After years of letting captives own their artwork, Pentagon calls it U.S. property The Miami Herald reports that art made by wartime captives is now considered to be U.S. government property and that the military has stopped releases of security-screened prisoner art to the public. The decision, suggests the report, may have something to do with the ongoing exhibition, ‘Ode To The Sea‘, at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which features paintings and other works by current and former prisoners of Guantanamo Bay.
Senior arts directors in Scotland pen open letter calling for Scottish government to protect public arts funding A number of directors of high-profile Scottish organisations have written a letter to the government calling for them to demonstrate support in the forthcoming draft budget. In it, they state: “A very small increase in funding would allow the core infrastructure of arts and culture in Scotland to survive and to thrive.” Among those to sign the letter are: Seonaid Daly, director, Scottish Contemporary Art Network; David Watt, chief executive, Arts & Business Scotland; Jan-Bert van den Berg, director, Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians; Janie Nicoll, former president, Scottish Artists Union; and Fiona Logue, director, Craft Scotland.
‘Lost’ masterpiece by Spanish artist found hanging in Welsh castle Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s 17th-century portrait had long been thought to be a copy until art expert Benito Navarrete Prieto visited Penrhyn Castle. There are barely a dozen known portraits by the artist and those few that do exist are worth millions. The portrait is now the focal point of a major exhibition on the artist at the Frick Collection in New York, after which it will be transferred to the National Gallery in London in February.
Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange mark tenth anniversary with launch of Gallery Patrons scheme The Cornwall-based gallery has announced a scheme offering philanthropic individuals special access to previews and behind-the-scenes access to exhibitions, plus the opportunity to enjoy an annual Patrons’ Dinner and purchase limited edition artwork for an annual subscription of £250. It is part of the gallery’s fundraising campaign, The Power of 10, through which all subscriptions, sponsorships and donations will be doubled by the Arts Council’s Catalyst: Evolve initiative in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Charles Hancock, president of the new Gallery Patrons scheme, said it “will enable further investment in the gallery’s future development and stimulate the creative vitality of the region.”
Artist organising alternative Havana Biennial released on bail Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara was accused of illegally receiving construction materials, including bags of cement and sand, at his home in Old Havana. He was released from police custody after he paid $1,000 bail, although the date of his upcoming trial has yet to be determined. Alcántara began organising the alternative biennial after the 13th edition of the Cuba’s state-sponsored Bienal de la Habana was cancelled due to a lack of funds because of Hurricane Irma.
New judges line-up confirmed for Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Panel for award offering total prize money of £30,000 includes: Daphne Todd OBE PPRP NEAC, chair of the judging panel, artist and judge on BBC1’s The Big Painting Challenge; Robin Mason, artist and head of fine art, City and Guilds London Art School; Johnny Messum, founder and director, Messums Wiltshire; Andrew Stahl, artist and professor of fine art and head of undergraduate painting at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art in London; plus Benjamin Sullivan NEAC RP, artist and winner of the BP Portrait Award 2017.
Virtual reality brings Modigliani’s final studio back to life Italian painter and sculptor, known for portraits with elongated faces and figures, is the subject of a new exhibition at Tate Modern. The show will feature a seated virtual reality experience which takes visitors on a journey through Modigliani’s final studio in Paris. Following five months of mapping and historical research, the space, its interiors and objects have been brought back to life for the exhibition.
1. Ahmed Rabbani, Untitled (Binoculars Pointing at the Moon), 2016, work on paper. Courtesy: Art from Guantanamo Bay exhibition
2. Charles Hancock with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange staff: (L to R) Bettina Wenzel, Tamsin Young, James Green, Kathy Hill, Charles Hancock, Blair Todd, Megan Beck and Simon Jaques. Copyright: Lee Searle Photography.