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Jacob Jordaens painting discovered at Swansea Museum

Plus : Antiques dealers arrested as ivory seized in New York | Jock Sturges’ Moscow exhibition closes after ‘child pornography’ protests | Civil Rights Museum turns down visit from Trump visit | and recommended reading

26 September 2016

Our daily round up of news from the art world

Jacob Jordaens painting discovered in basement of Swansea Museum | A preparatory oil study for Jacob Jordaens’s Meleager and Atalanta has been discovered in storage at the Swansea Museum, reports the BBC. The previously unknown work, which is thought to have been painted between 1619 and 1621, was identified by art historian Bendor Grosvenor, who was alerted to its significance by a series of merchant’s marks on the reverse of the canvas. The news comes at a difficult time for the Swansea Museum, where campaigners are fighting a council decision to cut the institution’s funding by £140,000. The president of the Royal Institution of South Wales told the South Wales Evening Post that the museum’s budget has been halved over three years, which will lead to ‘a disastrous decline in the museum’s ability to perform its many functions’.

Antiques dealers arrested as ivory seized in New York | Three dealers from the Metropolitan Fine Arts and Antiques store were arrested in New York last week for selling ivory works of art without a licence, reports The Art Newspaper. Officials raided the premises and discovered 126 objects worth a reported $4.5 million, having previously conducted a sting operation in which they purchased a statuette carved from ivory. A lawyer for one of the defendants says his client denies all charges.

Jock Sturges’ Moscow exhibition closes after protests | An exhibition at Moscow’s Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography by photographer Jock Sturges has been forced to close after complaints that some of the images on show amounted to ‘child pornography’. The Moscow Times reports that the show, called ‘Absence of Shame’, featured photographs of families living in nudist colonies in North America. Protestors blocked the entrance to the show on Sunday, and a man posing as a journalist attempted to deface the works. Sturges denies accusations that his work resembles pornography and curator Natalia Litvinskaya has said that the decision to close the show was due to ‘threats from absolutely delusional people’.

Civil Rights Center and Museum denies Donald Trump visit request | The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, has declined an official visit request from US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign team, according to political blog The Hill. Museum staff say they were forced to turn down the request due to the Trump campaign’s ‘inappropriate’ demands and conduct. Trump’s staff had reportedly requested that the museum be closed for at least five hours for the visit.

Recommended reading | In the New YorkerPeter Schjeldahl describes the Metropolitan Museum’s ‘Jerusalem, 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven’ as a ‘captivating’ show that has much to tell us about the present day. In the GuardianJonathan Jones is rather less enamoured of I Had Nowhere to Go, Douglas Gordon’s new film portrait of Jonas Mekas. It is, apparently, a ‘pompous, empty feature film’ that is ‘more like a high-class piece of perverse nostalgia porn’ than a documentary. Elsewhere, the Royal Academy’s survey of Abstract Expressionism has divided critics: while the Sunday Times’s Waldemar Januszczak describes it as ‘close to perfect’, the London Evening Standard’s Matthew Collings thinks it is a ‘mess’ that fails to answer even the most basic questions about the movement.

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