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Following Sotheby’s two previous selling exhibitions of Western fine and decorative arts held in 2012 and 2013, the renowned international auction house will mount its third annual “Age of Elegance: European Paintings, Furniture and Sculpture” sale in Beijing on September 7 and 8.

Hosted in the Grand Ballroom of the Kerry Hotel, “Age of Elegance” contains an exquisitely curated selection of 65 items that embody the stellar craftsmanship and extravagantly ornamental tastes of European decorative arts from the rococo period up until the 20th century.

At the very highest end of the scale is Francois Linke’s extraordinary Grand Bureau (US$6 million), a gilt bronze writing desk and chair first shown at the Paris World Expo in 1900 that represents the summit of belle époque splendor.

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has returned 14 Maine Shaker items to the United Society of Shakers at Sabbathday Lake.

The items have historic significance to the Sabbathday Lake Shakers and the former Alfred community where they were used.

A red kilo dairy tub used by Sister Aurelia Mace has her name etched on the bottom, and experts verified Sister Deborah Fuller’s Native American basket.

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The prestigious Winter Antiques Show, which is in its 60th year, will present a loan exhibition honoring the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Fresh Take, Making Connections to the Peabody Essex Museum will present over 50 paintings, sculptures, textiles and decorative objects from the Peabody Essex, one of the country’s oldest and most progressive museums. The exhibition will be on view during the entire run of the Winter Antiques Show, which will take place from January 24, 2014 to February 2, 2014 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

Highlights from Fresh Take, Making Connections to the Peabody Essex Museum include an 18th century inlaid ivory chair from India, a mahogany dressing chest by Thomas Seymour (circa 1810) and a 19th century portrait of the author Nathaniel Hawthorne by Charles Osgood. Jeff Daly, formerly a senior design advisor to the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will design the exhibition.  

Fresh Take will coincide with the Peabody Essex Museum’s 215th anniversary. The institution recently embarked on a $650 million campaign and expansion that will place the museum among the top 10 art institutions in the country in terms of gallery space and total endowment.  

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Less than two months after Richard Koshalek, the director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Park in Washington, D.C. resigned, Constance Caplan, the chair of the museum’s board, has followed suit. Caplan announced her resignation in a strongly worded letter on July 8, 2013; she is the third member to leave the board since early June. Caplan cited lack of transparency, trust, vision and good faith as her reasons for leaving. Koshelek listed similar reasons in his resignation letter.

Staff members have been losing faith in the Hirshhorn since it embarked on its doomed Seasonal Inflatable Structure project in 2009. The project was continually stalled due to rising construction costs and conflicting feelings about the structure’s purpose. It was ultimately abandoned after Koshalek’s resignation.

The original vision was to create a 150-foot-tall bubble that would connect the inside and outside of the Hirshhorn and create additional space for installations and performances. Designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro, the bubble was expected to cost over $12.5 million to create and install. Previous fund-raising efforts brought in about $7.8 million. When it was first announced, the Bubble garnered national attention and was applauded for being highly innovated.

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