The Girl in Vermeer’s Most Famous Work Isn’t Actually Wearing a Pearl Earring, Curator Alleges + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Thursday, February 9.


Wangechi Mutu Gets the Profile Treatment – The Nairobi- and New York-based artist will open an exhibition of more than 100 works surveying her practice at the New Museum on March 2. Through sculpture and painting, Mutu explores themes of sexuality, femininity, ecology, and politics. (New York Times)

A.I. Tools Objectify Photos of Women’s Bodies – A report found that A.I. tools tag photos of women in everyday situations as sexually suggestive, rating them as such at a much higher frequency than comparable pictures of men. Because of this, social media companies tend to suppress these pictures, which can hurt certain female-led businesses. (Guardian)

Girl With a Glass Earring – The landmark Vermeer exhibition‘s co-curator, Pieter Roelofs, said it is unlikely that the girl depicted in Vermeer’s most famous work was wearing a pearl, which would have been “astronomically expensive” at the time. It is almost certainly an imitation glass pearl, which were sold by Venetian glass blowers in the 17th century. (The Art Newspaper)

Artist Simone Forte Wins 2023 Golden Lion for Dance – The 87-year-old artist and dancer will be honored with the 2023 Golden Lion for lifetime achievement for dance. Forti is subject a a major survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles that includes performance videos, drawings, writing, photographs, and three holograms. (New York Times)


Guggenheim Curator Heads to Rockbund Museum – The Chinese-born, New York-based curator X Zhu-Nowell has been named the artistic director of the Rockbund Museum in Shanghai. Zhu-Nowell previously served as curator at the Guggenheim in New York, and starts her new role on March 18 to coincide with Art Basel Hong Kong. (Press release)

Met Curator to Lead Des Moines Art Center – Veteran Met curator Kelly Baum will take the reins at the Des Moines Art Center, succeeding Jeff Fleming, who held the role for 25 years. Baum was most recently curator of contemporary art at the Met; before that she was a curator at the Princeton University Art Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art in Houston.  (Artforum)

New Image for King Charles on Stamps – The United Kingdom’s stamp features the new monarch, featuring a simple profile portrait designed similarly to that of the late Queen Elizabeth. The image was adapted based on a profile sculpture by artist Martin Jennings, and the stamps, which are set to be released on April 4, will be featured in an exhibition at the Postal Museum in London on view through September 23.  (Evening Standard)


Met Acquires First Painting on Stone – The museum has acquired Francesco Salviati’s Bindo Altoviti (ca. 1545), a portrait of the Florentine banker who publicly opposed the Medici family. The rare marble painting was gifted to the museum by Assadour O. Tavitian and is on view in the Met’s Italian Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts gallery. (Press release)

Francesco Salviati, Bindo Altoviti (ca. 1545)The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Assadour O. Tavitian Trust, 2022. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2020.

Francesco Salviati, Bindo Altoviti (ca. 1545)The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Assadour O. Tavitian Trust, 2022. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2020.

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