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FBI conduct raid in connection with Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft

Plus: Has the wreck of the HMS Endeavour been discovered? | Baltimore Museum of Art announces new director | Marisol Escobar (1930–2016) | and recommended reading

3 May 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

FBI raids criminal’s house in connection to Gardner Museum heist | FBI agents and local police are reportedly searching a house in Manchester, Connecticut, acting on information they believe may lead to the recovery of some of the 13 works of art stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. According to the Daily Telegraph, Robert Gentile, the property’s occupant, told at least three people he knew the whereabouts of the stolen works while serving a prison sentence in 2013. Gentile, who is currently facing a federal gun charge, has denied any involvement with the Gardner theft.

Has the wreck of the HMS Endeavour been discovered? | Researchers of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) believe they may have located the wreckage of the Endeavour, the 18th-century research ship most famous for its associations with Captain James Cook. The Endeavour was scuttled by its crew during the American Revolutionary War in a blockade of Narragansett Bay. RIMAP will launch a fundraising campaign to fund further research and salvage efforts.

Baltimore Museum of Art announces new director | The Baltimore Museum of Art has confirmed that Christopher Bedford is to take over as its new director in August. Bedford is currently director of the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, and is also overseeing the USA’s pavilion for next year’s Venice Biennale. He will succeed Doreen Bolger, who led the Baltimore institution from 1998 before stepping down last June.

Marisol Escobar (1930–2016) | Venezuelan-American artist Marisol Escobar has died in New York aged 85. Known for her bold blend of pop and folk art, Escobar began showing her work in Manhattan in the late 1950s alongside the likes of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, having been discovered by gallerist Leo Castelli. Her comparative obscurity today is mostly the result of her reluctance to follow a conventional path to success. Marina Pacini of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art has described her as ‘an incredibly significant sculptor who has been inappropriately written out of history.’

Recommended reading | The FT’s Jan Dalley has spoken to Frieze co-founders Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover about entertainment agency WME-IMG’s recent investment in the fair, digital art, and rumours of expansion to the West Coast (£). ‘Never say never’, Sharp says of suggestions that they may launch another incarnation of the fair. Meanwhile the New York Times has run an interview with Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s rising star, while Le Figaro has a fascinating piece on the friendship between influential Paris art dealer Paul Guillaume (1891–1934) and the poet and painter Apollinaire. (French language article.) Who knew that the man who went on to dominate the French art world once worked in a service station on the Avenue de la Grande Armée?

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