Florence’s Accademia May Lose Independence Again, Museum of the City of New York Gets New Director, and More: Morning Links for July 19, 2023

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The Headlines

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PALACE INTRIGUE. In 2019, a right-wing Italian government put Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia—home of Michelangelo’s David (1501–04)—under the control of the Uffizi, and its director, Cecilie Hollberg, was let go. The next year, after a change in government, the German-born Hollberg was back in charge, and the museum was made independent. Now, the Associated Press reports, another conservative administration is expected to make the Accademia part of the Bargello National Museum in the city. Hollberg, whose contract expires next June, told the AP that she does not know why her institution is being “targeted,” but the possible shift comes after Italy’s culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, described the practice of hiring foreigners to lead the nation’s most important institutions as a sign of “a certain xenophile provincialism.”

BEVERLY MOSS SPATT, who helped to preserve hundreds of historic New York buildings as chairwoman of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 1970s, including the beloved Grand Central Terminaldied on Friday at 99, Robert D. McFadden reports in the New York Times. In the mid-2010s, Spatt was part of a successful effort to counter the Frick Collection‘s plan to expand by getting rid of its garden, which would have gone back on a promise it made decades earlier to keep the garden in perpetuity. Spatt remembered that commitment, and the Frick nixed the plan.

The Digest

The Museum of the City of New York hired Stephanie Hill Wilchfort to be its next director. She is coming to the institution—the home of Carrie Stettheimer’s art-filled early-20th-century dollhouse, among other treasures—from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, which she has led for eight years. [The New York Times]

The Kitchen tapped Robyn Farrell to be its senior curator. Farrell is associate curator for modern and contemporary art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she co-curated a blockbuster 2021 Barbara Kruger show and many other shows. [Instagram]

Dealer Massimo De Carlo is creating a foundation for contemporary art in Italy’s Asti province. Architect Valerio Olgiati is designing the destination, which will host exhibitions and a residency program. No definite completion date has been announced. [Artforum and Artnet News]

More art, clothing, and other items owned by the late fashion writer André Leon Talley will hit the auction block at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York, in September. Last year, Christie’s sold $3.55 million worth of material from his collection. [WWD]

ON THE ROSTER.Vielmetter Los Angeles said that it now represents Robert Pruitt, a draughtsman of lucid portraits. And Greene Naftali, of New York, announced that Diamond Stingily, a sculptor of bracing invention, has joined the gallery.

YACHT WATCH. Climate activists in Ibiza sprayed paint on a yacht owned by Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie (cousin of collector and Crystal Bridges founder Alice Walton). They were arrested, held for about a day, and said they were displeased that police had limited plant-based food options. [Bloomberg]

The Kicker

A RINGING ENDORSEMENT. Painter Honor Titus is about to show at Gagosian in Beverly Hills, and got the profile treatment from the New York Times. Titus, who did not attend art school, had his first solo show in 2020 at fellow painter Henry Taylor’s former Los Angeles studio. “He was somebody really focused,” Taylor told the paper. “You don’t always have to go to Yale.” [NYT]

Source: artnews.com

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