Beatrix Ruf to Lead New Dutch Museum—and More Art News –

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The Headlines

AMSTERDAM DISPATCH. Curator Beatrix Ruf, the former director of the Stedelijk Museum in the Dutch capital, has gotten a new job. Per the Art Newspaper, she will now lead a new privately funded museum in Amsterdam from the Hartwig Art Foundation, which commissions and acquires art for the country’s national collection. Little about the currently unnamed museum is known, other than that it will focus on “all media of the visual arts, time-based art and future art forms.” It’s the latest job for Ruf, who left the Stedelijk in 2017 amid allegations of conflicts of interest and who was with the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow until this past March, when her contract expired. “A coincidence—but had the war not happened I would have continued working with Garage,” she told the Art Newspaper. 

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A Fayum portrait confiscated by authorities as part of a criminal investigation into antiquities trafficking.

RENAISSANCE ART ON THE MOVE. A major Leonardo da Vinci painting is headed to the U.A.E. (No, not that one.) The National reports that one of Leonardo’s masterpieces, Saint John the Baptist, is making a rare voyage from its home at the Louvre in Paris to that museum’s satellite in Abu Dhabi. “I have to say I’m quite moved,” Manuel Rabaté, the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s director, said. Halfway around the world, Renaissance paintings have made their way to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where a show centered around Botticelli and Florence during the era contains works from the Uffizi Galleries in Italy. “Thinking of COVID and the unrest that the city went through, I think it’s something that we can very much relate to with the Renaissance where a new visual language was developed,” Uffizi director Eike Schmidt told the Star Tribune.

The Digest

Indonesia has formally asked the Netherlands to hand over eight artworks and objects that the country says were acquired during the colonial era. Among the objects requested for return is the “Java Man,” the remains of a hominid that reside in Leiden. [Agence France-Presse/Barron’s]

The Guardian’s Jeff Sparrow addressed a recent protest that involved throwing soup at a van Gogh painting, writing, “No one has been injured. No art has been damaged. Yet conservatives everywhere have lost their collective minds.” [The Guardian]

In April, London’s Design Museum quietly removed the Sackler name from its library. It is the final museum in the British capital to do so, meaning that no other institutions there now have the Sackler name. [Evening Standard]

Upon the discovery that there was a Moscow-based gallery, Iragui, appearing in the Paris Internationale, the Ukrainian collective Understructures quit the art fair. Iragui’s owner said she felt “sadness that they are breaking all bridges and that no dialogue is possible.” [Artnet News]

Artist Mary Mattingly answered Curbed’s “21 Questions,” including one regarding what’s hanging above her couch. [Curbed]

Surface ventured inside Gagosian dealer and curator Antwaun Sargent’s birthday party last week in London. Among the attendees were photographer Tyler Mitchell and gallerist Hannah Traore. [Surface]

The Kicker

THIEVES LIKE US. Who among us doesn’t enjoy a good bit of gallery hopping? A group of young thieves this past weekend in New York’s Lower East Side, it seems, liked doing so a little too much. According to Artnet News, several galleries, including Betty Cunningham and Derosia, were plundered, with “handbags, earbuds, and credit cards” taken from workers the thieves managed to distract. In the case of Betty Cunningham, a wallet was pilfered from behind the front desk, and within 20 minutes, there were thousands of dollars in charges made to one credit card. Thankfully, the thieves didn’t manage to walk away with any art. [Artnet News]

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