Headlines: False Modiglianis, Rain Damage, Selfie Disaster
1) Harvard Researchers Encode Galloping Horse on DNA
In the quest to find smaller storage spaces for digital media and the like, scientists at Harvard have made a new breakthrough by encoding some of the first known frames of video onto a strand of DNA. Eadweard Myurbridge’s famous Galloping Horse animation, pieced together from photographs taken of a horse running, serves as one of the earliest known examples of stop-motion animation. This experiment marks a first successful step in the direction of eventually developing the technology to record and save biological data from within a living being.
2) Modigliani Show Shut Down After Works Are Discovered to be Fakes
An exhibition of Modigliani works at the Doge’s Palace in Genoa, Italy, was shut down earlier this week after investigations confirmed that as many as two-thirds of the 30 paintings being shown were fakes. Tuscan art critic Carlo Pepi initially brought about a formal complaint that called the exhibition’s legitimacy into question after seeing a painting that was featured on one of the brochures for the exhibit. Following the revelation, the museum made the decision to shut down the exhibition. A large proportion of the works being displayed were on loan from private collections and from other museums.
3) Water Damage Shuts Down Parts of the Louvre
Heavy storms in Paris last week caused flooding in the Louvre, damaging several masterpieces including works by Nicolas Poussin and Jean Françoise de Troy. Areas that were affected by leaks included the Denon Wing, which houses Islamic and Middle-Eastern art, and the second floor of the Cour Carrée, which is home to a range of French paintings. The damaged works have been removed from display, and the affected areas closed while museum conservationists determine what can be done to restore the art.
4) Selfie Seeker Causes $200,000 Worth of Damage
Another week, another artwork damaged in a botched selfie attempt. This time, a woman apparently trying to take a selfie stumbled backward into a plinth that was holding a sculpture, part of the group exhibition Hypercaine at the 14th Factory gallery, a temporary set-up in Los Angeles. The woman’s fall caused a domino effect in which several plinths, holding about $200,000 worth of artworks, collapsed. According to a spokesperson, three sculptures suffered “permanent damage,” however, the show will continue through the end of July.
5) Digital Exhibition Celebrates "Degenerate Art"
A new digital exhibition at the MoMA commemorates the 80th anniversary of 1937 Degenerate Art exhibition. The original, which took place in Nazi Germany, was a snide showcase of artworks deemed degenerate in order to “educate” the public on Nazi ideals. Eight decades later, many of the artworks have found a home at MoMA, and are available to view online.