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The Met gets 220 works by Philip Guston and a $10m donation

16 December 2022

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has received a donation of 220 works by Philip Guston from the personal collection of Musa Mayer, the artist’s daughter. The acquisition, which comprises 96 paintings and 124 drawings spanning 1930–80, makes the Met the world’s largest repository of works by Guston; Mayer and her husband Thomas have also donated $10m to establish the Philip Guston Endowment Fund, supporting scholarship on the artist’s work. As a condition of the gift, the Met will keep around a dozen Guston works on view in its modern and contemporary wing. For more about Philip Guston’s legacy, read Craig Burnett’s feature for Apollo here.

Adriano Pedrosa, artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, has been appointed as curator of the 2024 Venice Biennale. Brazilian-born Pedrosa is both the first person from South America to curate the International Art Exhibition in Venice, and the first from the Global South.

The Charity Commission has approved the return of 116 Benin Bronzes, looted in the British punitive expedition of 1897, from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) at the University of Cambridge to Nigeria. This is the largest instance of restitution of Benin objects from an institution in the UK; earlier this year, the Horniman Museum in London returned six works to Nigeria. The MAA announced its decision to return the objects in August, at the same time as the Pitt Rivers in Oxford pledged to return 97 objects from its own collections; the Charity Commission’s decision regarding the latter has yet to be announced.

Funding for Creative Scotland has decreased by 10 per cent in the new Scottish budget for 2023/24, released by the government on 15 December. Around £7m has been cut from the budget of the national arts agency, a governmental body with oversight of arts and creative industries in Scotland, from £63m in 2022/23. In a statement, Creative Scotland described the move as ‘extremely disappointing’.

Nottingham Contemporary has announced that its next director will be Salma Tuqan, currently deputy director of the Delfina Foundation in London. Tuqan takes up the post in March 2023; she replaces Sam Thorne, who stood down in October after six years at the institution. In San Antonio, the McNay Art Museum has named Matthew McLendon as director; he moves to Texas from Virginia, having led the Fralin Museum of Art in Charlottesville since 2016.

Workers at MASS MoCA in North Adams have voted to ratify a new contract. The move follows 14 months of negotiations that have seen workers voting to join the Local 2110 UAW union, which also represents staff at MoMA, the Whitney and the Guggenheim, with strike action taking place this summer.