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Displaying items by tag: foundation

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:56

Paris’ Musée Maillol Closes Indefinitely

It is a sad 20th birthday for the Musée Maillol in Paris, which shut its doors indefinitely this weekend. The museum has posted a message on its website that says the closure is due to planned renovation work, but there is more to the story. On February 5, the company that manages the museum, Tecniarte, filed for bankruptcy.

According to court filings, with only €11,000 in cash in its coffers, Tecniarte could not possibly cover its €3.3m debt, which is “due immediately.” The list of creditors has not been made public and the foundation that runs the museum has declined to comment since the bankruptcy filing.

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The architecture school run by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will try to raise $2 million before the end of 2015 to ensure its future as an independent organization, the foundation announced on Monday, having approved a possible path toward the school’s incorporation.

The school is at risk of losing accreditation in 2017 since the Higher Learning Commission, a Chicago-based nonprofit that accredits universities and colleges, made a recent policy change requiring that “accredited institutions must be separately incorporated from sponsoring organizations.”

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The future of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has divided the institution named for the iconic designer. The quest to keep its accreditation status has some school board members concerned the degree program will end, while its foundation denied the school is in danger of closing.

The Scottsdale-based Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which operates the school, announced last week that it would not independently incorporate the school as a way to stay accredited. The Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission, which accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in 19 states, changed its bylaws two years ago to prohibit accreditation for schools that operate as divisions of a larger organization.

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An iconic painting by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was the top lot at Sotheby’s auction of Impressionist and Modern Art yesterday, May 8, 2013 in New York. Les Pommes (1889-90), a still life of apples on a table, sold for $41.6 million, exceeding its high pre-sale estimate of $35 million. The second highest earning work at the auction was Amedeo Modigliani’s (1840-1929) L’Amazone, a well-known portrait of Baroness Marguerite de Hasse de Villers, which sold for $25.9 million falling within its presale estimate of $20 to $30 million. Both of the works were from the collection of philanthropists Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt and will fund a foundation set up in their honor to contribute to their favorite causes including animal welfare.

Other major sales included a Fernand Léger (1881-1955) painting previously owned by Madonna, Trois Femmes a la Table Rouge, which sold for $7.2 million (estimate: $5-7 million); a Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) sculpture of his muse Sylvette, which garnered $13.6 million (estimate: $12-$18 million); and three bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin (1840-1916) including a version of his famed The Thinker, which brought $15.3 million (estimate: $8-$12 million).

The total sale netted over $230 million, just under the pre-sale high estimate of $235.1 million.

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In 2000, the Denver Art Museum received a painting titled Venice: The Molo from the Bacino di S. Marco from the foundation of a deceased local collector. Covered in grime, the work was attributed to a student of the Italian 18th century painter Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), better known as Canaletto, and placed in storage.

In 2007, Timothy Standring, the museum’s curator of painting and sculpture, noticed the canvas while doing routine inventory. Standring saw past the layers of discoloration to the masterful brushstrokes and detailed figures that lay beneath the grime. Intrigued, Standring embarked on a Canaletto-based research project that eventually brought him to London to meet with Charles Beddington, a renowned expert on the artist. After their meeting, during which Standring presented a photograph of the painting, Beddington agreed to visit the Denver Art Museum to examine the painting in person.

In January 2012, Beddington arrived in the United States and identified the work as an authentic Canaletto; he also dated the painting 1724, meaning it is one of the artist’s earliest undocumented works. The museum soon received a grant from the European Fine Art Fair Restoration Fund to restore the painting, a job that was delegated to James Squires, the institution’s associate conservator of paintings. Over 100 hours of restoration later, Squire’s uncovered the masterpiece that was there along. The painting, which features a brightly colored Venetian scene, is currently on view at the Denver Art Museum.

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Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:24

Twombly Foundation Involved in Multiple Lawsuits

When the influential American painter Cy Twombly (1928-2011) passed away two years ago, he left the bulk of his artwork and millions of dollars in cash to the Cy Twombly Foundation of New York. The wealth of money and art passed from a trust to the foundation, which is devoted to protecting and promoting Twombly’s legacy. The Cy Twombly Foundation now finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit that was filed on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 in a Delaware state court.

The lawsuit claims that Thomas H. Saliba, one of the four individuals in charge of the foundation, took over $300,000 in unauthorized fees for investment services and assisted another foundation director, attorney Ralph E. Lerner, in pocketing funds. The claim was filed by Nicola Del Roscia, Twombly’s companion and the foundation’s president, and Julie Sylvester, a curator, Twombly expert, and the foundation’s vice president. Roscia and Sylvester also assert that Lerner and Saliba inflated the value of Twombly’s works in order to pad commissions for their own financial gain. Lerner and Saliba have refused to disclose their trustee commissions, making it impossible to determine the extent of their wrongdoing.

The recent lawsuit comes a month after Lerner asked the same Delaware court to appoint Twombly’s son, Alessandro, as a fifth board member in order to break the stalemate over the dispute. Roscia and Sylvester stated in recent court filings that Lerner’s request was an attempt to outmaneuver them. Roscia and Sylvester claim that Lerner hoped to bring Alessandro, the third trustee of Twombly’s trust, on board to help cover up Saliba’s wrongdoing.

While Twombly is a powerful force in the art market, highly inflating the prices of his work could prove dangerous for the foundation by creating confusion about the true value of his art and in turn destabilizing the Twombly market.

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Thursday, 24 January 2013 16:56

17th Century Masterpiece Found in France

Paris’ legendary Ritz hotel, which is currently undergoing a major $267.5 million renovation, has been unknowingly sheltering a 17th century masterpiece. The work, which is believed to be by the French painter and court artist of Louis XIV, Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), was first spotted by Olivier Lefeuvre, a specialist in the period at Christie’s France. Upon seeing the painting in July, a month before the Ritz closed its doors for two years worth of renovations, Lefeuvre knew that the work had to be a Le Brun. Initials reading “CLBF,” which stands for Charles Le Brun Fecit (Le Brun did this) and a date, “1647,” were found on the work, supporting Lefeuvre’s hunch.  

How the painting ended up in the Ritz remains a mystery, as the hotel archives lack any reference to the work. While Christie’s has been unable to track down any record of the painting, officials have no doubt that the work is an authentic Le Brun. The painting, which depicts the killing of Trojan princess Polyxena after she was linked to the death of Achilles, was renamed The Sacrifice of Polyxena by Christie’s.

The Le Brun painting will be auctioned by Christie’s in Paris in April 2013 and could raise as much as $665,000 for the foundation established by owner Mohamed Al Fayed in memory of his son Dodi, the late boyfriend of Princess Diana. Dodi and Diana dined at the Ritz before their fatal car accident in 1997.

The painting will go on display at Christie’s New York location next week.

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Tuesday, 06 November 2012 13:34

Long-Lost Dali Painting Takes the Stage

This past Sunday, Montreal's Place des Arts and the stage troupe Finzi Pasca unveiled a mural by Salvador Dali that has remained out of public view for sixty years. Measuring 29 ½ feet by 40 feet, the backdrop was painted for the 1944 ballet production “Le Tristan Fou (Mad Tristan),” a take on “Tristan und Isolde,” while the Surrealist artist was in exile in New York. The backdrop made an appearance in London in 1949 and then fell out of sight until an anonymous European foundation re-discovered it three years ago.

The rare piece was restored but rather than exhibit it in a museum of gallery, the foundation offered it to theater creator and circus master Daniele Finzi Pasca for use in an upcoming acrobatic stage production. Pasca decided to incorporate the painting into “La Vérità,” a story inspired by “Tristan und Isolde” as well as Dali’s exile, the 1940s cabaret scene, and the Dali’s wife and muse, Gala.

Members of the public can take a closer look at the Dali backdrop at Théâtre Maisonneuve in Place des Arts on Wednesday, November 7. La Vérità, featuring the Dali backdrop will premiere at the theater on January 17, 2013.

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