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American Alliance of Museums asks Congress for $4bn for nonprofit museums; NADA asks for relief for New York galleries

20 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

American Alliance of Museums requests $4bn for nonprofit museums; NADA asks for relief for New York galleries | The American Alliance of Museums has addressed several leaders of the US Congress and Senate in a letter, dated 18 March, asking Congress to allocate a fund of at least $4bn to the country’s nonprofit museums and use a ‘universal charitable deduction’ to encourage donors to continue giving temporarily. The letter claims that widespread closures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic means US museums are losing a collective $33m each day, adding that ‘as many as 30% of museums, mostly in small and rural communities, will not reopen without significant and immediate emergency financial assistance’. The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) has published an open letter and petition calling on Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City and other key figures to offer a financial relief programme for the city’s commercial and artist-run galleries, as well as leniency on running costs such as rent and utility bills and emergency Medicare for all. 

TEFAF New York Spring postponed and to replace Fall edition | TEFAF New York Spring, dedicated to Modern and contemporary art, has been postponed until the autumn, when it will run in the place of its sister fair, TEFAF New York Fall, from 31 October to 4 November. The Fall edition, which is reserved for older dating from antiquity up until the post-war period, has been cancelled and will return in 2021. Further adjustments to the calendar for May in New York see Christie’s and Phillips replacing their annual May sales of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art with a week of 20th-century sales during the week commencing 22 June, absorbing the London auctions conventionally held at that time. 

Kahlil Joseph named 6th winner of Eye Art & Film Prize | American filmmaker and video artist Khalil Joseph has been announced today as the 6th winner of the Eye Art & Film Prize. Joseph is best known for his work with musicians, including FKA Twigs, Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé. Awarded since 2015 by the Eye Filmmuseum in collaboration with the Paddy & Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund, the prize of £25,000 recognises practices that explore the interface between visual art and film.

Derek Fordjour asks court to dismiss lawsuit from former dealer | Lawyers representing Derek Fordjour filed a motion on Wednesday requesting that the New York State Supreme Court dismiss a lawsuit brought against the artist by his former gallery representative Robert Blumenthal. The dealer alleges that Fordjour is in breach of their contract for delivering only 13 out of 20 paintings for which he received $20,000 in 2014. Fordjour’s works on paper now sell for around $250,000, and the filed papers claim that ‘Fordjour was entitled to terminate the consignment relationship at any time’.

Recommended reading | The New York Times recognises the achievements of African-American artists in the 21st century with a new series of conversations with the artists and creators themselves on the work that has most inspired them over the past two decades. In the same paper, art critic Holland Cotter sets out a five-point plan for the Met and MFA, Boston, both turning 150 this year, to respond to the new social and political expectations of their audiences. 

Lead image: used under Public Domain license