News Recap: October 4, 2019

A weekly update of art world news.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Rare Signed Print of Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima Goes to Auction
Joe Rosenthal’s iconic World War II photograph, “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” is one of the highlights at Heritage Auctions’ Photographs Auction this Friday, October 4. The front of the print has four signatures: one by the photographer and three by the three marines (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes) who survived the battle. The back of the print shows a handwritten message indicating the signatures are by the soldiers in the photograph. The print is estimated to sell for between $15,000 and $25,000. Heritage Auctions Photographs Director Nigel Russell says, “the significance of this photo cannot be overstated. By itself, the image is powerful, but to have it signed by three of the Marines who raised that flag, as well as by the photographer, makes this an undeniable rarity that can be the centerpieces of any historical or photographs collection.”
Read the full story (PetaPixel)

20 Artsy Staffers Laid Off to “Streamline Operations”
Artsy, The New York-based online art-selling startup has laid off approximately 20 employees following an earlier round of layoffs in February. For a company with 200 employees, the layoffs are a nearly 10 percent reduction. Artsy has undergone a major restructuring since Mike Steib replaced cofounder Carter Cleveland as CEO in June. Artsy’s cofounder and former president and COO, Sebastian Cwilich, left the company for a senior advisory position at Gagosian Gallery. As a result of these changes, an Artsy spokesman stated that the new “streamlined operations” (i.e., layoffs) will allow the company, “to execute our strategy faster under new leadership…Realigning our resources to double down on our core marketplace strategy has mean exiting non-core functions such as our content-sales business, as well as consolidating other business areas.”
Read the full story (The Art Newspaper)

Palais de Tokyo President Dismissed for Threatening Greta Thunberg
Bernard Chenebault, the president of Amis du Palais de Tokyo in Paris, has been removed after making threatening remarks on Facebooks about climate activist Greta Thunberg. Chenebault called the sixteen-year-old a “madwoman” whom “we must shoot down.” and added that he hoped “an off-center person shoots her.” Chenebault’s role at Friends of the Palais de Tokyo involved spearheading community outreach and overseeing a network of patrons and collectors. The Palais de Tokyo swiftly distanced itself from Chenebault stating “we disapprove of these words and dissociate ourselves from this position, formulated in a personal capacity and which does not engage the Palais de Tokyo.” Chenebault offered an apology on Facebook in which he stated his regret for his statements and the outrage they caused.
Read the full story (Art Forum)