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Showing posts from May, 2017

Ring of Art Criminals

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A Swedish Professor Just Brought Down a Notorious Ring of Art Criminals The scholar became suspicious after buying a 16th century prayer book online. Sarah Cascone, May 30, 2017

An Italian policeman with recovered stolen art. Courtesy of the Italian police. He may not be Charles Xavier, but one Swedish professor just used his mental abilities to defeat a nefarious gang of art criminals. A tip from the scholar led police to bust an Italian art-theft ring that reportedly had stolen rare artworks and antique manuscripts from across the country. The professor, who teaches at Sweden’s Lund University, went straight to the authorities when he became suspicious about the provenance of a 16th-century prayer book he had purchased online. The book, titled Modus Orandi Deum Aliaque Pia et Christiana Exercitia Nec Non Deiparae Virginis Maria Litaniae, was marked with an antique stamp from the Royal Library of Turin, and the purchaser was right to trust his instincts; it had been stolen from a disp…

For all mothers

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For all mothers "A Great Day" thank you for everything ...

‘The Brooklyn Rail’

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Staff of the Beloved Art Publication ‘The Brooklyn Rail’ Departs En Masse The June issue marks a major rupture for the publication.
The cover of the May 2017 issue of the Brooklyn Rail.Touting itself as “An Independent Forum for Arts, Politics, and Culture,” the Brooklyn Rail has been a fixture in New York for almost two decades. A recentNew York Timesprofile of its co-founder and artistic director, the artist and curator Phong Bui, describedtheRailas a leading voice in alternative publishing—though Bui himself said he thought of it less as a publication and more as “a kind of social sculpture made of human activity and connections.” Well, big changes are afoot in the social fabric of the Rail, according to an announcement from the Rail today:
The independent members of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Rail, along with its day-to-day senior staff and six additional full- and part-time staff members, will part ways with the nonprofit publication, effective Friday, May 26, 2017. M…

But Still Rakes in $448 Million

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Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Sale Gets a Heat Check But Still Rakes in $448 Million A robust sale, but not a frothy one.

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1963). Courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd. 2017.At its sale of postwar and contemporary art at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday evening, Christie’s took in a total of $448 million, landing within revised expectations of $339–462 million. The lower revision was the result of the withdrawal of a major lot—Willem de Kooning‘sUntitled II,which had a hefty estimate of $25 million to $35 million. Still, the total exceeded the sale’s original, higher estimate “in excess of $370 million.” Timid consignment is something of a trend this week: the cover lot from Tuesday’s Impressionist and Modern sale at Sotheby’s, an Egon Schielehad also been withdrawn at the last minute. Given that the Christie’s sale was jam-packed with roughly 70 lots, it was mercifully short at just under two hours, with auctioneer and…

“Most Successful Auction"

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Cheyenne Westphal on Why This Week Might Be the “Most Successful Auction in Phillips’s History” Ahead of the spring sales in New York this week, the former Sotheby's executive discusses her next chapter as chairman of Phillips.
After nearly three decades at Sotheby’s, most recently as worldwide head of the contemporary art department, auction veteran Cheyenne Westphal left to join Phillips auction house as global chairman. In March, after roughly a year spent on “gardening leave,” Westphal officially started her new role alongside the fast-growing senior team assembled by Phillips CEO Ed Dolman (who himself is a longtime former leader and CEO at Christie’s). On the eve of New York’s spring auction “gigaweek,” in which five major evening sales will be packed into four nights, we spoke to Westphal about what motivated her to make the jump to Phillips, which areas of the market are ripe for re-evaluation, and what she has planned for the week ahead. What have you observed in terms of…

Venice Biennale

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The 5 Biggest Controversies in Venice Biennale History The grand exhibition hasn't always covered itself in glory. Henri Neuendorf, May 9, 2017

The Grand Canal in Venice. Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images. The Venice Biennale is the grandest event in the art calendar—an international exhibition designed to compare and contrast world cultures through visual art. Yet the Biennale’s stature has not inoculated it against controversy over the years. The exhibition has suffered several dust-ups in its 114-year history, from vexing grand prize winners to derogatory showcases of “primitive” African art. On the eve of the opening of the 57th edition of the Biennale, we examine the historic festival’s five most contentious controversies. The Icelandic Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Photo: alvendia1 via Instagram. Christoph Büchel Turns a Deconsecrated 10th Century Church Into a Mosque (2015) Police in Venice shut down Swiss artist Christoph Büchel’s installation at the 56th Venice …

Museum Shows Challenges

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Provenance Exhibition at Krannert Art Museum Shows Challenges of WWII-era Research


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Nancy Karrels relishes solving the mysteries behind the paintings and objects we see in art museums, especially here at Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Karrels – a doctoral student in art history at Illinois who also has two law degrees – investigates the backgrounds and histories of objects to trace their path from creator through each owner. She has created an exhibition for Krannert Art Museum on provenance research and her efforts to document the history of ownership of several of the museum’s works. “Provenance: A Forensic History of Art” opens May 13 and runs through June 2018. Provenance, or the history of ownership of a historical object or work of art, is important to museums and private collectors, both to authenticate the object and to ensure that ownership is legal and the object was not looted. The practice has drawn more attention in t…

New York State Museum

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New York State Museum Acquires Major Collection of Artwork of the Historic Woodstock Art Colony
Birge Harrison, St. Lawrence River Sunset, no date, oil on canvas, 25 x 39 in. The Historic Woodstock Arts Colony: Arthur A. Anderson Collection ( Photo Credit: Eric R. Lapp) Birge Harrison, St. Lawrence River Sunset, no date, oil on canvas, 25 x 39 in. The Historic Woodstock Arts Colony: Arthur A. Anderson Col The New York State Museum on Tuesday announced the acquisition of a significant collection of artwork of the historic Woodstock Art Colony. The collection includes 1,500 paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and archival material and represents more than 170 artists from the early 20th century art colony in Woodstock, NY. Long before the famous music event in 1969, Woodstock was home to what is considered America’s first intentional year-round arts colony: the historic Woodstock Art Colony, founded in 1902. Its artists have been the focus of collector and donor Arthur Anderson for t…