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Orlando Museum of Art Director Sacked, Beyonce’s Latest Album Cover Resembles Lady Godiva, and Francis Bacon Reigns at Sotheby’s Auction

We are happy to curate trending stories for you from the many fascinating developments across the globe. Here’s the latest from the art world that you should not miss!

Orlando Museum of Art Director Removed After FBI Raid of Basquiat Show


Aaron De Groft was removed as the director and chief executive of the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida on Tuesday night, days after the FBI seized 25 Jean-Michel Basquiat disputed paintings that were on display in the museum. The Friday raid materialized after agents provided a 41-page affidavit for the search warrant based on an investigation which found “false information relating to the alleged prior ownership of the paintings.” Cynthia Brumback, the chairwoman of the museum’s board, said in a statement that “effective immediately, Aaron De Groft is no longer director and C.E.O. of Orlando Museum of Art.” She added that the museum’s trustees were “extremely concerned about several issues” regarding the Basquiat exhibition, titled “Heroes and Monsters.” News also surfaced of a De Groft’s hiring of a researcher who was paid $60000 by the museum. In later emails between the two, De Groft’s tone of language appears aggressive and threatening. Read the entire story on ARTnews. 

Beyoncé ‘Renaissance’ Album Cover Draws Comparisons to Famed Painting of Lady Godiva


On Thursday afternoon, Beyoncé unveiled the cover for her newest album Renaissance. Shot by Carlijn Jacobs, features a scantily clad Beyoncé atop a silvery horse. Social media began buzzing with discussions as to how it closely resembled John Collier’s 1880/98 painting Lady Godiva, which depicts a nude woman who figures prominently in Anglo-Saxon lore. According to legend,


Lady Godiva rode a horse naked during the 11th century as a protest her husband’s decision to a levy heavy tax on Coventry, England. Leofric said he would call it off if she appeared in town naked and on horseback, and she took him up on this dare. The painting by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Collier, is currently held by the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry, which owns a collection of works that depict Lady Godiva. Read more on ARTnews!

A $52 M. Francis Bacon Painting Lifts Up Dull Sotheby’s London Sales


A Sotheby’s London show offering works of modern and contemporary art on Wednesday evening cashed in £149 million ($182 million) with fees. The show was off to a slow start, with 79 lots that offered the works of emerging and seasoned artists alike. Matters remained dull, till a work by Francis Bacon came up for auction. ARTnews reports that reigning as the most expensive lot of the night was a 1964 painting depicting the British painter Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon. The work was inspired by a photograph depicting Freud sitting on a bed with his arms outstretched. Coming to the auction block after nearly 60 years out of public view and offered with a guarantee, Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud sold for £43 million ($52 million) and met the estimated value Sotheby’s assigned to it ahead of the sale. Works of Banksy and David Hockney also featured under the “British Art: The Jubilee Auction” dedicated to art made by British artists. Get the details on ARTnews. 

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