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Van Gogh Museum reveals conservation details for stolen paintings

Restorer Kathrin Pilz consolidates small loose flakes of paint on Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen. Photograph: Maartje Strijbis.

AMSTERDAM.- Van Gogh’s works View of the Sea at Scheveningen (1882) and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen (1884-1885) are back on display at the Van Gogh Museum. After being stolen from the museum in 2002, the paintings were recovered in Italy in 2016. The works returned home soon after, but have spent the last two years in the conservation studio being examined and restored. Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum: ‘We are delighted to be able to put these significant works in our collection back on display in the museum, where they belong. The conservators have done a brilliant job and the paintings will now go back on permanent display in their full glory, for everyone to see. Having the opportunity to see this happen before the end of my Van Gogh Museum career is a dream come true’. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day






Donations for gutted Brazil museum a fraction of Notre-Dame's   Sotheby's to offer the SØR Rusche Collection of Old Master Paintings   Lightning strike at Acropolis, Greece, injures four


This file picture taken on February 12, 2019 shows an aerial view of Brazil's National Museum taken as journalists make their visit since the building burnt down last September, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mauro PIMENTEL / AFP.

RIO DE JANEIRO.- As donations for the restoration of the Notre-Dame cathedral top $900,000, the director of Brazil's devastated National Museum can only hope for such deep pockets in his own country. Nearly eight months after a faulty air conditioning system sparked a fire that gutted Latin America's main natural history museum and destroyed most of its collection, just $280,000 or so has been raised for its reconstruction. "We are very happy for the extremely positive reaction of French society and we hope that following this example Brazilian businesses and millionaires will start to send us their donations," Alexander Kellner, director of the Rio de Janeiro-based museum, told AFP. "It is not a question of obtaining amounts of this magnitude, but the National Museum really needs donations. "With a million reais ($255,000) more, we can solve ... More
 

Jan Miense Molenaer, Young musicians with dancing dwarf. Estimate: £40,000 – 60,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- This year, Sotheby’s will offer for sale 225 works from the esteemed SØR Rusche collection. Amassed over four generations, most recently by businessman and collector Thomas Rusche, the collection comprises an unrivalled selection of the finest works by some of the more minor masters of the Dutch and Flemish 17th centuries. Presenting the entire group of Old Master paintings from the collection across four auctions in London this year, the sales will feature works by lesser-known artists whose contributions to the Golden Age of Dutch art have often been overlooked. Earlier this year, a highlight from the collection, a rare and elegant still-life by Flemish artist Michaelina Wautier, sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $471,000 - more than triple it’s low-estimate. Spurred by the ethos ‘the best of the smallest’, four generations of the Rusche family built a collection of works by artists, many ... More
 

Tourists take selfies in front of the ancient Acropolis after it was closed following a lightning storm injuring four people on April 17, 2019. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP.

ATHENS (AFP).- A lightning strike injured four people Wednesday at the Acropolis in Athens, which was closed for the rest of the day, the Greek culture ministry said. The bolt hurt two tourists and two Greeks when it struck a lightning rod near the small Erechtheion temple to the north of the famous Parthenon, a ministry spokeswoman told AFP. A local ambulance service official had said earlier that the bolt struck a ticket booth. The two tourists, a Korean man and a Scandinavian woman, both under 30, suffered light injuries and were checked briefly at a hospital, the ministry spokeswoman said. Two Greek staff members who were in a guard booth suffered cuts from flying glass, and were hospitalised as a precautionary measure, she added. The Acropolis itself suffered no damage, but the site was closed for the rest of the day since the strike knocked out electricity and ... More


Notebooks of Charles Darwin's mentor at risk of export   NY museum scraps Bolsonaro event after complaints   Military careers spanning three millennia offered at 79th Auction of Hermann Historica GmbH


Resource includes letters from Darwin on his developing theory of evolution.

LONDON.- Arts Minister Michael Ellis has prevented the sale of notebooks by Sir Charles Lyell - the renowned Scottish geologist who influenced Charles Darwin - in a bid to keep the important archive in the UK. Sir Charles Lyell (1797 - 1875) was a key figure in the history of geology and science. He is best known for writing the Principles of Geology, which presented the idea of uniformitarianism - the theory that changes in the earth’s crust during geological history resulted from the action of continuous and uniform processes. The 294 notebooks and manuscripts, valued at £1,444,000, contain Lyell’s conversations with fellow scientists including his transcribed correspondence with the father of evolution, Charles Darwin. The archive also contain Lyell’s notes for his printed works and record his developing ideas about the uniformity of nature including early ideas on climate change, extinction, and biodiversity. Arts Minister Michael Ellis said: This archive ... More
 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is drenched with rain during a downpour as he attends a ceremony to mark Army Day, in Brasilia on April 17, 2019, two days ahead of the actual celebration date. Sergio LIMA / AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- New York's Museum of Natural History announced Monday it had canceled a private function booked to take place there that would honor Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The leader, who has been attacked at home and abroad for policies that critics say threaten the environment and indigenous communities, was due to receive an award at the museum from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. "With mutual respect for the work & goals of our individual organizations, we jointly agreed that the Museum is not the optimal location for the Brazilian-Am. Chamber of Commerce gala dinner," the museum tweeted. "This traditional event will go forward at another location on the original date & time." The statement was also posted on the chamber's website. Bolsonaro was chosen to receive the "Person of the Year" award from the chamber at a May ... More
 

A beautiful, homogeneous German cuirassier's armour for an officer, circa 1620/30. SP: 30000 Euros. © Hermann Historica GmbH 2019.

MUNICH.- This year's large Spring Auction at Hermann Historica GmbH will take place in Munich from 20 to 24 May 2019. In addition to unequalled armour and helmets or sumptuous artefacts of royal and imperial provenance, the programme showcases superlative masterpieces of the finest craftsmanship among the approximately 3650 lots from all periods and regions. From time immemorial, a military career has been a source of aspiration in every profession, with combat both an honour and a duty that engenders pride for ruler and citizens alike. Even in the ancient world, serving members of the armies enjoyed a high social standing. Accordingly, no effort was spared in protecting the highly trained warriors of antiquity and the early armourers dedicated their entire range of skills to creating helmets and breastplates with exquisite workmanship. Particular emphasis was placed on the elaborate helmets, which ... More


Leonardo da Vinci's 'Horse and Rider' coming to auction, now in USA for 500th anniversary of master   Hirshhorn opens largest U.S. museum survey of Italian artist Enrico David   ICA Miami launches new biannual exhibition initiative with major Ettore Sottsass exhibition


A single bronze figure was able to be meticulously cast from the ancient wax in 2012.

NEW YORK, NY.- Following a 1995 exhibit in Stockholm, Sweden, the media was ablaze with the announcement that a small, centuries-old beeswax figure of a man on horseback was authenticated by leading scholars as having been the work of none other than the great master, Leonardo da Vinci. A single bronze figure was able to be meticulously cast from the ancient wax in 2012. Believed to be the model for what was to have been a monument honoring Leonardo’s patron Charles d’Amboise, the historic casting was titled simply Horse and Rider. The beautiful 28 cm bronze, the only casting to emerge directly from Leonardo da Vinci’s c. 1510 beeswax figure, along with the original mold made from the wax figure, will be sold by Guernsey’s at auction on November 1, 2019. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death (May 2, 1519) with celebrations, events and exhibits around the world honoring the ... More
 

Enrico David, Tools and Toys III, 2014 © Enrico David. Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has opened the largest U.S. museum survey of works by London-based Italian artist Enrico David, on view April 16–Sept. 2, 2019. Named after his sculpture of the same name, “Gradations of Slow Release” characterizes the circular process commonly used in David’s practice. Activating themes of interiority, multiplicity, privacy, introspection and disembodiment, the artist’s work vacillates between feeling extremely contemporary in its expression while simultaneously appearing archaic. The presentation at the Hirshhorn is organized by Stéphane Aquin, Hirshhorn Chief Curator. David has distinguished himself as one of the most original artists working today, fashioning a universe of imagery that revolves around the human figure and its many states of being. Using a wide range of media— ... More
 

Ettore Sottsass, Superbox Cupboard, designed 1966. Plywood, plastic laminate. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Abet Laminati S.p.A., 1983-40-2.

MIAMI, FLA.- The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami announces the launch of a new biannual exhibition initiative committed to exploring significant advances in postwar and contemporary design and its relationship to contemporary art. To kick off the initiative and its spring 2019 exhibitions program, ICA Miami will mount a major exhibition dedicated to renowned and radical Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007). Opening April 18 with exhibition design by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo, Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory considers the practice of the influential designer beyond his place in the history of design, and places Sottsass’ work within the social and economic contexts in which it was produced. The exhibition reflects ICA Miami’s dedication to offering new perspectives on significant contemporary figures and ... More



Michael Werner Gallery opens an exhibition of sculptures, paintings and works on paper by Markus Lüpertz   France launches global contest to replace Notre-Dame spire   The Neil Armstrong Family Collection™ Part II of Personal and Space Memorabilia returns May 9-11


Uranos III (Uranus III), 2017. Plaster, wax, 29 x 13 3/4 x 8 inches, 74 x 35 x 20 cm. Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.

NEW YORK, NY.- Michael Werner Gallery, New York will present Markus Lüpertz: Dans l’Atelier, opening 18 April. The exhibition was originally conceived for the Musée de la vie Romantique in Paris, where it was on view last year. Comprising over two dozen plaster and wax sculptures completed between 2016 and 2018 as well as paintings and works on paper, Dans l’Atelier presents viewers with an intimate look at Lüpertz’s conceptual process. Throughout his career, Lüpertz has sought balance in his art – a space between painting and sculpture, abstraction and figuration – and these new sculptures provide a striking new counterpoint to the artist’s forty years of work in bronze. These primordial sculptures manifest a lightness and fragility seldom seen in Lüpertz’s oeuvre and possess a delicate materiality and form that is entirely new. They continue to develop themes that have fascinated the artist throughout his care ... More
 

The steeple and spire collapses as smoke and flames engulf the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019. Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- France on Wednesday announced it would invite architects from around the world to submit designs for replacing the spire of Notre-Dame cathedral after a devastating blaze, as the government braced for a mammoth restoration challenge. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the contest would decide whether the monument should have a new spire at all and if so, whether it should be identical to the fallen 19th-century model or be a wholly new design. The world looked on in horror Monday as flames engulfed the 850-year-old gothic masterpiece seen as encapsulating the soul of Paris and the spire came crashing down. Explaining that having no new spire at all was an option, Philippe noted that Notre-Dame had been without a steeple for part of its history. A descendant of the 19th-century architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, Jean-Marie Henriquet, 76, told AFP it would be a "great ... More
 

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown Spacesuit Comfort Glove worn by Mission Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, flown to "Tranquility Base" on the moon's surface during the first manned lunar landing, on July 20, 1969.

DALLAS, TX.- The Neil Armstrong Family Collection™ Part II, the second presentation of the private and professional treasures from the personal collection of the first man to walk on the moon, will be presented by Heritage Auctions May 9-11 in Dallas, Texas. The entire Space Exploration Auction will also feature one-of-a-kind rarities from several moonwalkers and NASA space pioneers, including: • The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown Spacesuit Comfort Glove worn by Mission Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, flown to "Tranquility Base" on the moon's surface during the first manned lunar landing, on July 20, 1969. • A historically important copy of the July 21, 1969 edition of The New York Times, signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, below the blaring headline "MEN WALK ON MOON" • An Apollo 11 Flown Flight Plan ... More



More News
Exhibition examines the reception of the Bauhaus in the GDR
EISENHÜTTENSTADT.- As part of the Bauhaus centenary in 2019, the Documentation Centre of Everyday Culture of the GDR in Eisenhüttenstadt in the state of Brandenburg is presenting a special exhibition entitled “Shaping everyday life! – Bauhaus Modernism in the GDR” which examines the reception of the Bauhaus in the GDR. The exhibition opened on 7th April 2019. Functional, durable and optimized for industrial mass production: “Shaping everyday life !” presents objects that were part of everyday life in the GDR – furniture, glassware, ceramics, technology and graphic design – and biographies of the designers who followed the tradition of the Bauhaus and contributed to the continuing development of its design principles and modern product design. For example, the exhibition spotlights the design of furniture by the Deutsche Werkstätten ... More

Battle of New Orleans commemorative banner and historic snare drum offered in May 4 Americana Auction
DALLAS, TX.- On January 8, 1815, a teenage slave named Jordan Bankston Noble beat the call to arms and stood shoulder to shoulder with U.S. troops determined to drive back the British Army during the Battle of New Orleans. Despite his age, Noble, just 14 years old, already had plenty of experience as a drummer in the War of 1812 under Major General Andrew Jackson's 7th Regiment; his skills also had played a crucial role in a December 1814 surprise attack against the British. More than 180 years later, Noble's personally owned circa 1830 snare drum, which he used to keep soldiers marching in step during Second Seminole War of 1836, and two additional wars, and a prized Battle of New Orleans presentation banner, come to auction May 4 in Heritage Auctions' Americana & Political Auction in Dallas and on HA.com. "Without a doubt, Jordan Noble's ... More

Indian identities explored through lens of groundbreaking artists in new photography exhibition
VANCOUVER.- The Vancouver Art Gallery presents a major exhibition of works by thirteen artists based in India whose photographic practices focus on constructing and reconstructing realities. Moving Still: Performative Photography in India is on view April 19 to September 2, 2019 and showcases more than one hundred works, dating from the 1800s to the present. This exhibition examines themes of gender, religion and sexual identity using photography, an important medium in India since the mid-nineteenth century. “Moving Still shifts the focus from India’s preeminent and historical traditions of sculpture and painting, to its rich and diverse history of photography,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “While this exhibition examines contemporary practices, it tells a fascinating narrative of the artistic impact and influences ... More

Francis M. Naumann Fine Art exhibits works by Pamela Joseph and Rob Brinker
NEW YORK, NY.- Both Pamela Joseph and Rob Brinker have had prior solo exhibitions at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, but this is the first time their work is being displayed together in a two-person show. For over 25 years, they have shared a studio, so it is perhaps inevitable that, over time, their work would come to share related aesthetic sensibilities. It was recently suggested that they attempt to work together on the same work of art, a challenge they wholeheartedly accepted, and the result is something they call “hybrids.” These works display characteristics of each artist’s inherent style, yet the combination creates an entirely new and distinctively different work of art (so much so that they consider these works made by an entirely independent artist they call “Joseph Brinker”). The catalogue texts were written by another couple—Larry ... More

Heritage landmarks devastated by fires
PARIS (AFP).- Before Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, engulfed in flames on Monday, several heritage sites around the world have been either completely or partially destroyed by fires. Here are some examples. On July 9, 1984, a fire believed to have been triggered by a lightning strike caused severe damage to Britain's imposing York Minster. The massive blaze destroyed the roof of the south transept of the Gothic cathedral, which was completed in the 15th century. The intense heat cracked its magnificent 16th century stained glass Rose Window into tens of thousands of pieces but it was able to be painstakingly repaired. Restoration work on the minster was completed in 1988 at a cost of £2.25 million (around £5.1 million, $6.7 million today). Overnight September 2-3, 2018, Brazil's National Museum, north of Rio de Janeiro, was ravaged by a massive fire. ... More

Jeremy Deller, Aries, David Sims and Rirkrit Tiravanija protagonists at Centro Pecci, Italy
PRATO.- On Thursday April 18, the Centro Pecci will inaugurate two new exhibition projects: Wiltshire Before Christ, which stems from a collaboration between the artist Jeremy Deller, the streetwear brand Aries and the fashion photographer David Sims, and Tomorrow Is the Question, which presents three works by Rirkrit Tiravanija, an artist known internationally for actively involving the public in his projects. This programme continues the approach defined by the new management of Cristiana Perrella, who joined Centro Pecci one year ago, open to multiple languages and viewpoints, which sees the museum as a place that welcomes production, debate and cultural promotion and is committed to artistic research in the broadest sense of the term, between visual art, design and fashion, performance and theatre, with a particular focus on music. The ... More

Canary Wharf displays The Association of Photographers Awards 2019
LONDON.- The AOP Awards gather together the best of the best in the photography world to celebrate the captured image. Now in its 35th Year, the Awards are seen as the Oscars of the photography world and this year have had over 2,000 entries in the various categories, a 15% rise on last year. With the Photography Awards only open to members of the AOP, anyone is eligible to enter the Open Awards, making it a great starting point for new and upcoming talent. A first for 2019, the “Innovation” category highlights the use of technology to make images, reflecting the changes in the industry as a whole. Tim Flach, AOP President: “The 2019 Awards have seen higher entry levels than in previous years. One of the big events we had last year was the AOP50 retrospective which was at One Canada Square, and we are very proud to have been ... More

Independent Curators International to honor Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
NEW YORK, NY.- Independent Curators International, the leading arts organization focused on the role of the curator in contemporary art and culture, announced today that it will honor Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo with the 2019 Leo Award. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo will be presented with the award at ICI’s Annual Benefit & Auction in New York on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Named after early ICI supporter and legendary art dealer Leo Castelli, the award recognizes extraordinary commitment to artists and pioneering contributions to the field of contemporary art. Past recipients of the award include Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Marian Goodman, Michael Govan, Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Miuccia Prada, Emily Rauh Pulizter, and Dasha Zhukova. An avid collector for more than two decades, Sandretto Re ... More

Mrs Thatcher Part III, online at Christie's in May
LONDON.- Christie’s will offer Mrs Thatcher, Part III, an online sale which will be open for bidding between 2 and 9 May 2019. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s historic election as the United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister (1979-1990), this constitutes the third and final part in a trilogy of auctions held as part of the arrangements following the death of Mrs Thatcher in 2013. Comprising 170 lots, spanning items relating to Mrs Thatcher’s time in office, personal possessions, her ‘uniform’ jewellery, clothes and handbags, estimates range from £100 to £15,000. The sale is now available to view online in full. The sales began in 2015 when Part I and Part II attracted a global audience, selling 100% and totalling £4,516,038/ $6,831,487/ €6,189,443. Part III will provide further public and private insights into the trajectory of a political titan, presenting uniqu ... More

Can Notre-Dame be restored in just five years?
PARIS (AFP).- French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to complete a painstaking renovation of Notre-Dame within five years after the historic cathedral suffered a monstrous fire that destroyed its spire and roof. But will France be able to muster the necessary workers and materials to meet the challenge? While some experts say it's possible, others are less sure, especially if officials want to stick as closely as possible to the original features of the 850-year-old gothic masterpiece. The cathedral's floor is littered with charred debris that will require weeks, if not months, to clear. Architects say that before any work can begin they must establish how solid the stone structure is since it might have been weakened by the fire's extreme heat and water. Culture Minister Franck Riester said Tuesday that two gables are at risk of falling, including one high above ... More




Picasso's Idealized Portrait of His Final Muse



Flashback
On a day like today, German sculptor Otto Piene was born
April 18, 1928. Otto Piene (18 April 1928 - 17 July 2014) was a German artist specializing in kinetic and technology-based art. He lived and worked in Düsseldorf; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Groton, Massachusetts. In this image: MIT List Visual Arts Center exhibition "Otto Piene: Lichtballett." October 21, 2011 - December 31, 2011.



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