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'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

This picture taken on May 7, 2018 in Brussels shows a piece of the "Lohengrin Cup", created by Ludwig II of Bavaria for the late German composer Richard Wagner.
The fragment of porcelain was saved from ruins after a bombing in Bayreuth in April 1945 and it was believed to be completely destroyed. EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP.

by Philippe Agret

BRUSSELS (AFP).- Kept safe in a silk-lined box by its Belgian "custodian" lies a piece of the historic legacy of German composer Richard Wagner that was nearly lost forever. The Lohengrin vase, made of porcelain, was given to Wagner more than 150 years ago by Ludwig II, the "mad king" of Bavaria, whose passion for building fairy-tale castles was matched only by his love of Wagner's operas. It was believed lost after Allied bombing in World War II destroyed much of Bayreuth, the town where Wagner built the legendary theatre that now hosts an annual music festival. But one fragment emerged after the war and was taken to the Belgian capital, Brussels, in 1949, where it has largely remained out of sight in the intervening years. A group of Wagner devotees recently received a special viewing during a production in Brussels of the opera "Lohengrin" -- the work that first bewitched Ludwig -- and an AFP reporter was given a rare glimpse. Patrick Collon, the renowned organ maker and art expert who now owns th ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Auschwitz trial files classed UNESCO heritage   MY Kwong Lum, Chairman of Gianguan Auctions, recipient of 2018 Ellis Island Medal Honor Award   Louisiana Museum of Modern Art exhibits works by Ed Ruscha from the UBS Art Collection

Hesse's science and arts minister Boris Rhein (R) holds an Unesco certificate next to former chief prosecuter Gerhard Wiese at the Frankfurt's Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt am Main. Boris Roessler / dpa / AFP.

BERLIN (AFP).- Documents from the post-war Auschwitz trial have been classed part of the UNESCO "Memory of the World Register", underlining their significance as "common heritage of humanity", Germany's foreign minister said Wednesday. The 1963-1965 trial of 22 Nazi officials who ran the Auschwitz death camp marked a turning point when Germans faced up to their role in the Holocaust. Unlike the better known 1945-1946 Nuremberg trials where judges from the Allied powers presided over the hearings of top Nazis, the Frankfurt trial was the first in which Germans prosecuted Germans. In 183 days of hearings, the trial "paved the way for an entire society to take a critical look in the mirror at the role of Germans as citizens, participants, followers and criminals," said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Classifying the court material ... More

Over the years, Mr. Lum’s commitment to furthering an understanding of Chinese art and culture has earned him the respect of museum authorities, art experts and appraisers in China and the U.S.

NEW YORK, NY.- Kwong Lum, internationally known scholar, artist, poet, and Chairman of Gianguan Auctions in New York City, has been awarded an Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The award is bestowed on American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. In responding to the honor, Mr. Lum said, “I am grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded in China, Canada and the U.S. to support the arts and share my knowledge of Chinese heritage as it was and as it is in contemporary art.” He credited his teachers, the artists and ceramicists he has had the honor of knowing, his wife and family, and said, “The open mindedness I have experienced when people come together to share the joy of art proves to me that community ... More

Ed Ruscha, Gas, 1962. Lithograph, 50,96 x 37,62 cm. UBS Art Collection © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist & Gagosian.

HUMLEBAEK.- Ed Ruscha is unconditionally the hero of the artists. The exhibition VERY offers the Danish public the opportunity to get a better impression of the now 80-year-old American master’s work. In 2015 Louisiana showed an overview of the British artist Lucian Freud’s prints, also from the UBS Art Collection. The same is true of this first exhibition in Denmark of Ed Ruscha’s art. The works from the collection, comprised of drawings and prints, provide not only a general introduction to Ruscha’s art, but also insight into his sometimes radical approach to materials – for example the use of gunpowder and organic fluids. Moreover, the exhibition presents the artist’s legendary artist books, which are a part of Louisiana’s collection. For six decades Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) has explored the notion that in the familiar and recognizable one may also find the unusual and thought- ... More

Getty Museum announces acquisition of second-century Roman portrait bust   High Museum of Art receives Henry Church sculpture from Forward Arts Foundation   Christie's announces the Spring American Art auctions

Portrait Bust of a Man, AD 140-160. Roman. Marble. Height: 30 in.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Getty Museum announces the acquisition of a second-century AD Roman marble portrait bust of a man. The life-sized sculpture portrays a middle-aged man of high status who has a powerful and vivid appearance. His short beard and moustache are akin to those of the emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138), but the curly hair, prominent facial features, and intense gaze are more characteristic of the expressive style of the reign of Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161) and his son and successor, Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180). He wears a deeply folded paludamentum (military cloak) fastened with a circular brooch over his left shoulder. “This new acquisition is a superb example of early Antonine portraiture, which was previously not well represented in the Museum’s collection,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Roman portraiture achieved its most individualized and dynamic expression between the mid-second and early ... More

Henry Church (1836–1908), A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed, 1888, sandstone and iron. High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

ATLANTA.- Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High Museum of Art, announced today that the Forward Arts Foundation has enabled the important acquisition of the Henry Church, Jr., masterpiece “A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed” (1888). The Forward Arts Foundation made this generous gift in celebration of its 50th anniversary and to highlight 50 years of supporting the Museum’s growth via acquisitions and investments in programming. The Foundation purchased Church’s work from Atlanta collectors Carl and Marian Mullis, and it will feature prominently in the reinstallation of the High’s folk and self-taught art collection galleries, set to debut in October 2018. “We are incredibly grateful to the Forward Arts Foundation for its generosity, which allows us to bring this one-of-a-kind work into our collection,” said Suffolk. “We’re thrilled that this extraordinary object will re ... More

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), Hibiscus, oil on canvas Painted in 1939. Estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000. © 2018 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces the Spring American Art auctions, with a live auction on May 22 and a concurrent online sale taking place from May 15-22. The sales are distinguished by private collections including The Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch, The Estate of Robert A. Mann and the Mann Family, and the Collection of Mandell & Madeleine Berman, among others. The top lot of the sale is Georgia O’Keeffe’s seminal work, Hibiscus, painted in 1939 during her three-month Hawaiian sojourn at the behest of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (estimated: $4,000,000-6,000,000). Composed of brilliant and varying hues, Hibiscus is an affirmation of O’Keeffe’s color theory and epitomizes the brilliance of the artist’s Hawaiian works that excited such praise from contemporary critics. Highlighting the works by Norman Rockwell in the sale ... More

Simon Lee Gallery opens an exhibition of paintings by Bernard Frize   Christie's announces highlights from its spring sales of Books & Manuscripts   First written treaty between the U.S. and a Native American Nation on view at the American Indian Museum

Bernard Frize, Tonka, 2017. Acrylic and resin on canvas, aluminium frame, 146 x 110 cm (57 1/2 x 43 1/4 in.) Courtesy the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.

LONDON.- Simon Lee Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by Bernard Frize, the fourth to be held in the London gallery. This exhibition brings together paintings from Frize’s most recent series with works made in the decade from 1999 to 2008. As the Centre Pompidou prepares for its first major survey exhibition of the artist’s work, to be held in 2019, the juxtaposition of these works reveals both the consistency of Frize’s project, and his constant innovation. Throughout his career, Frize has revisited and revised his own works from earlier series. The loops and switchbacks of the trajectory of his career seem to echo those interweaving marks which structure many of the paintings themselves. He has spoken of these structures as devices for the removal of compositional decisions. The paintings proceed in series; the series are determined by the rules which govern them. He continues until the variations, and the p ... More

An Olympic Gold Medal awarded for Basketball to George Louis Redlein (18851968), St. Louis, 1904. $100,000-200,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces the spring various owner sale of Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana encompassing over 200 lots of autograph manuscripts, cartography, literature, illustrated books and historical artifacts. The sale will take place on June 14, 2018 at Christie’s New York, immediately following the dedicated sale of the exceptional “Duke of Portland” complete first folio edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838) (estimate: $8,000,000–12,000,000). Fittingly, the first section of the various owners’ auction is led by the first edition of Audubon’s folio Quadrupeds of North America, 1845-46-48, an homage to the American frontier, and the most ambitious of all color-plate books to be wholly produced in the United States (estimate: $200,000–300,000), followed by a choice selection of further works illustrating American animals and landscape by Alexa ... More

The Treaty with the Delawares, 1778. Photo: AP Paul Morigi/Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The first written treaty between the United States and an Indian Nation, the Treaty with the Delawares, 1778, is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The original document, on loan from the National Archives and Records Administration, will be on view through September as a part of the exhibition “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.” In an effort to gain support for the Patriot cause, the Continental Congress of the United States dispatched U.S. treaty commissioners to negotiate a treaty of peace, friendship and alliance with the Lenape (Delaware), whose lands were strategically located between present-day Pittsburgh and British-held Detroit. Among other things, the treaty asked that the Delawares provide safe passage for American troops across their tribal lands in exchange for the recognition of Delaware ... More

Marvel icon Stan Lee in $1 bn lawsuit against company he started   Annely Juda Fine Art presents large and small-scale sculptures by David Nash   Royal wedding venue steeped in British history

In this file photo comic book creator Stan Lee holds up a replica of his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Comic books legend Stan Lee is suing the entertainment company he co-founded for damages topping $1 billion, accusing bosses of trying to steal his image, according to court documents filed Tuesday. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and published by several US entertainment media outlets, alleges that POW! Entertainment CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion failed to fully disclose to Lee details of the firm's 2017 sale to Camsing International. The entertainment icon contends that they took advantage of him at a time when he was despondent over the death of his wife Joan and suffering from macular degeneration, a condition affecting the eyes. The 95-year-old co-creator of many superhero characters, including Black Panther and Spider-Man, alleges he was duped into signing a fraudulent agreement that gave POW! exclusive rights to his name, identity and likeness. ... More

David Nash, ‘Black in White, Black in Black: Column’ 2017. In 2 parts: Base: charred beech, Column: beech, 197 x 46 x 46 cm. © the Artist. Courtesy Annely Juda Fine Art, London.

LONDON.- Annely Juda Fine Art is presenting a solo exhibition by internationally-renowned sculptor, David Nash, entitled ‘Wood, Metal, Pigment’. Large and small-scale sculptures in wood, charred wood, bronze and iron in addition to pigment works on paper, explore the breadth of Nash’s established practice with a focus on his three primary materials: wood, metal and pigment. Nash has developed his sculpted work consistently over the last five decades, placing trees at the centre of his exploration. His intimate knowledge of their characteristics, both in life and in the process of change that continues after their being cut down, has informed his artistic development. Nash carefully chooses the way he treats the wood, allowing its natural qualities to inform the final shape of the work. Meanwhile, the effect of charring some of his wooden sculptures varies according to species: ‘charred beech, ... More

This file photo shows general view shows the west door and west steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- St. George's Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot on Saturday, is a royal church steeped in centuries of British history. The final resting place of kings and queens and the epicentre of English chivalry, the Windsor Castle chapel has witnessed multiple royal weddings and state occasions. When Harry and Meghan wed, they will be surrounded by tombs of his ancestors as well as priceless relics and heraldry dating back to the Middle Ages. Inspired by King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious order of chivalry, in 1348. He made Windsor's chapel its mother church and rededicated it to St. George, England's patron saint. In an annual ceremony which still continues, knights walk to the chapel in a grand procession, dressed in their garter robes: heavy blue velvet capes and black velvet hats with elaborate white ostrich plumes. ... More

More News
Betty Cuningham Gallery opens exhibition of works by Philip Pearlstein
NEW YORK, NY.- Betty Cuningham Gallery opened Philip Pearlstein: Today, which features recent paintings. In 1971, Pearlstein clearly stated his position on realsim in an article, “Why I Paint the Way I Do”, which appeared in the New York Times on August 22 of that year. The article, which is reproduced in full in the exhibition catalogue, is as strikingly relevant to Pearlstein’s painting today as it was in 1971. In fact, Pearlstein had suggested ‘Alone in the Jungle’ as a title for this article, indicating how alone he felt in his particular approach to realism. Unlike the other realists of the time, Pearlstein chose to paint exactly what he saw, without resorting to photography or narrative. I meant to create strong aggressive paintings that would compete with the best of abstraction. As seen in the paintings on view, Pearlstein remains sustained by a voracious hunger to paint exactly what is in front of him ... More

In wartime Yemen, artisans keep up the shine on gemstones
SANAA (AFP).- Her fingers bleed from beneath the nail beds, but sitting at her workstation, filing Yemeni gemstones on a spinning wheel, Safaa al-Faqih is at peace in a country for too long at war. In green canvas trainers and a black niqab, the young artisan -- one of the few Yemeni women in her field -- runs a blue Yemeni agate through a hot flame, turning it slowly with her bare hands as she fits it into a mold. "Every day, these stones tell me a different story," Faqih told AFP. "I discover something new every day." While the stone is still hot, she gathers her long black abaya and moves to a grinding wheel, where she runs her finger over the deep blue edges every second to feel for their smoothness. The stone slowly morphs from an uneven sphere to a perfectly symmetrical emerald-cut agate that gleams in the light. "I love this craft," the young, brown-eyed artisan said. ... More

Chazen Museum of Art Distinguished Curator Andrew Stevens to retire
MADISON, WI.- The Chazen Museum of Art announced that Distinguished Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs Andrew Stevens will retire October 5, 2018. During his thirty years of service to the Museum and the University, Stevens introduced thousands of students and other visitors to the museum’s print collection, where they could examine art in detail. “This has been a great gig for me,” said Stevens. “Being allowed to explore the collection and report back what I’ve found (in the form of exhibitions and class discussions) has been a signal honor; having made a living doing so places me in a vanishingly small proportion of people whose work and pleasure coincide.” Watanabe: Japanese Print Envoy will be Stevens's final exhibition as a staff member. He will present a public lecture Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chazen Auditorium. “We are ... More

Dora García creates new work for exhibition at Tensta Konsthall
SPÅNGA.- Dora García’s new work Red Love is inspired by the Russian author, feminist, activist, political refugee and diplomat Alexandra Kollontai (1872–1952) who propagated for radically transformed relationships between women and men. Free love and camaraderie were at the core of her thinking, as expressed in her novels and essays. As an influential figure in the Bolshevik party and commissar for social welfare in their first government, she not only set up free childcare centres and maternity houses, but also pushed through the rights for women including divorce, abortion, and full rights for children born out of wedlock. At the time these were unique measures which were soon overhauled by Stalin, who did not appreciate this attempt at ending “the universal servitude of woman” by challenging both economic and psychological conditions. García’s exhibition consists ... More

Museum Brandhorst opens exhibition of works by Jutta Koether
MUNICH.- There is scarcely any other artist who has shaped our current understanding of painting and the cultural landscape as significantly as Jutta Koether (born 1958). Tour de Madame is the first in-depth survey show dedicated to her work and, as such, represents a unique opportunity for the general public to view the astonishing and spectacular scope of her paintings. In many respects the exhibition will be a journey of discovery, bringing together more than 150 paintings in a totally novel fashion. Many of the works have either never been exhibited before, or have not been on display since their initial presentation. One highlight of the exhibition will be a newly produced 15-part series of paintings – with a nod to Cy Twombly’s Battle of Lepanto cycle on permanent display at Museum Brandhorst – embodying Koether’s own “battle” with art history. The exhibition ... More

Nationalmuseum Sweden acquires drawing by Italian master Salvator Rosa
STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired a work by one of the foremost Italian artists of the seventeenth century, Salvator Rosa (1615-1673). The work belongs to a distinct and important category within Rosa’s artistic production, his panel drawings. With the acquisition, Nationalmuseum is now second only to the Pitti Palace in Florence in having such a distinguished collection of this type of work by the artist. Salvator Rosa was both one of the most prominent Italian artists of the seventeenth century and one of the most unconventional. He pursued the visual arts, as well as poetry and acting. He was very well read and his art often had a literary source. Rosa often portrayed historical and mythological motifs in unexpected and innovative ways. Though he frequently selected obscure, seldom depicted aspects of well-known stories, he was nonetheless able to ... More

Modern Shapes Gallery in Antwerp exhibits the sculptures of Lucien Petit
ANTWERP.- Modern Shapes is presenting new work by Lucien Petit. Born in 1957 in Sancerre, Lucien Petit lives and works in Boisbelle, a village near La Borne, France. Trained in the techniques of ceramics, very eraly on he associates the interior to his personal work, an image recurring in all of his work. His work develops an interest in architecture, construction and the broader theme of receptacles, structured by the binary opposites of full and empty, form and counter-form, elevation and collapse, convex and concave, mineral and organic. His most recent works evolving between anthropomorphism and abstraction, are part of the tradition of simple shapes of sculptors who have been able to mark the modern history of La Borne. Set in a space and installed on the ground, these sculptures act as the protagonists of a silent piece reminiscent of the monoliths ... More

Norman Rockwell Museum appoints Mary A. Berle to new leadership position Chief Educator
STOCKBRIDGE, MASS.- The Norman Rockwell Museum today announced the appointment of Mary A. Berle, a Harvard-trained educator, who is the current Principal of Muddy Brook Elementary School, in Great Barrington, MA, as the Rockwell Museum’s new Chief Educator. Ms. Berle will officially join the Museum on September 1, 2018, assuming a newly created senior-level position to lead the Museum’s education vision at a pivotal time of growth. In this position, she will build on the strengths of the Museum’s robust education program currently led by Chief Curator Stephanie Plunkett and Digital Learning Director Rich Bradway. As a member of the Museum’s strategic leadership team Ms. Berle will oversee all aspects of the Museum’s educational programs, including distance-learning and digital initiatives to grow regional, national, and global engagement. ... More

Caio Twombly curates a pop-up exhibition in a former car showroom
NEW YORK, NY.- Avant Arte founders Christian Luiten and Curtis Penning and curator Caio Twombly - part of a new generation of influential tastemakers in the contemporary art world - have collaborated to curate a pop-up exhibition in a former car showroom at 132 Perry St, West Village, NY. Opening post Frieze New York, Mutants runs from May 10th through to May 20th, 2018. This is the online art platform’s second exhibition, following their sold-out collaboration with Unit London in 2017, and their first venture in the United States. In an exhibition inspired by the theme of hybrids and mutants, artists include Caroline Wells Chandler, Kari Cholnoky, Lily Gavin, Robert Nava and Kai & Adrian Schachter. In 2015 with no prior knowledge of the art world Luiten and Penning began documenting online their personal obsession ‘pursuing the Picassos of our time’. Their ... More

Property of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman and Alfred G. Vanderbilt highlight Doyle auction
NEW YORK, NY.- On Wednesday, May 23 at 10am EDT, Doyle will hold an auction of English and Continental Furniture and Decorative Arts, including Old Master Paintings and Drawings. The sale presents a broad selection of furniture and decorations, including Georgian silver, porcelain, mirrors, clocks, chandeliers, tapestries and rugs. Old Master paintings and drawings offer landscapes, still lifes, portraits and religious subjects by European artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century. A special section of the sale is devoted to property from the Estate of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman. Wendy was born in California to Manuela Hudson and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Jr. (1912-1999), a pioneer in thoroughbred racing, whose father had gone down on the Lusitania. She married Orin Lehman, New York State’s longest-serving commissioner of Parks, ... More

Claude Debussy's rediscovered score for Hymnis

On a day like today, American painter Mary Cassatt was born
May 22, 1844. ALLEGHENY CITY, PA.- Mary Stevenson Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker. She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children. In this image: The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt, 1893-94, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 46 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington

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