Met Admits Gertrude Stein's Nazi Ties, Get Rachel Whiteread on Your iPhone, and More Must-Read Art News

Met Admits Gertrude Stein's Nazi Ties, Get Rachel Whiteread on Your iPhone, and More Must-Read Art News
Gertrude Stein
(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection)

 Met Acknowledges Stein's Vichy Leanings: Responding to requests from Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer and assemblyman Dov Hikind — along with other officials and visitors — the Metropolitan Museum will add wall text to its popular exhibition "The Steins Collect" that acknowledges Gertrude Stein's alliance with Nazi agent Bernard Fäy, whose support may have contributed to preserving her art collection during the Vichy regime in France, at a time when other prominent art collectors faced confiscation. "We have been talking about it here for days," said museum spokesperson Harold Holzer. "It's not an unreasonable request." [NYT]

– BBC Brings Art to Your iPhone: A new digital joint venture between the BBC and Arts Council England will offer hundreds of hours of arts programming for free online, on mobile phones, and on digital TV. In addition to offering Ridley Scott's first film and all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, the service includes a brand new artwork by Rachel Whiteread. [GuardianBBC]


– Lawsuit Over Auction-Bound Picasso: Alongside "The Scream" in tonight's much-anticipated auction, Sotheby's will sell Picasso's 1941 painting of Dora Maar, "Femme Assise dans un Fauteuil," which is expected to fetch between $20 and $30 million. But the painting has a checkered past: Its late owner's insurers filed a lawsuit over damage done to the artwork while it was held by New York's Acquavella Galleries. The tear that was the subject of the dispute has been repaired, and according to the auction catalogue the "restoration is of the highest standard," but consignor Ted Forstmann's insurers still want Acquavella to reimburse them. [BloombergAbove the Estimate]

– David Hockney is England's Top Philanthropist: The British artist landed at the top of the nation's annual Giving List by donating more than twice his net worth (an estimated $55.2 million) to his own art foundation. Hockney transferred paintings valued at $124.2 million to the foundation, which will ultimately distribute them to arts institutions around the world. [LAT]

– Chicago's Marilyn Sculpture Moves On: The giant, much-maligned Seward Johnson sculpture depicting Marilyn Monroe frozen in the most iconic scene from "The Seven Year Itch" that has towered above Chicago's Pioneer Court since last July, "Forever Marilyn," will pack up its billowing dress and leave the Windy City on Monday. Its next stop has yet to be announced. [Chicago Tribune]

– Diplomatic Planets Allign for Pollock Exhibition: The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo's special exhibition of Jackson Pollock in honor of the painter's 100th birthday has received loans and financial support from both the U.S. and Iranian embassies. "That we are receiving support from both America and Iran has made it a rare exhibition," said the chief curator. [WSJ]

– Arrests Made in Fitzwilliam Theft: London police have arrested two men for the multimillion-dollar theft of 18 rare Chinese artifacts from Cambridge University's Fitzwilliam Museum last month. The arrests were made after police appealed for help on the television program "Crimewatch" yesterday evening. [AP]

– Mayor Bloomberg Bankrolls Hospital Art: New York's mayor commissioned 70 artists from across the country to create work for the new Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, named after his mother and facilitated by a $120 million donation. In addition to commissions by Tom BurckhardtByron Kim, and Eva Wylie, the wing features a 250,000-square-foot glass curtain wall by artist Spencer Finch. [Dwell]

– Hermitage Lets Cats Out of the Bag, Nightly: St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum has a mouse problem, and a cat solution. Every night the venerable institution releases cats in its galleries to perform pest control. Though the institution doesn't have a formal contract with its furry workers, it does honor them every year with Day of the Hermitage Cat, which coincides with the birthday of known cat-lover Vladimir Lenin. [TAN]

– Munch's Kraft Murals Headed to Auction: Call it "The Scream" ripple effect. A series of 12 large murals by Edvard Munch that were commissioned in 1921 for a Kraft factory canteen in Oslo may be sold at auction. The food company has not disclosed specific plans for the sale, but says it will make sure the paintings find a good home. "These paintings are light and happy, unlike many other Munch paintings," Kraft Foods's Kristian Hvilen said. [BBC]

– Grayson Perry Wins British Arts Prize: The conceptual ceramicist was among the honorees at yesterday's South Bank Sky Arts Awards, where he received the visual art prize from Tracey Emin for his exhibition "The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman" at the British Museum. [Telegraph]


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