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S.F. Gets Free-Museum Weekend, Art Institutions Brace for Climate Protesters, and More: Morning Links for November 8, 2022

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The Headlines

TICKET TO RIDE.  Twenty-one museums in San Francisco   will be free the weekend of December 3 and 4 , thanks to an anonymous gift,  Datebook  reports. Among the institutions participating in the  San Francisco Free Museum Weekend , as those days are being billed, are the  San Francisco Museum of Modern Art  (adult ticket: $25) and the  Asian Art Museum  ($20).  Thomas P. Campbell , the CEO and director of the  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco  ($15), which is also taking part, said in a statement that “museums provide a critical place of discourse, reflection and inspiration. Increasing access to art spaces and removing barriers to experiencing art is crucial.”

ODD LOTS.  Some $1 billion of art once owned by  Microsoft  cofounder  Paul Allen  will hit the auction block this week at  Christie’s —watch this space—but the late collector’s estate has also been selling off his many other holdings, from real estate to boats. On Thursday, the brokerage  Fraser Yachts  said that it  sold his 300-foot superyacht ,  Tatoosh , according to  Penta  . The vessel sports two helipads and accommodations for 19 guests, and had been listed for about $90 million (the same as the  reported estimate  on his 1899  Paul Gauguin  painting). No sale price was released. Meanwhile, a 1992 watch by  George Daniels   sold for about $4.1 million  at  Phillips  in Geneva, Switzerland, after a three-minute bidding war,  Bloomberg  reports. That result was an auction record for a British wristwatch, and handily trounced its $1 million estimate.

The Digest

As climate protesters from  Just Stop Oil  and other groups target prized artworks, museums are heightening security measures and hiring consulting firms to teach guards how to identify demonstrators before they start throwing soup or wielding glue.  [The Wall Street Journal  and  Artnet News]

Artist  Andres Serrano  said that a London theater canceled a screening of his first film,  Insurrection , about the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, because it was deemed too “pro-Trump,” a notion he rejects. The theater has not commented.  [Artnet News  and  The Art Newspaper]

Tracey Emin  spoke about a quilt she made, titled  The Last of the Gold , that provides advice for someone considering an abortion. “I lived it,” the artist said. “And I know what it was like to make that choice.”  [The Guardian]

Honor Titus , a creator of tender, leftfield figurative paintings, has a show coming up at  Timothy Taylor  in London, and got the profile treatment from  Kin Woo . “I see my paintings as an oasis and as a place transcendent of ideas of race and stigma,” Titus said. “I want to depict an all-inclusive romance for life.”  [Vogue]

Photofairs New York , a new photography fair connected to  Photofairs Shanghai , will take place in September in New York alongside the  Armory Show  at the  Javits Center . Organizers expect to sign on 80 to 100 exhibitors.  [The Art Newspaper]

The Los Angeles home of home artist  Claire Tabouret  and musician and carpenter  Nathan Thelen  features a massive ceiling painting by the former and furniture by the latter. The two have been collaborating for the first time, and will show their creations with  Night Gallery  at San Francisco’s  FOG Design+Art fair  in January.  [Architectural Digest]

The Kicker

ART PARTY.  A collection of writing by the critic  Milton Gendel —an American in Rome who died in 2018, just short of his 100th birthday—has been published, and the  Atlantic  has some choice excerpts . In one of his diaries (which run to an astonishing 10 million words), he recalls a 1967 dinner for sculptor  Alexander Calder  and his wife,  Louisa  , in the Italian capital. The artist was “a great, fumbling, white-haired thing in red shirt and red tie,” Gendel wrote, going on to describe a man who “is swift and piercing in his glances and seems to hear everything from all sides of the table.” There is also this, from that evening: “Horseplay with a datepick in the shape of a woman. Calder making a kind of mobile out of a fork and the pick and a date.” Sounds like a pretty nice time.

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