Marc Spiegler On Fairs Going Digital, L.A. Museums Mull Reopening, and More: Morning Links from June 15, 2020

Marc Spiegler On Fairs Going Digital, L.A. Museums Mull Reopening, and More: Morning Links from June 15, 2020

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The Market

Marc Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel, penned a piece for the Financial Times about the pandemic’s impact on the art market and some of the limitations of digital fairs and sales. “An Amazon art world sounds more like hell than heaven,” he writes. “It is a world with no power to move our souls.” [Financial Times]

Stephen Brooks, the deputy chief executive officer of Christie’s, will depart from his post in August. [Art Market Monitor]

Christie’s has withdrawn four antiquities from auction this month following claims that the Greek and Roman works had been looted from archaeological sites. [The Guardian]


Dealer Inigo Philbrick, who was behind a $20 million art scandal, was arrested by the FBI on the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean. [ARTnews]

Five protesters in Paris attempted to take an African funeral pole from the Quai Branly museum last week. The demonstrators said that many pieces in the collection “were taken during colonialism and we want justice.” [The Art Newspaper]

Museums & Galleries

Although Los Angeles County has given museums the green light for reopening, many local art institutions are still grappling with the health and safety protocols necessary for welcoming visitors once again. [Los Angeles Times]

Bloomberg reports that “the biggest challenges may lie ahead” for galleries beginning to reopen, with buyers asking for steep discounts on artworks. [Bloomberg]

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reopened with a limited daily capacity. “A lot of people here thought that the Van Gogh Museum is for tourists,” Emilie Gordenker, director of the institution, said. “That was a matter of perception that we need to change.” [The New York Times]


A piece on Robert Indiana’s caretaker, Jamie Thomas, who since the artist’s death has been named in lawsuits surrounding Indiana’s work. [The New York Times]

Hank Willis Thomas projected written pieces by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people on the U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. The project was forced to move to the city’s Newseum after a police response. [The Art Newspaper]

Here’s an interactive analysis of Robert Frank’s 1955 photograph Trolly—New Orleans, which, Arthur Lubow writes, “is all about division.” [The New York Times]


What are your thoughts?