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Marlene and Spencer Hays donate collection to Musée d’Orsay

25 October 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Marlene and Spencer Hays donate collection to Musée d’Orsay | American collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays have announced that they will donate their 600-strong collection to Paris’s Musée d’Orsay. The promised gift includes works by Odilon Redon, Edgar Degas and Pierre Bonnard. An initial donation of 187 works will be formally made at a ceremony at the Élysée Palace on Saturday. According to French culture minister Audrey Azoulay, the gift represents the largest gift to a French museum by a foreign donor since the Second World War. The Hayses, who began collecting in the 1970s, have requested that the works be exhibited in a single space.

Man found guilty over murder of Oxford rare book dealer | A jury at Oxford Crown Court has handed a guilty verdict to a man accused of the murder of antiques dealer Adrian Greenwood in April. Michael Danaher, an unemployed man from Peterborough, admitted to killing Greenwood in ‘self defence’, claiming that the rare book specialist had attacked him with a knife. Police discovered that Danaher, whose internet search history suggested an interest in murder techniques, had planned to target other ‘people of means’ and celebrities. It is thought that he became interested in Greenwood after the latter listed a first edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows on Ebay. Danaher has been jailed for life with a minimum of 34 years.

Artists fight developer’s plan for studio colony in London | Artists and designers working in a vast studio complex in southwest London are fighting to save their studios from demolition. St William, a joint venture between the Berkeley Group and the National Grid, has applied for planning permission to demolish the Old Gas Works in Fulham, home to around 200 artists, craftsmen, and fashion businesses, in order to build high-rise flats. The site’s current occupants argue that they make a significant contribution to London’s economy, and that the city has already sacrificed too much of its affordable studio space. The Guardian suggests that the confrontation will test the manifesto promise made by Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to ‘protect London’s workspaces and venues threatened by encroaching development’.

Head of Turin Museum Foundation resigns after disagreement with mayor | Patrizia Asproni has resigned from her post as head of the Turin Museum Foundation after a disagreement with the city’s mayor, Chiara Appendino. After a major sponsor pulled out of a proposed Manet exhibition in the city, the mayor, who belongs to comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five Star party, told reporters that the city could not ‘tolerate that the foundation is not able to maintain relationships with important sponsors’. For her part, Asproni says that she has tried to work closely with the mayor, but was repeatedly denied a personal meeting last summer.

Smithsonian Archives of American Art receives grant to digitise collections | The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has received a grant of up to $900,000 from the Walton Family Foundation to support the digitisation of the body’s archive collections. The money will be released over three years, and will allow the archives to double the amount of material they are able to convert to digital formats every year.