Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha Dies, Einstein Letter Nets $1.2 M., and More: Morning Links from May 24, 2021

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The Headlines

THE ARCHITECTURE WORLD HAS LOST A GIANT. The Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, winner of the 2006 Pritzker Prizedied Sunday at 92, the AFP reports. Mendes da Rocha received widespread acclaim for his inventive buildings in a Brutalist style, which include the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture, the FIESP Cultural Center, and the Pinacoteca art museum in São Paulo. (Designboom has photos of many of his projects.) Just last week, he had been awarded the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the International Union of Architects. The Council of Architecture and Urbanism in Brazil said he will be remembered as an “audacious iconoclast.”

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THE FALLOUT FROM THE RECENT INVESTIGATION into the BBC’s actions surrounding a major 1995 interview with Princess Diana has reached the top of the British art world. Tony Hall, who led BBC News at the time, has resigned as board chairman of the National Gallery in London, the Associated Press reports, saying in a statement that his leadership would be a “distraction to an institution I care deeply about.” The museum’s deputy chair, John Kingman , said the organization is “extremely sorry” to see Hall depart. As the Guardian recounts, an independent inquiry completed last week concluded that journalist Martin Bashir had used “deceitful behavior,” including fake bank statements, to obtain the interview, and that a subsequent BBC investigation was “woefully ineffective.” Hall said , “I am very sorry for the events of 25 years ago and I believe leadership means taking responsibility.”

The Digest

A 1933 Babe Ruth baseball card owned by the late Florida neurologist Thomas Newman could become the most expensive sports card ever sold when it is offered by Memory Lane Auctions in Tustin, California. The current record stands at $5.2 million. Newman’s entire card collection is pegged at $20 million. [CNN]

An anonymous donor has given $3 million to help care for the Canadian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. [The Globe and Mail]

Emily Beeny has been hired as curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a position that had been empty for three years. Beeny was previously a curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Have a look inside the art-filled Detroit home of Melanca Clark, the CEO of an economic development foundation (and the daughter of painter Ed Clark) and her husband Moddie Turay, a real estate developer. [Architectural Digest]

A teenager’s painting, inspired by the cult-classic television show Hannibal (which was canceled in 2015 after three seasons), will hang in the U.S. Capitol after being selected by New Jersey representative Andy Kim as part of the Congressional Art Competition. “I didn’t know that it was related to a TV show,” Kim said. “I just thought it was really beautiful, well executed, and it was really striking.” [The New York Times]

A letter in which Albert Einstein wrote his most famous equation sold for a cool $1.2 million at Boston’s RR Auction on Friday. [Associated Press]

The Kicker

THANKS TO A NEW NETFLIX MINISERIES, the fashion designer Halston is on everyone’s mind once more, and Town & Country had the good sense to ask his friends to reminisce about partying with him. The writer Bob Colacello recalled seeing “Martha GrahamFirst Lady Betty Ford, or Doris Duke sitting on one of the gray flannel banquettes like the three graces” as the artist Victor Hugo, Halston’s partner, was “walking around in his jockstrap passing around cocaine. There’s never been another thing quite like that that I’ve been aware of.”  [Town & Country]

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.


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