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The Metropolitan Museum of Art is going east — far east, for The Costume Institute’s spring 2015 exhibition, to be titled “Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film, and Fashion.”

Incorporating the realms of fine and filmic art from the Department of Asian Art, the summer show will explore how China has fueled the creative imagination of designers all over the world for centuries, resulting in layers of cultural translations, re-translations, and, of course, mistranslations.

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Art Basel Asia Director Magnus Renfrew will join Bonhams as deputy chairman Asia and director of Fine Arts in September, he said by telephone today.

“This is a very exciting time to be involved in the Asian art market and building up an Asian collector base,” said Renfrew, 38, who will be responsible for boosting Bonhams’ classical, modern and contemporary Asian art offerings.

Renfrew oversaw Art Basel’s Hong Kong fairs in 2013 and 2014. The company, which runs international art fairs in Basel, Miami and Hong Kong, said it has not appointed his successor in an e-mail response.

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Texas-based appraiser of Asian art pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court Tuesday to taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle illegal rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory to China.
 
Ning Qiu could spend more than two years in prison and be fined $150,000 when he is sentenced at a later date.
 
Authorities say Qiu admitted to helping the boss of the scheme obtain rhino horns and ivory, where they were smuggled to Hong Kong and used to make fake antiques.
 

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He was carved nearly 1,000 years ago from the wood of a giant cryptomeria, a type of cypress native to Japan. Since then, he’s been worshiped as a god, survived a devastating fire, endured a lengthy ocean voyage and delighted generations of Rhode Island art lovers.

Still, there’s a good chance the majestic “Buddha Dainichi Nyorai” — better known as the RISD Museum’s big wooden Buddha — has never had it so good.

Indeed, the massive carving and dozens of other objects have been given a thorough primping and pampering as part of a two-year, $2.7-million renovation of the museum’s top-floor Radeke Building galleries. The new galleries, which house everything from Asian prints and ceramics to ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary fashions and textiles, open to the public Friday.

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By the time Art Basel Hong Kong opened to VIPs on May 14, Edouard Malingue had already sold out his entire inventory of paintings. He spent the rest of the fair fending off disappointed would-be buyers.

“Some of my clients got really upset with my staff and I had to intervene,” said Hong-Kong-based Malingue, after all seven works by Chinese painter Yuan Yuan were sold in advance of the fair. “I explained that we’ve been selling to new collectors and the artist isn’t a factory.”

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Art collecting has always been an international affair. Works made in one place are often sought after by people living in another.

Many of the greatest American Pop artworks of the 1960s are in German collections. French Impressionism from the end of the 19th century is superbly represented in the United States.

And going back hundreds of years, collections in Japan began to swell with paintings made across the sea in China. A magnificent show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art chronicles the phenomenon.

"Chinese Paintings From Japanese Collections" is something of a coup. It features 35 scrolls, some consisting of multiple panels, from the Tokyo National Museum and other collections in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Japanese museums are often reluctant to allow important works to leave the country, even for temporary exhibitions. But LACMA curator Stephen Little has managed a remarkable group of loans — including some that are just now making their premiere abroad.

 

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The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) announced today its annual Awards for Excellence in the categories of museum Catalogues, Articles/Essays, and Exhibitions. All AAMC members are eligible for nomination. The AAMC Prize Committee and member juror groups determine awards prior to the AAMC’s Annual Conference and Meeting in May. New to this year’s vetting process, the categories of Awards for Exhibitions and Catalogues were subdivided based on the operating budgets of the members’ museums.

"We were impressed by the quality and depth of the nominations,” says Judith Pineiro, Executive Director of the Association of Art Museum Curators, "It is wonderful that our new selection process allowed for celebrating the outstanding work of so many curators.”

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The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that it will renovate its Hackerman House, one of five buildings on the institution’s campus. The 19th-century mansion, which houses the Walters’ Asian art collection, will close on July 1 so that its fire safety and mechanical systems can be updated. In addition, the building’s galleries will be refurbished and the exterior will be repaired. The project is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.

Art normally displayed in the Hackerman House’s galleries will mostly be moved to storage during the renovations while a select few pieces will go on view in other areas of the museum. In addition to some private fundraising, the $5.2 million project is being financed by the city and state.

Founded by William Thompson Walters and his son, Henry Walters, the Walters Art Museum is renowned for its Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ethiopian, and Western medieval art collections as well as its holdings of Renaissance and Asian art. The Walters also has an impressive collection of illuminated manuscripts and rare books.

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:32

Harvard’s Art Museums to Reopen in November

On November 16, 2014, the Harvard Art Museums -- including the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, and the Fogg Museum of Art -- will reopen to the public under one state-of-the art roof. The project, which began in 2008, has entailed a complete renovation and expansion of Harvard’s museum system. The endeavor has increased gallery space by 40 percent, for a total of approximately 43,000 square feet.

Harvard tapped renowned architect Renzo Piano to transform 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the landmark building that previously housed the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger Museum, into the university’s artistic hub. The new facility combines the 32 Quincy Street building, which was constructed in 1927, with a new addition and a striking glass rooftop structure that will allow controlled natural light into the facility’s conservation lab, study centers, and galleries. The overhaul also includes a theater for lectures and public programming.

The Busch-Reisinger Museum, which was founded in 1903, is the only museum in North America dedicated to the art of the German-speaking countries of Central and Northern Europe. The Fogg Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1896, boasts extensive holdings of American and European art from the Middle Ages to the present. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which holds a remarkable Asian art collection, was established in 1985 in a separate building from the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger. The museum has been closed since June to prepare for its relocation to the new facility.  

Thomas W. Lentz, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, said, “We knew that we had an opportunity to redefine the Harvard Art Museums as an accessible and connected 21st-century facility for teaching and learning, so we engaged Renzo Piano to design a building to implement that vision. We asked him to design it from the inside out—to create a new kind of laboratory for the fine arts that would support our mission of teaching across disciplines, conducting research, and training museum professionals. We also wanted to strengthen the museums’ role as an integral part of Cambridge and Boston’s cultural ecosystem. We look forward to welcoming students, faculty, and staff at Harvard, our Cambridge friends and neighbors, the entire Greater Boston community, and travelers from afar into our new home this November.”

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After eight years, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s  $350-million expansion and renovation project has come to a close. The museum’s west wing opened to the public last week, revealing new galleries adorned with statues, sculptures, and other works from China, India and southeast Asia.

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s expansion project began in 2005 and new galleries for Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and African art opened in 2010. Last year, the museum opened a glass-enclosed atrium, which connects the old museum buildings to the new structures. The project has created significantly more exhibition space and room for educational programs and events at the museum. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art was established in 1913 and is celebrated for its substantial collections of Asian and Egyptian art. 

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