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A cast of Auguste Rodin’s (1840-1917) Monument to the Burghers of Calais, which has stood in the gardens next to London’s House of Parliament for almost a century, will be moved to the gardens at Perry Green in Hertfordshire, England for the upcoming exhibition Moore Rodin. The show, which opens on March 29, 2013, will compare the works of Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Rodin, two major figures in modern sculpture.

Perry Green, which was Moore’s home for over 40 years until his death in 1986, now houses a gallery, 70 acres of gardens, and the Henry Moore Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for organizing the groundbreaking exhibition, which marks the first time another artist has been shown alongside Moore at Perry Green. Moore was an ardent admirer of Rodin’s work and considered Monument to the Burghers of Calais the greatest public sculpture in London.

Moore Rodin will include a number of loans from the Musée Rodin in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Musée Rodin is lending Adam (1881), the third maquette for the seminial The Gates of Hell (circa 1881-82), and Walking Man, Large Torso (1906) for the exhibition. The Musée Bourdelle in Paris will lend the Foundation Walking Man (1899), a cast of which Moore owned. In addition to the sculptures, the exhibition will include an extensive selection of drawings by both artists and photographs taken by Moore of his cast of Walking Man at Perry Green.

Moore Rodin will be on view through October 27, 2013.

Published in News
Thursday, 28 February 2013 17:19

The Cloisters Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

The Cloisters museum and gardens, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. Assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that date from the 12th through the 15th century, the Cloisters houses approximately 3,000 works of art from medieval Europe.

To commemorate its 75th year, the Cloisters has a number of celebratory exhibitions planned. Search for the Unicorn: An Exhibition in Honor of the Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary will present the Unicorn Tapestries (1495-1505), a series of seven tapestries, which were a gifted to the museum by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. when the Cloisters opened in 1938. The Tapestries are the museum’s best-known masterpieces, but their history and meaning remain mysterious. The Unicorn Tapestries will be exhibited alongside approximately 40 works from the Metropolitan, sister institutions, and private collections. Search for the Unicorn will be on view from May 15-August 18, 2013.

In September, the Cloisters will mount an installation by Janet Cardiff (b. 1957). The Forty Part Motet (2001) is comprised of 40 speakers, each playing the sound of one singer in a 40-voice choral performing “Spem in alium numquam habui” (circa 1573) by the Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (circa 1505-1585). The installation will play on a loop in the Cloister’s Fuentidueña Chapel through December 8, 2013. The Forty Part Motet is the first piece of contemporary art to be featured at the Cloisters.

The Cloisters will wrap up its anniversary celebrations with the exhibition of six near life-size stained glass windows on loan from England’s historic Canterbury Cathedral. It will be the first time the panels have left the cathedral since their creation in 1178-80. Current repairs to the cathedral’s stonework required the removal of the windows, which have recently been conserved. The stained-glass windows that will be on view at the Cloisters feature six figures from an original cycle of 86 ancestors of Christ, the most comprehensive stained-glass cycle known in art history. The Romanesque masterpieces will be on view from March through May 2014.

Published in News
Thursday, 21 February 2013 13:22

Francis Bacon Paintings Discovered

Six paintings by Francis Bacon (1902-1992) have been discovered on the backsides of amateur works by Lewis Todd (1925-2006), a former caricaturist for the Cambridge Daily News. Bacon preferred to paint on the unprimed backs of canvases because of their raw quality. While the Heffer Gallery of Cambridge supplied art materials to both Bacon and Todd, it is unclear how the canvases found their way to the gallery. Heffer often provided Todd with rejected canvases, which he cut up and used for his own impressionist compositions.

The six paintings appear to be part of Bacon’s “Pope” paintings, which he executed during the 1950s. The series depicts freeze-frames of eerie religious figures and includes some of Bacon’s best-known works. The Francis Bacon Authentication Committee has confirmed that five of the six works are genuine after paint sample tests revealed that the paint is the same paint Bacon used during the 1950s and 1960s.

The newly discover Bacon paintings will be sold at Ewbanks Auctions in southern England on March 20, 2013. A strong force in the art market, a previous sale of Bacon’s garbage, journals, and discarded artworks garnered nearly $1.5 million at Ewbanks in 2007. The auction house has a set a pre-sale estimate of $152,570 for the newly discovered paintings, but wouldn't be surprised if they fetched closer to $300,000.       

Published in News
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 13:45

Prominent Henry Moore Sculpture will be Restored

Henry Moore’s (1898-1986) severely damaged sculpture Knife Edge Two Piece (1965) will finally be restored according to the Parliamentary Art Collection. The sculpture, which is prominently displays outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, is England’s most revered work by the British sculptor.

Moore and the Contemporary Art Society donated Knife Edge Two Piece to England in 1967 but the work fell into disrepair after administrative changes left it with no legal owner. Eventually, the British government suggested that the House of Commons take ownership for the sculpture and that the Parliamentary Art Collection take responsibility for the its care.

The bronze sculpture, which is marred by discoloration, deterioration, and incised graffiti, will undergo conservation beginning February 16, 2013. Conservator Rupert Harris will lead the effort, which involves removing the sculpture’s protective lacquer and abrading its surface to eliminate the damage. The work will then be repatinated and treated with wax in order to protect it from future environmental damage.

The conservation project is expected to cost a little over $50,000 with most of the funding coming from the Parliamentary Art Collection. The Henry Moore Foundation will contribute about $17,000 to the effort. The Knife Edge Two Piece restoration project is expected to reach completion at the end of March 2013.

Published in News
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 12:58

New York Americana Week Show Happenings

Kicking off New York City’s 2013 “Americana Week” show schedule is The New York Ceramics Fair (January 23–27), with an opening night preview party on January 22. At the Bohemian National Hall (321 East 73rd Street) for the third year in a row, the Ceramics Fair brings together forty galleries from England, Europe, and across the US. Offerings include porcelain, pottery, glass, cloisonné and enamels, as well as an educational lecture series. Visit

The Metro Show NYC opens its second year at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 W. 18th Street) with a preview reception January 23 and extends through January 27. This year the show recasts the “A” word (antiques) into the now trendy Historical Design. New dealers include Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts and Fred Giampietro Gallery. The Metro Show welcomes Editions | Artists’ Book Fair to the adjoining building. Visit or call 800.563.7632.

Opening on January 25 and running through the 27, Antiques at the Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th street, 69th Regiment Armory, features one-hundred select exhibitors of American & European antiques, period furniture, Americana, folk art, garden and architectural artifacts, fine art and prints, and much more. Shuttle service is available between the Armory show and the Winter
Antiques Show. Visit or call 973.808.5015.

Opening the evening of January 24 with a gala preview to benefit East Side House Settlement, the Winter Antiques Show, 67th and Park Avenue, marks its 59th year as the most prestigious antiques
show in the country. Through February 1, seventy-five exhibitors will offer works from antiquity through the 1960s with one-third of the show’s exhibitors specializing in Americana with the rest featuring English, European, and Asian fine and decorative arts. This year’s loan exhibit features “Newport: the Glamour of Ornament,” celebrating The Preservation Society of Newport County. Popular lectures relating to the exhibition and the Expert Eye series are held through the duration of the show. Among the new exhibitors is Allan Katz Americana. Visit or call 718.292.7392.

Though after Americana Week, be sure to visit Outsider Art Fair at Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea, from February 1–3 with a preview party January 31. Under new ownership (Wide Open Arts), the fair celebrates its twenty-first year. Visit or call 212.337.3338.

Published in News
Monday, 07 January 2013 12:22

Stolen Matisse Painting Recovered in England

A painting worth $1 million by the French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was recovered in Essex, England. Stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm in 1987, the location of Le Jardin (1920) has remained a mystery for more than twenty years.

The discovery occurred when British art dealer Charles Roberts of Charles Fine Art was offered the Matisse painting by a Polish collector. Roberts ran a search on the Art Loss Register (ALR) database, a hub for information regarding stolen artworks, and found Le Jardin listed. Christopher A. Marinello, executive director and general counsel of the ALR, facilitated the painting’s recovery and it is currently being held in the organization’s office before being returned to Sweden in the coming weeks.

Le Jardin was the only artwork stolen during the 1987 burglary when thieves broke through the museum’s front entrance with a sledgehammer and unscrewed it from the wall. The burglars escaped just minutes before private guards arrived to investigate the scene. Following the robbery, the thieves made several attempts to sell the painting back to the museum for an exorbitant sum. Museum officials resisted, knowing that the Matisse painting was too well known to sell on the open market and that it would resurface eventually.

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When Jane Cordery, an art teacher in Hampshire, England discovered a portrait of a white owl in her attic, she was struck by the painting’s sophisticated brushwork. Upon her unearthing, Cordery decided to email a photo of the work to Christie’s in London.

The auction house determined that the painting, titled The White Owl (1856) was the work of pre-Raphaelite artist William James Webbe (fluent 1953-1878) and valued the painting at $113,449. Further research proved that The White Owl had been exhibited at the United Kingdom’s Royal Society during the mid-nineteenth century. It was here that famed art critic, John Ruskin, viewed the work and remarked on its painstaking composition.

The Webbe painting headed to Christie’s Victorian art sale last week and sold for $951,050, exceeding its estimated price and setting the record for the artist at auction. An anonymous British dealer purchased The White Owl at the Christie’s sale. While Cordery claims she had never seen the painting before, her partner said that he received the work as a gift from his mother.

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England’s British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, which closed in 2008, is in hot water after nearly 150 works that were lent to the museum while it was still open have been deemed missing. To make matters worse, a number of the pieces were sold at auction without their owners’ permission.

Most of the museum’s collection has been turned over to the Bristol city council, which is carrying out a full audit. In addition, trustees of the museum are in negotiations with the eight displeased owners to work out compensation agreements. While no arrests have been made, trustees of the museum have been involved in an ongoing dispute with the former director, Gareth Griffiths, over the missing works.

Among the 144 works that have disappeared is a nineteenth-century oil painting belonging to Lord Caldecote. Caldecote’s father, a well-known engineer and industrialist, lent the work by maritime master, Thomas Buttersworth, to the museum. After his father’s death, Caldecote asked for the painting to be returned. Sadly, the painting’s whereabouts are unknown as Christie’s sold it for almost $100,000 back in 2008.

There are no reports of personal profits from the sales and it is believed that the mix-up occurred because it was unclear whether objects had been given to the museum or were there on loan.

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum opened in 2002 and aimed to tell the story of Britain’s colonial past through objects. While the institution was initially lauded, it was unable to attract enough visitors to keep it afloat. Plans to move the museum to London were scrapped after the country fell on tough economic times.

Published in News
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:08

Two Exhibitions Focus on Winslow Homer’s Maine

Winslow Homer (1836–1910), one of the foremost figures in American art, is well known for his sea scenes and marine paintings. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Homer was an avid traveler and spent time living and working in New York City, Paris, and England, among other places. However, during his years in Prout’s Neck, Maine, Homer produced some of his most defining masterpieces.

Homer moved to Maine in 1883 and spent most of his time working in his studio, a former carriage house, just 75 feet from the ocean. Homer remained in Prout’s Neck on his family’s property until his death in 1910. Homer’s paintings from this period are defined by their crashing waves, rocky coasts, and his expert use of light; they are also the subjects of two current exhibitions.

The Portland Museum of Art’s show, Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine, focuses on Homer’s connection with his Prout’s Neck studio, which the museum now owns. The paintings on display feature the ocean views Homer saw from his home as well as the burly fishermen and statuesque women he often focused on. The exhibition’s range of paintings illustrates Homer’s transition from more populated works to stripped-down paintings that include just sea and land; Homer’s personal life followed a similar evolution.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is also hosting an exhibition of Homer’s work titled, Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and ‘The Life Line. The show is based around the museum’s own painting and Homer’s greatest success, The Life Line (1884), which features a woman being saved from the tumultuous sea by an anonymous hero. Shipwreck! Focuses on Homer’s changing relationship with the sea and includes tranquil marine paintings as well as bleaker scenes.

Weatherbeaten will be on view at the Portland Museum of art through December 30. Shipwreck! ends up its run at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on January 1, 2013.

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There was a time when Anthony Van Dyck’s Isabella, Lady de La Warr was considered one of the most important paintings at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Purchased in 1930 for $121,440 by the MFA donor, Mrs. Frederick T. Bradbury, the work went on view in the Hamilton Palace period room. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the painting went into storage that Isabella’s future started to look bleak.

When Malcolm Rogers rediscovered Isabella not long after he took over as the MFA’s director in 1994, he found the painting’s surface was discolored from protective varnishes and shoddy retouching had left the work with mismatched paint. Painted by the Flemish artist in 1638 during a stay in England, Rogers knew that Isabella could be recovered. A technical examination in 2011 reinforced Rogers’ belief.

The painting underwent nearly a year of restoration by the MFA’s paintings conservator, Rhona MacBeth and has just been installed in the MFA’s newly renovated Koch Gallery. Depicting an elegant woman, the wife of Lord Henry who served as a diplomat and treasurer of one of Van Dyck’s most famous subjects, England’s King Charles I, the painting is an excellent example of aristocratic portraiture that was in high demand by American collectors during the first few decades of the 20th century.

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