Nov 10, 2015 · 4 min read

Just the 5 art world updates you should know this week.

1. New London Art Complex to Include First Smithsonian Outside US

The proposed Olympicopolis will not only be a way to incorporate the East London site of the Olympic Games into the city but also a new cultural center, for which the city’s mayor announced they have already raised £45 million and secured a number of artistic partnerships.

London’s Olympic Complex, on which the new Olympicopolis will be constructed (Architects Journal)

The complex will include a new branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum and is expected to contain the first base of the USA’s Smithsonian Museum outside the States. The full cost of Olympicopolis is estimated to total at £850 million and include faster rotating art exhibits, geared at a younger audience.

2. Guggenheim Museum Opens First Online Exhibition

In their first online exhibit, the Guggenheim Museum has created a virtual, alternate universe, called Åzone. Each “viewer” that visits the exhibit receives 10,000 cain, or the currency of Åzone, and interacts with the show by investing funds in an online, simulated “futures” market.

Inside the Åzone market (Guggenheim)

The marketplace includes such possible futures as “Drug Decriminalization,” “Interplanetary Living” and “Personalized Medicine.” Troy Conrad Therrien, Guggenheim’s curator of architecture and digital initiatives, explained: “[Museums] need to experiment with new types of exhibitions to address contemporary issues that will shape our future…The first phase of the exhibition is experimental. We’ve put it into the world and now we have to be responsive.”

3. Art Institutions Included in List of Top Philanthropy Recipients

The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s new “Philanthropy 400” list, which ranks the charities receiving the most donations in a year, includes 15 art organizations — an increase from last year’s 13.

Architectural firm Snøhetta’s rendering of a new staircase that will link the existing San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with its new extension, the campaign for which is contributing factor to its high status on this year’s philanthropy list (Dezeen)

Of the $91.6 billion that the top nonprofits took in lat year, art organizations compromised $1.3 billion. The two top art nonprofits, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which received $283.1 million, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which was gifted $238.5 million, placed 83rd and 104th on the list, respectively. Behind the two museums ranked the Whitney Museum of America Art ($140.1 million), the Metropolitan Opera ($128.8 million) and the Museum of Modern Art ($121.4 million).

4. Rodin Museum Reopens to Public

Coinciding with what would have been Auguste Rodin’s 175th birthday, Paris’ Rodin Museum will reopen to the public this Thursday, after three years of renovations, which cost an estimated $17.4 million.

Several previously unseen pieces from Rodin on display in the soon to open museum (artnet News)

In 2012 the museum began renovations for the first time since the mansion — which Rodin himself used as a studio and bequeathed to the French state — was converted into a museum in 1919. By the time the repairs began, parts of the townhouse’s structure were so badly damaged that they had to be completely replaced. However, to honor the finished improvements, the museum has organized a special exhibition, including several restored and previously unseen pieces from the historic sculptor.

5. German Cabinet Approves Divisive Cultural Heritage Law

This past weekend, the German government’s federal cabinet approved a highly controversial bill that would tighten export regulations on artworks traveling within the EU and require a permit to export older or more expensive works out of Germany.

Some of Baseltiz’s loaned work on display at Dresden’s Albertinum Museum. This summer, Baselitz removed work on loan to German institutions in protest of the proposed cultural heritage bill (artnet News).

Culture Minister Monika Grütters stated that the bill concerns “ultimately…very few unique, culturally self-asserting and identity forming major artworks that are classified as nationally valuable.” However, last week gallerist Michael Werner accused the German government of simply attempting to profit from the country’s art sector. Werner joins such skeptics as Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz, who withdrew all his work on loan to German museums this summer in protest of the bill. While the bill still requires approval from Germany’s parliament, it could go into affect as early as the start of 2016.

This post was written with the help of Alice Mahoney, from

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