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A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.FormerPresident Trump’sSave America PAChasdonated $650,000to theSmithsonianto cover almost all the cost of commissioning portraits of himself and formerFirst Lady Melania Trumpfor theNational Portrait Gallery, theWashington Postreports. Intriguingly, two artists have been tapped for the job, but their identities remain a secret. (BarackandMichelle Obamawent withKehinde WileyandAmy Sherald, respectively.) Such portraits have typically been funded by private donations, according to thePost. The Obamas’ were paid for by hundreds of donors, including notables likeJohn LegendandChrissy Teigen. No date has been set for the unveiling of the Trumps’ portraits.
‘IF YOU DIE RICH, YOU DIE POOR, REALLY,’the retailer, art collector, and philanthropistDonald Jonas, once said. Along with his late wife,Barbara, Jonas assembled a collection of prized Abstract Expressionist works that they sold to donate to charities, particularly nursing causes. Late last month, Jonas died in New York at 92,Ed Shanahanreports in theNew York Times. Over a long career, his ventures included a women’s clothing business (Barbara Lynn Stores, named for his wife) andLechters Housewares(named for his collaborator, Albert Lechter). In 2005, the couple gave 15 works, including examples byFranz KlineandWillem de Kooning, to theJewish Communal Fundto sell at auction, raising $44 million. Explaining their focus on nursing, Jonas once said, “The nurses are the backbone of our health system.”
Another day, another masterpiece-infused climate protest in Europe! This time, on Sunday, protestors with the groupUltima Generazioneleft the glue at home, and instead chained themselves to a railing at theGiotto-frescoedScrovegni Chapelin Padua, Italy. They were arrested.[The Art Newspaper]
Waanyi artistGordon Hookey, who currently has a career survey up at theUNSW Galleries in Paddington, Australia, got the profile treatment. As it happens, “why I’m doing all these works about Trump is because it’s so unjust a bullshit artist is believed by so many people,” Hookey said. [The Guardian]
President BidennamedAcquavella GalleriesdirectorMichael Findlay,Albuquerque MuseumdirectorAndrew Connors, and six others to theCultural Property Advisory Committee, which provides input on matters like protecting artifacts abroad and import rules on cultural material.[The Art Newspaper]
Ready your paddles. A bounty of material from the legendaryHôtel Lambert in Paris is going to auction this fall at Sotheby’s, includingcandelabras commissioned byMarie Antoinette.[Artnet News]
TheFrederick R. Weisman Museum of ArtatPepperdine University in Malibu, California, has a new director,Andrea Gyorody, who has been its interim leader since last October. She replacesMichael R. Zakian, who died in January 2020.[Press Release/Pepperdine]
A MOVER AND A SHAKER.TheBrooklyn Museum’s director,Anne Pasternak, answeredCurbed’s “21 Questions,”and revealed that, when she stays in hotels, she rearranges the furniture and hides magazines and other distractions in drawers. Pasternak likes to stretch, and “can’t stand the clutter,” she said. She only goes so far, though. “The only thing I don’t do is take artwork off the wall because I don’t want to look at the nail,” she said.[Curbed]