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A rare early portrait by Mary Cassatt (1844–1926), a self-portrait by Jan Miense Molenaer (1610–1668), a groundbreaking work by Arshile Gorky (1904–1948), and a remarkable photograph of Alice and Lorina Liddell by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898), better known as Lewis Carroll, are among works recently acquired by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Three rare illustrated books and a portfolio, all highlighting aspects of the New World, were donated by Harry W. Havemeyer in memory of his father, Horace Havemeyer. Harry W. Havemeyer also pledged an extraordinary collection of 117 early American views and historical prints assembled by him and his father, in whose memory the pledge was made.

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An exhibition titled At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston is now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. William Eggleston (b. 1939) became pioneering force in modern photography during the 1960s and helped legitimize color photography as a respected art form. He also popularized the dye-transfer color process, a practice that until then was primarily used by commercial photographers. Eggleston, who remains a prominent figure in the modern art world, draws inspiration from a number of sources including the photography of Robert Frank (b. 1924) and Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) as well as the musical compositions of Johann Bach.

A native of the Mississippi delta region, Eggleston’s photographs often depict the inhabitants as well as the physical landscape of the area. Drawn to seemingly ordinary subject matters, Eggleston is able to evoke a sense of complexity and raw beauty from the mundane. Often featuring roadside snapshots, backyard barbeques, parking lots, and diners, Eggleston’s photographs act as a lush interpretation of the American vernacular.

At War with the Obvious commemorates the Met’s acquisition of 36 dye-transfer prints by Eggleston, which took place in the fall of 2012. The addition fleshed out the museum’s Eggleston collection and included his first portfolio of color photographs from 1974, 15 prints from his seminal book, William Eggleston’s Guide (1976), and seven other important works from a career that has spanned over 50 years.

At War with the Obvious features a number of Eggleston’s most recognizable images including Untitled (Peaches!) (1970), Untitled (Greenwood, Mississippi) (1980), and Untitled (Memphis) (1970). The exhibition will be on view through July 28, 2013.

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Thursday, 25 October 2012 12:10

Artsicle Gives Young People a Shot at Collecting

The art world can be an intimidating place for an aspiring collector with a modest budget. Artsicle is here to help. Founded by Alex Tryon, 26, and Scott Carleton, 27, Artsicle is an online venture that rents inexpensive art at a low rate. Removing haughty galleries and astronomical price tags from the equation allows a new generation of collectors to figure out what they like. By allowing this often dismissed demographic to explore art collecting, they may be more inclined to make major investments further down the line when their pockets have a little more padding.

Artiscle launched in December 2010 and featured the work of 10 artists. Within a few weeks Tryon and Carleton decided to shift the site’s focus to renting rather than buying. The company went from shipping about 30 works a month to 100. Artsicle now feature 150 artists and has 3,000 works in its online inventory.

New clients take a quiz when they land on that reveals their visual predilections. From there, Artsicle assembles a portfolio that is meant to appeal to the visitor based on their likes and dislikes generated by the quiz. It costs anywhere from $25 to $65 a month to rent an artwork depending on the size. Clients can choose to renew the rental if they’re fond of the work or they can trade it in for a new piece. Buying is also an option and works usually run anywhere from $500 to $2,500. Artsicle keeps 50 percent of the rental price and 30 percent of sale.

As stated on their website, “Artsicle makes it accessible, affordable, and fun to get started collecting.”

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