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J. M. W. Turner is the new face of the £20 note

22 April 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Turner to be the face of the UK £20 banknote | Joseph Mallord William Turner has been announced as the next figure to feature on the Bank of England’s £20 bank note. The Bank’s intention to honour a visual artist – to replace the 18th-century economist Adam Smith – was announced last year when they put out a public call for nominations (our money was on Hogarth). The final decision was announced by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney at Turner Contemporary this afternoon, along with details of the note’s design. One of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings, The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken up (1839), will be depicted along with a self-portrait from Tate Britain, Turner’s signature, and a quote – ‘Light is therefore colour’ – that sums up one of the most celebrated aspects of his work. It will be a while until Turner’s art makes its way into our wallets, however: the new bank note enters circulation in 2020.

Fear of job losses as the Met tightens its belt | The Metropolitan Museum in New York has acknowledged that there may be staff reductions in response to its $10 million budget deficit, reports The New York Times. The institution has cited several factors behind the loss – including reduced income from retail, the cost of debt-servicing, and the declining value of its ‘suggested donation’. However, it insists that the opening of the Met Breuer has not contributed to the deficit. A two-year financial restructuring will delay the construction of its proposed new contemporary wing and necessitate some job cuts. Met president Daniel H. Weiss has sought to reassure employees by stating that ‘it’s not hundreds, it’s dozens’, who may be asked to take voluntary redundancy.

Temporary UK export bar for 16th-century portraits | UK culture minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export bar on a group of 16th-century family portraits by Cornelis Ketel, which will leave the country unless a buyer can be found to match the £350,000 asking price. The works, which depict the family of the merchant Thomas Smythe, are believed to be among the earliest non-royal portraits in the UK. The export licence will be deferred until 21 July, with a possible extension to October if a serious intention to buy is registered.

New V&A entrance to be named in honour of Leonard Blavatnik | London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will name its new entrance on Exhibition Road after Leonard Blavatnik, a London-based billionaire, who is thought to be Britain’s richest man. Blavatnik, a major donor to institutions including the Royal Academy, the National Portrait Gallery, and MoMA, has donated an as-yet-undisclosed sum to the museum, thought to be in the region of £5 million.

Marion Ackermann replaces Hartwig Fischer at Dresden State Collections | Marion Ackermann, currently in charge of North Rhine-Westphalia art collections, has been named as the new director of Dresden’s prestigious State Collections. She will take up her role on 1 November. Ackermann will succeed Hartwig Fischer, who is now the director of the British Museum.

David Geffen donates $100 million to MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art has received a donation of $100 million from the music and film producer David Geffen. The gift, one of the largest in museum history, will see three new floors of galleries, which are currently under construction, named in honour of Mr Geffen, who is a prominent art collector himself.

Grafton Architects to design new LSE building in London | Grafton Architects has won the RIBA-run competition to design a new building for the London School of Economics in Holborn. The Irish firm’s proposal saw off a strong shortlist, which included David Chipperfield Architects and Herzog & de Meuron.