Musée d’Orsay Gets New Leader, Fire-Ravaged Copenhagen Stock Exchange Facade Collapses, Major Joan Mitchell Paintings to Sell, and More: Morning Links for April 19, 2024

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FIRE DAMAGE. The façade of Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange collapsed Thursday, two days after a fire destroyed about half of the 17th century building. The iconic monument was one of the Danish capital’s oldest edifices and held a trove of regional art from the period it was built, which bystanders rushed to help rescue, joining firefighters. On Wednesday, police launched an investigation into what may have started the fire as the bourse was undergoing renovations. Meanwhile, Brian Mikkelsen, CEO of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which owns the building, told reporters they would rebuild the stock exchange, “because it’s part of the European history as a trading continent.”

MUSICAL CHAIRS. Sylvain Amic was named the new president of the Musée d’Orsay and l’Orangerie museums in Paris, succeeding Christophe Leribault, who was asked to lead the Chateau de Versailles, where he has already begun his new job as president. Amic, 56, is a curator and specialist in 19th century art, and most recently worked for France’s ministry of culture as a museum and arts consultant with a focus on broadening access to the arts across the country. French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly met with Amic last week, and “preferred him to a half-dozen other names.”


Sotheby’s will offer four major Joan Mitchell paintings as part of its May 13 contemporary evening sale, with estimates ranging between $1 million and $20 million. They are all from the same private collection and were made between 1954 and 1990. [ARTnews]

If Brussels lawmakers adopt a new law today, the public will finally be able to visit the city’s Palais Stoclet, a private villa of Vienna Secession architecture with a large room covered in mosaic friezes by Gustav Klimt. The friezes are encrusted with semi-precious stones and gold leaf, and the 1911-completed “Gesamtkunstwerk” or “total artwork” in German, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. For decades, however, it has been mostly closed to visitors. [Bloomberg]

London’s National Gallery has acquired its first painting by the female impressionist artist Eva Gonzalès, titled La Psyché (The Full-length Mirror) (1869-70). That makes her the 20th woman artist represented in the institution’s collection of works by about 750 artists from the mid 13th century to 1900. [The Art Newspaper]

A US District Court in Connecticut has sentenced Nicholas P. Hatch to 14 months in federal prison for selling 145 counterfeit Peter Max paintings. Hatch was arrested last year and pleaded guilty to mail fraud and has been ordered to pay back the $248,600 he made from fake artworks sold to 43 people. [Patch Media]

The Palestinian Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem has won the top World Press Photo of the Year prize for his image of a Palestinian woman Inas Abu Maamar, holding the body of her 5-year-old niece wrapped in a white cloth, who was killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza. [Le Quotidien de l’Art]

Belongings of the late feminist artist Mary Beth Edelson were dumped on the street below her former studio in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood Wednesday. Passersby managed to snag exhibition posters, and some of her clippings, which her son, Nick Edelson, had arranged for a garbage truck to come pick up soon after. [Artnet News]


FRANKENTHALER FIASCO. The abstract expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler was a key member of the New York School, and one of few women in that art boys’ club, yet she has not received the kind of recognition, or significant sale prices as her peers and other women of her generation or historic standing. Kelly Crow looks at why that is for The Wall Street Journal, and points to the most recent factor: “a messy, dramatic legal battle between the people she trusted most” at her eponymous foundation in New York. One of Frankenthaler’s nephews and one of her stepdaughters have been accused of using the artist’s name for their personal benefit, while another nephew is suing the foundation’s directors. The “poisonous mess” has many worried the disputes could derail a revival of Frankenthaler’s work ahead of a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., planned for 2028. London dealer Bernard Jacobson, a longtime friend of the artist, brings things into focus when he told the WSJ: “Helen would be horrified.”


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