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ON CAMPUS. Collector Ronald O. Perelman has pledged to give $25 million to his alma mater, Brown University, to create a Ronald O. Perelman Arts District that will encompass various venues for arts performances and learning. Perelman—who has been offloading art and other assets en masse in recent years, amid questions about his finances—said in a statement that “the arts bring life to new ideas, foster a deep sense of collaboration and friendship, and form part of our nation’s soul.” Elsewhere in the Ivy League: With the activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) and students, artist Nan Goldin staged an anti-Sackler “die-in” at Harvard‘s Arthur M. Sackler Museum on Thursday, calling for the removal of the Sackler name, Hyperallergic reports. A school spox said a proposal to do that is under review.
INTERNAL REVIEW. The recently hired founding director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, Nancy Yao, is facing scrutiny over the treatment of staffers who brought sexual harassment claims at the Museum of Chinese in America, where Yao is director, the Washington Post reports. The paper says that MOCA settled three lawsuits during her tenure that were filed by employees who alleged that they were fired for reporting sexual harassment. The museum did not admit wrongdoing in any of the cases, and Yao has denied retaliating against any whistleblowers. She characterized the settlements as “nuisance agreements” in comments to the Post, whose Manuel Roig-Franzia and Thomas Floyd got the story. The Smithsonian said that it knew about the legal resolutions prior to hiring Yao, but that it has hired an outside firm for “a more comprehensive review of the underlying facts.”
Photographer Jessica Burstein, who captured the scene at the resto Elaine’s and other iconic slices of New York life, has died at 76. Among the people she caught at Elaine’s were the artist Christo “in a romantic moment with his wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude,” Richard Sandomir writes. [The New York Times]
English artist Harold Riley, who painted portraits of Pope John Paul II, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and South African President Nelson Mandela (over six sittings), has died at 88. Riley’s first sale came at age 11, when his local Salford Museum and Art Gallery in England acquired a work. [BBC News]
The Winnipeg Art Gallery said that it will deaccession and sell at auction four Andy Warhol prints of Queen Elizabeth II in order to raise funds to acquire art by Indigenous artists. The works are estimated to draw CA$700,000 to CA$900,000 (US$518,000–US$666,000) in total. [Galleries West]
In cornfield in northwestern Denmark, a young girl with a metal detector found almost 300 silver coins that are believed to date back more than a millennium. She will receive financial compensation; her finds will go on view this summer at the Aalborg Historical Museum. [AFP/Barron’s]
T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s latest issue is devoted to “legendary female artists—and the younger women who remind them why they make art.” Among those on hand are Laurie Simmons, Shirin Neshat, Wu Tsang, Tourmaline, Wangechi Mutu, Zadie Xa, Howardena Pindell, and many, many, many more. [T]
Jeff Koons shared to Instagram a classic (but fairly obscure) photo that Greg Gorman took of the artist in 1988 with one of his most iconic subjects: Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. Said Koons: “Bubbles was great to work with; he was very nice and polite.” [@jeffkoons/Instagram]
THE MARINO CATHEDRAL.WSJ Magazine has a story on how Tiffany & Co. is turning its New York flagship into an art-filled emporium. There are loans from its owner, LVMH (including the Jean-Michel Basquiat that the jewelry company used in a 2021 ad campaign), as well as new projects from Julian Schnabel, Rashid Johnson, and others that incorporate Tiffany Blue. Collector and architect Peter Marino is overseeing the renovation (which involves an OMA-designed expansion), and journalist Stephen Wallis asked him if any artists balked at incorporating the firm’s signature color. His reply: “You mean, did Michelangelo mind painting Jesus Christ when he was commissioned for the Sistine Chapel? I don’t think so.” OK! The renovated store opens April 28. [WSJ]