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Jeremy Wright appointed UK culture secretary

Plus: Daniel Birnbaum leaves Moderna Museet to head VR production company | US Appeals Court rules mostly against artists’ right to resale royalties | and Cheim & Read’s Adam Sheffer to join Pace Gallery

10 July 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Jeremy Wright appointed as new UK culture secretary | Jeremy Wright, attorney general for England and Wales, has been promoted to the position of Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Wright takes over from Matt Hancock, who was appointed as health secretary in this week’s cabinet reshuffle prompted by the resignation of multiple ministers in opposition to the ‘soft Brexit’ deal proposed at Chequers on Friday. Wright is a former criminal lawyer who was elected to parliament in 2005; he currently represents the constituency of Kenilworth and Southam.

Daniel Birnbaum leaves Moderna Museet to head VR production company | Daniel Birnbaum, head of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, was today announced as the new director of Acute Art, a London-based company producing virtual reality artworks. Before joining the Moderna Museet in 2010, Birnbaum was director of the Städelschule in Frankfurt and served as artistic director of the Venice Biennale in 2009. Speaking to Artnet, Birnbaum discussed his decision, acknowledging that it might be a ‘surprising move’ but that ‘[f]or me, it’s a move back to where I once began, which is being close to artists.’

US Appeals Court rules mostly against artists’ right to resale royalties | The Ninth Circuit of the US Appeals Court on Friday issued a ruling that effectively nullified the right of artists to collect royalties on the resale of their work, bringing to an end a lengthy legal battle prompted by a suit filed on the behalf of multiple artists against Sotheby’s, Christie’s and eBay in 2011. The court found that the 1977 California Resale Royalties Act, granting artists a 5 per cent droit de suite, contradicted the federal Copyright Act of 1978. Work made in California in the year 1977 and now sold on the secondary market may still be subject to the 5 per cent royalty. 

Cheim & Read’s Adam Sheffer to join Pace Gallery | Adam Sheffer, partner and sales director of Cheim & Read in New York since 2003, is moving to Pace Gallery. Sheffer, who from 2015 until earlier this year served as president of the Art Dealers Association of America, will commence his new role as vice president of Pace, based in New York, next month. Speaking to the New York Times, he stated that his departure was unrelated to Cheim & Reid’s recently announced decision to close its Chelsea gallery and transition to a private dealership. 

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