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Museum Gets $1.5 M. From Former Director, Renegade Burning Man Ends, and More: Morning Links for September 9, 2021

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The Headlines
AT LAST, M+ HAS AN OPENING DATE.  The hotly anticipated art museum in Hong Kong, scheduled to open in 2017,  will welcome visitors in November , “after years of construction, several delays, and a series of controversies,”  ARTnews  reports. The news was marred by another controversy: M+  removed from its website  a photograph by  Ai Weiwei  in which he gives the finger to  Tiananmen Square ,  Artnet News  notes. (In other Ai news,  Bloomberg  has a story on the artist’s allegation that  Credit Suisse  is  closing his foundation’s account  because of an alleged criminal record.) The total cost of M+ has not yet been released, but museum officials have said it will be  more than the $760 million initially budgeted  , the  South China Morning Post  reports.  Edward Lau Kwok-fan , a local politician who has called for M+ to deaccession works in its collection that could be deemed in violation of the 2020 National Security Law, told the paper, “I think they owe us at least an estimate now that the museum is opening.”
AN OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY DONATION:  A former director of the  Toledo Museum of Art  in Ohio,  John Stanley , has  given the institution $1.5 million  for staff professional development, the  Toledo Blade  reports. Stanley said that the institution helped pay for his MBA in the 1980s. “Museums never have funds for those things, so I just wanted to give back to the place that gave me my start,” he said. His first job at the TMA was as a stock boy in its mailroom in 1979. He became chief operating officer in the mid-1980s, departed in 1995, and came back to lead the TMA in 2019, retiring the following year. Another $1 million for professional development was give by  Ann Hartmann , a veteran supporter of the museum, and her late husband,  Frank Snug .
The Digest
About half of surveyed dealers saw an uptick in sales in the first half of 2021, according to the latest market report from  Art Basel  and  UBS . Dealers at the top of the market, with over $10 million in annual revenue, saw the biggest jump.  [ARTnews]
The unsanctioned edition of  Burning Man  (the official one was canceled) is winding down in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Officials say it drew around 15,000; it gets 80,000 in a normal year. There were three arrests, and one man was hospitalized after falling while parasailing.  [The Associated Press]
An  Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco  will open in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood next year in an 11,000-square-foot space.  Alison Gass , a former  ICA San Jose  director, is at the helm.  Deborah  and  Andy Rappaport , the founders of the nearby  Minnesota Street Project  art venue, have given $1 million.  [Datebook/San Francisco Chronicle]
Journalist  Melissa Smith  spoke with Black curators about their work and experiences at American art museums at a moment when leaders say they are trying to diversify. “We want to create change from within,”  Kimberli Gant , a curator at the  Chrysler Museum of Art  in Norfolk, Virginia, said, “but we also want to keep our jobs.”  [Robb Report]
The  South China Morning Post  took a look at K-Pop giant  G-Dragon ’s art collection, which includes pieces by  Richard Prince ,  George Condo , and  Rudolf Stingel . The Seoul-based rapper appeared on the  ARTnews   “50 Art Collectors to Watch”  list in 2019.  [SCMP]
Hunger Games  star  Jennifer Lawrence  is reportedly pregnant with her first child with her husband,  Gladstone Gallery  director  Cooke Maroney .  [Page Six]
Artist  Kara Walker  has designed the poster for the 2021  New York Film Festival .  [Blackfilm.com]
The Kicker
THE MORE YOU KNOW:   Gilbert & George , the reliably quotable Brit legends who are opening a new show at  Lehmann Maupin  in New York today, jointly  answered a series of questions  with  Apollo  magazine about life in their London. The weirdest item they have on hand? “An elephant’s foot which serves as our champagne cooler.” The “most well-thumbed book” in the space? The  Spartacus International Gay Guide  and  Roget’s Thesaurus  . Who is barred from entering? “The busy bodies, the do-gooders and the cynics.” A wise policy.  [Apollo]

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