Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, November 14, 2016

Vancouver
$7M art collection gifted anonymously to Museum of Anthropology  An extensive collection of Indigenous art valued at about $7 million has been given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor. With more than 200 pieces, the museum says it is believed to be the largest collection of northwest coast First Nations art to return to B.C. in decades…The art will be housed in a new gallery of northwest coast masterworks, funded with a $3-million donation from Montreal charity the Doggone Foundation and a $500,000 grant from the federal government. CBC.ca, November 10, 2016

Fred Lee’s Social Network: splashing art reins in record  After a three-week storm delay, Arts Umbrella’s 34th Splash Art Auction went off at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Some 100 B.C. artists put their best works forward for the yearly gala and art auction… the fundraiser truly lived up to its name, raising a record $500,000 for the venerable arts institution that serves 22,000 kids in the Metro Vancouver area annually, two-thirds participating at little or no cost thanks to the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations. The Province, November 13, 2016

Vancouver artist creates giant book telling tale of Alice, post-Wonderland  When Penny Parry was just an infant, her parents bought a hard copy of Alice in Wonderland to read to her every night before she went to bed…Parry grew up to be many things: a child and youth care practitioner, a professional artist and most recently a short story writer. In fact, she’s opened up a new art installation titled To Have and To Hold that features her own sequel to her favourite childhood story in the form of a nearly two-meter-tall book. CBC.ca, November 12, 2016

Toronto
How Toronto learned to embrace its street art  At one of the busiest street corners in Toronto, a nine-storey mural by the British graffiti artist Phlegm depicts a human figure curled into a sleeping position. Inside the figure’s outline is a congested landscape of buildings. The untitled work, commissioned by the city, is an example of how the local government has turned around its view on street art. The Art Newspaper, November 11, 2016

Montreal
Pavilion for Peace gives Museum of Fine Arts a new vision  The Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace shows almost 800 art works on four levels, including a level dominated by the Hornsteins’ donation in 2012 of 77 works of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art. That instigated the Quebec government to provide $18.5 million for construction of a building to house this world-class collection, which will surely attract visitors to Montreal. The new pavilion devotes two of its six levels to art therapy and art education, thanks to Michel de la Chenelière, who donated $2.1 million to add the second level. Montreal Gazette, November 11, 2016

New York
Inside David Bowie’s Extraordinary Art Auction at Sotheby’s Ten months to the day after his passing, the bulk of David Bowie’s personal art collection — some 400 works in total — went on the block at a three-part auction at Sotheby’s on Nov. 10-11, fetching a grand total of $41.1 million…Bowie, who passed away at age 69 after a battle with cancer, was a passionate and knowledgeable collector with a taste for British contemporary art, who preferred to collect pieces that evoked a strong emotional response over those that promised a sound financial return. Many directly inspired his own art. Billboard, November 12, 2016

Brooklyn Museum Will Be Free This Weekend [Nov. 12-13], ‘as People Search for a Sense of National Unity  Some nice news out of Kings County, New York, to conclude one of the worst weeks on record: the Brooklyn Museum announced that it will waive its standard $16 suggested donation and offer free admission this weekend, “as people search for a sense of national unity,” it said in a statement, clearly alluding to Tuesday’s very divisive election. The note continued, “We hope that visitors will explore the museum as a great and timely learning resource, especially our newly installed American Art galleries, which embrace an inclusive view of history and recognize the shifting demographics of our richly diverse country.” Artnews, November 11, 2016

London
Herzog & de Meuron wins contest for new Royal College of Art campus  Herzog & de Meuron has been selected to design the new Royal College of Art campus in Battersea, southwest London. The Swiss firm led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron – ranked fourth in the Dezeen Hot List – won an invited competition to design the £108 million Battersea South campus for the Royal College of Art (RCA). Herzog and de Meuron’s 15,000-square-metre scheme for the world’s top design school will provide several floors of studio space for courses focusing on the crossover between design, science, engineering and technology. Dezeen, November 10, 2016

Berlin
Germany appoints first Jewish members to Nazi-loot art panel  The German culture minister Monika Grütters has appointed the first Jewish members to the so-called Limbach Commission—a panel established in 2003 to mediate in Nazi-looted art ownership disputes. The minister made three new appointments—two of whom are Jewish. Gary Smith, the former director of the American Academy in Berlin, and Raphael Gross, the director of the Simon Dubnow Institut for Jewish History and Culture in Leipzig, are to join the committee along with Marion Eckertz-Höfer, the former president of the Federal Administrative Court. The latest appointments brings the group’s membership to ten. The Art Newspaper, November 11, 2016

Nimrud
The vandals of Isis: Nimrud warns us of a unique barbarism  Another defeat for Isis, another ancient civilisation rescued from further acts of deliberate destruction. Nimrud, site of one of the great palaces of the Assyrian empire, has been taken by Iraqi forces after a fierce battle with Islamists. The liberation of its ruins follows the Assad regime’s recapture of what’s left of Palmyra earlier this year… Archaeologists will now be able to go and find out what is left of the great Northwest Palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC), one of the most splendid and spectacular creations of the ancient Assyrians. The Guardian, November 14, 2016

Ancient Nimrud ziggurat bulldozed by Isil  One of the tallest surviving structures from the ancient world has been totally destroyed by Isil extremists at Nimrud, the former capital of Assyria, which was captured by Iraqi government forces on 13 November. The ziggurat, which was nearly 2,900 years old, was obliterated. Only the largest Egyptian pyramids are higher than Middle Eastern ziggurats and central American step pyramids. “The Nimrud ziggurat was apparently bulldozed and pushed into the ancient bed of the Tigris river,” says John Curtis, the president of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq. The Art Newspaper, November 14, 2016

 

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