Etta James, Jackson Pollock forgeries, and Kodak’s bankruptcy: February’s Art News Ticker.
- Legendary Jazz singer Etta James died on January 20. The singer, whose most popular hits include “At Last,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “Roll With Me Henry,” died of leukemia in Riverside, California. In her obituary in the Guardian, James was cited as an important influence for such superstars as Beyoncé and Adele. She was 73.
- The New York Times reports that a federal investigation has been launched after several art works by major artists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell were alleged to be forgeries. The 15 works in question were sold by a little-known Long Island Art dealer, who had access to works from a secret collector.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art has hired Sheena Wagstaff, the former chief curator of Tate Modern, to oversee a new department devoted to 20th and 21st century art. The new department will be housed in the Marcel Breuer building, formerly occupied by the Whitney Museum of American Art.
- The Eastman-Kodak company filed for bankruptcy on January 19, according to the New York TImes online. Kodak, whose name is synonymous with the development of amateur photography in the late 19th and early 20th century, has been facing obsolescence as digital photography has become the standard. Citibank has given Kodak $950 million to continue operating while Kodak sells off some its patents to raise funds.