News Recap: February 16, 2018

A weekly update of art world news.

 Barack Obama, born 1961 Kehinde Wiley (born 1977) Oil on canvas, 2018 © 2018 Kehinde Wiley

Barack Obama, born 1961
Kehinde Wiley (born 1977)
Oil on canvas, 2018
© 2018 Kehinde Wiley

 Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama Amy Sherald (born 1973) Oil on linen, 2018 © 2018 Amy Sherald

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
Amy Sherald (born 1973)
Oil on linen, 2018
© 2018 Amy Sherald

The Obama’s Presidential Portraits Unveiled
On February 12, the National Portrait Gallery unveiled the presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. The paintings by the first black artists to ever be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, were unveiled as a part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration. It was reported to be an emotional ceremony and Wiley said, “The ability to be the first African American painter to paint the first African American President of the United States is absolutely overwhelming. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Both Obama pieces are on view now as a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.
Read the full story (Artnet News)

Düsseldorf to Host Two Photography Festivals Beginning this Weekend
The seventh annual Düsseldorf Photo Weekend kicks off today, alongside Düsseldorf Photo, a new photography festival. The latter, born of government funding and a disagreement on leadership at Düsseldorf Photo Weekend, will take place from February 16-25 in over 50 venues, featuring the work of over 100 photographers. Düsseldorf Photo Weekend will run from February 16-18 and spans 40 sites with a focus on the Middle East. Alain Beiber, the director of Düsseldorf Photo, said, “The idea is to strengthen Düsseldorf as one of the most important locations for photography”
Read the full story (The Art Newspaper)

The Getty Seeks Further Funding
Last year, in an effort to be “more entrepreneurial, more creative and more engaging,” the Getty Museum and Foundation opened up to patron donations through a series of plans ranging from $1,000 to over $50,000 in yearly donations with incentives. In a letter sent out by the board to potential donors, it was said, “We often say that the Getty can do anything, but it cannot do everything…Join with us in special initiatives that can raise the Getty to new heights.” The highly competitive benefactor market has other institutions in the area are worried about the Getty’s fundraising dipping into their own funding. However, the president of the Getty Trust, James Cumo, has stated that the Getty is rising to the popular demand of its patrons, not attempting to compete with other institutions in the area. The Getty is already the world’s richest museum.
Read the full story (The Art Newspaper)