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LOVERS OF BRITISH PAINTING, REJOICE! Later this month, Sotheby’s in London will offer up a 2002 portrait of painter David Hockney by his fellow artist Lucian Freud, ARTnews reports. The piece carries an estimate of £8 million to £12 million (about $11 million–$17 million). Hockney apparently spent more than 100 hours posing for it, and said that “all the hours I sat were layered into it; he had always added, rarely taken anything away.” When the work was first offered for sale in 2003 it carried an asking price of £3 million. Britons eager to see more work by the two artists are in luck. The Royal Academy in London is showing Hockney’s latest iPad drawings deep into September, and a Freud blockbuster is on tap at Tate Liverpool in late July.
A DIAMOND BELIEVED TO BE THE THIRD-LARGEST GEM-QUALITY STONE ever discovered has been found in a Botswana mine that is run by the government and De Beers, Reuters reports. This uncut gem clocks in at a whopping 1,098 carats. That is just under the 1,106-carat weight of Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull, For the Love of God (2007), which was made with 8,601 flawless diamonds. An estimate of the value of the find is expected to be released in a few weeks, according to Bloomberg. The second-largest known diamond, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which was found in Botswana in 2015, sold two years later for about $53 million, BBC News notes. Details of the sale of this new treasure are still being worked out.
One of the famed lions outside the Art Institute of Chicago was vandalized with spray paint. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The Ethiopian government reportedly got Busby, an auction house in rural England, to pull two lots—a Coptic Bible and three horn beakers—from a sale because they had been looted by British troops in 1868. [The Art Newspaper]
New details for the forthcoming Carnegie International, the grand exhibition that alights at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh every three to five years: it will open in September of 2022, and its curator, Sohrab Mohebbi, has tapped Ryan Inouye as its associate curator. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Naming rights have become a hot-button issue in cultural philanthropy. Some institutions have worked to remove the names of controversial supporters in recent years (e.g. the Sacklers), while some donors are forgoing the honor to avoid scrutiny. [Town & Country]
Collectors Deborah and Philip English gave $2.5 million to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore to endow a curator of decorative arts, design, and material culture position, and committed to donating 500 pieces from their collection of Majolica. [CBS Baltimore]
Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Scott Disick bought his girlfriend, actress Amelia Hamlin, a Helmut Newton photograph for her birthday. He sounds like a keeper! [Page Six]
NEW YORK’S PPOW GALLERY WILL MARK ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY this year, and its founders, Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington, got the profile treatment in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Like any long-running gallery, P.P.O.W has had its ups and downs over the years, as tastes have shifted, and Olsoff provided some nice perspective on the role dealers can play even when business is slow. “It’s like you plant seeds whenever you do these shows,” she said. “Nowadays, people are blinded: They think everything has to happen now. But I have a thing I like to say, which is, ‘Yeah, this show didn’t sell—which means it’s a really good show.’ ” [T: The New York Times Style Magazine]