Record $25 M. Gift for Florida Museum, Turkish Arts Patron Gets Life in Prison, and More: Morning Links for April 26, 2022

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The Headlines

IT IS RAINING IN THE SUNSHINE STATE. The Tampa Museum of Art in Florida has received $25 million for its planned expansion from Dick Corbett, who runs the Concorde Companies real-estate investment firm, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The museum termed it the largest private donation ever made to a public museum in the state. The building project will nearly double the size of the institution, from 69,000 square feet to 120,000, and almost triple the amount of space it has to show art. Corbett said in a statement that was released to press that he hopes his gift “will encourage others who have the means to give back to also join in and support the growth of the museum’s world-class exhibits and programs.” The project is slated to be finished in 2024.

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SUMMER ESCAPES. With the Venice Biennale now open, the art world’s eyes turn to Art Basel, which arrives in Switzerland in mid-June. It released its exhibitor list back in February, and the revered satellite Liste has named its participants, too. Now the small but mighty June Art Fair —housed in a chic bunker in the city—has announced its lineup, and it includes Foxy Production of New York and Jacky Strenz of Frankfurt. ARTnews has the detailsDocumenta 15 will open to the public in Kassel, Germany, just as Basel is winding down, and it just revealed details of its (always ambitious) publication program. There will be four volumes printed, including an illustrated guide that, per a news release, “offers children and families, but also comic fans and experienced exhibition visitors, alternative perspectives on” the show. Sounds cool.

The Digest

Turkish businessman and arts philanthropist Osman Kavala was sentenced to life in prison by an Istanbul court on charges of attempting to overthrow the government in 2013. Human-rights groups have slammed the verdict as stemming from Kavala’s opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan[Financial Times]

Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said that the country’s heritage protection task force would be made available to help UNESCO protect heritage sites abroad, and revealed that its law-enforcement agents specializing in art crime have been assisting Ukrainian officials with that task remotely. [The Art Newspaper]

The North Face has resolved a lawsuit brought by the New York street artist Futura, who had alleged that the apparel maker used his “atom” symbol on a line of its clothing without his permission. Both parties told a court they had reached a settlement; the terms were not disclosed, and the lawyers have not commented. [Reuters]

A MILLON HERE, A MILLION THERE. A 374-liter cask of rare Macallan whisky from 1988 sold for about £1.02 million ($1.30 million) in an online auction on the Whisky Hammer site, the Press Association reports. (That is about $3,460 a liter, for the record.) Meanwhile, a book of poems written by Charlotte Brontë at age 13 sold at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, where it was priced at $1.25 million , the New York Times reports. The buyer was the British charity Friends of the National Libraries, which will donate it to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in England.

On the subject of big-ticket alcohol-related offerings: NFTs are being minted for wine, but opinion is divided about their importance. They “are mostly gimmicks testing the water to see what works,” said one expert, while another termed them “a new source of growth with younger generations.” [Bloomberg]

The Kicker

IF YOU WERE IN VENICE (OR ON INSTAGRAM) LAST WEEK, you probably saw some a suite of absolutely gargantuan, really humungous, and quite dazzling wall panels by Anselm Kiefer on view at the Palazzo Ducale. The work is so large that even our great oligarch collectors might have trouble fitting it in their capacious private museums, and in ArtforumLinda Yablonsky writes that Kiefer was reportedly considering a plan to sink his creation into the lagoon after his show closes. However, “I’m already onto the next show,” he told her when she brought up that subject. In any case, it was available as of last week, per a Gagosian director quoted by Yablonsky. Here’s hoping someone saves this beauty from the abyss! [Artforum]


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