News From Around the Art World: February 3, 2020

Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (1996-97), detail). Courtesy of Swann Galleries.

Sale of  Johnson Publishing Company’s Art Collection Shatters Expectations

A collection of artwork that once adorned the offices of the legendary Johnson Publishing Company shattered records left and right at Swann Galleries. The sale marked a concluding chapter in the turbulent history of a much-admired institution that changed the landscape of American magazines with the publication of Ebony and Jet before declaring bankruptcy last year.

Still, the power of the Johnson name—as well as a growing interest in African American artists who have often been pushed to the art-historical and art-market margins—combined to create what was, in the words of the auction house’s director of African American fine art Nigel Freeman, “a perfect storm of an auction.” 

By Caroline Goldstein, Art News

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Tate Britain's £40k 'head of coffee' role sparks row over low curator pay

Tate Britain has defended an advert for a head of coffee with a salary of nearly £40,000 – more than the average wage of a London-based curator – after critics said the role highlights how low museum professionals’ wages are.

Via The Guardian

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The World’s Largest Digital Art Center Is Opening Inside a WWII Submarine Base in France

Scheduled to open on April 17, 2020, Les Bassins de Lumières, a concrete bunker that was built in 1943 by Bordeaux’s occupying Germans, is being transformed into a permanent exhibition space featuring digital art installations on the venue’s walls and reflected in the water of its enormous basins. 

By Sarah Buder, Afar

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The cost of Venice's worst floods since 1966

The worst floods to hit Venice in 50 years have caused €360m worth of damage to public property, say representatives of the mayor Luigi Brugnaro. The estimate is based on an initial survey of repairs needed for jetties, paved areas, street lighting and buildings owned or managed by the municipality, including the civic museums. The Italian government declared a state of emergency for the city on 15 November, three days after the high tide reached 187cm above mean sea level, approving €20m in urgent recovery funds that will barely dent this bill.

By Veronica Rodenigo, The Art Newspaper

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