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After the fire, a Chinatown museum sifts through what survived

A clipping from a Chinese-language newspaper advertises Cantonese operas, amongst artifacts from the Museum of Chinese in America, sits in Nanuet, N.Y., March 11, 2020. Some newspapers were more damaged than others in the aftermath of the fire. Rachel Papo/The New York Times.

by Julia Jacobs

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- When a fire ripped through the upper floors of the red brick building that held the archives of the Museum of Chinese in America, the staff thought that all was lost. The second floor of 70 Mulberry St., a 130-year-old building that is a cherished cultural landmark in Chinatown, had been home to 85,000 items that helped tell the story of more than a century of Chinese American history and culture. There were signs from long-shuttered Chinatown restaurants, traditional textiles, delicate paper sculptures and the jiapu, or genealogies, of families that document traditional Chinese names over decades. The fire started on Jan. 23 at around 8 p.m. on the fourth floor, destroying the roof of the building but leaving the museum’s collection unburned. The archives were still in grave danger: Firefighters had pumped water into the building for more than 20 hours, and museum staff members were told that no one would be allowed to enter and retrieve the items for months, leaving them to dete ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Egypt disinfects landmark museum as virus fears grow   10 binge-worthy art podcasts in the age of coronavirus   Movie poster for The Invisible Man sold for $182,400 at Heritage Auctions

A worker disinfects the Royal Mummies Hall at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, on March 23, 2020. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP.

CAIRO (AFP).- Cleaning crews descended upon the landmark Egyptian Museum in Cairo on Monday, dousing it with disinfectants as fears mount over the spread of the novel coronavirus. Sporting white coats, gloves and face masks, the men sprayed sanitisers across the vast museum halls, home to thousands of precious relics spanning Egypt's prehistoric era through the Roman period. The museum also holds the priceless objects of the 18th dynasty Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun including his gold mask, a chariot and throne. Nestled in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, the museum has long been a major tourist draw. "The museum has been ordered shut from today (Monday) until March 31 and we started the cleaning operations on exposed surfaces," said Sabah Sediq, the museum's director. The artefacts were kept behind locked glass vitrines as staff proceeded with the disinfection ... More

Dr. Janina Ramirez — Art Detective”.

by Jori Finkel

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Many museums and galleries have closed in attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but the conversation about art keeps going — and you can get your fix of the art talk (and also the gossip) through a growing number of art podcasts. Hosts include curators, art writers and artists. Here are my picks for 10 art podcasts worth subscribing to, from one in Los Angeles showcasing the music that moves local artists to another, out of Sydney, focusing on Aboriginal culture. Helen Molesworth gives some of the most incisive and insightful exhibition tours of any contemporary art curator of her generation, and her new podcast “Recording Artists,” produced by the Getty, puts this intellectual-storytelling skill set to good use. Here her subject is not one of her own exhibitions (she recently organized the Noah Davis show for the David Zwirner gallery), but six renowned artists — Alice ... More

The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933). Very Fine on Linen. One Sheet (27" X 41") Style B. Karoly Grosz Artwork.

DALLAS, TX.- A rare movie poster for the 1933 classic film The Invisible Man disappeared Saturday night for $182,400 at public auction. The sale coincided with the 2020 remake, starring Elisabeth Moss, which became among Hollywood’s first to go the route of video on demand. Expectations that it could reach $125,000 were shattered quickly during the bidding at Heritage Auctions. The vintage poster for the famous Universal monster movie is one of just a small handful of examples to exist. Heritage Auctions’ movie poster sale cleared $2.64 million by Sunday evening. H.G. Wells’ concept for a crazed scientist turned invisible is holding well with today’s viewers. The 2020 remake of The Invisible Man is popular with fans and critics with Rotten Tomato scores of 92 percent with critics and 88 percent with viewers. “Even in these troubled economic and uncertain times, this was a big success,” said Grey Smith, Director of Posters ... More

French fashion houses to produce coronavirus masks   Hindman's March 19 couture auction surpasses expectations   Larry Bell's sculptural works from the 1970s to the present day on view at Hauser & Wirth

Kenyan fashion designer of "Lookslikeavido", David Avido, 24, poses for a portrait at his studio in Kibera, Nairobi, on March 18, 2020, with a mask he made. Gordwin ODHIAMBO / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- French design houses Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga will shift their attentions from high fashion to producing surgical face masks to aid the global coronavirus assault, their parent company Kering said. "The French workshops of Kering's houses Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent are preparing to manufacture masks while complying with the strictest health protection measures for their staff members," Kering said in a statement posted on its website. Production will get underway "as soon as the manufacturing process and materials have been approved by the relevant authorities," it said. Kering also said it would purchase three million masks from China and import them for the French health services. Another Kering company, Gucci, has committed to donating 1.1 million masks and 55,000 protective medical gowns to aid Italy's fight against the coronavirus, the statement said. Kering recently said it expected to lose ... More

Louis Vuitton Trunk, 1890-1900s. Louis Vuitton monogram canvas trunk, with white quilted interior on inside of the lid. Includes a removable storage shelf. Stamped E.C.E. Salt Lake City on two sides. Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000. Sold for: $5,888.

CHICAGO, IL.- Hindman’s March 19 online Spring Fashion and Accessories auction was a strong start to the Couture Department’s 2020 auction schedule, with a total price realized surpassing the low estimate and active bidding from over 700 registered bidders. The sale included nearly 300 lots of women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, ranging from the early 20th century to 2018, from private collections and museums around the United States. Items by notable designers such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès led the sale, surpassing presale expectations due to competitive bidding from three online platforms and absentee bidders. The sale was conducted remotely, allowing for both live internet bidding and absentee bidding. “We are very pleased that we were able to conduct a successful sale and serve the needs of both consignors and buyers. Today’s technology has allowed this market to stay open during these unp ... More

Untitled, 2019. Mist, Spa, Sunflower, and Optimum White laminated glass coated with Inconel. Unique. 2 panels Mist glass, 2 panels Spa glass, each: 12 x 16 x 1/4 in. 2 panels Sunflower glass, 2 panels Optimum White, each: 12 x 8 x 1/4 in. Overall: 12 x 16 x 16 in © Larry Bell. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Jeff McLane.

NEW YORK, NY.- Hauser & Wirth’s exhibition ‘Larry Bell. Still Standing,’ presents a range of the artist’s sculptural works from the 1970s to the present day. A pioneer in his approach to the surface treatment of glass, and a master of unprecedented explorations of light, reflection, and shadow, Bell has documented perceptual phenomena through a tirelessly inventive sculptural practice. This exhibition charts a less explored, but seminal moment in Bell’s practice when he began to radically deconstruct his signature glass cubes into the more architecturally-scaled, fragmented, crystalline forms or what he referred to as ‘standing walls.’ ‘Still Standing’ also presents a number of the artist’s small-scale studies, illuminating Bell’s process as he meditated on scale and translated his ideas into larger sculptural works. As a preventive measure ... More

Too close to call! Three-way tie for EY People's Choice Award at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottlesoe   Rare German Disney toys take a toothy bite out of Morphy's $1.6M auction   2020's strangest memorabilia auction now open for bids

Ayad Alqaragholli, ‘Anta Omri (You Are All My Life)’, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020. Photo by Clyde Yee.

COTTESLOE.- In a dramatic end to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020, three artists – Mikaela Castledine and Ayad Alqaragholli from Perth and Marcus Tatton from Tasmania - will share the EY People’s Choice Prize of $5,000. With only one vote between the three works, organisers decided to share the prize given voting had been cut short due to the early closure of the exhibition on Thursday 19 March after news that community transmission of COVID-19 began in Perth. Art collective Cool **** was awarded the Kids’ Choice Prize of $2,000 for ‘Homer Homer’, a 5m high inflatable head combining Homer Simpson and a bust of the Greek philosopher Homer. The prize is voted for by children who visited Cottesloe Beach during the exhibition. Castledine’s crocheted polypropylene penguins ‘Black Emperors’ delighted visitors as they wandered down the groyne at Cottesloe Beach, while Alqaragholli’s f ... More

Extremely rare tin-litho wind-up 5-finger Mickey Mouse toy with moving pie-eyes, open/close mouth. Made in Germany for the English market, probably by Saalheimer & Strauss. Ex Jeff Landes collection. Top lot of the sale at $64,575 against estimate of $20,000-$40,000.

DENVER, PA.- “A fantastic sale with extremely strong prices” is how Morphy Auctions’ president Dan Morphy summarized the upbeat toy and bank event held live on March 10-11 at the company’s central Pennsylvania gallery. Nonstop phone and Internet bids kept the Morphy team hopping as collectors from around the world chased pristine toys from two featured collections in a sale that totaled $1.6 million. Two outstanding, long-held toy collections took the spotlight, those of industrialist Gordon Lankton, and surgeon Dr Jeff Landes, whose early European Disney toys proved irresistible to an international contingent of comic character enthusiasts. One of the rarest of all figural Mickey Mouse toys, a lithographed tin wind-up five-finger Mickey made in Germany ... More

Rowling wrote the unique 31 page book in 2004. In it Rowling has penned extracts of the welcome letter Harry Potter receives from Hogwarts at the beginning of the first book.

JERSEY.- Jersey auctioneer Just Collecting’s Prestige Collectibles Auction offers bidders the opportunity to own the unique and bizarre. The March 26-ending auction features a life-size fibreglass T-Rex head, estimated at £6,000. A Fidel Castro-signed Bolivar cigar case (with cigar) is expected to achieve £1,000, while the most valuable lot is a miniature (1.6 by 2.4 inch) handwritten Harry Potter book by JK Rowling, with a £100,000-150,000 estimate. Rowling wrote the unique 31 page book in 2004. In it Rowling has penned extracts of the welcome letter Harry Potter receives from Hogwarts at the beginning of the first book. Pages include: “Students may also bring an Owl OR a Cat OR a Toad,” and: “Parents are reminded that first-years are not allowed their own broomsticks.” Just Collecting’s Dan Wade comments: “We’ve watched the market for the rarest Harry Potter books soar ... More

Lafayette Anticipations presents Rachel Rose's first major exhibition in Paris   Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen announces the launch of The Digital Museum   The Rijksmuseum is open online

Installation view.

PARIS.- In five video installations and a series of sculptures, for her first major exhibition in Paris, Rachel Rose explores states between real and artificial, and dead and alive. The artist questions what it is that makes us human and the means we seek to alter, enhance, and escape that designation in this catastrophic era. Rose persistently explores how our changing relationship to the natural and socially-impacted landscape in which we live has shaped storytelling and belief systems. Due to the epidemic of Covid-19, Lafayette Anticipations had to close Rachel Rose's exhibition on Sunday March 15th. Nevertheless, we offer you to discover the show and the artworks through a visit in pictures. The exhibition takes us on a labyrinthine journey that begins with birth and childhood, back in time, and to what lies beyond. The exhibition begins with pre-birth time. The ... More

Relaunch of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen website, © Kunstsammlung NRW, Photo ©: Giraffentoast 2020.

DUSSELDORF.- With the relaunch of its website, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen has reacted to the digital change in the museum sector and the potential associated with this to enable other forms of art experience. As the central communication platform for the two museums K20 and K21 on the Internet, the website is also a platform for multimedia formats: This includes new moving image and podcast series, as well as the development of a multimedia storytelling tool, the “K+ Digital Guide” for current exhibitions. The formats and the website can be viewed online as of March 17, 2020 at: This broad spectrum of digital services is not intended to replace a live museum visit, but it does offer the opportunity to experience the Kunstsammlung ... More

Followers on social media can get acquainted with famous (and less famous) works from the Rijksmuseum collection – and they get to peek behind the scenes.

AMSTERDAM.- Everyone, all over the world, is welcome to use Rijksstudio to view, download and share high-resolution images of the nearly 700,000 objects in the Rijksmuseum collection – all for free! Keep up with all the latest news about Operation Night Watch – on the dedicated page of the Rijksmuseum website. You’ll find videos and articles in which experts explore the various types of research they are conducting into Rembrandt’s most famous work – and you’ll find out more about exactly why The Night Watch is Rembrandt’s most famous work. The Rijksmuseum and public broadcaster NTR have joined forces to develop an interactive virtual tour about The Night Watch. Never before has it been possible to get so close to this spectacular, ... More

More News
Jeremy Marre, documentarian of world music, is dead at 76
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Jeremy Marre, an English filmmaker who documented music from across the world with hardheaded clarity, died March 15 at a hospital in London, where he had lived. He was 76. His son Oliver said the cause was stomach cancer. Marre established his reputation in the 1970s and ’80s with “Beats of the Heart,” a 14-part series of hourlong documentaries initially shown on British television and later on public television in the United States. With a minimal camera and sound crew, Marre visited Jamaican dance halls, Brazilian favelas, Appalachian churches, Egyptian temples, South African workers’ hostels and Bollywood soundstages to film music and musicians on home turf that was often gritty and unglamorous. The series presented music as inseparable from historical, economic, political, spiritual and cultural ... More

Woody Allen memoir released by new publisher after protests
LOS ANGELES (AFP).- Woody Allen's controversial autobiography was released in the United States Monday, swiftly finding a new home after its original publisher pulled out after protests over abuse allegations against the filmmaker. New York-based Arcade Publishing announced it has acquired world rights to "Apropos of Nothing," saying it would not "bow to the politically correct pressures of the modern world." "We as publishers prefer to give voice to a respected writer and filmmaker," editor Jeannette Seaver said in a statement to AFP. Earlier this month giant publisher Hachette scrapped plans to release the book penned by Allen, 84, who has long been accused of molesting his daughter, and returned all rights to the author. Hachette had canceled the launch after Allen's son Ronan Farrow, who is extremely critical of his father, denounced the book ... More

Danny Ray Thompson, 72, dies; Mainstay of Sun Ra's otherworldly band
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Danny Ray Thompson, who spent the better part of five decades as the baritone saxophonist and linchpin of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, one of the most idiosyncratic and influential ensembles in jazz, died March 12 in Philadelphia. He was 72. Saxophonist Marshall Allen, the current leader of the Arkestra, confirmed the death, at a hospice center. He did not specify the cause but said that Thompson had been ill for some time. Thompson was barely 20 when Allen introduced him to Sun Ra in New York in 1967. His first assignment was to watch the band’s house on the Lower East Side every Monday night, while the Arkestra played its weekly gig at Slugs’ Saloon nearby. Eventually he was promoted to band driver, before finally joining the ensemble as a saxophonist and flutist. He went on to serve for many years as the Arkestra’s ... More

Eric Weissberg, 'Dueling Banjos' musician, dies at 80
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Eric Weissberg, a gifted multi-instrumentalist whose melodic banjo work on the 1973 hit single “Dueling Banjos” helped bring bluegrass music into the cultural mainstream, died Sunday in a nursing home near Detroit. He was 80. Juliet Weissberg, his wife of 34 years, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Though the theme songs to the film “Bonnie & Clyde” (1967) and the CBS sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies,” both recorded by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, preceded “Dueling Banjos” in exposing wide audiences to bluegrass, neither made it to the pop Top 40. “Dueling Banjos,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1972 movie “Deliverance,” fared far better, rising to No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. The soundtrack to “Deliverance” was also certified gold, for sales of more than 500,000 ... More

Galerie Emanuel Layr presents an exhibition of works by Tillman Kaiser
VIENNA.- In the exhibition Harmolodic Substi, Tillman Kaiser presents new works that are all composed of the same base material – painted cardboard. Yet they could scarcely be more different in their relationship between gravity and weightlessness, open and enclosed form, dynamism and tranquility. Collectively they combine to form a polyphonic spatial composition, while the gallery space painted in RAL 5014 – dove blue – creates an optical bracket connecting the sculptures with the rooms. Informing the work is Kaiser’s ongoing engagement with the human figure and its relationship to space and architecture, along with his intensive preoccupation with structure and composition, which in turn correlate to corresponding issues in music. The exhibition title refers to Harmolodics, the compositional and improvisational method developed by American ... More

Damiani to publish 'Lost Venice' by Sarah Hadley
NEW YORK, NY.- In Lost Venice (Damiani, April 2020) photographer Sarah Hadley presents an alluring and haunting portrayal of this majestic city as distilled through her personal lens of loss and nostalgia. By contemplating the temporal beauty of Venice, Hadley examines our own impermanence and the uncertain future of this unique city. She writes: "Venice, Italy is a surreal and mysterious place with a storied past. Its seemingly endless maze of passageways and canals have fascinated me since I was a child. And while most people visit Venice and see only its overwhelming beauty, I see a Venetian way of life that is changing rapidly, while the city's foundations are eroding." Hadley's love of Venice was nurtured by her childhood spent living in an apartment above the Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, where her father served as the Museum's ... More

Jessie Willcox Smith original cover art for '"Good Housekeeping'" to be auctioned
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Jessie Willcox Smith’s original cover art for the November 1920 issue of ''Good Housekeeping'' as well as the April 1922 issue of the UK edition, entitled ''We Give Thee Thanks” will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on March 26, 2020. The November 1920 issue of ''Good Housekeeping'' shows two children praying before their meal and is signed ''Jessie Willcox Smith'' at the lower right. The artwork is one of Willcox Smith's most memorable pieces, with limited edition lithographs even being made of it. Jessie Willcox Smith was the exclusive cover artist for ''Good Housekeeping'' from 1917-1933, and was the second woman inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, followed shortly thereafter by Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley, fellow members of the Red Rose Girls, a group of female artists who ... More

MOSTYN presents a new body of work by artist Athena Papadopoulos
LLANDUDNO.- This exhibition presents a new body of work by artist Athena Papadopoulos. Working across sculpture, painting, text and sound, Papadopoulos’ practice defies traditional representations of the body, creating excessive, decaying and abject hybrid forms hovering between the worlds of the imagined and the real. Through a process of assemblage, her work is formed of found objects amassed and collaged together. Traditional binary perceptions of gender and sexuality are uprooted and unfixed. Using her ever-expanding vocabulary of materials and ancient narratives, which she combines with unlikely elements, this new series of works includes sound, sculpture and painting, and explores human dichotomies questioning the complicated duality of reason and emotion. The exhibition is inspired by her recently published ... More

Museo Picasso Málaga: Look, think and create with #Picassoencasa
MALAGA.- The aim is to not interrupt the informative work that is such a characteristic feature of Museo Picasso Málaga by offering art content of interest to people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum is using this opportunity to release online a selection taken from their cultural and educational programmes, at a time when the museum has been forced temporarily to cancel its face-to-face activities. This is the case with the Genealogies of Art, or the History of Art as Visual Art exhibition, which was currently showing at Museo Picasso Málaga. On the gallery website, via an illustrated audio guide available in English, you will find a selection of the most significant artworks in the exhibition, by artists such as Picasso, Cézanne, Kandinsky and Malevich.  You can also download a bilingual notebook containing a summary of the exhibition or consult ... More

Parrish Art Museum offers fun interactive online art programs for children and families
WATER MILL, NY.- The Education Department of the Parrish Art Museum has created Parrish Home Art Studios, a new online interactive art program for families and children. Every Tuesday the Museum will announce the upcoming program of six daily activities, inspired by works in the Parrish collection, and make lesson plans available at These projects, using common materials readily available in most homes, can be done as individual or large collaborative works, and participants may share their creations on Instagram, #ParrishHomeArtStudios. “If your family has enjoyed art workshops or Open Studios in the Museum, you’ll love our weekly guides to art activities for six days of the week,” said Assistant Education Director Jillian Bock. “Doors open or closed, we’re here for the community with inspiring, creative ... More

All YIVO Institute for Jewish Research classes now free
NEW YORK, NY.- As the COVID-19 is affecting life and societies around the world, our connection to the past, our collective memory, our common traditions and beliefs are more important than ever. All of YIVO’s online courses are free effective today. As restrictions continue to be imposed to help mitigate the spread of COVID19, “YIVO wants to help keep our spirits lifted and provide content to sustain our minds and soul,” said Jonathan Brent YIVO’s Executive Director & CEO. Delve into the evolution of Yiddish theatre or learn about the rich history of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, Ashkenazi folklore and more. YIVO’s entertaining and enlightening Shine online courses feature an array of leading scholars and include nearly 1,000 archival objects. To register for your free Shine online course, go to YIVO will continue to update ... More

A Private Look at Sotheby's Contemporary African Art Exhibition

On a day like today, American photographer Edward Weston was born
March 24, 1886. Edward Henry Weston (March 24, 1886 - January 1, 1958) was a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called "one of the most innovative and influential American photographers…" and "one of the masters of 20th century photography." In this image: Tina on the Azotea, with kimono, 1924. Edward Weston (American, 1886–1958). Photograph, platinum or palladium print. The Lane Collection. Photograph courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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