Letters

Over 800 people signed a letter denouncing white supremacy in the face of escalating violence and prejudice against Asians and Asian-Americans.

The BIPOC nonfiction filmmaker collective Beyond Inclusion has drafted an open letter that raises concerns about PBS’s overreliance on Ken Burns to direct its high-profile documentary content and condemns the broadcaster’s lack of diversity.

Community-based Activism

Philadelphia activists have amplified their calls for the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania to repatriate the skulls of enslaved people from the collection of Samuel George Morton, a white supremacist.

Last August, the North Bronx Collective started cleaning up a community park in the Bronx until the NYC Parks Department locked them out without warning.

NFTs

Is carbon offsetting enough to address the NFT ecological dilemma? Some critics liken the practice to greenwashing.

After an astronomic market boom, NFT prices have plummeted.

In Other News…

“Lucretia” (ca. 1627), an oil on canvas by Artemisia Gentileschi, was recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles after going unrecognized for decades.

Researchers have reconstructed the 2,000-year-old Antikythera Mechanism, often called the “world’s first computer.”

An anti-racist group pledged to turn a stolen monument to Jefferson Davis “into a toilet” unless the United Daughters of the Confederacy meets its demands.

Awards & Accolades

Germane Barnes, Luis Berríos-Negrón, Iulia Statica, and Catty Dan Zhang were named the four finalists for the 2021 Wheelwright Prize by the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Roberto Torres Mata was named the winner of the Chazen Museum of Art’s 2021 Panczenko MFA Prize.

Recipients of the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship have been announced, including A.K. Burns, Crystal Z Campbell, Eve Fowler, Jesse Krimes, and Kameelah Janan Rasheed for Fine Arts. | Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Transitions

Farah Al Qasimi, William Floyd, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Allison Russo, Karen Seymour, and Michael Sternberg joined Public Art Fund’s board of directors. 

Newark Arts announced five new members of the board of directors: Manny Antunes, Ryan Arnez Monroe, Kitab Rollins, Natasha Dyer, and Nicole Whalen.

Eunice Bélidor was appointed the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Curator of Quebec and Canadian Contemporary Art (1945 to Today) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Raymond Codrington was appointed CEO of the Weeksville Heritage Center.

Rhea L. Combs was named director of curatorial affairs at the National Portrait Gallery.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced a major expansion designed by Safdie Architects.

Adrienne Edwards was promoted to director of curatorial affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In Memoriam

Malcolm Cecil (1937–2021), music producer and pioneer of the synthesizer | New York Times

Constance Demby (1939–2021), New Age ambient musician | San Francisco Chronicle

Michael Friedlander (1957–2021), architect who worked with the NYC Department of Sanitation | Architect’s Newspaper

Kornelios Grammenos (1959–2021), contemporary artist | The Art Newspaper

Cleve Hall (1959–2021), makeup effects artist | The Hollywood Reporter

Gloria Henry (1923–2021), actress known for her role on Dennis the Menace | New York Times

Arthur Kopit (1937–2021), Tony-nominated playwright | Playbill

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