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Who doesn’t love snow globes? “That Lilliputian world,” agreed the artist and landscape designer Paula Hayes.

“And, of course, the magical snow falling. Everything becomes coated with this beautiful material. Each part of snow is unique and crystalline.”

Obviously, she gets it. So I was excited to hear about Ms. Hayes’s new installation—“Gazing Globes”—in Madison Square Park. The exhibition, which consists of 18 illuminated, transparent polycarbonate spheres of different sizes and heights, opens Feb. 19 and runs through April 19.

Published in News
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:54

Marianne Boesky Gallery Names New Director

News from Marianne Boesky Gallery includes a new director and representation of a new artist.

At Boesky’s flagship gallery in Chelsea, Kristen Becker joins as a director. Since 2007, Becker had been a director at Luhring Augustine, where she served as a sales director and managed gallery artists including Ragnar Kjartansson and Glenn Ligon. Prior to that, Becker worked at SLP Arts Culture Commerce, L&M Arts, and Gorney Bravin + Lee.

Meanwhile  the new Boesky East, the gallery’s third location, located on the lower east side, welcomed co-directors Kelly Woods and Veronica Levitt.

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The Frick Collection announced the launch of a new mobile app, which provides instant access to content related to every work of art in the Frick’s permanent collection. Via this new platform, users can browse for information about particular objects and search the collection by artist, genre, gallery location, and audio stop number. Works of art can be saved as favorites to enjoy offline or share via email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. The app connects to The Frick Collection’s database ( to provide continually updated information.

Also available to users is audio commentary (in English) for select works of art, as well as audio guides to the galleries in six languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Japanese). Visitors can listen to audio content, with headphones, on their own smartphones. Access to free Wi-Fi is available in the museum. Additionally, an interactive map allows app users to navigate the galleries and a comprehensive, up-to-date events calendar lists upcoming gallery talks, lectures, and special events.

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Looking to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum without actually going to the Smithsonian? You might soon be able to do so from the comfort of your own smartphone.

On Friday, the White House announced in a blog post that the Smithsonian American Art Museum would soon open up its digitized collection to developers so they can build it into educational apps. According to the White House, “even museum curators do not have easily accessible information about their art collections. This information will soon be available to everyone.”

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Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the latest museum to join the Google Cultural Institute, which allows visitors to virtually explore works of art from institutions and archives across the globe. The Gardner added high-resolution images of 52 works of art and allowed Google to use their street view mapping technology to create 360-degree images of each gallery’s interior. Now, in addition to viewing individual works, users can take immersive, online tours of the entire museum.

The exceptional quality of the images available via the Google Cultural Institute coupled with the website’s custom-built zoom view allow users to explore the finest details of each object. Visitors can browse works by artist, title, medium, country, time period, or collection. There are currently more than 57,000 high-resolution images of works ranging from oil on canvas paintings to sculpture and furniture on the Google Cultural Institute site.

Officials at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will monitor the project to see if it causes a spike in attendance. To take a virtual tour of the museum click here.

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In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Norwegian artist’s birth, two museums in Oslo, Norway will organize the most comprehensive exhibit of Edvard Munch’s (1863-1944) work to date. Munch 150, which is currently on view at the National Gallery and the Munch Museum, includes the artist’s most recognizable works including The Scream, Vampire, and The Dance of Life.

The exhibition spans Munch’s extensive career from his earlier works to his death in 1944. The National Gallery’s show focuses on the artist’s formative years from 1882 to 1903 and the Munch Museum is handling his more mature works, created during the last 40 years of life.

Munch is revered for his visceral works that expertly capture the human condition but his home country did not readily accept him as a distinguished artist. In 1940, just days after the Nazis invaded Oslo, Munch bequeathed his entire oeuvre to the city in order to protect it. After the war, his works were placed in a nondescript building in the city, rarely visited, and poorly guarded.

Since then, Munch has become regarded as a highly important artist; exhibitions have been held across the globe to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth and a version of The Scream, the only one in private hands, recently sold at auction for a record $119.9 million, securing his role as a powerful presence in the art market. In addition, Oslo authorities agreed to built a new Munch Museum in a more distinguished building, which is expected to open in 2018.

Munch 150, which includes 270 paintings and drawings, will be on view through October 13, 2013.

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State Farm Insurance is suing French art dealer Alfred DeSimone for either discarding or losing an original lithograph by the colorful French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). The lost work, Artistide Bruant Dans Son Cabaret, 1893, was part of a series of three posters used to promote French cabaret singer and comedian Artistide Bruant (1851-1925) around Paris in the late 1800s. The lithograph remains one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most recognizable images.

State Farm is seeking $103,000 in damages from DeSimone for the centuries-old lithograph, which was bought by the insurance company’s client, Thomas Rosensteel, in 2006. Rosensteel purchased the work as an investment, but never ended up hanging it. While looking for a buyer, Rosensteel gave the lithograph to DeSimone for safekeeping, agreeing to pay him a fee once the work was sold. Rosentsteel found a buyer in 2010 and when he went to pick up the work from DeSimone, it was missing. DeSimone claims that the lithograph may have been put in a mailing tube and either sent to someone else or discarded. Rosensteel filed an insurance claim with State Farm who paid $103,109 to him; the company is now seeking compensation for the claim.

DeSimone, who has been experiencing financial troubles, has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing in the Toulouse-Lautrec case. A judge will review the lawsuit on April 25, 2013.

Published in News
Monday, 07 January 2013 12:22

Stolen Matisse Painting Recovered in England

A painting worth $1 million by the French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was recovered in Essex, England. Stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm in 1987, the location of Le Jardin (1920) has remained a mystery for more than twenty years.

The discovery occurred when British art dealer Charles Roberts of Charles Fine Art was offered the Matisse painting by a Polish collector. Roberts ran a search on the Art Loss Register (ALR) database, a hub for information regarding stolen artworks, and found Le Jardin listed. Christopher A. Marinello, executive director and general counsel of the ALR, facilitated the painting’s recovery and it is currently being held in the organization’s office before being returned to Sweden in the coming weeks.

Le Jardin was the only artwork stolen during the 1987 burglary when thieves broke through the museum’s front entrance with a sledgehammer and unscrewed it from the wall. The burglars escaped just minutes before private guards arrived to investigate the scene. Following the robbery, the thieves made several attempts to sell the painting back to the museum for an exorbitant sum. Museum officials resisted, knowing that the Matisse painting was too well known to sell on the open market and that it would resurface eventually.

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Two months ago, Hurricane Sandy battered New York City and caused severe flooding in many art galleries, especially those located in Chelsea. Initially, the prominent firm AXA Art Insurance estimated that the damage they would be paying out totaled around $40 million. Due to the severity of the destroyed gallery spaces and damaged artworks, that number is now closer to $500 million. The hard-hit area is slowly recovering but many galleries remain closed and under construction.

One of the main contributors to the growing price tag on Sandy-related art losses is Pop artist Peter Max (b. 1937) who lost an entire collection of works on paper that had been stored in a flooded warehouse. The claim for the lost Max works was set at $300 million.

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For William Matthew Prior, art was a business. While living in Portland, Maine, in the 1820s, he received some sort of art instruction that enabled him to paint in a manner that approached an academic model. From his earliest work in the 1820s until his final efforts in the early-1870s, he adapted his painting style to respond to the economic variables that affected his clientele. He created “short hand” methods of taking likenesses for many who could not afford—or did not desire—his more sophisticated examples. Prior’s decorative paintings appealed to a solidly middle-class taste and, after an early venture into the world of the art establishment in Boston, he viewed himself as an artisan, not a fine artist. He actively responded to the social issues of his time and his religious beliefs added a significant dimension to his life and work. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he never had to pursue another occupation to support his large family and he remained a painter throughout his life. Prior’s mastery of his craft—and his pragmatic marketing strategy—made art available to a previously overlooked group of Americans.

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