Week in Review: Whitney Museum Workers Unionize; Leon Black Accused of Abuse

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.

Museums

At last week’s “Strike MoMA” protest, demonstrators convened to denounce police violence in Colombia. MoMA trustee Paula Crown’s husband James Crown, a speaker said, is a director at a weapons conglomerate with ties to violence in Israel, Colombia, and elsewhere.

The Whitney Museum voluntarily recognized its staff union, bypassing the election, but labor representatives say the Whitney is trying to exclude positions from the bargaining unit.

MoMA trustee Leon Black was accused of of defamation and sexual abuse in a lawsuit.

Open Letters

In an open letter, dozens of artists and scholars including John Akomfrah and Carrie Mae Weems demanded the release of dissident Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara.

Over 1,000 people signed a letter urging Canadian art institutions to end their collaborations with Israel-funded cultural activities.

Repatriation

A portrait of an anti-Nazi gynecologist was acquired by two UK institutions, becoming the first artwork to be allocated to multiple museums under a British law.

Two religious lintels were repatriated to Thailand from the San Francisco Asian Art Museum after five decades.

Unusual Orchestras

A plant concert, conceptualized by the late artist Martin Roth, will soon bloom in a Victorian house in upstate New York.

Listen to the spooky cacophony of spider web sounds, orchestrated by artist Tomás Saraceno with the help of Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists.

In Other News

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has lifted its mask requirement in alignment with a statewide mask ordinance. In New York, the Guggenheim and Whitney Museums will continue to require masks.

See the oddest images from the Guinness World Records photo archives.

A stained glass portrait by Kehinde Wiley is the first work by a queer Black artist to enter the collection of the Stained Glass Museum in the UK.

People worldwide submit photos of abandoned artworks to Jason Osborne, who began his Instagram account for discarded art in 2011.

Awards & Accolades

Betye Saar was awarded the 26th Wolfgang Hahn Prize by the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig.

Transitions

Kymberly Pinder was named dean of the Yale School of Art. She is the first woman of color to head the school. Allison Glenn was named senior curator and director of public art at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. | CultureType

In Memoriam

Jay Belloli (1945–2021), writer and curator | LA TimesEric Carle (1929–2021), artist and author known for the children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar | Washington PostJudith Godwin (1930–2021), Abstract Expressionist artist | Berry CampbellRobbie McCauley (1942–2021), stage artistMeg Perlman (1950–2021), curator | Dignity MemorialEvelyne Porret (1941–2021), ceramicist | TheNationalDashawn Robertson aka Lil Loaded (2001–2021), rapper | BBC

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