BENTONVILLE—After a blockbuster tour throughout North America, a portion of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms exhibition will be permanently on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. The museum purchased Kusama’s installation My Heart is Dancing Into the Universe from Victoria Miro Gallery in London, where it debuted last year. When asked about the purchase price, Crystal Bridges assistant curator Alejo Benedetti told ArtNews, “We have a party line: ‘Once an artwork enters our collection, it’s priceless.’ ”
NEW ORLEANS—As awareness of the precarious labor conditions of art workers grows throughout the country, a new investigative report from Hyperallergic claims that the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans has been operating in dangerous or murky legal scenarios for art handlers and other employees. Coupled with general economic precarity and the dynamics of close knit or hostile art scenes, workers reported that they felt they would be blacklisted or retaliated against for filing complaints with entities like OHSA or labor lawyers. Labor conditions, wages, and protections for workers continue to receive increased levels of attention as more museum workers form unions, and agitate for fairer outcomes.
ATLANTA—Longtime Atlanta residents Doris and Shouky Shaheen donated the first works by Fantin-Latour, Matisse, Modigliani, Sisley, Maurice Utrillo and Vlaminck to enter the High’s collection, alongside paintings by Eugène Boudin, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Édouard Vuillard. The subjects range from sweeping landscapes and village scenes to intimate portraits and figure studies. In recognition, the High will establish the Doris and Shouky Shaheen Gallery in its Stent Family Wing, where the paintings will be on view later this year.
ASHEVILLE—As part of its new renovations, the Center for Craft will honor arts advocate and luminary John Cram, a key figure in Asheville’s cultural revival in the 1980s and 90s, with a named gallery. The John Cram Partner Gallery, which will be shared by UNC Asheville, Warren Wilson College, and the Center for Craft, will be a showcase for emerging talent in the spirit of Cram’s legacy when the Center reopens in November 2019.
MENTONE, AL—The factious aspect of the women’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s included separatist lesbian groups who left cities and purchased land in rural America, setting up communal living and working spaces for women and lesbians away from what they considered the violence of patriarchal cities and towns. Now that many of the original women have reached middle age or older, the future of their “womyn’s lands” is uncertain. Speaking to the New York Times, Barbara Lieu, the manager of a secluded womyn’s community in rural Alabama called Alapine said:
“Young women today can’t possibly comprehend what it was like for us. You couldn’t get a credit card in your own name. People wouldn’t loan money to women, even if they had jobs and money to buy a house. We could be beaten by the police for wearing the wrong clothes, for wearing pants.”