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Tate will not accept further donations from Sackler family

22 March 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Tate will not accept further donations from Sackler family | The Tate announced yesterday that it will not accept further donations from the Sackler family. Eight members of the family, as well as the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, are currently being sued in US courts for the alleged mishandling of the marketing of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. In a statement Tate acknowledged considerable funding from the Sackler family in the past and said it would not be removing references to this historic philanthropy while adding that ‘in the present circumstances we do not think it right to seek or accept further donations from the Sacklers’. The announcement follows the National Portrait Gallery’s decision not to accept a £1m pledged grant from the Sackler Trust. The Art Newspaper today also reports that last year the South London Gallery returned a gift of £125,000 from the Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.

Van Gogh at Wadsworth Atheneum authenticated | A Van Gogh painting in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut has been fully authenticated by specialists from the Van Gogh Museum, putting an end to nearly 30 years of doubt over its attribution. Vase of Poppies (1886) entered the Wadsworth collection in 1957 when it was donated by the collector Anne Parrish Titzell. The findings of the physical examination are backed up by the recent discovery that the work was exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show in New York.

US files suit to return Nazi-looted painting to Ukraine | The FBI and the US Attorney’s Office filed a suit in US District Court yesterday seeking the return of an undated painting, known as A Loving Glance, attributed to the 18th-century artist Pierre Louis Goudreaux. The work is believed to have been looted from the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of the Arts in Kiev, having been recorded as missing from the museum after Nazi occupation of Ukraine ended in 1944. It has now resurfaced at an auction house New York – no legal action is being taken against the current owners; the lawsuit is against the item in question.

Artory acquires and makes public Auction Club database | The blockchain-based art registry Artory has acquired Auction Club, a database holding sales records from 4,000 international auction houses that were previously only available to subscribers. The acquisition is effective immediately and in May the data will be made public for the first time when it appears in Artory’s digital registry.  

Recommended reading | In the Guardian, Andrew Dickson takes a deep dive into the topic of how works of art are shipped and installed. Anita Singh suggests that we may be misinterpreting Edvard Munch’s Scream in the Telegraph.