Museum Gets $1.5 M. From Former Director, Renegade Burning Man Ends, and More: Morning Links for September 9, 2021

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The Headlines

AT LAST, M+ HAS AN OPENING DATE. The hotly anticipated art museum in Hong Kong, scheduled to open in 2017, will welcome visitors in November, “after years of construction, several delays, and a series of controversies,” ARTnews reports. The news was marred by another controversy: M+ removed from its website a photograph by Ai Weiwei in which he gives the finger to Tiananmen SquareArtnet News notes. (In other Ai news, Bloomberg has a story on the artist’s allegation that Credit Suisse is closing his foundation’s account because of an alleged criminal record.) The total cost of M+ has not yet been released, but museum officials have said it will be more than the $760 million initially budgeted , the South China Morning Post reports. Edward Lau Kwok-fan, a local politician who has called for M+ to deaccession works in its collection that could be deemed in violation of the 2020 National Security Law, told the paper, “I think they owe us at least an estimate now that the museum is opening.”

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AN OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY DONATION: A former director of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, John Stanley, has given the institution $1.5 million for staff professional development, the Toledo Blade reports. Stanley said that the institution helped pay for his MBA in the 1980s. “Museums never have funds for those things, so I just wanted to give back to the place that gave me my start,” he said. His first job at the TMA was as a stock boy in its mailroom in 1979. He became chief operating officer in the mid-1980s, departed in 1995, and came back to lead the TMA in 2019, retiring the following year. Another $1 million for professional development was give by Ann Hartmann, a veteran supporter of the museum, and her late husband, Frank Snug.

The Digest

About half of surveyed dealers saw an uptick in sales in the first half of 2021, according to the latest market report from Art Basel and UBS. Dealers at the top of the market, with over $10 million in annual revenue, saw the biggest jump. [ARTnews]

The unsanctioned edition of Burning Man (the official one was canceled) is winding down in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Officials say it drew around 15,000; it gets 80,000 in a normal year. There were three arrests, and one man was hospitalized after falling while parasailing. [The Associated Press]

An Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco will open in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood next year in an 11,000-square-foot space. Alison Gass, a former ICA San Jose director, is at the helm. Deborah and Andy Rappaport, the founders of the nearby Minnesota Street Project art venue, have given $1 million. [Datebook/San Francisco Chronicle]

Journalist Melissa Smith spoke with Black curators about their work and experiences at American art museums at a moment when leaders say they are trying to diversify. “We want to create change from within,” Kimberli Gant, a curator at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, said, “but we also want to keep our jobs.” [Robb Report]

The South China Morning Post took a look at K-Pop giant G-Dragon’s art collection, which includes pieces by Richard PrinceGeorge Condo, and Rudolf Stingel. The Seoul-based rapper appeared on the ARTnews “50 Art Collectors to Watch” list in 2019. [SCMP]

Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence is reportedly pregnant with her first child with her husband, Gladstone Gallery director Cooke Maroney[Page Six]

Artist Kara Walker has designed the poster for the 2021 New York Film Festival[]

The Kicker

THE MORE YOU KNOW: Gilbert & George, the reliably quotable Brit legends who are opening a new show at Lehmann Maupin in New York today, jointly answered a series of questions with Apollo magazine about life in their London. The weirdest item they have on hand? “An elephant’s foot which serves as our champagne cooler.” The “most well-thumbed book” in the space? The Spartacus International Gay Guide and Roget’s Thesaurus . Who is barred from entering? “The busy bodies, the do-gooders and the cynics.” A wise policy. [Apollo]


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