France Will Return Objects to Benin, the Future of Tech in Museums, and More: Morning Links from December 17, 2019 – ARTnews

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News

France said it will return 26 artifacts to Benin by 2021, in a major move on repatriation. [ARTnews]

“With the Louvre revealing its virtual reality Mona Lisa, museums ponder the power of tech experiences.” [The Art Newspaper]

Tribute

Minimalist music composer Steve Reich talked about his experience of his friend Richard Serra’s massive sculpture Equal in The Way I See It, a podcast collaboration between MoMA and the BBC. “You look at this steel and you sense that this is totally different than what you usually run into—objects you deal with—the idea of you having any effect on them is absolutely out of the question.” [MoMA Magazine]

Actor and singer Jane Birkin paid tribute to the late artist/filmmaker Agnès Varda. “Agnès had an abundance of the curiosity gene and was always doing unexpected things.” [The Guardian]

Esteemed New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl wrote a recent cancer diagnosis and some of his thoughts on “the art of dying.” [The New Yorker]

Opinion

A columnist makes a case that the San Francisco Port Commission’s decision to serve an eviction notice to the decade-old nonprofit Pier 24 Photography Museum, is an “egregious demonstration” of the group’s “backwards priorities.” [San Francisco Examiner]

Washington Examiner writer Madeline Fry argues that this was “the year art censorship came back in style.” [The Washington Examiner]

The Guardian picked its top 15 photography books of 2019. [The Guardian]

Swizz & Alicia

ARTnews has an 8-minute video of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys giving a tour around some of their favorite artworks in their home in Englewood, New Jersey. [ARTnews]

It accompanies an in-depth profile of the collector couple by Antwaun Sargent. [ARTnews]

Misc.

The design-minded duo behind Carpenters Workshop Gallery is challenging the status quo of design. [WSJ]

The Smithsonian’s 10 “splashiest new acquisitions of 2019” include a big diamond, a rocket engine, and a painting by Katherine Bernhardt. [Smithsonian Magazine]

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