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Following a seven-year legal battle over a Sandro Botticelli painting "Madonna and Child" (1485) that was caught up in the collapse and ensuing bankruptcy proceedings of Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, rulings by two New York judges last month have resulted in the painting—worth an estimated $10 million—being returned to its rightful owner, Panama-based Kraken Investments. Ronald Fuhrer, a Tel Aviv-based dealer and advisor to Kraken, confirmed to artnet News that he had retrieved the painting on behalf of the investment firm on December 8. At various times, it looked as though the painting would be classified for legal purposes as gallery collateral and thus one of the assets that should be sold to repay creditors, despite the owners insistence that it had merely been loaned for a show.

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Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of the enterprise software company, Oracle, has loaned a portion of his inimitable collection of Japanese art to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco for the exhibition In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection. The show presents 64 objects that span over 1,000 years.

Highlights from the show include significant works by well-known artists of the Momoyama (1573-1615) and Edo (1615-1868) periods as well as important examples of religious art, lacquer, woodwork and metalwork. Ellison assembled a large portion of his collection with the help of the Asian Art Museum’s former director, Emily Sano. Serving as Ellison’s personal art curator and advisor, Sano helped the billionaire acquire hundreds of important Japanese art objects including 17th century folding screens by Kano Sansetsu and 18th century paintings by Maruyama Okyo.

In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection will be on view at the Asian Art Museum through September 22, 2013.

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Friday, 22 February 2013 14:50

Historic Agnew’s Gallery to Sell Archive

London’s historic Agnew’s Gallery, which announced earlier this month that they will be closing after nearly 200 years in business, plans to sell off its extensive library and archive after its doors shut on April 30, 2013. The remarkable archive is considered one of the most important and complete records of art market dealings to take place over the past two centuries. While Agnew’s specializes in Old Master paintings, the gallery has dealt in everything from Rembrandt (1606-1669) masterpieces to modern canvases by Francis Bacon (1909-1992).

The archive contains stock legers, which are extremely important to provenance research related to the gallery’s areas of expertise. There has been some speculation that the Getty Institute in Los Angeles will bid on the archive as they run a significant provenance research center. However, it is likely that officials will want to keep the archive in the UK.

The gallery’s chairman, Julian Agnew, will continue to work as an advisor to clients and plans to keep the company’s family name.  

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The London gallery Agnews announced that it will be closing its doors on April 30, 2013 after nearly 200 years in business. One of the world’s oldest art dealers, Agnews, which specializes in Old Master paintings, will make a final appearance at the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht (March 15- 24, 2013).

Business for Agnews has been cooling off since chairman, Julian Agnew, sold the gallery’s historic Bond street location for a reported $39 and moved to a smaller space. Agnew attempted to sell the business last year, but negotiations with a prospective buyer failed. The privately owned firm, which has 16 family shareholders, revealed a loss of almost $3 million in records dating back to 2011.

Agnews has been selling off its stock, which once included Old Master works by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), and Rembrandt (1606-1669) as well as watercolors and British paintings. Whatever is left in the gallery will be taken care of in due time. Agnew will continue to work as an advisor to clients and will keep the company’s family name.

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