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Max Hollein named next director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Plus: Gillian Ayres (1930–2018) | Smithsonian governing body approves plans for London collaboration | Berkshire Museum marks first tranche of works for auction | and Outsider Art Fair cancels plans for Basel edition

11 April 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Max Hollein named as next director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art | The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has announced the appointment of Max Hollein as its next director. Hollein will join the Met from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he has served as director and CEO since June 2016; prior to this, he spent 15 years in Frankfurt as head of the Schirn Kunsthalle (since 2001) and the Städel Museum and the Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection (since 2006), and oversaw a €52million project for a new extension for and refurbishment of the Städel.

Hollein’s election by the Met’s board of trustees brings to a close a long search for a director to replace former director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell, who stepped down in June 2017. Following Campbell’s resignation, the museum appointed its serving president Daniel H. Weiss as the new CEO, signalling a significant change in its leadership structure which will see the new director, when he assumes his role this summer, report to Weiss – with Weiss and Hollein both reporting to the board of trustees. Hollein will be the tenth director of the museum in its history.

Gillian Ayres (1930–2018) | The British artist Gillian Ayres has died at the age of 88, it was reported in a statement released by Alan Cristea Gallery today. Widely known for her brightly coloured canvases and prints, Ayres was recognised as a leading figure in the field of British abstraction, with her work included in the Whitechapel Art Gallery’s seminal ‘British Painting in the Sixties’ exhibition of 1963. In 1987, the same year she was elected as Royal Academician, Ayres moved from London to her home on the border of Devon and Cornwall, where she lived until her death.

Smithsonian governing body approves plans for London collaboration | The Smithsonian Institution has confirmed that its board of regents has approved plans to set up an outpost in London in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum, reports the Art Newspaper. The two institutions have for the past two years been working towards setting up a gallery on the site of the 2012 Olympic Games in east London, with a formal agreement expected to be signed in May. Current plans envisage a jointly curated permanent display a well as temporary exhibitions organised by the Smithsonian. According to TAN it is ‘likely’ that the venture will open in 2023.

Berkshire Museum marks first tranche of works for auction | The Berkshire Museum has marked 13 works from its collection for sale at Sotheby’s New York next month, reports ArtNews. This first tranche of works will include pieces by Norman Rockwell, Alexander Calder and Francis Picabia, and is expected to raise between $20.2m and $28.9m. Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed to the museum’s controversial plans to sell up to 40 works from its collection in order to fund renovations.

Outsider Art Fair cancels plans for Basel edition | Plans for an edition of the Outsider Art Fair in Basel this June have been cancelled, reports ArtNet. According to dealer and fair organiser Andrew Edlin, ‘[t]here were a lot of hurdles for the fair and our dealers to pull off an exhibit in Switzerland, perhaps a bit more than anticipated.’ Founded in 1993, the fair is dedicated to the work of self-taught artists, and currently stages editions in New York and Paris.

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