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Derby Museum acquires Joseph Wright paintings despite financial cuts

Plus: Sotheby’s plans modern and contemporary African art sales | Volksbühne Theatre staff protest Chris Dercon’s appointment as director | MoMA PS1 extends free admission period | and Zaha Hadid honoured on Iraqi postage stamp

21 June 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Derby Museum acquires Joseph Wright masterpieces | Derby Museum and Art Gallery has acquired two key works by 18th-century painter Joseph Wright of Derby at auction at Christie’s New York, reveals Jonathan Jones in the Guardian. The works in question, which Jones describes as ‘lyrical views of the Derwent Valley’, were bought anonymously for a combined price of £233,107. As Jones points out, the Derby Museum is one of many regional institutions threatened by sweeping local council cuts. According to the Art Fund, Derby City Council, which must make cuts of £45 million, is contemplating removing almost all its subsidy to the Derby Museums Trust, and the question of whether the Wright collection should be sold to plug holes in the budget has been debated at length in the local Derby Telegraph.

Sotheby’s plans modern and contemporary African art sales | On Monday, Sotheby’s announced that its London operation is to launch sales dedicated to modern and contemporary African art next year. According to The Art Newspaper, the auction house has appointed Hannah O’Leary, formerly of Bonhams, to head the initiative. Previously, Bonhams was the only major auction house in the west to stage sales dedicated to artists from the continent.

Volksbühne Theatre staff protest Chris Dercon’s appointment as director | 172 figures associated with Berlin’s Volksbühne Theatre have penned an open letter voicing ‘deep concern’ at the institution’s imminent change of directors, reports Artnet News. The letter, addressed to the city senate and to culture minister Monika Grütters, expresses scepticism over the appointment of former Tate Modern director Chris Dercon, who will replace Frank Castorf.

MoMA PS1 extends free admission period | MoMA PS1 has announced that it is to extend its popular policy of free admission to New Yorkers through to October 2017 as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations. The policy took effect in October 2015, and is underwritten by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

Zaha Hadid honoured on Iraqi postage stamp | The Iraqi postal service has honoured the late architect Zaha Hadid by featuring her likeness on a new postage stamp, reports DezeenThe image, created from two separate portraits, will appear on the 750 dinar (44 pence) stamp.

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