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Although the exhibition Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts closed on February 10, 2013, the show’s success left a lasting mark on the Richmond institution. The exhibition, which opened on October 10, 2013, was devoted to the popular American glass artist and sculptor, Dale Chihuly (b. 1941), who is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement.

Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts brought a record number of visitors during its nearly four-month run. The show welcomed around 160,000 patrons, far exceeding the 115,000 visitors museum officials were expecting. The exhibition also set records for the museum store where Chihuly Studio editioned glass sculptures and lithographs were for sale. The store sold 69 works priced between $4,600-$8,600 and $2,500-$2,800 between November, December, and January.

The show at the Virginia Museum was the third major exhibition in the U.S. to focus on Chihuly’s work in recent years. He was also the subject of record-breaking shows at San Francisco’s de Young Museum (2008) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011).

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Considered one of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s (1632-1675) masterworks, Girl With a Pearl Earring has spent over a century at the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague. Sometimes referred to as the “Dutch Mona Lisa,” the painting, which is not dated, features a wide-eyed young girl whose gaze has been captivating audiences for hundreds of years.

Girl With a Pearl Earring is one of 15 paintings heading to the Frick Collection in New York from the Netherlands. Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting From the Mauritshuis opens on October 22, 2013 and runs through January 19, 2014. Because of the high level of interest in the enigmatic work, chief curator at the Frick, Colin Bailey, decided to give Girl With a Pearl Earring its own space in the museum’s Oval Room. The rest of the exhibition will be on display in the Frick’s East Gallery.

The Mauritshuis is currently undergoing renovations, which is why part of its collection has been sent out for exhibition. In addition to the Frick, the works will appear in Japan (through January 6, 2013), San Francisco’s de Young Museum (January 26, 2013-June 2, 2013), and Atlanta’s High Museum of Art (June 22, 2013-September 29, 2013). The rest of the Mauritshuis’ collection will remain in the Netherlands and will be exhibited at The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum until the renovations are completed.

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Paris’ Musee du Louvre and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which includes the Legion of Honor and the de Young Museum, announced that they have reached a mutual agreement and will collaborate on a series of exhibitions and exchanges. The institutions will share works from their incendiary collections over the course of the next five years including antiquities, paintings, decorative arts, prints, drawings, textiles, and sculptures.

The Louvre and Fine Arts Museums have been working on the arrangement for the past two years and will celebrate its commencement with the exhibition, Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette. The show, which opened on November 17 and features a collection of decorative arts from the French monarchy, will be on view through March 17, 2013.

The agreement will allow each world-renowned institution to broaden their international reach and inhabitants of each city will have a new selection of masterpieces to view. Loans between the museums may include entire exhibitions or single objects.

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San Francisco has recently hired its very own art detective and announced a moratorium on public art donations to the city, all in response to claims that portions of a $90 million art collection have gone missing from the city's collection, according to a California Watch article. 

A Civil Grand Jury report released last month admonished the San Francisco Arts Commission for mismanaging the city's valuables after it discovered that portions of the 4,000-piece public art collection were nowhere to be found. The jury put a spotlight on the Commission's inventory practices, stating that the city's art remains only partially counted and exposed to neglect.

Just how large the missing portions are is unknown, but a Bay Citizen article from 2011 cites a few concrete examples of the city's loss, stating that 141 items from a 1972 acquisition of 496 pieces meant to be housed in San Francisco General hospital have yet to be located and 19 of the city's 58 pieces of modernist jewelry are tentatively missing.

The current public art collection consists of sculptures and monuments as well as 2,500 paintings and other movable works that have spent time on the facades of public buildings. With items ranging in value from Edvard Munch's lithographs to local artisan craft works, it is a vast inventory of works that has grown since the initial 1969 Art Enrichment Ordinance that mandated two percent of public works contracts be allocated toward public art. The arts commission still has sufficient funds to add to the already massive collection, yet the collection has only two staff members in charge of tending to its growth and maintenance. This, according to the Civil Grand Jury's report, may be a reason why a significant portion of the collection has gone missing.

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