Museums & Heritage

Manicure at the Mauritshuis? Dutch museums turn into beauty parlours in protest over Covid restrictions

Initiative questions why gyms, hair salons and brothels have reopened but culture venues remain closed in the Netherlands

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts settles dispute with its former director

Nathalie Bondil, who was fired in 2020, was seeking $1.5m in moral and punitive damages from the museum’s board

For the first time ever, a Korean museum is selling off 'national treasures' at auction

Two bronze Buddha statues are likely to make records for cultural artefacts at auction in Korea

Tate Liverpool plans £25m gallery overhaul—with help from UK government’s ‘level up’ fund

The £10m public grant is part of a new initiative aimed at equalising quality of living between the north and south

Delhi's heritage buildings at risk of being sold to private buyers by right-wing government

The ruling BJP has been accused by a rival party of "selling off Delhi's history" following new licensing around historic structures in the capital

LabourNews

Employees at the Art Institute of Chicago museum and school vote to join union

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will now represent 266 employees at the museum and another 249 at the school

Kazakhstan protestors entered leading museum looking for ancient armour

The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the capital sustained some damage, according to a government statement

Three new non-profit spaces challenge the dominance of real estate and the market in China's contemporary art ecosystem

The Longlati Foundation in Shanghai and the Macalline Art Center and Fen Sonic HQ in Beijing put curation at the forefront

Cameroonian provenance researchers denied visas for Munich conference

The researchers are investigating the origins of 200 artefacts from Cameroon at Munich’s Museum Fünf Kontinente

NFTNews

British Museum banks on Turner NFTs after Hokusai initiative

Prices for Ultra Rare editions start at €4,999 but museum sales percentage remains under wraps

Plans to close pottery museum in Stoke for five months a year and cut full-time positions spark backlash

Gladstone Pottery Museum to be used as a film location under controversial council proposals

American Folk Art Museum gifted major work by itinerant 19th-century portraitist Ammi Phillips

‘Portrait of Frederick A. Gale’ is quintessential of Phillips’s paintings of children, who are the subjects of his most beloved works

What's the tea? Oldest brew in the world discovered in China

The 2,400-year-old remains of tea leaves were discovered in a royal tomb in Shandong province

'It’s time for museums to take critical race theory seriously'

There’s a campaign against discussions of race in the American education system—and museums have a part to play in fighting that

Nigeria seeks to calm tensions over return of Benin bronzes

Government museums body takes control of repatriated artefacts after ruler of Benin challenges new trust set up to unify Nigerian claimants

MuseumsAnalysis

How an Australian collector’s strings-attached gift paved the way for a new $36m museum

Shepparton Art Museum opened late last year but a ballooning budget and conflicting local politics have made led to a mixed reception

The Virginia museum spotlighting overlooked histories and perspectives

In a trio of current and upcoming exhibitions, the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University will showcase prints, paintings and a sonic environment that champion underrepresented narratives

Archival discovery prompts exploration of 1980s movement to support Central American artists at time of political upheaval

A dozen boxes of materials found in the Museum of Modern Art’s library served as the impetus for a new exhibition on the legacy of the Artists Call group at Tufts University Art Galleries

Louvre's attendance last year dropped to 1986 levels

Covid continued to impact on French museum visits, but the government provided a much-needed financial safety net

ItalyNews

McDonald’s blocked from building drive-through at Rome's ancient Baths of Caracalla

The council of state upheld a previous ruling preventing the fast food chain from opening at the popular heritage site

Belgium plans to hand back colonial loot to DR Congo

New law will set up expert commission to sift through thousands of objects at the Royal Museum for Central Africa

LabourNews

Two years after forming union, MOCA Los Angeles employees still negotiating first contract with museum leaders

Negotiations have been delayed, with wages proving a major sticking point and with administrators proposing increases well below union members’ demands

US museums close or reduce capacity as Omicron variant causes surge in Covid-19 cases

The Metropolitan Museum will stay opened at reduced capacity, while others like the Yale University Art Gallery and the Baltimore Museum of Art close temporarily

Closed since early 2020, Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte de Ponce faces long road to reopening

Despite challenges wrought by the pandemic and earthquake-caused damage to its building, the museum has a new director and new momentum

Utah museum acquires works by Japanese American artist Chiura Obata made in internment camp

Obata was incarcerated at the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah during the Second World War; now 35 of his works have been acquired by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Museums in London start to shut down as Omicron wave sweeps capital

Natural History Museum closes due to front-of-house staff shortages caused by Covid-19

Nelson-Atkins Museum acquires one of the earliest daguerreotype portraits made in the US

The 1840 profile portrait is part of a collection of early photographic works by Henry Fitz Jr. that is joining the Kansas City museum’s holdings

Business as usual for European museums operating in China, despite genocide ruling

A London panel has assembled the largest cache of evidence on the concentration camps in Xinjiang, but museums will not say if they have examined it

Swiss museum to part with 29 works from Gurlitt trove suspected of being Nazi loot

Kunstmuseum Bern announces results of in-depth provenance investigation of controversial 2014 bequest

From NFTs to LFTs: 2021's biggest art stories—and what they mean

The Art Newspaper team picks apart this year’s most important developments, from demands for colonial restitution to the return of culture wars

Hosted by Ben Luke. With guest speakers Anna Brady, Martin Bailey and Jane Morris. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson. With Henrietta Bentall
Sponsored byChristie's

Bronx Museum of the Arts to undertake $21m expansion

The project includes the addition of a multi-storey entrance and lobby, and is being supported with state and city funds

Lacma acquires 60 works with a focus on Black representation

Among the works joining the museum’s collection are paintings by Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley as well as a self-portrait by an artist who worked as a preparator at Lacma for decades

True mettle: restoring Hampton Court Palace's glorious but scarred Baroque iron screens

Reviving 17th-century Tijou screens commissioned by Protestant monarchs William and Mary means undoing decades of damage and haphazard repairs

From artist residency to fully-fledged museum: Ghana's new space for contemporary African art prepares to open in March

Just a year after launching a studio programme in Accra, its ambitious young founder is turning it into a museum

The Met begins $70m renovation of African, ancient American and Oceanic art galleries

The galleries, housed in the Michael C. Rockefeller wing of the museum, will be modernised to better contextualise the collection and illustrate the ‘complex story of cultural development over the last 5,000 years’

Returning home: Italy pulls 100 works from major museums and sends them to regional institutions where they were previously shown

Loan initiative aims to decentralise Italian collections and encourage more people to visit smaller museums

Boston College museum receives $25m in art and grants from philanthropist Peter Lynch

The McMullen Museum of Art is gaining works by Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Albert Bierstadt, and others

Macron's Gulf tour: UAE's Louvre Abu Dhabi contract extended to 2047 and more French-Saudi culture deals

Renewal of Abu Dhabi deal means the Louvre can partner with the network of museums planned for Saudi Arabia's AlUla region

Cy Twombly Foundation pulls lawsuit after Louvre agrees to rework renovation of gallery that bears artist's ceiling

The foundation said earlier this year that the “aggressive colours“ covering the walls “violated the harmonies“ of Twombly’s pale blue canopy

Buddhist composer Philip Glass in dialogue with a storied Tibetan art collection

The Smithsonian commissioned the composer to create a performance responding to an exhibition of objects from the illustrious Tibetan Buddhist art collection of Alice Kandell

Museums and heritage in 2021: pandemic woes and African treasures

We look back on a year of museums commandeered as Covid-19 vaccine centres, masterpieces sold as NFTs and much talk over the Benin bronzes

'Heart of Matisse': new study centre dedicated to Modern master opens at Baltimore Museum of Art

US museum builds a permanent research space for its "crown jewel"—more than 1,200 works by Henri Matisse

National Museum of Afghanistan reopens—but staff are unpaid and Taliban are guarding the treasures

Recent images show militia taking photographs of artefacts on their mobile phones

Swiss parliament urged to take action on Nazi-looted art amid Kunsthaus Zurich controversy

Zurich museum's displays of the collection of arms dealer Emil Georg Bührle have prompted criticism and a national debate

The Netherlands looks set to buy Rembrandt’s €165m 'Standard Bearer'

Owned by the Rothschild family, the vibrant painting is on the open market after France was unable to raise the funds to buy the national treasure

Van Gogh gets a facelift: conservation of self-portrait to be revealed in London

The Kröller-Müller Museum painting will be unveiled in the Courtauld Gallery’s exhibition

a blog by Martin Bailey

Metropolitan Museum drops Sackler name from its galleries

The announcement comes as museums worldwide sever ties with members of the Sackler family over their role in the opioid crisis

Archive of James Van Der Zee, once-ignored chronicler of Harlem, acquired by the Met

Lifelong documenter of Harlem is the first Black photographer to have entire archive acquired by the New York museum

Brooklyn Museum appoints KP Trueblood as its new president and chief operating officer

Trueblood, who will replace David Berliner early next year, has a background in government and public service

Pompeii turns to tech to protect ancient site against climate change damage

Monitoring system that includes drones and sensors will track the impact of extreme weather

David Adjaye plans slavery museum in Barbados as new republic severs ties with Britain

Complex that will include a research institute for the Barbados Archives—a 400-year-old documentation of the British transatlantic slave trade

BanksyNews

Banksy will sell jailbreak stencil for £10m to turn Reading prison into art centre

The now-defunct jail once held playwright Oscar Wilde on charges of gross indecency between 1895 and 1897

National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC plans to return looted Benin cockerel to Nigeria

The museum is “eager to work with the relevant parties in Nigeria” to restitute the sculpture

Shock as Janusz Janowski appointed new director of Poland’s leading Zacheta National Gallery of Art by right-wing culture minister

Most recent hire without an open competition is viewed by critics as latest step in government's agenda of placing conservative appointees in control of cultural institutions

'Frightening' price tag and soap opera drama: Moscow’s GES-2 House of Culture opens opposite Kremlin

Power plant arts centre backed by Russian billionaire makes its long-awaited debut with a “dream exhibition” for Ragnar Kjartansson and a carnival in four acts