Guggenheim Director to step down, Germany to return sacred statue to Cameroon, and more art news

Home » Guggenheim Director to step down, Germany to return sacred statue to Cameroon, and more art news
Demands to return a sacred statue originally from Cameroon were recently met; Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Guggenheim Director to Depart Museum After 14 Years

Richard Armstrong, Director of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York,

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which oversees the namesake New York museum and three other international outposts in Venice, Bilbao, and Abu Dhabi (upcoming), will bid adieu to its director, Richard Armstrong who served for 14 years, in 2023. Guggenheim did not provide a reason for his departure, which was announced first by Armstrong himself in a press interview this week. In a statement announcing his decision, he said that he was proud of what they had established, including tiding over the pandemic with good financial health. Under his direction, the museum held some of its most adored retrospectives. A series of acclaimed retrospectives were mounted for figures like On Kawara, Alberto Burri, Agnes Martin, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Hilma af Klint. The af Klint retrospective drew record-setting crowds to the Guggenheim. While Armstrong’s tenure saw the museum’s endowment more than double, there arose matters of contention as well from time to time. The delay in establishing Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, coupled with frequent allegations of workers’ rights violations questioned his leadership style. Read more on ARTNews.

Discussion on the impact of art on health in Chennai event

Representational image

Krishnakumar B (KK), the artistic director of The Little Theatre, believes in the therapeutic value of art. At a panel discussion called ‘The importance of arts post COVID’ at The Little Festival, held recently in Chennai, he shared anecdotes of how art sustained young children at a concentration camp; apparently, an old woman had smuggled in paper and colours and encouraged them to draw. In keeping with this core idea that the pursuance of any form of art brings creative accomplishment and marked relief, two panels at the Chennai event discussed varied aspects of art as therapy. The first panel probed into the influence of arts practice on an individual during the pandemic. It deduced that even if one signed up for an online dance or a drawing class during the pandemic period, the recreation appeared to have a positive outcome on the mind and the body for a sustained period. The second panel talked about incorporating art in education; something that has been implemented with enthusiasm in a post-Covid world. Catch the details of this article at TNIE. 

Germany to return a sacred statue to Cameroon

The statue of goddess Ngonnso

Germany will return a goddess statue that was stolen from Cameroon 120 years ago, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation said on Monday. The female figure, known as Ngonnso’, will be returned to the kingdom of Nso’ in northwestern Cameroon. It was taken by colonial officer Kurt von Pavel and donated to Berlin’s Ethnological Museum in 1903. “Bring Back Ngonnso,” a civil society initiative, has been campaigning for the statue’s return for years, as the Nso’ people say they have suffered numerous calamities since the statue was stolen. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation president Hermann Parzinger said that objects do not need to have been taken in an unjust context, like looting, for them to deserve repatriation. “The special — especially spiritual — significance of an object for the society of origin can also justify a return,” he added. Mbinglo Gilles Yumo Nyuydzewira, a Nso’ kingdom prince, said the news was received warmly in Cameroon. “After more than 120 years, we can only remain happy for it is a moment to commemorate and come closer to our ancestral links with love and togetherness,” he told Reuters. Read more on CNN.

 

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