Christie’s Nabs $200 M. Cox Collection, National History Museum Sues Insurer, and More: Morning Links for July 29, 2021

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The Headlines

READY YOUR PADDLES. Christie’s has secured the formidable Impressionist art collection of oilman Edwin L. Cox, who died last year at 99, and will offer it in a November sale. The auction house thinks Cox’s art could bring in $200 million, the Dallas Morning News reports, with Gustave Caillebotte’s 1875 Jeune Homme à Sa Fenêtre potentially going for north of $50 million. There are major pieces by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne, too. Stephane Connery , the Cox estate’s art adviser, told the paper that many of the pieces “were last seen publicly before World War II.” Some proceeds will go toward philanthropy. A pre-auction world tour of some works is planned.

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FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COVID COMPLICATIONS: The American Museum of Natural History in New York has sued its insurer, saying that it is owed millions of dollars from pandemic losses, the Art Newspaper reports. The insurance company has reportedly maintained that the AMNH is eligible for only $200,000 under its policy. Meanwhile, organizers of U.K. art fairs are thrilled that the government will soon waive quarantine requirements for visitors vaccinated in the United States and the European Union, according to TANMichael Benson, who directs Photo London (coming in September), offered this colorful assessment of the relevant policymakers: “I know they aren’t the brightest buttons in the box but, really, it’s taken them far too long to understand the damage they have done and the problems they have caused.”

The Digest

The artist George Rhoads, who created ingenious and intricate sculptures that he termed “audio-kinetic ball machines,” has died at 95. His works sometimes drew comparisons to the fanciful drawings of Rube Goldberg, but he noted that “you can’t actually make things that Goldberg drew.” [The New York Times]

MoMA PS1 has released the artist list for the next edition of its hotly anticipated Greater New York show. Scheduled to open in October, the exhibition features 47 participants, including Yuji Agematsu, Raque Ford, and Luis Frangella.  [ARTnews]

Snøhetta has released plans for its expansion and redesign of Omaha, Nebraska’s Joslyn Art Museum, the largest art museum in the Cornhusker State. Created with the local firm Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, the project includes a new 42,000-square-foot pavilion. [ArchDaily]

The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra will repatriate to India 13 artworks that it believes were likely stolen. It acquired most of the pieces through the New York dealer Subhash Kapoor, who has been accused of running a massive, decades-long antiquities smuggling ring. [ABC and The Guardian]

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is putting $10 million toward grants that will help arts institutions address their energy efficiency and environmental issues, like planning planning for earthquakes or becoming carbon neutral. [The New York Times]

Superstar singer Britney Spears, who sold a floral still life she painted a few years ago for charity, has been making visual art again, she revealed. [Page Six]

The Kicker

WHAT DO MUSEUM DIRECTORS AND ENGAGED COUPLES HAVE IN COMMON? They like to hire artists to create Instagram-friendly immersive installations, the New York Times reports. When planning their weddings, “today’s couples want something provocative, memorable, experiential, tactile,” one Los Angeles event planner told the paper, which has photos of impressive examples of this trend. Regrettably, they do not have images of a wedding that an event designer said included “15,000 light sticks, 65,000 Swarovski crystals, 4,000 paper cranes, a full orchestra, birds, falcons, gazelles, flowers, and fine cuisine.” [The New York Times]

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


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