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Wednesday, 30 March 2011 03:25

An intricate wooden bust carved by Paul Gauguin is expected to sell for as much as $15 million when it is auctioned on May 3, according to Sotheby's.

"Jeune tahitienne," which was carved by Gauguin during his first trip to Tahiti between 1891 and 1893, depicts a young, unidentified Tahitian woman and includes jewelry which Gauguin made himself using seashells and pieces of red coral.

A piercing left on the ear is believed by experts to have once held a flower, and two foxes carved in the back of the neck represent a sort of signature Gauguin often used, with the foxes being representative of sexuality.

"It's rare to see a piece of art of such great quality and with such a great story," said Simon Shaw, Sotheby's head of Impressionist and Modern Art. "It's truly unique."

The 9.5 inch-high carving, which has not been seen in public since 1961, was given as a gift to then 10-year old Jeanne Fournier, the daughter of French art critic and collector Jean Dolent.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 03:18

Richard Prince has long reveled in his pose as a postmodern pilferer of other people's images—in being what's known as an "appropriation artist." Most famously, in 1980 he began taking pictures of Marlboro Man magazine advertisements—rephotographing them—stripped of logos and text. And now his sticky-fingered status has been officially confirmed by U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts, who slammed him this week for not just appropriating, but misappropriating, dozens of works from another artist. The ruling has the art world's appropriators reeling—one blogger called the ruling "kafkaesque"—as the rarefied, anything-goes realm of conceptual art runs up against the hard-nosed realities of intellectual-property rights.

The images Mr. Prince used for a 2008 show in Manhattan came overwhelmingly from a book, "Yes, Rasta," by French photographer Patrick Cariou, who had spent six years taking pictures of Rastafarians in Jamaica. Mr. Prince made photographic copies of dozens of these images, blew them up and then added his own touches. Some he simply distressed or tinted. To others he added some paint or collaged in bits of other appropriated images: For instance, he drew some sunglasses on a Rasta man in the jungle and put an electric guitar in his hands. Mr. Prince and his agents, the Gagosian Gallery, were able to sell and barter these works for close to $20 million.

Mr. Cariou understandably cried foul. It wasn't just that he wasn't seeing any of those millions for what was, in large part, his work. A gallery owner who had planned to exhibit the original Cariou photos balked after the Prince show because, as she told the court, "she did not want to exhibit work which had been 'done already' at another gallery." Mr. Cariou's work hadn't just been lifted, the judge ruled, but "usurped."

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 02:57

Caked in dust and dirt, the painting was worth its £100 price tag only for the ornate frame.

Or so the buyer thought when he spotted it in a second-hand shop.

It was only on closer inspection that he noticed an intriguing signature in one corner.

Now the man is enduring an agonising wait to learn whether his find is actually a masterpiece by the French artist Cezanne - and worth £40million.

Art experts say the piece – showing a house with an orange roof next to a river, surrounded by trees – is reminiscent of Cezanne’s earliest works.

Under the scrawled name is the date 1854. If authentic, it will be the earliest known work by the post-impressionist artist who would have been a 15-year-old art pupil at the time.

The buyer, a man in his thirties from Northamptonshire who does not wish to be named, said he had removed the canvas from the frame and removed decades of dirt before examining it.

‘I bought a book on post-impressionism and checked the signature and it looks exactly the same as on some of his other paintings,’ he said.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 02:53

Before beginning to read this article, please look at the images above. Which was drawn by a child and which by a well-known Abstract Expressionist? The answer lies a few paragraphs down.

How often have you heard people describe artworks by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko or Cy Twombly as drawings that a 5-year-old child could have made? The answer is probably, very often. But is this true? Can children produce art whose perceived quality, as least by widespread artistic circles, matches that of renowned artists who sell their art for millions of dollars?

Boston College psychologists Angelina Hawley-Dolan and Ellen Winner's research, recently published in the journal Psychological Science, seeks to answer this question. When comparing artworks created by a child or even a monkey to that of an acclaimed artist, whether non-aficionados like a particular artwork or not, they can usually identify it as the product of human creativity.

To further understand this study and its significance on our aesthetic behavior, spoke with Hawley-Dolan about how people evaluate the skill in those who paint or sculpt non-representationally.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:57

People move to America in order to become what they want. After all, individual freedom is the essence of the supposed American Dream. That is made clear at an exhibit of quilts on view until Wednesday at the Park Avenue Armory, which was built to honor the first regiment that answered Lincoln's call when the Civil War began 150 years ago.

On display are 651 stunning red and white quilts loaned by Joanna Rose to the American Folk Art Museum. The wife of Daniel Rose, one of New York's most high-minded philanthropists and well-respected real estate developers, she began collecting quilts in 1957. They have never been exhibited in a single space like this.

A gala was held on the eve of the exhibit's opening last Friday. Among those present was Richard Parsons, most recently the CEO of Time Warner. That Parsons is black says plenty about how much things have changed in the corporate world.

Those who came out for the gala stretched across the professions and our highly diverse population. These people seemed to highlight and complement the imaginative and varied designs of quilts that capture our nation's entire history. Indeed, the quilts reminded many of their backgrounds and cultural heritage, especially since quilts have been central to various cultures that are today quintessentially American, no matter how far apart they once seemed.

Quilts became popular in the 19th century, when American women sewed the swatches of material into a wide variety of forms and geometrical shapes. Though many quilts existed solely for household use, many others were made in support of abolition and to fund Civil War troops.

Glimpsing their quality today makes clear how superior these quilts are to most nonobjective modern painting. The best are intricate and brilliant in the way that jazz is, a refined musical form too often overshadowed by shallow entertainment, insipid trends and academic pretension.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:49

A Maryland circuit court has ruled that the estate of Patricia Still, the late wife of abstract expressionist artist Clyfford Still, can release four paintings to the city of Denver before they are formally acquired by a new museum dedicate to the artist set to open this year. This will allow the city to sell the works, potentially raising an estimated $25m for the museum, although this must be set aside for the endowment and collections-related expenses, according to the court’s decision.

The Patricia Still Estate donated 400 works to Denver in 2005 following a gift the year before of 2,000 works from the Clyfford Still Estate: roughly 96% of the abstract expressionist’s work. The gifts came with the condition that Denver build a museum by 2014 to house them. Clyfford Still was a garrulous figure who publicly and aggressively sparred with the art world establishment while he was alive, and so the collections unsurprisingly came with further strings attached: Patricia Still prohibited the display of other artists’ works besides her late husband’s, banned the loan of any of Still’s works and insisted that no cafe or auditorium be allowed on the museum’s future campus.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:44

The 1640 work "Landscape With Cottage and Figures" by Pieter Molijn previously belonged to Jacques Goudstikker, the biggest art dealer in the Netherlands in the 1930s.

Goudstikker fled the Nazis with his wife and young son at the beginning of the war, but fell through a trap door on a departing ship and died.

His large art collection was then divided up by the Nazis, with some of the works being claimed personally by Hermann Goering.

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles later bought the Molijn landscape at an auction in 1972, and says it did so in good faith. It has never displayed the painting or disclosed the purchase price.

In a statement the museum said it had now researched the origin of the painting and established it "was in Goudstikker's inventory at the time of the invasion in 1940, and that it was never restituted after World War II." The museum said: "Based on its findings the Getty concluded that the painting should be transferred to the heirs." The return of the Getty painting was a victory for the art dealer's daughter-in-law and heir, Marei von Saher, who lives in the US and has spent years trying to track down missing works that were in Goudstikker's collection.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:40

An Italian government official on Monday offered to end a long legal fight with the J. Paul Getty Museum by proposing shared custody of a 2,300-year-old bronze statue known as "Victorious Youth."

Italy claims the Getty procured the statue from illicit art dealers, which museum officials deny. Now, however, the governor of Italy's Marche Region—near where the statue was found—is trying both to resolve the matter and boost his home's profile among American tourists by proposing a "cultural exchange" between the Getty and his region.

"We have not come to declare war on the Getty," Gov. Gian Mario Spacca said at a hotel here Monday. "We are here to try to resolve the dispute in a way that will benefit this great museum, the people of Italy and, most important, art lovers around the world."

Getty officials said the object wasn't up for discussion because of the legal process. An Italian judge is expected to issue a decision in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:34

French collector Laurent Negro may raise a record 60 million euros ($82 million) at the auction of everything in his private museum.

Negro, 39, whose father started temporary employment company Bis SA, is clearing out his medieval Chateau de Gourdon, near Grasse, Provence, to make more living space, Christie’s International said. The three-day sale in Paris, starting today, is led by 20th-century design works by Eileen Gray and Emile- Jacques Ruhlmann.

The 860 lots at the Palais de Tokyo have a minimum estimate of 40 million euros. The total may exceed the 59.2 million euros of modern decorative art sold in 2009 for the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. At that event, a Gray armchair fetched a record 21.9 million euros.

“The Gourdon collection was put together with passion and with the investment upside in mind,” Rabih Hage, founder of DeTnk Collectible Design Market Report, said in an interview. “It’s in tune with the way collectors are now buying. They’re looking for pieces with a pedigree and a precise provenance.”

DeTnk this month published its overview of the market for modern and contemporary design. Auctions raised 142.6 million pounds ($228 million) in 2010, a 0.5 percent increase on the previous year, when the total was bloated by the success of Christie’s YSL sale, DeTnk said. French Art Deco designer Ruhlmann was the top auction performer in 2010, with sales of 6.4 million pounds ($10.3 million). The Gourdon sale has 34 Ruhlmann items, valued at more than 10 million euros.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:30

Wealthy Chinese buyers competing for their cultural heritage pushed New York’s week of Asian art to a record, topped by a delicate pear-shaped Chinese vase, estimated to fetch just $800 to $1,200.

The lot soared to $18 million, the most expensive in a dozen Asian Week auctions at Sotheby’s (BID) and Christie’s International. Together, the auction houses took in a record $202 million, 56 percent above the previous high in 2007.

Sotheby’s described the modestly-estimated vase, decorated with birds and peonies, as of “probably Republican period” (early 20th-century). Yet it had a Qianlong seal and anything of that 1736-1795 era commands higher prices, said dealers.

“It’s outstanding if it’s genuine,” said Giuseppe Eskenazi, one of the leading dealers in Chinese art.

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s biggest auction market for fine art in 2010, according to research company Artprice, benefiting from the support of its government. Last week’s sales attracted collectors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:26

They came from New York and Uruguay, from Amsterdam and Hong Kong, their eyes wide and wallets thick, draped in diamonds and in denim, seeking treasures and surprises, and found both.  As the 24th European Fine Art Fair reached its last weekend, crowds were still pouring in to the 30,000 square-meter exhibition hall, milling through 260 galleries that, together, proved once again that the art market remains solid and the passion of collectors is only growing by the day.

With over 55,000 visitors by the end of the first week, the fair has pulled in quite a number of luminaries – from Hermitage Director Mikhail Petrovski to Sheik Saud al Thani, the bad boy of the Qatar royal family whose past purchases have included several record-making buys in an eight year, $1.5 billion buying spree that ended in his arrest for alleged misuse of public funds.

So it’s understandable that by Friday, the fair’s eighth day, most of the dealers were exhausted; but the buyers, unfatigued, paid no attention.  (After all, as Judd Tully drily noted in his report of the opening for, “There is no such thing as sticker-shock at Maastricht.”)

At Ben Brown’s booth that afternoon, negotiations were taking place by telephone. “Too low,” a gallery assistant told the prospective buyer, “I’m sorry.” Another assistant draped himself along a stainless steel Volto rocker by Israeli designer Ron Arad. “This is the longest art fair in the world,” he moaned, but he clearly was not having as bad a time as wanted us to believe.  Indeed, given the high-pressure, eight-hour plus days they’d all endured, the dealers were in surprisingly good form and spirits (if not quite as peppy as they’d been on opening night)  – though undoubtedly, multiple successes have had something to do with that.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:16

Widely recognized as the premier American antiques and decorative arts show in the country, the Philadelphia Antiques Show has a lot to celebrate in 2011. Since its inception in 1962, the Show has raised more than $17 million to help further innovative programs with a direct impact on patient care and has been a major fundraiser for Penn Medicine. The 2011 Philadelphia Antiques Show, presented by Drexel Morgan & Company, the parent company of the Show’s six year-running title sponsor, the Haverford Trust Company, is expected to raise nearly $1 million to benefit development of the Penn Ovarian Cancer Research Center.

The 2011 Philadelphia Antiques Show’s Preview will be held Friday, April 8 and the Show runs through Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at The Navy Yard, Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier One. Led by founder Ali Brown, the show premiered on April 24, 1962 as the University Hospital Antiques Show at the 33rd Street Armory in West Philadelphia. The Show’s debut was a huge success, welcoming 5,000 visitors and raising over $30,000—more than three times what was expected. Throughout the years, the Show’s names included the University Hospital Antiques Show, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Antiques Show, which it assumed in 1986, and the Philadelphia Antiques Show in 1989, which it still remains.

Since the beginning, the Show’s committee—now comprised of more than 200 volunteers—has determined how funds from the Show are allocated. Over the past half century, these proceeds have provided great assistance to Penn Medicine. Funds from the first Show paid off the Nearly New Shop’s mortgage, and the following year provided enough to aid the Hospital Chapel in adding a meditation room, a Christian altar and a Hebrew worship place. The Philadelphia Antiques Show has also helped fund initiatives such as the Trauma Center, the Multi-organ Transplant Program and the Penn Lung Center—all of which are major programs that have helped to make Penn Medicine the leader in medicine that it is today.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 23:14

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Dr. Paul D’Ambrosio has been named president and chief executive officer of the Farmers’ Museum and the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown. The announcement was made Monday by Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Farmers’ Museum, Inc., and Dr. Douglas E. Evelyn, chairman of the New York State Historical Association.
D’Ambrosio, who assumes his new post on April 1, succeeds D. Stephen Elliott, who is leaving his post after six years to head the Minnesota Historical Society.
D’Ambrosio has been associated with the Farmers’ Museum, the New York State Historical Association and its Fenimore Art Museum for 26 years, serving as the institution’s chief curator since 1998. An expert in American folk art, D’Ambrosio is the author of Ralph Fasanella’s America and co-author of Folk Art’s Many Faces. He serves as adjunct professor of museum studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program.
Two major folk art shows are opening at the Fenimore Art Museum this fall. Debuting October 1, “Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana” includes mid-18th through mid-19th century portraits, sculpture, quilts, weathervanes, trade signs, furniture, baskets and Shaker objects from one of America’s most distinguished private collections. The exhibition accompanies the publication of Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Volume II.
Organized by quilt scholar Jacqueline M. Atkins, “Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts” includes quilts from the museum’s collection, displayed for the first time in more than a decade. The show opens on September 24.
Founded in 1943, the Farmers’ Museum interprets the lives of ordinary people and the agricultural and trade processes of rural 19th century New York State. It is one of the oldest continuously operating outdoor museums in the United States.
The New York State Historical Association, which dates to 1899, preserves and exhibits objects and documents significant to New York history and American culture.  The Association is home to the Fenimore Art Museum, featuring collections of American folk art, 19th century American fine art, and the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.
Cooperstown’s new president is married to Anna D’Ambrosio, assistant director and curator of decorative arts at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, N.Y
Write to Laura Beach at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 01:11

NEW HAVEN, CT – For much of the past century, antiquarians have associated the former colony of Rhode Island with a group of supremely elegant block and shell-carved mahogany furniture made in the 18th century by members of two Newport Quaker clans, the Townsends and Goddards.
But as the new Rhode Island Furniture Archive ( reveals, the state’s contribution is larger and more complex than previously supposed. To date, the Yale University Art Gallery team that created the site has identified more than 1,500 craftsmen working in the furniture and allied trades between 1636 and 1840.
The researchers have compiled more than 3,000 examples of case furniture, looking glasses and seating furniture. Clocks and tables will be added in the coming year.
Over a recent breakfast with Patricia E. Kane, the project’s director, and her husband, independent scholar W. Scott Braznell, I learned more about the origins of the project, which got underway in 2002, not long after Kane finished Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelry, the a comprehensive biographical dictionary published in 1998.
I also learned where the bodies are buried, so to speak, but more about that later.
“What we did for silver was a mammoth accomplishment, but the manuscript was out of date almost as soon as it went to the typesetters,” said Kane, who for Rhode Island furniture envisioned a versatile resource that could be updated continually.
Kane also wanted the archive to be of the broadest use to scholars, collectors and dealers, who can search the new site by a host of variables, including object name, maker, place of manufacture, date, owner and present location.  The last variable alone should have the trade jumping to its feet.
As the Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts at Yale University Art Gallery, Kane was fortunate to have the help of students, some of whom spent hours thumbing through vintage periodicals indentifying objects and noting their provenance. She benefitted from the support of individuals and organizations such as the Henry Luce Foundation, Inc., which funded a sabbatical that allowed her to spend a year researching public documents in Rhode Island record repositories. 
The research, which has quintupled the number of known makers of Rhode Island furniture, is already bearing fruit. In January, Keno Auctions sold a mahogany desk and bookcase with a flat top and a fitted, shell-carved interior for $15,860 including premium. John Walton, the late Connecticut dealer, purchased the piece in 1984 at Sotheby’s, whose cataloguers discovered the signature of Daniel Spencer (1741-1801) inscribed on an interior drawer.
Thanks to Kane and her associates, we now know that Spencer and his brother, Thomas, were born in East Greenwich, R.I., to the older sister of cabinetmaker John Goddard (1724-1785) and that the family moved to Newport, where the brothers almost certainly apprenticed as cabinetmakers. The top board of the desk section is made of mahogany, a feature that is unusual enough to raise eyebrows had the archivists not also linked three secretary bookcases made around 1790 with similar mahogany tops to Ichabod Cole of Warren, R.I. Remarkably, two other Goddard nephews working as cabinetmakers, the brothers Ebenezer Allen, Jr. (1755-1793) and Cornelius Allen (1767-1835), have also come to light.
Building a digitized archive from scratch presents many challenges, from singling out craftsmen not clearly identified in historical records as cabinetmakers to weighting values properly so that the search produces optimal results.  Databases need ongoing maintenance and a protocol for keeping them current.
That is where you, dear reader, come in. A link provided on the Rhode Island Furniture Archive’s home page allows users to submit discoveries of their own. No doubt Yale University Art Gallery would welcome monetary contributions, as well.
So, where are the “ bodies” buried? In the ground, as it turns out.
“Some indigents were buried in coffins made by John Townsend (1732-1809), who was paid by the town of Newport. I doubt if those coffins had blocks and shells or were made of mahogany,” W. Scott Braznell says with a smile.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 04:12

Wealth is an explosive topic these days.

Americans have spent months reviling the greed of bankers and Wall Street; now they are up in arms over states’ attempts to take collective bargaining rights away from public workers.

And in the face of a growing federal budget deficit, a chorus of voices is questioning the wisdom of extending the tax cuts from President George W. Bush’s administration to the wealthiest Americans.

“The rich have become too rich,” argues economist Robert Reich, “so the vast majority no longer has the purchasing power to lift the economy out of its doldrums.”

With all this going on — not to mention rising oil prices — the timing could not be more apt for “Embarrassment of Riches: Picturing Global Wealth, 2000-2010,” a new exhibit at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College.

The show was organized by David Little, curator and head of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where it made its debut last year.

Privacy is expensive. Which is one of the reasons, Little says, that we tend to see many more exhibitions featuring images of poor people — think Dorothea Lange’s photographs of migrants and Lewis Hine’s child laborers — than rich ones.

Little has done his part to tip the balance with this revealing exhibit, dominated by large color photographs of people with money and the environments they inhabit.

During a recent tour at the Nerman, Little said he was inspired to do the show by a photograph of Mikhail Gorbachev that Annie Leibovitz shot for a Louis Vuitton ad campaign.

Heading up the exhibit, it shows the former Soviet leader seated in a limousine with an open bag beside him and a view of the Berlin Wall — digitally inserted by Leibovitz — through the windows.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 04:09

Anew exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is taking a fresh look at the influence that Paris had on Marc Chagall and his fellow modernists from 1910 to 1920.

The show, "Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle," is being presented in conjunction with an international arts festival in Philadelphia that opens in April.

The exhibition "represents the Museum's contribution to this festival and will focus on the powerful influence that Paris had on Chagall and his contemporaries," museum director Timothy Rub said.

The show, located in the museum's Perelman annex, includes roughly 40 paintings and sculptures culled mainly from the museum's own collection but reconfigured in a new way. Other featured artists include Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani and Jacques Lipschitz.

Curator Michael Taylor said the show provides visitors with "a unique opportunity to reconsider the cross-fertilization that took place" when Chagall and his contemporaries lived and worked in Paris.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 04:07

Many artists and historians look on the painter Paul Gauguin as one of the founders of modern art. His work in the 19th century brimmed with innovation. He tried to paint with his mind rather than his eyes. He colored grass red and figures of Christ yellow. He played with perspective. His obsession with primitive peoples engaged and influenced Picasso.

Yet, as Gauguin specialist Belinda Thomson points out, the innovations that excited everyone 100 years ago "are not necessarily those that have the strongest appeal" in the 21st century. Old innovations do not surprise anyone; they turn into clichés instead. Gauguin's paintings must be regarded differently now. They must be examined, Thomson says, for "their beauty and complexity."

Thomson, an honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh, has put together an exhibition that celebrates Gauguin not as a prophet of modern art but as a painter of beautiful and complex canvases. The show, called "Gauguin: Maker of Myth," has opened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., after a long and popular run at the trendsetting Tate Modern in London. Closing in Washington on June 5, it will be seen nowhere else.

Thomson was joined as co-curator in Washington by Mary Morton, the National Gallery's curator of French paintings. Their exhibition demonstrates how Gauguin spun myths — often lies — about himself and his exotic travels to excite interest in his paintings and sculptures.

The show, in fact, does nothing to enhance the personal reputation of the painter. The art historian Paul Johnson, while extolling Gauguin's work and idealism, once described him as "a self-indulgent scoundrel," and there is much evidence for this on view at the National Gallery. But his egoism and gnarled spirit add much complexity to his paintings.

Gauguin was born in Paris in 1848 but spent much of his life outside France. His father was a political journalist, his mother the daughter of Flora Tristan, a well-known French socialist and feminist. When Gauguin was an infant, his family fled France after the failure of the leftist revolution in 1848 and took refuge in Peru. Through Flora Tristan, whose mother had been Spanish, the Gauguins had relatives in Peru. These relatives would cause Gauguin to boast years later that he had Inca blood, but there was no truth to this.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 04:02

China overtook Britain as the world's second largest art and antiques market last year, a new report showed, and British art officials voiced concern that an EU levy planned in 2012 would further undermine its position.

"The Global Art Market in 2010: Crisis and Recovery" underlined what auction houses and consigners had seen throughout last year -- a sharp rise in the number of wealthy Chinese buyers, and, with them, prices.

The report, commissioned by the European Fine Art Foundation, estimated the value of the global art and antiques market in 2010 at 43 billion euros ($60 billion), up 52 percent from 2009 when values slumped as a result of the financial crisis.

"The period from 2008 through 2010 has been one of crisis and recovery for the market for art and antiques," said the report, released on Monday.

"Luxury spending contracted sharply in many countries during 2009, however 2010 brought the first signs of economic recovery with a rebound in consumer confidence and with Chinese consumers driving growth in many luxury sectors."

The report highlighted concerns in Britain that an EU art tax due to be imposed in 2012 could further damage the country's ability to cope with increasing competition from abroad.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 03:56

The Palm Beach Show Group, recognized as the nation's leading producer of premiere jewelry, art and antique shows, is proud to announce the latest addition to its prestigious portfolio of shows, the Naples Art, Antique and Jewelry Show. Debuting February 9-13, 2012 at the Naples Exhibition Center in West Naples, Florida.  The place to be in February with the exceptional level of wealth and perfect weather.  The show will feature the stunning collections of more than 90 internationally acclaimed exhibitors. Guests will have access to 50,000 sq. feet of fine art, antique and estate jewelry, furniture, porcelain, Asian art, American and European silver, glass, textiles, sculpture, contemporary art and more, ranging from the antiquities to the 20th century. 
The Naples Art, Antique and Jewelry Show's ideal location, neighboring the posh Port Royal community - which was recently listed as the third wealthiest in the country, is projected to attract tens of thousands of attendees, including private collectors, museum curators, investors and interior designers. Guests will have the opportunity to search for treasures and purchase some of the most unique and coveted fine art, jewelry and antiques in the world. The show is also within three quarters of a mile of Fifth Avenue, Naples' world-renowned shopping, dining and entertainment district.

Sunday, 13 March 2011 03:34

The Works of Edgar Degas is part of what the Tampa Museum calls the French geniuses bronze sculptures. They will be on display until June 19th but there is controversy surrounding the exhibit.

Jacksonville artist Gary Arseneau says, unfortunately, the Degas bronzes are not the reproduction of anything he did. Arseneau calls the Degas bronze collection one of the largest art frauds in the 20th and 21st century. Arseneau points out that Degas was dead when the works were made so he never saw the art on display in the museum today.

It all began two years after Degas died in 1917. His family had someone make a wax copy of sculptures that he had done of cloth paint brushes and other materials. Degas used those as models for his paintings. From the wax the family made after Degas died, a second generation of bronze forgery was created. From that bronze a 3rd generation of forgery bronze was made and Degas' signature was added.

Arseneau says what people are seeing is the interpretation of what Degas' work would look like if he were alive to cast it in bronze.

Todd Smith, the director of the Tampa Museum of Art, agrees that every sculpture that will be on display was created after Degas died. He says all the Degas bronzes that exist in the world were done posthumously.

While Smith admits what Arseneau says is true, he says it is still accepted in the art world. Smith says, like other museums, the Tampa Museum is presenting the bronzes as posthumous castings of the wax models that Degas created.