The Serpentine Galleries Drop the Sackler Name, and Other News

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The former Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London. Photography by Luke Hays

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The Serpentine Galleries in London have dropped the Sackler name after a rebranding.

Following a rebranding, the Serpentine Galleries in London have quietly removed the Sackler name from its website. The institution now refers to its second gallery, previously known as the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, as the Serpentine North Gallery. The space took on the now-disgraced Sackler name after a $7.5 million donation from a foundation run by Theresa and Mortimer Sackler. The removal of their name follows the gallery’s 2019 announcement that it planned to no longer accept Sackler funding, which remains its position today. Though the Sacklers have donated millions to cultural institutions around the world to fund new galleries, museum wings, and curatorships, strong evidence of unethical behavior among family members when marketing the opioid Oxycontin produced by the family firm Purdue Pharma has led to a remarkable fall from grace.

The Canadian philanthropist Donald Sobey, namesake of the Sobey Art Award, dies at 86.

The Nova Scotia businessman and philanthropist Donald R. Sobey was a noted donor to the visual arts, but devoted most of his professional career to his family’s grocery business. When he retired, in 2004, to serve as the company’s chair emeritus, he became increasingly involved in philanthropy at the National Gallery of Canada, where sat on the board from 2007 until this past year. His most significant contribution to the field, the Sobey Art Award, names five emerging artists from five different regions to a shortlist and then offers $100,000 to the winner, making it one of the world’s most generous cultural prizes.

Experts reveal what purchasing a non-fungible token will mean when filing your taxes.

In a matter of weeks, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) went from a virtually unknown concept to an unavoidable obsession within the art world. Many observers are still trying to understand what NFTs actually are, let alone what tax implications they carry, considering that the tax system likely hasn’t caught up to the notion that many people are dropping thousands of dollars on the blockchain for exclusive pieces of digital art. This handy guide should answer all your questions.

“River Ring” by Bjarke Ingels Group and James Corner Field Operations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Bjarke Ingels Group unveils updated visuals of the Williamsburg waterfront “river ring.”

Bjarke Ingels Groups (BIG) and James Corner Field Operations have updated the master plan of their controversial “river ring” project on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn. The most notable updates since the project was first unveiled, in 2019, entail design updates to the development’s two gently sloping BIG-designed towers, which will offer space for housing, local retail, and offices. The development team, spearheaded by Two Trees Management, aims to break ground on the project before the end of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s final term ends later this year, though community opposition to the project remains high.

Looking to reshape the institution, the Smithsonian is seeking six new museum directors. 

In preparation to reopen in a landscape tinged with uncertainty, the Smithsonian is looking to replace missing leaders from a number of its major museums and galleries including the Cooper Hewitt, the National Portrait Gallery, and the American Latino Museum. The absences come at a challenging time, when normal operations are stifled and finances are strapped. The Smithsonian stopped declaring salaries in 2019, but it’s known that museum directors earn up to $446,000. The openings represent an opportunity for the Smithsonian to adapt to new equality standards, embracing the institution’s new mission to grapple with current social issues and events.

The Fine Arts Center at the University of Arkansas

Deborah Berke Partners will help restore the Fine Arts Center at University of Arkansas.  

Deborah Berke Partners and local firm Miller Boskus Lack are spearheading a $38 million restoration of the Fine Arts Center at the University of Arkansas, known as an International-style gem at the heart of the school’s Fayetteville campus. Designed by famed modernist and Fayetteville native Edward Durrell Stone, the 1951 building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. The restoration will focus on both the structure’s exterior and interior as well as on the surrounding landscape and include a complete overhaul of the lobby, which will return to its original use as a pre-event space for the University Theatre and Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.

Ford plans to build a “mobility campus” in Corktown, one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods.

Two Detroit icons are coming together in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The Fort Motor Company is planning to transform the long-abandoned Michigan Central train station, a 13-story Beaux-Arts building in the Corktown neighborhood, into a $740 million “mobility campus” that will include an innovation hub, an autonomous vehicle corridor, and more than 5,000 high-paying jobs. While work on the project is slated for completion in 2022, some are raising valid concerns about how the project will impact residents of Corktown, a sparsely populated neighborhood noted for an average income of about $26,000. Perkins & Will, the firm spearheading the project, has been working with the city to create a neighborhood-centric plan that includes streetscape improvements, new parks, and the creation of 1,000 units of affordable and market-rate housing.

Louis Vuitton’s new Ginza Namiki store in Tokyo

Today’s attractive distractions:

The FBI is offering $10,000 for a few ceremonial swords stolen 43 years ago.

Louis Vuitton covered their new store in a shimmering, sea-inspired material.

This million-dollar online art generator lets anyone be their own best Beeple

A new map unearths New York City’s oldest, rarest, and most historic trees.

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