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.
The Museum of Modern Art will temporarily cover a gallery placard bearing Philip Johnson’s name with an artwork by the Black Reconstruction Collective. Last year, the Johnson Study Group raised concerns about Johnson’s “commitment to white supremacy was significant and consequential.” The work will be up through the run of the museum’s first exhibition on Black architecture, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America.
Hundreds of arts and restaurant workers joined forces to oppose the closure of Jing Fong, a historic banquet hall in New York City’s Chinatown. The eatery is the neighborhood’s last unionized restaurant and a popular venue for arts events. The group is pressuring landlord Alex Chu and his son, Jonathan Chu — co-chair of the Board of Directors at the local Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) — to help salvage the legendary Chinatown institution.
Anthony Fauci donated his 3-D model of COVID-19 to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The epidemiologist used the figurine to demonstrate during briefings to lawmakers and the press throughout the pandemic.
The Otis College of Art & Design and Californians for the Arts released several studies on the impact of the pandemic on the cultural sector in California. Over 175,000 creative jobs were slashed in 2020, and over $140 billion was lost in creative economic output.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston received a gift of 48 silver gelatin prints by Henryk Ross, a Jewish photojournalist who documented life in a Polish ghetto during the Holocaust. He was tasked to take propaganda photographs but secretly documented the brutal living conditions to leave a historical record of atrocities committed by the Nazis.
A Ming Dynasty porcelain, valued at up to $500,000, is heading to auction at Sotheby’s. The bowl was originally purchased at a yard sale for just $35.
A logbook signed by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 from jail in Birmingham, Alabama, fetched $130,000 at Hake’s Auctions.
In Other News
After a local resident raised concerns over a Judy Chicago artwork’s potential environmental impact, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens withdrew from its partnership with Desert X to host Chicago’s smoke-based artwork.
After artist Jeresneyka Rose published her portrait of late rapper Nipsey Hussle on social media, her followers alerted her that Walmart was selling prints of the painting without her permission. “They edited the picture and removed my signature and changed the background to yellow, but my watermark was still in the hair,” Rose said.
Over 160 Confederate symbols were removed in 2020, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. All but one of the removals occurred after the murder of George Floyd, which spurred international protests against institutionalized racism.
President Biden revoked Trump’s executive order mandating that “classical architecture shall be the preferred and default architecture for Federal public buildings.”
See the 10 most Googled paintings of 2020, from Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” (c. 1503–19) to “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (1503–1515) by Hieronymus Bosch.
Jennifer Anglade, Coco Killingsworth, and Elizabeth Moreau were named co-interim presidents of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).
Danny Baez, Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, and Aron Gent have joined the board of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA).
Nora Khan was appointed Topical Cream‘s first Editor-in-Residence.
Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz were named curators of the fourth Art Encounters Biennial.
Honor Titus is now represented by Timothy Taylor Gallery.
Awards & Accolades
Kathryn Maple is the winner of the John Moores Painting Prize.
Jamila Minnicks Gleason is the recipient of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.
Twelve writers will receive the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers: Heather Aruffo, Lindsay Ferguson, Isaac Hughes Green, Amy Haejung, Nishanth Injam, Khaddafina Mbabazi, Mackenzie McGee, Mathapelo Mofokeng, Alberto Reyes Morgan, Stanley Patrick Stocker, Pardeep Toor, and Qianze Zhang.
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation announced the recipients of its 2021 grants. | SDRF
Alan Bowness (1928–2021), former Tate director who helped originate the Turner Prize | ARTnews
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919–2021), poet, painter, publisher, and owner of the celebrated San Francisco bookstore City Lights | New York Times
Antoine Hodge (1982–2021), bass-baritone opera singer | New York Times
Toko Shinoda (1913–2021), abstract artist who utilized styles from Abstract Expressionism and Japanese calligraphy | CNN
Bunny Wailer (1947–2021), last surviving founding member of the reggae group the Wailers | AP
Paul Witte (1926–2021), creative product designer and philanthropist | Inquirer