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Art News Daily

Met anticipates losses of $100m and closure until July

Plus: Opening of François Pinault’s private museum postponed as director steps down | Frieze New York cancelled | and Alan Caiger-Smith (1930–2020)

19 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Met anticipates losses of $100m and closure until July | The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is projecting losses of up to $100m and closure until July due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, according to a letter sent to the museum’s department heads by president and chief executive Daniel H. Weiss, and director Max Hollein. All staff will be paid until at least 4 April although over the following months cost-saving measures may include mandatory furloughs and layoffs. When the museum reopens it ‘anticipates lower attendance for at least the next year due to reduced global and domestic tourism and spending’. Speaking to the New York Times, Laura Lott, president and chief executive of the American Alliance of Museums, predicts that one third of US museums that have closed to contain the virus ‘will not reopen if the crisis continues’.

Opening of François Pinault’s private museum postponed as director steps down | The opening of French billionaire François Pinault’s private contemporary art museum was expected in June but has been pushed back to September due to Covid-19. Meanwhile the Pinault Collection’s director since September, Sylvain Fort, has stepped down. His predecessor, the former French culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon, is stepping back into the role.

Frieze New York cancelled due to coronavirus | The ninth edition of Frieze New York, scheduled to open on 6 May, has been cancelled due to Covid-19. The fair’s organisers plan to launch an online viewing room as an alternative, while Frieze Sculpture has been postponed until the summer, with new dates yet to be announced. Other New York fairs planned for May have announced new dates to comply with the CDC’s advice against large-scale gatherings over the next two months. Object & Thing will now take place in November and NYCxDesign is being moved to October. The 2020 edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York has been cancelled.  

Alan Caiger-Smith (1930–2020) | The British studio potter Alan Caiger-Smith has died at the age of 90. Born in Buenos Aires in 1930, he moved to the village of Aldermaston in Berkshire as a child. It was here that Caiger-Smith founded Aldermaston Pottery in 1955 and, until 1993, employed several fellow craftspeople including Geoffrey Eastop, Julian Bellmont and Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. His published works include Tin-glaze Pottery in Europe and the Islamic World (1973) and Lustre Pottery (1985).