Art Industry News: A Long-Lost Treasure of Elvis Jewelry, Guitars and Guns Up for Auction + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most radical developments coming from the art world and the art market. You need to know this on Tuesday 2 August.


Oxford and Cambridge will return hundreds of Benin bronzes A total of 213 Benin bronzes, housed in the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean Museums in Oxford, as well as the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, will be returned to Nigeria following a joint consensus of the leadership councils of the two universities. The move will likely be the largest repatriation of cultural treasures from the UK (Telegraph)

Ruangrupa Responds to New Controversy at Documenta – The curators and artistic team behind the five-yearly have defended the images in the brochure presence of women, featured in an installation by the Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie, who have recently sparked new controversy for the show, saying they are “clearly not anti-Semitic”. Meanwhile, Documenta shareholders have appointed a panel of seven experts on “anti-Semitism, perspectives from global contexts and postcolonialism, art and constitutional law” to review all of the works in the exhibition. (Press release, Monopol)

Elvis Presley’s Lost Jewels Hit the Auction Block – Ride the wave of the hit film Baz Luhrmann Elvis, a cache of nearly 200 items that once belonged to the king is going to California-based GWS Auctions on August 27. Entitled “The Lost Jewelry Collection of Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker” and organized with the help of Priscilla Presley, the treasure trove of jewelry Elvis gave to his manager has been known for a long time, but has only now been put together for fans to see. see and bid on it. The sale includes jewel-encrusted gold rings, cufflinks, a guitar, and a 14-karat yellow gold ring adorned with the letters “TCB” flanked by diamond-set lightning bolts, with a minimum bid of $500,000 (the letters represent Presley’s favorite phrase : “arrange things”). Other items include gold pistols, boots, a motorcycle, and even the personal jet Presley bought for his father. (Reuters, Robb Report)

Jackson Pollock Collage Dispute Returns to Court An untitled mixed-media collage from around 1943 worth an estimated $175,000 is in court again — again. The dispute stems from the then-ongoing bitter divorce battle between former Senator Alexandra Kasser and Morgan Stanley executive Seth Bergstein, who claimed he co-owned the work as part of the marriage. However, Kasser’s brother Matthew Mochary claimed that the Pollock was a gift from his mother. Last year, a Connecticut district court dismissed Mochary’s claim on the Pollock, but that decision was overturned last week by a federal appeals court in New York. Mochary now has the green light to continue the legal battle outside of the divorce case. (the art newspaper)


Abortion rights activists arrested at LACMA – Three activists associated with Rise Up 4 Abortion and Vets Rise 4 Roe, who staged a protest outside Chris Burden’s installation urban light (2008), were arrested. They chained themselves to the Burden lampposts and spilled fake blood on the site. The trio were arrested on suspicion of vandalism. (LA Times)

Rubell Museum announces directorship appointment – Caitlin Berry will be the inaugural director of the upcoming Washington, DC-based Rubell Museum, which will open to the public on October 29. Berry will work with the Rubells and Juan Valadez, the director of the Rubell Museum Miami, to oversee community engagement and museum activities. Before joining the museum, Berry was director of the Cody Gallery of Art at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and director of Hemphill Fine Arts in DC. (press release)

Is Singapore the new center of the Asian market? – Anticipation of the new ART SG fair this January and the influx of capital and money from Hong Kong have finally lifted the Southeast Asian city-state’s hopes of being a contender for Asia’s next arts hub. The reality, however, is that the local art market is “nascent,” accounting for just one percent of all global art exports and imports, according to government data. (ART news)


Giant Jean Dubuffet Sculpture Will Move After Google Buys His Home The 29 feet tall Monument with standing animal will be moved to its new home in a former bank building at 115 South LaSalle Street, along with offices at the James R. Thompson Center, after Google acquired the postmodern building designed by Helmut Jahn. The ten-ton sculpture by the French avant-garde artist has been a fixture at the Thompson Center in Chicago since the mid-1980s. (BROWN)


Jean Dubuffet, Monument with standing animal (Monument to the standing beast) (1986), Chicago. (Photo by Jean-Erick Pasquier/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

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