What We're Reading: 7/25/23

The Last of WWII's Monuments Men Has Died. Richard M. Barancik Was From Chicago. 

Chicagoan Richard M. Barancik, who was the last surviving member of “the Monuments Men,” a group that recovered millions of pieces of art that had been looted by the Nazis, has died.

Via Chicago Sun Times


The Canterbury Auction Galleries

Tiny vase bought at thrift shop could sell for $11,800

A hand-sized vase bought from a UK thrift store for just £2.50 ($3.30) is expected to sell for up to £9,000 ($11,800) at auction.

The 10-centimeter (four-inch) masterpiece was spotted by a couple in the southeastern English county of Surrey, on the edge of London, according to Canterbury Auction Galleries in a press release.

“My partner Ahmet and I wandered into the charity shop to have a look around – I always head for the books and he heads off to look for art and vintage stuff,” said seller Karen, who only provided her first name, in the release. “He’s not an expert but he does have great taste and an instinct for the ‘real thing.’”



The White House Struck a Deal With A.I. Companies to Manage the Technology’s Risks. Artists Say It ‘Does Nothing’ to Protect Them

Last week, the White House announced that it had struck a deal with several artificial intelligence companies to “manage the risks” posed by the technology. Artists, however, say the deal “does nothing” to protect creatives.

The administration of President Joe Biden on Friday secured “voluntary commitments” from Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft, and ChatGPT creator OpenAI to “help move toward safe, secure, and transparent development of A.I. technology.”

The deal calls on the companies to agree to ensure products are safe before launching them and will not pose biosecurity or cybersecurity risks. The companies agreed to address “societal risks” including bias and discrimination. It further calls on the companies to build trust with the public by using watermarking and other labels to identify audio and visuals that have been generated using A.I. technology.

But the deal made no reference to the challenges artists fear in the age of A.I. such as job loss and theft of intellectual property.

Via Artnet