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Neave Brown (1929–2018)

11 January 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Neave Brown (1929–2018) | The architect Neave Brown died on 9 January at the age of 88. Born in New York in 1929, Brown moved to Britain as a teenager and went on to train at the Architectural Association. He initially worked at Lyons, Israel and Ellis and later for Middlesex County Council; in 1965 he joined the newly formed Camden Council Architects’ Department, where his main focus was social housing. Less than five months ago RIBA awarded Brown, then the only living architect to have had all his work in the UK listed, the 2018 Royal Gold Medal for architecture. For an overview of Brown’s career, see his obituary by Mark Swenarton in the Guardian.

Letter raises concern over future of John Clare archive | Figures including Hilary Mantel and Alan Moore have signed a letter to the Guardian raising ‘grave concerns’ over the future of a number of manuscripts by the poet John Clare. Northamptonshire county council, which owns the archive, is planning to make significant cuts to its library services, with at least 21 of the region’s 36 libraries facing closure. Though Northampton central library, which holds the John Clare Collection, is not itself in line for closure, the signatories of the letter fear that ‘reductions in the number, seniority, qualifications and experience of staff’ may have a ‘permanently detrimental’ effect on the archive.

‘Modigliani’ paintings seized in Genoa are declared fakes | Of 21 paintings seized last year from an exhibition of work by Modigliani in Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale, 20 are forgeries, independent expert Isabella Quattrocchi has found. The Art Newspaper reports that Quattrocchi was appointed to assess the works by Italian prosecutors after the exhibition was closed down in July. ‘[In] terms of both style and the pigments [used]’ the works are ‘crudely forged’, she concludes. An Italian court, which is currently investigating three of the organisers of the exhibition, will now consider the report’s findings, and the works may be destroyed.

Philadelphia Museum of Art gets 24 new works from Souls Grown Deep Foundation | The Philadelphia Museum of Art has acquired 24 works of art from Atlanta’s Souls Grown Deep Foundation. According to Artforum, the acquisition is made up of work by African-American artists from the southeastern US, including artworks by Thornton Dial, Ronald Locket and fifteen Gee’s Bend quilts spanning from 1930 to 2005.

David Zwirner plans new $50m Renzo Piano-designed space in New York | David Zwirner is opening a new space – a five-storey, $50m construction to be designed by Renzo Piano – in New York, it was announced earlier this week. The new site, planned to open in autumn 2020 on West 21st Street in Chelsea, will become the ‘center of gravity’ for gallery operations in New York, where Zwirner currently holds three other spaces (including one rented property on West 19th Street, which will probably close), the German dealer told the New York Times.