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THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR. The Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University has a new executive director, the Columbus Dispatch reports: Gaëtane Verna, who be its fourth-ever leader. Verna comes to the Columbus, Ohio institution from the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, where she has been director and artistic director for a decade, and succeeds Johanna Burton, who was tapped last year to run the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Justine Alexandria Tek, whose father is the late collector Budi Tek, has become director of his Yuz Museum in Shanghai, per ArtReview , and Maaike Lauwaert, the business director of the De Appel art center in Amsterdam, is departing to become chair of the executive board of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the city, per ArtDaily.
DIGGING DEEP. A new paper in Nature aims to show that a skull unearthed 20 years ago in Chad, and dated back seven million years, belongs to a species that is a human ancestor, making it the oldest-known hominin by a million years, the Associated Press reports. According to the AP , the study looks at a thighbone newly linked to the skull, and argues that the species “walked upright while still being able to climb around in trees” (Very cool!) The exact nature of the creature remains the subject of debate. Meanwhile, archaeologists in the Marche region of Italy have discovered parts of frescoed walls of a Roman temple that is two millennium old, CNN reports. It’s an “extremely rare” find, according to the site’s research project coordinator.
Tim Page, a revered, swashbuckling photographer of the Vietnam War and other conflicts who was wounded four times, has died at 78. Once asked to write a book removing glamour from war, he is reported to have replied, “Take the glamour out of war! I mean, how the bloody hell can you do that?” [The New York Times]
Meta (née Facebook) has taken offices in Moynihan Station in Manhattan, and commissioned a number of artists to create work for the space, including Timur Si-Qin and Matthew Kirk. [Artnet News and Cultured]
Gilbert Vicario has been named chief curator of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, taking the place of René Morales, who left to take the same position at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Vicario is coming from the Phoenix Art Museum, where he has held the title for seven years. [Miami Herald]
The American Alliance of Museums has adopted a policy that will require institutions listing an open position on its closely watched job board to state its salary. The new rule takes effect in mid November. [Artforum]
Also in November: Game developer Obsidian and Microsoft‘s Xbox will release a “16th-century narrative art history game” called Pentiment, according to Shannon Liao, who reports that it involves “an artist working during a time of societal upheaval, who ends up getting involved in investigating a series of murders.” [The Washington Post]
Over roughly the past year, more than $100 million worth of NFTs have been stolen, according to the Elliptic crypto-analysis firm. The average heist was some $300,000. That seems bad. [The Guardian]
I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S BUTTER! A couple years back, ARTnews highlighted the butter sculptures of the Iowa State Fair. This week, the New York Times took a look at the butter busts of the “dairy princesses” honored at the Minnesota State Fair, and the man who creates them, Gerry Kulzer . The artist practices with clay and wears a waterproof rain suit to keep the butter off him as he works. It all sounds like a difficult but rewarding endeavor. “To capture a person’s likeness is really tough,” Kulzer said. “Especially when you’re in a 40-degree refrigerator.” [NYT]