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Mass resignation of the Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities

21 August 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Mass resignation from the Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities | In a letter sent on Friday, all the remaining members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned in protest at President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn far-right protests in Charlottesville. (The rest of the committee resigned just before the inauguration.) The committee, whose members included the architect Thom Mayne and the writer Jhumpa Lahiri, was created during the Reagan administration to advise the presidency on cultural topics.

Shipwrecks given protected status | The wrecks of a First World War U-Boat and two 18th-century merchant ships have been granted protected status by Historic England, reports the BBC. The submarine was sunk off the coast of Whitby in 1918, having itself destroyed some 40 merchant ships, while the older vessels were discovered off the Dorset coast, and are thought to contain about 15 cast iron cannons.

David Somerset, Duke of Beaufort (1928–2017) | David Somerset, the Duke of Beaufort, died last week at the age of 89. Somerset began his distinguished career as an art dealer in 1947, when he joined Marlborough Fine Art. He eventually rose to the position of chairman at the gallery, remaining in the role until 2015.

Recommended reading | At the age of 95, Françoise Gilot is still a prolific artist. ‘Why should I [give up painting]?’, she asks CBS’s Anthony Mason. ‘It will give me up’. On the LRB blog, Miranda Vane recounts the story of the tea shop John Ruskin opened in Marylebone in 1874, an enterprise partly intended ‘to provide Marylebone’s working classes with alternative refreshment to gin and other spirits’.  In the New York Times Holland Cotter suggests removing sculptures commemorating Confederate heroes from public view, to be stored or displayed in museums. ‘When you find yourself at a crime scene, you don’t destroy evidence,’ he writes.