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CAMPUS NEWS. Billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs and other prominent figures have been putting together a plan to purchase the Russian Hill campus of the San Francisco Art Institute, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The effort would preserve the site’s astonishing 1931 Diego Rivera mural, which is a city landmark, and use the location for arts and education initiatives of some kind. The CEO of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, David Stull, who is part of the effort, said that the project “is in its nascent stage but tremendously exciting.” The defunct school’s graduate campus at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture not be part of any deal.
THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. Last week in London, Sotheby’s hauled in £12.2 million (about $15.3 million) in an action-packed 59-lot auction of art, design, and more once owned by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, Bloomberg reports. That was enough to beat the £11.3 million ($14.1 million) estimate placed on more than 1,400 lots (representing some 30,000 items) being sold by Mercury’s friend, Mary Austin, with some proceeds going to charity. A smart touch by the auction house: The festivities began with “We Will Rock You” blasting in the salesroom, where draft lyrics for “Bohemian Rhapsody” went for £1.38 million ($1.73 million). If you did not score a piece of music history at the live sale, offerings continue through Wednesday, per the Financial Times. But note well: Lots are blasting past their estimates. One example from the eagle-eyed James Tarmy: Black cat figures pegged at £150 have been bid up online to £3,800 ($4,760).
A BRAVE NEW WORLD. The Madonna and Child painting in England that was recently attributed to Raphael by an AI program is likely not by Raphael, according to another AI, the Guardian reports. Only one can be right! And the New York Times checked in with curators who used AI to organize a show. The result? Not stellar.
The director of the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw, Joanna Wasilewska, was ousted by regional politicians last week amid claims of financial irregularities, a move that she says was politically motivated. Europeans museum leaders have condemned her dismissal. [The Art Newspaper]
Chinese artist Ye Yongqing was ordered to pay the equivalent of about $696,000 in damages and apologize for plagiarizing more than 80 works by the Belgian artist Christian Silvain. Ye had previously said that he was inspired by Silvain’s practice. [ArtAsiaPacific]
For a second time, climate activists defaced a yacht belonging to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie, with members of Scientist Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion spraying paint on it in a Barcelona port, whose operators said the boat was quickly restored to a “perfect state.” Back in July, Futuro Vegetalhit the yacht in Ibiza. [CNN]
The Hamptons home of artist Paul Waldman and his wife, art historian and former Guggenheim Museum deputy director Diane Waldman, is on the market for $4.39 million. It was built around 1912, features three bedrooms and two baths, and comes with an adjoining studio. [New York Post]
ARTISTS SPACE.Mickalene Thomas has a new exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery centered on a portrait of a freedwoman, and spoke with the New York Times. Danny Cortes, who makes meticulous miniatures, is also in the Times. And Carmen Argote examines relationships in her show at the ICA LA, and is in the L.A. Times.
FIREPOWER. In the closing days of the American Revolution, the notorious turncoat Benedict Arnold attacked New London, Connecticut, with British soldiers and burned it to the ground. In subsequent years, in revenge, the city staged an annual burning of an Arnold effigy. That tradition eventually disappeared, but a theater director named Derron Wood brought it back ten years ago, and judging by a dispatch from the Associated Press, it sounds like a satisfying event. Wood told the news agency, “I like to jokingly refer to it as the original Burning Man festival.” [AP]