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Freelands Foundation finds improvement in art-world gender parity

Plus: National Trust buys Brackenthwaite Hows | Museumgoer discovers misidentified Rodin portrait | and recommended reading

5 June 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Freelands Foundation finds improvement in art-world gender parity | A study of representation of female artists by the Freelands Foundation found ‘incremental improvements’ in the UK arts sector, despite an overall ‘slow pace’ of change. The study found that some 88 per cent of sales at Sotheby’s contemporary auctions were for works by male artists, and that 68 per cent of artists represented by major London commercial galleries were men. In the last decade, however, representation at the Venice Biennale has reached gender parity, and 66 per cent of Turner Prize winners have been women.

National Trust buys Brackenthwaite Hows | The National Trust has purchased Brackenthwaite Hows, a hill in the Lake District, for £202,000. The view from Brackenthwaite was immortalised in JMW Turner’s 1797 watercolour Crummock Water, Looking Towards Buttermere; a spokeswoman for the National Trust said that the purchase marks the first time in recent memory that the charity has acquired a site specifically for its vista.

Museumgoer discovers misidentified Rodin portrait | On a visit to the Lázaro Galdiano museum in Madrid, graphic designer Luis Pastor saw a portrait he recognised as Auguste Rodin – an artist he was ‘obsessed with’ as a fine arts student – identified in its caption as an image of King Leopold II of Belgium. On Friday afternoon, Pastor tweeted his theory to the museum, and on Tuesday, the institution responded with a ‘definitive verdict’ that he was correct: the portrait’s subject was Rodin, not the Belgian king. ‘I feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes,’ Pastor told The Guardian. 

Recommended reading | In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones reviews the Trump baby blimp. He concludes that ‘sadly, it is not great satirical art’ and awards the ‘mildly funny balloon’ three out of five stars.

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