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Berkshire Museum ends partnership with Smithsonian over deaccession plans

Plus: Louvre Abu Dhabi announces opening date | 2017 Carbuncle Cup ‘awarded’ to PLP’s Nova building in London | and Arno Rink (1940–2017)

6 September 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Berkshire Museum ends affiliation with Smithsonian over controversial deaccessioning | The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has ended its relationship with the Smithsonian Museum over plans to sell off parts of its collection to fund expansion and renovation plans. According to the Berkshire Eagle, the two institutions had been affiliated since 2013 in an arrangement that allowed for reciprocal exchanges of resources and admission benefits. However, the Berkshire’s plans to sell off works valued at approximately $50m would violate a code of ethics to which the Smithsonian adheres. Van Shields, executive director of the Berkshire, says that the decision to withdraw from the partnership was taken entirely voluntarily.

Louvre Abu Dhabi announces opening date | After many delays, the Louvre’s satellite institution in Abu Dhabi has finally announced an official opening date. It was confirmed at a press conference this morning that the museum, designed by Jean Nouvel, will open its doors on 11 November, and that work on the hang of its collection began in earnest this week. French President Macron is expected to make an official visit to the Emirate, and a number of high profile international museum directors are reportedly also planning to attend the opening festivities.

2017 Carbuncle Cup ‘awarded’ to PLP’s Nova building in London | Building Design has named PLP Architecture’s Nova building in Victoria, London, as the worst new building in Britain. This year’s shortlist for the magazine’s annual Carbuncle Cup also included nominations for a block of student housing in Portsmouth, a new entrance to Preston railway station and an insensitive development next to Battersea Power Station in south London. The judges described the Nova as ‘one of the worst office developments central London has ever seen’, a sentiment apparently widely shared among architecture critics. In the Guardian, Oliver Wainwright calls it a ‘worthy winner’ that has ‘the look of a particularly obnoxious 90-metre argyle sweater.’

Arno Rink (1940–2017) | The German artist Arno Rink has died aged 76, reports Deutsche Welle. Born in 1940, Rink grew up in Leipzig, then part of East Germany, and studied at the city’s Academy of Visual Arts before becoming celebrated for his expressive, semi-representative paintings. He taught at the Academy for many years, mentoring students including Neo Rauch, and became an inspiration to the generation of local artists collectively referred to as the ‘New Leipzig School’. At the time of his passing, Rink was still painting and assisting the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts with a retrospective of his work, planned for next Spring.

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