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Investigators say Chicago's Art Institute is holding onto 'Looted Art'

The Art Institute of Chicago. The Franke Reading Room at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

NEW YORK, NY.- New York investigators trying to seize a drawing from the Art Institute of Chicago filed an exacting 160-page motion Friday accusing the museum of blatantly ignoring evidence of an elaborate fraud undertaken to conceal that the artwork had been looted by the Nazis on the eve of World War II. While the court papers, filed by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, did not accuse the museum of being party to the fraud, they said it had applied “willful blindness” to what the investigators said were clear indications that it was acquiring stolen property. The drawing, “Russian War Prisoner,” by Egon Schiele, was purchased by the Art Institute in 1966. It is one of a number of works by Schiele that ended up in the hands of museums and collectors and have been sought by the heirs of Fritz Grünbaum, a Jewish cabaret entertainer from Vienna who was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. The institute paid about $5,500 for the drawing, which has been valued by invest ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Neil Gaiman on the collectibles he's auctioning   Rare Bank of Canada $500 note among top treasures in Heritage's March 7-8 World Paper Money Auction   Belgian comics artist Andre Franquin's revered Gaston Lagaffe makes his Heritage Auctions debut in March

The author Neil Gaiman in Los Angeles on May 16, 2019. Gaiman views art ownership as custodial. (Rozette Rago/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- “I like the idea of spreading joy,” Neil Gaiman, the author of the Sandman series, said in an interview about why he is selling some of the original comic book art, toys and other collectibles ... More

Prized rarity is one of the finest offerings of a Canadian $500 English Text note. Estimate: $250,000 - up.

DALLAS, TX.- Just because something no longer can be used does not diminish its appeal. In the case of the exceedingly rare Bank of Canada $500 1935 BC-17 English Text PCGS Banknote About UNC 53 PPQ that will find a new home when it ... More

Jean Frisano Strange #134 Cover Rom the Spaceknight Original Art (Lug, 1981).

DALLAS, TX.- “ANDRÉ FRANQUIN: GREAT OR...THE GREATEST?” This was the question posed by The Comics Journal in 2017 when a Paris exhibition feted the Belgian creator’s most famous and beloved ... More

The Fralin Museum of Art announces the first major gift of Judaica in the University of Virginia's history   Ray Francis, celebrating Blackness   Marc Pachter, who revived National Portrait Gallery, dies at 80

Spencer Tinkham (American, b. 1992), ”Torah Pointer” (2021). Rabbit made from skateboard.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will expand its holdings with a promised gift of more than 150 Torah pointers, or yads, from Clay H. Barr and the Barr Foundation. ... More

Ray Francis, Untitled, c. 1970s. Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1980s, 9 1/8 x 7 1/8 in (23.2 x 18.1 cm)

NEW YORK, NY.- In the late 1970s, in Montreal, photography students were obsessed with getting deep blacks — “max black” — in our prints, squeezing ... More

Marc Pachter, then director of the National Portrait Gallery, at the museum in Washington on June 20, 2006. (Andrew Councill/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- Marc Pachter, who transformed the National Portrait Gallery in Washington from a collection primarily of solemn paintings of old white men ... More

Aleksandra Waliszewska joins BLUM   Hammer Museum announces curators for Made in L.A. 2025   Second Stage to leave its Rem Koolhaas-designed Off Broadway theater

Waliszewska (b. 1976, Warsaw, Poland) is known for her dark, atmospheric paintings that are steeped in art historical erudition.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- BLUM announced the representation of Warsaw-based artist Aleksandra Waliszewska, considered one of the most influential, singular artists ... More

The Hammer’s biennial exhibition series Made in L.A. focuses exclusively on artists from Los Angeles with a primary focus on emerging artists. Photo by Lauren Randolph.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Hammer Museum announced that the next edition of its critically acclaimed biennial Made ... More

The Tony Kiser Theater at West 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- Second Stage Theater, a leading nonprofit that presents work by living American writers both on and off-Broadway, is giving up its Rem Koolhaas-designed ... More

Review: Dancing out 'Goldberg' with a nod to John Travolta   At Dance Theater of Harlem, a new lease on history and ballet   Thomas Rehbein Galerie presents 'Thomas Renwart: Shelter from the Storm'

The choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker performs in a new production of the Bach masterpiece “The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988,” at N.Y.U. Skirball in New York on Feb. 21, 2024. (Andrea Mohin/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- Images of women testing their bodies’ endurance have been swirling about the universe lately. There are pop stars like Taylor Swift and Madonna ... More

Dancers surround Robert Garland, the new artistic director of Dance Theater of Harlem, in New York, Feb. 2, 2024. (Dana Scruggs/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- Robert Garland has held many positions at Dance Theater of Harlem over many years — principal dancer, resident choreographer, school director, archivist and company webmaster. At long last, he has caught the prize title: artistic ... More

Thomas Renwart, Nothing Really Matters No. 1, 2023 (work in progress, detail).

COLOGNE.- The works in the solo exhibition »Shelter from the Storm« repeatedly show the subject of the butterfly. Depicted in flight amidst historical planetary maps, they refer to the human's deep-rooted desire to explain their world and environment while trying to recognize themselves. His works are surrounded ... More

More News
'Survival of the Fittest: Envisioning Wildlife and Wilderness with the Big Four' opens at The James Museum
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- Survival of the Fittest: Envisioning Wildlife and Wilderness with the Big Four, Masterworks from the Rijksmuseum Twenthe and the National Museum of Wildlife Art opened at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art in downtown St. Petersburg, on February 17. The exhibition will be on view through May 26. The exhibition title references Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, which had a revolutionary impact on how Western cultures envisioned their relationship with the other animals on Earth. In the post-Darwin era, a group of classically trained painters—now known as the Big Four—emerged and helped establish a vision of wildlife and nature that remains with us today. German Richard Friese (1854–1918) is the Big Four’s elder, followed chronologically by Swede Bruno Liljefors (1860–1939), German ... More

Expansion of Museu Serralves by Álvaro Siza opens
PORTO.- Serralves Foundation announced the opening of the new Álvaro Siza Wing, the expansion of the Serralves Museum designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Álvaro Siza. The 45,000-square-foot expansion has been inaugurated by two major exhibitions: Improbable Anagrams, a permanent exhibition of a showcase of the Serralves Foundation’s collection spanning over 60 years, curated by Philippe Vergne, Museum Director, Ines Grosso, Chief Curator, Marta Almeida, Deputy Director, Ricardo Nicolau, Adjunct to the Director, Isabel Braga, Curator, Sonia Oliveira, Librarian and C.A.S.A., an acronym for “Coleçăo Álvaro Siza, Arquivo,” exhibiting works from the archives of Siza, curated by António Choupina. The exhibitions will be open to the public from February 24 to August 24. Following 18 months of planning and construction, ... More

36 hours in Phoenix
NEW YORK, NY.- February heralds baseball and bachelorette season in greater Phoenix, Arizona’s capital and the nation’s fifth-largest city, where 15 major league teams gather for spring training and innumerable bridal parties descend on the local clubs and cabanas. Not that you need be a baseball fan or bridesmaid to want to visit this time of year: Highs in the 70s and wildflowers in bloom make a persuasive case for hitting the city’s trails, dining patios and, several stories up, a new rooftop restaurant with panoramic mountain and skyline views. Another notable addition: Waymo’s driverless electric cars (which have not been without hiccups). Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport allows them to pick up and drop off at the airport train station, and is now ramping up curbside service at the terminals. Strap in for a psychologically wild ... More

Reviving 'The Wiz' through 'the Blackest of Black Lenses'
NEW YORK, NY.- Schele Williams first saw “The Wiz” when a tour of the original Broadway production came through Dayton, Ohio. She was 7 years old, and recalled it being the most “beautiful reflection of Blackness that I had never seen.” Years later, she was cast as Dorothy in a high school production of “The Wiz,” and the thrill of that experience led Williams to pursue a career in musical theater. She even used the show’s soaring finale, “Home,” as one of her audition songs. Now, after working on Broadway as an actor (“Aida”) and an associate director (“Motown”), she is directing the first Broadway revival of “The Wiz” in almost 40 years. It’s a chance, Williams said, to celebrate what “The Wiz” has meant to her and to pass the story along to her daughters. Since becoming a Broadway hit in 1975, “The Wiz,” a gospel, soul ... More

At the Berlin Film Festival, reconsidering the power of doubt
BERLIN.- Doubt gets a bad rap. Doubt is fussy and forgetful, whereas certainty strides around, all action and achievement. As a film critic, swift, declarative certainty is a quality I’ve learned to aspire to. And at times, to fake. But this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, which runs through Sunday, has been buffeted outside and in by political turbulence and organizational shake-ups. And so perhaps because the event itself is experiencing such uncertain times, the films made me reconsider — actually, doubt — my dismissive stance on doubt. Doubt is etched on Cillian Murphy’s hollow, striking features in Tim Mielants’ grave and moving “Small Things Like These,” which opened the festival last week. Based on a novella by Claire Keegan — whose “The Quiet Girl” was adapted into an Oscar-nominated feature in 2022 — the film is ... More

'Jelly's Last Jam' review: A musical paradise, even in purgatory
NEW YORK, NY.- That painful history can be alchemized into thrilling entertainment is both the central idea and the takeaway experience of “Jelly’s Last Jam,” the jaw-dropping Encores! revival that opened Wednesday at City Center. Especially in its first act, as it tells the intertwined stories of Jelly Roll Morton and the early years of jazz, it offers up wonder after wonder, in songs and dances so neatly conceived and ferociously performed that in the process of blowing the roof off the building, they also make your hair stand on end. It might not be immediately apparent from its strange framework that the musical could produce such an effect. The book, by George C. Wolfe, who also directed the 1992 Broadway original, introduces us to Morton (Nicholas Christopher) at the moment of his death. That’s when he is greeted, in a kind of nightclub ... More

In this heroes' tale, real people risk their lives to get to Europe
ROME.- At the end of “Io Capitano” (“I Captain”), Matteo Garrone’s harrowing contender for best international film at next month’s Academy Awards, a map tracks the journey taken by the film’s two teenage protagonists: over 3,500 miles from Dakar, Senegal, to Sicily, via the scorching Nigerien desert, horrific Libyan prisons and a nerve-wracking Mediterranean crossing aboard a rickety vessel. Such perilous voyages, taken each year by countless Africans seeking a new life in Europe, is “one of the great dramas of our times,” Garrone said in a recent interview, and “Io Capitano” is framed as an epic, modern-day Odyssey, with protagonists no less valiant than Homer’s hero. “It’s a journey that’s an archetype so that anyone can identify with it,” said Garrone, who is best known to international audiences for the hyper-realistic 2008 drama ... More

Gallery Tour: 20th Century & Contemporary Art | London | March 2023

On a day like today, French painter and sculptor Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born
February 25, 1841. Pierre-Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 - 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau." In this image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Child with an Apple or Gabrielle, Jean Renoir and a Little Girl, circa 1895-1896. Pastel sobre papel. 560 x 760 mm. Mrs. Léone Cettolin Dauberville.

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