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The week in art news – museums in Northern Ireland to close for four weeks

Plus: Brooklyn Museum to sell more works from its collection | French museum postpones Genghis Khan show after pressure from China | Art Fund announces Museums of the Year | and Chris Killip (1946–2020)

16 October 2020

Museums in Northern Ireland will be closing from 6pm tonight for the next four weeks. While Northern Ireland Executive had announced that new restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus would apply across the province, it only confirmed today that these will apply to museums as well. (Museums, galleries and other cultural venues are also shut across the border in the Republic of Ireland.)

The Brooklyn Museum will be selling more works from its collection, including two paintings by Jean Dubuffet and others by Matisse, Monet and Degas. Sotheby’s announced that it will be offering these works from the museum in its contemporary and Impressionist and modern sales on 28 October. The sale comes after the museum’s only painting by Cranach the Elder fetched $4.2m at auction this week. The Art Newspaper reports that Sotheby’s will announce the sale of more works from the Brooklyn Museum next month. The proceeds are to go towards setting up a fund to care from the collection.

A French museum has postponed its upcoming exhibition about Genghis Khan after it was asked to remove certain words from the show. The Chateau des ducs de Bretagne museum in Nantes has been planning a show, set to open in February 2021, about the Mongol ruler in collaboration with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China. The museum’s director, Bertrand Guillet, says that the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage asked his institution to drop words including ‘Genghis Khan’, ‘Mongol’, and ‘Empire’. Guillet said: ‘We made the decision to stop this production in the name of the human, scientific and ethical values that we defend.’

The Art Fund has announced its Museums of the Year 2020. The five winning museums, which will share the £200,000 prize between them, are the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Gairloch Museum, Science Museum, South London Gallery and Towner Eastbourne.

The British photographer Chris Killip has died at the age of 74. One of the most highly regarded documentary photographers of his generation, Killip was best known for his series In Flagrante, which depicted life in a deindustrialising north-east of England between 1973 and 1985. He began teaching at Harvard in 1991, and was chair of its department of art, film and visual studies between 1994 and 1998, retiring three years ago. Despite taking part in landmark shows at the Serpentine Gallery (with Graham Smith), being included in ‘British Photography from the Thatcher Years’ at MoMA in 1991, and having shows at the Getty and Folkwang Museum, Killip never had a retrospective in the UK.

Image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 3.0)