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The Museo del Prado presents an unpublished work by Diego Velázquez

The donor William B. Jordan next to Portrait of Philip III by Diego Velázquez. © Museo Nacional del Prado.

MADRID.- The first donation received by American Friends of the Prado Museum, on this occasion made by the art historian William B. Jordan, has entered the Museo del Prado as a long-term deposit. This is a previously unpublished Portrait of Philip III, which exhaustive research and technical analysis have confirmed to be an autograph painting by Velázquez. It is being exhibited at the Prado as a temporary, renewable deposit. The work is a preparatory painting for the face of Philip III executed by Velázquez in relation to his composition The Expulsion of the Moriscos, executed in 1627 but destroyed by the fire in the Real Alcázar in Madrid in 1734 and only known from written descriptions as no copy of it has survived. The addition of this work to the Museum’s collections as a long-term deposit will contribute to completing its representation of Velázquez as a royal portraitist, given that it is a work of outstanding quality ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Smiley faced success for Japan's emoji creator   The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum receives significant gift of letters   French court upholds verdict in Picasso-in-the-garage case

Japanese Shigetaka Kurita, the man who created emoji charachters, shows an emoji charachter after drawing during an interview with AFP. Behrouz MEHRI / AFP.

TOKYO (AFP).- From a humble smiley face with a box mouth and inverted "V's" for eyes, crude weather symbols, and a rudimentary heart -- emoji have now exploded into the world's fastest-growing language. There are now about 1,800 emoji characters -- and counting. They cover everything from emotions and food to professions, are racially diverse and have become an integral part of the smartphone age. The digital hieroglyphics are regarded as so significant that New York's Museum of Modern Art, which is home to works by Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, is exhibiting the original 176 designs. Shigetaka Kurita, the man who created these characters, is still surprised by the success of his idea, but says he was meeting an obvious need. "It wasn't only Japanese who felt inconvenienced when they were exchanging text messages. We were all feeling the same thing, ... More

Georgia O’Keeffe, Winter Cottonwoods East V, 1954. Oil on canvas, 40 x 36 in. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Burnett Foundation (1997.06.024) © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

SANTA FE, NM.- The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum announced the receipt of a generous gift of correspondence from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift is comprised of 110 letters from Georgia O’Keeffe to her sister Anita O’Keeffe Young, written between the years 1929 to 1976. The correspondence provides insight into the two sisters’ close relationship and O’Keeffe’s daily life in Northern New Mexico. “The gift is important to O’Keeffe’s legacy and to the mission of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s Research Center because it provides context and insight into O’Keeffe’s life and personality,” said Eumie Imm Stroukoff, Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Research Center. “There are some absolutely remarkable passages in the letters,” she continues. O’Keeffe also writes about the day-to-day aspects of dealing with paintings, for example in a letter ... More

This file photo taken on February 10, 2015 shows Pierre Le Guennec (R) sitting with his wife Danielle at the court in Grasse. VALERY HACHE / AFP.

AIX-EN-PROVENCE (AFP).- A French court on Friday upheld the two-year suspended sentences of Pablo Picasso's former electrician and his wife, who kept 271 of his artworks stashed in their garage for almost 40 years. Pierre Le Guennec and his wife were convicted last year of possessing stolen goods for hiding the works from Picasso's heirs. At his original trial Le Guennec, who is in his late seventies, claimed that Picasso had presented him with the artworks towards the end of his life to reward him for his loyal service. But he later changed his account, telling the appeal court that the works were part of a huge trove of art that Picasso's widow asked him to conceal after the artist's death in 1973. He claimed that Jacqueline Picasso later retrieved most of the works but left him a bag containing 180 single pieces and a notebook containing 91 drawings as a gift. The collection, whose value has not been assessed, includes drawings ... More

Exhibition at Ordrupgaard focuses on the work of Danish artist Laurits Andersen Ring   Exhibition at The Hague Museum of Photography celebrates the centenary of Werner Bischof's birth   Howard L. Bingham, the personal photographer of Muhammad Ali, dies

L.A. Ring, Spring. Ebba and Sigrid Kähler, 1895, The Hirschsprung Collection.

COPENHAGEN.- Winter became spring and melancholy turned to optimism when the painter L.A. Ring married the ceramist’s daughter Sigrid Kähler. On 16 December, Ordrupgaard opened the doors to an exhibition that shows a brighter and more domestic side of the famous Danish symbolist and realist. The Danish artist Laurits Andersen Ring (1854-1933) is known and loved for his empathetic portrayals of peasants, artisans and workers, and for his condensed, mist-filled pictures of the Zealand landscape. But the private sphere and the painter’s life as it unfolded within the four walls of his home was also a significant factor in L.A. Ring’s motivic world. The significance of the home comes to expression at an early stage in a number of interior paintings from Ring’s locality, in which he used family members and neighbours as models, often portrayed in domestic ... More

The exhibition includes around 220 original prints, plus contact prints, personal letters and photo books.

THE HAGUE.- Swiss Magnum photographer Werner Bischof (1916-1954) worked as a photojournalist for legendary magazines like Life and Picture Post. Over the two decades prior to his premature death in 1954, he produced a memorable and multifaceted oeuvre. To mark the centenary of his birth, the Hague Museum of Photography is mounting a major retrospective of his work. The exhibition includes around 220 original prints, plus contact prints, personal letters and photo books. It offers an extensive view of his studio work, his images documenting Europe in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and his travels in Asia, South America and the United States. The exhibition has been created by the photographer’s eldest son, Marco Bischof in collaboration with Magnum Photos. For this showing in the Netherlands, it has been supplemented by some 30 ... More

Ali vs Liston II, 1965. © Howard Bingham.

NEW YORK, NY.- TASCHEN announced the passing of their friend and collaborator, Howard L. Bingham, who died in Los Angeles on December 15, 2016. A first copy of his new book The Fight, with Norman Mailer and Neil Leifer, had just arrived to his home the previous day. Perhaps no other single photographer is so closely associated with Muhammad Ali as Bingham, the man the Champ knighted his “personal photographer” in 1963, and who, over the years, became his closest friend. For over five decades, where Ali went, Bingham went, prompting Sports Illustrated to publish the pair on its cover in 1998 with the headline “Who’s That Guy with Howard Bingham?” Born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1939, Bingham moved to Los Angeles with his parents at age four. He was educated in the city’s public schools and at Compton College. While working at the Sentinel in 1962 Bingham was assigned to cover Cassius Clay, who was ... More

Gift of works by Dali, Warhol, Miro and Pollock launches Te Papa Foundation in style   Exhibition celebrates the profusion of brash and adventurous paintings by female artists   Marilyn Monroe signed portrait from 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' sold for almost $25K

Dr Euan Sinclair. Photo: Kate Whitley Te Papa.

WELLINGTON.- An extraordinary gift by US-based New Zealander Dr Euan Sinclair and his wife Ann Sinclair was announced tonight at the launch of the Te Papa Foundation. The Te Papa Foundation is a charitable trust established to raise funds for the national museum. It was launched tonight by Her Excellency, the Rt Hon. Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand. She will be the joint founding patron of the Te Papa Foundation, along with her husband Sir David Gascoigne, who is a noted arts patron and advocate. Contributions over $1,450,000 were revealed at the launch event. Among these was the announcement that Euan and Ann Sinclair will donate seven works from their extensive modern art collection to Te Papa. This includes works by some of the twentieth century’s ... More

Charline von Heyl, Alastor, 2008. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange. © 2008 Charline von Heyl. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago..

CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Riot Grrrls, an exhibition that celebrates the profusion of brash and adventurous paintings by female artists and also responds to the charges of sexism that pervade the art world, from male artists garnering the highest prices for their work, to their disproportionate representation in exhibitions. In reaction to these conditions, the MCA has been consciously collecting works by female artists who are making the boldest and most exciting painting today, presented together in this exhibition. Riot Grrrls is organized by Michael Darling, Chief Curator at the MCA and is on view from December 17, 2016 ... More

Glamorous, boldly signed 1953 Frank Powolny portrait of Marilyn.

BOSTON, MASS.- A Marilyn Monroe signed photograph sold to $24,959 according to Massachusetts-based RR Auction. The sultry vintage matte-finish portrait of Monroe taken during a Frank Powolny glamour shoot in 1953, signed and inscribed in white ink, “To Jimmie, Best regards, Marilyn Monroe.” Monroe and Powolny most famously teamed up in 1953 for a series of stunning, artfully framed publicity stills for the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. “Powolny captured countless stars in photos that ended up in newspapers, magazines and theater lobbies around the world,” said Robert Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. Immortalized for his classic World War II pinup of Betty Grable, Powolny remained a trusted photographer for Monroe throughout her career, and is noted as taking ... More

Important Judaica and Israeli & International Art achieve $9.1 million at Sotheby's   Japanese Neo-Pop artist Mr. opens exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Seoul   Jack Shainman Gallery opens exhibition of works by Titus Kaphar at both Chelsea locations

Marc Chagall, Juif à la Thora. Oil, tempera, and colored inks on canvas, 36 1/4 by 28 3/4 in. 92 by 73.2 cm. Painted circa 1968-1976. Est. $1.5/2 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s annual December auctions of Important Judaica and Israeli & International Art concluded last night in New York with a combined total of $9.1 million. From important manuscripts to ceremonial silver and fine art, below is a look at what drove these strong results: estate of Shlomo Moussaieff, featuring an impressive range of important manuscripts, ceremonial sliver and paintings. Works from the collection together realized $2.6 million, surpassing their high estimate of $2.2 million. The group was led by Simeon Solomon’s Rabbi Carrying the Scrolls of Law, which set a new world auction record for the artist when it sold for $492,500 – nearly double its high estimate of $250,000. The same work had set Solomon’s previous auction record in 2006 when it sold at Sotheby’s London. Outside of the Moussaieff Collection, the various-owner offering of book ... More

MR. "Yoshii- (ch) !! Go", 2016 Acrylic and pencil on canvas mounted on wood panel 63 x 51 3/16 in / 160 x 130 cm ©2016 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Perrotin.

SEOUL.- Galerie Perrotin, Seoul announces “Tokyo, the City I know, at Dusk: It’s Like a Hollow in My Heart”, the gallery’s fifth exhibition with Japanese Neo-Pop artist Mr. For the exhibition, the entire gallery space has been transformed into an immersive environment, with the artist’s new works interspersed throughout to activate the space. Following his recent artistic collaboration with Gucci at Gucci Ginza, Tokyo, Mr.’s first solo show in Seoul provides an invaluable opportunity for the Korean audience to immerse themselves into the artist’s kaleidoscopic and multiplex universe. Mr.’s installations are essentially an embodiment of his artistic realm, offering a peek into the artist’s secretive and imaginative mind influenced by Robert Rauschenberg’s assemblages and the Italian Arte Povera movement. Against the backdrop of Tokyo at dusk, large cutouts of young girls’ ... More

Reginald Dwayne Betts, 2016. Oil on canvas, 16 x 16 inches. ©Titus Kaphar. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Jack Shainman Gallery presents Titus Kaphar’s second solo exhibition, on view at both their Chelsea locations. Shifting Skies is an investigation into the highest and lowest forms of recording history. From monuments to mug shots, this body of work seeks to collapse the line of American history to inhabit a fixed point in the present. Historical portraiture, mug shots, and YouTube stills challenge viewers to consider how we document the past, and what we have erased. Rather than explore guilt or innocence, Kaphar engages the narratives of individuals and how we as a society manage and define them over time. As a whole, this exhibition explores the power of rewritten histories to question the presumption of innocence and the mythology of the heroic. Kaphar received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and is the distinguished recipient of the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship. In 2016, he ... More

We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda, it is a form of truth. John F. Kennedy

More News
Exhibition showcases significance of animals to ancient Mexico, Central America and Peruvian cultures
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Mexican Museum announces the grand opening of the new exhibition, Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art (Fascinación con la Fauna: Representación de Animales en el Arte Pre-Hispanico). The exhibition opened to the public on Thursday, Dec. 15 and runs through Feb. 26, 2017. Featuring art from the museum’s renowned Pre-Hispanic collection, the exhibition communicates the significance of animals in nature, religion, society, and art to three cultures from early Mexico (the Nayarit, Colima, and Zapotec), Central America, and Peru. “The Mexican Museum is proud to present the first art exhibition of its kind in the United States, where the specific focus is on how animals were revered and even worshipped by the early peoples of Mexico, Central America, and Peru for 2,500 years,” said Vanessa Moreno, Co- ... More

New-York Historical Society celebrates boxing legend Muhammad Ali with two special exhibitions
NEW YORK, NY.- The New-York Historical Society celebrates the late, great boxing legend Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) and explores his relationship with artist LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012) and photographer George Kalinsky in two special exhibitions this winter. Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing highlight 21 vivid watercolors and on-the-spot sketches by Neiman that captured “The Champ’s” unique energy. “I Am King of the World”: Photographs of Muhammad Ali by George Kalinsky features 45 intimate photographs of Ali in and out of the ring by Madison Square Garden’s award-winning house photographer. On view concurrently on the second floor of the Museum through March 26, 2017, the complementary exhibitions offer an insider’s perspective on major moments in Ali’s career, such as his legendary bouts with Sonny Liston and Joe ... More

CAC Málaga hosts Mark Ryden's first retrospective exhibition in Europe
MALAGA.- The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo of Málaga is hosting Mark Ryden’s first retrospective exhibition in Europe. Cámara de las maravillas, the title of this show curated by Fernando Francés, made up of 55 works in all, includes different small and large format canvases, in addition to several sculptures which summarise and help better understand the complex world of the “Father of Pop Surrealism.” The artist’s work fluctuates between the cryptic and the beautiful, tracing a fine line between melancholy and the disturbing. Mark Ryden’s world is a place infused with bittersweet nostalgia, tinged with macabre darkness, in which complex psychological elements lie beneath a surface comprised of cultural clichés. This exhibition, which covers 20 years of creations, is being presented as one of the most important in Mark Ryden’s career, in the words of the artist himself. ... More

US claims antiquities looted by IS to block their resale
WASHINGTON (AFP).- The United States filed suit in court Thursday to recover an ancient serpentine ring and gold coins trafficked by the Islamic State group in a move aimed at preventing stolen Syrian and Iraqi antiquities from disappearing into collectors' hands. The US attorney filed a forfeiture claim in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the antiquities, thought to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Officials have not said where the treasures might be, but the action aims to warn would-be collectors that any purchase they might make could be contested. The antiquities, including a neo-Assyrian stele, were identified from cell-phone pictures and other electronic media seized from powerful IS commander Abu Sayyaf, who was killed in a US Special Operations raid in eastern Syria in May 2015. Abu Sayyaf was in charge of raising money ... More

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg spotlights compelling work by gifted Latino artists
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is one of the most expansive exhibitions of Latino art ever presented in the Tampa Bay area. It features 75 works by 62 gifted modern and contemporary artists, drawn entirely from the illustrious collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Our America is on view through Sunday, January 22, 2017. The art is as diverse as Latinos themselves. Some works, including vintage posters, respond to political issues and the relationship of Latinos to the dominant Anglo culture. Others correct historical narratives, reclaiming the role of Latinos in the foundation and development of North America. Dr. E. Carmen Ramos, Curator of Latino Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, organized this traveling exhibition. Latino artists have always been part of the American story, ... More

Asheville Art Museum acquires new artworks through Collectors' Circle gifts
ASHEVILLE, NC.- The Asheville Art Museum has recently added several unique and diverse works to its Permanent Collection as a result of gifts made by the Museum’s Collectors’ Circle, a membership group that encourages the exchange of ideas and interests, art learning, connoisseurship and collecting. As a vibrant and critical source of support, the Circle members are dedicated to growing the Museum’s Permanent Collection through annual gifts of artwork, selected and presented in partnership with the Curatorial staff. Since the group’s beginning in 2004, the Circle or Circle Members have added more than 100 works of art to the Museum’s Permanent Collection through annual purchases from an acquisition fund created by yearly dues. “This was a very exciting year for Collectors’ Circle acquisitions,” said Associate Curator Carolyn Grosch. “With the help ... More

Chrysler Museum of Art taps Work Program Architects to explore expansion of its Perry Glass Studio
NORFOLK, VA.- The Chrysler Museum of Art has joined forces with Work Program Architects of Norfolk to perform feasibility studies for a possible expansion of the Perry Glass Studio building, Museum Director Erik Neil and WPA Principals Thom White and Mel Price jointly announced today. The Perry Glass Studio, now in its fifth year, has surpassed the Museum’s original expectations for its success, prompting the exploration of creating a larger facility to accommodate its growing educational demands and opportunities for new programs. “The Perry Glass Studio has met with unprecedented success in its first five years, and as we capitalize on that success, its future looks even brighter,” said Museum Director Erik Neil. “WPA can help the Chrysler consider its options for an enlarged and enhanced facility, but even more, we ... More

Nationalmuseum Sweden acquires works in Swedish porphyry
STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has added several artefacts made from Swedish porphyry to its collection. Porphyry was one of Sweden’s most coveted exports in the late 18th and for most of the 19th century. The museum recently purchased a pair of magnificent Medici-style vases with Swedish royal provenance at auction in the United States. In addition, the museum has acquired a table clock in granitell and an interesting specimen collection of various types of Swedish porphyry. Deposits of porphyry in the Älvdalen region of central Sweden were discovered as far back as the 1730s, but it would be another half-century before quarrying started. The driving force behind the project, which to a large extent was socially motivated, was Count Niels Adam Bielke, president of the Swedish Board of Mines. The government’s goal was to create a sustainable industry that would ... More

'Full French experience' at strike-hit Eiffel Tower
PARIS (AFP).- Tourists discovering Paris for the first time this week have had an unwelcome introduction to France's strike culture: a four-day stoppage at the Eiffel Tower has left thousands disappointed. At the foot of the 324-metre (1,063-foot) Iron Lady on Friday, crowds milled around complaining about the lack of information and watching hopefully for the lifts to spark into life. "Brilliant. It's the full French experience!" said 46-year-old computer programmer Paul Freeman sarcastically after reading the sign announcing a fourth day of protests by workers. Amy Lee, 50, was puzzled, even amused, at the sight of a few dozen workers gathered around signs denouncing the management in front of what is normally a busy ticket office. "We're from Singapore and for us this would be illegal," the homemaker said as she snapped a picture on her phone. "This is something that's interesting." ... More

Whitechapel Gallery announces winner of the 2016 NEON Curatorial Award
LONDON.- Whitechapel Gallery announced Emily Riddle as the winner of the 2016 NEON Curatorial Award. Curators were invited by the Gallery to devise an exhibition proposal drawing from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, which includes over 500 contemporary artworks by 220 leading international and Greek artists. For this year’s Award proposals were submitted by aspiring curators from Greece, as well as students and alumni from the following Masters programmes: Curating the Contemporary, London Metropolitan University and Whitechapel Gallery; Curating the Art Museum, Courtauld Institute of Art ; Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art, and Curating, Goldsmiths College. Emily Riddle received the award from Dimitris Daskalopoulos for her submission proposal, XENIA: Guests, Hosts, Friends, at a ceremony held at the Whitechapel Gallery this evening, Thursday ... More

Auction highlights of 2018 -- the year in art and objects



On a day like today, American painter and illustrator Paul Cadmus was born
August 17, 1904. Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 - December 12, 1999) was an American artist. He is best known for his egg tempera paintings of gritty social interactions in urban settings. He also produced many highly finished drawings of single nude male figures. His paintings combine elements of eroticism and social critique in a style often called magic realism. In this image: The Fleet's In!, 1934 (cropped view).

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