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THE TOP JOB. Art institutions have been hiring leaders at a rapid clip lately. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art tapped Christopher Bedford, London’s Barbican Centre Claire Spencer, New York’s Socrates Sculpture Park Tamsin Dillon, and the National Museum of the American in D.C. Jorge Zamanillo. Just yesterday, SculptureCenter promoted curator at large Sohrab Mohebbi to its director’s chair. Now the Akron Art Museum in Ohio has voted to make Jon Fiume, its interim director since May 2020, its permanent chief, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Fiume takes the place of Mark Masuoka, who quit amid allegations of a “pervasive culture of race and gender discrimination”—claims he has denied. The board’s president, Rose Andrews, said in a statement that Fiume “has maintained art as the heart and focus of our museum while valuing and supporting the professionals who are here.
A DISPATCH FROM THE FIELD. A mysterious bronze figurine with a scooped head that was found by a snorkeler in Germany’s Tollense River two years ago is the subject of a fascinating deep dive in the New York Times. The artifact is one of 13 similar objects found near the Baltic Sea, and in a new paper, archaeologists suggest that it may be a 7th-century B.C.E. “balance weight, an object of worship, or a combination of both,” reporter Franz Lidz writes. Meanwhile, a blockbuster show at the British Museum in London tells the story of Stonehenge and the “sun-worshipping and surprisingly sophisticated people who built it,” via more than 400 objects, the Associated Press reports. The English archaeological site is believed to have been built 3,500 to 5,000 years ago, and those living at the time “were inquisitive and adventurous, despite having relatively short lives compared to us,” the show’s curator, Neil Wilkin, told the outlet.
The upcoming show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will feature film directors, including Sofia Coppola, Julie Dash, and Martin Scorsese, creating “cinematic vignettes” in period rooms in the museum’s American wing. The vaunted Met Gala will toast the opening of the show, which is titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” [Los Angeles Times]
Writer and curator Antwaun Sargent wrote about organizing the final iteration of the late artist and designer Virgil Abloh’s touring survey, “Figures of Speech,” which will open at the Brooklyn Museum this summer. Sargent argues that “the truest gesture [Abloh] made was to inspire acts of creation from nearly everyone he, and his objects, came in contact with.” [GQ]
Two stolen paintings by the English tailor and folk artist George Smart (1774–1846) have been recovered after an eagle-eyed Smart expert spotted them listed in an upcoming auction. They were taken in 2015 from a village hall in the artist’s native Frant, England; one work from that heist remains at large. [BBC News]
The Los Angeles–based figurative painter Ferrari Sheppard has joined the Mariane Ibrahim gallery, which has branches in Chicago and Paris. Ibrahim is planning a 2023 solo show. [ARTnews]
Peter Earnest, a longtime CIA officer who served as the founding director of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., died on Sunday at the age of 88. [The Washington Post]
The Centre Pompidou tweeted a photo of actor Brad Pitt in its galleries, flanked by a Giacometti and a Rothko, writing, “Yes you are cool, but are you Brad Pitt in the Centre Pompidou cool?” Well. Are you? [@CentrePompidou/Twitter]
A LUNCH FOR THE AGES. After eight years working to land a reservation, writer Bruce Hainley and artist and translator Christine Pichini stopped by Copenhagen’s widely admired Noma restaurant, enjoyed a four-plus-hour meal, and filed a conversation for Artforum. It is a joyful read, touching on everything from the “radically, cosmically simple” place setting (per Pichini) to a dish of reindeer-brain custard with kelp (served in the animal’s skull). Hainley compares the meal to the recent “Cézanne Drawing” show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York “in terms of its expression, without words, of a cogent worldview, of presentness and yet futurity.” However, no MoMA show has ever ended with—minor spoiler alert—rowanberry schnapps. [Artforum]