Santa Barbara and RISD Museums Get New Directors, RBG Collars Head to Auction, and More: Morning Links for July 26, 2023

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The Headlines

THE TOP JOB. After four years as CEO and director of the Seattle Art MuseumAmada Cruz is headed to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California, where she will hold those same titles, the Seattle Times reports. Cruz succeeds Larry J. Feinberg, who announced back in February that he would retire after 15 years on the job. Prior to arriving in Seattle, Cruz led the Phoenix Art Museum for four years. Over in Providence, Rhode Island, the RISD Museum has hired Tsugumi Maki to be its director. She is coming from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she is now chief exhibitions and collections officer; before that, she was COO at the the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Both Cruz and Maki start in their new roles in October.

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AUCTION ATTIRE. Rare white sneakers branded with the logo of Apple (yes, the computer giant) are being offered for sale by Sotheby’s on its website for a cool $50,000, the Guardian reports. (They are a men’s 10.5 in U.S. sizing.) The house says they were a special giveaway at a sales conference in the 1990s. Some may recall that a pair of those shoes went for $9,687 in 2020. The Guardian also notes that a collar that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be offered in September by Potomack Auctions, with some of the proceeds earmarked for a fund at the American Bar Foundation that supports research on civil rights and gender equality. A very dramatic metallic-silver design, the piece is known as “The Pegasus.”

The Digest

A new docuseries, The Heiress and the Heist (directed by David Harvey and available on Sundance Now and AMC+), charts the life of Rose Dugdale, an English elite who became a militant IRA supporter. Her notorious endeavors included stealing works by GoyaVermeer, and more in a bid to free IRA prisoners. [The Wall Street Journal]

In the first half of 2023, total sales at South Korea’s three auction houses were 47 percent lower than during the same period last year, according to a report from an art-industry group in the country. (The number of lots on offer for that period was down 8.5 percent.) The sell-through percentage fell from about 80 to 70. [The Korea Herald]

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s chief curator, Guilhem André, was named to be its acting director for scientific, curatorial, and collections management. He has been involved with the institution in various ways since 2008. [Press Release/Zawya]

Gagosian has started a rare-book advisory that will build libraries for clients. Douglas Flamm, who has been with the mega-gallery since 2016, is helming the initiative. “I have so many people coming to me with the wrong edition or its in poor condition, and I really want to help them navigate that,” he said. [Artnet News]

Speaking of delectable luxuries: Prices for second-hand watches by leading makers like Audemars PiguetPatek Philippe, and Rolex are down significantly since a 2021 high—and they are expected to keep dropping because there is still too much inventory available. [Bloomberg]

The Maybourne Hotel Group, which runs Claridge’s, the Connaught, and the Berkeley in London, is putting up for sale at NCM Auctions furniture and art from those tony hotels that it has in storage. [The Caterer]

The Kicker

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. In the New York TimesAnna Kodétook a look at Maison Lune, a gallery in the Venice section of Los Angeles that operates out of a home shared by its proprietors, Sandrine Abessera and Lubov Azria. Artist Wes Aderhold just had a show at the place, where “nearly every element in the space is also curated, including the houseplants, linens, rugs, vases, sofas and chairs,” Kodé writes. Much of what is on display is for sale. The gallery’s director, Daniel Sierra Domínguez, told the paper, “It’s 360-degree aesthetic consumption: smell, texture, sound, everything.” [NYT]

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