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African American history museum wins top Design Museum prize

Plus: João Ribas appointed director of Portugal’s Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art | Trump offered functioning gold toilet instead of Van Gogh painting | Museum devoted to disputed islands opens in Tokyo | and recommended reading

26 January 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

David Adjaye’s African American history museum is Beazley Design of the Year| The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture was yesterday crowned overall winner of the Design Museum’s annual Beazley Designs competition. Completed in August 2016, the museum was designed by the British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, and stands on the Mall in Washington D.C. The structure incorporates gold plates studded with references to the history of African American craftsmanship and an underground theatre.

João Ribas appointed director of Portugal’s Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art | João Ribas will replace Suzanne Cotter as the director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, it was announced during a press conference yesterday. Ribas has acted as deputy director and chief curator of the museum since 2014, before which he was curator of the MIT List Visual Arts Center and at New York’s Drawing Center. He has exhibited the work of artists such as Chris Marker, Amalia Pica,The Otolith Group, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Trump offered functioning gold toilet instead of Van Gogh painting | Chief curator of the Guggenheim Museum, Nancy Spector, proposed a long-term loan of America (2016), Maurizio Cattelain’s 18-carat-gold toilet, to Donald and Melania Trump, the Washington Post reports. The suggestion was communicated in September as a counter-offer to a request to borrow Van Gogh’s Landscape with Snow (1888).

Museum devoted to disputed islands opens in Tokyo | The National Museum of Territory and Sovereignty, run by the Japanese government, opened in Tokyo on Thursday. The small museum contains documents and photographs which defend Japan’s claims over two uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Recommended reading | Aaron Peck writes about the relationship between words and images in the fantastical illustrations of French artist Gus Bofa in the New York Review of Books. In Forbes, Sarah Bond ponders over depictions of the hunchback in classical art and what they tell us about how ancient Greeks and Romans understood disability. Daniel Penny looks at the first Rare Digital Art Festival in the Paris Review and Sebastian Smee pays tribute to Jack Whitten in the Washington Post.

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