The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's a squeeze, but Paris Impressionist museum is still a hit after 30 years

This file photo taken on June 15, 2015 shows the Orsay museum and the Eiffel tower in Paris. One of the most densely populated museums in the world, located in an old station and dedicated to a short and turbulent artistic period: Orsay celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend. JOEL SAGET / AFP.

by Antoine Froidefond

PARIS (AFP).- It is one of the greatest and most visited art museums in the world, and the only one in an old railway station. Thirty years after the Musee d'Orsay opened its doors for the first time, it has become as much a Paris landmark as its big sister the Louvre just across the River Seine. But the very success of the museum best known for its unrivalled collection of Impressionist paintings is now causing it problems. An average of 3.5 million visitors a year pour through its spectacular vaulted nave, making it the "most dense museum in the world", according to its director of collections Xavier Rey. There is simply not enough space, he said. Although the Musee d'Orsay is one of the top 10 most visited galleries in the world, it is several times smaller than its rivals. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Christie's to offer African and Oceanic art in Paris   In Morocco's Fez, world's oldest library holds gems   Early dynastic treasures lead at Gianguan Auctions on December 10th

Luba Shankadi headrest attributed to The Master of the Cascade Coiffure. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Estimated value: €500,000-800,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2016.

PARIS.- This December 15th in Paris at the Hôtel Drouot, Millon, in cooperation with Christie’s, will be auctioning nearly 80 objects of African and Oceanic art as well as a selection of 60 lots of archaeology from the estate of Madeleine Meunier. These remarkable works of art have remained out of the public eye for over half a century. Alexandre Millon, President of Millon auction house: “At the forefront of the Madeleine Meunier Collection are forgotten treasures of rare and captivating works of African and ancient art. The mythical figures of Aristide Courtois and Charles Ratton, at the heart of this collection, will also be celebrated. Their names live in perpetuity in the marketplace with this commemorative auction in two ways: In honor of the heirs who have given us their trust and with the appreciation of collectors and institutions, whose presence at Drouot will enhance the special atmosphere ... More

A man reads an encyclopedia about Maliki Muslim doctrine at the al-Qarawyin Library in the Moroccan city of Fez on November 21, 2016. FADEL SENNA / AFP.

FEZ (AFP).- Nestled in a labyrinth of streets in the heart of Morocco's ancient city of Fez, stands the world's oldest working library. Its sculpted dark wooden door stands almost hidden on the edge of a square where artisans hammer away at copper in a deafening din, delighting passing tourists. But for the few lucky enough to be allowed behind the door, a staircase tiled with green and blue hints at the written wonders beyond. As early writings from the Arabic-speaking world have come under increasing threat from extremists, the Qarawiyyin library is home to priceless treatises in Islamic studies, astronomy and medicine. Last year the Islamic State group burned thousands of rare manuscripts at the Mosul library in Iraq, and in 2013 Islamists torched countless early writings from the Islamic world and Greece in Mali's Timbuktu. The Qarawiyyin library has just emerged from years of restoration, although no date has yet been fixed for a public opening. ... More

Tang Zun of gilt silver and gold inlaid with turquoise, agate and diamond chips. with gold long-tailed phoenixes, a base that features dragons and lids covered with deer. $800,000—$1,500,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- On Saturday, December 10, Gianguan Auctions celebrates China’s heightened artistic standards with an exceptional sale of antiquities and paintings. The emphasis is on Neolithic to Qing Dynasty works of art, jade carvings and classical paintings. Highlights of the early works of art follow. Kwong Lum, Gianguan’s Founder and President, said the carefully curated collections emphasize rarity, aesthetics and craftsmanship at every price point, from top tier to mid-range and entry level. A pair of diamond encrusted, gold wine vessels with original covers, is the day’s marquee item. Of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the hexagonal Zun are decorated with gold long-tailed phoenixes with raised wings amidst other scrolling birds, a base that features dragons and lids covered with deer. Inlays include turquoise, agate and gold. The vessels The Sun pair is Lot 172, estimated at $800,000—$1,500,000. Another ... More

Colours inspired by the V&A Museum to be available as a luxury interior paint range   Important Judaica to be offered at Sotheby's New York   Gemeentemuseum Den Haag presents first complete biography of Piet Mondrian

V&A Classic Paint Collection in Owens Teal.

LONDON.- Colours inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design will soon be available for the first time as a luxury interior paint range. A selection of 40 distinctive colours inspired by the V&A’s unique architecture and decorative interiors, allowing people to bring the palette of the Museum into their own homes, has been created by Master Paintmakers, part of an international paint group. A first-look at the collection has been released today. The V&A Classic Paint Collection, developed in close collaboration between Master Paintmakers and the V&A, will use the finest pigments to achieve the highest quality paint product available in its category. Highlights from the 40 strong colour palette will include Reuben Red, a rich Victorian red echoing colours used in fabrics and carpets at the time and named after Reuben Townroe, who worked on architectural ... More

Simeon Solomon, Carrying The Scrolls Of The Law, oil on canvas, 30 1/4 by 24 in. 77 by 61 cm. Est. $150/250,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s annual New York auction of Important Judaica on 15 December 2016 will offer a diverse array of Hebrew books and manuscripts, ritual silver and metalwork, as well as important textiles and paintings. The sale is headlined by 176 lots from the Collection of Shlomo Moussaieff, which span over seven centuries. The collection features an impressive range of items, including: ceremonial silver, with a particular emphasis on menorahs and candelabras of diverse forms that from Jewish communities all over the world; books and manuscripts, featuring important autographed Kabbalistic works and decorated Kettubahs (marriage contracts); and textiles and fine art, including Simeon Solomon’s 1871 painting, Carrying the Scrolls of the Law (est. $150/250,000). Outside of the ... More

Piet Mondriaan. Een nieuwe kunst voor een ongekend leven is being published by Hollands Diep (only in Dutch), € 39.99, 656 pages.

THE HAGUE.- In 1942 Piet Mondrian began work on a painting he thought might well be his last – and which has since become world-famous under the title Victory Boogie Woogie. The new biography by Hans Janssen, Mondrian expert and curator of modern art at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, discloses previously unpublished photographs of Mondrian at work on the painting. Hans Janssen: ‘For the first time we can see the technique Mondrian used to paint his final masterpiece.’ The hitherto unknown photographs, one of which adorns the cover of the new book, have turned up recently in the archive of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and show Mondrian at work in his New York studio. The painting now known around the world as Victory Boogie Woogie lies flat on the table in front of him. In ... More

Kestenbaum & Company announces Auction of Israeli & International Art   700+ jewels make the season bright at Sotheby's New York   Fund set up to protect endangered heritage sites

Reuven Rubin, The Goldfish Vendor. Oil on canvas. 92 x 73 cm. Tel Aviv, 1972. Est: $30,000 - 50,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- Kestenbaum & Company's upcoming auction will feature important 20th century art, comprising highlights from the collection of the late Stanley I. Batkin. The offering of 48 paintings and drawings includes works by celebrated Israeli artists including Yaacov Agam, Avigdor Arikha, Ludwig Blum, Moshe Castel, Marcel Janco, Menashe Kadishman, Reuven Rubin, Yohanan Simon, Avigdor Stematsky and Ziona Tagger. Artwork from the Batkin collection has been exhibited at The Israel Museum, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, New York’s Jewish Museum and the Venice Biennale. The collection was formed by philanthropist Stanley Batkin (1914-2015) who set out, many decades ago, to collect the finest examples from each and every major Israeli artist. Batkin was a passionate supporter of the arts in Israel via numerous philanthropic endeavors, serving on the boards of many cultural and scholarly Jewish and Israeli institutions. Kestenbaum ... More

Pair of Platinum, Jadeite and Diamond Earclips, Cartier, London. Supporting two jadeite plaques carved with foliate motifs, measuring approximately 44.6 by 14.3 by 4.2 mm and 43.8 by 14.2 by 4.0 mm, with tops set with baguette, square and old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.00 carats, signed Cartier London; circa 1925. Est. $100/150,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Just in time for the holidays, Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Fine Jewels auctions will be held in New York on 8 & 9 December 2016. Both sales feature a wonderful array of signed and iconic jewels by renowned houses including Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and David Webb, alongside rare designs by Suzanne Belperron, Paul Flato, JAR and René Lalique. This year, the sales are further distinguished by exceptional provenance from private collections that have been amassed over decades. This December, Sotheby’s is privileged to offer jewels from the Whitney family collection, specifically, Property from the Family of Betsey Cushing Whitney and John Hay ... More

French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay attends the closing ceremony of an international conference on protecting the world's cultural heritage on December 3, 2016, in Abu Dhabi. KARIM SAHIB / AFP.

ABU DHABI (AFP).- Representatives of around 40 countries on Saturday approved plans to establish a fund to protect heritage sites in war zones and a network of safe havens for endangered artworks. A closing statement issued after two days of talks in Abu Dhabi did not specify the total amount pledged for the fund but French President Francois Hollande said a target of $100 million remained achievable. The meeting, co-sponsored by France and the United Arab Emirates, was spurred by the systematic destruction and looting of archaeological treasures in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State group. The world watched in dismay as the jihadists systematically destroyed temples and tower tombs in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra last year. In Iraq, videos showed IS using bulldozers and explosives to destroy Nimrud, a jewel of the Assyrian empire, and ransacking ... More

Acclaimed contemporary artist showcases monumental paintings   Thomas Edison's lightbulbs, keys to Menlo Park laboratory bring $64,375 at Heritage Auctions   Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions announces the Sporting and Country Life Sale

Untitled, 1989. Albert Oehlen (German, b. 1954). Oil on canvas; 240 x 200 cm. © Albert Oehlen. Private collection. Photo: Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris.

CLEVELAND, OH.- In an exhibition as innovative and daring as the art it showcases, Albert Oehlen: Woods near Oehle is the most ambitious project devoted to the work of leading German artist Albert Oehlen ever presented in the United States. Developed by the Cleveland Museum of Art in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition illustrates the depth and complexity of an artist who has been at the forefront of artistic innovation since the late 1970s. Albert Oehlen: Woods near Oehle features 45 works from the past 30 years and includes many new works. The exhibition brings together not only works by Oehlen, but contributions by some of his closest friends and other artists who have exerted profound influence throughout his oeuvre. Featured in the exhibition and the accompanying publication are curatorial, musical and written contributions ... More

[Thomas A. Edison]: Heinrich Goebel Patent Case Archive.

DALLAS, TX.- An archive of Thomas Edison’s lightbulbs, court evidence and the keys to his famed Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory where he invented the phonograph, sold for a combined $64,375 at a Dec. 3 public auction of Historical Americana held by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The archive included six, 19th century lightbulbs tied to a famous court case, which had descended in the family of Edison’s own attorney for more than 100 years. “These bulbs were entered as evidence when Edison sued three different companies for allegedly infringing on his patent for the incandescent bulb,” said Don Ackerman, a consignment director for Historical Americana for Heritage Auctions. “Edison’s own keys were used to open the doors of his laboratory was where the genius earned his nickname as “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” One bulb in the archive was created by Heinrich Göbel, a German inventor who ... More

Dame Laura Knight, R.A, R.W.S (1877-1970), Derby Day (detail), Watercolour and pencil, Signed, lower right, 24 x 35cm (9 1/2 x 13 3/4in.), Est. £10,000-£15,000.

NEWBURY.- The Sporting and Country Life sale at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Newbury base, Donnington Priory, will take place on 13th December 2016 at 10am. Prize lots include beautiful equestrian paintings, silver objects and striking bronze sculptures, with auction estimates ranging from £2,000-£22,000. One of many auction highlights is Peter Biegel’s depiction of Newmarket (est. £8,000-£12,000). Biegel’s family members were also horsemen; his father was Dutch and was also a keen horseman, known as the 'Flying Dutchman' in the hunting field. Continuing the racing theme is Dame Laura Knight’s watercolour painting, Derby Day, estimated at £10,000-£15,000. Dame Laura Knight is one of the most iconic and prolific female artists of the twentieth century; she was the first woman to be elected as a Royal Academician ... More

I am old and ill, and I have sworn to die painting. Paul Cézanne

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Asian art and fine art featuring Frank W. Benson watercolors in Kaminski's December 11th auction
BEVERLY, MASS.- Kaminski Auctions announces it’s Annual Holiday Auction to be held Sunday, December 11, 2016 featuring a two session sale commencing with Fine Asian Art and Antiques in Session One starting at 10:00amEST followed by Jewelry and Fine Art in Session Two. Highlights of the Asian sale include an 18th century Sino-Tibetan gilt-bronze figure of Yamantaka with three faces, six arms and four feet holding Vajravetali on a double-lotus pedestal. The bronze measures 11 7/8 inches high by 8 ½ inches wide and is valued at $20,000-$30,000. It was previously from the estate of Peter L. Rosenberg, then to a New Hampshire private collector. From the collection of Dr. Anthony Newton, of Massachusetts come several important pieces in the sale including a Chinese Yuhuchun porcelain vase from the Qianlong period. Decorated with peonies, bamboo and a rockery ... More

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions to offer Western and Oriental manuscripts and miniatures
LONDON.- Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions announced the return of Islamic and Near Eastern manuscripts and miniatures to its regular Western manuscripts sales this December, reuniting these two categories in the auction world after a gap of fifty years. The dedicated section will be offered alongside Western Manuscripts and is curated by Roxana Kashani, Bloomsbury Auctions’ Head of Islamic Manuscripts and Miniatures. The whole sale comprises 123 lots spanning nearly a millennia of human history. Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures will be auctioned on Wednesday 7th December 2016 (10:30am) at Bloomsbury House, 24 Maddox Street. A highlight from the western manuscripts on offer is Bede’s Homilies on the Gospels in Latin (Lot 2, Est: £5,000 - 7,000). This remarkable fragment dates back to the second or third quarter of the ninth century. No copies ... More

'Thank the aliens': Thousands displaced for China's huge telescope
PINGTANG (AFP).- Humanity’s best bet at detecting aliens is a giant silver Chinese dish the size of 30 football fields -- one that simultaneously showcases Beijing's abilities to deploy cutting-edge technologies and ignore objectors' rights as it seeks global prominence. The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in the country's southwest, which began operations in September and cost 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) to build, is the world’s largest radio telescope. Once fully operational, FAST will be able to peer deeper into space than ever before, examining pulsars, dark matter and gravitational waves -- and searching for signs of life. Authorities also hope it will bring tourist dollars to the province of Guizhou, one of China’s poorest regions. But it comes at the cost of forcibly displacing about 9,000 villagers who called the site in Pingtang county their home. Many ... More

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates hosts successful Americana and Fine Antiques Auction
MT. CRAWFORD, VA.- The Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates November 12, 2016 Americana and Fine Antiques Auction was a successful event and generated strong prices in multiple categories. With over one hundred and twenty consignors included, the auction consisted of an especially large 1,091-lot offering of high quality material, much of which was fresh to the market, and, in many cases, had descended directly in the families of the original owners. Bidding was intense throughout the long day, with strong institutional interest and over three thousand registered bidders from nearly fifty countries participating. Leading the way in a robust folk art category, the sale’s top lot was an important Shenandoah Valley of Virginia folk art cut-work/scherenschnitte watercolor and ink on paper valentine, dated 1856, one of three valentines and an embroidered show towel made by Sarah ... More

Tokyo Chuo Hong Kong's 3rd anniversary sales achieve spectacular results
HONG KONG.- Tokyo Chuo Hong Kong’s 3rd Anniversary Sales held on 27 & 28 November 2016 at the Four Seasons Hong Kong achieved fantastic results, realizing a total of over HK$305 million/ US$39.61 million, establishing a record high sales total for Tokyo Chuo Hong Kong. On offer were 508 lots of rare Chinese works of art, paintings and tea wares, including collections from two esteemed private museums in Japan, the Bansui Museum in Kansai and the Chinese Ceramics Museum in Kyushu. Strong prices were achieved across all categories with many lots soaring above their pre-sale high estimates. Of note was the 100%-sold ‘white glove’ sale featuring 24 lots from the Chinese Ceramics Museum in Kyushu, offered without reserve. In a packed saleroom, bidding was fiercely competitive for Buddhist Monastery by Streams and Mountains by Ju Ran (Northern Song ... More

Viennese artists create two dramatic, architecture-based installations
VIENNA.- At almost the same time, the Viennese artist collective Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber opened two highly conspicuous “comments” on the architecture of their city in November. Visible from afar, the eye-catching works caused a great stir. Both artworks are equally a homage to the architecture of the early 20th century in New York. Sign of the Times is the three-dimensional replica of one of the most well-known and iconic images from the silent film era. It shows Harold Lloyd – in the 1923 movie SAFETY LAST! – hanging from the hand of a gigantic clock on the outside of a skyscraper in New York. The film plays masterfully with such themes as deception and imposture. “As a piece of comic architecture, it’s impeccable”, said Orson Welles of this legendary silent film. Not just a visual ploy, Sign of the Times can also be seen as a comment on the much-discussed redevelopment ... More

Fenton House transformed into experience that delves into the intriguing world of its 18th-century residents
LONDON.- This December, the National Trust’s Fenton House in Hampstead has been transformed by art collective Traces into an immersive, atmospheric experience that delves into the intriguing world of its eighteenth-century residents. Largely unchanged since it was opened to the public by the National Trust in 1953, Fenton House has been described as a country house in the city, sitting at the top of Holly Hill and surrounded by almost two acres of walled gardens. Now, the house adds to its existing treasure trove of collections with the work of 80 contemporary artists telling the story of the Gee family for this unique threeweek installation. Visitors will be invited to step into the year 1730 as they explore tales of the Gee family, prominent silk and linen merchants who lived at Fenton House in the period. Wandering ... More

A major retrospective on the photographic work of Alberto Schommer comes to the Kutxa Kultur Artegunea
SAN SEBASTIÁN.- Alberto Schommer…approaching modernity, an exhibition bursting with the work of this Vitoria/Gasteiz-born artist, is the exhibition proposal of the Kutxa Kultur Artegunea during the second year of life of this new gallery located within the Tabakalera building. The exhibition, which is on view from 2 December 2016 until 19 March 2017, comprises 87 works and reviews the career of the person regarded as a brilliant artist and father of modern photography in Spain and Europe. All Schommer’s work is characterised by a powerful personality and a constant desire to achieve a formal break, which led him to explore all kinds of aesthetic territories.Here is his platform approaching Modernity.With this exhibition the Kutxa Kultur Artegunea will be embarking on a programme that the gallery will be devoting exclusively to photography in the course of 2017. Most ... More

Escalating prices on Yu Youren calligraphy to continue with December offerings at Clars
OAKLAND, CA.- Clars Auction Gallery’s December 10 and 11, 2016 will be highlighted by extraordinary offerings in Asian Art, Jewelry and Decorative Art plus impressive offerings in Fine Art from France and Russia. Over the past 3 months, Clars has offered 10 works by contemporary calligraphy master, Yu Youren (Chinese, 1879-1964). Each offering of his works have seen the prices realized skyrocket well beyond high estimate, earning over $215,000 in total to date. Clars is honored to once again offer four (4) of Youren’s works in the December sale, all with provenance from the estate of a prominent Republic period official. To be offered in the December sale will be Youren’s calligraphy titled “Wo yu tian shan,” an ink on paper dedicated to his son Yu Youren. This work comes to the sale with an estimate of $15,000 - $25,000. Next, carrying the same estimate and dedicated ... More

National Museum of African Art now home to new landmark sculpture on the National Mall
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art announced the acquisition and permanent installation of sculpture “Wind Sculpture VII” by celebrated contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. “Wind Sculpture VII” made its Smithsonian debut Saturday, Dec. 3; it has been installed in front of the National Museum of African Art. Part of a series of seven individually designed sculptures, “Wind Sculpture VII” is the first artwork installed permanently in front of the museum. Constructed from fiberglass, this unique, gold-leaf version of Shonibare’s Wind Sculptures series evokes the sails of ships that have crossed the Atlantic and other oceans, connecting nations through the exchange of ideas, products and people. In its form, it captures histories that can be inspiring or brutal but always complex. It suggests that the opening of the seas led not only ... More

Beloved satirist Stan Freberg's comedy and advertising items at Heritage Auctions
BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Items from the estate of creative comedy and advertising genius Stan Freberg (1926 — 2015) will be available to his fans in a public auction of animation cels and related memorabilia conducted by Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, and online Dec. 10 and 11, 2016. Personally selected by his widow, Hunter Freberg, the items include the first draft script for his acclaimed 1961 comedy album, "Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America Volume One: The Early Years;" the 1953 Gold Record award for the satirical "St. George and the Dragonet:" the script for his award-winning 1958 recording "Green Chri$tma$;" animation cels from his prodigious voice-over work and important items from his memorable TV commercials. Other highlights offered in "The Treasures of Stan Freberg Collection" are his 1960 Hollywood Walk of Fame ... More

Cecily Brown Interview: Totally Unaware



On a day like today, French impressionist painter Claude Monet died
August 04, 1926. Claude Monet (14 November 1840 - 5 December 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant). In this image: A visitor looks on a painting by French artist Claude Monet (1840-1926) entitled Nympheas during a press preview in Hong Kong, China, 27 May 2011. The painting was expected to fetch in excess of 17 to 24 million GBP (19 to 27 million Euro), at auction at Christies London Impressionist Modern Paintings on 21 June 2011.

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