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New research reveals that iceman "Otzi" was potentially a versatile tailor

The Iceman's reconstruction. © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/ A. Ochsenreiter.

PARIS (AFP).- The 5,300-year-old Alpine mummy known as the Tyrolean Iceman died wearing leather clothes and accessories harvested from no less than five wild or domesticated species, a DNA analysis published Thursday revealed. Frozen solid after being fatally wounded by an arrow in the back, the brown-eyed, Copper Age nomad, nicknamed "Otzi", was discovered in 1991 in the Otztal Alps between Italy and Austria. Details about his ancestry, what he snacked on, and his sundry diseases and ailments have all been dissected with scientific precision over the last two decades, but no one had taken a close look at the origin or his attire. Until now. A team led by Niall O'Sullivan, a researcher at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Italy (and University College Dublin), put nine samples from Otzi's leather accoutrements under the microscope to determine their origin. These included a fur hat, an archery quiver, a composite leather coat, a loin-cloth, grass-lined shoes, and tight-fighting legging ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Clark Art Institute acquires oil painting by Émile Bernard   Following dinosaur footsteps in Bolivia's fossil mecca   NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale receives promised gift of 100 works

Émile Bernard (French, 1868-1941), Portrait de Madame Lemasson, 1891 (detail). Oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm. Clark Art Institute, 2016.3.

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.- The Clark Art Institute has acquired Portrait of Madame Lemasson (1891), an oil painting by Émile Bernard (French, 1868–1941). This is the first painting by Bernard to enter the Clark’s collection and adds depth to the museum’s holdings of Post-Impressionist paintings, drawings, and prints. The painting was once owned by noted collector Samuel Josefowitz, who was among the most important twentieth-century collectors of the works of Paul Gauguin and of the wider Pont-Aven School. Portrait of Madame Lemasson is currently on view. Portrait of Madame Lemasson was painted during one of Bernard’s many trips to Brittany. The sitter is the innkeeper with whom Bernard stayed during his visits to the northern coastal town of Saint-Briac between 1886 and 1892. Madame Lemasson is seated and knitting in front of a table with a vase of flowers. The portrait was not given to the sitter but remained with Bernard for a decade unt ... More

Tourists watch dinosaur footprints at the Cal Orcko Cretaceous Park in Sucre, Bolivia on August 7, 2016. AIZAR RALDES NUNEZ / AFP.

MARAGUA (AFP).- It's not easy following in the footsteps of the largest animals ever to roam Earth. There are no roads or even footpaths to get to the spot in Bolivia where researchers recently discovered a huge dinosaur footprint measuring 1.15 meters (nearly four feet) wide. But Bolivian paleontologist Omar Medina hopes to turn this remote corner of southern Bolivia into a magnet of paleontology that will attract visitors from around the world. The enormous footprint, roughly 80 million years old, was discovered last month by local guide Grover Marquina, who specializes in fossil tours. It was left by an abelisaurid theropod dinosaur, a carnivorous biped that Medina estimates would have been about 15 meters tall. The size and quality of the print are "impressive -- never seen before," Medina said. "It allows us to position ourselves as a mecca of paleontology." The footprint, which dates to the Late Cretaceous Period, is just the most recent find in Bolivia's ... More

Amy Sillman, N, 2007 (detail). Oil on canvas. Collection of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz © Amy Sillman Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co. New York.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.- NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale announced that David Horvitz, Chairman of the museum’s board of governors, and artist Francie Bishop Good, his wife and fellow board member, have made a promised gift to the museum of 100 works from their highly regarded collection of contemporary art. With an emphasis on multi-cultural and women artists, the works date from 1978 to 2013, and fill a gap in the museum’s 6,000-work encyclopedic holdings. They will become an important educational resource for students and the community. Among the artists represented in the collection are: Cecily Brown, Tracey Emin, Teresita Fernandez, Nan Goldin, Barbara Kruger, Ana Mendieta, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Amy Sillman, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Mickalene Thomas, and Kara Walker. The promised gift will be part of Realizing Potential: The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University, the largest philanthropic campaign in the ... More

"Conflicts of Interest" explores relationship between art and war in modern Japan   San Jose Museum of Art presents Milton Rogovin's photographs of the working class   Trio of acquisitions enhances 19th- and 20th-century paintings collections at Worcester Art Museum

Japanese Shōwa period Soldiers Saluting the National Flag with Children as Warplanes Fly Past near Mount Fuji, c.1940; color woodblock print (uchiwa‑e); sheet: 10 3/4 x 10 1/16 in. (27.3 x 25.6 cm) mat size: 19 1/4 x 14 1/4 in. (48.9 x 36.2 cm); Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Lowenhaupt 888:2010.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum will celebrate a gift of more than 1,400 Japanese prints and related works with the groundbreaking exhibition Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan. The gift has made the museum one of the world’s largest public repositories of Meiji-period military art, allowing for the creation of an exhibition that features a much wider range of modern Japanese war-related art than has ever been shown. Conflicts of Interest opens Oct. 16 and runs through Jan. 8, 2017. The exhibition is curated by Philip Hu, associate curator-in-charge of Asian art in collaboration with Rhiannon Paget, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art. The exhibition highlights the intense and extraordinary relationship ... More

Milton Rogovin, Untitled, from the series “Working People, Amherst Foundry,” 1979 (detail). Gelatin silver print; 10 x 8 inches; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jon Vein.

SAN JOSE, CA.- The San Jose Museum of Art is showcasing the work of American photographer Milton Rogovin in an exhibition on view August 18, 2016 – March 19, 2017. Life and Labor: The Photographs of Milton Rogovin comprises thirty-eight black-and-white photographs by the social documentary photographer. Rogovin photographed “the forgotten ones,” as he called them, including people from working class neighborhoods and multi-ethnic communities. Drawn entirely from the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art, this exhibition presents photographs from three series: “Lower West Side, Buffalo” “Working People” and “Family of Miners” Life and Labor marks the public debut of these photographs, which were given to the Museum’s collection in 2011. Rogovin shed light on important social issues of the time: the plight of miners, the decline of the ... More

Philippe-Jacques Van Bree, The studio of Jan Frans Van Dael (detail).

WORCESTER, MASS.- The Worcester Art Museum announced today the acquisition of The Pregnant Woman (1931), a major painting by the German artist Otto Dix, a superlative example of his intense, naturalistic style, as well as two magnificent paintings by the Belgian artist Philippe-Jacques Van Brée, The Studio of the Flower Painter Van Daël at the Sorbonne (1816) and a smaller replica done in the same year. Acquired with the help of dedicated funds, “these three works continue a tradition of bold acquisitions which have helped to build the Museum’s outstanding collection over time,” said Matthias Waschek, C. Jean and Myles McDonough Director of the Worcester Art Museum. “The ‘Otto Dix’ provocative nude breaks new ground in our holdings of the first half of the 20th century, while the two paintings by Philippe-Jacques Van Brée fit a more traditional beauty narrative but contain important historical details about ... More

Controversial German historian Nolte dies   Naked Trump leaves NY in giggles until demolished   The Menil Collection presents Andy Warhol's Sunset

This file photo taken on November 25, 2002 shows German historian Ernst Nolte posing during a TV debate in Paris. Nolte, 93, died on August 18, 2016. DANIEL JANIN / AFP.

BERLIN (AFP).- Controversial German historian Ernst Nolte, who sparked a massive dispute in the 1980s over his thesis on the cause of Nazism, died Thursday aged 93, this family told AFP. Nolte had contended that it was the Russian Revolution in 1917 -- in which the monarchy was dismantled and which led to communist rule -- that touched off events that led to Nazi rule and finally resulted in the Holocaust. He argued that fascism had gained strength as the middle classes sought a response against communism and that Soviet gulags were the examples on which Nazi death camps were later built. His views sparked what became known as the "Historians' Dispute" that raged from 1986, with his detractors condemning his thesis as coming too dangerously close to justifying the Holocaust. Nolte was born in 1923, and taught at Berlin's Freie Universitaet until his retirement. ... More

A passerby has a picture taken with a statue depicting republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- A naked statue of Donald Trump, complete with bulging belly and elaborate yellow hair, caused laughter and merriment in New York Thursday until it was ripped up by park wardens. Hands clasped across ample belly, the sculpture was unveiled in Union Square, gazing out across the busy street with an engraved plaque saying "The Emperor Has No Balls," witnesses said. Indecline, a California-based company, released a video on their website showing a naked statue of the controversial Republican presidential nominee being made. But New York's department of parks and recreation was unimpressed. Wardens ripped the statue from its base, then used spades to smash its feet and foam base to smithereens, and pry its metal platform from the ground. "Parks has removed the sculpture," a spokesperson for the city's department of parks and recreation told AFP. "The installation of any ... More

Film still from Andy Warhol, Sunset, 1967. 16mm film, color, sound, 33 minutes. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Film still courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum.

HOUSTON, TX.- Beginning August 19, the Menil Collection will present Sunset – a film by Andy Warhol commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil in the mid1960s for a proposed ecumenical chapel at the 1968 San Antonio World’s Fair. The presentation of the film, organized by Curator Michelle White, includes a daily screening in the museum’s east temporary gallery at 6pm every evening the museum is open. The de Menils asked Warhol to create a work of spiritual significance to be displayed in a contemplative space, a concept similar to what they were establishing for the Rothko Chapel in Houston. In response, Warhol shot a sunset over the Pacific Ocean in California. Recorded on 16mm film, the real-time footage is a slow and colorful shift of atmospheric light at dusk over the course of thirty-three minutes as the sun ... More

Beus Center for Law and Society designed by Ennead Architects opens at ASU   Getty Publications publishes North of Dixie: Civil Rights Photography Beyond the South by Mark Speltz   Three simultaneous solo exhibitions open at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Beus Center for Law and Society Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Phoenix, Arizona 2016. Image: Bill Timmerman.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Beus Center for Law and Society, the new home of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, opened on Monday at a ceremony featuring retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Senator John McCain, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and other dignitaries, all heralding BCLS as poised to transform the law school experience—both in program and design. A new six-story, 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown Phoenix designed by Tomas Rossant of Ennead Architects, in collaboration with Jones Studio, BCLS was conceived and developed as a uniquely open urban environment where society and the study and practice of law converge. “We are dedicated to making buildings that act as institutional ... More

For this powerful and compelling volume Speltz carefully selected one hundred photographs.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The history of the civil rights movement is commonly illustrated with well-known photographs from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma -- leaving the visual story of the movement outside the South remaining to be told. In North of Dixie: Civil Rights Photography Beyond the South, author and historian Mark Speltz shines a light past the most iconic photographs of the era to focus on images of everyday activists who led grassroots campaigns to protest racial discrimination in jobs, housing, education, and policy brutality. These hard fought battles took place in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, among many other American cities north of the Mason-Dixon Line. For this powerful and compelling volume, Speltz carefully selected one hundred photographs, some never-before-seen or ... More

Thedra Cullar-Ledford, Proud Mary, 2010. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. Collection of Dr. Rania Elkhatib MD, MPS. Image courtesy the artist.

HOUSTON, TX.- The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston presents three simultaneous solo exhibitions by Houston-based artists Amy Blakemore, Thedra Cullar-Ledford, and Susie Rosmarin. The presentations are part of the museum’s ongoing series Right Here, Right Now, which celebrates our region’s vibrant creative community. Its second iteration showcases the work of three Houston-based artists with decades-long practices here. CAMH’s Director Bill Arning, Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, and Curator Dean Daderko respectively selected Cullar-Ledford, Rosmarin, and Blakemore. Blakemore’s, Cullar-Ledford’s, and Rosmarin’s works are visually and conceptually diverse. These artists create moodily poetic photographs, wry and confrontational figurative paintings, ... More

More News
1,100+ lots cross the block in Heritage Auctions' two-day Fine & Decorative Arts event
DALLAS, TX.- A decorator's dream and a collector's cache of more than 1,100 lots cross the block in Heritage Auctions' triannual Fine & Decorative Arts, Including Estates, event Sept. 17-18 in Dallas. The two-day auction spans furniture, American and European art, glass and Asian art — including a large, Chinese Carved Coral Group (est. $30,000-$50,000). The Carved Coral depicts the Eight Immortals rising forth from a boat, backed by a fan and coral-form frame. This group is likely related to the mythical story of the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea, which detailed the Immortals' exploration and discovery of underwater realms, popularized in E.T. Werner's 1922 volume, Myths and Legends of China. At nearly 20-inches high, the impressive work highlights an extraordinary collection of Asian artworks, including a 36-inch high Chinese Carved Jadeite Figural ... More

Unit London opens exhibition of works by Jake Wood-Evans
LONDON.- Faces are defiled and figures appear as apparitions. Subjects range from a ghostly vision of a society lady to a fading portrait of a once proud general and grotesquely disfigured admiral. Viewed together, the body of work is eerily reminiscent of an art collection of a great estate in the early years of the British Empire, but while the haunting redactions of once-heroic subjects might suggest the correcting gaze of a postcolonial sensibility, Wood-Evans’ interest lies more with the original artists and process than with the specific subject. With a strong focus on craftsmanship, his work draws inspiration from a diverse range of Baroque and Old Master figurative painters. By scrubbing, scratching and erasing certain areas while building up others, Wood-Evans’ paintings are physically pushed and pulled out of the canvas. Thick layers of paint contrast with saturated oil on canvas, ... More

Taiwan tea entrepreneurs brew up new twist on tradition
TAIPEI.- Cheap instant "bubble tea" has become one of Taiwan's best-known culinary exports -- now a new wave of entrepreneurs hopes a high-end modern take on traditional brews will also be sipped worldwide. Taiwan has been producing tea for more than 200 years and a cup of the island's famous oolong is obligatory for many visitors, but exports have been knocked by rising labour costs and bubble tea has eclipsed a carefully crafted cuppa. Often artificially flavoured and loaded with milk, sugar and tapioca pearls, bubble tea has in recent years gained a global following, from Southeast Asia to the United States and Europe. Ultra-modern tea shop "Xie Xie" is one business trying to turn the tide back to sophistication. Founder Xie Yu-tung, 30, comes from a family of tea producers and uses leaves grown on their plantations in Taiwan's mountainous Dayuling and Lishan areas. ... More

Last chance to see Shakespeare exhibition at the Library of Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM.- A major exhibition celebrating Shakespeare and his unique connections with the Midlands is entering its final weeks at the Library of Birmingham. Marking the 400th anniversary of the poet and playwright’s death, ‘Our Shakespeare’ runs until Saturday 3 September 2016 and features treasures drawn from the Library of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Collection, along with items on loan from the British Library in London. Admission is free. Our Shakespeare features around 100 items relating to Shakespeare and his work, including books, films, posters and photographs and never before seen local treasures. Highlights include: • The Library of Birmingham’s copy of the First Folio (1623) – one of the world’s most famous books and the foundation for every subsequent edition of Shakespeare’s works • Laurence Olivier’s 1955 screenplay of ‘Macbeth’ – ... More

MoMA's ninth annual Film Benefit to honor Tom Hanks on November 15
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art’s 2016 Film Benefit, presented by CHANEL, will honor Academy Award–winning actor Tom Hanks on November 15. Winner of the 1993 and 1994 Best Actor Oscars for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994), Mr. Hanks has also been nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award on three other occasions, for his roles in Big (1989), Saving Private Ryan (1999), and Cast Away (2001). Later this year, Mr. Hanks will star in the highly anticipated films Inferno (2016) and Sully (2016). The Film Benefit will be highlighted by a gala dinner and a tribute recognizing Mr. Hanks’s acclaimed work. MoMA will also pay tribute to Mr. Hanks with a film series of his work, November 8 to 14 in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at MoMA, states, “Tom Hanks is a true force in cinema. His work ... More

Argentine judge to probe murder of Spanish poet Lorca
MADRID (AFP).- An Argentine judge known for investigating crimes committed during Spain's civil war will probe the murder of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, a victims' association said Thursday. The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH), a group seeking justice for people tortured, killed and disappeared in the 1936-1939 war and the ensuing 36-year dictatorship, said it had made an official complaint to Maria Servini. Servini "accepted the complaint and has started working on the issue," said Emilio Silva, head of the association. Servini has previously probed Spain's dark and bloody recent past, having opened a lawsuit in 2010 to investigate rights violations during the war and dictatorship, invoking the principle of universal jurisdiction. In 2014, she issued arrest and extradition warrants for around 20 former Spanish officials, including ex-ministers of dictator Francisco ... More

In Togo, a revival of the ancient allure of waist beads
LOME (AFP).- Wearing a brightly-coloured wrap-around dress, Sonia ambles through the crowds at a market in a popular neighbourhood of Lome, a string of tiny red beads dangling from her hips. "I'm very comfortable wearing waist beads. But it is also a way of attracting men," says the 24-year-old hairdresser, a coy smile playing on her lips. In the Togo capital, the fashion for wearing strings of beads around the waist -- an ancient tradition known as 'djonou' in the Gulf of Guinea region -- has made a comeback in recent years. Favoured by young women as an object of both beauty and seduction, the djonou also has a spiritual aspect, guaranteeing the wearer the protection of her ancestors. Some say it can even cure pain in the kidneys. When worn from a very early age, local lore says the djonou can help bodily development by enhancing the fullness of young ... More

Manifesta 11 in Zurich: Only 30 more days
ZURICH.- Manifesta 11 can be seen and experienced in Zurich for one more month. A visit to the Artists’ Guild at Cabaret Voltaire is especially recommended. As of August, it is also open to non-Guild members and important performance art representatives are taking part, as well as artists from all over the world with collaborative partners in other professions. On Wednesday evening, the Mayor of Zurich, Corine Mauch, was on stage in a joint-venture partnership with Ticino-based artist Stefan Bütschi. The Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire is an experimental performance space. So far, over 340 artists from 30 countries have performed on the stage specially created for Manifesta 11 in the historic birthplace of Dada. Major representatives from performance art, such as Ulay (known for his body-related performances with artist Marina Abramović), the Austrian artist group ... More

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