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The National Portrait Gallery's recently acquired self-portrait of Sir Anthony van Dyck was today displayed at Turner Contemporary, Margate, the first venue in its nationwide tour. It is set to be one of the star attractions of the Kent gallery's new exhibition "Self: Image and identity - self-portraiture from Van Dyck to Louise Bourgeois" which opens to visitors on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

The portrait will be on public view for the first time since August 2014 when it was on display at the National Portrait Gallery prior to a period of conservation which is detailed in specially commissioned films on the Gallery's website.

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London’s National Gallery has quietly transformed its display policy to show far fewer of its paintings. Contrary to the widespread belief that it is among the few very large museums anywhere in the world that shows nearly all its collection, in fact nearly half of its works are off view.

Neil MacGregor, while serving as director of the gallery, wrote in his introduction to the 1995 “Complete Illustrated Catalogue” that “every one of its 2,000 or so paintings is on public view”. The majority were installed in the main galleries, along with a dense display in a lower level gallery, known as Room A. By 2012, there were just over 1,000 paintings in the main galleries and 700 in Room A, representing 72% of the collection.

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A billion pound collection of modern masterpieces which has languished in a storeroom bunker under Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran may finally see the light of day, under changes in the new government's policy. Paintings by Picasso, Miro, Calder, Bacon, Pollock, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Van Gogh and Monet have languished in a storeroom beneath the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art since the  Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The collection was put together in the 1960s and 1970s by Queen Farah Pahlavi, the wife of the last shah of Iran. Fearing that they would be destroyed by the religious turmoil that gripped the the country, the works were carefully packed up, crated and removed from public view.

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The Croydon Council, a local authority in south London, will sell 24 antique Chinese ceramic vases, bowls and bottles to benefit the redevelopment of Fairfield Halls, a 50-year-old arts center in the area. Local businessman Raymond Riesco gifted the valuable objects to the Council in 1959 as part of a 230-piece collection of artifacts that included Ming dynasty bowls. The 206 objects retained by the Council will remain on view for the public.

The decision to break up the collection has drawn criticism from the museum sector. David Anderson, president of the Museum Association, told the BBC, “Croydon’s decision to sell valuable Chinese ceramics threatens not just its own reputation, but that of the museum sector as a whole. It would undermine the widespread public trust in museums and I strongly urge them to reconsider.”

Arts Council England has also voiced opposition to the sale and penned a letter to the Croydon Council earlier this month warning them that their decision was not in line with English museum standards.

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An exhibition of monumental works by the British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) is now on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The show, which includes 12 large-scale sculptures, inaugurates the museum’s new “outdoor gallery,” which was created as part of a major institution-wide renovation that concluded this spring.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation and features many works that have never been on public view in the Netherlands. Highlights of the exhibition include Reclining Woman: Elbow 1981, which has not left the Leeds Art Gallery since its creation over 30 years ago; the interactive sculpture Large Two Forms 1966; and Large Reclining Figure 1984, which measures nearly 30 feet tall. The sculptures, which are made of either bronze or fiberglass, span Moore’s post-war career and include his semi-abstract forms as well as his renowned sculptures of reclining figures.

The Henry Moore exhibition is the first in a series of annual international sculpture displays that will take place at the Rijksmuseum over the next five years. Moore’s sculptures will be on view in the gardens through September 1, 2013.

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A man was arrested on June 13, 2013 at London’s Westminster Abbey for defacing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth the II. The painting was commissioned in honor of her 60 years as England’s matriarch and was put on display May 23.

The incident took place during the afternoon when the assailant, a 41-year-old male, spray-painted The Coronation Theatre by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans. The work, which is part of Westminster Abbey’s permanent collection, has been taken off public view.

Police arrested the man for alleged criminal damage and he was taken to a London police station where he remains in custody.

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The Middlebury College Museum of Art in Middlebury, VT is currently exhibiting a selection of rare watercolors and drawings of Vermont by the American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Best known for his depictions of urban and rural life in America, Hopper’s paintings of Vermont are not widely known and many of them have not been on public view in nearly 50 years. Edward Hopper in Vermont, which was assembled from museums and private collections, marks the first time Hopper’s Vermont works have been displayed together in their home state.

Hopper, and his wife Jo, a fellow artist who was also his model, muse, and lifelong travel companion, made five trips to Vermont during the summers between 1927 and 1938. Hopper’s early paintings from these trips depict Vermont’s most recognizable scenery – rolling green hills dotted with bright red barns and dramatic distant peaks. His later paintings focus on the White River Valley and its vast meadows, wide pastures, and everyday roadside scenes. These works are a departure from Hopper’s usual style as they lack any architectural form or signs of human presence.

Edward Hopper in Vermont will be on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art through August 11, 2013.

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Maine Sublime: Frederic Edwin Church’s Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin will open on June 9, 2013 at Olana in Hudson, NY. Olana State Historic Site was the home of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), a major figure in the Hudson River School, and includes the artist’s studio. The villa is a mixture of Victorian, Persian, and Moorish styles and overlooks the Hudson River valley, the Catskill Mountains, and the Taconic Ridge.

The upcoming exhibition focuses on the 50-year period during which Church traveled and painted landscapes of Maine. Maine Sublime presents 10 oil and 13 pencil sketches from Olana’s collection and many of works will be on public view for the first time. The show will include loans from the Portland Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and two private collections.

Church first visited Maine in 1850 and spent six weeks on Mount Desert. In 1852, Church explored the Mount Katahdin region and in the coming decades he would continue to visit and be captivated by Maine’s natural beauty. The plein-air sketch Wood Interior Near Mount Katahdin (circa 1877) is one of the works that has never been on public view but will be part of the upcoming exhibition.

Maine Sublime will be on view at Olana through October 31, 2013. The exhibition will then be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through the summer of 2014.

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The Louvre’s new outpost in Abu Dhabi, which is slated to open in 2015, has assembled the 130 paintings, miniatures, sculptures, and other artworks that will form its permanent collection. Museum officials allowed reporters a sneak peek of the works including paintings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Rene Magritte (1898-1967), Édouard Manet (1832-1883), and Paul Gauguin (1848-1903). The entire collection will be on view from April 22 to July 20, 2013 as part of the exhibition The Birth of a Museum at a gallery on the island of Saadiyat, close to where construction for the new museum is currently underway.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection is comprised of numerous works from private collections, many of which have never been on public view before. Highlights from the museum’s holdings include Picasso’s gouache, ink, and collage work on paper Portrait of a Lady (1928); Gauguin’s Children Wrestling (1888); and Paul Klee’s (1879-1940) Oriental Bliss (1938).

The Louvre’s new venue, which was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, is the museum’s first branch outside of France. The venture is expected to bring the Louvre and its French partner museums approximately $1.31 million over 30 years. The Louvre also has an offshoot location in the northern city of Lens.

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Christie’s online-only auction of 125 works by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), which ran from February 26-March 5, 2013 was a huge success. The sale, which included paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints, garnered $2.3 million, doubling its pre-sale estimate. Proceeds from the auction will benefit The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which is dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts.

The auction, which was the first online-only Warhol sale, attracted 65,000 visitors and 263 bidders from 36 countries. The featured works had estimates ranging from $600 to $70,000 and many have never been on public view. Highlights from the sale included I Love Your Kiss Forever, a 1964 lithograph of Marilyn Monroe’s lips that fetched $90,000, more than 40 times its pre-sale estimate; In the Bottom of My Garden (circa 1956), a complete book of offset lithographs colored by hand that realized $80,250; and a t-shirt screen printed with Warhol’s Self-Portrait with Fright Wig, which garnered $47,500. The only lot that failed to sell was a graphite on paper drawing titled Madonna and Child (circa 1981), which was expected to bring $30,000-$40,000.

The next Andy Warhol @ Christie’s sale is in April 2013 and will be dedicated to Warhol’s legacy at the famed New York nightclub, Studio 54. Christie’s will host a number of online auctions throughout 2013 as part of an ongoing partnership with the Warhol Foundation.

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