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Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage saved for the nation

Plus: Summer arts festivals in Edinburgh cancelled | Picasso drawing restituted by National Gallery of Art | and Madrid to spend €500,000 on acquiring art

1 April 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage saved for the nation | The former fisherman’s cottage on the Kent coast at Dungeness, where the artist and film-maker Derek Jarman lived from 1986 until his death in 1994, has been saved for the nation, after a crowdfunding campaign organised by the Art Fund successfully raised £3.5m. After Jarman’s death, the house and its much-loved garden on the shingle beach passed into the possession of Jarman’s partner Keith Collins, who died in 2018; the money raised by the Art Fund will secure both its purchase and the establishment of a long-term endowment for its upkeep. The campaign, supported by cultural figures and friends of Jarman including Tilda Swinton and the costume designer Sandy Powell, was supported by more than 8,100 donations; it is the largest ever arts crowdfunding campaign. For more on Jarman, read Richard Martin’s feature for Apollo here.

Summer arts festivals in Edinburgh cancelled | The five annual festivals held in Edinburgh in August have effectively been cancelled, with preparations halted due to coronavirus. They include Edinburgh Art Festival and the Fringe, the world’s largest performing arts festival; together, the events were expected to draw around 4.4m people to the Scottish capital.

Picasso drawing restituted by National Gallery of Art | A work of 1903 by Pablo Picasso has been returned by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to the heirs of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, a German-Jewish banker who sold at least 16 artworks from his collection during the early years of the Nazi regime. The Blue Period pastel-on-paper, Head of a Woman, was acquired by the NGA as a donation in 2001; the museum has said that the decision to transfer ownership was taken ‘to avoid the heavy toll of litigation’, and that it did not constitute an acknowledgement of the validity of the claims that the work was sold under duress.

Madrid to spend €500,000 on acquiring art | The Comunidad de Madrid has announced that it will spend €500,000 on the acquisition of works of art. The move is a bid to alleviate the toll of the coronavirus outbreak upon artists and galleries in the city.