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Tübingen archaeologists find "new" fragment of ivory belonging to 40,000 year old lion

The fragment on the left makes up half the head of the animal figure on the right, showing that the “lion” was fully three-dimensional, and not a relief as long thought. Photo: Hilde Jensen, Universität Tubingen.

TÜBINGEN.- Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, which has yielded a number of remarkable works of art dating to the Ice Age. The mammoth ivory figurine depicting a lion was discovered during excavations in 1931. The new fragment makes up one side of the figurine’s head, and the sculpture may be viewed at the Tübingen University Museum. “The figurine depicts a lion,” says Professor Nicholas Conard of Tübingen University’s Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology, and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment Tübingen. “It is one of the most famous Ice Age works of art, and until now, we thought it was a relief, unique among these finds dating to the dawn of figurative art. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Corcoran, the George Washington University and National Gallery receive approval to implement agreements   Before they left Africa, early modern humans were 'culturally diverse' say researchers   Two Basel art collections to go on tour due to temporary closure of Kunstmuseum Basel

This 19 April, 2005 file photo shows the Corcoran Gallery of Art near the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO Karen BLEIER.

WASHINGTON, DC.- Leaders of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art and Design, the George Washington University (GW) and the National Gallery of Art today received approval from the D.C. Superior Court to implement their historic agreements that were first announced in February 2014. The parties now plan to move ahead to carry out the terms of the agreements in the coming weeks. The court’s ruling permits the parties to proceed with the transfer of ownership of the Corcoran’s historic 17th Street building and the College of Art and Design to GW and of custody of the art collection to the National Gallery of Art. The collaboration will maintain the historic building as a showplace for art and a home for the Corcoran College and its programs, creating a global hub for the arts at GW. The collaboration also will safeguard the Corcoran’s collection and increase access to it as a public resource in Washington. “Today we ... More

Stone tools from Kharga Oasis, Egypt, one of the archaeological sites used in the study. Photograph reproduced with kind permission from The British Museum.

OXFORD.- A new study provides fresh insights into the life of early modern humans before they left Africa following a massive comparative study of stone tools. Researchers have carried out the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago found in the region between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. They have discovered there are marked differences in the way stone tools were made, reflecting a diversity of cultural traditions. The study has also identified at least four distinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other with their own different cultural characteristics. The research paper also suggests that early populations took advantage of rivers and lakes that criss-crossed the Saharan desert. A climate model coupled with data about these ancient water courses was matched with the new findings on stone tools to reveal that ... More

Pablo Picasso, Pains et compotier aux fruits sur une table, 1908–1909. Öl auf Leinwand, 163.7 x 132.1 cm. Photo: Kunstmuseum Basel, mit einem Beitrag von Dr. h.c. Richard Doetsch-Benziger erworben, 1951.

BASEL.- The Rudolf Staechelin Collection and the Im Obersteg Collection are two distinguished private collections with deep roots in Basel and a long history of affiliation with the Kunstmuseum Basel. The temporary closure of the museum in 2015 creates the unprecedented opportunity to send the two collections on a joint international tour. Bringing the works of both collections together allows for an exhibition that will guarantee unique perspectives: the Rudolf Staechelin Collection includes works by leading nineteenth-century precursors of modernism, and the Im Obersteg Collection holds eminent masterworks of twentieth-century art. The traveling exhibition will be on display at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (March 18– September 13, 2015, concurrently with the presentation of works from the Kunstmuseum Basel) and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. ... More

Quinn & Farmer to auction photography collection of former Virginia museum publication manager   Important Indian paintings to feature at Bonhams' Asia Week sale on September 17   Zurich Asia to offer rare stamps, philatelic treasures & superb works of art

Esther Bubley, ‘Third Avenue Elm with Gum Machines,’ (detail). Est. $200-$500. Quinn & Farmer Auctions image.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- Quinn & Farmer Auctions in Charlottesville, Virginia, is hosting an online-only sale through LiveAuctioneers that features the photography collection of George Cruger, former publications manager for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond. The auction is now open for bidding, and lots will begin closing at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. For many years, George Cruger held the position of assistant curator of photographs at VMFA. In that capacity, Cruger had the opportunity to research photographic works, recommend additions to the collections, and mount exhibitions. Among the shows Cruger helped produce was the major group show in 1987 titled Portraits: Faces of the ’80s. Cruger’s personal collection traverses the history of photography as it developed around ... More

Selected from the Barbara Janeff Collection of Indian Painting, the miniatures are among the sale’s highly anticipated highlights. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Centuries-old Rajasthani and Pahari miniature paintings will be placed on the auction block for the first time as part of the Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art sale on September 17 at Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house. Selected from the Barbara Janeff Collection of Indian Painting, the miniatures are among the sale’s highly anticipated highlights. The group features products of distinguished Indian schools of painting which flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. Barbara Janeff was captivated by India after seeing James Ivory’s film “The Sword and the Flute” in 1972. She immediately became a regular visitor at the R. E. Lewis Gallery in San Francisco where James Ivory, who was also an art collector, had bought many works by Indian artists. Janeff worked at the Charles Campbell Gallery (later the ... More

Vertical pair 1894 Dowager first printing 24 cdn.

HONG KONG.- Zurich Asia, the leading stamp auction house in Asia, will hold its next Hong Kong sale on 31 August & 1 September 2014 at Harbour Plaza Hotel. Presenting over 3,100 offerings, this exciting auction event will bring together both rare philatelic treasures and exquisite Chinese works of art highly coveted by discerning stamp collectors and art connoisseurs alike. Public preview will take place from 29-30 August. The star lot is a very rare 1895 registered cover from Tientsin to Hamilton, New York, redirected to Brooklyn with USA and Dowager franking (Estimate: HK$1-1.2 million/ US$128,000-154,000, Lot 509, illustrated above). In excellent condition, this exceptional cover is believed to be the earliest Dowager cover sent through the US Postal Agency in Shanghai. This centerpiece is expected to arouse tremendous interest from discerning collectors. The cover's front is franked with a USA 5 cents brown ... More

The Queen's Award winning violin dealers J & A Beare launch boutique online auction   Auction house Ketterer Kunst opens “Hommage à Picasso“ exhibition in Dusseldorf   Multiple world auction records set as Bonhams two-day Quail Lodge Sale makes history

Beares Auctions will offer players and investors from around the world the opportunity to bid on a limited number of carefully selected fine instruments and bows.

LONDON.- The Queen's Award winning violin dealers, J & A Beare, will make history this October by becoming the first major violin dealer to provide a boutique auction service for fine stringed instruments. Beares Auctions will offer players and investors from around the world the opportunity to bid on a limited number of carefully selected fine instruments and bows. Instruments described as ‘by’ a particular maker will be accompanied by a J & A Beare certificate of authenticity. The new service will provide an innovative web platform, including iOS compatibility for mobile bidding, and a number of features previously unseen in the violin auction industry such as ‘Buy Now’ (the option to buy immediately at a fixed price). These new features will sit alongside the traditional expertise and after-sales support that has been provided by J & A Beare for generations. Managing Directors of J & A Beare, ... More

Roy Lichtenstein, Still life with Picasso. 1973. Lithograph in colors, 72,3 x 53,1 cm.

DUSSELDORF.- The exhibition “Hommage à Picasso“ is dedicated to the universal genius and multi talent, who passed away some 40 years ago. It will be on display at Ketterer Kunst, first in Duesseldorf in August and then in Berlin-Charlottenburg until October. Homage is rendered by an array of internationally acclaimed artists, who paid their tribute to the great master shortly after his death in the early 1970s by providing an artwork each for a joint portfolio. It delivers proof of the effect that Picasso's œuvre had on their work and of how they saw him. As diverse as the works by, among others, Gerhard Altenbourg, HAP Grieshaber, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Heinz Mack, Joan Miró, Robert Rauschenberg, Emil Schumacher, Frank Stella, Jean Tinguely, Cy Twombly and Günter Uecker may seem, what they share is the legendary Pablo Picasso as source of inspiration and great respect ... More

The ex-Elvis Presley 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine. Photo: Bonhams.

CARMEL, CA.- The second day of Bonhams highly anticipated Quail Lodge auction saw many world records set for Maserati, Mini, Napier, Rolls-Royce, Speedwell and, most famously, Ferrari. With 117 cars on offer and a 92% sell-through rate, the two-day auction, which many were dubbing the “sale of the year”, brought a total sales figure of $108,000,000 (£64,578,327 or €80,628,104). After Thursday night’s exciting, record-making sale of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which made history when it achieved over $38-million, making it the most valuable car to ever be sold at auction, Bonhams went on to set several more records. For Ferrari, the most coveted of all marques, Bonhams broke an incredible nine model records. A 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB – Bonhams’ catalog cover car – sold for $3,850,000 (£2,306,920) to the applause of the audience and set a new record for the steel-bodied, non-competition, 3-carburetor model, ... More

Thomas Moran's Grand Canyon one of four works included in Forever Stamp series   'Interface: People, Machines, Design' opens at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney   Nationalmuseum Sweden announces new acquisition: Portraits by Kerstin Bernhard

Thomas Moran (born England), 1837–1926. Grand Canyon, dated 1912 Oil on pressboard 15-7/8 × 23-7/8 inches (40.3 × 60.6 cm). Bequest of Katherine Harvey.

KANSAS CITY, MO.- A painting in the collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be included in a new series of Forever stamps. Thomas Moran’s 1912 painting Grand Canyon is one of four artworks, all of the Hudson River School paintings, chosen by the United States Postal Service to be featured in the upcoming 12th issuance of the American Treasures series. In total, 25 million copies of the stamp will be distributed. “We are thrilled that a painting so integral to our American collection will travel so widely and be seen by millions,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director & CEO. “This is a great honor.” Thomas Moran was well-known for his western landscapes and Grand Canyon, a stunning representation of the iconic landmark found in Arizona, is an exemplary model of his ability to create balanced compositions. Readability ... More

‘Bauhaus’ Telephone. Designed by Marcel Breuer and Richard Schadewell, made by Fuld & Co / Telephonbau & Normazeit GmbH, Germany, 1928. Photo: Powerhouse Museum.

SYDNEY.- The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences is showcasing its design and technology collection through a compelling new exhibition Interface: people, machines, design at the Powerhouse Museum from 15 August 2014 – 11 October 2015. Featuring iconic products designed and manufactured by the world’s famous brands, including Olivetti, Braun and Apple, Interface explores how a handful of companies, designers and industrial visionaries transformed clunky machines of a century ago and created the ubercool, must-have items that we can’t live without today. “Each of us has memories of the technologies that have changed our lives. The mobile phone highlights the way technology and design has rapidly evolved, from the heavy object of a few decades ago to the sleek multifunctional device of today. This exhibition is a fine example of the ... More

Kerstin Bernhard, Unknown woman. Photo: Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum.

STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired a selection of photographic portraits by Kerstin Bernhard for the Swedish National Portrait Gallery. The portraits have been donated by Carl Johan Bernhard, the photographer’s nephew and assistant. One of the most prominent Swedish photographers of the 20th century, Kerstin Bernhard would have been 100 years old this year. Kerstin Bernhard (1914–2004), best known for her fashion and food photography, would have turned 100 on 27 August this year. Bernhard started out as a portrait photographer with her own studio, so Nationalmuseum is delighted to have acquired some of her most important portraits for the Swedish National Portrait Gallery. The majority of the acquired works date from Bernhard’s early career in the 1930s and ’40s, when she was trying to strike a balance between personal expression and the conventions of the time. The award-winning 1939 portrait of the ... More

More News
Japanese whisky a sellout at Bonhams Hong Kong auction
HONG KONG.- Bonhams Hong Kong continues to take the lead in the sale of rare single malt whiskies in the city with a successful auction of Japanese and Rare Whisky on 15 August. The 200 lots of Japanese whisky on offer were snapped up with great gusto, resulting in a sellout with every single lot sold. The whisky sale, which also included 64 lots of Scottish single malts, totaled HK$6,564,898, with an overall 97% of the lots sold. Spirited bidding among the whisky aficionados in the packed saleroom and online drove the prices of their favourite malts above their presale estimates, proving that the demand for rare single malt whiskies and in particular Japanese ones remain at an all time high. As expected, the highly collectible Yamazaki-50 year old, one of the rarest and oldest Japanese single malt whiskies of all time and the true connoisseur's dream, fetched HK$257,250, 70% above ... More

MFA celebrates Malcolm Rogers' 20th Anniversary this September with '20 Reasons to Visit'
BOSTON, MASS.- This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director, with a range of special programs and events, including an array of “20 Reasons to Visit.” The longest-tenured Director in the Museum’s 144-year history, Rogers marks two decades at the MFA on September 1. A free MFA Community Day: Celebrating 20 Years of Director Malcolm Rogers will be held on Sunday September 7, which follows a weekend of exclusive events, including a gala (sold out) and a lively MFA by Moonlight party on Saturday, September 6 (tickets on sale now). Special member events, exhibitions and public lectures will encourage visitors to come back for exciting activities all month long. Social media channels will use the hashtag #MR20 to highlight the festivities surrounding Rogers’ anniversary, with fans and ... More

Exhibition of new sculptures by Toby Ziegler on display at The New Art Centre
SALISBURY.- The New Art Centre presenting its first exhibition of new sculptures by Toby Ziegler (b. 1972), which is being shown in the gallery and Sculpture Park concurrently with the display of Bridget Riley’s painting in the Orangery. Both artists share an interest in perception, which for Ziegler involves the ways in which we receive, transfer and lose information. Ziegler’s sculpture has been described by Penelope Curtis as ‘very whole and very empty’. Hence the new sculptures for this exhibition are made from the thinnest possible aluminium sheets and approximate aspects of the human form – heads, bodies and limbs – and they look almost pneumatic, as if they have been inflated and might possibly float away. Their apparent physical lightness is enhanced by their shiny, multi-faceted surfaces which catch and reflect light from every angle, making them appear barely there. These are ... More

Important Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu to paint at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
RICHMOND, VA.- VMFA has commissioned South African artist Esther Mahlangu to create two large-scale paintings that will become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Mahlangu is the most renowned artist of South Africa’s Ndebele people, and she has developed the art of mural painting from a tradition of designs painted on the exterior of rural homes to projects created in a global, contemporary art context. Mahlangu and her team will arrive from South Africa in early September 2014 and will remain in Richmond for a month, working daily on the commission. Ndebele painted designs echo the patterns found in their beautifully beaded vestments and jewelry, such as Mahlangu regularly wears to pridefully assert her heritage. The public is welcome to observe her while she works on the paintings and the museum has plans to document her progress. The finished work will ... More

Exhibition spotlights new movement in Japanese ceramics since the late 20th century
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Tradition on Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Paul and Kathy Bissinger Collection introduces museum visitors to the vibrant shapes and diverse textures of contemporary Japanese ceramics created since the late 20th century. On view at the Asian Art Museum from August 19, 2014 through April 5, 2015, the exhibition presents 22 ceramic artworks by 20 artists, showcasing the innovative designs and techniques of the generation born after World War II. These talented artists draw upon the long and revered traditions of Japanese ceramics in search of the new. Featured in the exhibition are some of the most innovative artists exploring the potential of clay. Akiyama Yō’s distinctive non-functional works have cracked surfaces that have been compared to cooling volcanic magma, as seen in Untitled T-071. Fukami Sueharu incorporates the ... More

Van Lanschot the new sponsor of the Van Gogh Museum
AMSTERDAM.- The Van Gogh Museum and Van Lanschot have announced today that they have entered into a sponsoring agreement. The agreement was signed today by Karl Guha, Chairman of the Board of Van Lanschot, and Axel Rüger, Managing Director of the Van Gogh Museum. This makes Van Lanschot a Partner of the new entrance building of the Van Gogh Museum and the bank will financially support the construction of the new entrance to the museum. Signing the agreement took place in the museum. Next, all the Van Lanschot staff members involved in the agreement were taken on a tour across the building site where they could see how the work is progressing. Axel Rüger about the agreement: “It is of great importance to us that Van Lanschot is prepared to support the realization of this iconic design and architecturally unique building. The extension of our museum ... More

President of Turkey awards Freer and Sackler Galleries Director Julian Raby the Order of Merit
WASHINGTON, DC.- Julian Raby, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art, has been awarded the Presidential Order of Merit, conferred by the president of the Republic of Turkey for contributions to Turkish art and culture. The award is one of Turkey’s highest honors. On behalf of President Abdullah Gül, Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Serdar Kılıç presented the medal to Raby at an Aug. 13 awards ceremony held at The Turkish Embassy Residence in Washington, D.C. “I’m deeply honored to receive this medal,” said Raby. “I first visited Turkey in 1967 and fell in love with its people, its places and its histories. My friendships from those early years evolved into collaborative projects, and I owe a remarkable debt to my Turkish friends and colleagues for their support and scholarship.” Raby, 65, is a world-renowned ... More

Cherokee Nation preserves culture, supports art through new construction
TAHLEQUAH, OKLA.- Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses are using new construction and renovations to procure, preserve and display cultural artifacts and artwork. The tribe and its businesses have spent nearly $300,000 with many Cherokee artists on art, artifacts and display items in 2014. The numbers continue to grow as more construction projects are complete. “The Cherokee culture is widely recognized for its historic and modern-day contributions to the landscape of American Indian art,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “For the Cherokee Nation, supporting and preserving those contributions is a matter of law and a principle I have endorsed for years. By making investments in our Cherokee artisans, we are preserving our culture and heritage while increasing our ability to share it with the world.” In accordance with Cherokee Nation law, when the ... More

Artbat Fest-Smart City: 5th International Contemporary Art Festival to be held 28 August-29 September
ALMATY.- ARTBAT FEST is a public art event in the most literal meaning possible. The fifth edition of the festival once again brings a dazzling array of Kazakh and international public art and urban culture to the streets of the Arbat area of Kazakhstan’s most happening city of Almaty. “SmartCity is an art project exploring the potential impact of art on social behaviour favorable to the environment and society and also studying the aesthetic impact on the development of infra- structure of the city. The project, based on the principle of using art and design to improve the public space, focuses on the role of creative disciplines in programs of urban development. The project offers an ambitious plan to develop the city as a space for life, balancing social, economic and environmental issues with infrastructure needs.” Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, curator 5th International Contemporary ... More

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On a day like today, French painter Gustave Caillebotte was born
August 19, 1848. Gustave Caillebotte (19 August 1848 - 21 February 1894) was a French painter, member and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group. Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art form. In this image: An employee looks at a painting 'Oarsmen' of 1877 of French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) in the Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany, Thursday, June 26, 2008.

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