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MCA Denver appoints Nora Burnett Abrams as director

Plus: Eighteenth-century Scottish castle goes up for sale | Rebecca Wei resigns as Christie’s Asia chairman | and UK export bar placed on early Millais painting

20 August 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

MCA Denver appoints Nora Burnett Abrams as director | The Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver has hired Nora Burnett Abrams as executive director. Abrams, who begins in the role immediately, has been chief curator at the museum for the past 10 years. During this period – which corresponds with the tenure of Adam Lerner, whom she succeeds in the role – Abrams has overseen major exhibitions on Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tara Donovan, among other artists.

Eighteenth-century Scottish castle goes up for sale | Seton Castle, a country mansion in East Lothian designed by Scottish architect Robert Adam, has hit the market with a valuation of more than £8m. The castle was constructed in the 1780s on the site of the former Seton Palace, said to be a favourite haunt of Mary, Queen of Scots, which had fallen into disrepair after the Jacobite risings. Prior to its purchase from a property developer by present owner Stephen Leach, the mansion had been in the continuous possessions of the Earls of Wemyss since 1796.

Rebecca Wei resigns as Christie’s Asia chairman | Rebecca Wei has resigned as Asia chairman at Christie’s auctioneers, eight months after her promotion to the position. The announcement comes after a dip in Christie’s spring sales in Hong Kong, which this year were down 18 per cent from 2018.

UK export bar placed on early Millais painting | An early Pre-Raphaelite painting by John Everett Millais, Ferdinand Lured by Ariel (1849–50), has been placed under temporary export bar by the UK culture ministry. Showing a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the work is at risk of leaving the country if a UK buyer cannot be found before 15 November 2019, though the deadline may be extended until 15 May 2020 if a serious intention is expressed by a UK buyer to raise the recommended price of £9.5m.

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