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Director of Erie Art Museum departs following allegations of misconduct

Plus: Architectural plans for new £337m Museum of London revealed | and Amanda Heng wins Benesse Prize at Singapore Biennale

14 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Director of Erie Art Museum departs following allegations of misconduct | Joshua Helmer, the director of the Erie Art Museum in Pennsylvania, has been forced out of the role after allegations of sexual harassment were published in the New York Times three days ago. According to the Times article, multiple female employees at both the Erie Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Helmer previously worked, had accused Helmer, 31, of making advances towards them in the workplace. An online petition calling for Helmer’s removal, launched after the publication of the article, received more than 2,600 signatures. In a statement published yesterday (13 Jan) on Facebook, the Erie Art Museum announced that ‘Joshua Helmer is no longer employed at the Erie Art Museum. The Museum appreciates, in advance, the community’s support as we move forward.’

Museum of London submits architectural plans for new £337m home | The Museum of London has submitted plans to the City of London Corporation for its proposed move to the historic Smithfield Market. The new site, which developers have claimed could become one of London’s top-10 tourist attractions, is expected to cost £337 million. The designs seek to preserve the Victorian facade of the market building while restoring those parts that ‘have fallen into disrepair’. After an investment of £197 million from the City of London Corporation and a £70m pledge from the Mayor of London, the museum still needs to raise a further £42m.

Amanda Heng wins Benesse Prize at Singapore Biennale | The 2019 Singapore Biennale has awarded the Benesse Prize to participating artist Amanda Heng. For the Biennale, Heng reprised her work Every Step Counts, which was first performed in 1999 to highlight the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Heng is the first Singaporean artist to win the $37,000 prize, which was established in 2016 to recognise works from the exhibition which embody an ‘experimental and critical spirit’.