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Luke Syson appointed director of Fitzwilliam Museum

Plus: Alice Mann wins Taylor Wessing prize 2018 | Franck Riester appointed as French culture minister | and Mel Ramos (1935–2018)

17 October 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Luke Syson appointed director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge |
Luke Syson, the former head of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has been named director and Marlay curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Founded in 1816, the museum houses more than half a million objects from antiquity to the present day and, according to Syson, its ‘extraordinary collection’ drew him to the role. The Fitzwilliam has stated that Syson will be creating new strategic collaborations, as well as spearheading an ambitious development project over the next five to 15 years. Syson replaces Tim Knox, who joined the Royal Collection as director in February.

Alice Mann wins Taylor Wessing prize 2018 | The South-African born, London-based photographer Alice Mann, 27, has been announced the winner of the Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize, presented to her on Tuesday evening at the National Portrait Gallery. Mann’s series Drummies, four portraits of young female drum majorettes in the Western Cape province of South Africa, won her the £15,000 prize. ‘It was my intent,’ she said,‘to create images that reflect the pride and confidence the girls achieve through identifying as drummies.’

President Macron chooses Franck Riester for new culture minister | Following President Macron’s recent cabinet reshuffle, The Art Newspaper reports that centre-right politician Franck Riester will replace Françoise Nyssen as France’s culture minister. The appointment is the fifth in six years, with Nyssen tweeting: ‘I pass you [Riester] the torch, reassured to know this ministry is in good hands.’

Mel Ramos (1935–2018) | Pop artist Mel Ramos has died at the age of 83. Born in 1935 in Sacramento, California (where he remained his whole life), Ramos gained notoriety for his provocative nude portraits of women. Alongside artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Ramos was at the forefront of the Pop art movement in the 1960s. Towards the end of his life he took up academic positions, eventually becoming emeritus professor at California State University.

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