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£4m funding boost for Glasgow tea room

10 August 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Willow Tea Rooms granted nearly £4m to complete restoration project | Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Rooms building in Glasgow has been awarded just under £3.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the completion of an ambitious transformation project, it was announced yesterday. The grant will allow the building’s trust to continue its work restoring the original Mackintosh-designed art nouveau tea rooms, and to build a new interactive visitor centre. The restored tea rooms are set to open on 7 June 2018, the 150th anniversary of the birth of the building’s celebrated Glaswegian architect.

Elmhurst Art Museum appoints John McKinnon as executive director | The Elmhurst Art Museum in Illinois has appointed a new executive director: John McKinnon, currently programme director of the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. McKinnon will succeed Jenny Gibbs, who is leaving the museum to take over the New York Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s MA in Art Business.

Works missing from Air India’s £200m art collection | An ‘unknown’ number of artworks from the collection of India’s flag carrier Air India appear to have been lost (The Times; £). Over the past 85 years, the state-owned airline has amassed a collection worth over £200m, with works by internationally acclaimed artists including M.F. Husain and V.S. Gaitonde. It has now emerged that some of these works are unaccounted for. The situation became public in recent weeks when the painter Jatin Das discovered that a work he had created for Air India was for sale (in damaged condition) on the open market. It is unclear how long the airline has been aware that works from its collection are missing.

Christie’s sues Delta Airlines for Gerhard Richter painting damage | Air India isn’t the only airline under scrutiny for its treatment of artworks. In the US, Delta Airlines is being sued by an insurance company on behalf of Christie’s auction house, who are seeking $2.6m for damage sustained by a Gerhard Richter painting. According to Artnet, the suit was filed in federal court in February after the artwork, Abstraktes Bild (1994), was flown from New York to Los Angeles, arriving ‘in a damaged condition and seriously impaired in value’.

French Academy in Rome lifts upper age limit for Villa Medici fellows | The prestigious residency programme at the French Academy in Rome’s Villa Medici has had the upper age limit for fellows lifted, Le Journal des Arts reports (French language article; £). From 1 September, applicants to the academy, which was founded by Louis XIV in 1666, will no longer have to be younger than 45 years of age.