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Met museum keeps controversial Balthus painting on display

5 December 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Met refuses to withdraw Balthus painting from display | The Metropolitan Museum has confirmed that will continue to display a Balthus painting of a young girl, described as ‘sexually suggestive’ by the authors of an online petition for its withdrawal that has attracted more than 8,000 signatures. The work, which is titled Thérèse Dreaming (1938) and depicts Balthus’s 12- or 13-year-old model with her underwear visible, last week prompted an online campaign that accused the museum of ‘romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children’ by displaying it. The Met has welcomed the debate, but says that it will not withdraw the work.

Jens Hoffmann suspended from Jewish Museum following sexual harassment allegations | Curator Jens Hoffmann has been suspended from his role as director of special exhibitions and public programs at New York’s Jewish Museum after being accused of sexual harassment by members of the institution’s staff. The Honolulu Biennial, where Hoffmann was to curate the 2019 edition, has also cut ties with him. The news follows last week’s announcement that Hoffmann had stood down as co-artistic director of Cleveland’s Triennial for Contemporary Art last week – a decision he at the time ascribed to differences in artistic direction.

Hank Willis Thomas wins the 2017 AIMIA/AGO Photography Prize | Hank Thomas Willis has been named as winner of the 10th annual Aimia/AGO Photography Prize, Canada’s most prestigious award for photography. The prize, voted for by the public at an exhibition devoted to the shortlisted photographers at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, awards its winner $50,000 (CAD), with $5,000 going to the three runners-up.

LAPADA appoints Patricia Stevenson as chief executive | LAPADA has announced that Patricia Stevenson, a former director of Condé Nast UK, is to take up a position as its chief executive. Stevenson will be closely involved with the running of the art and antiques dealers association, and will take up the post in February 2018.

William S. Smith is appointed editor of Art in America | William S. Smith has been confirmed as editor of the Art in America, having performed the role in an interim capacity since Lindsay Pollock left the magazine in May. Smith, the founder of arts journal Triple Canopy, has worked for Art in America since 2013.