Art-Minded PR Giant David Finn Dies, North American Viking Settlement Dated, and More: Morning Links for October 21, 2021

Art-Minded PR Giant David Finn Dies, North American Viking Settlement Dated, and More: Morning Links for October 21, 2021

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The Headlines

THE MESSAGING ARTIST. Public-relations legend David Finn, who cofounded the company Ruder Finn, and who also worked as an artist, died on Monday at the age of 100, the New York Times reports. Operating one of the postwar era’s most influential firms, Finn was involved in encouraging many of his clients to fund the arts, including Philip MorrisGlenn Rifkin writes. (The earliest iteration of the business, Art in Industry, which he started with Bill Ruder , aimed to help companies use art as a marketing tool.) As an artist, Finn delved into painting, sculpture (using straightened paperclips), and photography. “David helped push the boundaries of the communications world, establishing the model for a modern public relations agency,” his firm said in a statement.

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JUST HOW BAD IS FLOODING GETTING IN VENICE? In a look at how climate change is affecting La Serenissima, the Associated Press marshals so many staggering statistics that is actually difficult to decide which is the most dread-inducing. Here is one: Since 1872, there have been 25 cases of floods above about 4-and-a-half feet in the city, but two-thirds of those cases have come in the past 20 years, and five of them occurred in late 2019 alone. (Not good.) A worst-case forecast by the European Geosciences Union has the sea rising in the floating city almost 4 feet by the end of the century. Thirty years ago, when the pricy Moses barrier system was first being developed to manage water, the forecast was for a rise of only about 8-and-a-half-inches. Moses is still being tested, and has a 2023 completion date. [Associated Press]

The Digest

Vikings built a settlement in Newfoundland exactly 1,000 years ago, according to a new dating method used to analyze ancient timber buildings there. “Much kudos should go to these northern Europeans for being the first human society to traverse the Atlantic,” a scientist involved in the study said. [The Guardian]

It has not been an easy time to mount ambitious art exhibitions, but Prospect New Orleans is charging ahead with its plans, and parts of the show open in the coming weeks. Hilarie M. Sheets took a look at the efforts underway for the hotly anticipated affair, which is being organized by Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi[The New York Times]

M. C. Escher is not the only artist who inspired elements of the hit Netflix show Squid GamesAnny Shaw examining the many art references that appear amid the violence. [The Art Newspaper]

Interpol reported that the looting of cultural property has spiked during the pandemic. Archaeological sites, which tend to receive less protection than museums, have been particularly hard-hit, and numismatics are the most frequently stolen artifacts, the group said. Museum heists, at least, were down. [ARTnews]

Speaking of numismatics, a one shilling silver coin that was minted in 1652 in Boston is set to hit the block next month at Morton & Eden Ltd. with an estimate equivalent to about $300,000. It was found inside an old tin box at an English estate. [AP/Bloomberg]

Artists Peter DoigRashid JohnsonNaudline Pierre, and Henry Taylor discussed the enduring influence of Bob Thompson, the renowned African American painter who died in 1966 at the age of 28. Thompson’s work is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. [The New York Times]

The Kicker

SHOP TALK. The artists Emma McMillan and Alex Katz, who are longtime friends, just published a conversation in Cultured, and it includes quite a few great quips that range across the history of art. Here is just one, from Katz, who has shows coming up at Gladstone Gallery and Tramps in New York and Thaddaeus Ropac in Seoul: “My brother once had a Cadillac convertible, red with black leather seats. So I said something about, why don’t you get something better like a Bentley ? And he said where can you get something with this much jazz for the money? And that’s Reubens.” [Cultured]

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