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Whitney Museum director responds to concerns over vice chair’s business ties

Plus: Sotheby’s chief operating officer Adam Chinn to depart | and Andy Warhol Foundation arts writing grant recipients announced

4 December 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Whitney Museum director responds to concerns over vice chair’s business ties | Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, has released a statement addressed to staff and trustees, responding to a letter – signed by almost 100 museum workers – demanding action over the museum board vice chair’s ties to the weapons industry. Warren B. Kanders is the owner of Safariland, a company that produces tear gas, including supplies recently used at the US-Mexico border. Weinberg’s letter does not directly mention Kanders, but states that ‘trustees do not hire staff, select exhibitions, organize programs or make acquisitions, and staff does not appoint or remove board members’. Kanders has also addressed the open letter, explaining that his company does not ‘determine when and how [their products] are employed’ and criticising ‘the politicization of every aspect of public life’ as ‘not productive or healthy’. Kanders was a ‘significant contributor’ to the Andy Warhol retrospective currently showing at the Whitney.

Sotheby’s chief operating officer Adam Chinn to depart | Adam Chinn, chief operating officer of Sotheby’s, is to leave the auction house at the end of the year, the Art Newspaper reports. The company yesterday filed an investor report in which it was stated that the role is being eliminated; he will be replaced by an executive vice president and chief commercial officer, John Cahill, and an executive vice president, operations and chief transformation officer, Ken Citron. Chinn joined Sotheby’s in January 2016 when the company acquired Art Agency, Partners, where he was partner.

Andy Warhol Foundation arts writing grant recipients announced | This year’s recipients of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program were announced yesterday. The program has allocated $725,000 to fund writers in four categories – articles, blogs, books and short-form writing – through grants that range between $15,000 and $50,000. The full list of recipients has been published by ARTnews.

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