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The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC have announced the appointment of Chase F. Robinson as Dame Jillian Sackler Director, with effect from 10 December 2018. Robinson will succeed Julian Raby, who retired in December 2017.

Robinson, who holds a doctorate from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, is currently president of The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and distinguished professor of Middle Eastern history and culture. From 1993 to 2008, he was a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford, and chaired its faculty board from 2003 to 2005. At The Graduate Center, he served as provost and senior vice president from 2008 until his appointment as president in 2013.

During Robinson’s tenure as president, The Graduate Center has made major investments in the interdisciplinary humanities, social sciences and experimental sciences, and established itself at the forefront of digital learning and teaching. Robinson has also led the Center to its highest levels of fundraising and sponsored research, as well as greatly expanding public programming in arts, culture and public affairs.

‘In our increasingly globalized and interdependent world, it is imperative that Americans understand the societies of Asia and the Middle East,’ Robinson said. ‘There is no better way to acquire such understanding than through their arts and culture. The collections in the Freer and Sackler galleries ... are extraordinary in their own right and powerful tools for fostering cultural understanding.’

On 4 September, the UK-based independent private equity firm Epiris announced that Epiris Fund II, advised by Epiris LLP, has agreed the acquisition of the global auction house Bonhams from private shareholders. In 2017, the company generated over £450 million of hammer sales. Bruno Vinciguerra, who served for eight years as COO at Sotheby’s, will join CEO Matthew Girling and CFO Jonathan Fairhurst as executive chairman.

A new contemporary art fair, Taipei Dangdai, will take place at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center from 18 to 20 January 2019. Ninety galleries will be participating in this international fair, which will place a strong emphasis on the region. The fair is presented by wealth manager UBS and directed by Magnus Renfrew, hailed as one of the 100 most influential people in the international art world. Renfrew served as founding director for both ART HK – Hong Kong International Art Fair (2007–12) and Art Basel Hong Kong (2012–14), and was on the Hong Kong Arts Development Council from 2014 to 2016.

The fair will be divided into four sectors: Galleries, Young Galleries, Solos and Salon, featuring works priced at less than US$8,000. There will also be an Ideas Program, bringing together cultural figures and specialists from Taiwan and elsewhere. For more information, see www.taipeidangdai.com.

Taking place at the Expo Dome in Taipei Expo Park the same weekend and extending to 21 January, the art platform Ink Now will showcase contemporary ink art and ink-related culture. ‘There remains a need to educate global audiences to truly appreciate this unique art form,’ said founder and director Calvin Hui. The fair aims to challenge the perception that Asian contemporary art is leaning towards Western culture. For more information, see ink-now.org.

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Nov/Dec 2018
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