Daily digest: The richest architects of 2021, the Met returns its Benin Bronzes, and more

Museum Moves

Daily digest: The richest architects of 2021, the Met returns its Benin Bronzes, and more

Inside the entrance hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (Tomas Eidsvold/Unsplash)

Good morning and welcome back to another news roundup, one of the last before taking off for the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Here’s what’s going on today:

Here are the richest architects of 2021

Archinect has compiled a list of the ten richest architects of 2021, and it shouldn’t be surprising that capital is accumulating at the top given how more than a trillion dollars has migrated to the 1 percent over the course of the pandemic. Although you should take the exact numbers with a grain of salt (the figures were compiled by wealth tracking site “”), Norman Foster’s position at number one shouldn’t come as a surprise—even more so as the list cites an August source for Foster’s wealth, well before Foster + Partners’ sale of a large stake to Canadian private investment firm Hennick & Company. Other more surprising entries abound, including the one landscape architect who made the list. Who is it? You’ll have to click through to find out.

H/t to Archinect

The Metropolitan Museum of Art officially repatriates its Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has officially returned its Benin Bronzes to Nigeria and entered into an agreement with the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments to collaborate on long-term loans. The museum announced the move over the summer, but yesterday officially transferred ownership of two 16th-century brass plaques back to Nigeria; the two works are but a smaller part of the larger Benin Bronzes collection, a group of artifacts looted by the British in 1890. The Met also negotiated the return of a third bronze not in its collection, a 14th-century brass head it had been offered the chance to buy.

H/t to Hyperallergic

San Francisco’s Academy of Art University partners with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

Today, San Francisco’s Academy of Art University announced that it had entered into a partnership with the Northern California Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). Starting in the spring 2022 semester, students will be able to study classical architecture and principles—such studies will also be made part of the core curriculum for first-year students majoring in Interior Architecture and Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture.

Work kicks off on the U.S.’s first full-scale offshore wind farm

Construction has begun on Vineyard Wind 1, a full-scale wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard just across state lines in Rhode Island, that’s the first of its size in the United States. Once complete in 2023, the 62-turbine farm will be able to power 400,000 homes in Massachusetts annually. The move to beef up offshore wind in America is driven in part by the Biden administration’s goal of feeding 30 gigawatts of electricity into the grid from offshore wind farms by 2030—to put that in perspective, Vineyard Wind 1 will produce about 800 megawatts once operational.

H/t to Global Construction Review

The American Museum of Natural History’s Theodore Roosevelt statue finds a permanent home

Although the New York City Public Design Commission approved plans to take down the problematic monument to Theodore Roosevelt on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in June, the statue has remained where it is ever since (despite being repeatedly vandalized by protestors). That was, the museum claimed, in part due to a lack of a final home for the 81-year-old installation. Now that has been remedied, the AMNH has announced that it will lend the statue to Snøhetta’s forthcoming Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota when it opens in 2026.

Work to remove the statue from the museum’s steps, however, will begin sometime this fall and is expected to take several months, after which it will be moved to storage. Two plaques explaining the historical context behind the monument and why it was removed are currently under consideration to replace it.

H/t to 6sqft

Proposing a manifesto for Indigenous design in Canada

How can Canadian design better platform Indigenous voices—and who would that include? At a recent Dezeen panel, architects Andrew King, Leslie Jen, and David Fortin discussed forging a pan-Canadian design identity to present to the world, backed by architects and the government, and that needs to include Native voices. At the time of writing, there are only about 18 Native architects in all of Canada, something that needs rectifying, especially given the country’s history of brutally suppressing Indigenous cultures.

H/t to Dezeen