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Israel Antiquities Authority archeologists find glass liquor bottles from World War I

Pictures of the bottles showed several marked as "Gordon's Gin" and "Dewars Whisky". Researcher Brigitte Ouahnouna said it was the first such discovery in Israel.

JERUSALEM (AFP).- Israeli experts on Wednesday said they had unearthed hundreds of glass liquor bottles at the remains of a First World War British army barracks in the centre of the country. The Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement that the camp, near the town of Ramle, was used by an expeditionary force under General Edmund Allenby for about nine months from November 1917 during a pause in the campaign against the Turkish army in Palestine. The statement quoted excavation director Ron Toueg as saying the bottles were found among crockery shards and broken cutlery in a rubbish tip. "About 70 percent of the waste that was discarded in the refuse pit were liquor bottles," Toueg said. "It seems that the soldiers took advantage of the respite given them to release the tension by frequently drinking alcohol." "The discovery of this site and the finds in it provide us with an opportunity for a glimpse of the unwritten part of history, and reconstruct for the first time the everyday life and leisu ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Dead dictators draw Hong Kong art crowds   Scientists uproot dinosaur family tree   Naked people slaughter a sheep at Auschwitz death camp

Shen Shaomin, Summit, (2010), silica gel simulation, acrylic and fabric, dimensions variable. Installation view of the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010) at Cockatoo Island. Courtesy the artist and Osage Gallery. Photo: Sebastian Kriete.

HONG KONG (AFP).- A "breathing" Fidel Castro is among several ex-communist leaders gathered in Hong Kong this week -- one of the world's centres of capitalism -- as part of a cheeky exhibition at Art Basel. Lifelike replicas of Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lenin, Kim Il-Sung, Ho Chi Minh and the former Cuban leader are lying in state in the city's harbourfront convention centre, drawing curious, smartphone-snapping art enthusiasts. Made from acrylic and silica gel and dressed in their signature uniforms, all lie in glass coffins, except for Castro, who can be seen "breathing" almost imperceptibly on his deathbed. The installation, called "Summit", was created by Chinese artist Shen Shaomin who said the work was conceived as a response to the global financial crisis of 2008. It was ... More

Scientists have proposed a significant reorganisation of the dinosaur family tree, which alters our understanding of their origins and evolution.

PARIS (AFP).- For 130 years, dinosaurs have been classified as either bird- or reptile-hipped -- the first and all-important split in the trunk of an intricate family tree. On Wednesday, a "revolutionary" study threatened to upend what has long been taken as gospel by preschoolers and palaeontologists alike -- that a dinosaur's evolutionary history can be determined by the shape of its pelvis. "Our study overturns 130 years of dogma," said study co-author Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum. "Our analysis suggests that animals like T. rex were actually more closely related to Stegosaurus" -- dinos once thought to be firmly on either side of the hip divide. A new dinosaur evolutionary tree, published in the journal Nature, proposes two new base groups, in which bird- and reptile-hipped lizards are now mixed. It also suggests that dinosaurs arose around 247 million years ago -- some 10 million years earlier ... More

People visit both parts of the former camp: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

WARSAW (AFP).- Eleven men and women in their twenties on Friday slaughtered a sheep and took their clothes off at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to police and the museum at the site in southern Poland. The individuals aged 20 to 27, whose identities and motives are unknown, then chained themselves together in front of the camp's infamous "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes you free") gate, the museum said in a statement. Regional police spokesman Sebastian Glen said the seven men and four women draped a white banner with the red text "love" over the infamous gate. They also used a drone to film the incident, according to local media. Museum guards at the site in the southern city of Oswiecim immediately intervened, and police said all those involved have been detained. They include six Poles, four Belarusians and one German, according to Glen, who told AFP that "a knife ... More

Lowest bidders threaten Nepal's quake-hit heritage   First exhibition of early printed textiles opens at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg   Unearthed collection of photographs depicting life inside a World War II Jewish ghetto go on view

Trilokya Mohan Narayan temple caretaker Deepak Shrestha looks at artifacts during a interview with AFP. PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP.

KATHMANDU (AFP).- Caretaker Deepak Shrestha padlocked shut the quake-ravaged remains of the Trailokya Mohan Narayan temple in Nepal's capital Kathmandu to keep out the contractors who are meant to be rebuilding it. The 17th century monument's three-tiered pagoda completely collapsed in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the Himalayan nation in April 2015, leaving the main statue standing exposed on a high plinth. Shrestha, whose family has looked after the Hindu temple for generations, is now on a mission to protect it from a government system that grants contracts to rebuild the quake-damaged heritage sites to the lowest bidder. "We had our doubts about the contractors but it was confirmed when they started digging the foundations haphazardly, disregarding the community's involvement and our sacred rituals," Shrestha, 56, told AFP. "We don't believe the cheapest contractors will rebuild our temple sincerely. We demand that the government dismiss such a system." ... More

Man’s Banyan, East Indian textile. Worn in Britain, 1770-1790. Mordant-painted and resist-dyed cotton, trimmed with silk. Museum Purchase, 1954-1010. Photo: Courtesy of The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

WILLIAMSBURG, VA.- In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, early printed textiles with their luminous colors and attractive designs were widely sought for fashionable clothing and home furnishings. Eighty examples of these stunning printed cottons and linens, many of which have never been exhibited before, will go on view in Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, one of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, opening March 25, 2017. The exhibition will illustrate the design, history and techniques of printed textiles during this formative era; these objects played their own important role in history, not just for their obvious aesthetic qualities, but also for their economic importance as trade goods and as examples of technological advances. Printed Fashions will remain on view through March 2019. “Textiles are among the most fragile objects that survive ... More

Henryk Ross (Polish, born in 1910-1991), Men hauling a cart for bread distribution, 1942 (detail). Gelatin silver print. Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift from the Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007. © Art Gallery of Ontario. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In March 2017, the powerful exhibition Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross makes its US debut at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), presenting a moving and intimate visual record of the Holocaust through the lens of Henryk Ross (1910–1991). The Polish Jewish photographer was one of just 877 recorded survivors of the Lodz Ghetto’s original population of more than 160,000 people, rounded up by the Nazi Germans and sealed off from the outside world. Previously a photojournalist for the Polish press, Ross was confined to the ghetto in 1940 and put to work by the Nazi regime as a bureaucratic photographer; his tasks included taking photographs for Jewish identification cards, as well as images that were used as propaganda to promote the efficiency of the ghetto’s labor force. Unofficially—and at great risk—Ross took it upon himself to document the complex realities of life in the ... More

Five paintings donated by Imperial added to the National Gallery of Canada collection   Portland Art Museum presents full 14th-century altarpiece by Francescuccio Ghissi   Exhibition at Frans Hals Museum exhibits 17th century works from the Netherlands and China

Lawren S. Harris, Billboard (Jazz), 1921. Oil on canvas, 107.2 x 127.5 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Gift of Imperial Oil Limited, Calgary, 2016. © Family of Lawren S. Harris. Photo: NGC.

OTTAWA.- In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Imperial announced the launch of its largest-ever philanthropic art donation program at an event at the National Gallery of Canada. Forty-three paintings by prominent Canadian artists, worth an estimated $6 million, are being donated to 15 museums across the country. The Gallery received five paintings, which were unveiled this morning. Imperial’s gift includes Billboard (Jazz) (1921) by Lawren S. Harris, a member of the Group of Seven painters; Paul Peel’s Idle Dreams (1887); Prudence Heward’s Miss Anne Grafftey (1944); Kathleen M. Morris’s Birds Feeding (c. 1945); and A.J. Casson’s Twilight Near Britt (1960). These paintings are now part of the Gallery’s collection of Later Canadian Art. The paintings are available for public viewing at the NGC through March 26, 2017. It is the only occasion where all five paintings are being displayed together i ... More

Francescuccio Ghissi (Italian, active from 1345-1374), St. John Altarpiece, 1370s (detail). Tempera and gold leaf on wood.

PORTLAND, ORE.- The Portland Art Museum presents an exhibition that brings together eight dispersed 14th-century paintings, and a recreated missing panel, so that the altarpiece can be seen and appreciated as one magnificent work of art. This reunion allows visitors to see the Museum’s Resurrection of Drusiana in its original context in the upper left corner. Donated by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in 1961, the painting is one of the finest Early Italian narrative scenes in the Pacific Northwest. “This type of exhibition is staged very rarely, so visitors should take advantage of this special opportunity to see one of the Museum’s early Renaissance paintings in its magnificent original context,” said exhibition curator Dawson Carr, Ph.D., The Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art. Ghissi worked in the Marche, the mountainous Italian region between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. The St. John Altarpiece is m ... More

Zhang Rulin, Three Dutchmen with Red Hair, 1735, ink and pigment on silk, 122,6 x 101,5 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

HAARLEM.- Barbarians & Philosophers sheds light on the way China and the Netherlands formed images of one another in the seventeenth century. The Dutch were fascinated by the culture of the ‘Celestial Empire’; the Chinese were astonished by the Dutch ‘redheaded barbarians’. A selection of paintings, drawings, porcelain and models charts the cultural exchange. The exhibition in the Frans Hals Museum runs from 25 March to 20 August 2017. In the seventeenth century, the Netherlands was a key player in a worldwide network of trade relationships. This was reflected in what was sold, made, shown and experienced in the Dutch Republic. The Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem invites you to take a comprehensive look at the Golden Age in Barbarians & Philosophers, which focuses on the first contacts between the Netherlands and China. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Netherlands was one of the few European c ... More

"Erwin Wurm: Football-sized lump of clay on light blue car roof" opens at Kunsthaus Graz   JFK's 'Only' Diary for sale by his former research assistant at live auction in Boston   For her second solo exhibition at Capitain Petzel, Natalie Czech presents a new body of works

Erwin Wurm. Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/N. Lackner.

GRAZ.- Erwin Wurm has a number of connections with the city of Graz. It is where he grew up, it was formative in his artistic socialisation, and it was here also that he experienced his first successes at the beginning of the 1980s. He participated in various exhibitions at the Neue Galerie—run at that time by Wilfried Skreiner—under the label of ‘New Sculpture’, an offshoot of ‘New Painting’. These were essential early steps towards an international career that has made Erwin Wurm one of the leading contemporary artists of our time. The most recent comprehensive show of the artist’s work in Graz took place in 2002, also at the Neue Galerie. Peter Weibel curated this landmark exhibition as a positioning of his artistic oeuvre. Alongside many solo shows—from Sao Paolo to Vienna, Bangkok and New York—Wurm has been nominated for the Austrian pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale by former director of the Neue Galerie Christa Steinle, a further ... More

The diary was consigned by Deirdre Henderson, who began working for Senator Kennedy in 1959.

BOSTON, MASS.- As we near the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's birth, Boston-based RR Auction announces the manuscript: Prelude to Leadership - JFK's Summer Diary of 1945 will be featured in an upcoming live auction on April 26, 2017. This 61-page diary, written as a Hearst newspaper war correspondent, captures a moment in time perhaps never before fully appreciated, and only now, 71 years later, officially being offered at auction. The diary is compromised of 61 loose-leaf pages, bound in a premium black leather cowhide binder. Twelve of the pages were handwritten by Kennedy and he typed forty-nine pages on his personal typewriter. The diary was consigned by Deirdre Henderson, who began working for Senator Kennedy in 1959 as his research assistant in his run for the Presidency. She worked closely with him and his academic advisory group on position papers for his campaign, and the President-elect asked her to stay ... More

Natalie Czech, “Camera / Fjällräven“, 2016 (detail), 1 Archival Pigment Print, 1 frame, museum glass, 1 glued 3D form, framed: 72.6 x 100.8 x 4 cm, 28.6 x 39.7 x 1.6 inches, Edition of 5.

BERLIN.- For her second solo exhibition at Capitain Petzel, Natalie Czech presents to icon, a new body of works, alongside new works from her on-going series Poems by Repetition. In to icon, Czech introduces icons — simple graphic shapes such as a pen, a sheet of paper, a house, or a clock— that belong to the field of computing, software, digital applications, and social media, into the framework of photography and poetry. This new photographic series playfully demonstrate how much computer icons proliferate, and the way each icon produces multiple significations, superimposing layers of meaning. The title of this new series points to a verb, a specific act through which Czech finds the shape of an existing icon within pieces of clothing or other branded objects. She also introduces a text as poem, constituted by different possible meanings of the icon in different ... More

More News
Fans spend $280,000 on Steve McQueen Collection at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- A collection of 30 items once owned by the Hollywood legend referred to as "The King of Cool" were among the most coveted items in Heritage Auctions' Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction March 18 in Dallas. "We fully expected McQueen's fans to take notice and they did," said Margaret Barrett, Director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions. An Academy Award winner for his role in The Sand Pebbles Steve McQueen also was a star in other popular films, including The Cincinnati Kid, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway and Papillon, and a major player in such all-star cast films as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and The Towering Inferno. Of the 30 McQueen-related items sold in the lot, 17 – including the top eight – were scripts. Leading the way were BullittandLe Mans, each ofwhich realized $55,000, followed ... More

Original drawings for Disney's much-loved animated feature 'Hercules' to appear at Sotheby's London sale
LONDON.- Twelve large-scale drawings for Disney’s much-loved 1997 animated feature, Hercules, will be offered in Sotheby’s London saleroom next month for the very first time. Featuring all of the film’s favourite characters - Meg, Hades, Zeus, Phil, and of course Hercules himself – the drawings will come to auction on 5 April directly from the personal collection of artist Gerald Scarfe, the film’s production designer. In a career spanning five decades, Scarfe has established himself as one of the foremost caricaturists of our times. Best known as a political cartoonist, and named as one of the most 40 important newspaper journalists of the modern era, he has also received critical acclaim as the illustrator for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and as a stage and set designer for The Nutcracker and Fantastic Mr Fox. All these facets of his career will be represented in the “Scarfe ... More

Divine diamonds: Sierra Leone pastor's 709-carat find
FREETOWN (AFP).- Evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh prayed for five years that he would discover the diamond he needed to pull his family out of poverty in eastern Sierra Leone. The 39-year-old pastor obtained his first mining licence in 2012 when the paltry income he received from the Deeper Life Church in Kono, the country's key mining district, was stretched too thin for his growing family. Momoh went on to build a small business of 18 employees, digging and sifting through gravel with pickaxes and hoes day after day, never finding gems larger than a speck in the dirt. "Diamonds are extremely hard to find on the ground, it requires patience, hard work and prayers," Momoh told AFP by telephone in Freetown, where his life is now taking a very different direction after finding what he believes was a gift from God. The preacher declined to meet in person, citing ... More

Indonesian capital's statues light up the night
JAKARTA (AFP).- From galloping horses to Indonesia's hero Husni Thamrin and a flame atop a tall tower, statues and monuments across the huge Indonesian capital Jakarta light up at night, adding some sparkle to the city. Statues and monuments can be found across Jakarta, rare public art in a megacity of 10 million better known for drab tower blocks, chaotic slums and monster traffic jams. Most are illuminated at night, and the lights go on automatically as darkness falls. City officials work hard to keep the sites clean and in good shape, a difficult task as many of them sit at busy traffic intersections with lines of pollution-belching cars and buses streaming past. The 22 statues in the city, most put up in the 1960s to 80s, are cleaned with water once a month, and sometimes soap if workers need to wipe off graffiti, said Nuraida Levianti, a Jakarta government ... More

Forum Gallery opens an exhibition entitled Lowcountry: New Paintings, by artist Brian Rutenberg
NEW YORK, NY.- Forum Gallery in New York presents an exhibition entitled Lowcountry: New Paintings, by artist Brian Rutenberg, on view from March 23 through May 6, 2017. The exhibition showcases eleven new paintings by American nature-based abstract artist Brian Rutenberg (b. 1965). This new group of paintings is a reflection of the artist’s love for the South Carolina lowcountry where he grew up. His visceral infatuation with the place has been his principal aesthetic concern for the last two decades. According to the artist, these new paintings are not just about his passion for the landscape, but also about the detailed expression of his journey from his birthplace to New York, where he now works and lives. Working in bold strokes of rich, thick paint, Rutenberg builds and sculpts his surfaces to achieve rhythmic, faceted passages contrasting with pools ... More

Hirst, Tillmans and Shonibare feature in a new exhibition at the Walker
LIVERPOOL.- A new exhibition at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery asks whether art can help us to see things differently. Transparency, an Arts Council Collection National Partners exhibition, runs from 24 March to 18 June 2017 and showcases work by artists including Damien Hirst, Wolfgang Tillmans, Christine Borland and Yinka Shonibare MBE. More than 40 artworks feature, including sculpture, painting, photography and video. The exhibition draws largely on works from the Arts Council Collection, with additions from the Walker Art Gallery’s own fine and decorative art collections. Transparency looks at how artists have used transparent materials, forms and ideas about transparency to explore how we experience the world. From Christine Borland’s Sim Bodies to Toby Patterson’s Rotterdam Relief, the exhibition considers how using see-through materials ... More

De La Warr Pavilion opens exhibition of more than fifty new paintings and drawings by George Shaw
BEXHILL ON SEA.- My Back to Nature – a free exhibition of more than fifty new paintings and drawings – is the result of George Shaw’s two-and-a-half years as the National Gallery’s Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist. Based in a studio located in the heart of the National Gallery, George had swift and unrestricted access to the Gallery to explore the collection out of hours and at his leisure, draw from the pictures, observe the public, and find inspiration for his own work. The result is predominantly woodland landscapes that investigate the clash of cultures; classical stories linked with the traces of similar, timeless behaviour in the modern world; and the portrayal of religion. From March to June 2017 the exhibition can be seen in the First Floor Gallery at the De La Warr Pavilion as part of a tour demonstrating the National Gallery’s commitment to promote the understanding, ... More

New work by artist Adam Pendleton brings an art of protest into the museum
BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art presents Front Room: Adam Pendleton, a dramatic installation of new and recent work by the New-York based artist that examines the relationship between abstraction and representation through layered and fragmented texts and images sourced from the artist’s personal library. On view March 26–August 13, 2017, the exhibition transforms the wall adjacent to the East Lobby staircase with a monumental Wall Work by Pendleton. The Contemporary Wing’s Front Room Gallery will feature three immersive floor-to-ceiling Wall Works overlaid with paintings, collages, and silkscreens on Mylar by the artist. “Adam Pendleton has created a compelling body of work that deeply connects our country’s past and present issues with race,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “We are extremely proud ... More

Richard Deacon exhibition opens at San Diego Museum of Art
SAN DIEGO, CA.- The San Diego Museum of Art announces Richard Deacon: What You See Is What You Get, the renowned contemporary sculptor’s first major museum survey in the United States. On view beginning March 25, 2017, through July 25, 2017, the exhibition includes roughly 40 works from more than three decades of Richard Deacon’s oeuvre. A self-proclaimed “fabricator,” Deacon uses everyday materials such as laminated wood, linoleum and limestone. His abstract forms, which challenge viewers’ expectations in terms of the limitations of materials and their unusual combinations, have placed him at the forefront of British sculpture since the 1980s. He was awarded the Tate’s prestigious Turner Prize in 1987, and received a major retrospective at the Tate in 2014. He exhibits frequently in Europe and worldwide, and remains a major force in the field ... More

Hollywood war film shows Warsaw zoo couple who hid Jews
WARSAW.- The director of Warsaw zoo and his wife always carried cyanide during World War II. Danger was ever-present but they were ready to take their secret to the grave. The couple hid nearly 300 Jews and resistance fighters on zoo grounds during most of the war, under the noses of the German Nazis occupying Poland. It sounds like a Hollywood movie, and now it is. But "The Zookeeper's Wife", which opens in Polish cinemas this week before rolling out internationally, is based on actual events. Inside the zookeeper's villa, whose windowless cellar had a secret tunnel leading to the garden, Jan Zabinski and his wife Antonina gave refuge to the mostly Jews smuggled out of the city's ghetto. "I remember squatting under this concrete shelf in the basement and keeping my hand over my sister's mouth to muffle her cries because she was constantly crying, day ... More

The Nature of This Place: Kit White exhibits at FreedmanArt
NEW YORK, NY.- FreedmanArt is presenting The Nature of This Place, an exhibition of paintings by Kit White, ​which opened March 21, 2017. ​FreedmanArt also announced​ the release of the ​2016 monograph by Carter Ratcliff, Kit White: Line Into Form. Kit White is a New York based painter. He studied fine arts at Harvard University and his work, beginning in 1977, has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions and group shows. He is the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, and a visiting artist at Civitella Ranieri, where he later returned as Guest Director. In 2012, MIT Press published his book 101 Things to Learn in Art School, which has now been translated into eight languages. White has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection. He is currently a professor of painting ... More

Redefining the Way We Experience Art

On a day like today, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In for Peace
March 25, 1969. During the Vietnam War, in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal, which were their non-violent ways of protesting wars and promoting peace. The idea is derived from a "sit-in", in which a group of protesters remains seated in front of an establishment until they are evicted, arrested, or their demands are met. In this image: Photographs showing John Lennon and Yoko Ono are displayed at a preview of "Give Peace A Chance: John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In For Peace" at The Museum at Bethel Woods in Bethel, N.Y. Thursday, June 11, 2009.

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