Next Kunsthistorisches Museum Leader Named, MAXXI Gets New Artistic Director, and More: Morning Links for June 30, 2023

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The Headlines

FINE ART MUSEUMS. Vienna’s storied Kunsthistorisches Museum will get a new general director when 2025 dawns, the Art Newspaper reports. The next chief is art historian Jonathan Fine, who has run the Weltmuseum, an anthropological institution in the Austrian capital, since 2021. Fine’s new job will make him general director of the Kunsthistorisches Museumsverband, which oversees the Weltmuseum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and the Austrian Theatre Museum. A former head of collections at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, he will take the place of Sabine Haag, who has been in charge since 2009. Prior to venturing into art, Fine worked as a lawyer. It’s been a big week for former attorneys getting museum jobs: Former lawyer Yasufumi Nakamori was just named the director of Asia Society’s museum in New York.

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A grand building of three or four stories with a much taller domed section seen on a cloudy day.

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MAXXI Gets $17 M. from Italian Government for Sustainability Initiative

MINOR ART. English artist David Lindon has painted three extremely tiny copies—about 0.02 inches across—of Vincent van Gogh paintings on the back of a watch mechanism, and BBC News has photos. (They’re not bad, all things considered.) He’s also done Banksy and Monet in the past, and said that he has to put himself in an “almost emotionless trance” to be able to do the meticulous work. Meanwhile, the truly indefatigable Brooklyn-based MSCHF group sold a Louis Vuitton–inspired bag that measures 0.03 inches wide for $63,000 at an online auction, CNN reports. It was produced with 3D-printing technology, and sold with a microscope.

The Digest

Francesco Stocchi was hired as artistic director of Rome’s Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI, aka MAXXI. Stocchi has been curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for more than a decade, and succeeds Hou Hanru in the role. [Artforum]

Amid the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, many artworks at museums were looted or destroyed. Now, as the market for Iraqimodernism heats up, experts say they are having to contend with a proliferation of forgeries. [AFP/France24]

A state audit determined that 12 of the 21 campuses in the California State University system have not reviewed their holdings of Native American objects and remains, as they are required to do under federal law. The report says that they should hire experts to conduct reviews and repatriate material. [Courthouse News Service]

Tate loaned to the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, an Aliza Nisenbaum painting that depicts members of its staff early in the Covid-19 pandemic. The piece was one of 20 that Nisenbaum made for an exhibition at Tate Liverpool. [The Guardian]

The freewheeling sculptor Erwin Wurm has a show up at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England and chatted with writer Nicholas Wroe. “We are losing freedom of speech,’ he said. “Things are getting closed again, narrower again, in a weird way.” [The Guardian]

The Kicker

ART AND POLITICS. When artist Cornelia Parker agreed in 2017 to be the official artist of the British general election (what a job!), she was told that she was not allowed to state how she was voting, the Financial Times reports in a story on her. Now she can be a bit more candid. Discussing a new film she has made that has children talking about climate change and the future, Parker said, “We can do something. The children can’t. We can’t wait for them to grow up. We have to act in every way we can.” Her advice is “certainly don’t vote the Tories in!” The work is on view in the exhibition “Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis” at the Hayward Gallery in London. [FT]

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