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The first major museum survey dedicated to scenes of night in American art from 1860 to 1960—from the introduction of electricity to the dawn of the Space Age—opens at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) this June. "Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art" explores the critical importance of nocturnal imagery in the development of modern art by bringing together 90 works in a range of media—including paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and sculptures—created by such leading American artists as Ansel Adams, Charles Burchfield, Winslow Homer, Lee Krasner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Albert Ryder, John Sloan, Edward Steichen, and Andrew Wyeth, among others.

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The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is currently presenting the exhibition Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s: A Recent Acquisition. All of the works in the show were donated to the museum by collectors Richard and Jackie Hollander. Richard, the Chairman of Aristotle Capital Management, LLC, and his wife, Jackie, are believed to have held the largest collection of Steichen photographs in private hands.

Steichen, an American photographer, painter and curator, is known for his groundbreaking work with Alfred Stieglitz. In 1905, the duo founded the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which eventually became the pioneering 291 Gallery. In 1923, Steichen was hired as the first chief of photography for Vogue and Vanity Fair, a position he held until 1937. Ultimately, Steichen transformed photography as an art form through his innovations in portrait, fashion, theater, horticultural, and advertising photography.

The photographs bequeathed to the Whitney were purchased by the Hollanders directly from the estate of the artist and were printed by Steichen himself, giving the works a rare provenance. Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s will be on view through February 23, 2014.  

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United States authorities have seized over 2,200 pieces of art by pioneering American photographers including Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and Edward Weston (1886-1958). The works, which were sent from Texas to New Jersey last year, were relocated to a warehouse in New York in July 2012. Before they were seized, the works were supposed to be shipped to Spain where they would be exhibited in a private home.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey announced in a court filing that the works, which are valued at approximately $16 million, were purchased with funds from a scheme that sold fake credits for renewable energy. The leader of the ploy is Philip Rivkin, owner and CEO of the Houston-based company, Green Diesel. Rivkin is accused of using money fraudulently funneled through his business to buy the photographs. Rivkin has not yet been charged with a crime.

The seized artworks include multiple Stieglitz prints including one his wife, the artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), which was sold for $675,000 and an Edward Steichen (1879-1973) print titled Greta Garbo for Vanity Fair, which was purchased for $75,000. The court filing, which was announced on Friday, March 1, 2013, asks Rivkin to forfeit the works to U.S. authorities.

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