Stay up to date on the latest news from the art world! This month: more repatriation of Benin Bronzes; art and mental health; Indigenous women artists and a poisoned land; a new book on a remarkable artist who rose from fairground attraction to renowned artist; and how video games are offering new opportunities for historic and cultural sites.
In a First for the UK, a Public Museum Has Repatriated Its Collection of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria (ArtNet): The first public UK institution, the Hornimann Museum in southeast London, has repatriated 72 objects to Nigeria, most of which were taking by British soldiers during an infamous raid of Benin City in 1897.
Art Is Good for One’s Mental Health (artnet): The British charity Hospital Rooms began with the mission of improving the standard of living for mental health patients through art. Over the past six years, they’ve collaborated with patients, doctors, and artists to bring color and art into mental health wards and create spaces for creative expression and art for patients.
From the Ground Up: Diné Women Artists Fight for Environmental Justice (Art in America): In a series of works in the last few years, Diné women artists respond to the environmental and community impact of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation from the 1940s to 1980s. The mining left a legacy of illness, reproductive issues, and more that still haunts the Diné and their land.
New Book on Sarah Biffin– a 19th century minitaturist who was born limbless–looks at the artist beyond the sideshow (The Art Newspaper): In a new book “Without Hands: The Art of Sarah Biffin,” accompanying an exhibit at the Philip Mould & Company Gallery, offers a in-depth look at the artist Sarah Biffin, the early 19th century artist known throughout England. Biffin was renowned due to her congenital condition, now know as phocomelia, which caused her to be born without arms or legs. Biffin taught herself how to sew, write, and paint with her mouth and she rose from a fairground attraction to a professional portrait miniaturist with royalty among her patrons.
Playing with History: How Heritage and Archeology are Transforming Video Games (The Art Newspaper): Video game developers, such as the creators of Assassin’s Creed and now Clash of Kings, are bringing cultural sites to life and allowing users to immerse themselves in history. This is opening the door for not only users to engage with cultural heritage, but museums, historians, and academics to engage with users in larger discussions about art, culture, and history.
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