Museums Call Off Kehinde Wiley Shows After Sexual Misconduct Allegations, and Other News

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“Morpheus (Ndeye Fatou Mbaye)” (2022) by Kehinde Wiley. Photography by Ugo Carmeni, via Kehinde Wiley and Galerie Templon

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Art museums are calling off Kehinde Wiley shows after sexual misconduct allegations. 

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has canceled its planned Kehinde Wiley exhibition “An Archaeology of Silence” following allegations of sexual misconduct against the artist. The exhibition, which originated at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, was also suspended by the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Wiley, best known for his 2018 portrait of President Barack Obama, continues to deny the allegations, calling them false and questioning their credibility. Other institutions, like the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, have also postponed planned exhibitions of Wiley’s work amid the controversy.

Vandals deface the Brooklyn Museum director’s apartment with anti-Semitic messages.

Vandals have defaced the home of Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak with anti-Semitic messages and symbols on June 11. The vandalism included a banner accusing her of being a “White Supremacist Zionist,” red paint splashed on the entrance, and an inverted red triangle spray-painted on her door, a symbol historically used by Hamas. New York City officials, including Mayor Eric Adams, condemned the act as anti-Semitism and a crime, promising an NYPD investigation. The Brooklyn Museum and the Association of Art Museum Directors also condemned the attack.

Rendering of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Image courtesy of TWBTA

The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago tops out, reaching its final height at 225 feet. 

The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago has reached its final height of 225 feet. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the center will feature a presidential museum, a branch of the Chicago Public Library, a garden, an athletic center, and various public amenities. The Obama Foundation, committed to enhancing the adjacent Jackson Park, held a topping-out ceremony on June 11, with former President Obama expressing gratitude for the project.

Harvard’s Graduate School of Design names the finalists for the 2024 Wheelwright Prize.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) announced the four finalists for the 2024 Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 award for emerging architects to advance their research. This year’s finalists—Meriem Chabani, Nathan Friedman, Thandi Loewenson, and Ryan Roark—are proposing projects addressing sustainable architecture inspired by sacred spaces, postcolonial design in Latin America, spatial and political liberation in Africa, and biologically based building materials. Last year’s winner, Jingru (Cyan) Cheng, investigated sand as a sustainable material. The winner will be announced later this month.

State officials investigate the sudden closure of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

The University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia abruptly announced its closure, resulting in the immediate layoffs of around 600 adjunct and faculty staff. This sudden shutdown, attributed to severe financial difficulties, prompted investigations by municipal and state officials, including the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. Philadelphia’s city council will also hold hearings on the closure, which occurred shortly after a collective bargaining agreement was reached with unionized staff. The university’s president, Kerry Walk, resigned on June 4 amid the turmoil.

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