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Lichtenstein Foundation announces major donation to US museums

Plus: Angola recovers artefacts looted during civil war | Australian supermarket blocks Spencer Tunick project | Monet exhibition cancelled in Bordeaux | and Hertfordshire County Council panel endorses plan to sell majority of art collection

7 June 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Lichtenstein Foundation makes major donations to Whitney and Smithsonian | The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has announced two major promised gifts from its holdings, to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. The Whitney is to receive more than 400 works by Lichtenstein spanning the artist’s career, which will form the backbone of the newly established Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection at the museum. The Smithsonian, meanwhile, will be the recipient of some half a million documents, including photographs and letters, which the institution is planning to digitise in collaboration with the Lichtenstein Foundation – a project expected to take five to seven years. The foundation intends eventually to donate all of its holdings to public museums and wind down its activities.

Angola recovers artefacts looted during civil war | Six artefacts looted during Angola’s 27-year civil war are being returned to the country’s government today, reports the Art Newspaper. The objects, which include a wooden pipe decorated with a human head and a mask worn during initiation rites, were all looted from the Dundo Museum in the northeast of Angola. They were subsequently trafficked abroad, all of them ending up in private art collections. Their recovery comes thanks to the Sindika Dokolo Foundation, which since 2015 has been working to identify and repatriate the more than 100 objects that went missing from the museum during the war.

Australian supermarket blocks Spencer Tunick project | The photographer Spencer Tunick is petitioning against the decision taken by the Australian supermarket chain to refuse Tunick permission to use one of its properties for a photoshoot. The shoot, which was planned to feature around 500 people posing naked, was scheduled to take place at a rooftop carpark in Melbourne in July as part of the Provocaré Festival of the Arts.

Monet exhibition cancelled in Bordeaux | A Monet exhibition scheduled to open at Bordeaux’s new Musée Mer Marine on 15 June has been cancelled after the show’s principal lender backed out. On Friday, Paris’s Musée Marmottan made the unilateral decision not to send 57 works by the Impressionist artist to Bordeaux, saying that the Mer Marine had not met its conditions for the loan. According to 20 minutes (French language article), the Musée Marmottan’s specific concern related to dust from ongoing building works at the Bordeaux institution.

Hertfordshire County Council panel endorses plan to sell majority of art collection | A panel of councillors met on Tuesday (5 June) to discuss Hertfordshire County Council’s controversial plans to dispose of 90 per cent of the items in its art collection. The council’s education, libraries and localism cabinet voted to endorse the decision, despite noting a public petition opposing the planned sale. For more background on the story, see Alistair Brown’s comment piece for Apollo here.