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'Salvator Mundi' by Leonardo da Vinci sells for $450mn in auction record: Christie's

Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen takes bids at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" during the Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie's on November 15, 2017 in New York City. The rediscovered masterpiece by the Renaissance master sells for an historic $450,312,500, obliterating the prevous world record for the most expensive work of art at auction. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images/AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- A 500-year-old work of art -- believed to be by Leonardo da Vinci and depicting Jesus Christ -- sold in New York on Wednesday for $450.3 million, smashing a new art auction record, Christie's said. The whopping price dwarfed the previous record for the most expensive piece of art sold at auction, set at $179.4 million for Pablo Picasso's "The Women of Algiers (Version O)" by Christie's in 2015. The auction house says "Salvator Mundi" or "Savior of the World" is one of fewer than 20 Da Vinci paintings in existence that are generally accepted as from the Renaissance master's own hand. All other known paintings by Da Vinci are held in museum or institutional collections. Dated back by the auction house to around 1500, the oil on panel sold after 18 minutes of frenzied bidding in a historic sale, the star lot of the November art season in the US financial capital. ... More

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A mystery finally solved: The fourth and last part of Magritte's art work "The Enchanted Pose" discovered by researchers   Dorotheum Auction Week to offer Modern and Contemporary art, jewellery and watches   University of California, Irvine receives unparalleled California modern art trove

This discovery puts an end to an 80-year enigma.

BRUSSELS.- The 4th and final part of “The Enchanted Pose”, a catalogued work from René Magritte that had been lost since 1932, was discovered by researchers from University of Liège under another of the master's paintings at the Magritte Museum in Brussels, “God is not a Saint”. This discovery puts an end to an 80-year enigma and makes it possible to completely (although virtually) restore a very important piece illustrated by the master of Belgian surrealism. Stemming from a close collaboration between the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (RMFAB) and the European Centre of Archaeometry of the University of Liège, the research project, “Magritte on practice”, consists of the systematic study of the world's most extensive collection of works painted by the artist, that of the Magritte Museum in Brussels, via a whole arsenal of non-invasive physicochemical analysis and scientific imaging. ... More

Egon Schiele (1890 - 1918) Reclining Woman, 1917, gouache, black crayon on paper, sheet size 45 x 29.7 cm, estimate € 700,000 - 1,200,000 Auction 21 November 2017.

VIENNA.- The upcoming major auction week at Dorotheum Vienna, which will be held between 21st and 24th November 2017, places a special emphasis on contemporary art and classic modernism. Egon Schiele is considered the most significant as well as the most radical draughtsman of the 20th century. Anticipating the 100th anniversary of his death, the upcoming Dorotheum auction of modern art on 21st November 2017 presents two drawings by this famous pioneer of modernism: the "Reclining Woman" of 1917 demonstrates Schiele’s refined play of lines and subtile foreshortenings. This excellent drawing, which spent the past 85 years in a private collection, provides a perfect example of the manner in which Schiele elevates the drawing from its tradition as a study to the level ... More

Richard Diebenkorn, Albuquerque. Photo: The Buck Collection at The UCI Museum and Institute for California Art.

IRVINE, CA.- An exquisite but long-hidden collection of California art has been given to the University of California, Irvine by the trust of Gerald E. Buck, a Newport Beach developer. Valued at tens of millions of dollars, the Buck Collection includes classic California Impressionism, a huge Los Angeles night cityscape, and iconic “freeway series” paintings, among many others. Buck, who built sprawling suburban communities from Southern California farmland, meticulously amassed more than 3,200 original works, but never displayed them publicly, other than occasionally lending pieces to museums. “The Buck Collection cements UCI’s mission to create one of the nation’s finest centers for the appreciation of California art,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “For nearly three decades, these beautiful and important ... More

Newly discovered panoramic watercolor painting reveals only known wartime depiction of Washington's war tent   Sotheby's announces highlights from the November Auction of Latin America: Modern Art   'Raj Pink' diamond fails to sell at auction

Scott Stephenson looking at the watercolor. Courtesy of MoAR.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The recent discovery of a 235-year-old, seven-foot panoramic painting offers an invaluable glimpse into the Revolutionary War. The sweeping watercolor painting of the fall 1782 Continental Army encampment at Verplanck’s Point, New York, contains the only known wartime depiction of General Washington’s headquarters tent, his command center throughout the war. The previously unidentified painting recently appeared at auction – without attribution to an artist or precise information about the event it depicts – where it was spotted by curators from the Museum of the American Revolution, who then purchased it. Washington’s original headquarters tent, the cornerstone of the Museum’s collection, is dramatically presented in the Museum in its own dedicated theater. “My heart leapt into my throat when I realized what this painting was,” said Dr. R. ... More

Diego Rivera, Retrato De Un Español (Portrait Of A Spaniard). Oil on canvas, 78 1/2 by 65 in. Painted in 1912. Estimate $3/5 million © 2017 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced highlights from their Latin America: Modern Art auction in New York. Following the integration of Contemporary Latin American Art into Contemporary Art sales, Modern Art will be presented in a single afternoon session on 21 November. Leading the exemplary works on offer is Diego Rivera’s monumental Retrato de un español (Portrait of a Spaniard) (estimate $3/5 million) – the artist’s most compelling early portrait remaining in private hands. Over six feet in height, the striking masterwork, painted in 1912, pre-dates the artist’s Cubist period and captures him working at the peak of European modernism. Other highlights this season include: the majestic Reclining nude with fish and fruit by Emiliano ... More

“The brilliance, hue and size of this precious gem are truly exceptional.” --Gemological Institute of America. Estimate US$ 20 – 30 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

GENEVA (AFP).- The "Raj Pink", the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond in the world, failed to sell at auction, despite being the highlight of a Sotheby's sale of precious jewels. The rare 37.3-carat stone, which the auction house was hoping would entice bids of up to $30 million, was among several lots that did not find buyers at the sale in Geneva on Wednesday, in a possible sign of a softening in the diamond market. Sotheby's had high hopes after rival Christie's on Tuesday sold a huge 163.41-carat diamond known as the "Art of Grisogono" for nearly $34 million. Although that was the highest price ever paid at auction for a D colour diamond, an industry expert said it fell short of expectations. The top price ever paid at auction for a Fancy Intense Pink, one of the rarest and most highly sought after of coloured diamonds, is $46.2 million paid for the "Graff P ... More

Design Museum in London opens major exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Ferrari   Victorian & British paintings lead Sotheby's European Art Auction in New York   Pussy Riot art exhibition opens at Saatchi Gallery

Installation view.

LONDON.- The Design Museum in London opened Ferrari: Under the Skin , a major exhibition exploring the history and design of Ferrari. The show celebrates 70 years of creative development since the launch of the first car in 1947. Displaying rarely seen material from private collections, the exhibition provides a unique insight into the meticulous and glamorous world of Ferrari. This ambitious collection, the first outside the Museo Ferrari in Maranello, brings together early design models, drawings, personal letters and memorabilia as well as some of the most famous cars to grace the world’s roads and racing circuits. Together, these artefacts and original documents provide an unprecedented study of automotive design. Dedicated displays explore the life of Enzo Ferrari, the design of the cars, the brand’s famous clientele, its racing prowess and today’s technical innovations. Placed against a backdrop of post-war austerity ... More

Giovanni Boldini, In The Garden, signed Boldini and dated 74 (lower left), oil on panel, 22 by 17 3/4 in. 55.9 by 45.1 cm. Estimate $400/600,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s annual fall auction of European Art will be held in New York on 21 November. The season is highlighted by a dedicated auction of The Art Treasures of America: The Collection of John F. Eulich, featuring paintings by Jean Béraud, John Emms, Gustave Jean Jacquet and many more. Together, the sales offer 120+ exceptional works of art that showcase the diversity of 19th century paintings and celebrate the grand tradition of collecting European works of art in America. Both sales will be on view to the public beginning 18 November. A renowned collector of Western American Art, which Sotheby’s had the privilege of offering at auction in 1998, Mr. Eulich also developed a great passion for the diverse schools and genres of the 19th ... More

Nadya Tolokonnikova, Russian political activist and member of the Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot, poses on the set of the immersive theatre experience "Inside Pussy Riot". Chris J Ratcliffe / AFP.

LONDON.- On 16 November 2017, the Tsukanov Family Foundation and Saatchi Gallery will open Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism, an exhibition dedicated to Post-Soviet Union protest art over the past 25 years a world premier for protest artists Pussy Riot and Pyotr Pavlensky. Alongside this exhibition, award-winning theatre group Les Enfant Terribles will present Inside Pussy Riot, a groundbreaking immersive theatre experience including performances by founding Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. Taking place 100 years after the Russian Revolution, Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism explores issues such as challenges to individual freedom of expression in the face of both political ideology and religion. While it does ... More

"Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian medicine" opens at Wellcome Collection   Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie opens exhibition of works by Per Mårtensson   Optical illusions abound in Fool the Eye, at Nassau County Museum of Art's Saltzman Fine Art Building

Illustration showing a Zodiac Man, with Persian annotations, Diagram in the Tashrīh-i Manṣūrī style, watercolour, 19th century. Wellcome Library, London.

LONDON.- Tradition and modernity come together in Wellcome Collection’s new exhibition. Ayurvedic Man: encounters with Indian medicine shines a light on Wellcome’s rich historical collections, displaying a new artist commission and a series of never-seen-before letters. With a focus on Indian medicine and Ayurveda, a centuries-old but evolving set of medical practices translating to ‘the knowledge of long life’, the exhibition features Sanskrit, Persian and Tibetan manuscripts, vibrant gouache paintings, erotic manuals and animal-shaped surgical tools. It takes its title and inspiration from a unique 18th century Nepalese painting that shows the organs and vessels of the male body according to classical Ayurveda. Newly unearthed letters from Wellcome’s archives chart eleven years of correspondence to and from Dr Paira Mall. Sent to India in 1911, Mall ... More

Per Mårtensson, Adapter (9), 2017. Oil on linen, 42 x 35 x 3 cm. Signed and dated on reverse.

BASEL.- Per Mårtensson is a conceptual painter whose works are often based on snapshots taken while walking around his native Malmö or during travels. For Kabinett , his third exhibition with the Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, he presents 4 series of 4 works each plus one work consisting of four panels. Based on steps, lights, reflection and color, the 17 paintings in the show range in format and medium, and remain true to his palette of blacks and whites. Contrast has always been a part of his practice - be it in colors, perception or content. Mårtensson chose the limitation of four paintings or panels per series to create a rhythm in the Kabinett show, to emphasize that all are part of ongoing series. Interested in the possibility and variety of the many different languages of painting coexisting at the same time, the paintings play with various aspects of the abstract tradition. Each individual series received the language suiting ... More

David Mach, Blue Weave, 2013, postcard (Superman) collage on wood backing, 72 x 72 inches. Courtesy Forum Gallery.

ROSLYN HARBOR, NY.- Get ready to be amazed by an exhibition filled with optical illusions and artistic sleight of hand! To separate what’s real from what is a clever ruse in Fool The Eye, takes an alert eye and the willingness to examine art carefully. Enjoy the visual journey. Take a few steps to the right and observe, draw your conclusions about what you think you see. Then, a few steps to the left reveals a whole new image. The guesses multiply. Is it a flat surface or a sculpture? Is it a photograph or a painting? Is it made of wood or bronze, rubber or steel? Is it real or faux? Expect the unexpected through moments of fascination, intrigue, shock, and astonishment. Fool the Eye, on view at Nassau County Museum of Art’s Saltzman Fine Arts Building from Saturday November 18, 2017 through March 4, 2018, challenges viewers to experience the wonder of masterful ... More

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East Asian coins on display at National Museum of American History
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is displaying selected numismatic objects recently acquired from the collection of Howard F. Bowker. The New Acquisitions case within the “Value of Money” exhibition shows 19 items ranging from fifth-century B.C. Chinese bridge and knife money to 20th-century Chinese money minted in the U.S. The selection is part of a recent donation of more than 380 objects from the Bowker collection of East Asian coins, banknotes and stamps. The collection includes rare modern Chinese coinage such as a 500 cash coin made from copper and tin in 1927 and a silver “Old Man” dollar from 1837, as well as a wide variety of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese and Korean coinage. “The Bowker collection presents an ideal opportunity to explore what numismatic objects can reveal about the historic trade ... More

Christie's announces highlights from the December Books and Manuscripts sale
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces the fall various owner sale of Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, encompassing over 200 lots including autograph manuscripts, cartography, literature, and historic artifacts to take place on December 5, 2017, with a stand-alone auction Russian America and Polar Exploration: Highlights from the Martin Greene Library to follow on December 7, 2017, at Christie’s New York. Highlighting the various owner sale are important artifacts and manuscripts from pivotal moments of American history, including Brigham Young's copy of the 1823 Stone-engraved Declaration of Independence, one of only six known proofs executed on paper (estimate: $400,000-600,000); Abraham Lincoln’s Wooden Bench Mallet, the earliest artifact attributed to Lincoln in private hands (estimate: $300,000-500,000); an extremely rare autograph letter from Abraham ... More

Kerstin Brätsch accepts 2017 Edvard Munch Art Award
OSLO.- The Munch Museum announced Kerstin Brãtsch as the recipient of the 2017 Edvard Munch Art Award, an international biennial award bestowed on a contemporary artist. It consists of a monetary prize ($65,000 USD), a solo exhibition at the Munch Museum, and a residency in conjunction with Edvard Munch’s studio in Oslo. An acknowledgement of Edvard Munch’s historical significance and enduring relevance to contemporary culture, the Award promotes the development of young and talented artists within the visual arts. Brätsch was selected by 2017 Jury members Alfred Pacquement, Massimiliano Gioni, Kathy Halbreich, Joanna Mytkowska, and Simon Sheikh, who were appointed by Munch Museum Director Stein Olav Henrichsen. In regard to its nomination of Brätsch, the Jury states: “Playing with artistic alter egos and collaborative pseudonyms, Kerstin Brätsch ... More

Diamonds dazzle at Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale this December
NEW YORK, NY.- Diamonds are set to sparkle at Bonhams New York this December as the auction house reveals its top lots ahead of the holiday season. Susan Abeles, Head of Jewelry for Bonhams US, and her team have curated a 189-lot sale featuring a selection of rare jewels and magnificent gemstones from around the world. Leading the sale is A Superb Diamond Ring estimated at US$1,400,000 - 1,800,000. The oval-shaped brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 13.61 carats, is D color, Internally Flawless and Type IIa. Diamonds classified as Type IIa are highly sought because they are the purest type of diamonds in the world. Gracing the cover of the Bonhams catalog is A Harry Winston Magnificent Diamond Rivière Necklace, formerly owned by Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor. The necklace, created by legendary “King of Diamonds” American jeweler Harry Winston ... More

New world record for Harry Potter first edition at Bonhams Book Sale
LONDON.- A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling set a new world record at auction of £106,250 at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London today (15 November). It had been estimated at £30,000-40,000. The book was inscribed to a friend and her family: ‘For Meera, Donnie, Nastassia and Kai, with lots of love from Jo (also known as J.K. Rowling)". The inscription is dated one month and a day after the book was published on 26 June 1997, this being one of the first copies supplied to Rowling by the publisher. Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said, “There is always a great deal of interest when first editions of Harry Potter books come to auction, especially, of course, in the very first one in the series. This particular example was not only in excellent condition, but it had the added attraction ... More

New Director of Development at Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin
AUSTIN, TX.- The Ransom Center has appointed Maggie Gilburg as director of development. Gilburg will provide strategic direction for the Ransom Center’s development activities, identifying and securing resources to sustain growth and advance its mission. She will provide leadership for the Center’s active fundraising program including managing membership and annual giving, major gifts and grants and donor relations. Her work will focus on building resources to strengthen and ensure the long-term care of the Center’s diverse collections, advance scholarly research and broaden access through exhibitions, research fellowships and public programs. Gilburg comes to the Ransom Center from the university’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she helped secure major gifts for the new LBJ Washington Center and developed plans to grow the school’s fundraising ... More

Ballroom Marfa names Laura Copelin as Executive Director
MARFA, TX.- Ballroom Marfa announced Laura Copelin's appointment to the role of executive director. Copelin joined Ballroom as associate curator in 2014, and has served as the nonprofit organization's interim director since April 2017. In addition to her administrative leadership position, she will continue in her role as Ballroom's curator. "The last few years have been an incredible learning experience," says Copelin. "I've been privileged to work closely with visionary artists and thinkers, while benefiting from the wise guidance of Ballroom's dedicated founders and board of trustees." "I look forward to facilitating more new artwork, ideas, and exhibitions at Ballroom. Together with my multi-talented colleagues, I hope to encourage the production of challenging projects that respond to pressing ecological and social issues, locally and as part of a global conversation." "Laura's ... More

Working Assumptions Arts Foundation hires Susan Krane as Executive Director
BERKELEY, CA.- Working Assumptions Foundation announces the appointment of Susan Krane as Executive Director. Krane begins in her new capacity November 2017 and joins the Foundation as its first Executive Director at a pivotal stage in the organization’s growth. Working Assumptions both produces and supports arts programs that explore the working assumptions of our everyday lives, to encourage change and connection. Krane is an experienced non-profit administrator with deep interest in the intersection of the arts and social issues. Her leadership expertise is in innovative curatorial practices and in public programming that stimulates critical inquiry; cross-disciplinary approaches to the arts; and catalytic community partnerships. Krane writes and speaks frequently about contemporary visual arts and is an experienced curator. Krane comes ... More

Gold remains the standard at Heritage Auctions' Nature & Science Auction
DALLAS, TX.- A dazzling collection of gold swept the top lots at Heritage Auctions' Nature & Science Auction Nov. 4 in Dallas, Texas, pushing the total value of the sale above the million-dollar plateau at $1,238,109. "Gold has been viewed for centuries as a standard of exceptional quality, value and beauty, and the results of this auction underscore that idea," Heritage Auctions Nature & Science Director Craig Kissick said. "We were able to compile an exceptional group of gold examples around which the buyers can build their entire home or office." The top lot was a Gold Nugget from the Bendigo Goldfields in Victoria, Australia, which sold for $181,250. This monstrous sample is more than 7-1/4 inches long and weighs in at a whopping 116 troy ounces. A stunning example of Crystalline Gold from the 16 to 1 Mine in Alleghany, California was the runner-up to the top ... More

Jewish Museum appoints Darsie Alexander Chief Curator
NEW YORK, NY.- Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, The Jewish Museum, announced today that Darsie Alexander will become the Jewish Museum's Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator. Ms. Alexander has previously held curator roles at the Walker Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, and is currently Executive Director of the Katonah Museum of Art. The accomplished curator and museum director will begin her new role on March 20, 2018. At the Jewish Museum, Ms. Alexander will work with Claudia Gould and the Museum's curators to advance the mission of one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture, from ancient to contemporary. She will lead the curatorial team - that has expertise in Judaica, contemporary and modern art, and media - to organize exhibitions, ... More

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art celebrates "State of the Art" and new acquisitions
BENTONVILLE, ARK.- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcomes back works from State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now and announces new acquisitions as part of All or Nothing, a new exhibition on view November 11 through May 28, 2018. State of the Art was a culmination of an ambitious year-long process in which the Crystal Bridges’ curatorial team logged more than 100,000 miles, visiting nearly a thousand studios all over the country. What was uncovered brought together works from 102 artists, ranging from works on canvas and paper to photography and video to installation and performance art. State of the Art was on view at Crystal Bridges from September 13, 2014 to January 19, 2015. Soon after, two versions of the exhibition traveled to five venues in 2016-17: Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minn., Telfair Museums, Savannah, ... More

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