WeWork Gives Adam Neumann an Enormous Exit Package, and Other News

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WeWork founder Adam Neumann receives an enormous exit package totaling $445 million.

Two years after Adam Neumann was ousted from WeWork following a disastrous attempt by the company to go public, the founder received a generous post-divorce payout that includes $245 million in company stock and $200 million in cash. The scale of Neumann’s severance has shocked corporate governance experts, who note that WeWork was valued at $47 billion in 2019 but soon fell to $8 billion excluding debt. “The captain rammed the ship into a bridge and then was given the value of the ship to leave,” Charles Elson, a corporate governance expert at the University of Delaware, told The Guardian. “Neumann lost money for people that invested with him and left vastly enriched, and that doesn’t make a lot of sense.” 

Peter Marino launches an art foundation in The Hamptons to show off his private collection. 

Teaming up with neighbor Southampton Arts Center (SAC), the New York–based architect has debuted a new cultural institution to showcase his private collection, the Peter Marino Art Foundation. Known for his flashy leather outfits and eccentric designs for fashion house flagships such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel, visitors can expect a range of works by artists like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, and Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as Renaissance and baroque bronzes. Also in Marino’s plans: a renovation of the grounds that will draw inspiration from legendary landscape architect Warren Manning, who designed the arboretum in the late 1890s.

The Graham Foundation awards $585,000 in grants to people exploring innovative design.

The Graham Foundation has announced the recipients of this year’s Grants for Individuals, a program that awards a combined total of $585,000 to people who are exploring innovative design ideas within the field of architecture. The 71 grants will fund research, exhibitions, publications, films, and other initiatives in cities such as Ahmedabad, Milan, Mexico City, and San Juan. “This year, as the pandemic forced communities, cities, and countries to close down, the inequities of design and the built environment only intensified,” Graham Foundation director Sarah Herda said in a statement. “Through this dynamic grantee cohort, the Graham continues its 65-year commitment to supporting individuals to realize ideas that have the power to change the field of architecture.”

Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson

The pandemic caused a surge in visitors to Robert Smithson’s famous Spiral Jetty in Utah.

Like many outdoor attractions, Utah’s famous Spiral Jetty (1970) has seen an explosion of visitors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The earthwork and Land Art site by Robert Smithson averaged 140 vehicles per day in March 2019, but jumped to 700 during the same period as COVID-19 took hold across the nation. “There was a big increase in visitors during the pandemic, but the uptick has continued,” says Kelly Kivland, a former curator at the Dia Art Foundation, which oversees the site with the Great Salt Lake Institute, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and the Holt-Smithson Foundation. “People are still heading out into the expanse of the land.” 

Despite the effect of climate change on the work, Whitney Tassie, the senior curator of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, says there are no plans to conserve it. “As stewards of the piece, our task is not to think about conservation but to think long-term about Spiral Jetty—to raise awareness about this iconic earthwork in our state and also the important ecological research that happens around it.” 

A statue of a slave trader toppled by Black Lives Matter protesters will go on public display.

This past June, a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the Bristol harbor by Black Lives Matter protesters. Days later, Bristol City Council recovered the statue and put it into storage. It’s now going on temporary display at the city’s M Shed museum along with placards used during the protest, and the council is also leaving the statue’s fate into the hands of locals. “The future of the statue must be decided by the people of Bristol,” Mayor Marvin Rees says. “I urge everyone to take the opportunity to share their views and help inform future decisions by taking part in the survey.” Responses will be archived and made publicly accessible as a resources for those interested in learning more about Bristol’s links to the transatlantic slave trade.

“Sentient” by Daniel Popper at The Morton Arboretum

Today’s attractive distractions:

Daniel Popper’s towering wood figures loom over Chicago’s Morton Arboretum.

Rolls-Royce’s new Coachbuild program brings its clients into the design process.

This couple stashes cash inside Target baby products to help out new parents.

We have so many questions about the debunked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos origin story.

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