Theft at Dutch Ceramics Museum, Choreographer Attacks Critic, and More: Morning Links for February 14, 2023

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The Headlines

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CRIME SCENE. The Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, said that, on Monday morning, a burglar or burglars broke in and stole “precious Chinese ceramics” that it had on view. Seven of the pieces were destroyed during their escape, but four more are believed to be unaccounted for. Exact details about the objects were not yet available. (The Mirror has a rundown of some of the treasures in the museum’s collection.) Intriguingly, the semi-successful burglary followed a failed attempt on February 1 that the museum said had led it to adopt “enhanced surveillance and security procedures together with security consultants and the police.” The institution will remain closed until February 21, amid the ongoing investigation.

MODERNIST ARCHITECT Robert Geddes, who served as the first dean of Princeton University’s School of Architecturedied on Monday at the age of 99, the New York Times reports. Geddes was involved in designing buildings for the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the master plan for Liberty State Park in Jersey City, and numerous other projects, many at universities. His firm, Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham, finished second in the competition to design the Sydney Opera HouseJorn Utzon ’s winning proposal would become iconic. In an interview quoted by the Times, Geddes quipped, “Fortunately, we didn’t win because we would have had to move to Australia.”

The Digest

Artist Peter Doig is no longer represented by his longtime dealer, Michael Werner Gallery, which has spaces in New York, London, Berlin, and Cologne, and he is now operating independently. [Artnet News]

German choreographer Marco Goecke rubbed dog feces on the face of a critic who had given his work a negative review, Wiebke Hüster. The Hanover State Opera has suspended Goecke as ballet director, and the Hanover police are investigating. [The New York Times]

At a government auction in Hong Kong on Sunday, a personalized license plate with a single letter—R—sold for HK$25.5 million (about US$3.25 million), just short of the HK$26 million record set by W in 2021. Why the huge result for R? Commentators proposed that it could stand for “rich” or be a matter of feng shui, representing 20 years of good fortune. [Bloomberg]

President Biden fired the Architect of the Capitol, J. Brett Blanton, following an investigation that determined he abused his authority and misused government resources. Many lawmakers had been calling for him to resign. The position is responsible for overseeing the U.S. Capitol Complex in Washington, D.C., including its art holdings. [NPR]

Artist Mark Dutcher and his partner, architect David Ross, share a home in the storied Sea Ranch in Northern California that was built by architect Martin Gelber. It includes an Isamu Noguchi Akari lantern, Enzo Mari kit chairs, and a table that Ross designed with proportions that pay tribute to Mark Rothko[Architectural Digest]

ARTIST PROFILES.Ruben Ochoa, who is showing his art in a 1985 Chevy cargo van at Frieze Los Angeles, is in the New York TimesScott Covert, who makes rubbings at the graves of the famous, is in the Guardian, and Taravat Talepasand—whose work was recently the subject of controversy at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota—is featured in a Michelle Goldberg column in the Times.

The Kicker

BIG DIG. Have you managed to score a ticket to the Rijksmuseum‘s Vermeer show? When you are in Amsterdam, consider a visit to the Rokin metro station. CNN took a look at that underground stop, which displays nearly 10,000 artifacts that were discovered during the construction of the city’s North-South line. Among the finds were a crocodile jaw, furniture fittings, and chopped animal bones (from a long-vanished butcher). “Prior to the excavation of these artifacts, the city had an archaeological archive of only about 70,000 artifacts,” Hoite Detmar, who oversaw the project until its 2018 completion, told the outlet. “We found 10 times as many during the construction of the North-South line.” [CNN]


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