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When the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington — one of the nation’s oldest privately supported museums — announced in May that its artwork, landmark building and venerable school would be taken over by the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University, the arrangement was presented as a done deal.

But on Wednesday, a group of museum donors, current and former students, and former faculty and staff members went to court to try to block the dismantling of the Corcoran, saying it would violate the 1869 deed and the charter of the museum’s founder, William W. Corcoran, a banker who gave his art for the “perpetual establishment and maintenance of a public gallery and museum” to promote painting, sculpture and other fine arts. The opponents, members of a group called Save the Corcoran, contend in court papers that museum trustees want to “commit the gravest form of fiduciary breach: to destroy the very institution they are charged with protecting.”

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A painting that was “targeted for removal” from the collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh won a last-minute reprieve after a technical examination determined that it was not a “modern fake”, but a 16th-century Florentine portrait that was significantly “tarted up” in the 19th century.

“I was convinced it was a total modern fake,” says Lulu Lippincott, the institution’s curator of fine arts, referring to what was purportedly a portrait of Eleanor of Toledo by the Italian Mannerist Bronzino. “One look at the picture and I thought, ‘you’ve got to be kidding—this is not a Bronzino’,” she says. Convinced that the work was not the Old Master it claimed to be, Lippincott sent the picture to the conservation studio with a note asking Ellen Baxter, the museum’s chief conservator, to confirm that it was a fake.

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Masterpiece London, a high-end art and antiques fair offering an eclectic mix of paintings, design, furniture, and jewelry, kicked off its fifth edition with an exclusive preview on Wednesday, June 25 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The fair, which is located near London’s posh Chelsea neighborhood, got off to a strong start thanks to impressive sales and record attendance. Noteworthy visitors included collector Charles Saatchi, interior designers Ellie Cullman and Scott Snyder, fashion designers Zandra Rhodes and Tom Ford, and a number of museum leaders such as Jeffrey Munger, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Curator of European Porcelain, and Stephen Harrison, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Curator of Decorative Art and Design.

A positive tone was set early on when Symbolic and Chase (London) sold a 1912 Cartier Corsage for more than $20 million. Other sales highlights during the preview included a pair of chinoiserie cabinets by Vile and Cobb sold by Apter Fredericks (London) to an American collector for a seven figure sum; a portrait of the Countess of Craven sold by Elle Shushan (Philadelphia) to English actress Diana Rigg; and Lynn Chadwick’s “Back to Venice” sculpture that was sold by Osborne Samuel (London) for £250,000. Strong sales are expected to continue through the weekend.

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Going the extra mile to authenticate a sculpture they suspected was an original Rodin has reaped a big reward for Quinn’s Auction Galleries. On Saturday, May 17, the metro-Washington, DC company auctioned a bronze-and-marble Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) sculpture titled Le Desespoir [Despair] for $306,800, inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium. The 13¾ by 12 by 11-inch sculpture had been entered in Quinn’s Fine Art sale with a presale estimate of $60,000-$80,000.

The buyer of the artwork, whose name has not been released, is a collector from Germany who bid over the phone.

 
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On Tuesday, April 1, at 10AM, the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America (ADA) will launch its inaugural online antiques show. This innovative show model allows collectors around the world to browse offerings on their computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The digital marketplace will open to participating dealers and patrons at the same time, providing all interested buyers with an equal chance to acquire the show’s most sought after objects.

The ADA’s online show will run around the clock until Thursday, April 3, at 10PM. This unprecedented accessibility allows buyers to visit the show on their own time, despite busy schedules, unpredictable weather or location. A variety of dealers will be offering American antiques and fine art, folk art, Americana, Native American art, and decorative objects. Prices will be clearly listed on the website and each item will be sold with a guarantee of authenticity.

Judith Livingston Loto, the president of the Antiques Dealers’ Association, said, "The ADA is thrilled to bring online antiques shows to the realm of art and antiques. The world of e-commerce has been growing and, while the ADA and others in the field will continue to offer quality material at traditional shows,  with this online buying opportunity we are providing collectors with the means to conveniently shop from home from the same dealers they'd see at a show. All prices will be stated up front and there is no pre-buying."

The Antiques Dealers’ Association of America was established in 1984 as a non-profit trade association. Its main objective is to enhance the professionalism surrounding the business of buying and selling antiques. Each of the ADA’s members are committed to integrity, honesty, and ethical conduct in the antiques trade. To be accepted to the ADA, a dealer must have at least four years of experience in the antiques business, must be recommended by a committee of peers, and is required to sign an agreement promising to abide by the ADA’s bylaws.

To visit the ADA’s online antiques show when it opens on April 1, click here.

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Next month, the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America will kick off its inaugural online antiques show. From 10AM on Tuesday, April 1 until 10PM on Thursday, April 3, patrons can browse offerings on their computer, tablet or smartphone from any location. Participating dealers will offer everything from American antiquities and Americana to fine art, folk art, and decorative objects.

The Antiques Dealers’ Association of America was established in 1984 as a non-profit trade association. Its main objective is to enhance the professionalism surrounding the business of buying and selling antiques. Members include a variety of dealers who are committed to integrity, honesty and ethical conduct in the antiques trade. Membership is renewed on an annual basis and is subject to review by the Association’s Board of Directors. The Antiques Dealers’ Association also organizes lectures and seminars on various topics concerning antiques.

For more information about the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America’s online antiques show click here.

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On Wednesday, February 19, three individuals attacked two auctioneers and two assistants with tear gas outside the famous auction house, Hôtel Drouot, in Paris. The assailants made off with a briefcase holding jewels worth at least €300,000. The robbers were picked up by their getaway driver and were unsuccessfully pursued by the police.

Hôtel Drouot, which specializes in fine art, antiques, and antiquities, has been criticized in the past for security issues. In 2010, the auction house’s union of art handlers was charged with the theft and receipt of stolen goods. An investigation was conducted after the scandal and France’s Minister of Justice, Michele Alliot-Marie, commissioned a report that chided Drouot for its “opaque structure” and “minimal governance.”

After the recent incident, Drouot released a public statement stressing their commitment to anti-theft measures.

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After being closed for over 30 years, the Baltimore Museum of Art will reopen its historic Merrick Entrance beginning on November 23, 2014, in honor of the institution’s 100th anniversary. The event also marks the reopening of the renovated Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing and a new presentation of the Baltimore Museum’s collection of American fine and decorative arts. A redesigned East Wing Lobby and Zamoiski Entrance will reopen in fall 2014.

The upcoming openings are part of the Baltimore Museum’s multi-year, $28 million renovation. The final phase of the project is expected to reach completion with the reinstallation of the African and Asian art collections and the opening of a new center for learning and creativity in 2015.

Doreen Bolger, the museum’s Director, said, “The reopening of the BMA’s historic Merrick Entrance and the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing will be an extraordinary moment in the museum’s distinguished history—bringing together museum-goers of all ages to experience John Russell Pope’s first vision of a great public art museum. We are looking forward to celebrating the BMA’s 100th anniversary with many new and exciting experiences for our visitors.”

The Baltimore Museum’s Merrick Entrance, which was designed by the American architect John Russell Pope, welcomed generations of visitors into the museum from 1929 to 1982. The entrance’s facade is being conserved and will have improved lighting. The existing doors and vestibule will remain unchanged. A $1 million gift from the France-Merrick Foundation is supporting this portion of the renovation.

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The fourth annual Dallas International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show will kick off with an opening night preview party on Thursday, November 7 at the Dallas Market Hall. Each year, collectors, curators and art lovers from across the globe flock to the high-profile event to browse the selection of furniture, silver, fine art, antiquities, porcelain, manuscripts, Americana, jewelry, textiles and more.

This year’s show will include a Designer Showcase featuring room vignettes created by five leading local interior designers. In addition, guests of the Dallas International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show will be able to take exclusive tours of the show floor with Miller Gaffney, founder of Miller Gaffney Art Advisory and one of the stars of PBS’ hit series Market Warriors.  

The Dallas International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show, which is organized by the Palm Beach Show Group, will take place through Monday, November 11.

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On November 2, 2013 Oprah Winfrey will auction the contents of her 23,000-square-foot mansion in Montecito, CA with the help of Beverly Hills-based Kaminski Auctions. Offerings include a marble-topped Louis XVI chest stamped by the maker “Boudin” (estimate: $30,000-$50,000), a set of Louis XV armchairs in hand embroidered yellow silk upholstery (estimate: $20,000-$40,000), and various works of fine art as well as English antiques and furnishings.    

Winfrey purchased the 42-acre estate in 2001 for $50 million and hired well-known designer Rose Tarlow to overhaul the house’s interior. All proceeds from the sale will benefit The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation College Fund. A public preview will be held from October 30 through November 1 at the grounds of the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club.  

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