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Cuba is in talks with the Bronx Museum to organise the first major exhibition by a US museum in the country, according to local reports. The show would be part of the 12th edition of the Havana Biennial next year, and could be followed by an exhibition in New York in 2016 that would feature work by Cuban artists. The Bronx Museum was not available for comment.

The director of the National Fine Arts Museum in Havana, Ana Cristina Perera, announced the cultural exchange during the 1 August opening of “African American Artists and Abstraction,” an exhibition in Cuba that includes work by nine American artists.

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On Saturday, May 11, 2013, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art In Bentonville, Arkansas launched two exhibitions dedicated to American genre painting. Genre painting, which became popular during the mid-19th century, involved the depiction ordinary scenes of everyday life. As religious artworks waned in prevalence, genre painting struck a chord with the public as they could easily relate to the narratives, which spanned various races, regions, and classes.

American Encounters: Genre Painting and Everyday Life presents five paintings by a handful of the most well known artists from the movement including George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), Eastman Johnson (1824-1906), and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905). Between Bingham, who painted scenes of life on the American frontier, Johnson, who captured the true spirits of the people of New England, the western frontier, the slavery-ridden south, and prominent Americans, and Tait, whose subject of choice was wildlife, the three artists come together to communicate a varied and comprehensive American experience.

The works in American Encounters are accompanied by two paintings from the Louvre – one is from the Dutch genre painting school and another from the English interpretation of the movement. American Encounters is also complemented b the exhibition Genre Scenes on Paper from Crystal Bridges’ Permanent Collection.

Genre Scenes on Paper provides a sampling of the museum’s 19th century watercolors and drawings, many of which have never been on public view. The exhibition explores themes of work and leisure in the city and country and features works by Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Thomas Waterman Wood (1823-1903), and John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821). Just as the paintings in American Encounters, these works come together to show how a variety of artists interpreted daily life in a young country still coming into its own.

American Encounters and Genre Scenes on Paper will be on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum through August 12, 2013. American Encounters, which is the second exhibition in a four-year partnership between Crystal Bridges, the Louvre and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, will then travel to the High where it will be on view from September 14, 2013 through January 14, 2014.

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Days after the British government placed an export ban on two important works by the English painter, George Stubbs (1724-1806), officials have announced that they will take similar measures to keep a landscape painting of a London park by American Hudson River School artist, Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900), in the U.K.

The export ban placed on Cropsey’s Richmond Hill in the Summer of 1862 gives the British government time to raise money to keep the painting in the country rather than having it sold to a foreign buyer. The government will need to come up with about $7.83 million in order to keep the painting, which has been in British collections for 150 years, in the U.K. Richmond Hill is important to British culture because it draws connections between American and British landscape paintings of the 19th century. It is one of the only British landscapes by an American artist to remain in the U.K.

The export ban will keep the Cropsey painting in the U.K. until April 7, 2013 and may be extended to August 7, 2013 if a potential British buyer has been found. The British government placed a previous export ban on Richmond Hill in 2000.  

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A Grand Tour: Trade Winds of Influence
16th Annual Charleston Art & Antiques Forum
March 13–17, 2013
Old Courtroom, 23 Chalmers Street, Charleston, S.C.
For information visit
or call 800.926.2520

The forum will bring together an impressive group of speakers from the US and Europe who will demonstrate the influence of the Grand Tours of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries on the architecture, furniture, silver, art, and gardens of Americans and Europeans alike. Dame Rosalind Savill, Director Emeritus of the Wallace Collection, London, England, will deliver the keynote address, focusing on her experience with French decorative arts. The mission of the Charleston Art & Antiques  Forum is to present the best fine and decorative arts scholarship, and to benefit arts education and preservation. Sponsors of the 2013 Forum are Charlton Hall Auctions, PDI, and the Florence Museum.

10th Annual Charleston Antiques Show
March 22–24, 2013; preview March 21
Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street, Charleston, S.C.
66th Annual Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens
March 21–April 20, 2013
For information visit or call 843.723.1623

Inspired by the rich historical, architectural, and cultural heritage of Charleston, the 10th annual Charleston Antiques Show is a premier destination for collectors and enthusiasts who enjoy seeing and learning about incorporating antiques into modern-day décor. Attendees will find English, European, and American period furnishings, decorative arts, and fine art, architectural elements, garden furniture, vintage jewelry, and silver. In addition to attending the show, visitors can sign up for special events such as a luncheon lecture with the award-winning classical architect Gil Schafer, behind-the-scenes tours with experts, and study tours. While in Charleston, enjoy walking tours through the city’s historic district showcasing Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, and gardens during the 66th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens and experience the intimate charm and elegance found within private gardens and historic homes.


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An Edward Hopper (1882-1967) retrospective, which was on view from October 10, 2012 to February 3, 2013 at the Grand Palais in Paris, welcomed a surprising number of visitors during its run. A total of 784,269 patrons visited the exhibition in less than four months, surpassing a blockbuster exhibition featuring the work of long-time Paris resident Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), which ran from 2008-2009 at the same French institution.  

To accommodate the high number of visitors, the museum stayed opened around the clock during the show’s final weekend. 48,000 people visited the Grand Palais to catch a final glimpse of the Hopper show, including Jill Biden, the wife of US Vice President, Joe Biden.

The exhibition’s popularity came as somewhat of a surprise to museum officials as the American realist painter and printmaker has never drawn such a crowd in the United States. While he came close, Hopper was unable to surpass the popularity of the 2010-2011 Claude Monet (1840-1926) retrospective, which saw 913,064 visitors.

Hopper, who didn’t sell his first painting until he was 40, has grown considerably in popularity since his death at 85. Wildly successful exhibitions in Madrid, London, Milan, and Rome, which took place before Hopper’s show at the Grand Palais are a testament to the artist’s continued relevance.

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On view at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey through January 20, 2013, Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land focuses on Georgia O’Keeffe’s (1887-1986) life from 1929 to 1953. During this time, O’Keeffe lived in New Mexico and found herself enthralled by her surroundings as well as the Native American and Hispano cultures of the region.

While O’Keeffe’s early career as one of the first American abstract painters and her relationship with American photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) have been examined at length, O’Keeffe’s time in New Mexico has been less studied. The exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum features over 30 paintings and works on paper depicting New Mexico’s local architecture and landscape. From 1931 to 1945, O’Keeffe created numerous drawings, watercolors, and paintings of Kachina dolls (or Katsinam), which are carved representations of Hopi spirit beings. The exhibition includes 15 of these works, which are presented alongside actual Kachina dolls.

The Montclair Museum of Art will compliment Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico with a small presentation of three O’Keeffe works from a private collection including two oil paintings, Black Petunia and White Morning Glory 1 and Inside Clam Shell, and one pastel on paper, titled Pink Camellia.

The exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum was organized by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico and will travel to the Denver Art Museum (February 10-April 28, 2013), the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (May 17-September 8, 2013), and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona (September 27, 2013-January 12, 2014) after its run in New Jersey.

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Saturday, 22 December 2012 06:22

American Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs

World’s fairs have served to educate the public in human accomplishments through science and the arts, have forged links between cultures, and have set in motion events that might never otherwise have taken place. After his visit to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Andrew Carnegie was not only inspired to establish Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the museum’s noteworthy cast collections, he also introduced the annual Carnegie International exhibition in 1896. If it were not for the 1933 Chicago fair, James McNeill Whistler’s iconic painting Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother, also known as Whistler’s Mother, would not have traveled to the Midwest and been the star work at the opening of the William Rockhill Nelson-Gallery of Art (now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) in Kansas City, Missouri, in December 1933.

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Saturday, 22 December 2012 06:11

Scratching the Surface of American Painted Tinware

Much of the early American painted tinware that survives today was made between the 1820s and the early 1900s. Tinsmiths created domestic and workplace items from relatively inexpensive and vulnerable material—sheets of rolled iron coated on both sides with shiny white tin—and heavily worn objects were disposed of rather than treasured.

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The Vancouver Art Gallery received a generous donation of photographs including American photographer Robert Frank’s (b. 1924) historic work, Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey (1955) from his landmark series, The Americans. Other new acquisitions include photographs by Greg Girard (b. 1955), Rodney Graham (b. 1949), Aaron Siskind (1903-1991), and over 100 works by Canadian artist Charles Gagnon (1934-2003).

Gagnon, a prominent figure in Quebec’s art world, was a student of the work of Frank. The gift of 111 of his photographs was made possible by Gagnon’s estate. The works join an already substantial collection of the artist’s work at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which includes paintings and works on paper.

Andrew Gruft and Claudia Beck, art patrons who have made a number of generous donations to the Gallery over the years, are responsible for many of the most recent acquisitions including the Frank addition. Gruft and Beck were pivotal in the formation of the Gallery’s collection and helped make the museum one of the most notable institution’s for historical and modern photography.

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:20

Dallas Museum of Art Denied Da Vinci Painting

After Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) painting Salvator Mundi was rediscovered in 2011, the Dallas Museum of Art turned to their patrons and after much campaigning, managed to raise tens of millions of dollars in hopes of buying the work. Museum officials recently made a formal offer to the painting’s owners but were sadly rebuffed after weeks of negotiation.

Lost for years, Salvator Mundi spent months in the Dallas Museum’s basement before being returned to its owners. If the institution had succeeded in acquiring the oil on wood portrait of Christ, it would have become the second museum in the United States to count a da Vinci as part of its permanent collection. Currently, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is the only U.S. institution that owns a work by the Italian Renaissance master.

England’s King Charles I once owned Salvator Mundi and the painting was acquired by American art dealer Alex Parish in the mid-2000s. Parish and two other dealers currently share ownership of the work. Valued at $200 million in 2011, the owners turned down an offer of $100 million before the painting headed to the Dallas Museum of Art.

While the rejection was a disappointment for the museum, the institution witnessed an inspiring outpouring of support when they decided to launch their campaign.  

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