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100-kilo gold coin "Big Maple Leaf" stolen from Berlin's Bode museum

Picture taken on December 8, 2010 shows the gold coin "Big Maple Leaf" on display at Berlin's Bode Museum. Thieves stole the gold coin with a face value of $1 million and weighing 100 kilograms (220 pounds) from Berlin's Bode Museum on March 27, 2017. Marcel Mettelsiefen / dpa / AFP.

BERLIN (AFP).- Thieves stole a gold coin with a face value of $1 million and weighing 100 kilograms (220 pounds) from Berlin's Bode Museum on Monday. According to German media, the stolen coin is the "Big Maple Leaf", a commemorative piece issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. The coin, 53 cm (21 inches) across and three cm thick, features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Bode Museum gave the face value of the coin at $1 million (920,000 euros), though the market price of 100 kg of gold is around $4 million. German police said on Twitter that the robbers likely used a ladder found at a nearby rail track to break into the museum at around 3:30 am (0130 GMT). ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Students unearth a 2000-year-old Jewish settlement near Bet Shemesh   Sotheby's to offer one of the greatest examples of early Ming porcelain in private hands   Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to build fences in New York

Boyer High School in Jerusalem will fund most of its youth delegation’s visit to Poland by working at archaeological digs. Photo: Assaf Peretz.

JERUSALEM.- Some 240 eleventh-grade students from Jerusalem’s Boyer High School have discovered an original and rewarding way of reducing their travel costs to Poland: Working for an entire week on archaeological excavations at Ramat Bet Shemesh, far from their computers and air-conditioned classroom The students have been involved in unearthing exciting archaeological finds at the site. In recent months, the remains of a Jewish settlement dating to the Second Temple period at the site have been found to include an extensive complex of ritual baths and underground hiding refuges. The excavations are being carried out with funding provided by the Ministry of construction and Housing prior to the building of a new residential neighborhood in Ramat Bet Shemesh, in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority and with the participation of pre-army course cadets. The settlement, whose ancient name is unknown, has so far yielded eight ... More

An Exceptionally Large, Fine And Important Blue And White Lobed 'Fish Pond' Bowl. Mark and Period of Xuande. Diameter 23 cm. Estimate upon request. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Spring Sales 2017 will take place on 5 April at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The sales will be led by an outstanding Xuande lobed bowl, one of the greatest examples of early Ming porcelain in private hands (pictured above), and a monumental Imperial silk tapestry kesi bestowing longevity on the Qianlong Emperor in celebration of his eightieth birthday. The series of eight sales will offer over 300 lots with a total estimate of approximately HK$700 million / US$90 million. Nicolas Chow, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, said, “The wonderful array of Chinese art that we are proud to present this season covers most of the classic fields, from Chinese furniture and early jade carvings, to Song dynasty ceramics and Qing dynasty Imperial works of art. Particularly noteworthy is the ... More

The Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei will build dozens of fences in New York for an exhibition. John MACDOUGALL / AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- The Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei will build dozens of fences in New York for an exhibition opening in October that focuses on walls that divide people and mark borders. A champion of refugees and migrants, Ai is calling his new large-scale conceptual installation "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors." He took the title from the final line in "Mending Wall," a poem by the 20th-century US poet Robert Frost that reflects on a wall between neighbors. The artist says he is dismayed by President Donald Trump's policies, including his promise to build a wall along the US southern border with Mexico to keep out undocumented immigrants, along with his attempt to bar entry to the United States by some Muslim-majority citizens. He intends to transform the metal wire security fence into an artistic symbol in various sites in the New York, a gateway to the United States. An outspoken critic of the Chinese government, Ai was detained in 2011 for 81 days ... More

Between the lines: Historians put Stalin-era diaries online   Major new exhibition reveals the central place of religion in the Italian Renaissance home   Christie's to auction the collection of Chauncey D. Stillman

Historian Mikhail Melnichenko, 33, displays pages from a Soviet-era diary during an AFP interview in Moscow. Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP.

MOSCOW (AFP).- Tatiana Panova holds a photograph of her great-grandfather as a solemn-faced student in 1923 in the Soviet Union, around 16 years before he died in a prison camp during the Stalin purges. While Alexander Yakovlev's death was over half a century before her birth, Panova, 25, has gained a tiny window into his thoughts and life thanks to an aged diary that her family preserved. Now, as memories of the Stalin era fade, a project run by young Russian historians is putting his journal and hundreds more like it online in a bid to bring to life the everyday experiences of those tumultuous times. "Any diary has value," says 35-year-old historian Ilya Venyavkin, who is writing a book about diaries from the 1930s. "Don't think that if your relative wasn't an outstanding intellectual or a singer, or didn't live through the death of Stalin or the coronation of Nicholas II, that their " ... More

Jewelled cross pendant, 16th century (possibly). Italy Gilt, set with a sapphire, rubies and pearls, inscribed on reverse ‘verbum caro’, 2.8 cm. London, British Museum. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

CAMBRIDGE.- The Fitzwilliam Museum opened a major new exhibition that reveals the central place of religion in the Italian Renaissance home from March 7 - 4 June 2017. ‘Madonnas and Miracles’ shows how religious beliefs and practices were embedded in every aspect of domestic life. Challenging the idea of the Renaissance as a time of increasing worldliness and secularization, the exhibition shows how the period’s intense engagement with material things went hand in hand with its devotional life. A glittering array of sculptures and paintings, jewellery, ceramics, printed images and illustrated books bear witness to the role of domestic objects in sustaining and inspiring faith. The culmination of a four-year European-funded project, ‘Madonnas and Miracles’ presents the fruits of a ground-breaking interdisciplinary ... More

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Girl in a Bonnet Tied with a Large Pink Bow. Oil on canvas, 26 ¾ x 22 ½ in. (68 x 57.2 cm.) Painted in 1909. Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000 © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced the sale of the Collection of Chauncey D. Stillman, which will be offered throughout a series of sales this spring with proceeds benefitting the Wethersfield Foundation. This remarkable private collection is comprised of 16 works of art by Old Master artists Nicolas Lancret and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; Impressionist artists Edgar Degas and Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec; and American artists Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent and Gilbert Charles Stuart, among others. Works will be included in the Old Masters sale on April 27, Impressionist & Modern Art Evening and Day sales on May 15-16, American Art on May 23, with additional sales later this year. "We are gratified that the sale of these works will benefit the Wethersfield Foundation and the vision of my ... More

New exhibition traces life of St. Elizabeths Hospital   Catalina Island Museum presents exhibition by Dale Chihuly   KAAN Architecten presents final design for 'new' Paleis Het Loo

Following an extensive renovation by the General Services Administration, the Center Building will be repurposed as offices for the Department of Homeland Security. Courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The National Building Museum opened Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths, 1852-2017 on March 25, 2017. The exhibition traces St. Elizabeths’ evolution over time, reflecting shifting theories about how to care for the mentally ill, as well as the later reconfiguration of the campus as a federal workplace and a mixed-use urban development. It runs through January 15, 2018. Established by Congress in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, St. Elizabeths is widely considered a pioneering psychiatric facility. The hospital is a prime example of the “Kirkbride Plan” for mental health hospitals, almost 80 of which were built throughout the nation in the second half of the 19th century. These asylums, promoted by social reformers such as Dorothea ... More

Dale Chihuly, Mille Fiori, 2014 (detail). Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas.

AVALON.- The Catalina Island Museum has reached a major milestone this week by opening an exhibition of works by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly. The exhibition, Chihuly at the Catalina Island Museum, opened on March 26, 2017 and runs through December 11, 2017. Chihuly, an American sculptor, has mastered the alluring, translucent and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass and neon, to create works of art that transform the viewer experience. He is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific architectural installations in public spaces, and in exhibitions presented in museums and gardens worldwide. The exhibition is a coup for the Catalina Island Museum, which now joins a prestigious list of past exhibitors including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. All have experienced ... More

Juniorpaleis, Westvleugel. Photo museum Paleis Het Loo - KAAN Architecten.

APELDOORN.- The final design of KAAN Architecten for the ‘new’ Paleis Het Loo was presented in early March. The major project will start in 2018, and the renewed and renovated Paleis Het Loo will be completed by mid 2021. An important part of the project, and also the main reason for it, is the renovation. It includes a major asbestos removal and a replacement of technical and climate installations. While this maintenance is being carried out, an underground expansion will be implemented under the front courtyard, the Bassecour. This expansion will allow Paleis Het Loo to create a spacious entrance with additional facilities for the public and room for both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The eye-catchers in the design are the four glass parterres in the front courtyard: a thin layer of water will flow over the glass – a nod to the fountains and waterworks of the historic gardens. The combination of gl ... More

Riverbank Foundation forms nonprofit to revise George Caleb Bingham art catalog   Hake's Americana launches 50th-year auction series with lively million-dollar sale of pop culture memorabilia   The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts announces new additions to permanent collection

George Caleb Bingham, Portrait of Lewis Allen Dicken (“L.A.D.”) Crenshaw, ca. 1869. Oil on canvas, 41 x 31 ½ inches. Collection of the Springfield Art Museum, Missouri.

KANSAS CITY, MO.- The Riverbank Foundation, a private organization focused on supporting American art scholarship, has been approved by the federal Internal Revenue Service as a Public Charity and 501(c)(3) organization. The taxexempt status will enable the Foundation to advance work on its leading project, a revised catalog of the work of artist George Caleb Bingham (American 1811-1879). The Riverbank Foundation encourages the study, appreciation and preservation of American art with an emphasis on the historical and cultural aspects that define national heritage. In particular, the Foundation supports selected programs of scholarship, research, education and exhibitions centered on artists of the 19th and 20th centuries who helped shape regional identities throughout the United States. The first undertaking of the Riverbank Foundation will be to create an ... More

Justice League Tattoo Gum, 120 1-cent packs in original store display box, copyright 1970. Sold for $6,140. All images courtesy of Hake’s Americana.

YORK, PA.- The team at Hake’s Americana had plenty to celebrate as the first auction of the company’s golden-anniversary year concluded. The two-day event held March 14 and 16 with a gap day in between, swept past expectations and ended on a high note, reaching $1,061,373. All prices quoted in this report include an 18% buyer’s premium. As predicted, the star of the show was Norman Mingo’s (American, 1896-1980) original cover art for the September 1968 issue of Mad magazine, which sold for $57,242. A spoof of the flower power era, the cover featured a beaming Alfred E. Neuman dressed as a spiritual guru, held aloft by the Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper’s uniforms along with actress Mia Farrow and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. “Original Mad magazine cover art by Norman Mingo – who is considered the dean of Mad cover artists – is always in demand but very seldom available,” said Alex Winter, ... More

Jim Campbell, Scattered 9x (Marathon), 2015, custom electronics, 324 LEDs, treated Plexiglas.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts announces the addition of more than 30 works to its permanent collection of American art. The works include paintings, sculpture, installation, and works on paper made from the early 1800s to the present. Highlights include a custom LED electronic sculpture Scattered 9x (Marathon) (2015) by San Francisco-based new media artist Jim Campbell, and a trio of sculptural assemblages by the late Philadelphia sculptor and printmaker Bill Walton. "Jim Campbell's influential but still under-recognized work brilliantly tests the limits of recognition, perception and empathy through his pixilated, low-resolution moving images," said Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art. "We also make it a point to be sure our collection plan includes the very best artists in our own backyard here in Philadelphia, and Bill Walton is certainly one of them." PAFA also announced the purchase of a ... More

More News
Museum of London acquires 100 menswear items from Francis Golding
LONDON.- The Museum of London has recently acquired 100 items of clothing and accessories worn by Francis Golding, a former secretary of the Royal Fine Art Commission and an influential townscape consultant widely credited with influencing the look of London in the late 20th and early 21st century. Following Golding’s untimely death from a cycling accident on 5 November 2013, the Museum of London was invited to his Georgian townhouse in Islington to assess his clothing collection for acquisition. The museum carefully selected 13 ensembles and 34 individual items from key moments in Golding’s life, from the mid-1960s when he first moved to London, to items worn shortly before his death. The epitome of a modern man’s wardrobe, the items acquired include 23 London labels, 14 of which were not previously represented in the Museum of London, such as Barbour, ... More

Calligraphy by Yu Youren soars to $121,000, New fine art record set at Clars
OAKLAND, CA.- Clars Auction Gallery’s March 19, 2017 sale of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art featured the second installment of a select collection of decorative arts and furnishings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; important works from Contemporary Chinese masters including Yo Youren and Zhang Daqian; fine art from both American and European artists with a new world record set for Chuira Obata (American/Japanese, 1885-1975) and an impressive selection of fine jewelry. This sale experienced bidders competing from around the world for the extraordinary lots offered with many achieving far beyond their top estimates. The highly anticipated offering from Chinese master calligrapher Yu Youren (Chinese, 1879-1964) flew well past all expectations. The two-page ink on paper essay discussed the Qing dynasty ... More

Nicolas Krupp Gallery in Basel exhibits works by Diango Hernández
BASEL.- Holidays must be our desires and fantasies come true, something extraordinary that on principle contradicts the daily routine and suddenly transforms us into happier beings. Longing for the holidays is what Pilar knew how to do best; it was her true profession – a professional vacation dreamer. And it was that deep desire to be happy that filled her childhood with monumental joy and that years later would become an infection and true delight. Being next to Pilar was something like furrowing a river with the spirit conga or like ten in the morning in July when we enter the sea for the first time. In 1961 when Pilar turned 27 she decided to plan a different kind of vacation. Many things had happened in Havana the previous year and almost all of them were extraordinary. Like a miracle, or better yet, like a spell, from one day to the next revolutionary law punished the mere ... More

Sotheby's sale offers an improbable array of curious objects
HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong will present Curiosity III on 4 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The sale offers a total of 76 lots estimated in excess of HK$50 million / US$6.4 million *. Curiosity III features a gathering of objects formed by nature and man-made, a cross between the Western cabinet of curiosities and the Chinese scholar’s studio. Nicolas Chow, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, says, “This year’s curiosity cabinet brings together objects from ever more disparate spaces and time periods, from the Siberian tundra to Egypt and China, from the Jurassic period to Renaissance Europe. The centerpiece of the sale is the extremely rare 8th century lacquer head of a Bodhisattva, an object of transcendent beauty that will be shown for the first time to the public.” This ... More

Julien's Auctions announces highlights from its Hollywood Legends sale
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Julien’s Auctions has announced its highly anticipated Hollywood Legends auction to take place on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Los Angeles. This year’s Hollywood event will offer collectors and fans the chance to peek inside the lives of some of Hollywood’s most famous action heroes and leading ladies. For the first time, Julien’s Auctions will offer costumes worn by Heath Ledger in the now classic film Brokeback Mountain. Other highlights of the auction include memorabilia celebrating Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Jones and Doris Roberts. The sale will also feature property from iconic British Secret Service agent film series James Bond as well as suspense filled Sci-Fi thriller Star Trek and the righteous Rambo. Property from the Estate of Patrick Swayze will also be ... More

Exhibition explores the visual, verbal, and sonic experiments of the foundational decades of concrete poetry
LOS ANGELES, CA.- A concrete poem employs language, space, sound, color, and design to communicate meaning, rendering the poem a work of art. In the mid 1950’s an international movement known as concrete poetry sought to break down existing barriers between the visual arts and the written word. Concrete poets were committed to the idea that a poem was not just a column of words on a page, but a spatial construct whose design was central to its content. Employing new technologies such as magnetic tape and video, concrete poetry distinguished itself from other postwar movements by making language visible. On view at the Getty Research Institute from March 28 through July 30, 2017 and featuring more than 100 works from leading poets in the movement, Co ncrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space explores the visual, verbal, and sonic experiments ... More

Exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum lets Chinese porcelain speak for itself
THE HAGUE.- Elegant brushstrokes with an instant appeal to the imagination: Chinese characters have something truly magical about them. Not only because of their intrinsic beauty –to Western eyes at least – but also because of their wonderful symbolism and the often extraordinary stories they can tell. From 25 March, the Gemeentemuseum lets Chinese porcelain speak for itself by unravelling the mysteries behind the characters inscribed on it. China Character is an exhibition replete with stories that will transport you to different parts of China. Stories of customs, beliefs, love, mythical figures and historical events. Ever since the founding of the Dutch East India Company 400 years ago, people in the Netherlands have been entranced by the beauty of Chinese porcelain. Wealthy Dutch citizens of past centuries were obsessive collectors of the blue and ... More

Serpentine Gallery exhibits works by British conceptual artist John Latham
LONDON.- As a pioneer of British conceptual art, John Latham (1921-2006) has exerted a powerful and lasting influence, not only on his peers but on generations of younger artists. This spring, the Serpentine hosts a new exhibition that encompasses all strands of Latham’s extraordinary practice, including sculpture, installation, painting, film, land art, engineering, found-object assemblage, performance and the artist’s theoretical writings. Central to the world view that Latham spent a lifetime developing was his proposed shift towards a time-based cosmology of events away from a space-based framework of objects. In Latham’s eyes, ‘flat time’ expands across and beyond individual disciplines, aligning social, economic, political, psychological and physical structures. He saw the artist holding up a mirror to society: an individual whose dissent from the norm could lead to a profound ... More

Mossgreen to auction a 1953 Alvis Healey and a 1954 Alvis Graber Coupé
SYDNEY.- The Mossgreen auction at Carriageworks, Sydney on Sunday 28th May features some 20 interesting cars, none more so than the two Alvis cars with stories to tell. The 1954 Alvis Graber TA21G Coupé estimated to sell for A$140,000 – 160,000 is an original right hand drive delivered as a rolling chassis by Alvis to the distinguished Swiss coachbuilder Herman Graber. The car was displayed painted white and with disc wheels at the 1954 Geneva Motor Show. It sold to a Swiss businessman who agreed to let Graber show it again in 1955, the price being a change of colour to bronze with wire wheels as it is today. In the 1960s car returned to Graber as a trade-in. Fitted with a tow bar and used as the factory run about. Graber died in 1970. In 1975 British Alvis expert Nick Simpson discovered the car under a dustsheet in Madame Graber’s garage in Berne. He subsequently ... More

Curator of Modern and Contemporary joins Allen Memorial Art Museum staff
OBERLIN, OH.- The Allen Memorial Art Museum has named Andrea Gyorody to the position of Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, overseeing the museum’s outstanding collection of 20th and 21st century art. Gyorody will begin work at the AMAM on April 3. Gyorody comes to the AMAM from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she was Assistant Curator in the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies. During her two and a half years at LACMA, Gyorody organized exhibitions of erotic prints and drawings from Germany and Austria; art created at the time of the 1918–19 communist revolution; and Jugendstil and art nouveau highlights from across LACMA’s collections. An exhibition on expressionism and abstraction will go on view this May. Gyorody also co-wrote a forthcoming handbook ... More

The Fine Art Society opens exhibition of paintings by the British artist Geraldine Swayne
LONDON.- The Fine Art Society presents an exhibition of paintings by the British artist Geraldine Swayne featuring a number of new works. The title of the show, ‘Silvering’, refers to Swayne’s use of silver and gold grounds and aluminium and copper surfaces, reflecting the artist's interest in the surface quality and material value of her work. Suggestive and mysterious, Geraldine Swayne’s paintings are populated by people on the verge of action, like film stills. The atmosphere is thick with tension and heightened emotion yet the narrative is obscured, like entering a room where a television has been left paused. Swayne’s scenes are often awkward, haunting, sexy, bizarre, dark, or amusing – sometimes all at once. Her oblique narrative references allow the viewer to project their own story on to the works. The source material for Swayne’s imagery is diverse, from personal photogra ... More

Rome and Rivalry | The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano | National Gallery

On a day like today, French painter and draftsman Georges Seurat died
March 29, 1891. Georges Pierre Seurat (2 December 1859 - 29 March 1891) was a French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman. He is noted for his innovative use of drawing media and for devising the technique of painting known as pointillism. His large-scale work A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-1886) altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-impressionism. It is one of the icons of late 19th-century painting. In this image: "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte -- 1884" by artist Georges-Pierre Seurat.

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