Terry Adkins, thumb piano collector (and artist).

LAMONT HAMILTON PHOTOGRAPHY

The Obamas’ Portraits

The New Yorker has devoted two columns to the reveal of the portraits of the Obamas yesterday. In his essay, Vinson Cunningham takes on Kehinde Wiley’s painting of Barack, who sits among a growth of emerald-green fauna. Cunningham notes that it captures Obama’s delicate balances—between formalness and friendliness—well. [The New Yorker]

And in her column, Doreen St. Félix writes on Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle, which has been criticized for not looking much like Michelle at all. But perhaps this was the point, St. Félix writes; maybe it was meant to add an air of mystery to her image. [The New Yorker]

A Blockbuster Michelangelo Show

The blockbuster exhibition is far from dead at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. More than 700,000 people—that’s 702,516, to be exact—saw the Met’s show “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer,” according to a release put out by the institution yesterday. [Press Release]

According to the New York Times, that figure makes the Michelangelo show the Met’s tenth most visited exhibition in its entire history. (It is still no match, however, for the museum’s historic 1978–79 show about Tutankhamun, which brought in 1,360,957 people.) [The New York Times]

The Berkshire Museum Debacle
A group of current and former Berkshire Museum members is continuing the legal fight against the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, institution, ARTnews reported yesterday. The news comes following a decision last week by the Massachusetts Attorney General that would potentially allow the museum to sell prized works from its collection at Sotheby’s. [ARTnews]

German Art

For the Washington Post, Sebastian Smee reviews the Harvard Art Museums’ exhibition “Inventur — Art in Germany, 1943–55.” Long considered a dry period for German art, the exhibition proves that these years were not, in fact, “a creative black hole,” Smee writes. [The Washington Post]

According to the Art Newspaper, Leni Riefenstahl’s estate, which includes photographs, films, manuscripts, and letters by the Nazi filmmaker, has been donated to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. A group of researchers will now sort through and analyze the estate’s holdings. [The Art Newspaper]

Beyond the Canon

A 100-work exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York boldly aims to insert the Brazilian painter Tarsila do Amaral, whose colorful paintings often feature people who appear to be eating themselves, into the history of modernism. “Her work stands in for a moment of Brazilian history and culture that people are very proud of,” Stephanie D’Alessandro, one of the exhibition’s curators, told the Cut. [The Cut]

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports from the India Art Fair in New Delhi, where a group of artists, both well-known and not, are reflecting on the refugee crisis. The fair acts as further proof that the Indian art market is heating up, according to the report. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

Terry Adkins

In the New York Times’s latest “Show Us Your Wall” column, Merele Williams-Adkins, the widow of the artist Terry Adkins, gives a tour of her apartment. According to Williams-Adkins, there are “a million thumb pianos around the house,” and Adkins would play them. [The New York Times]