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Kunstmuseum Bern to sell Manet painting from Gurlitt Hoard for $4m

Plus: Marciano Art Foundation says it has ‘no present plans to reopen’ | Japanese embassy removes support for Vienna exhibition | former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf heads to Moscow’s Garage Museum | and Victor Obsatz (1925–2019)

7 November 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Kunstmuseum Bern sells Manet painting from Gurlitt Hoard for $4m | The Kunstmuseum Bern is selling a painting by Édouard Manet, which was once in the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, to the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. Ships at Sea in Stormy Weather (1873) will be sold for $4m, and will allow the museum to recover some of the costs it has incurred by managing the Gurlitt collection, for which it has taken responsibility since the collector’s death in 2014. Gurlitt’s hoard, which was inherited from his father Hildebrand, contained pieces looted by the Nazis; many of the works have been returned to the heirs of the original owners. Ships at Sea in Stormy Weather is not suspected to have any association with the Nazis.

Marciano Art Foundation has ‘no present plans to reopen’ | The Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles has now said that it is likely to not reopen at all, after announcing the indefinite closure of the institution yesterday. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, a spokesperson claimed that the museum has ‘no present plans to reopen’. Last Friday, visitor services employees launched a campaign to unionise, which was followed by yesterday’s announcement that staff were being laid off and that the museum would remain closed due to low attendance.

Japanese embassy in Vienna withdraws support for exhibition | The Japanese Embassy in Austria has withdrawn its support for an exhibition in Vienna commemorating 150 years of diplomatic interrelations. Japan Unlimited opened at Q21 in September, and features artworks about the Fukushima nuclear accident and Japan’s military past. Some of the artists involved had participated in a controversial exhibition at the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, which was shut down in August.

Former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf heads to Moscow’s Garage Museum | Beatrix Ruf, the former director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, will take up a position at the Garage Museum in Moscow next year. Ruf, who resigned from the Stedelijk in 2017, will assist director Anton Belov with future exhibition planning, education and outreach, and partnership projects.

Victor Obsatz (1925–2019) | Victor Obsatz, the American photographer best known for his distinctive portrait of Marcel Duchamp, has died. The photograph, taken in 1953, is notable for its double exposure, with the Dadaist seen front-on and in profile. The photograph was used as both recto and verso for the dust cover of a 1959 catalogue raisonné of Duchamp’s work.

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