Walters Art Museum Staffers Vote to Unionize, Ann and Gordon Getty Sale Nets $21.9 M., and More: Morning Links for June 19, 2023

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The Headlines

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THE TOP JOB. The Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln tapped Susan Longhenry to be its new director. Longhenry is currently the director and chief curator of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University in Milwaukee. ● The El Paso Museum of Art in Texas named a new director, Edward Hayes, Jr., who was previously exhibitions senior manager at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. ● Last but not least, William Griswold, the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art since 2014, got a contract reports. Originally set to expire in 2024, it now runs through January 2027.

IN THE SALESROOM. Art and design that philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty had at their mansion in Berkeley Hills, California, known as Temple of Wingsbrought in about $21.9 million at Christie’s last week, with Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s 1895 painting A Coign of Vantage going for $7.07 million with fees, twice its $3.5 million high estimate. Every lot sold across across the live and online auctions—a white-glove sale, in auction-house parlance. The proceeds will go to charities selected by Ann, who died in 2020, and Gordon, who turns 90 later this year. Sales at Christie’s last year of material that they kept at their house in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood hauled in more than $150 million, also with every lot selling.

The Digest

Workers at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore voted to unionize with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees by a vote of 60 to 5. [The Baltimore Sun]

Germany returned to Colombia 15th-century sacred masks from the indigenous Kogi people that had been purchased by a German ethnologist in 1915 and held in collections in the country. Because their wood was treated with toxic pesticides, it may no longer be safe to wear them in ceremonies, Germany said. [The Guardian]

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled the $1.8 billion Regional Connector Transit Project, which includes three new subway stations, each sporting art, by people like Andrea BowersClare RojasMungo Thomson, and Pearl C. Hsiung[Los Angeles Times]

Photographer Richard Mosse is currently in a group show at London’s Hayward Gallery and shared some of his cultural touchstones, like the classic 1978 Charles Burnett film Killer of Sheep and the work of fellow photographer An-My Lê[The Guardian]

Because of a very wet winter in California, wild black mustard has proliferated, and as it dies amid warming weather, it could pose a fire hazard. Artists and designers are ripping it out and using it to make dye and other materials. “This is an abundant art supply that is all around us,” artist Erin Berkowitz said. [The Associated Press]

THE ARTISTS. Gary Simmons spoke with CNNRobert Longo did an interview with CulturedRyan Gander is in the Guardian, and Francesco Vezzoli chatted with the Hollywood Reporter.

The Kicker

ALL GLORY IS FLEETING. A new Interview magazine conversation between artists Jordan Wolfson and Heji Shin is nominally about the latter’s upcoming show at David Zwirner’s 52 Walker space in New York, but it really goes places. One topic: success. “Success is as good as being in a fancy hotel room,” Wolfson said. “The first 15, 20 minutes of it, you get excited, you can turn the shower on, you jump on a nice bed. Then after a while, you’re still just consciousness inside of yourself and susceptible to whatever experience you’re having.” [Interview]


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