Join Freeman’s every Friday for a round-up of the latest news and notable events in the art & auction world. (Consider it your weekend reading.)
- Museums around the country are addressing the issue of diversity (or lack thereof) amongst their staff and management. As of 2015, people of color represented just 16% of the leadership positions at art museums. Read on to hear how they’re closing the gap.
- Thanksgiving, 1985, Tucson, Arizona: A Willem de Kooning painting is stolen from the University of Arizona art museum. Thirty-two years later, rural New Mexico: the painting resurfaces when an antique shop purchases it from a retired couple’s estate sale. “Woman-Ochre” is now valued at $160 million.
- A (re)discovery of a different kind: In renovating its storage facilities in preparation for a 2019 exhibition, curators at The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art curators uncovered 40 works by Picasso in their collection. Curator Mattijs Visser said he expects to find more works through this process of “contemporary archaeology.”
- While the Louvre Abu Dhabi prepares to unveil da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,”(which sold for $450 million when it passed through auction last year, making it the most expensive painting ever sold), researchers at Oxford University have concluded that da Vinci painted just five to 20 percent of it. His studio assistant Bernardino Luini is said to have painted the rest.
- And on a related note. Who gets to decide what art is worth? A new film by Nathaniel Kahn, “The Price of Everything” aims to answer that question. With artworks routinely breaking world records at auction, Kahn’s documentary is a compelling, honest look at the art market and the headline-making artists who continue to dominate it.
Stories you may have missed: