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ART IN HIGH PLACES. The sumptuous mosaics inside the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence, Italy, are undergoing a six-year cleaning, and lucky visitors will get the exceedingly rare chance to see them up close, the Associated Press reports. Scaffolding built to allow art restorers to work on the 13th-century marvels will also facilitate visits from small groups, officials said. Note well: You must book in advance. Meanwhile, over in England, the designer Paul Cocksedge has completed an installation for the Liverpool Cathedral that features thousands of pieces of Welsh coal hanging from the ceiling, BBC News reports. It weighs half a ton, and represents the amount of the fossil fuel needed to power a single 200W light bulb for a year. Despite its rather foreboding message about climate change, it looks pretty elegant in photos.
A BIG ADDITION. The estate of the category-defying legend John Wesley, who died last year, is now exclusively represented by the powerhouse Pace gallery, Alex Greenberger reports in ARTnews. “I’m part of the Jack Wesley cult for sure,” the gallery’s CEO, Marc Glimcher , said in an interview. The new arrangement will be “in association” with Fredericks & Freiser, the New York gallery where Wesley showed for 27 years. At Frieze Los Angeles next week, Pace will have the artist’s work on its stand.
The new artistic director of the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai is X Zhu-Nowell. They have been with the Guggenheim Museum in New York since 2014 in curatorial roles, and organized Wu Tsang’s 2021 show there. [Ocula]
Rebecca Ann Siegel, the former director of Frieze in Los Angeles and New York, and Matt Holt, former Frieze biz dev officer, have firmed a consulting company for cultural businesses called Atlantic Arts Agency. Among their current projects is “an international gallery’s expansion in New York,” Melanie Gerlis reports. [Financial Times]
The annual Loewe Foundation Craft Prize announced its shortlist of 30 artists, who are in the running for a €50,000 top prize. A show of their work will go on view at the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York, in May. [WWD]
The New Museum in New York has tapped Alethea Rockwell to be its director of education and public engagement. She is coming from the Museum of Modern Art, where she was associate educator for public engagement and artist programs. [Press Release/New Museum]
Speaking of the New Museum: Its entire building will be given over to a Wangechi Mutu survey next month. The artist also has an installation in the just-opened Sharjah Biennial, and got the profile treatment in the Times. [The New York Times]
Williams College‘s student paper is running a series on the many illustrious art figures who attended the Massachusetts school—the so-called Williams “Art Mafia”—and first up is former National Gallery of Art director Earl A. Powell III. He admits that he “kind of backed into art history at Williams ignominiously because I failed chemistry my first year and needed to pick up a course.” [The Williams Record]
THE PREMIER LEAGUE. Why does it seem that there have been so many blockbuster, expensive, once-in-a-lifetime shows of late? James Tarmyinvestigated for Bloomberg Businessweek. Experts proposed that museums are striving to draw crowds and that they are collaborating more than ever before, which is what makes such shows possible. Taco Dibbits, who leads Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum , pointed out that some people notice when key pieces are missing from a major loan exhibition. “It’s a bit like the world championships in football,” he said. “The evening before the match, everyone was talking about which players weren’t in the field.” [BW]