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Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture

The charred scroll from En-Gedi. Image courtesy of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, IAA. Photo: S. Halevi.

by Kerry Sheridan


MIAMI (AFP).- An extremely fragile, ancient Hebrew scroll has been digitally unwrapped for the first time, revealing the earliest copy ever found of an Old Testament Bible scripture, researchers said Wednesday. Known as the En-Gedi scroll, it contains text from the Book of Leviticus, and dates at least to the third or fourth century, possibly earlier, according to the report in the journal Science Advances. The deciphering of its contents is described in the journal as a "significant discovery in biblical archeology." The scroll is not the oldest ever found -- that honor belongs to the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls which range from the third century BC to the second century of the common era (AD). Radiocarbon analysis has shown that the En-Gedi scroll dates to the third or fourth century AD. Some experts think it is older than that. An analysis of the handwriting style and the way the letters are drawn suggests it could date to the second half of the first century or the beginning of the second century ... More

The Best Photos of the Day


National Gallery of Denmark presents new aspects of French master Auguste Rodin   Exhibition of color and black-and-white photographs by Sally Mann on view at Gagosian Gallery   Barnebys report finds that the auction industry is being transformed by "Millenials"


Auguste Rodin, The lovers, C. 1880. Pen and brown ink, brown wash over pencil, heightened with white, on lined paper, 152 x 123 mm. The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, SMK/ DEP346 (© SMK Foto).

COPENHAGEN.- On 22 September the National Gallery of Denmark opened a major exhibition about the French artist Auguste Rodin and his works on paper. This is the first exhibition of Rodin's drawings on Danish soil since 1930, and several of the almost one hundred exhibits have never been shown in Denmark before. The works come from many sources, including Musée Rodin in Paris and the Royal Collection of Graphic Arts in Copenhagen. The history of sculpture can be said to fall into two chapters: before and after Rodin. In the late nineteenth century, the French artist Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) reinvented sculpture. Before this point, sculptures were mostly static, monumental and idealised figures raised on pedestals, but Rodin set sculpture free, introducing dynamic and passionate human figures that interacted directly with the space around them. ... More
 

Sally Mann, Remembered Light Untitled (Slippers and Flare), 2005 (detail). Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm) © Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian Gallery is presenting “Remembered Light,” an exhibition of color and black-and-white photographs by Sally Mann, taken between 1999 and 2012. Mann is known and regarded for her images of intimate and familiar subjects rendered sublime and disquieting: children, landscape, family, and the nature of mortality. In previous projects, she explored relationships between parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, nature and history. In her latest exhibition of photographs spanning more than a decade, she records in fleeting impressions the working habitat of the late Cy Twombly, her close friend and mentor. Twombly and Mann are both natives of Virginia. The landscape to which Twombly returned each year is also the memoryscape of Mann’s connection to him. This was documented in her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still, ... More
 

The Report is based on a mix of survey material and measurable data direct from Barnebys’ own database.

LONDON.- A new generation is flooding into auction houses, via their online portals and changing the way these companies operate. This information is carried in an authoritative report from Barnebys, the world’s largest and fastest growing art and auction search engine that offers its service free to buyers and sellers. Most Art Market reports look at the size of the global art market and prices achieved. Barnebys decided to focus on behavioral trends in online traffic – why buyers and sellers are doing what they are doing and how auctioneers and dealers can harness that information. The Report is based on a mix of survey material and measurable data direct from Barnebys’ own database with its 1.5m visits a month. This makes it unique, even against such publications as the highly respected TEFAF Report, because that is largely dependent on third party survey material. Summary of Report’s principal findings • Half of ... More


15 preeminent New York City dealers launch October Art Week   Rome to reopen Spanish Steps after renovation   Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs


Jan de Bray, (1627 - Haarlem - 1697), The Penitent Magdalene. Oil on panel;72.6 x 56.2cm. Signed and dated, lower center on crucifix: JDBray/167(?)/25 Courtesy, Otto Naumann Ltd.

NEW YORK, NY.- Fifteen of the city's preeminent galleries-all clustered on the Upper East Side-are hosting simultaneous opening-night receptions to kick off the first edition of October Art Week, October 20 to 26. The gallery receptions, open to the public and comfortably walkable from one another, are being held to expand upon the buzz and excitement generated by the opening of TEFAF in New York City. Taking place at the Park Avenue Armory, TEFAF, the world's premier art fair, will bring together the treasures of nearly 100 dealers from around the globe, showcasing outstanding examples of fine art, design, furniture, jewelry and more. "With the opening of TEFAF New York, we thought it was the perfect time to launch October Art Week. TEFAF draws the world's foremost collectors and curators and while we look forward to seeing them on our stand, we really wanted to get them into our galleries, too," ... More
 

A view of the Spanish Steps in Rome during the opening night after restoration on September 22, 2016. TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

ROME (AFP).- Tourists and locals will on Friday once again be able to saunter up and down the Spanish Steps, after a year-long renovation to the Rome tourist landmark. The famous marble steps will also stay open at night despite concern about potential damage to one of the architectural jewels of the Eternal City. "The steps will not be closed at night. I think it is fundamental to let people have access... and to make them responsible for what they do at them," said Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi. Discoloured by years of pollution but also caked in chewing gum and stained by wine and coffee spills, the Spanish Steps were restored to their original white glory by a team of 82 workers. The 1.5 million euro ($1.7 million) restoration of the landmark, made famous in the United States by the 1953 film "Roman Holiday", starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, was financed by upmarket jeweller Bulgari. The firm's boss Paolo Bulgari has voiced concern ... More
 

Visitors stand looking out from the viewing gallery at the top of the Tate Modern's Switch House extension. BEN STANSALL / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- The viewing gallery in London's Tate Modern extension has awakened the voyeuristic instincts of visitors, who crowd the outdoor space to sneak a peek at the glass-walled luxury riverside flats opposite. The flats are just 20 metres (66 feet) away from the museum's pyramid-like extension which opened in June, allowing visitors to witness the daily lives of wealthy residents who say they are fed up. "It's quite horrible... I feel like I'm on display all the time," one tenant in the NEO Bankside development whose dining room faces the gallery restaurant was quoted by Thursday's Guardian daily as saying. Some have complained that pictures of the interiors of their houses were being shared on social media. One NEO Bankside employee said the residents of the two developments facing the museum, which gets over five million visitors every year, want part of the viewing gallery closed to prevent people looking in. Tate director Nicholas Serota has ruled this ... More


Reagan auction raises astounding $6 mn   20 Pink Mao's lead Phillips Auctions of 20th Century & Contemporary Art   Big Dorotheum Auction Week with paintings, works of art, and jewellery


One of a pair of Elizabeth II silver beakers, a personal gift from Margaret and Denis Thatcher, is among the items from the private collection of Ronald and Nancy Reagan displayed at Christie's September 16, 2016. DON EMMERT / AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- Fans of Ronald Reagan splashed out nearly $6 million on items owned by the former US president and his wife Nancy during a New York auction that fetched nearly three times its estimate, Christie's said Thursday. The top lot was a diamond, sapphire and ruby ring fashioned like the US flag and worn by Nancy Reagan on Independence Day 1986. It sold for a whopping $319,500 -- way over its $5,000 to $8,000 estimate, the auction house said. A piece of the Berlin Wall given to and signed by Reagan sold for $277,500, a painting by Frank Sinatra fetched $233,500 and a pair of bespoke cowboy boots decorated with the presidential seal went for $199,500. The public sale of hundreds of items from the 40th president's White House residence and Bel Air home offered a tantalizing glimpse into the private world of a US conservative ... More
 

Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), 20 Pink Mao's, 1979 (detail). Estimate: £4,000,000 - 6,000,000.

LONDON.- Phillips will bring together a selection of international names in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Auctions on 5 and 6 October. This season’s auctions are led by Pop icon Andy Warhol’s 20 Pink Mao's (estimate: £4,000,000 - 6,000,000, illustrated above), alongside important works by Mark Bradford, Sean Scully and Rudolf Stingel. Featuring 30 lots, the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale will take place on 5 October and is estimated to total over £15 million. The 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale comprises 158 lots and will take place on 6 October. Peter Sumner, Head of Contemporary Art, Phillips London: “Our international team assembled a carefully selected group of highly desirable work that is fresh to the market, and we look forward to presenting an Evening sale filled with high quality art. The leading highlight is Warhol’s portrait of Chairman Mao, a truly exceptional example from the arti ... More
 

Nicolas de Largillière (1656-1746), Portrait of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales, with a courtier, oil on canvas, 180 x 137,5 cm. Estimate € 120,000 - 150,000.

VIENNA.- Love and intrigue, beauty and horror, hells and idylls have always mesmerised humanity. The works of art that will be changing hands during the upcoming Dorotheum Auction Week are by no means out of date. From the 18th to the 20th October 2016, Old Master Paintings, 19th-Century Paintings and Watercolours, Antiques, and Jewellery will be on the programme. There is no doubt that paintings deliver compelling stories! A work by Nicolas de Largillière, to be offered at the Old Masters sale on the 18th October beats them all: a Game of Thrones, a version of Dynasty set in 17th-century England, Catholics against Protestants, a king smuggled into French exile… All of this lies behind the portrait of James Francis Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales, in the company of a courtier. The sitter was the king England and Ireland never had, although he was the legitimate heir to the ... More


Taiwan museum to remove statues after graffiti attacks   Magnificent evening gowns go on display at Windsor Castle   Bruce Silverstein opens first exhibition with Alfred Leslie


In this file photo Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (C-with sunglasses) and Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan (R) take part in the opening ceremonies for the National Palace Museum branch. AFP PHOTO / Sam Yeh.

TAIPEI (AFP).- Taiwan's leading museum said Thursday it will remove statues donated by actor Jackie Chan that were attacked by anti-China protesters late last year, as relations sour between the island and Beijing. The set of 12 zodiac animal sculptures sit in the garden of the National Palace Museum's southern branch and are copies of high-profile ancient relics from China's Qing Dynasty. They are seen on the mainland as emblematic of China's past suffering under foreign invaders. The originals of the statues were looted from Beijing's Old Summer Palace in 1860 by Anglo-French troops. Hong Kong actor Chan is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) -- China's mainland's political advisory body -- and has drawn criticism in the past for his pro- ... More
 

Curator Caroline de Guitaut arranging an evening gown in the Crimson Drawing Room, Windsor Castle. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

WINDSOR.- Visitors to Windsor Castle are now able to explore a fascinating display of The Queen's dress in the third of a trilogy of special exhibitions to mark Her Majesty's 90th birthday year, Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe. Throughout the Semi-State Apartments magnificent evening gowns worn during State Visits and overseas tours are on display alongside Her Majesty's childhood pantomime costumes and outfits worn for family celebrations, with special emphasis on occasions hosted at Windsor Castle. The Queen's support of British couture has been enduring throughout her reign, with designers such as Sir Norman Hartnell, Sir Hardy Amies, Ian Thomas and Angela Kelly creating dazzling evening gowns for a world stage. Her Majesty's ensembles are carefully designed to ensure they are ... More
 

Kitty Foyle (from 50 Characters in Search of a Reader), 2014. Archival pigment print, 76 1/2 x 59 in.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bruce Silverstein Gallery is presenting The Toast Is Burning, the gallery’s first exhibition with Alfred Leslie. This show features new work by this accomplished and influential American artist, alongside a selection of his iconic, large-scale portraits from the 1960s. Since the 1940s, Alfred Leslie (b.1927) has been celebrated for his achievements in film, painting, drawing, and poetry, including early recognition for his paintings featured in the Kootz Gallery exhibition New Talent, 1950, curated by Clement Greenberg and Meyer Shapiro, and the historic 9th Street Exhibition of 1951. As a filmmaker, Leslie is most known for his groundbreaking films Pull My Daisy, 1959, and The Last Clean Shirt, 1964, with text by Frank O’Hara. Leslie’s artist/writer collaborative magazine The Hasty Papers, 1960, which included contributions from John Ashbery, Jean Genet, Jack Kerouac, Alice Neel, and others, was a creative af ... More



More News
Cecilia Laffan joins Phillips as Regional Representative for Mexico
NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips announced that Cecilia Laffan is joining the company as a regional representative for Mexico, part of the company’s significant international expansion strategy. “We are delighted that Cecilia is joining Phillips and helping us expand our reach in Mexico, which is increasingly becoming one of the most important cultural capitals of the world,” said Matt Carey-Williams, Deputy Chairman and Head of International Business Development. “Cecilia has a deep understanding of the art market and a dedication to putting clients first. With her significant experience and passion for engaging with collectors, Cecilia is a strategic addition to our team as we continue to increase our market share in Latin American art.” Ms. Laffan will work closely with Phillips representatives in London and New York, especially with Henry Allsopp, Worldwide Head of ... More

Smart Museum of Art presents collection of 830 photographic works
CHICAGO, IL.- An extraordinary collection of 830 photographic works spanning from 1844 to 2012, bequested to the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, forms the basis of an expansive new exhibition, There was a whole collection made: Photography from Lester and Betty Guttman, September 22–December 30, 2016. The exhibition of more than 300 works is curated by Laura Letinsky, Professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the College at the University of Chicago, and herself an acclaimed photographer, and Jessica Moss, Smart Museum Curator of Contemporary Art. There was a whole collection made mines the Estate of Lester and Betty Guttman’s 2014 gift of over eight hundred photographic works by 414 artists to the Smart Museum, essentially establishing a major new resource for the public as well as scholars of the history and theory ... More

The Trustees of Reservations names Shana Dumont Garr as Curator at Fruitlands Museum
BOSTON, MASS.- The Trustees of Reservations announced that curator, arts writer, and educator Shana Dumont Garr has joined the organization as Curator at Fruitlands Museum. Before joining The Trustees, Shana was the Director of the Kingston Gallery in Boston. In her role as Curator at Fruitlands, Shana will be overseeing the care of the collections, helping drive an upcoming collection inventory, and managing/curating the exhibits and artist-in-residence programs. “We are thrilled to have Shana join our curatorial team,” says Joanna Ballantine, Trustees’ Vice President for the Western Region. “Shana’s dual background in art history and material culture will be an important asset for her working with Fruitlands Museum’s diverse and important collections. In addition, her connections with the Boston and the national contemporary arts scene will be a significant ... More

First solo presentation of work by Katie Paterson in New York on view at James Cohan
NEW YORK, NY.- James Cohan is presenting the first solo presentation of work by Katie Paterson in New York and the artist’s largest exhibition of work to date in the United States. The show is on view from September 16 through October 16, 2016 at the gallery’s Lower East Side location. For over a decade, Scottish conceptual artist Katie Paterson has looked to the natural world for inspiration in creating intimate and poetic artworks. Paterson treats her varied subjects – geology, ecology, astronomy, and the nature of time itself - with a scientific and profound curiosity. Paterson collaborates with specialists in different fields of study to conduct rigorous research and experimentation, emphasizing that art and science are not mutually exclusive ways of understanding the enormity of our world. The human understanding of infinite time and space looms large in Paterson’s ... More

Institute of Contemporary Arts opens solo exhibition by British artist James Richards
LONDON.- In partnership with Bergen Kunsthall and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, ICA presents Requests and Antisongs, a solo exhibition by British artist James Richards. In Richards' work, images and sounds are merged into highly affective video works that combine footage from a wide range of sources edited into elegant compositions. His recent projects separate these elements out again, allowing space for multi-channel audio installations that combine sound in a way that is physical and spatial. The video works convene materials according to the silent rhythms and movements of the footage they contain. In Requests and Antisongs, Richards presents three workswhich continue an ongoing exploration of the emotive power of appropriated digital video. The works on view are produced separately but conceived as a suite, containing overlapping samples and musical ... More

Gold snuff boxes, Faberge, Louis XIV scent bottle and more in Fine Silver and Objects of Vertu auction
DALLAS, TX.- A Rare and Important Christian Maas Swedish 20-Karat Gold and Enameled Snuff Box, from a private Texas collection of fine gold and enameled snuff boxes, leads a stellar collection expected to realize a combined $500,000 in Heritage Auctions' biannual Fine Silver and Objects of Vertu auction. The auction's nearly 600 lots span American, English, Continental, Russian and 20th Century Design Oct. 18 in Dallas. "Our Silver and Vertu auctions are always filled with spectacular finds, but this season's offering of snuff boxes are particularly strong," said Karen Rigdon, Director of Silver and Decorative Arts at Heritage. "The entire selection is a wonderful survey of the art of the subject with a fine selection of Swedish, Swiss, French, and German." The Christian Maas box dances with gold paillon stars floating above the translucent sapphire- ... More

Sculptures by Chris Antemann explore lust and sexuality in ceramic vignettes inspired by the 18th-century
NEW YORK, NY.- From September 22, 2016, to February 5, 2017, the Museum of Arts and Design presents Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit, an installation of 21 porcelain sculptures resulting from the collaboration between Oregon-based artist Chris Antemann and the renowned MEISSEN Porcelain Manufactory in Germany. Invited in 2011 to participate in MEISSEN’s art studio program, Antemann worked closely with the manufactory’s master artisans to create unique pieces and a series of limited editions that reinvent and reinvigorate the legendary figurative tradition. Inspired by eighteenth-century porcelain figurines and decorative art, and using the Garden of Eden as her metaphor, Antemann has created a contemporary interpretation of the eighteenth-century banqueting craze, posing scantily clad male and female figures in intimate and playful vignettes of seduction. ... More

An international crowd and impressive sales at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2016
LONDON.- The eighth edition of the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair, Berkeley Square, draws to an end accompanied by positive sales for participating dealers. This year’s LAPADA Fair attracted over 20,000 visitors from the UK and abroad. Sponsored by Delancey, the Fair has become a must-visit event for international collectors, buyers and interior designers looking to source coveted works of art, antiques, design and decorative arts from trusted LAPADA Association members. Dealers noted a significant number of international visitors, especially from the USA, Australia, Kuwait, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Many high-profile attendees visited the Fair, including actors Eddie Redmayne and Olivia Corfield, fashion designer Tory Burch and her fiancé Pierre-Yves Roussel (LVMH Fashion Group CEO), Princess Michael of Kent, the Al Nahyan family, writer and creator ... More

Masterworks by internationally acclaimed sculptor offered at Bonhams Greek sale
LONDON.- The international auction house, Bonhams is to offer two masterworks by the acclaimed sculptor Yerassimos Sklavos at its next Greek Art sale in London on 16 November. Evolution (1962) and Volcano (1964-65) are both estimated at £40,000-60,000. These masterpieces are two of the finest pieces from the artist’s estate. Volcano’s purity of sculptural lines and endless interplay of light and shadow echo the fluted columns of ancient Greek temples. Sklavos said of the piece: “Look at my Volcan; it’s made of Egyptian granite, the hardest stone on earth. No one could ever carve it, no matter how much they tried. But I sculpted it, I shaped it, I gave it the form I wanted.” Professor V. Fiorovantes, who wrote the artist’s monograph, considers Volcan one of Sklavos’s top 15 works of “exceptional value”. Évolution’s immediacy of form and minimalism of expression make it a modern-day caryatid. Fi ... More

Post-War art highlights Heritage Auctions' Fine & Decorative Arts, including Estates, auction
DALLAS, TX.- Heritage Auctions fall offering of Fine and Decorative Arts, including Estates, saw bidders pursuing fine examples of Asian objects and Post-War impressionist and Modern & Contemporary art. The Sept. 17-18 auction event presented more than 1,100 lots. "We were pleased to see the number of global bidders exceed 1,000," said Ed Beardsley, Managing Director Fine and Decorative Arts at Heritage. "Fine art paintings and works on paper performed extremely well and quality decorative arts received robust bidding." The auction's $1.1 million results saw Asian works of art and decorative items perform well. A Bronze Chinese Globular Censer, with foo lion-form handles and applied prose sold for $35,000 and a fine Namikawa Yasuyuki Japanese Cloisonné Enamel Jar and Cover, from the Meiji Period, ended at $25,000. Yasuyuki's artwork is highly sought after ... More




Virtually Unwrapping the En-Gedi Scroll



Flashback
On a day like today, American photographer Richard Avedon died
September 01, 2004. Richard Avedon (May 15, 1923 - October 1, 2004) was an American photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century." IN this image: Amon Carter Museum Senior Curator of Photographs John Rohrbach points to a Richard Avedon photograph of Boyd Fortin, Friday, Sept. 9, 2005, in Fort Worth, Texas. The photo is part of the "In the American West: Photographs by Richard Avedon" exhibit.



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