Week in Review: Turmoil with Robert Indiana’s Estate Continues, Brazil’s National Museum Needs Funds

A sculpture by Robert Indiana (via Matt Harris’s Flickrstream)

Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

The estate of artist Robert Indiana is attempting to stop reproduction of the famed pop artist’s works under the claim that licensing agreements for those works, including his famous “LOVE” artwork, ended when the artist died in 2018. Notices were filed in a New York federal court terminating licensing agreements between the estate and Michael McKenzie, the Morgan Art Foundation, and Simon Salama-Caro. McKenzie’s American Image Art represented a part of Indiana’s artwork late in his life, while the Morgan Art Foundation owns the rights to Indiana’s “LOVE” and Salama-Caro served as Indiana’s agent and an adviser to Morgan. McKenzie and Morgan plan to fight the filing in court. [Press Herald]

Czech Culture Minister Antonin Stanek will step down after coming under scrutiny for his dismissal of Jiri Fajt, former director of Prague’s National Gallery, earlier this month. Many believed the firing was politically driven, and international museum administrators, including Hartwig Fischer at the British Museum and Max Hollein at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, signed a letter condemning the decision. [The Art Newspaper]

At the unveiling of over 200 ancient Egyptian artifacts recovered after Brazil’s National Museum caught fire in September, the museum’s director Alexander Kellner called out the museum’s lack of federal funding. While the ministry of education, the administrator of the museum, has supported the rebuilding process with 2.5 million reais (~$620,000), the museum requests an additional 1 million reais (~$248,000) as soon as possible. “We’re not going to be able to continue these cool activities you’re seeing here without help,” Kellner said. [TAN]

Machu Picchu (via Dan Merino’s Flickrstream)

The Peruvian government will restrict access to the historic site of Machu Picchu through May 28, limiting the number of tourists that can pass through the Incan citadel’s Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, and Intihuatana Stone. The initiative is a step towards long-term preservation of the site. “These measures are necessary to conserve Machu Picchu, given the evidence of deterioration” on its stone surfaces, says the country’s culture ministry. The national authorities will apply new, permanent rules on June 1. [ArtDaily]

Jorge Pérez, whose name bears the Pérez Art Museum Miami, established a program called CreARTE to distribute $1 million in grants annually to visual arts groups. In partnership with the Miami Foundation, the program will center artist fellowships and residencies, art education and access, and creative spaces. [Miami Herald]

Forbidden City’s Imperial Ancestral Temple (via Wikimedia Commons)

David Adjaye will design New Delhi’s renovated Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. The museum has resided inside a shopping mall for the past nine years, but will expand to accommodate its over 6,000 artworks. The news was announced at the 2019 Venice Biennale, where Adjaye was participating in Ghana’s first pavilion at the fair, and Kiran Nadar (the museum’s founder) was curating the Indian pavilion. [Archinecht]

Anish Kapoor will become the first foreign artist to install work in the Forbidden City’s Imperial Ancestral Temple in Beijing. [artnet]

Transactions

Claude Monet, “Meules” (1890) (via Wikimedia Commons)

One of Claude Monet’s iconic haystack paintings, “Meules” (1890), sold for $110,747,000 at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on May 14, becoming the first Impressionist to surpass a $100 million price tag at auction and setting a record for the French artist. The painting is one of only four paintings from Monet’s Haystacks series to come to auction in the 21st century. The sale brought in a total of $349,859,150.

This and other notable sales and acquisitions are chronicled in our latest Transactions story.

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