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Peter Selz (1919–2019)

Plus: Berlin museums appeal to US Supreme Court over Guelph Treasure | Gagosian appoints Artsy co-founder as adviser | and recommended reading

24 June 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Peter Selz (1919–2019) | The art historian and curator Peter Selz, who was the founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum at the University of California, has died at the age of 100. Selz was curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA between 1958 and 1964, during which time he organised the landmark exhibition ‘New Images of Man’ (1959) and commissioned Jean Tinguely’s self-destructing sculpture Homage to New York (1960). He became director at Berkeley in 1965, where he worked until 1973.

Berlin museums appeal to US Supreme Court over Guelph Treasure | The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has indicated that it will make an appeal to the United States Supreme Court over the disputed Guelph Treasure. A claim for the treasure was filed in the United States by a consortium of the heirs of Jewish art dealers in 2017, who allege that the sale of the 42 medieval works was made under duress to the state of Prussia in 1935. An appeal by the foundation to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was rejected last week. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation argues that the sale was not made under duress and that the case should not be heard in the United States.

Gagosian appoints Artsy co-founder as adviser | Gagosian has hired Sebastian Cwilich, who co-founded the online collectors’ platform Artsy in 2010, as a senior part-time advisor. The appointment marks an expansion of Gagosian’s tech department, which was established last year with the appointment of the mega-gallery’s first chief technology officer.

Recommended reading | In the New York Times Nancy Coleman reports that, since the National Sound Library in Mexico announced last week that it had discovered the first known audio recording of Frida Kahlo’s voice, many have cast doubt on the identity of the speaker. Artnet News features a profile of Patrick Drahi, the French billionaire who purchased Sotheby’s last week. And the FT had lunch with another French billionaire, Bernard Arnault, in the restaurant of the Louis Vuitton foundation in Paris (as its owner, Arnault says, ‘Everything is good here.’).

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