British Museum Gets Interim Deputy Director, ‘For Freedoms’ Targets Antisemitism, and More: Morning Links for August 31, 2023

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The Headlines

LEGAL AFFAIRS. A court in Wales has ordered a man to pay £4,400 (about $5,600) for damaging rock art that is believed to date as far back as 4,500 years, BBC News reports. The 52-year-old, who filmed himself separating a panel from a stone, also received a suspended jail sentence of four months. A Welsh governmental heritage body said that “significant archaeological information has been lost forever.” Meanwhile, artist Mary Redmond is alleging that another artist, Alberta Whittle, inappropriately made works out of materials that she had created for her own art, the Art Newspaper reports. Redmond has filed copyright claims against Whittle and the National Galleries of Scotland, which displayed a Whittle piece that incorporated corrugated metal Redmond made. Redmond says that she thought those materials were being “disposed of” after she displayed them at the Hospitalfield House Arts Centre in Arbroath, Scotland; Hospitalfield says that it believed the materials were “available for recycling or reuse.”

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Archaeologists working outside Jerusalem‘s Old City have found a network of “knee-deep channels” that are believed to be nearly 3,000 years old, Reuters reports. The exact function of these ducts is not yet known. There is evidence that they were not used in connection with animal slaughter or sewage management. One researcher said that the team has “stumbled on something unique.” Also surprising: three skeletons that were discovered bound together at an 18th-century execution site in the Saxony-Anhalt state of Germany, Newsweek reports. One had its arms tied. “The others were criss-crossed together, with their spines on top of each other,” the outlet says. A state archaeologist said: “This is special and very puzzling.” Further investigation is underway.

The Digest

The embattled British Museum has tapped Carl Heron, its director of scientific research, to become its interim deputy director, filling in for Jonathan Williams, who said he would “step back” from his job amid an investigation into thefts at the institution. The museum still needs an interim director. [The Telegraph]

The Getty Research Institute has acquired the archives of artist Maren Hassinger, who is 76, and whose work has been in the spotlight recently. The materials include “sketches, drawings for large-scale projects, photographs, correspondence, print media, handwritten notes,” and more, J.S. Marcus reports. [The Art Newspaper]

A trailer for Wim Wenders’s documentary on artist Anselm KieferAnselm, has dropped, and it is sumptuous. (The movie was shot in 3D and 6K resolution.) Wenders has said of Kiefer, “There’s a man who is not afraid to paint anything.” [Deadline]

Patrick Lee, the director of Frieze Seoul, provided a guide to the city that covers his go-to spots for bibimbap, ginseng chicken, Korean BBQ, all sorts of other delights and delicacies, and yes, art. One very intriguing resto is “in the basement of a very old school office building” and “serves spicy mushroom stew.” [Tatler]

Three New York women art dealers—Polina BerlinHannah Traore, and Nicola Vassell—talked art, fashion, and a lot more with the Wall Street Journal. Vassell’s favorite city to visit? “Venice, an ancient city full of 14th-century architecture and tales of conquest, built on timber and mud in a lagoon,” she said. “Talk about lemonade and lemons.” [WSJ]

The For Freedoms collective is launching a new billboard campaign that will aim to combat antisemitism with contributions from Carrie Mae WeemsJoel Mesler, and other artists. [Ocula]

The Kicker

THE PERMANENT COLLECTION. Do you love the work of artist Ryan Gander? Do you want to prove it? The always surprising conceptualist is serving as artist director of an upcoming event called Chester Contemporary in that English city, and created a tattoo artwork as part of the festivities. Appointments can be booked to have it emblazoned on your body. Some with long art-historical memories may recall that a number of tattoo-art shows hit New York in the mid-1990s; critic Michael Kimmelman penned an essay trying to make sense of the phenomenon in the New York Times, and noted that “no matter how much they have been assimilated and sanitized by fashion and the art world, tattoos are still startling.” [@chestercontemporary/Instagram]