Street Photographer Sabine Weiss Dies at 97, Researchers Digitally ‘Unwrap’ Pharaoh’s Mummy, and More: Morning Links for December 30, 2021

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The Headlines

SABINE WEISS, the storied Swiss street photographer whose career stretched more than seven decades, died at her home in Paris, the AFP reports. She was 97. Weiss shot everything, from portraits of celebrities like Alberto Giacometti and Brigitte Bardot to all types of chance sights in various cities. “I went into morgues and into factories, I took pictures of rich people and I took pictures of fashion,” the AFP quoted her saying. “But what remains are the pictures I took for myself, in stolen moments.” BBC News has published a portfolio of her images. Late in life, Weiss stopped taking photos but continued to work on her archive. In 2017, she donated some 200,000 negatives, as well as other materials, to the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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GREAT FINDS. Using a process called 3D computed tomography scanning technology, researchers have digitally “unwrapped” the mummified body of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I, the Guardian reports. Their research indicates that the ruler, who lived some 3,500 years ago, died at 35, had healthy teeth, and was buried with 30 amulets and a golden girdle. In other archaeology news, the BBC team reported on the intricate ancient Roman mosaic that was recently unearthed in a field in England. Alice Roberts, a biological anthropologist who is readying a TV program on the discovery, said, “Nothing like it has been found in Britain for 100 years.”

The Digest

Teresa Iarocci Mavica has departed as general director of the V-A-C Foundation and its GES-2 House of Culture, which just opened in Moscow earlier this month. Mavica will continue to be on the V-A-C’s board and will focus on the foundation’s Venice location. [The Moscow Times]

The Aspen Art Museum in Colorado has become the latest museum to close temporarily amid the coronavirus spike. It said it will keep its doors locked through January 7. [The Aspen Times]

The Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia, and Dustin Klein and Alex Criqui, who projected instantly iconic imagery on the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, received a $670,000 grant for a light-based public art initiative called “Recontextualizing Richmond” from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Monuments Project. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Speaking of monuments, some in New York are in a state of disrepair because they have not been maintained over the years, Zachary Small reports. A 1938 stone frieze by Richmond Barthé, for one, is in need of $1.8 million in repair work. [The New York Times]

Some experts are skeptical of the use of A.I. technology to reconstruct lost or damaged works by canonical artists. Discussing a Google effort to recreate a destroyed Gustav Klimt work, Jane Kallir, of New York’s Galerie St. Etienne, said, “These things look like cartoons. They don’t look like Klimt paintings.” [The Washington Post]

Beverly Russell, a pioneering journalist who served as editor of the magazines Interiors and Architecture, and who advocated for women in the design world, died earlier this month at the age of 87. Russell underwent a medically assisted suicide. “My mother lived her life on her own terms, and she wanted to go out on her own terms,” her son said. [The New York Times]

The Kicker

OUT OF THIS WORLD. Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, a mainstay on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, is aboard the International Space Station at the moment for a 12-day jaunt with a reported price tag of more than $80 million (which included a seat for someone to film the trip for him.) He seems happy with his purchase. “Once you are in space, you realize how much it is worth it by having this amazing experience,” Maezawa told the Associated Press, though he said he is having a little trouble sleeping. “I am looking forward to doing some sports inside the space station—badminton, table tennis and golf,” he added. “What I am not looking forward to that much is toilet-related stuff.” [Associated Press]


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