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When the Louvre reopens, it's going to be quiet

A picture taken on June 23, 2020 shows an employee cleaning the floor of a room of the Musee du Louvre in Paris. The Louvre museum will reopen its doors on July 6, 2020, after months of closure due to lockdown measures linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. THOMAS SAMSON / AFP.

by Farah Nayeri

PARIS (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The Musée du Louvre in Paris is set to reopen July 6 after a 16-week shutdown that has taken a 40-million-euro toll ($44.86 million) on its bottom line. In a normal year, the world’s largest museum hosts 10 million visitors in 925,000 square feet of space open to the public. When the museum reopens, 70% will be accessible, including the large galleries of French and Italian paintings, the sculpture courtyards and the Egyptian antiquities section. But with France’s borders still closed to travelers from outside the European Union, visitor numbers will be a fraction of what they usually are in the peak summer season. While France was in lockdown, the museum was managed from home by its president, Jean-Luc Martinez, a specialist in ancient Greek sculpture who has been in charge since 2013. He spoke to The New York Times by telephone in mid-June. The following conversation has been edited and condensed: ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Gallery plunge French boy may never fully recover: UK court told   Phillips announces $10M Basquiat to highlight its 20th Century & Contemporary sale   Eiffel Tower reopens with strict virus restrictions

In this file photo taken on August 4, 2019 police, paramedics and fire crews are seen outside the Tate Modern gallery in London. Daniel SORABJI / AFP.

by Sylvain Peuchmaurd

LONDON (AFP).- A six-year-old French boy who was thrown from a viewing platform at London's Tate Modern art gallery may never fully recover from his injuries, a court sentencing hearing for his attacker was told on Thursday. Jonty Bravery, 18, has admitted trying to kill the child at the riverside tourist attraction on August 4 last year, in front of a crowd of horrified visitors. His victim, who was visiting London with his family at the time, broke his spine, legs and arms as he fell on to a fifth-floor roof below. A judge at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, was told he spent more than one month in hospital in Britain before being discharged for further treatment in France. He suffered a significant brain injury, remains in a wheelchair and will require round-the-clock care until at least August 2022. "Whether he will ever make a full recovery is not known," prosecutor Deanna Heer said. The boy was "fortunate not to die" ... More

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Victor 25448 (detail). Acrylic, oilstick, wax and crayon on paper laid on canvas, 72 x 131 in. (182.9 x 332.7 cm). Executed in 1987. Valued at $10 million. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips will present Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1987 large-scale Victor 25448 as a highlight of its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, slated for July 2, 2020. One of the largest works on paper the artist ever executed, Victor 25448 was created the year before his untimely death and features the distinctive fusion of color fields, figurative painting, corporate logos, word play and symbols that characterize his compositions. Victor 25448 exuberantly conveys the duality surrounding Basquiat at his creative apex and on the precipice of both physical and emotional destruction. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The Art for Justice Fund, established by Agnes Gund in 2017 to help further their mission to make direct grants to artists and advocates focused on safely reducing the prison population, promoting justice reinvestment and creating art that changes the narrative around mass incarceration. The work d ... More

People arrive for the partial reopening of Eiffel Tower on June 25, 2020. Thomas SAMSON / AFP.

by Eléonore Hughes and Maria Elena Bucheli

PARIS (AFP).- Tourists and Parisians panted their way up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower Thursday as the iron monument reopened after its longest closure since World War II due to the coronavirus, with the lifts still closed as a health precaution. The initial crowds of dozens of people braving blazing early summer heat were a far cry from the usual queues at the tower's base in the centre of the French capital. But the moment of the reopening of the great edifice was a symbolic one the country emerges from the virus lockdown. The first visitors had to tackle the steep climb to the first or second level by the stairs, with elevators as well as the top observation deck off-limits because of social distancing concerns. "I'm tearing up, but they're tears of joy. It's an emotional moment after these difficult months," said Therese, visiting from the southern French city of Perpignan. "I'm going to climb, but slowly," said the 60-year-old, wearing the obligatory face mask. "And if I ... More

Facebook, citing looting concerns, bans historical artifact sales   Julie Rodrigues Widholm appointed to lead UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive   Sotheby's to offer the collection of Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Rohatyn across a series of sales this year

In this file photo taken on October 23, 2019 A giant digital sign is seen at Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Josh Edelson / AFP.

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Responding to criticism that its site has become a bazaar for the sale of looted Middle Eastern antiquities, Facebook said on Tuesday it would remove any content “that attempts to buy, sell or trade in historical artifacts.” The decision came after archaeologists and activists who monitor the illicit antiquities trade said they had identified at least 200 Facebook groups with nearly 2 million members that were using the platform to find black market buyers and to offer tutorials on how best to dig up and deliver the most sought-after items. Common examples include burial relics, stone sculptures, mosaics and in some instances entire sarcophagi from Syria, Egypt, Iraq and North Africa. Greg Mandel, public policy manager at Facebook, said, “We’ve long had rules preventing the sale of stolen artifacts.” But, he added, “To keep these artifacts and our users ... More

Widholm is currently the Director and Chief Curator of the DePaul Art Museum. Photo by Whitney Bradshaw.

BERKELEY, CA.- The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive announced today the appointment of Julie Rodrigues Widholm as the museum’s next director. Widholm is currently the Director and Chief Curator of the DePaul Art Museum (DPAM) in Chicago, where she has served since 2015. She succeeds BAMPFA’s previous director Lawrence Rinder, who stepped down earlier this year. “Julie Rodrigues Widholm stood out among a stellar and diverse slate of candidates for her strong management experience, artistic vision, passion for equity in the arts, and deep commitment to the teams she leads,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ. “I have no doubt that she will be a wonderful director for BAMPFA who will deepen its ties to the academic and social fabric of the Berkeley campus, strengthen its connections to the Bay Area community, and solidify its global reputation for artistic excellence.” During her five-year tenure at the ... More

Pierre Bonnard, La Chevelure d’or, estimate $2.5/3.5 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced that the collection of Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Rohatyn will be presented in a special, single-owner sale at Sotheby’s New York in October and in select Sotheby’s sales throughout the year. Encompassing Old Master paintings and drawings, Impressionist masterworks, 20th century design, and more, the Collection reflects the Rohatyns’ deep and abiding love of French culture and passion for collecting across categories. The sale series kicks off with Important Design on 30 July in New York, which will be highlighted by a remarkable pair of gilt bronze monkeys by design icon François Xavier Lalanne. George Wachter, Sotheby’s Chairman and Worldwide Co-Chairman of Old Master Paintings, commented: “It is an honor and a privilege to share the collection of Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Rohatyn. Amassed over decades, the collection beautifully embodies the synthesis between European ... More

Christie's to hold an online sale highlighting the scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century   NSU Art Museum launches online collection with access to over 2,000 works   Museum Tinguely opens an exhibition of works by Pedro Reyes

A Second World War Enigma Machine. A four-rotor Enigma Cipher Machine, Olympia Büromaschinenwerke. Estimate: £200,000-300,000.

LONDON.- Open for bidding from today until 16 July, Eureka! is a journey through the scientific and technological breakthroughs that have formed the modern world, and the brilliant minds that lay behind them. From Thomas Edison’s pioneering design for the lightbulb to Crick and Watson’s celebrated discovery of the structure of DNA, from a Second World War Enigma Machine to the invention of in vitro fertilisation, from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking, this online auction provides collectors with an opportunity to acquire a slice of history that has shaped the world we live in. Among the highlight lots offered is the Nobel Prize Medal awarded to British Scientist Sir Robert Edwards in 2010, for the development of human in vitro fertilisation (IVF) therapy (estimate: £500,000-800,000). Edwards’ pioneering research, alongside his two collaborators Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy, eventually led to the birth of Louise Brown ... More

Tom Wesselman, Bedroom Painting #28, 1970-72. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; Gift of Mrs. Sef Funks.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.- NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale today announced the launch of the first phase of its new online collection catalogue that offers unprecedented access to over 2,000 of the 7,500 objects in its permanent collection. Now accessible on the NSU Art Museum website,, the online collection is part of the Museum’s efforts to enhance its digital resources and make them widely available to the public, scholars and students. “With our new online collection we are opening our doors even wider and inviting the world to explore the exceptional scope and depth of NSU Art Museum,” said Bonnie Clearwater, director and chief curator. “During the 1970s, the founders of the Museum sought to represent South Florida’s diversity in the art works collected and exhibited. The collection continued to grow with this goal in mind.” Today, NSU Art Museum is known for its significant collection of Latin ... More

Pedro Reyes, Disarm Music Box (Beretta/Vivaldi), 2020, Installation view Museum Tinguely Courtesy of the artist © 2020 Museum Tinguely, Basel; Photo: Daniel Spehr, ​​​​​​​related to the artworks © Courtesy of the artist.

BASEL.- For his works, Pedro Reyes (b. 1972 in Mexico City) uses architecture, sculpture, video, performance, and participation to promote collective and individual power of action in political, social, ecological, and educational situations. Having worked with weapons in the past, he is interested in addressing the systemic problems of the arms industry within a pacifist framework. In the new production being presented at Museum Tinguely Disarm Music Box (2020) he has repurposed gun parts to make music boxes that perform fragments of tunes from the countries where the guns were produced. Reyes is concerned with «upcycling»-transforming an instrument of death into a musical instrument that stands for dialog and exchange. The new production is being presented for the first time and ... More

Artcurial will close the season with its Furniture & Works of Art sale taking place on July 22nd and 23rd   Dutch photographer Bastiaan Woudt's first UK exhibition opens at Atlas Gallery   Charles Ede reopens its gallery space with ancient art due to have been shown at Masterpiece Art Fair

A Napoleon III Cartel. Gilt-bronze mounted, ebony, rosewood and mahogany. Estimate : €15.000 – 20.000.

PARIS.- The Furniture & Works of Art sale will take place on July 22nd at 7 pm and 23rd at 2 pm. The sale will include 280 lots of classical silver, furniture and works of art dating from the Renaissance up to the 19th century. Highlight of the sale are the seats belonging to the comte d’Artois, youngest brother of Louis XVI in Bagatelle (estimate €300.000-500.000). Well documented in the 18th century archives they were lost until the end of the 20th century. They were ordered to furnish the famous bed chamber designed as a military tent and are a rare example of the great creative achievements and refinements of the neoclassicism movement in the end of the 1770’s. Decorated with lictors’ fasces entwined with laurel branches, they were executed by Georges Jacob (master in 1765) and the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Rode (master in 1766) as the archives clearly mention. Daring, they illustrate the extravagant character ... More

Bastiaan Woudt, Twisted, 2018. Archival pigment print, 45 x 60 cm. © Bastiaan Woudt, image courtesy Atlas Gallery.

LONDON.- Hidden is the first UK exhibition of the Dutch photographer Bastiaan Woudt (b.1987). Showing at Atlas Gallery these images are a bravura demonstration of his signature style, which has already gained him an international reputation. Woudt’s black and white photographs wear their perfection lightly. Within each image, contrasting elements of shape, texture and tone coalesce into sculptural forms in a finely balanced, fluid geometry. A hat is placed on the top of a head, as if about to take off; women with great circles of hats and draped in fabric often reveal only a partial profile or a hand reaching for something unseen, simultaneously concealing and revealing; in other images, bodies that are rendered still by the camera pulse with potential movement. Photography was not Woudt’s intended career but one he discovered during the time he was studying hotel event management. “I ... More

Cycladic female figure, Early Spedos, c.2600 BC, attr. to the Bent Sculptor. Marble. Height 15.9cm.

LONDON.- Charles Ede announced the reopening of its gallery space. The occasion is being celebrated by a new exhibition showcasing much of the ancient art due to have been shown at this summer’s Masterpiece Art Fair. Covering a swath of the ancient Mediterranean world, the exhibition includes sculptures in marble, terracotta and bronze, Roman glass vessels dating from the 1st-5th centuries AD and a selection of Egyptian faience artefacts and amulets. At the heart of the exhibition is a group of sculptures that focuses on the female form and its representation over nearly three thousand years. The earliest is a Greek marble figure from the Cyclades dating to c.2600 BC. These enigmatic sculptures, often erroneously referred to as idols, were unknown until their rediscovery in the late 19th century. The severe geometry of their bodies is explained partly through the laborious way in which they were made, the stone being ground ... More

More News
Robert Berry Gallery presents new works by London-based artist Machiko Edmondson
NEW YORK, NY.- Robert Berry Gallery, a premier New York City-based art gallery dedicated to world-changing art, announced its new show Double Bluff, featuring new works by London-based artist Machiko Edmondson. “We are proud to present Double Bluff, Machiko Edmondson’s newest works over the past three years, an irresistible collection of hyper-realistic faces representing unattainable beauty, desire and identity,” stated Robert Berry, founder and CEO of Robert Berry Gallery. “When the viewer experiences these paintings from afar, they think they’re photographs, but when they come close, they can see the brush strokes. This breathtaking collection of paintings—featuring a close-up, larger than life view of a gorgeous yet generic composite model face—are truly inspiring, while creating a strange sensation of unease.” A London ... More

Luce Foundation emergency grants support American art
NEW YORK, NY.- The Henry Luce Foundation has provided over $3 million to 27 art museums and cultural organizations to support their work in the field of American art during the COVID-19 pandemic. Art museums and other cultural non-profits have suffered significant financial losses as a result of the pandemic. Endowment declines, the disappearance of earned income, and a slowdown in fundraising have, together, put museums in a very precarious position. The Luce Foundation’s American Art Program (AAP) has sought to aid these institutions, which collectively make the artistic heritage of the nation and its peoples accessible to all. The Program has awarded new grants and reallocated funding from project grants to keep museum staff employed and collections safe and secure. More than $1.6 million in new grants has been distributed to 15 institutions, ... More

New sculptures to welcome guests back to The Garden and the Indianapolis Museum of Art this summer
INDIANAPOLIS, IND.- Chicago-based artist Anders Herwald Ruhwald (Danish, born 1974) makes his Indianapolis debut with two major exhibitions, Anders Ruhwald: Century Garden and Holes at Newfields. The open-air exhibition Century Garden will open with The Garden on June 25, and Holes will open inside the Indianapolis Museum of Art later in the summer. “We are thrilled to present dual installations by Anders Herwald Ruhwald, one of today’s most important artists working in ceramics,” says Shelley Selim, Curator of Design and Decorative Arts and Interim Director of Curatorial Affairs. “This is the first time an artist has collaborated directly with our horticulturalists to create integrated installations of plants and art, and it was an incredibly rewarding process.” Welcoming guests back to The Garden, Anders Ruhwald: Century Garden will commemorate ... More

Fine autographs & artifacts featuring animation at July 10 auction
BOSTON, MASS.- Animation stars in the remarkable July Fine Autographs & Artifacts sale from Boston-based RR Auction, with nearly 300 pieces of original production artwork up for bid through July 8. Among the represented lots: cels, drawings, and concept paintings from Disney classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Highlights include: Mickey Mouse production cel from Traffic Troubles, with production background from The Picnic. (Walt Disney Studios, 1930/1931) Original production cel featuring Mickey Mouse from Traffic Troubles, placed on a rare hand-painted production background from The Picnic. The cel shows Mickey driving his automobile, while the background features a lovely prairie scene from a different Mickey cartoon. An exceptionally rare, early set-up featuring Disney's beloved character. (Estimate: ... More

Birmingham Museum of Art announces Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
BIRMINGHAM, AL.- The Birmingham Museum of Art announced the appointment of Dr. Emily G. Hanna, Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a new position on the BMA’s executive leadership team. “At the Birmingham Museum of Art, we now understand the urgency with which we must address systemic racism from an institutional standpoint, even amid the challenges presented by a global pandemic. The creation of this important position on our leadership team is the first actionable step we have taken since the BMA publicly committed to support the work of social justice and racial equity in early June,” says Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, The R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art. “I am proud to have Dr. Emily Hanna step up to serve in this capacity. For nearly two decades, ... More

Miner becomes millionaire after finding biggest tanzanite stones
DAR ES SALAAM (AFP).- A Tanzanian small-scale miner has become a multi-millionaire after uncovering two of the biggest of the country's precious tanzanite stones ever found and selling them to the government. Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, found the stones weighing 9.27 and 5.1 kilogrammes (20.4 and 11.2 pounds) respectively in the northern Mirerani hills, an area which President John Magufuli had fenced off in 2018 to stop smuggling of the gem. He sold them to the government for 7.7 billion Tanzanian shillings (nearly $3.3 million/2.9 million euros) Tanzanite was first found in the foothills of Kilimanjaro in 1967, and the northern Tanzanian region of Manyara is the only known place where the stones, coveted by jewellers by their remarkable violet-blue sparkle, are found. At a function celebrating the find in Manyara on Wednesday, mining minister ... More

Robert Richardson Jr., biographer of literary giants, dies at 86
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Robert D. Richardson Jr., whose work as the biographer of Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James was acclaimed as “a virtual intellectual genealogy of American liberalism and, indeed, of American intellectual life in general,” died June 16 in Hyannis, Massachusetts. He was 86. His daughter Judge Anne K. Richardson, of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, said the cause was complications of a subdural hematoma resulting from a fall. Robert Richardson devoted 10 years to researching and writing each of his three biographies, devouring everything his subjects wrote as well as books they had read. He concluded that while they were products of the 19th century, their legacy was enduring. “In their pluralism, in their liberation from Puritanism, in their respect for mind, those three ... More

We don't have to like them. We just need to understand them.
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Some sights are so searing that you can’t unsee them. And, like it or not, you end up seeing the world through them. Reality hasn’t changed; you have, which makes you want to change reality. Right now. That pretty much describes the cause-and-effect physics surrounding the release, on May 25, of the cellphone video of George Floyd pinned to the ground and having the life squeezed out of him, second by second, by a Minneapolis policeman. In the protests that followed, white supremacist images of all kinds — Confederate memorials, statues of slave-owners, tributes to colonizers — have come under attack. Some have been destroyed; others forklifted into storage; still others left in place to await an uncertain fate. More recently, the anti-monument movement appears to be spreading beyond a focused demand ... More

Christie's and Maggie's announce partnership for online charity auction
LONDON.- Christie’s is partnering with cancer charity, Maggie’s to present a selection of artworks that have been donated by 48 leading international artists, designers and architects. Maggie's provides free practical and emotional support to people with cancer as well as their family and friends in centres across the UK as well as by phone, email and online. The online-only auction will take place from 15-23 July 2020 with proceeds being used for essential funding that will allow Maggie’s to continue its vital work. It will include pieces that have been donated to the charity by Frank Auerbach, David Bailey, Christopher Le Brun, Sonia Boyce, Lucian Freud Estate, Antony Gormley, Lubaina Himid, Michael Craig-Martin, Julian Opie, Bridget Riley, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Mario Testino, Edmund de Waal, and Mark Wallinger, amongst others. The auction will also include ... More

Fry visible "Mae West" gas pump gavels for CA$7,800 at Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. online sale
NEW HAMBURG, ON.- A Fry visible “Mae West” gas pump made in America in the 1920s sold for $7,800, and a Kuntz tin lithographed beer tray made in Canada and featuring a St. Bernard dog graphic brought $7,500 in an online-only Advertising, Toys & Historic Objects sale held June 20th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars. The 699-lot auction was packed with advertising and signs, toys, general store items, petroliana (gas station collectibles), automobilia, breweriana and historical ephemera, much of it Canadian in origin. There was no live gallery bidding due to the pandemic, but over 400 people registered to bid online and collectively placed 6,658 bids. Overall, the auction grossed a robust $294,558. The Fry gas pump, 9 feet tall, was stamped “Guaranteed Liquid Measure Co., Pittsburgh, Pa.” It was ... More

RETNA massive painting leads Heritage Auctions' wildly successful Urban Art event
DALLAS, TX.- A monumental painting by Los Angeles street artist RETNA and a pair of previously unseen early paintings by New York graffiti legend Futura boosted the final total for Heritage Auctions’ Urban Art Auction featuring the Gone Far Beyond Collection to $910,285.50 June 24 in Dallas, Texas. The total nearly doubled the pre-auction estimate of $482,050. More than 650 bidders spent their Wednesday morning vying for these pieces, with nearly two dozen collectors bidding for RETNA’s 2015 The Kings Way is the Only Way, which eventually sold for $87,500. The result is the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the artist, trailing only the $93,750 paid for the artist’s Serenity of the mind States Moments of dark days allows Soaring like a search light -High-, 2012 in March 2019, also at Heritage Auctions. A massive canvas – 72 by 72 inches ... More

Donald Judd's Masterful Mix of Medium

On a day like today, Sudanese-Nubian artist Hassaan Ali passed away
July 26, 2019. Hassaan Ali Ahmed was a Sudanese-Nubian artist , born on 16 December 1954 in the lush town of Wadi Halfa along the banks of the Nile . A self-taught artist , his work was often thought-provoking and charged with a sense of foreboding often tackling the pain of exile , isolation and fracture while reflecting deeply on the unfathomable social and political tragedies that are still unfolding around the world. His own words crystallize the essence of his oeuvre : "My work has developed and matured over the years in the same organic fashion that the natural world works. However, the only constant and recurrent thread throughout is my preoccupation with my homeland ; Nubia is my obsession !" He passed away on 26 June 2019 after a fierce and courageous battle with cancer.

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