Asia Society Museum Gets New Director, Hermitage Amsterdam Retools, and More: Morning Links for June 27, 2023

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The Headlines

COMING ACROSS THE POND. Asia Society in New York tapped Yasufumi Nakamori to be its museum director and vice president of arts and culture. Nakamori, a former corporate lawyer, is coming from Tate Modern in London, where he has been a senior curator of international art focusing on photography since 2018. He organized a show of Zanele Muholi‘s work there and served on Tate’s Race Equality Task Force. Prior to that, he was curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “It is important that we fill the gaps in the history of Asian art,” Nakamori told the New York Times. “I want Asia Society to be an interlocutor and instigator.” He succeeds Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe, who left Asia Society last year to run the Katonah Museum of Art

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Yasufumi Nakamori is wearing a dark suit, white dress shirt, and patterned green silk tie. He is in front of a beige stone wall with his hands crossed.

Tate Senior Curator Yasufumi Nakamori Named Director of Asia Society’s Museum

Hermitage Amsterdam Rebrands with New Name After Split from Russian Flagship

CHANGE OF PLAN. The Hermitage Amsterdam museum, which opened in 2009 in a collaboration with the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, will now be known as the H’ART Museum, the Associated Press reports. The Dutch institution cuts ties with its Russian partner after the invasion of Ukraine, and will now work with the British Museum, the Centre Pompidou, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “We’re going to be like a museum for museums,” its director, Annabelle Birnie, told the New York Times. “Three partners will bring you a lot more than one.” Next year, H’ART will stage a show of works by the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky from the Pompidou.

The Digest

Researchers with the physics department at King’s College London have created a 25,000-pixel photon-sensitive camera that relies on fluorescence (which is used by doctors to spot cancerous cells) to help conservators remove varnish from a painting without accidentally excising actual elements of the piece. [The Guardian]

Speaking of meticulous examinations of paintings: X-ray analysis of Vorticist Percy Wyndham Lewis’s important portrait Praxitella (ca. 1921), which is owned by the Leeds Art Gallery in England, revealed that it contains an abstracted cityscape beneath its surface. (Always nice to see Vorticism getting a little press.) [BBC News]

The heirs of the late Samsung chairman and art collector Lee Kun-hee, who died in late 2020, have borrowed $3 billion against their stock holdings, presumably to pay an estate tax bill that is north of 12 trillion won (about $9.2 billion) while still maintaining control of the conglomerate. [Bloomberg]

Scuba divers in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia’s Šćedro island found a shipwreck believed to be around 2,200 years old. The vessel appears to have been carrying ancient Roman pottery. [Miami Herald/Yahoo! News]

The National Gallery in London has been sending John Constable’s painting The Cornfield (1826) on a tour of the United Kingdom, and it has now arrived at the Churchill Shopping Centre in Dudley, England. [BBC News]

A 1976 painting by Frank Frazetta, which appeared on the cover of Karl Edward Wagner’s fantasy novel Dark Kingdom that same year, went at Heritage Auctions in Dallas for $6 million. That makes it the most expensive original comic book or fantasy art ever sold on the block, the house said. [Press Release/Heritage Auctions]

The Kicker

ON THE SCENT. In March, it was announced that artist Koo Jeong A would represent her native South Korea at next year’s Venice Biennale, and it seems that she is now hard at work on her project. Jacob Fabricius, who is co-curating the country’s pavilion, just shared on Instagram links that allow people to submit a “Korean scent memory.” The main prompt: “How do you remember the smell of your city or hometown?” The artist will use the responses to develop an installation and fragrance. Everyone who submits gets a catalogue credit; intriguingly, ten individuals will receive an unspecified award. Here is the submission form, in Korean and English. [@porksaladpress/Instagram]

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