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The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco announced that they will hold two exhibitions presenting works from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art, which will be held at the Legion of Honor, will feature the works of pioneering 19th century painters such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, which will go on view at the de Young Museum, will highlight postwar masters such as Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella. The National Gallery of Art is currently renovating its East Building galleries, making these exhibitions possible.

Intimate Impressionism, which features works from the private collections formed by Ailsa Mellon Bruce and Paul Mellon, the two children of National Gallery founder Andrew Mellon, will be on view from March 9, 2014 through August 3, 2014.

The de Young is the exclusive venue for Modernism from the National Gallery of Art, which will mark the first time that the Meyerhoff Collection has been seen outside the greater Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metro area. The exhibition will be on view from June 7, 2014 through October 12, 2014. 

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Washington, D.C.’s National Mall, which includes the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Freer Gallery of Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of African Art, will be closed due to the first government shutdown in 17 years. A number of non-government run museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection plan on staying open during the shutdown. The National Mall attracts millions of visitors from across the globe and generates millions of dollars in tourism business per day.

The government shutdown was spurred by Congress’ inability to reach an agreement on spending. There is no end date for the closure, which began on Tuesday and has forced approximately 800,000 federal workers to stay home from their jobs.

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Friday, 13 September 2013 17:08

Former Knoedler President Files Defamation Suit

Ann Freedman, former president of the disgraced gallery Knoedler & Co., filed a defamation suit on Wednesday, September 11 in New York State Supreme Court. Freedman helmed the historic gallery until it closed in 2011 amidst charges that it had sold forged artworks worth nearly $80 million.

In her case, Freedman declared that she did due diligence in researching a collection that was presented to her and listed nearly 20 experts, including curators from the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, that told her that the works were authentic. However, in many of these cases, the comments were unofficial and decidedly vague.

Freedman’s case is aimed at Manhattan art dealer Marco Grassi who was quoted in a New York magazine as saying “A gallery person has an absolute responsibility to do due diligence, and I don’t think she did it. The story of the paintings is so totally kooky. I mean, really. It was a great story and she just said, ‘this is great.’”

Long Island-based art dealer Glafira Rosales and her boyfriend are allegedly responsible for selling the 60 forgeries to Knoedler & Co. The couple claimed that the works were authentic masterpieces by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko. It was recently discovered that they were painted by an artist in his home studio in Queens.  

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On July 27, 2013, the exhibition The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States will open at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The show will present a portion of the couples incendiary collection, which they gifted to the museum in 2008. The works include examples of Minimal and Conceptual art as well as figurative and neo-expressionist pieces.

The late Herb Vogel, a postal clerk, and his librarian wife Dorothy, began collecting art in New York in 1962, the height of the minimal, conceptual and post-minimal movements. They eventually amassed over 4,000 works, primarily drawings, in a tiny Manhattan apartment on a shoestring budget. Five years ago, the Vogels partnered with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and began a unique donation strategy. With the museum’s support, the couple distributed 2,500 works from their collection between every state in the country, with 50 works going to each one.

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States will be on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts through October 20, 2013.

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The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch (1863-1944) with an exhibition of over 20 works from its collection. Edvard Munch: A 150th Anniversary Tribute presents prints and drawings by the artist including Geschrei (The Scream) (1895), The Madonna (1895), and Two Women on the Shore (1898).

Best known for his seminal painting The Scream (1893), Munch is revered for his visceral works that expertly capture the human condition. In addition to his emotionally raw paintings, Munch also created tender depictions of women, children, and lovers.

The National Gallery has organized three major exhibitions of Munch’s work in recent decades with the last taking place in 2010. Curated by Andrew Robison, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery, Edvard Munch: A 150th Anniversary Tribute will be on view at the museum through July 28, 2013.

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Maine Sublime: Frederic Edwin Church’s Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin will open on June 9, 2013 at Olana in Hudson, NY. Olana State Historic Site was the home of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), a major figure in the Hudson River School, and includes the artist’s studio. The villa is a mixture of Victorian, Persian, and Moorish styles and overlooks the Hudson River valley, the Catskill Mountains, and the Taconic Ridge.

The upcoming exhibition focuses on the 50-year period during which Church traveled and painted landscapes of Maine. Maine Sublime presents 10 oil and 13 pencil sketches from Olana’s collection and many of works will be on public view for the first time. The show will include loans from the Portland Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and two private collections.

Church first visited Maine in 1850 and spent six weeks on Mount Desert. In 1852, Church explored the Mount Katahdin region and in the coming decades he would continue to visit and be captivated by Maine’s natural beauty. The plein-air sketch Wood Interior Near Mount Katahdin (circa 1877) is one of the works that has never been on public view but will be part of the upcoming exhibition.

Maine Sublime will be on view at Olana through October 31, 2013. The exhibition will then be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through the summer of 2014.

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The Tate Modern in London has announced that they will present the largest exhibition of Henri Matisse’s (1869-1954) late works. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs will feature 120 of the artist’s paper cut-outs made between 1943 and 1954, when his health was diminishing and he found himself unable to paint.

Matisse’s first cut-outs were made between 1943 and 1947 and were presented together in Jazz 1947, a book of 20 plates. Copies of the book along with text handwritten by Matisse will be shown alongside the original compositions. Other highlights from the exhibition include the Tate’s own The Snail, the Museum of Modern Art’s Memory of Oceania, and the National Gallery of Art’s Large Composition with Masks. The exhibition will stand as a testament to the importance of the final chapter in Matisse’s long and influential career.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs will be on view from April 17, 2014 though September 7, 2014.

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Twenty-seven early Mark Rothko (1903-1970) works are currently on view at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio as part of the exhibition Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade, 1940-1950. The formative paintings are on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which boasts a strong Rothko collection of nearly 300 works.

Rothko’s works from the early 1940s are often overlooked and were even omitted from a Rothko retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1961. The exclusion set the tone for how people interpret Rothko’s oeuvre, often deeming his earlier works as less significant than his later works. Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade aims to dispel that notion.

The paintings on view, many of which are on paper, chart Rothko’s artistic evolution from vaguely figurative to purely abstract. Known for his layered canvases featuring often-rectangular blocks of color, Rothko explored various influences before developing his well-known signature style. The Decisive Decade illustrates Rothko’s early experimentation with shape, space and color and includes works by Arshile Gorky (1904-1948), Robert Motherwell (1915-1951), and Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) that share similar visual and conceptual characteristics with Rothko’s paintings.    

Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade will be on view at the Columbus Museum of Art through May 26, 2013.

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The Board of Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. announced an upcoming partnership with the National Gallery of Art. The three-year agreement allows the Corcoran to exhibit works of modern and contemporary art from the National Gallery’s collection while the museum’s East Building is under renovation. The Corcoran is working on trimming expenses and has been battling rumors that it will sell its landmark Beaux Arts building due to financial troubles. During the Board’s announcement, officials scrapped any speculation by confirming that the Corcoran will not be moving.

The Corcoran has collaborated with the National Gallery in the past but their new partnership is the most expansive to date. Earl A. Powell III, Director of the National Gallery of Art, said, “We are very pleased to be able to share works from the nation’s collection of modern art with visitors to the Corcoran while our East Building is closed for renovations. We have a history of lending works to the Corcoran, but the larger number of works addressed by this agreement and the increased length of their exhibition at the Corcoran makes this a new development in our long relationship.”

The National Gallery of Art is expected to close for renovations beginning next year.

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When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art closes on June 2, 2013 for three years worth of renovations and an expansion, the institution will send some of its treasured holdings away. 23 masterpieces by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) won’t have far to travel as they will be exhibited at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco’s museum of European paintings and sculpture.

The Matisse works headed to the Legion of Honor include 16 paintings, 4 sculptures, and 3 works on paper, which will hang in one of the museum’s ground-floor galleries alongside two paintings already in the Legion’s collection. The only Matisse painting that will remain off view is Femme au Chapeau (1905) as the terms of its bequest by philanthropist Elise S. Haas state that the painting cannot travel.

Although details are still vague, the Legion of Honor will host two relevant shows while exhibiting the Matisse works – one will be a retrospective of Matisse’s older contemporary, Anders Zorn (1860-1920), and the other will be a survey of French paintings on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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