Holburne Museum names Chris Stephens as its new director

Plus: Eran Neuman announces departure from Israel Museum | David Zwirner to open Upper East Side space | and recommended reading

7 April 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Holburne Museum names Chris Stephens as director | Bath’s Holburne Museum has announced that Dr Chris Stephens is to be its next director. Stephens is currently head of displays and lead curator of modern British Art, at Tate Britain, where he has worked since 2001. In his time at the museum, he has curated several major exhibitions, including two Barbara Hepworth retrospectives and 2010’s Henry Moore survey. Stephens takes over from Jennifer Scott, who is now the director of Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Wellington portrait saved for the nation | Thomas Lawrence’s unfinished portrait of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery for £1.3m. The purchase was made possible following a fundraising drive supported by bodies including the Art Fund, the National Memorial Fund and the G&K Boyes Charitable Trust. The work plugs a gap in the Portrait Gallery’s collection, which hitherto lacked any significant likeness of the duke.

Eran Neuman announces departure from Israel Museum | Eran Neuman, who was appointed director of Jerusalem’s Israel Museum, has announced that he is to step down from the post after just a few months in the role. Neuman, who replaced long-serving director James Snyder after a protracted search, is to return to his previous position as head of the David Azrieli School of Architecture in Tel Aviv. The museum cites the reasons for Neuman’s decision as ‘differing perceptions regarding his role and terms of employment’, but declined further comment.

David Zwirner to open Upper East Side space | David Zwirner is to open a new space on Mahattan’s Upper East Side, complementing its two existing spaces elsewhere in the city and the gallery in London, as well as another planned gallery in Hong Kong. Located at 34 East 69th Street, the gallery will apparently be used for private viewings, special projects, and historical exhibitions. Zwirner will share the premises with art advisory firm Adler Beatty.

Recommended reading | Damien Hirst is back. After a long absence, his ambitious new show ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ has opened in Venice, filling both of collector François Pinault’s exhibition spaces. The reviews, however, have been mixed. In the Guardian, Jonathan Jones awards it five stars, praising Hirst’s ‘mind-boggling imagination’. In the Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnston takes a dimmer view: ‘This show is, quite frankly, absurd. It should be dumped at the bottom of the sea’, she writes. Meanwhile in New York magazine, Jerry Saltz remembers James Rosenquist, the ‘first-generation, first-rank Pop Artist’, who died last weekend.