Courtney J. Martin to direct Yale Center for British Art

Plus: Los Angeles approves $650m LACMA extension plan | Roberta Smith receives Rabkin Foundation’s first lifetime achievement award | and Germany’s Five Continents Museum restitutes indigenous remains to Australia

10 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Courtney J. Martin to direct Yale Center for British Art | The Yale Center for British Art today announced the appointment of Courtney J. Martin as its next director. Martin, who has a postdoctoral degree in British art of the 1970s, has worked at Dia Art Foundation since 2015, becoming its deputy director and chief curator in 2017. She was previously on the faculty of Brown University and worked in the media, arts and culture unit of the Ford Foundation in New York. Martin succeeds current director Amy Meyers, who retires after seventeen years at the end of June.

LA county approves $650m LACMA extension plan | The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)’s $650m extension plan yesterday with a unanimous vote. The board certified the the building’s final environmental impact report and approved county funding of $117.5m and an associated $300m bond for the project. The extension plan, designed by Peter Zumthor, has attracted controversy, with critics including Joseph Giovannini and Christopher Knight pointing out that the new 368,000-square-foot structure will provide less gallery space than the four buildings it will replace. 

Roberta Smith receives Rabkin Foundation’s first lifetime achievement award | Roberta Smith has been named the inaugural recipient of the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation’s lifetime achievement award. Smith, who is co-chief art critic at the New York Times, was prevented from accepting the $50,000 prize due to the paper’s editorial guidelines. The money will instead go to the Art for Justice Fund, an initiative dedicated to the lowering of US incarceration rates. The Portland-based Rabkin Foundation awards prizes and grants to art critics and writers.

Germany’s Five Continents Museum returns indigenous remains to Australia | The Five Continents Museum in Munich returned the remains of an indigenous king to Australia at a handover ceremony on Tuesday. An elder of the Yidinji people, who received the remains of the Yidinji king, and the Australian ambassador to Germany were both present. The remains, which are thought to have been taken by researchers during a burial ceremony in 1876, are one of 53 that are due to be repatriated from German museums to Australia’s indigenous communities this month.