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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

13 September 2017

Everybody loves David Hockney, don’t they? The artist himself isn’t so sure. Speaking to The Independent on the eve of his retrospective at the Met, Hockney recounts bumping into the art critic Clement Greenberg at an exhibition in New York: ‘He was with his 8-year-old daughter, and he told me that I was her favourite artist. I don’t know if that was a put-down. I suspect it was.’

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Hurricane Irma forced staff at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida, to take special measures to protect the descendants of the hard-drinking author’s cats. Hemingway, who lived on the island, was introduced to the animals’ charms by a local fisherman who gave him a six-toed cat that the writer named Snow White. Its progeny have been in residence at the museum’s premises ever since.

Around 50 cats took shelter in the building’s basement alongside museum employees. The building, apparently, is ‘one of the most fortified’ on the island. Not unlike Hemingway himself, then…

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A Willem de Kooning painting that was stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in 1985 has been identified and returned to its rightful owner. But how it was lifted remains an unanswered question. One theory is that ‘the heist was engineered by a retired New York City schoolteacher — something of a renaissance man — who donned women’s clothing and took his son along as his accomplice, and then hung the masterwork in the bedroom of his own rural New Mexico home’. Jerome Alter, the deceased suspect, went on to publish a story about a museum theft that bears ‘notable similarities’ to the Arizona heist.

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And finally, two journalists overheard at the press launch for Tate Britain’s Rachel Whiteread retrospective this week, as they stood in front of a resin cast of a sash window. ‘The whole show looks a bit like my local Homebase’, said one. ‘Nah,’ came back the other. ‘Definitely more IKEA.’

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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