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Dutch scientists use smell to recreate JFK, Princess Diana and other famous deaths

A visitor is pulled out after testing one of the "Famous Deaths" installations in Breda on November 25, 2014. With odors and sounds that last about five minutes, the dark coffin-like installation that consists of a cabinet often used in mortuaries, narrates the last moments of US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1963), Princess Diana (1997), Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi (2011) and US singer Whitney Houston (2012). AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS DELAUNAY.

By: Nicolas Delaunay

BREDA.- Dutch scientists are recreating the deaths of some of the world's most famous personalities by reconstructing their last moments using scents and sounds. From the sweet smell of Jacqueline Kennedy's perfume mingled with the scent of John F. Kennedy's blood to Whitney Houston's last drug-fuelled moments in a Beverly Hills bathtub, scientists at Breda university say they offer visitors a unique, if somewhat macabre, historical snapshot. "We all have seen the images of JFK's assassination, but what did it smell like?" asks Frederik Duerinck, from the communication and multimedia design faculty of Breda's Avans university of applied sciences. To find out, visitors with a sense of the morbid are invited to lie in a series of four silver metal boxes similar to those found in a morgue. The boxes, which are pitch-dark inside, are rigged with pipes leading to bottles containing pressurised smells. A soundtrack is played and on queue different scents are released into the box to recreate a speci ... More

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Important paintings by Mattia Preti and Gilbert Stuart acquired by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts   British government posts 41 million wills; Including Princess Diana, A. A. Milne, and George Orwell   Santa Barbara Museum of Art is only West Coast venue for exhibition of Glasgow Museums' Italian holdings

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828), Portrait of Rebecca White Pickering (Mrs. Timothy Pickering), 1817-18, oil on wood. J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art.

RICHMOND, VA.- Two important paintings, one by 17th-century Italian painter Mattia Preti and the other by 19th-century American portraitist Gilbert Stuart, have been acquired by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and are on view in the galleries in time for the holidays. The Visitation is an exceptional religious scene by the Baroque master Mattia Preti, whose work illustrates the realistic tendencies perfected by fellow Italian artist, Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi). Preti is generally described as the last great exponent of Caravaggesque naturalism, and here he revels in the tenderness of the scene unlike the coarse treatments of some of his counterparts. Especially appropriate to the Christmas season, this painting depicts the meeting of the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, the first episode in the life ... More

Previously the archives had only been publicly available to search in person.

LONDON (AFP).- Some 41 million British wills dating back to 1858, including those of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, were made available in an online database Saturday. The government's full archive of wills from England and Wales, stretching back more than 150 years, has been put on the website. It includes the wills of World War II prime minister Churchill; novelist Charles Dickens; Diana, princess of Wales; children's writer A. A. Milne; code-breaker Alan Turing; writer George Orwell and author Beatrix Potter. The digital copies of the wills cost £10 ($15.50, 12.75 euros) but basic details for some of them are available online. "This fascinating project provides us with insights into the ordinary and extraordinary people who helped shape this country, and the rest of the world," said Courts Minister Shailesh Vara. "It is a fantastic resource not ... More

Giovanni Bellini, Virgin and Child, ca. 1480–85. Tempera and oil on panel, 24 1/2 x 18 1/4 in. (62.3 x 46.2 cm). Glasgow Museums; Bequeathed by Mrs. John Graham-Gilbert, 1877 (575). © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection, Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

SANTA BARBARA, CA.- This beautiful and important exhibition explores the evolution of Italian art and reflects the outstanding quality and remarkable 500-year range—from the late 14th to the 19th centuries—of the Glasgow Museums’ Italian holdings. Included are works by some of the greatest masters of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods, such as Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, Domenichino, Francesco Guardi, Salvator Rosa, Luca Signorelli, and Titian, many of which have never before been exhibited outside Glasgow. Several have been newly restored for the exhibition, among them, the southern Italian Adoration of the Magi by the unknown artist known as the Master of the Glasgow Adoration. This ... More

American monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection on view at the Chazen Museum of Art   British photographer Jane Bown who snapped royalty and rockstars for The Observer dies   Two gifts in one: Joachim von Sandrart's 'Mystic Marriage' on view at Kunsthistorisches Museum

Red Grooms (American b. 1937), Corot, n.d., color monoprint, Chazen Museum of Art, gift of D. Frederick Baker from the Baker/Pisano Collection, 2014.6.7.

MADISON, WI.- American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection is an exhibition of unique prints from the permanent collections of the Chazen Museum of Art and the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY; all gifts from the Baker-Pisano Collection. The exhibition’s 56 monotype prints span the twentieth century and include work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt, Red Grooms, Maurice Prendergast, and William Merritt Chase. A monotype is literally unique. While the goal of printmaking—whether intaglio, relief, silkscreen, or lithograph—is to create a number of identical impressions, monotype creates a single, unrepeatable impression. A monotype is created by painting or drawing with pigment on a plate (copper, zinc, Plexiglas, or any impermeable surface), which is then printed using a printing press or other printing technique. Monotypes possess a spontaneous, painterly quality with a combination ... More

Jane Bown, Self-Portrait. © Jane Bown/The Observer.

LONDON (AFP).- British photographer Jane Bown, who captured Samuel Beckett, John Lennon and Queen Elizabeth II in iconic black and white portraits, has died aged 89, her former employer The Observer reported on Sunday. The newspaper employed Bown in 1949, and she came to the office each week for over half a century, continuing to work with 35mm film and becoming part of the "DNA" of the newspaper, according to editor John Mulholland. "She produced some of the most memorable and insightful images of prominent cultural and political figures taken during the 20th century," Mulholland said. "Her beautifully observed pictures have become part of our cultural landscape." Her first assignment for the newspaper was to capture the philosopher Bertrand Russell at breakfast in 1949, a task which reportedly "terrified" her. She went on to capture French writer Jean Cocteau, US actor and director Orson Welles, The Beatles, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, singer Bjork, and Queen Elizabeth II on her 80th birth ... More

Joachim von Sandrart, Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine with Saints Leopold and William. 1647/49, Maplewood. GG 1117 © KHM.

VIENNA.- To commemorate the 400th birthday of Archduke Leopold William (1614-1662), the founder of the Picture Gallery, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is showcasing a small panel dedicated to him by Joachim von Sandrart (Frankfurt/Main 1606 – 1688 Nuremberg), the celebrated German painter and writer on art. In many ways this is a highly sophisticated and exceptional present: unusually, the panel is painted both on the ob- and the reverse, combining two different genres – one depicts a religious scene, the other is a trompe l’œil still life. In a complex play on illusion and reality, Sandrart elevates the back of the painting to its subject matter, offering a virtuoso rendering of the actual support (a wooden panel) augmented by a painted joint and a (painted) piece of parchment – apparently attached with sealing wax – bearing the work’s dedication to the Archduke. In the course of his life Sandrart worked in a nu ... More

Robert Indiana and American pop exhibitions on display at the Allentown Art Museum   New paper based on museum collections identifies virus that is devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast   The CAC Málaga presents the first solo exhibition in Spain of Adrian Ghenie's work

Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997), Sweet Dreams, Baby!, 1965, serigraph on wove paper. Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, gift of Ralph S. Hughes, 1982 © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

ALLENTOWN, PA.- In anticipation of hosting the special exhibition Robert Indiana from A to Z, curators at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley went into the vault to select a medley of complementary Pop hits from the Museum’s permanent collection. American Pop: The Prints features works on paper by some of the most recognizable names in Pop Art, including Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, Larry Rivers, Mel Ramos, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Rauschenberg. Two additional Pop works are on loan from the Martin Art Gallery at nearby Muhlenberg College. American Pop is on display in Trexler Hall and Fowler Gallery during the same period as Indiana: from October 12, 2014, to January 25, 2015. Pop artists, inspired by the look of advertisements, cartoons, road signs, and other overly familiar objects, were interested in the mass-produced, the ... More

Specimens from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have helped explain the mysteriously sudden appearance of a disease.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Museum biological collections are the records of life on Earth and as such, they are frequently used to investigate serious environmental issues. When public health officials were concerned about the levels of mercury in fish and birds, for example, scientists studied museum specimens to assess historical changes in mercury contamination. Eggs in museum collections were analyzed to establish the connection between DDT, thinning eggshells, and the decline in bird populations. And now, specimens from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have helped explain the mysteriously sudden appearance of a disease that has decimated sea stars on the North American Pacific Coast. In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cornell University microbiologist Ian Hewson and colleagues identify the Sea Star Associated Densovirus (SSaDV) virus as the ... More

The CAC Málaga is now offering the first presentation of the work of this Rumanian artist in Spain.

MALAGA.- The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga is presenting the first solo exhibition in a Spanish museum on the work of Adrian Ghenie. Curated by Fernando Francés, it includes around 30 large and small format paintings and is the most significant exhibition on Ghenie in a European museum to date. The artist’s work conveys an atmosphere comparable to that of film, which is one of his principal sources of inspiration, while other references include different episodes in European history, particularly that of the 20th century, for which Ghenie makes use of archives and old books. Ghenie interprets the Cold War, World War II and leading personalities from those periods from his unique and distinctive viewpoint, introducing and making use of psychoanalytical and autobiographical elements. Adrian Ghenie currently lives and works in Cluj (Rumania) and Berlin (Germany). “For me the issue is how to create a painting that offers us the in ... More

Van Gogh Museum's 'Touch Van Gogh' app for tablets wins two international awards   Exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington pays tribute to art collector Anita Reiner   Syndicat national des Antiquaires announces new annual antiques and art fair for Paris starting April 2015

The app is designed for tablets and uses multi-touch functions to enable users the playfully discover information that is hidden in and underneath the paint.

AMSTERDAM.- The app 'Touch Van Gogh' is the winner of the World Summit Award Mobile in the ‘m-Tourism & Culture’ category and has been awarded 'Gold' in the 'Best App' category of the International Design and Communication Award (IDCA). The international competition World Summit Awards takes place every two years and focuses on the selection and promotion of apps that are most innovative and offer the most excellent interactive content. Herman van Oorschot, international expert on behalf of the World Summit Award Mobile, states that the Touch Van Gogh app has successfully past a critical test: “We selected four apps from the Netherlands that can compete on an international platform. After the 18 members of the jury from 18 countries of all the continents came to their decision, Touch Van Gogh was selected as one of the five winners in the m-Tourism & Culture ... More

Anselm Kiefer, Dein blondes Haar, Margarete, 1981 (detail). Gift from the Family of Anita Reiner in her Memory.

WASHINGTON, DC.- This exhibition pays tribute to Anita Reiner, one of Washington’s most passionate contemporary art collectors, who passed away on August 15, 2013. A serendipitous encounter at The Phillips Collection in the early years of her quest to learn about modern art was instrumental in shaping the open-minded attitude that ultimately guided her collecting philosophy. Following a visit to the newly installed paintings by Mark Rothko, she replied indifferently to an elderly gentleman’s inquiry about her response to the work. The stranger—who she subsequently learned was museum founder Duncan Phillips—countered, “Young lady, you always have to meet new art half way.” She never forgot those words. At the center of the exhibition is Anselm Kiefer’s Dein blondes Haar, Margarete (Your golden Hair, Marguerite) (1981), a recent gift to The Phillips ... More

Lo Spagnoletto, St James the Younger. Photo: Courtesy of Ana Chiclana.

PARIS.- The SNA (Syndicat national des Antiquaires) has announced an exciting new annual art and antiques fair for Paris. Paris Beaux-Arts will represent a new departure from the capital’s existing fairs in that it will mix all categories – from classic art, drawings, sculpture, jewellery and furniture to modern and contemporary art – and all eras. Aiming to attract a new, younger public, the fair will fill a gap in the market for French and international dealers and collectors. The SNA will continue to run the Biennale at the Grand Palais in parallel with the new event. Paris Beaux-Arts will take place in the prestigious Carrousel du Louvre in the heart of the French capital, with some 80 dealers, both French and international, taking stands. Those already announced include the following Paris galleries: Steinitz; De Jonckheere, specialist in Flemish painting; Dumonteil; Berès; Taménaga; De Bayser; Univers du Bronze; Clau ... More

If you were to show Raphael a Daumier he would admire it. Edgar Degas

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Solo exhibition of the works of Daniel Harms on view at Berlin Art Projects
BERLIN.- Berlin Art Projects presents Daniel Harms‘ new work series Falsche Helden oder mutige Irre, which is the first showing worldwide. Daniel has let himself be inspired by eight old masters, namely Bacon, Beckmann, Caravaggio, Goya and Picasso, along with Pollock, Rubens, Schiele. He refers to his artistic process or technique as “remastering” – Daniel deconstructs the originals and then ‘remasters’ both the content and the form into a new truly original piece of art. He thereby quotes without imitating. Using the collage-technique Daniel breaks conventions to form his new personal expressive style. Every single one of his large-scale paintings still is authentically Daniel Harms’ work. Each work bears the mark of his own personal struggle with inner conflicts and they show the process the artist has gone through. This is especially remarkable when considering that the artist is self-taught an ... More

Kareem Risan's first solo exhibition at Meem Gallery on view in Dubai
DUBAI.- Meem Gallery is presenting Steps in Migration, Iraqi artist Kareem Risan’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and in the United Arab Emirates. Since migrating from Baghdad to Toronto in 2008, Kareem Risan has visually documented his experience of living in exile while watching the destruction of his homeland from afar. Steps in Migration represents his recent series of work in which Risan reflects on the various steps he has taken, and the various phases of expatriation he has endured, to re-establish himself in a new country, society, culture, art world and life. Through the mixed-media paintings and China ink drawings displayed, the artist conveys his personal ‘artistic and human vision’ based on the experience of migration. The works, he states, ‘tell of the difficulties and challenges in coping with a new environment, difficulties and challenges I have faced as an artist coming from the Arab ... More

Solo exhibition of Syrian-Kuwait artist Shurooq Amin on view at Ayyam Gallery in London
LONDON.- Ayyam Gallery London is presenting We’ll Build This City on Art and Love, the solo exhibition of Syrian-Kuwait artist Shurooq Amin. Recognised for her cutting-edge approach to painting, which combines diverse media in the creation of bold portraits, Amin is a prominent figure of the contemporary Kuwaiti art scene. In her latest body of work, the artist explores a wide range of social maladies, from child marriage in war-affected areas to the marginalisation of migrants in the Gulf, and the moral and material ramifications of stalled construction projects such as Silk City, which initially promised the revitalisation of Kuwait’s infrastructure. In We’ll Build This City on Art and Love the artist employs materials as diverse as wood, reclaimed photographs, and Braille. Such formal accents are utilised with reference to individual histories while engaging tactile possibilities, and are brought ... More

Matthew Barney's 'River of Fundament' on view at the Museum of Old and New Art
HOBART.- Matthew Barney: River of Fundament combines elements of narrative sculpture, traditional cinema, live performance, storyboards and drawings to create an immersive experience. This exhibition follows the evolution of River of Fundament from its inception in 2007 through its unique presentation at MONA. Following the project's inauguration at the Haus der Kunst, Munich earlier this year, the exhibition at MONA is Matthew Barney's Australian debut in a singular national venue. Many of the works in the exhibition took shape as a symphonic opera and are the brutally elegant distillation of an intuitive, multi-disciplinary, creative process that marks Barney's singular artistic approach. River of Fundament takes two forms: Barney's creation of the ritual through sculptures, drawings and storyboards, and the ritual made real in the form of an epic film of the same name, by Matthew ... More

Exhibition at Moderna Museet brings together the works of Katharina Fritsch, Jeff Koons, and Charles Ray
STOCKHOLM.- The Moderna Museet is presenting Sculpture After Sculpture, a major exhibition that brings together the work of three of today’s most esteemed artists, Katharina Fritsch, Jeff Koons, and Charles Ray – three innovators whose parallel endeavors have reinvented the traditions of their art form. The exhibition at the Moderna Museet seeks to highlight the potential of sculpture today and is the first in which these groundbreaking artists can be seen together in appreciable depth. When these far-flung artists came of age, in the early 1980s, the work they are known for today – pointedly figural, quotidian in reference, resolutely sculptural – was all but unrecognizable as the shape of serious art to come. The history of sculpture in the modern period had witnessed the rise of abstraction, the assault of the readymade, the turn to Minimalism, and the “post-medium” environmental and social ... More

Orange County Museum of Art to open first West Coast museum exhibition dedicated to Fred Tomaselli
NEWPORT BEACH, CA.- The Orange County Museum of Art on February 15, 2015, will open the first West Coast museum exhibition dedicated to the artist Fred Tomaselli. Born in Southern California and a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Tomaselli now lives and works in New York, where he has built a reputation for his vibrant and intricate painting technique. Fred Tomaselli: The Times highlights a recent and extensive body of work adapting cover photos of The New York Times daily papers, echoing the absurdity of endless news cycles, and occasionally commenting on the stories' contents. In addition, OCMA is presenting a selection of his collage and resin paintings; many are large scale and all capture the extreme attention to detail for which the artist is renowned. Fred Tomaselli: The Times is on view February 15 through May 24, 2015. ... More

Robert and Diane Levy give $1 million to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
CHICAGO, IL.- The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the nation’s leading art and design schools, announced a $1 million gift from Diane v. S. and Robert M. Levy. The donation will support need-based scholarships for undergraduate students, as well as the school’s Annual Fund. Available for the 2015 academic year, the gift will establish the Diane v. S. and Robert M. Levy Scholarships, supporting SAIC’s long-standing commitment to providing a world-class art and design education for all students, regardless of economic background. “We are so grateful to Bob and Diane for their generous support of our students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,” said SAIC President Walter Massey. “The Levys are tremendous supporters of the arts, and their commitment to serving SAIC and our museum cannot be overstated. Their gift will have a great impact on the lives ... More

Artsy announces groundbreaking feature showcasing 21 French museums
NEW YORK, NY.- Artsy, the art education and collecting resource, is honored to present an educational feature that brings together, for the first time, images of artworks from 21 landmark museums in France on a free, publicly-accessible online platform. Museums including Musée du Louvre, Réunion des Musées Nationaux Grand Palais (RMN-GP), Fondation Cartier, Musée du Quai Branly, Palais de Tokyo, Musée Rodin, Musée Magnin, and Musée national de Préhistoire have contributed images of artworks from their collections and exhibitions to be published in “Museums of France,” a special feature that goes live today on and the Artsy iPhone app. (See below for the complete list of participating institutions.) Organized with the generous support of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux Grand Palais, the national organization of French museums, “Museums of France” is the first ... More

National Gallery of Victoria celebrates Mambo's 30th anniversary with exhibition
MELBOURNE.- Australia’s most irreverent and outspoken brands – Mambo – has turned 30 years old. With its idiosyncratic Australian sense of humour and perverse national pride, Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence celebrates this iconic clothing label in a retrospective exhibition featuring the largest collection of Mambo works ever assembled at NGV Australia from 6 December 2014 to 22 February 2015, and a milestone publication of the same name. Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents all the ground-breaking ideas, subversive politics and off-the-wall larrikinism that have made it one of Australia’s most memorable brands and includes original artworks, never-before-seen developmental work and a retrospective of the most-loved pieces of apparel produced during its controversial history, including its iconic graphic T-shirts. From artist Richard Allan’s infamous dog print ... More

Object Lessons: Revisiting the '70s with Warhol



On a day like today, German astronomer Johannes Kepler, was born
December 27, 1571. Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 - November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation. In this image: A monument that sits in front of the Griffith Observatory shows British astronomer Sir William Herschel, left, Sir Isaac Newton, center and German astronomer Johannes Kepler at the Observatory's re-opening gala, Sunday night, Oct. 29, 2006, in Los Angeles.

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