Art Dealer’s Family Hire Detectives to Find Nazi-Looted Degas

In further news: UK threatens to leave UNESCO; Pace teams up with Christo

Edgar Degas, Portrait of Mlle. Gabrielle Diot, 1890. Courtesy: Art Recovery International

Edgar Degas, Portrait of Mlle. Gabrielle Diot, 1890. Courtesy: Art Recovery International

The family of an art dealer have employed detectives to help locate a Degas looted by Nazis. The descendants of art dealer Paul Rosenberg have hired a London-based art detective to try and recover the painting, 60 years after his death. Portrait of Mlle. Gabrielle Diot (1890) by Edgar Degas was confiscated by the Nazis in 1940 from the dealer’s Paris gallery along with various other works. ‘It’s not impossible that somebody has seen it,’ said Marianne Rosenberg, Paul Rosenberg’s granddaughter. ‘We reserve the right to seek recourse to the law in all jurisdictions.’ Many of the stolen artworks were loaded on to a train that was later stopped outside of Paris in August 1944 by Paul Rosenberg’s son, Lieutenant Alexandre Rosenberg. However, the Degas was not found to be among the works and its whereabouts have been unknown since. But Marianne Rosenberg is hopeful that the public appeal could help see the return of the work, adding: ‘The quest for these pictures goes on as it has done for three generations now.’

Artist Max Siedentopf has installed binoculars on the Tate Modern observation deck allowing visitors to look into the luxury apartments oppositeDespite four residents of NEO Bankside recently filing an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the museum, the artist has installed a dozen binoculars tethered by red string atop Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building. In a statement sent to Fast Company, Siedentopf said: ‘Thousands of visitors gather in awe to take a peek inside the apartments. No other artwork on display attracts as much fascination as these open plan apartments.’ How long the unauthorized work will remain on display is currently unknown. 

Funding to national museums in the UK has fallen to its lowest levels since 2014. As reported by ArtsProfessional quoting government figures, income to 15 museums in England – including Tate, the British Museum and the Imperial War Museum – which receive direct funding from DCMS, fell by 16% in the last year and has declined by 28% since 2013/14. Explained in part due to the completion of major capital funding, the drop also reflects the recent volatility in the market and global economy. Tate saw the largest decline in funding, falling GBP£18.1 million to GPB£51.6 million. A spokesperson for the gallery said that the higher levels of income from past years was due to large amounts of capital raised for Tate’s 2016 Switch House extension. 

The UK is the latest nation to threaten to quit UNESCO leaving the future of the UN culture and education body in doubtInternational Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt called for Britain to withdraw from the United Nations (UN) culture and education body and cut its funding which currently totals GBP£11.1 million. In October last year, the US and Israel announced they would be leaving UNESCO on 31 December due to what they perceived as the organization’s ‘anti-Israeli bias.’ Criticizing the move, the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, wrote in The Guardian: ‘Let us be clear what we are walking away from: the UN agency that among many things, is responsible for driving up literacy rates across the globe, promoting gender equality in education […] and preserving more than 1,000 of the world’s most important heritage sites.’ The UK has previously withdrawn from UNESCO in 1985 and 1997. 

Pace Gallery has announced a partnership with artist ChristoThe gallery will present a series of five works on paper at the 2018 Art Basel Miami Beach in addition to a solo show in 2020. The new pieces relate to Christo’s 1980s project with late collaborator Jeanne-Claude Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida currently on view at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. As reported by ARTnewsa spokesperson for the gallery said that the artist hasn’t been officially added to their roster but they would continue to work with him on projects and exhibitions. In a statement, Pace’s president and CEO Marc Glimcher said: ‘Christo is a dreamer and an artist of mythic energy who has redefined the way we interact with the world around us.’

In movements: chief curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Quentin Bajac, is to head Paris’s Jeu de Paume; The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has appointed Mary Ceruti as its new executive director. Ceruti makes the move after nearly two decades at the helm of SculptureCenter, New York. 

In awards: Kapwani Kiwanga has won the CAD$100,000 Sobey Art Award for emerging contemporary artists in Canada. Cerith Wyn Evans has won the second Hepworth Prize for Sculpture recognizing a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage in their career. Winning GBP£30,000 in prize money the artist told The Guardian: ‘it means nothing, I’m a Buddhist you see.’

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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