Some of the stories and discussions we’ve spotted online this week
Penelope Curtis leaves Tate Britain for Lisbon
Penelope Curtis has been appointed director of the Gulbenkian in Lisbon. Since joining Tate from the Henry Moore Institute in 2010, Curtis has overseen a £45 million gallery refurbishment project and chronological rehang of the collection, but has come under fire from critics for her curatorial choices. She can only hope the Portuguese press will be more forgiving…
Arturo Galansino takes over at the Palazzo Strozzi
The Royal Academy has also lost someone to the continent: Arturo Galansino, currently its Curator of Exhibitions, has taken up his post as director general of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Galansino studied in Italy: ‘we have brought back to Italy a young man who has built up fantastic experience abroad and who can now help to develop culture in our own country’, boasted Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, chair of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, when the announcement was made.
Gurlitt’s infamous bequest to the Kunstmuseum Bern is upheld in court
The Kunstmuseum Bern is to inherit Cornelius Gurlitt’s notorious art collection after all, after a Munich court rejected an inheritance claim by one of his cousins. Gurlitt, who died last May in the midst of the media furore over his collection (parts of which are suspected of being Nazi loot) left the entire group to the Swiss museum unexpectedly. In our April issue, the museum’s director Matthias Frehner and David Lewis of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, discuss museum’s decision to accept the problematic bequest.
Lacma and Hyundai team up
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has struck a multimillion-dollar, decade-long sponsorship deal with Hyundai to fund its Art + Technology programme and promote Korean art and scholarship. It’s also funded two major acquisitions as the museum celebrates its 50th birthday. The Korean car manufacturer clearly has an eye on culture at the moment: it has similarly ambitious sponsorship arrangements with Tate Modern and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul.
One last attempt to keep Egyptian Sekhemka statue in the UK
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export bar on a rare ancient Egyptian statue that was sold for almost £16 million by Northampton Borough Council last July. The highly controversial sale lost Northampton’s museums their Arts Council Accreditation and derailed a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding. Now the race is on to raise the necessary money to purchase the statue for the UK. The four-month ban will be extended until March 2016 only if ‘a serious intention to raise funds…is made’.
Original Macintosh computer icon designs acquired by MoMA
The Museum of Modern Art has added to its pioneering collection of early computer and video game designs: the New York museum has paired up with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) to acquire Susan Kare’s sketches for the very first Macintosh computer icons from the early 1980s.
British abstract artist Albert Irvin dies
Albert Irvin, whose colourful paintings helped to popularise and reinvigorate abstract painting in Britain during the 1980s and ’90s, has died at the age of 92. Mike Tooby commemorates the artist, whose ‘celebratory approach epitomised the idea of painting as the expression of the life force within the space of the image’, in the Guardian.
Page\Park will restore the Glasgow School of Art
Scottish architecture firm Page\Park has been entrusted with the restoration of Glasgow School of Art’s iconic Mackintosh building, which was seriously damaged by fire last May. The local firm has worked on other Charles Rennie Mackintosh designs in the past and is well acquainted with the listed building itself. Work is expected to begin in early 2016.
Museum of London moves to Smithfield meat market
The Museum of London has announced that it will move from the London Wall to Smithfield Market by 2021. The announcement comes after proposals to develop the grand Victorian structure into retail and office spaces were thrown out last year. Apollo’s editor Thomas Marks explains why he thinks the museum and the market are a much better match.
In other news…our favourite April Fools
This Wednesday we couldn’t help but wonder; will Jeremy Clarkson – the new director of the Venice Biennale – pay a visit to ISIS’s floating pavilion of destruction this year? And will he invite them back? Meanwhile we watch with interest to see how Zara, Sid and Antoine of the Society for Atheistic Spirituality get on with their plans to build Etienne-Louis Boullée’s design for a Cenotaph for Newton. ‘I have an idea about how this might work, but I’m not a fully qualified architect’, says Sid. Where there’s a will there’s a way, right?
Don’t blame the culture wars for Tate Britain’s disappointing rehang