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Delaware Art Museum to receive $15 million gift

Plus: Maggie Appleton elected new president of Museums Association | Christo sculpture set for installation in Hyde Park | Prospect New Orleans names Nick Stillman executive director | and Dutch Museum removes bust copy of its founder

25 January 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Delaware Art Museum to receive $15 million gift | Philanthropists Gerret and Tatiana Copeland have pledged $15 million to the Delaware Art Museum, the largest cash donation to the museum in at least 30 years. The couple, who are from Wilmington, Delaware, donated the large sum to honour the family’s three-generation dedication to the museum and to demonstrate faith in a museum whose financial situation forced it to sell four artworks in 2014–15. The museum hopes to reach out further to the community after last year receiving its highest number of visitors in ten years.

Maggie Appleton elected new president of Museums Association | Chief executive officer of the RAF Museum Maggie Appleton is to replace David Fleming as president of the Museums Association (MA), for which she is already a board member, on 1 April. Appleton, who has over 25 years experience in the sector, was described by the MA’s director Sharon Heal as a ‘champion of museums and the difference that they can make working with their communities’.

Christo sculpture set for installation in Hyde Park | Westminster Council yesterday approved the scheme to install a floating ancient Egyptian Tomb structure, called a Mastaba, on top of Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake. Conceptual artist Christo will create the Mastaba, comprising 7,506 barrels on a platform of plastic cubes, for display during the summer months. The project will be funded entirely by the artist, who designed the Floating Piers on Lake Iseo in Italy and who is working on plans for another Mastaba in Abu-Dhabi. The sculpture is part of the artist’s exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, which opens in June.

Prospect New Orleans names Nick Stillman executive director | Nick Stillman, currently president and CEO of the Arts Council of New Orleans, was yesterday appointed as executive director of Prospect New Orleans, beginning 2 April. Stillman was formerly managing editor of BOMB magazine and organised the exhibitions of Kalup Linzy and Joe Bradley for the PS1 Institute of Contemporary Art in New York. It was also announced that Susan G. Brennan will step down as president of Prospect’s board of trustees.

Dutch Museum removes bust copy of its founder | The Mauritshuis this week removed a bust copy of its founder, Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, who built the Mauritshuis using the money he earned from sending slaves to work on sugarcane plantations. The bust’s removal sparked anger from figures including prime minister Mark Rutte and MP Antoinette Laan, who said ‘we are importing the American tendency to oversensitivity’. The museum’s director, Emilie Gordenker, explained that the bust, a marble copy, was no longer needed because the Mauritshuis had recently installed a gallery dedicated to its founder which includes an original bust.

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