Seoul Welcomes New Art Fair, Cape Town’s Southern Guild Expands to LA, London Museum Strips Sackler Name, and More: Morning Links for September 5, 2023

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  • V&A Dundee strips Sackler name from its galleries.
  • Massachusetts museum surrenders bronze bust linked to smuggling ring.
  • Cape Town’s Southern Guild gallery will open a location in Hollywood.

The Headlines

SEOUL ART WEEK. Seoul will welcome a new art fair in November dedicated to art and design courtesy of the same folks behind Art Busan, the Art Newspaper reports. The fair, dubbed DEFINE Seoul (from “design” and “fine art”) will feature some 35 exhibitors and be based in the Layer Studio cultural complex. Programming will spill out into design studios and other venues across the buzzy Seongsu design district. In other Seoul-centric news, the Mediacity biennial , a media-focused exhibition hosted by the Seoul Museum of Art, has reportedly opened a section early to coincide with the opening of Frieze Seoul and Korea International Art Fair (Kiaf). The main exhibition, titled “This Too, Is a Map,” is still scheduled to take place from September 21 to November 19.

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A man leaned against a pole beside a smiling woman who rests one arm on his shoulder.

WESTWARD EXPANSION. Southern Guild, a Cape Town–based gallery known for nurturing superstars like Zanele Muholi, will open an outpost in the Melrose Hill section of Hollywood, steps from Sargent’s Daughters, James Fuentes, and David Zwirner, in 2024. The announcement comes a week after another Cape Town stalwart, Goodman Gallery, revealed plans for a New York space. “Los Angeles feels very aligned with South Africa, even sort of a mash up of Johannesburg and Cape Town,” Southern Guild’s co-founder, Trevyn McGowan, told ARTnews. At the time of the interview, the pair were also preparing for the gallery’s debut at the Armory Show in New York, which opens later this week.

The Digest

V&A Dundee, the Scottish branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum, has removed the Sackler name from its galleries, but will not be returning the £500,000 (roughly $627,000) it was gifted from the Sackler Trust before opening in 2018. This marks the latest in a long line of storied cultural institutions worldwide to distance itself from Sackler philanthropy. [The Art Newspaper]

A Washington state man was sentenced on Monday to two years in federal prison for passing off stone carvings made in the Philippines as the work of Native Alaskan artists. He reportedly sold more than $1 million of these forgeries—violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 in the process—and even hired Alaska Native clerks to hawk his goods. This is the longest prison sentence anyone has received for such a crime, outstripping the previous record of six months. [United States Attorney’s Press Office]

The Worcester Museum of Art in Massachusetts has surrendered an ancient bronze bust believed to depict the daughter of the emperor Marcus Aurelius to New York officials, the institution announced on Friday. The sculpture, valued at $5 million, has been linked to an “active smuggling network” targeting artifacts in Turkey, according to investigators. [Worcester Museum of Art]

A work by the Antwerp painter Frans Francken the Younger is set to be auctioned later this month by the Munich auction house Neumeister, however some experts have raised concerns over its provenance. The 17th century painting, “Sermon on the Mount,” was known to have been stolen at least once from Adolph Hitler, whose personal art collection was comprised of Nazi loot. Experts are searching for the painting’s rightful owner, but as of yet are drawing blanks. [The New York Times]

The Kicker

UP IN THE AIR. To our American subscribers, how did you relax on Labor Day? Birdwatching, perhaps? If the answer was yes (or no), you’ll appreciate the winning image of the world’s largest ornithology photography competition. The dramatic shot captures the moment a peregrine falcon strikes the head of a large brown pelican that rudely intruded on its nesting grounds. It was a pessimistic matchup: the falcon was far outmatched in size and strength, but still won the high-speed brawl—while dealing the foolish pelican some new scars. The more romantic reader can take inspiration from the pelican as we face another work week. [The Guardian]


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