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Hirshhorn Museum Names Head Curator, Uffizi Becomes Italy’s Most-Visited Cultural Site, and More: Morning Links for April 5, 2022

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The Headlines

THE WAR IN UKRAINE. A tough break for Russian billionaire and noted Fabergé egg collector Viktor Vekselberg: His $90 million yacht, Tango, was seized by U.S. officials in Spain as part of sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs, Bloomberg reports. The outlet also has the scoop that works on loan from Russian museums for a grand show of modern art at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris  “are on track to be returned to their original venues,” following the show’s end on Sunday. One piece, a Pyotr Konchalovsky self-portrait, reportedly belongs to Petr Aven, who has been hit with E.U. sanctions, and no one is saying definitively what will become of it. Meanwhile, the Art Newspaper looks at how most—but not all—of the international partners of the Hermitage Museum have cut ties with the treasure-filled St. Petersburg institution.

COMINGS & GOINGS. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., has tapped Evelyn C. Hankins to be its new head curator. Hankins, who is the first woman to hold the position, has been a Hirshhorn curator since 2008, and is taking the place of Stéphane Aquin, who was picked to lead the Montreal Museum of Fine ArtsPace Gallery has added painter Huong Dodinh to its roster, Alex Greenberger reports in ARTnewsTate in London has named Mark Miller as its director of learning. And the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, has selected Jean Evans to be its deputy directorSarasota magazine reports.

The Digest

The Uffizi in Florence has become the most-visited cultural site in Italy for the first time. With 1.7 million visitors in 2021, it bested the Colosseum in Rome by about 90,000 people. The win comes after a series of headline-grabbing efforts by its director, Eike Schmidt, like adding a street-art piece to its Renaissance-rich collection. [The Guardian]

This week, dealer Inigo Philbrick will be sentenced for the wire fraud he admitted to last year, and artists Gilbert & George are among those who have written letters to the court asking for leniency. [Artnet News]

The art collector and adviser Philip Hewat-Jaboor, who has served as chairman of the Masterpiece London fair for the past decade, has died after an illness. He began his career in 1972 at Sotheby’s, whose client advisory services he helped develop before hanging up his own shingle. [The Art Newspaper]

Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah al-Thani, who leads the Qatar Investment and Project Development Holding Company, lost a legal bid to sue Phoenix Ancient Art for selling him what he alleges are two fake antiquities for $5.2 million. British courts have repeatedly denied him a statute-of-limitations extension to pursue the case. [The Art Newspaper]

Craft and design historian, curator, and critic Glenn Adamson answered 21 questions for Curbed, and reveals that he has a Merlin James painting hanging above his couch. [Curbed]

ARTIST UPDATES. Cassi Namoda is in the CutLaurie Anderson was on 60 MinutesLaurie Kang is in the Los Angeles Times. And Barbara Kruger is also in the L.A. Times, revealing that while she is not on social media, she has spent time on the anonymous message board 4chan. Talking politics, Kruger said, “You have to be performative for people to hear what you have to say.”

The Kicker

ON THE SCENT. For a new show, the Prado in Madrid has collaborated with the Puig perfume company to create scents of 10 things in the painting The Sense of Smell (1617–18) by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, the Guardian reports. Those scents include fig tree, orange blossom, jasmine, daffodil, and—wait for it!—civet. “Civet is a pretty harsh, dirty smell, but it’s what you find in all the [perfume] recipes from 1500 and 1600,” Gregorio Sola , senior perfumer at Puig, told the paper. “That’s because it was used as a fixative to make sure the perfume lasted on the skin.” The things we do for art! [The Guardian]

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