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Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (1922–2019)

Plus: Jayne Wrightsman (1919–2019) | Gabriela Rangel appointed artistic director of MALBA in Buenos Aires | French culture ministry defers Rembrandt export license | and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts receives $8m from former volunteer

23 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (1922–2019) | The Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian has died. Farmanfarmaian studied fine art at the University of Tehran before moving to New York in the mid 1940s, where she studied at Cornell University and Parsons School of Design and embarked on a career in fashion illustration. On her return to Iran in the late ’50s, Farmanfarmaian encountered the mosaics in the Shah Charegh mosque in Shiraz, which inspired her to begin making artworks using uneven mirrored glass – the material for which she is best known. Although Farmanfarmaian was exiled to New York during the Islamic Revolution, she returned to Tehran in 2004, where a museum dedicated to her work opened in 2017.

Jayne Wrightsman (1919–2019) | The art collector and patron Jayne Wrightsman has died at the age of 99. Together, Jayne and Charles Wrightsman, who died in 1986, built one of the most significant collections of 18th-century French decorative arts in America, which they subsequently donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Numerous important European paintings were also donated to the museum, of which Wrightsman was a trustee emireta, over the years. The Met staff and trustees have paid tribute to Jayne Wrightsman as ‘one of the most generous benefactors in the museum’s history’.

Gabriela Rangel appointed artistic director of MALBA in Buenos Aires | The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires has appointed Gabriela Rangel as its new artistic director. Rangel succeeds Agustín Pérez Rubio, who stepped down after four years in 2018. Rangel will leave her current position as director of visual arts and chief curator of the Americas Society in New York, where during her fifteen-year tenure she has overseen more than 35 exhibitions.

French culture ministry defers Rembrandt export license | The Art Newspaper reports that the Louvre is planning to purchase a Rembrandt painting from the Rothschild collection in France. The Standard Bearer (1636), which has been in the Rothschild’s collection for over 180 years, has been designated a national treasure by the French culture ministry, thereby deferring the painting’s export license by 30 months in order to allow the Louvre time to raise funds for its acquisition. The painting’s estimated value is currently undisclosed.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts receives $8m from former volunteer | Estelle Rubens, a former volunteer at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, who died in January 2018, has bequeathed an endowment fund worth almost $8 million to the institution. The Raymond D. and Estelle Rubens Travel Scholarship Fund is one of the largest gifts ever received by PAFA. According to the academy’s president David R. Brigham, ‘We knew the bequest was coming. But we had no idea of the magnitude.’

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