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Courtauld secures £9.4 million from Heritage Lottery Fund

Plus: De Appel board of trustees resigns | Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art under fire for ‘anti-Christian’ painting | BADA and ABA form closer ties | and recommended reading

24 May 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Courtauld announces major transformation project | The Courtauld Institute of Art has secured a grant of £9.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will allow it to launch its biggest development programme in nearly three decades. The money represents the first tranche of funding for the institution’s £50 million ‘Courtauld Connects’ project, which will see its 18th-century home revitalised to allow for increased visitor numbers. In addition to renovations of existing rooms, the Courtauld will add a new temporary exhibition space, improved storage and visitor facilities and a new learning centre. Donations for the project so far total more than £18 million.

De Appel board of trustees resigns | The board of trustees of Amsterdam’s De Appel Arts Center has announced its resignation, citing tensions caused by its decision to dismiss Lorenzo Benedetti as director last September. The move proved highly contentious, and provoked members of the institution’s prestigious curatorial training programme to call for the board to resign. At the time of his dismissal, Benedetti had been at the helm of De Appel for just a year.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art under fire for ‘anti-Christian’ painting | Virginia’s Museum of Contemporary Art has been threatened with future funding cut for displaying a work by artist Mark Ryden that has been deemed ‘very anti-Christian and anti-Catholic’ by local arts commissioners. Despite the financial threat (which came from Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission) and requests to remove the painting, a museum spokeswoman has confirmed that it will stay in place for the duration of the temporary exhibition in which it is featured.

BADA and ABA form closer ties | The British Antique Dealers’ Association has announced that it is forming a task force to work in closer collaboration with the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. The new links are intended to allow members of both organisations to access each other’s fairs and cooperate on seminars and joint promotional activity. ‘Our collaboration with BADA can only enhance both associations,’ said ABA president Michael Graves-Johnston. ‘I believe we will mutually benefit from each other’s knowledge and acumen, to promote and maintain our very highest standards.’

Recommended reading | The New York Times has published a guide for the Venice Architecture Biennale, naming six shows not to miss. Meanwhile in the Guardian, Alex Needham talks to Tracey Emin about romancing a stone, her plans for a sabbatical and the intricacies of a meal she calls ‘linner’.

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