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Controversial Photographer Ron Galella Dies at 91, Statue Stolen in Tulsa, and More: Morning Links for May 3, 2022

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The Headlines

THE SCENE UPTOWN. The Met Gala, aka the Costume Institute Gala, took place last night in New York, and toasted the opening of the second part of the exhibition “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” The sartorial theme for the affair was “gilded glamour,” and ARTnews has a rundown of the looks: Kylie Jenner in Off-WhiteHillary Clinton in Altazurra and Alicia Keys in Ralph Lauren. First Lady Jill Biden stopped by in the morning to preview the show, WWD reports, and delivered remarks. “Our style lets us express things that we can’t put into words,” she said. “We reveal and conceal who we are with symbols and shapes, colors and cuts, and who creates them.” For more on the action, head to Page Six, which has a bounty of coverage.

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THE CONTROVERSIAL, AND SEEMINGLY INEXHAUSTIBLE, photographer of celebrities Ron Galella died on Saturday of congestive heart failure at the age of 91, the New York Times reports. For years, Galella obsessively documented the lives of stars, most infamously former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis , who secured a legal ruling to keep him at a distance. His images of Onassis are intimate, raw, and sometimes disturbing. (The artist Lutz Bacher appropriated them in her work, including one that shows Onassis running from the photographer.) Galella put out 22 books of photography, and his work is held in many important collections, including the Museum of Modern Art’s. In the Times, journalist Paul Vitello quotes film critic Roger Ebert saying of the paparazzo, “I disapproved of him, and enjoyed his work.”

The Digest

The estate of Iowa philanthropists Harriet and J. Locke Macomber is giving a total of $45 million to establish endowments at eight charities, including the Des Moines Art Center, where Harriet was a docent and trustee. The size of the individual gifts was not revealed. [Des Moines Register]

The International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art slammed the Polish government’s ouster of Jaroslaw Suchan as director of the Łodz Museum of Art. The acting director it installed in his place has promised a turn away from “pro-environmental, gender, or queer art.” [The Art Newspaper]

A bronze statue of Native American ballerina Marjorie Tallchief was stolen from the grounds of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum in Oklahoma. At least part of it was sold to a recycling center, which notified police; other parts of the statue remain missing. [Associated Press]

Pittsburgh man has been arrested for allegedly stealing Jewish artworks, books, religious objects, and more from synagogues and other institutions. Police in the city are searching for additional victims. [WTAE]

Congratulations the Guardian for the headline “Pot Heads: Why Everyone’s Fired Up About Ceramics.” The tennis giant Serena Williams and actor Seth Rogen are among the many celebs who have taken up pottery of late, the story notes. “The physicality and sense of accomplishment is so rewarding,” fashion designer Henry Holland said. [The Guardian]

The Kicker

CASH AND CARRY. In the New Yorker, artist Carla Zaccagnini discusses her current show at Amant in Brooklyn, which includes work she made with currency that is no longer in circulation. Zaccagnini also uncorks some incredible stories about the roles that banknotes have played in her family’s history. In the early 1980s, her parents decided to move from Argentina to Brazil, and the artist’s grandmother made a vest with hidden pockets to ferry money across the border. Zaccagnini’s mother wore it with about $30,000 stuffed inside. “She got really warm,” Zaccagnini said. “But she couldn’t take it off.”

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