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In the late 19th century, Eadweard Muybridge experimented with multiple cameras, fast shutter mechanisms, and tripwires to study animal and human motion. He produced hundreds of plates, including his famous sequence showing that a horse’s four legs all leave the ground at some point when it runs. A few decades later, Man Ray neglected the camera altogether to create his “rayographs,” creating pictures by placing objects on photographic paper and exposing the sheet to light. Taking to the streets in the mid-20th century, William Klein wielded his lens in a rapid and direct manner to capture the raw reality of everyday life. These represent some of the major innovations in the history of photography, explored in "Modern Times. Photography in the 20th Century," a new exhibition that opened recently at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

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Precious crockery from the Élysée Palace, home to the French president, has turned up on eBay, Le Figaro reports. The publication claims that a military attaché who served during the 1950s got into the habit of giving manufacture de Sèvres plates away as presents.

The embarrassing revelation comes after the Court of Auditors declared 32 artworks and 625 pieces of furniture missing from the presidential residences: the Élysée Palace, the Versailles hunting lodge La Lanterne, and the Fort de Brégançon on the French Riviera, which is soon to be turned into a national monument.

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You can take a close-up look at artifacts, some of which are over 2,000 years old, in the Shards of the Past: Pre-Columbian Art from the Frost Art Museum exhibition, on display from May 7 through August 31.

The exhibition features 26 works…figures, vessels, bowls, and plates…from Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Central America, selected from the Frost Art Museum’s permanent collection. Pre-Columbian refers to the time in the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers. Cultures and civilizations were already flourishing, thriving and evolving, while remaining virtually isolated from other parts of the world. After the arrival of the explorers, we see the collapse of these civilizations and subsequent destruction of their temples and social structures along with a wealth of objects and ritual artifacts. Some of the relics from these cultures are intact for viewers to admire and study; others were ritually broken, and some were destroyed by the passage of time. Most of the surviving objects were found in graves, the remnants of offerings to the dead.

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The Tate Modern in London has announced that they will present the largest exhibition of Henri Matisse’s (1869-1954) late works. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs will feature 120 of the artist’s paper cut-outs made between 1943 and 1954, when his health was diminishing and he found himself unable to paint.

Matisse’s first cut-outs were made between 1943 and 1947 and were presented together in Jazz 1947, a book of 20 plates. Copies of the book along with text handwritten by Matisse will be shown alongside the original compositions. Other highlights from the exhibition include the Tate’s own The Snail, the Museum of Modern Art’s Memory of Oceania, and the National Gallery of Art’s Large Composition with Masks. The exhibition will stand as a testament to the importance of the final chapter in Matisse’s long and influential career.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs will be on view from April 17, 2014 though September 7, 2014.

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On March 19, 2013 Sotheby’s London held a sale of important ceramics by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) from a private collection, which included a wider selection of additional ceramics and prints. The auction, which included 100 of Picasso’s plates, jugs, tiles, vases, and bowls, garnered $2.2 million, exceeding the auction’s high estimate of $2.1 million. All of Picasso’s works sold and 94% of the pieces went for well above their high estimates. The highlight of the auction was Picasso’s vase Gros Oiseau Vert, which sold for $157,732, nearly three times its high estimate.

Picasso’s experimentation with ceramics started in 1946 when he was introduced to the Madoura Pottery workshop in France. He began working with the shop’s owners, Suzanne and George Ramie, and embarked on an exploration of the new artistic medium, which he would soon master.

During his career, Picasso produced several thousand ceramic works and continued to experiment with the medium until his death. The works offered at Sotheby’s were part of a single-owner collection and provided a substantial overview of Picasso’s ceramics and illustrated the full scope of his exploration with the medium.

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