Week in Review: Penn Museum Admits to Storing Remains of MOVE Bombing Victims; MoMA Appoints New Board Chair

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.

Controversy Erupts at Penn Museum

A week after the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania apologized for housing the stolen remains of enslaved people, news surfaced that the institution had been in possession of the remains of victims of the 1985 MOVE bombing for decades.

Activists are since calling for the firing of Penn curator Janet Monge, who utilized the bones in a online course titled “Real Bones: Adventures in Forensic Anthropology.” Activists demanded the museum apologize to active MOVE members and offer financial reparations, among other demands.

The museum has since apologized for its possession of the remains but has not yet addressed demands to terminate Monge.

The Museum of Modern Art

In a letter to MoMA’s director Glenn Lowry, activists declared their plan to protest inside the museum as part of a walking tour throughout midtown Manhattan next week.

MoMA has announced that Marie-Josée Kravis—philanthropist, art collector, and wife of billionaire venture capitalist and Trump donor Henry Kravis—will replace disgraced financier Leon Black as chair of its board of trustees.

In Other News

Hundreds of cultural workers denounced inequity in NYC’s real estate development in an open letter, saying that high-end construction “has prioritized developer profits and design over the possibility of a more affordable and diverse city.”

A statue of Billy Frank Jr., a Nisqually environmentalist and tribal leader, will be one of two sculptures that represent Washington state at the US Capitol.

Lost Italian Renaissance frescoes of the Medicis, dating back as early as the 1600s, were uncovered by construction workers during a restoration of the Uffizi Gallery.

For nearly a decade, Rob Hitt has been documenting beloved bodega cats throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

In an homage to Yahoo Answers, which is shutting down permanently next month, we rounded up the best art-related questions on the iconic platform, including: “Is it possible to enjoy John Cage’s music?” Who knows!

Awards & Accolades

Awardees of the CUNY Adjunct Incubator, including Alicia Grullon and Mariposa Fernandez, have been announced. | CUNY

Doreen Wing Yan Chan, Lawrence Lek, Paribartana Mohanty, Jungwon Seo, and Syaura Qotrunadha were shortlisted for the 4th VH AWARD by the Hyundai Motor Group.

Transitions

Lauren Applebaum was appointed the North Carolina Museum of Art’s curator of American Art.

Briann G. Greenfield was appointed director of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access.

Marques Hanalei Marzan was named curator for cultural resilience at the Bishop Museum, the Hawaii museum’s first endowed chair.

Jeff Koons is now represented by Pace Gallery.

In Memoriam

Alber Elbaz (1961–2021), fashion designer | WWD

Bob Fass (1933–2021), free-form radio host | NPR

Michelangelo Lovelace Sr. (1960–2021), prolific Cleveland artist | Ideastream

Christa Ludwig (1928–2021), opera singer | Guardian

Wayne Peterson (1927–2021), Pulitzer Prize-winning composer | New York Times

Allon Schoener (–2021), curator known for the controversial Harlem on My Mind exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum | New York Times

Al Young (1939–2021), former California poet laureate, novelist, and singer known for his musical performances | Datebook

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