Bezos Gives $10 M. to Seattle History Museum—and More Art News –

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The Headlines

A MONDRIAN MOMENT. This year marks the 150th anniversary of painter Piet Mondrian’s birth, and the art world is toasting it in high style, Nina Siegal reports in the New York Times. The exhibition “Mondrian Moves,” at the Kunstmuseum in the Hague, the Netherlands, looks at the artist’s work through the lens of movement, and the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, has “Mondrian Evolution,” which features nearly 90 works by the artist. There are some new developments in the study of the celebrated figure, as well. New research shows that Mondrian was “a very wild dancer,” Ulf Küster, who curated the Swiss show, told the paper. Those looking to pay their respects to the man can visit his grave at Cypress Hills Cemetery in New York. The New Yorker stopped by with MoMA curators in 2019 to mark the 75th anniversary of his death.

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CALIFORNIA ARCHITECT HARRY GESNER, who won a devoted following for his inventive and sometimes unusual residences, died on Friday at 97, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gesner’s most famous project is probably the Wave House, which went up in Malibu in 1957; it “juts out over the sand with a series of crested roofs that seem to evoke the forms of the waves that curl just below,” Carolina A. Miranda writes in the paper. His path into the profession was unusual: He audited a class taught by Frank Lloyd Wright at Yale , declined Wright’s invitation to study with him, and then apprenticed with an uncle. His aim, Harrison Smith writes in the Washington Post, was “to create environmentally friendly houses that served as a source of joy, not just as shelter.”

The Digest

The 2023 Turner Prize exhibition—and award ceremony—will be held at the Towner Eastbourne museum in England, the first time that the closely watched event has been held in the county of Sussex. [BBC News]

Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is giving $10 million to the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle to expand its Bezos Center for Innovation, to which he gave $10 million in 2013. [Geekwire]

The Smithsonian‘s Board of Regents voted on Monday to deaccession 29 Benin bronzes held by the National Museum of African Art. The Smithsonian said that they would be returned to Nigeria “at a later date.” [Smithsonian Institution/Press Release]

As part of the Masterpiece Tours from London’s National Gallery, a Rembrandt portrait of his wife from the museum’s holdings is now on view at the Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown, Wales. “People should have access to great art locally,” the National Gallery’s deputy director, Susan Foister, said. [The Guardian]

The Cleveland Museum of Art said that the Italian government has not contacted it following reports in May in an Italian newspaper that it holds a 16th-century ceramic sculpture allegedly stolen from a Tuscan chapel in the early 20th century. []

The Kicker

BLUNT BLAKE. Artist Peter Blake secured himself a lasting place in music history—and a lasting link to the most famous rock band of the 20th century—by designing the unforgettable cover of the 1967 Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Wonderful things. But he told critic Jonathan Jones in the Guardian that they were far from his favorite group of the era. “I’ve never been an enormous fan of the Beatles like I am of the Beach Boys,” he said. “It’s a dangerous thing to say, I hope that won’t be your headline: ‘Peter Blake doesn’t like the Beatles.’” [The Guardian]

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