Major funding boost for the new Museum of London

Plus: Union Black to fly above Tate Britain | Auctioneer sues for commission on Gauguin painting | TEFAF releases report and new initiative focused on digital art market | and recommended reading

3 July 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Museum of London receives £10 million from historic guild | The new Museum of London, which is set to open in 2022 on the disused site of Smithfield Market, is now £10 million closer to the £250 million needed to complete the project. £180 million has already been raised. The latest sum was donated by the Goldsmiths’ Company, a livery company founded in London in 1327, now a founding partner of the new museum. Precious metalworks from the company’s collection will be loaned to the museum and shown in a gallery bearing its name.

Union Black to fly above Tate Britain | Chris Ofili’s black, green and red Union Black, which the artist has gifted to Tate Britain, will be flown on the gallery’s roof later this year, the Guardian reports. The flag, whose design re-imagines the Union Jack in the colours of Marcus Garvey’s pan-African flag, was first flown over Tate Britain on the occasion of Ofili’s 2010 retrospective at the gallery, after its original presentation at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Announcing the gift this weekend, Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson described the flag as having ‘something to say about British identity and about our colonial past, as well as about our artistic place in the world.’

Auctioneer sues for commission on Gauguin painting | The details of the 2015 sale of Paul Gauguin’s Nafea faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry) (1892), then thought to be the most expensive painting ever sold, have been made public thanks to a lawsuit brought to the UK High Court by art dealer Simon de Pury, who claims he was promised a $10 million commission on the sale. The Telegraph reports that the work was sold by Swiss art expert Ruedi Staechelin for $210 million as opposed to the $300 million reported at the time.

TEFAF releases report and new initiative focused on digital art market | A supplement to TEFAF’s annual art market report has been released with a focus on the online trade. The survey, compiled by Rachel Pownall, finds that while digital sales are on the rise (with growth recorded at 18.8 per cent), around a fifth of art dealers have no plans to extend their businesses online. Auction houses have been quicker to set up e-commerce facilities and collaborate with third parties. At the launch of the report on 29 June, TEFAF also announced a new initiative in partnership with Invaluable – TEFAF TEN – which will showcase and sell exhibitor items online in advance of TEFAF New York Fall.

Recommended reading | Eleanor Birne goes to Cambridge’s Murray Edwards College to learn more about the its first-class collection of women’s art in the latest issue of the London Review of Books. Meanwhile, in the LA Review of Books, Natasha Degen and Kibum Kim take on Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, contextualising the artists’ recent comebacks within contemporary artistic fashion: ‘good taste has become so hackneyed that Hirst’s and Koons’s new work, steeped in kitsch, seems to occupy a contrarian, even avant-garde, position.’