Major Gift for the St. Louis Art Museum, a William Edmondson Discovery, and More: Morning Links for October 19, 2021

Major Gift for the St. Louis Art Museum, a William Edmondson Discovery, and More: Morning Links for October 19, 2021

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The Headlines

ACCESSIONING ACTION. Philanthropist Emily Rauh Pulitzer has promised 22 works to the St. Louis Art Museum (where she was once a curator), including pieces by PicassoWarhol, and Brancusi. SLAM director Min Jung Kim said that the organization “will forever be in her debt.” The Pulitzer family has given 144 works to the museum over the years. Meanwhile, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired Jacopo Bassano’s titanic Miracle of the Quails (1554), ARTnews reports. The piece “has been rarely seen by scholars and never by the general public,” Timothy Potts, the Getty’s director, noted in a statement. It goes on view next month. And the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, said that the Ahmanson Foundation will provide funding for acquisitions in a newly minted partnership, the Los Angeles Times reports. Last year, the foundation cut its funding program with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art over disagreements about the institution’s direction.

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DEACCESSIONING (AND RE-ACCESSIONING) DEVELOPMENTS. In a new columnL.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight praises the Hammer Museum at UCLA for deciding to sell off a 1930 Picasso that does not fit into its curatorial framework. The piece is estimated to make as much as $8 million at Christie’s, and the funds will go toward acquiring works on paper and photographs, as well as its Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. Knight also slams the Metropolitan Museum of Art for auctioning off works to cover pandemic-induced revenue shortfalls, terming the move “dangerously crass” at a time when its endowment has seen major gains. One final museum-collection story: the Art Newspaper reports that the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin restituted an 1867 Camille Pissarro that the heirs of a Jewish lawyer named Armand Dorville sold under duress during World War II; it then purchased it back from Dorville’s family.


Editions/Artists’ Books Fair gathers 51 international publishers and galleries to showcase the latest editions in printmaking on its website,

Presented by the Lower East Side Printshop, the fair is open from October 18 to October 31 with free access to the general public.

The Digest

A New York City commission voted to remove a statue of President Thomas Jefferson from the city council’s chambers, but stopped short of officially designating an alternative location for it. There is an agreement in place for the 7-foot-tall sculpture to be transferred to the New-York Historical Society, a move opposed by some historians in a recent open letter. [The New York Times]

Drawings by Giacomo Cavedone, on both sides of a single sheet of paper, are being returned to the heirs of  the Jewish collector Arthur Feldmann, whose art holdings were looted by the Nazis. Italian police seized the paper when it was offered for sale online. The majority of Feldmann’s collection remains unaccounted for. [The Art Newspaper]

Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, has acquired a William Edmondson sculpture as a promised gift to the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Historian John Foster spotted the work sitting on a porch in St. Louis (Big day for the Gateway to the West in this newsletter.) Its owner knew it had been made by an African American sculptor, but did not know it was by Edmondson. [The New York Times]

In an upcoming exhibition, the British Museum will present the oldest-known map of the stars, the Nebra Sky Disc, which dates back 3,600 years. The bronze piece was dug up in eastern Germany in 1999 and is held by the State Museum of Prehistory in the German city of Halle. [Associated Press]

Sophie Lauwers has been named general director of Bozar (the Centre for Fine Arts) in Brussels, and will serve for a six-year term that begins November 1. Lauwers has been director of exhibitions there since 2011, and for about a decade before that was exhibition coordinator. [ArtDaily]

It is a busy moment for Kanye West. A court approved his name change to Ye, he performed at Alexandre Arnault and Geraldine Guyot’s wedding in Venice, he has been spotted sporting some truly intriguing masks, and he still made time to catch Cyprien Gaillard’s show at Metabolic Rift in Berlin. [Gladstone Gallery/Instagram]

The Kicker

A HEADLINE FOR THE AGES. We move now from Ye to his former partner. The New York Post’s copy really says it all: “Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala photo helped solve looted gold Egyptian coffin case.” The tabloid’s story picks up a semi-recent episode of journalist Ben Lewis’s podcast (Art Bust: Scandalous Stories of the Art World) concerning this remarkable series of events. One big takeaway (and, warning, this is a bit of a spoiler): If you hire folks to dig up an artifact illicitly, it is best to pay them, quickly and vigorously. In one of the more bizarre coincidences of late, news surfaced earlier this year that the U.S. had confiscated an allegedly looted ancient Roman statue that was said to be headed to Kardashian. Through a rep, the star denied any involvement with the statue. [NYP]

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