Greek Archaeologists Strike Over Assault, Benin to Stage First Venice Pavilion, and More: Morning Links for March 15, 2023

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The Headlines

THE COLLECTORS. Billionaire Mitchell Rales, who cofounded the Glenstone museum in Potomac, Maryland, has joined a bid to acquire the Washington Commanders football team, Axios reports. Rales, who was captain of the football team at his high school in Bethesda, Maryland, has signed on to an attempt to acquire the team that is being led by private equity titan Josh Harris (cofounder of Apollo). Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal asked superstar musician Alicia Keys if she and her husband Kasseem Daoud Dean (aka producer Swizz Beatz) would ever consider starting a museum for their vast art holdings. “Some type of traveling museum would be tremendous,” Keys said. “Everyone should have access to experiencing art and understanding how they can have it in their lives.” In 2019, Antwaun Sargent profiled the couple in ARTnews.

Related Articles

Man in a white white and black jacket leaning against a red wall.

REMEMBERING A GIANT. The revered British artist Phyllida Barlow, who won fame for grand but never grandiloquent abstract sculptures, died on Sunday at the age of 78, as Tessa Solomon reported earlier this week in ARTnews, and Barlow’s many friends and admirers have been paying tribute to the artist. In the Guardian, the art critic Adrian Searle writes, “She played and fought with her recalcitrant materials, in an art of pleasure and complaint. What a loss this is.” Writer Katy Hessel told Artnet News that her “all-engulfing sculptures question the limitless potentials of the versatile medium.” And Harper’s Bazaar republished an interview it conducted with Barlow in 2014, when she showed her work at Tate Britain in London. “I want visitors to feel they’ve become part of the work, physically engaged,” she said.

The Digest

A recently unearthed document suggests that Leonardo da Vinci’s mother, Caterina, was kidnapped from the Caucasus region and enslaved. That paper, which concerns the emancipation of a Circassian named Caterina, was found by historian Carlo Vecce, who has written a novel based on the theory. [The New York Times]

The Kunsthaus Zurich said that it will take a more proactive approach to studying its collection for works that may have been looted by the Nazis, setting up a commission of independent experts. It said that it would also like to see a Swiss national commission created to carry out such investigations. [AFP/Times of Israel]

Greek government archaeologists staged a five-hour strike on Tuesday, in response to an assault on a colleague in the Athens area last week. Some believe that the attack was a reprisal for his efforts to regulate development on the vacation hotspot of Mykonos. They are calling for greater police protection. [The Washington Post]

The government of the Netherlands has returned the remains of nine Indigenous people to the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius. The remains had been taken by archaeologists more than three decades ago, and the island’s Culture Department had called for their return. [The Associated Press]

Benin said that it will stage a pavilion at the 2024 Venice Biennale, its first time participating in the big show. Curating it will be Azu Nwagbogu, the founder of Lagos’s African Artists’ Foundation, who was director of Cape Town’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa from 2018 to 2019. [The Art Newspaper]

Architect Christian Wassmann has designed a home for his family on a hilltop overlooking New York’s Hudson Valley that has as a key component a gargantuan boulder worthy of Michael Heizer[Architectural Digest]

The Kicker

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. In the New York TimesAdam Nagourney has a deep dive on the $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which is scheduled to open in Los Angeles in 2025, and got Rahm Emanuel on the horn to talk about the play that he made for the project when he was mayor of the Windy City. “I can’t speak to the gain for L.A. but I can speak to the loss for Chicago,” Emanuel said from Japan, where he is now U.S. ambassador. “It was competitive and we wanted it.” He added, “You can see I still get emotional talking about this.” [NYT]

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