MOCA to offer free admission

Plus: Who bought Koons’ Rabbit? | Museum of London shares previously unseen photos of Queen Victoria | Protestors march from Whitney to trustee’s home | and recommended reading

20 May 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

MOCA to offer free admission | The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles announced on Saturday night that it will abolish general admission fees after a $10m donation from museum board president Carolyn Powers. ‘We are not aiming at having more visitors or larger attendance, but we’re aiming at being more accessible,’ said MOCA director Klaus Biesenbach. ‘As a civic institution, we should be like a library, where you can just walk in.’ No start date has been set for the new policy, but Biesenbach said the museum would begin work on its rollout ‘immediately.’

Who bought Koons’ Rabbit? | The New York Times reports on the mystery surrounding the sale of Jeff Koons’ Rabbit for $91.1m at Christie’s last week. The sculpture was sold to gallerist Robert Mnuchin – the father of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – on behalf of an anonymous client. (After reports that Mnuchin had bought the sculpture himself, he clarified to the New York Times: ‘We are not in that league.’) Sources speculate that the buyer may be Steven A. Cohen, a hedge fund manager whose since-disbanded company, SAC Capital Advisors, was fined $1.8 billion in 2013 for insider trading.

Museum of London shares previously unseen photos of Queen Victoria | Two previously unpublished photographs of a young Queen Victoria were published in the Observer on Sunday, shared by the Museum of London. Taken in 1854 by French photographer Antoine Claudet, the stereoscopic images were meant to be viewed slotted into a pair of goggles to create an illusion of three-dimensionality.

Protestors march from Whitney to trustee’s home | On Friday, more than 150 protestors calling for the resignation of Whitney Museum of American Art trustee Warren B. Kanders – the owner of Safariland, which produces tear gas used at the US-Mexico border – marched from the museum to Kanders’ home in Greenwich Village. The march concluded nine weeks of protests at the museum, organised by activist collective Decolonize This Place.

Recommended reading | In The New York Times, Roberta Smith argues for the artistic merits of Jeff Koons; Christopher Alessandrini reviews Louis Fratino in the NYR Daily.