News Articles Library Event Photos Contact Search

Displaying items by tag: plaster

The iconic Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library‘s 103-year-old 42nd Street flagship will remain closed for six months after a plaster rosette fell from the ceiling last month, according to a press release.

The nearly two-block-long room, which sees an average of 2.3 million visitors each year, boasts gorgeous 52-foot tall ceilings adorned with intricate plaster detailing and murals of billowing pink clouds. The space was last restored in 1998, thanks to a $15 million gift from the Rose family, whom the room is now named after.

Published in News

Michelangelo's famous statue of the biblical figure David is at risk of collapse due to the weakening of the artwork's legs and ankles, according to a report published this week by art experts.

The findings, which were made public by Italy's National Research Council, show micro-fractures in the ankle and leg areas.

The "David" statue dates from the early 16th century and is housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence. The results of the report were published this week in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, a publication devoted to research into the conservation of culturally significant works of art and buildings.

Published in News
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 19:47

Degas Bronzes at the Center of Legal Battle

A collection of bronze sculptures made from plaster models of wax originals by Edgar Degas were at the center of a legal battle in New York. American art dealer Walter Maibaum sued the Canadian businessman Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation, a charity he spearheaded, for breaching a number of sales contracts. Maibaum also claimed that Barry failed to pay him for a number of bronzes.

In 2004, Maibaum, the executive director of the Degas Sculpture Project in Newark, NJ, discovered 74 plaster sculptures made from wax originals by Degas at a foundry near Paris. In 2005, the French Valsuani foundry began producing 29 sets of bronzes from 73 of the newly discovered plaster figures. Maibaum claimed that because Valsuani owned the plasters, it did not need to get permission from Degas’ heirs to cast the bronzes. In 2007, Succession Degas authenticated the plasters and the resulting bronze editions.

In 2008, Barry agreed to buy at least two sets of 73 bronzes from Maibaum, with the option to buy eight more sets. Ultimately, Barry failed to pay for the sculptures and never received any works from Maibaum. The contract was amended in 2009 but again, Barry failed to pay and no works were received. Finally, in 2010, Barry proposed that his charity buy a set of 74 bronzes, estimated to be worth $30 million, with the intent to raffle them to raise money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. After receiving $400,000 from Barry, Maibaum shipped the sculptures. He never received another payment and the Haiti raffle was abandoned.

Ultimately, the Degas Sculpture Project amicably resolved its dispute with Barry, Global Village Champions Foundation, and all others named in the filings. A statement was issued that said, "Global Village Champions Foundation, Inc. is not an instrumentality of fraud, but rather a very worthy charitable organization that works to eradicate hunger around the world. The Dega Sculpture Project Ltd has the utmost respect for Mr. Barry, a two time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, in that goal and we fully commend Global Village Champions Foundation, Inc. for its international humanitarian efforts."

Published in News

Two permanent galleries dedicated to the work of the English sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) opened on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at the Tate Britain in London. The museum presents a collection of approximately 30 works including film, photographs, maquettes, drawings, and large-scale sculptures. Moore’s Recumbent Figure (1938), which was the first of the artist’s works to join the Tate’s collection, is also on view.

Moore, who served as a trustee of the Tate for two terms from 1941-1956, worked closely with the institution. The first gallery of his works explores the artist’s relationship to the museum and how the Tate amassed its Moore collection. The artist made a number of generous donations to the institution during his life including a set of prints, which he gave to the Tate in 1976 and 36 sculptures, which he bequeathed to the museum in 1978. The Tate currently owns over 600 of Moore’s works ranging in date from 1921-1984.

The Tate’s second gallery focuses on Moore’s array of public commissions and the process he used to create them. During the 1950s and 1960s, Moore worked almost entirely in plaster, which was then cast in bronze. Most of his works from this period are figurative or centered on the landscape and the natural world. Moore’s large-scale sculptures set in a wide-ranging array of settings from this time are some of his best-known works. The sculptures in this gallery are complemented by drawings and maquettes as well as films and photographs of Moore at work in his studio.

A highly successful sculptor, Moore used the money he made from his work to endow the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and the promotion of the arts.

Published in News

Christie’s kicked off their highly anticipated fall auctions with a lackluster Impressionist and Modern Art sale on Wednesday evening. While there were many outstanding circumstances (i.e., Hurricane Sandy, the presidential election, the Dow Jones’ drop) that may have contributed to the sale’s inability to reach its low estimate of $210 million, the auction garnered $204,800,000 but left 21 of its 69 lots unsold. Other factors that may have contributed to the uneven sale were too high estimates and an inconsistence in quality as it was the mid-level works that went without buyers.

The top sales were high with six works selling for over $10 million. Wassily Kandinsky’s early and rare Studie fur Improvisation 8 brought $23 million and a set a record for the artist at auction while just breaking its low estimate of $20 million. Claude Monet’s Nymphaes, a watercolor from his water lilies series, was the evening’s top lot at $43,762,500. Other top lots included Pablo Picasso’s Buste de Femme that sold for $13,074,500, Constantine Brancusi’s white plaster Une Muse that brought $12,402,500, and Joan Miro’s Peinture (Femme, Journal, Chien which fetched $13,746,500.

Sotheby’s sale begins today after three days of delays due to Hurricane Sandy.

Published in News