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BILLIONAIRE AUSTRIAN ART COLLECTOR HEIDI GÖESS-HORTEN, who opened a private museum for her art holdings in Vienna this month, died on Sunday at her home in Lake Wörthersee, Alex Greenberger reports in ARTnews. Göess-Horten, who was 81, began collecting with her first husband, the department-store mogul Helmut Horten , and expanded her efforts in the years following his 1987 death. Her collection numbers some 700 pieces, by 20th-century superstars like Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol, as well as noted Austrian figures. “A generous, warm-hearted and wise woman has passed away today,” the museum said in a statement. “She will be remembered for her manifold commitment, above all to the arts and to sports.”
RETURN OF THE REAL. The National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana canceled a planned exhibition just before it opened last week amid claims that some of the works in it are fakes, the Guardian reports. The show was billed as a display of pieces from the collection of “the little-known Boljkovac family,” per the paper, by giants like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall; however, one expert, Brane Kovič, told a Slovenian outlet that there “are clear forgeries.” The Boljkovacs have not commented, the museum’s director has resigned, and police have launched an investigation.
Two experts interviewed by the Dallas Morning News expressed concerns about the amount of time that elapsed between the recent break-in at the Dallas Museum of Art and the arrest of a suspect. “No museum wants to see this kind of thing happen, but the reality is that no museum can ever entirely prevent such an incident,” the DMA said in a statement. [DMN]
Sean Thackrey, a revered, freethinking California winemaker who ran a San Francisco gallery devoted to 19th-century photography that he eventually shuttered to focus on oenology, has died at 79. “Art is about unreproducible results,” he said in a 1992 interview while discussing his views on wine. [The New York Times]
In a new column, Carolina A. Miranda writes about how Confederate monuments connect with present-day political turmoil in the United States, and argues that “the inventions of the Lost Cause bear a remarkable parallel to the campaigns of disinformation that have buttressed the belief of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and those who support them.” [Los Angeles Times]
Do not be alarmed if you notice that the Art Institute of Chicago’s iconic bronze lions have gone missing. The redoubtable beasts, created by animalier Edward Kemeys in 1893, are being picked up for conservation on Tuesday and will be retuned after about a month. [Block Club Chicago]
In other animal news, archaeologists studying an Iron Age home near Cambridge, England, have been surprised to unearth a mass grave of frogs, with some 8,000 bones present. “To have so many bones coming from one ditch is extraordinary,” archaeozoologist Vicki Ewens said. [The Guardian]
ARTIST INTERVIEWS: John Waters, who will be the subject of an exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles next year, is in the New York Times; Rashid Johnson, about to open a show at Hauser & Wirth in Menorca, Spain, is in the Financial Times; and Sanford Biggers, who’s making a major sculpture for the Orange County Museum of Art in California, is in the Los Angeles Times.
HOOPFEST. Basketball has been a fertile subject for contemporary artists in recent years, as journalist Andrew Keh notes in a New York Times deep dive that looks at the work of Jonas Wood, Derek Fordjour, David Hammons, and many more. “Baseball was the poetry growing up, and I can still get teary eyed when I see a baseball game,” the painter Andrew Kuo told the paper. “But my heart pounds when I see a basketball game.” [NYT]