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Memphis Brooks Hires LACMA Deputy as Director, Martha Stewart Interviews Ai Weiwei, and More: Morning Links for July 27, 2022

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The Headlines
THE MUSEUM-LEADERSHIP NEWS DOES NOT QUIT.  Last week, the  Met  said its director,  Max Hollein , will  add chief executive  to his title. Now, the  Memphis Brooks Museum of Art  has  named its next director , the  Commercial Appeal  reports. She is  Zoe Kahr , who is currently the  Los Angeles County Museum of Art  ’s deputy director for curatorial and planning. Kahr takes the place of  Emily Ballew Neff , who stepped down last year and now runs the  San Antonio Museum of Art  in Texas. She will be tasked with overseeing the institution’s move to a new Downtown locale, a project with a $150 million price tag. Meanwhile,  William Underwood Eiland  is  retiring  after more than 30 years leading the  Georgia Museum of Art  in Athens, per  ArtDaily , and the CEO and director of the  Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg  in Florida,  Kristen A. Shepherd , has  stepped down  after more than five years there, per the  Tampa Bay Times .
LEGENDS ONLY.  Businesswoman  Martha Stewart  recently had artist  Ai Weiwei   on her podcast  , and she pointed out that the two have a lot in common: They love food (Ai has apparently cooked for her twice; she is hoping to return the favor), they love cats, and among other things, they have been incarcerated—Stewart by the United States government (following a conviction on charges related to insider trading), Ai by the Chinese government (amid what it described as a tax investigation). However, Stewart was clear that her time in prison “was like going away to a children’s camp compared to what you had to go through.” In any case, they cover a lot of ground in their 40-minute chat, and it is  well worth a listen .
The Digest
The  Horniman Museum  in London has said it will repatriate 72 objects looted from Benin City in 1897 to Nigeria, a move that its chairwoman,  Eve Salomon , said is “both moral and appropriate.” The material includes 12 plaques identified as  Benin Bronzes .  [The Press Association/Bloomberg  and  The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times]
Tate  has reportedly paid a settlement, without admitting liability, to three artists who lodged a complaint against it alleging victimization, breach of contract, and race discrimination. Filing the action, they said that the museum denied a request made by one of them,  Amy Sharrocks , to collaborate on a museum project with artist  Jade Montserrat , who has accused former art dealer  Anthony d’Offay , a Tate donor, of sexual misconduct. (D’Offay has denied any wrongdoing.) Tate has said that the terms of the contract did not allow for such a collaboration. The project was subsequently canceled.   [The Guardian]
The  Canadian  government is drafting a legal reform that will provide artists with royalties when their work is resold. Similar programs exist in at least 90 countries, including the United Kingdom and France.  [The Globe and Mail]
While excavations at  Pompeii long focused on upper-class dwellings, archaeologists have been studying the homes of middle- and lower-class residents of late. Officials recently detailed their findings in one such structure, which featured both a decorated cistern and a room with earthen floors.  [The Guardian]
The  Washington County Museum of Fine Arts  in Maryland recently received a drawing by the 17th-century Italian artist  Sassoferrato  as a gift. Alas, an eagle-eyed curator at the museum,  Daniel Fulco , identified it as a piece that had been stolen many decades ago in Munich. On view at the museum right now, it will soon be heading home.  [The Herald-Mail]
The Kicker
PYRO—AND CRYPTO—MANIAC.  As was noted late last month in  Breakfast ,  Damien Hirst  is getting ready to burn thousands of artworks that people chose to relinquish in exchange for keeping NFTs linked to them. (They could only keep one or the other.) It’s a project that Hirst titled  The Currency . Of the 4,851 pieces that he will destroy next month,  1,000 belong to the artist himself ,  The Art Newspaper  notes. In  a buoyant Twitter thread , Hirst said that he decided to keep the NFTs instead of the physical pieces. He’s loving the NFT world, it seems. Said Hirst: “I have been in the physical art world a long time and I expect people to have agendas and shit, and I’ve seen a lot of bollox and I’m amazed at how this community breeds support and seems to care about shit.”  [TAN  and  @hirst_official/Twitter]

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Read the full Article: Memphis Brooks Hires LACMA Deputy as Director, Martha Stewart Interviews Ai Weiwei, and More: Morning Links for July 27, 2022


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