The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week


Why Are Dogs Smoking Joints? – In honor of 4/20, chief art critic Ben Davis answers the question on everyone’s mind: Why are there so many dogs smoking joints in old paintings?

Creative Conversations – Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams and artist Glenn Kaino spoke about the burgeoning creative renaissance for artists of color.

Sotheby’s Soars in Hong Kong – The auction house netted $122.5 million at its contemporary art sale, setting records for young artists Salman Toor and Avery Singer.

Uncovering Harriet Tubman’s Home – The long-lost cabin where the Underground Railroad leader grew up has just been discovered in Maryland.

Museum as Essential Business – The London Design Museum thwarted lockdown rules by transforming the space into a grocery store to stay open as an essential business.

Chicago Boosts Culture – The city’s government is planning to ramp up its public art budget by a staggering 15,000 percent as part of a new cultural recovery plan.

Mayas Made Long-Distance Contact – Archaeologists discovered that the ancient civilization had direct contact with people more than 800 miles away.

Sotheby’s Does Dinos – The auction house launched a new science and pop culture department to quench the public’s thirst for dinosaur bones and sneakers.

Wildfire Rages in Cape Town – A fire at the University of Cape Town Library gutted the collection of African studies.

Controversial Migrant Ship Returned to Italy – The capsized migrant ship that artist Christoph Büchel displayed at the Venice Biennale will be turned into a memorial in Sicily.

Museums Rally Against Macron – Angry museum leaders are banding together to petition the French president to allow them to reopen in May.

More Museums Sell Art to Stay Afloat – More institutions are taking advantage of relaxed (and controversial) pandemic-era rules to sell art at auction.

U.S. Returns Looted Antiquities – The D.A.’s office returned 33 antiquities to Afghanistan that are linked to disgraced dealer Subhash Kapoor.

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