Frick Collection, New York. Works on paper by James McNeill Whistler: The Frick Collection in New York is almost tripling its holdings of works on paper by James McNeill Whistler, the American-born, British-based artist enthusiastically collected by the museum’s founder, Henry Clay Frick. A promised gift from the collection of Gertrude Kosovsky adds 41 etchings and lithographs and one pastel, made between the 1850s and 1890s. The Frick will now be able to trace Whistler’s “development as a printmaker from his early years as a leading figure in the etching revival in Paris and London to his masterful late lithographs”, say Susan Grace Galassi and Margaret Iacono, the co-curators of the museum’s current show of 16 works from the promised gift (until 1 September). © Gertrude Kosovsky Collection. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

Museum of Modern Art, New York. Soviet textile designs by Anna Andreeva: MoMA has acquired one textile and 11 designs on paper for textiles by Anna Andreeva (1917-2008), a leading Soviet artist at the Red Rose silk factory in Moscow. The part-purchase, part-gift from her estate includes drawings for the commemorative scarves she designed for the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 visit to the UK—a gift to Queen Elizabeth II—and the 1963 World Congress of Women. “Andreeva’s work highlights the double role of design as utility for domestic use and as ‘soft power’ [in] Cold War cultural diplomacy,” says Evangelos Kotsioris, a curatorial assistant in MoMA’s department of architecture and design. The acquisition strengthens an “underrepresented” area of the museum’s collection in line with its mission to “paint a more nuanced and varied picture of how modernism took shape”, he says. © Museum of Modern Art, New York

Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Nari Ward’s We the People (Arabic version) (2018): Nari Ward originally created his multi-edition wall installation We the People with the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia in 2011. He made a new version in Arabic for last month’s Frieze New York fair, where it was bought by the Sharjah Art Foundation from Lehmann Maupin Gallery for an undisclosed sum. The piece spells out the first words of the preamble to the US Constitution in colourful recycled shoelaces. Explaining the genesis of the work in 2017, the New York-based Jamaican artist said he wanted to use “this mundane, quotidian material” to “tackle a concept that people will have to re-examine again”. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin

British Museum, London. Damien Hirst’s Frank Dunphy portraits: Damien Hirst’s former business manager, Frank Dunphy, has donated 73 portraits Hirst made of him during their breakfast meetings to the UK’s Cultural Gifts Scheme. Offered in exchange for a tax reduction, the so-called Wolseley drawings have been allocated to the British Museum. The works are named after the grand London restaurant where the pair met. The artist sketched on the back of its circular placemats, some of which still bear coffee and food stains. One depicts Dunphy as an egg and another (Skullduggery Day, 2007) as Hirst’s infamous platinum and diamond skull sculpture. Courtesy of Arts Council England and the British Museum

Brooklyn Museum. New York Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun’s Portrait of Countess Maria Theresia Czernin (1793): This oil painting by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun enables the Brooklyn Museum to tell “a more inclusive narrative of historical European art with regard to the contributions of women”, says its senior curator of European art, Lisa Small. The museum is home to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, where Vigée Le Brun is celebrated in Judy Chicago’s installation The Dinner Party (1974-79). The portrait, which depicts the countess holding a book about ancient Greece, is due to go on view in the European painting galleries in August. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

Top five acquisitions in June

Our pick of the most significant new gifts and purchases to enter museum collections worldwide, from Damien Hirst's placemat portraits to Nari Ward's recycled shoelace installation

Nari Ward’s We the People (Arabic version) (2018) Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin

Nari Ward’s We the People (Arabic version) (2018) Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin