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TEFAF to close early after exhibitor tests positive for coronavirus

Plus: Cleveland Museum of Art receives major works valued at over $100m | Exhibition of Liechtenstein collection cancelled by four museums over report of forced labour during WWII | Los Angeles man pleads guilty to selling fake works by blue chip artists | Nicola Lees named director of Aspen Art Museum | and Emma Talbot wins Max Mara Art Prize 2020

11 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

TEFAF to close early after exhibitor tests positive for coronavirus | TEFAF Maastricht will close by the end of today (11 March), after it was revealed this morning that an exhibitor has tested positive for coronavirus. In an email sent to exhibitors this morning, TEFAF stated that the individual had tested positive in his hometown on Monday 9 March; he was at the fair from 5–7 March and did not show any symptoms during that period. The decision to shorten the fair was taken this afternoon shortly before 3pm, after a meeting between the fair, the city of Maastricht, the health authorities (VRZL/GGD), and the MECC venue. Following that meeting, TEFAF stated: ‘While the health advice of the authorities in the immediate region has not changed, we understand the situation in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries is changing. We have also taken into account the growing concern of exhibitors, visitors and staff and the ever-growing difficulties regarding travel and transport.’ The fair will release another statement addressing logistical questions shortly.

Cleveland Museum of Art receives major works valued at more than $100m | The Cleveland Museum of Art has today announced a major gift of artworks valued at over $100m, the largest it has received since the Leonard C. Hanna Jr bequest in 1958. Donated by the art collectors Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley, the gift includes 97 works given outright and a further 17 as promised gifts. Among the paintings, drawings, prints and ceramics from China and Japan are canvases by Bonnard, Vuillard, Pissarro, Matisse and Picasso. A selection will go on display in the museum’s permanent galleries from 17 March, with a temporary exhibition and publication planned for the autumn of 2022.

Exhibition of Liechtenstein collection cancelled by four museums over report of forced labour during WWII | A touring exhibition of European art from the House of Liechtenstein’s collection has been cancelled by four North American museums due to a 2005 report – commissioned by Liechtenstein at the request of the World Jewish Congress – that describes the use of ‘forced labour’ on the estate of the Liechtenstein royal family during the Second World War. The exhibition was first called off by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, where it was scheduled to open first on 5 June. The Seattle Art Museum, Kimbell Art Museum and National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., have also cancelled the show.

Man in Los Angeles pleads guilty to selling fake works by blue chip artists | Philip Bennet Righter, a 43-year-old man from Los Angeles, has pleaded guilty to fraud, having knowingly sold fake works by artists including Warhol, Basquiat, Lichtenstein and Haring, among others. Righter, who bought the forgeries online and produced fake certificates of authenticity, also used the works as collateral for loans on which he later defaulted, and as charitable donations allowing him to claim refunds on his 2015 tax return.

Nicola Lees named director of Aspen Art Museum | Nicola Lees has been announced today as the incoming Nancy and Bob Magoon director of the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colorado. Since 2016, Lees has been director and curator of NYU’s 80WSE, a contemporary art space at 80 Washington Square in New York. She was previously curator at Frieze Foundation, a senior curator for public programmes at the Serpentine Gallery in London and an assistant curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She assumes the new role on 6 April.

Emma Talbot wins 2020 Max Mara Art Prize for Women | The London-based artist Emma Talbot has been named the 2020 winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which is awarded every two years by the fashion house Max Mara. Talbot, who is also a tutor at the Royal College of Art, will receive a six-month residency in Italy during which she will prepare works for an exhibition in 2021 at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy.