Marilyn Monroe’s Home Declared a Landmark, Kehinde Wiley Accuser Responds to Censorship Concerns, and More: Morning Links for June 28, 2024

The Headlines

MARILYN MONROE’S MANSION in Los Angeles has been declared a landmark in a bid to save it from demolition by its owners, according to Variety. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council designated Monroe’s 1929 Spanish Colonial house a historical cultural monument, in an unanimously approved decision. The actress lived in the home for about six months and died there of an apparent overdose in 1962. It was “the first place she sought out and bought for herself and on her own while actively working,” said the LA Conservancy in its proposal for landmark status. The home has been under threat of demolition by its current owners, Brinah Milstein and reality TV producer Roy Bank, who wanted to expand their property next door. They are suing the city over the issue.

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Sotheby’s London Auctions Begin, Albertinum Exhibition Abruptly Closes, and More: Morning Links for June 25, 2024

Minneapolis Institute of Art Cancels Kehinde Wiley Show amid Allegations of Sexual Assault [Updated]

DEACCESSIONING AND DEACTIVATION. The Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University in Indiana has closed and dismissed its director amid controversy over plans to sell key artworks from its collection, Karen K. Ho reports for ARTnews. The dismissal of museum director Jonathan Canning was also part of a stated “administrative restructuring” to address a growing $9 million deficit, according to the school. Previously, the museum drew criticism for its decision to sell three of its most valuable paintings, among them Georgia O’Keeffe’s Rust Red Hills (1930), which is worth an estimated $15 million. The move to sell the paintings to fund renovations was denounced by the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors.

The Digest

Ghanaian artist Joseph Awuah-Darko, who earlier this year accused Kehinde Wiley of sexual assault, issued a statement responding tothe National Coalition Against Censorship concerns about three museums that canceled their Wiley shows. Awuah-Darko wrote that “artistic merit, while significant, should not take precedence over issues of moral injury and human dignity.” [Hyperallergic]

Marina Abramović will today ask hundreds of thousands of festival-goers in Glastonbury, England, to stay silent for seven minutes. The music festival doesn’t typically host visual artists, but Abramović said she hopes to “touch that moment in their soul and just for seven minutes stop everything. Can you imagine if we succeed? It will be an incredible moment.” [The Guardian]

The itinerant Manifesta biennial, this year taking place in Barcelona and the surrounding region, has named the 85 artists taking part in the exhibition, which opens in September. The themes this time around are “Balancing Conflicts,” “Cure and Care,” and “Imagining Futures.” [Artforum]

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., has acquired what is believed to be the largest and most complete collection of Charleston slave badges. The set includes 146 badges dating back to 1904. [Art Daily]

A #MeToo petition published in Manifsto.XXI denounces sexual misconduct in the French art scene. So far, it has been signed by over 200 people, including art critic Elisabeth Lebovici and artists Lili Reynaud-Deward and Deborah De Robertis. [Le Quotidien de l’Art]

European comic-book makers are preparing litigation against potential AI-generated copyright infringement ahead of new EU rules due to take effect in mid-2025. The new AI Act will force tech firms to be more transparent about the images they are using to train AI-generated artworks, and will give artists tools needed to detect unauthorized use of their creations. [South China Morning Post]

The public has voted on a name for the 75-foot-long sauropod that will grace the soon-to-open new wing of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. In reference to the overwhelming amount of gnats that swarmed around the fossil where it was discovered in Utah about 17 years ago, the dinosaur will henceforth be known as Gnatalie. [NBC 4]

The Kicker

HEAVY METALS. While Ludwig van Beethoven has gone down in history as a genius classical and romantic composer, his body, scientists now reveal, was “full of heavy metal,” according to NPR. Beethoven suffered from deafness, gastrointestinal troubles, and jaundice, eventually succumbing to liver and kidney disease. However, recently, researchers at the Metals Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic tested a few “independent and authenticated” strands of the composer’s hair, and found he was almost certainly exposed to lead, which may have contributed to his many ailments. The levels of lead in Beethoven’s hair tested 64 to 95 times more than normal amounts today. “This is so much more elevated than any other patient samples we’re seeing,” said Sarah Erdahl, Technical Coordinator at the Metals Lab. “This is extremely significant.”

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