Architect Lucien Kroll Dies at 95, Embattled Orlando Museum Faces Patron Exodus, and More: Morning Links for August 14, 2022

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The Headlines

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LEGAL AFFAIRS. The man accused of stealing three big-name artworks from Greece’s National Gallery is now out of jail and wearing an electronic monitoring device as he awaits a potential trial, the National Herald reports. The suspect was arrested last year and reportedly said that he took works by PicassoMondrian, and Caccia  in 2012 because of his “passion for art.” (One bit of evidence: He had the Twitter handle ArtFreak, according to police.) Officials are still investigating and deciding whether to pursue a trial. In other crime news, three men in London pleaded not guilty to trying to sell a seven-figure, 15th-century Ming Dynasty vase stolen from the Museum of Far Eastern Art in Geneva, Law360 reports, and six teens allegedly smashed a stolen car into an art space in Melbourne, Australia, damaging artworks, the Age reports.

THE FREE-THINKING BELGIAN ARCHITECT LUCIEN KROLL has diedDezeen reports. He was 95. Kroll and his wife, Simone Kroll, started Atelier Kroll in 1958, and made their name by emphasizing close collaboration with the people who would actually utilize their designs. For a campus extension of the University of Louvain in Belgium, for instance, they received input from students and made buildings with movable walls. In 2021, the couple were given the Brussels Architecture Prize‘s lifetime achievement award. A statement accompanying that honor reads, in part: “Systematically drawn to complex situations, conflicts to be resolved and causes to be defended, Simone and Lucien Kroll never chose the easy path.”

The Digest

A major Orlando-area foundation said that it will no longer loan its collection of 18th- and 19th-century American paintings to the Orlando Museum of Art, which was recently raided by the F.B.I. amid an investigation into disputed Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings it was exhibiting. Some OMA patrons are also said to be shifting their support to the nearby Rollins Museum of Art[The New York Times]

President Biden appointed 11 to the National Museum and Library Services Board, including Cameron Kitchin, the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, and Monica Ramirez-Montagut, the director of the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York. [Press Release/White House]

Kamoya Kimeu, a revered octogenarian fossil hunter from Kenya whose discoveries helped expand researchers’ understanding of early human history, has died. Perhaps Kimeu’s most important find was an almost completely intact 1.6 million-year-old juvenile Homo erectus. [The New York Times]

The U.S. National Park Service is giving $2 million in grants to 20 museums and nine tribes to support efforts to return human remains and objects to Indigenous peoples. [The Art Newspaper]

Journalist Hilarie M. Sheets looked at the ongoing debates about how to manage artist Donald Judd’s sites—and legacy—in Marfa, Texas. Speaking of the Chinati Foundation, artist Christopher Wool, a former trustee, said, “The board turned its back on deep institutional knowledge and instead insisted that Chinati be governed under a corporate model simply because that was their experience.” [The New York Times]

The Kicker

HEAVY IS THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CRYPTO CROWN. In June, Christie’s NFT rainmaker Noah Davis announced that he was joining Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and the home of CryptoPunks. In an interview with the Observer, he recalled watching Beeple’s Everydays NFT, which he helped bring to the block at Christie’s,  go for $69.3 million. “I was totally shocked and a bit terrified,” Davis said. “I knew that my career had just taken a sharp, sharp turn. Immediately the pressure was on. There’s an old adage in the auction world: ‘You’re only as good as your last sale.’ ” [The Creators/Observer]


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