The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Early Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum

Vincent van Gogh’s "The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring", 1884 (detail). The painting was stolen overnight on Monday, March 30, 2020, from a small museum in Laren in the Netherlands, just 20 miles southeast of Amsterdam, on what would have been the artist’s 167th birthday. Groninger Museum via The New York Times.

BERLIN (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- A Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen early Monday from a small museum in Laren in the Netherlands, just 20 miles southeast of Amsterdam, on what would have been the artist’s 167th birthday. “I feel enormous anger and sadness,” Jan Rudolph de Lorm, the museum’s director, said. “Because especially in these dark days that we are in, I feel so strongly that art is here to comfort us, to inspire us and to heal us.” Police were called to the Singer Laren museum at 3:15 a.m. Monday, when an alarm went off. By the time they got there, the thief or thieves were already gone, said a spokeswoman for the Dutch police. All police found was a shattered glass door and a bare spot on the wall where the painting was displayed. Hours later, authorities announced that the work, “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,” was taken. The heist comes as museums in much of Europe and the United States are closed in attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus ... More

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Sotheby's to offer rare Superman & Batman comics in complete DC Comics collection   Pint-sized bird may be smallest dinosaur yet: study   The art of a now disputed deal

Detective Comics No. 27, the first appearance of Batman, May 1939. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced that they will offer DC Complete: The Ian Levine Collection, an exclusive private sale offering of every comic book released by American publisher DC Comics from 1935 – 2016, including complete runs of Superman, Batman, Action Comics, and Detective Comics. The more than 40,000 comics in the collection also features superhero icons Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Hornet and Aquaman, as well as the Justice League series. Available now and on view on, the sale marks the 81st anniversary of the release of Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939, which featured the debut of The Batman. The Ian Levine Collection of DC Comics - the most comprehensive in the 80 year span - was amassed over half a century that spans the birth and development of superhero comics as cheap forms of entertainment to pop culture juggernauts. From New Fun #1, the very first DC comic book published ... More

The skull of Oculudentavis khaungraae was found in a globule of amber in Myanmar, offering researchers a startlingly clear view of its features.

by Patrick Galey

PARIS (AFP).- Tinier than the teeniest bird, older than T-Rex and perfectly preserved for eternity: scientists have identified a 100-million-year-old flying dinosaur encased in amber that may be the smallest yet discovered. The skull of Oculudentavis khaungraae was found in a globule of amber in Myanmar, offering researchers a startlingly clear view of its features. "When I first saw it I was blown away," said Jingmai O'Connor, a paleontologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and lead author of the study published in Nature on Wednesday. "It's pretty exquisitely preserved and really weird looking, with its unique scleral ring (eye bones) and large number of teeth," she told AFP. The preserved skull is just 7.1 millimetres (less than one-third of an inch) long, likely making it the smallest dinosaur yet discovered. It would have been ... More

Fordjour, a Harvard graduate from Memphis, Tennessee, and the son of Ghanaian immigrants, is known as an interdisciplinary artist whose colorful works often include references to issues of African American identity.

by Graham Bowley

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Six years ago, when Derek Fordjour was a little-known art student at Hunter College, before Michael Ovitz and Beyoncé began collecting his work, before his paintings came to sell for more than $100,000, the fledgling artist struck a deal with a New York gallery. He agreed, according to a lawsuit now being pursued in New York Supreme Court, to produce 20 works for $20,000. The Robert Blumenthal Gallery is suing him now, contending that he still owes the gallery seven of those pieces, and — as ample evidence of the surging popularity of Fordjour’s art — saying it will accept no less than $1.45 million in their stead. “Let me reiterate that the Robert Blumenthal Gallery was a supporter of Derek Fordjour for years, long ... More

Museum world's king of memes brings humor to lockdown   Lark Mason Associates announces online bidding for 2 Asian art sales   Lawrence Steigrad Fine Art sells a rare artist's work to the Rijksmuseum

Adam Koszary in Reading, England, on March 27, 2020. Suzanne Plunkett/The New York Times.

by Alex Marshall

LONDON (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- On March 18, the Royal Academy of Arts — one of Britain’s grandest art museums, closed because of the coronavirus pandemic — issued a challenge on Twitter. “Who can draw us the best ham,” it read. It didn’t even bother with a question mark. Dozens of newly drawn images soon flooded in from around the world, from an art nouveau ham to a tiny leg, done in watercolors. There was even a ham reimagined as an isolated office worker, slouched over a laptop. That tweet was just the latest quirky success from Adam Koszary, the Royal Academy’s social media editor, a man whose flippant, conversational approach to Twitter has gotten him so much attention over the past two years that one of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies briefly lured him away. As museums worldwide go into prolonged lockdown, they are relying on their websites and ... More

A finely painted 18th century Chinese Export Hong Bowl, illustrating the merchant houses of Canton.

NEW YORK, NY.- Lark Mason Associates will present two major Asian art sales: Chinese Export Porcelain and Works of Art from an American Collector– will open for bidding on on March 31-April 21st,, with the second one– Asian, Ancient, Ethnographic Works of Art- commencing on April 2-23rd. With over 1,000 lots, these two sales will a wide array of decorative Asian works of art and will appeal to a broad base of collectors,” says Lark Mason. Some of the major highlights in Chinese Export Porcelain and Works of Art from an American Collector include a finely painted 18th Export Hong Kong Bowl (estimate: $15,000-25,000), illustrating the merchant houses of Canton, made in limited quantities for the western merchants active in Canton for the China Trade; a fine gilded bronze vessel by Hu Wenming, a Chinese bronze artisan whose works created during the late Ming dynasty, featuring his signature imagery of my ... More

Cornelia toe Boecop, Portrait of Ott van Bronckhorst. Oil on panel, 37 7/8 x 30 ¼ inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Lawrence Steigrad Fine Art announced the sale of a Cornelia toe Boecop (Kampen after 1561 – probably Sint-Michielsgestel 1630 – 1634) to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This Portrait of Otto van Bronckhorst is one of only four works known by this 16th Century female artist. Having been taught to paint by her mother (something particularly exceptional on its own), Cornelia was a rare figure herself. In addition to Portrait of Otto van Bronckhorst, three other paintings by Cornelia are known, all are part of the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Kampen. With the rediscovery of this portrait, the basis for her lasting reputation is validated. Lawrence Steigrad, President, Lawrence Steigrad Fine Art, “We are particularly proud of this sale. To sell a picture to such a prestigious museum as the Rijksmuseum is always an honor, but to be part of a movement to include more female artists in the traditional nar ... More

Placido Domingo leaves hospital after COVID-19 treatment   Ultra-rare Winter Dance Party Tour poster offered in Heritage Auctions' Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction   Alan Merrill, a songwriter of 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll,' dies

Domingo tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 on March 22, 2020. Spain moved to extend a state of emergency until April 11 to try to curb the spread of coronavirus after the country recorded 394 new deaths from the disease. Christophe SIMON / AFP.

MEXICO CITY (AFP).- Spanish tenor Placido Domingo said Monday he is recovering from COVID-19 at home after being released from hospital in Mexico. The 79-year-old opera star said on March 22 he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was later admitted to hospital. On Sunday he wrote on his Facebook page that he was back at his Apaculpo home and credited the early treatment he had received with easing his recovery. "I am at home and I feel good. Fortunately from the first symptom I was, as always, under medical supervision, given my age and my comorbidities, so COVID-19 was immediately suspected and this helped me a lot," he wrote. The Spanish icon, who won worldwide acclaim in the 1990s as one of the Three Tenors alongside Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, has since August ... More

Buddy Holly & The Crickets Stunningly Rare 1959 Winter Dance Party Concert Poster. Estimate: $50,000-100,000. Imaged by Heritage Auctions.

DALLAS, TX.- An exceedingly rare poster promoting a concert just a week before the plane crash that killed three performers is being brought to auction for the first time in Heritage Auctions’ Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction April 4-5 in Dallas, Texas. Considered the “Holy Grail” of concert poster collecting, this Buddy Holly & The Crickets Stunningly Rare 1959 Winter Dance Party Concert Poster (estimate: $50,000-100,000) announced the Winter Dance Party tour stop in Mankato, Minnesota, Jan. 25, 1959 by five acts: Buddy Holly and the Crickets, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and Dion, the Belmonts and Frankie Sardo. The concert took place just eight days before the last performance on the tour (for which no poster or handbill ever was made); the first three of the acts died in the Feb. 2 plane crash that came to be known as “rock-n-roll’s first tragedy.” Sardo and Dion and the Belmonts were not aboard the fligh ... More

Cover art for the album I Love Rock 'n' Roll by the artist The Arrows.

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Alan Merrill, a guitarist and singer whose song “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” became Joan Jett’s breakthrough hit, and who had early success as one of the few Western rock stars in Japan in the late 1960s and early ’70s, died in Manhattan on Sunday. The cause was complications of the coronavirus, his daughter Laura Merrill said. She said he was 69, although some documents indicate that he may have been 71. “I was just at his show a couple of weeks ago,” Laura Merrill wrote in a post on Facebook announcing his death. “He played down the ‘cold’ he thought he had.” Merrill grew up in a family that was deeply connected to the music industry. His parents were both noted jazz musicians: His mother, Helen Merrill, is a singer; his father, Aaron Sachs, was a saxophonist and clarinetist who died in 2014. As a teenager, Merrill played in rock bands, and in the 1960s auditioned to join the band the Left Banke as a guitarist. ... More

Pop art icon Idelle Weber dies at 88   Freeman's first online-only auction a success in uncertain times   Sotheby's Watches launches new weekly online auctions from 1st April

Idelle Weber at her Brooklyn Heights studio, 1958. Courtesy of Hollis Taggart and the Estate of Idelle Weber. © Idelle Weber.

NEW YORK, NY.- Hollis Taggart announced the death of Pop-art icon Idelle Weber. Weber passed away on March 23 at the age of 88. Over the course of her multi-decade career, Weber produced an impressive oeuvre that drew on and expanded the visual vocabularies of the Pop-art and Photorealist movements. From her early silhouette works of the 1960s and ‘70s, which featured faceless black and white contoured figures in corporate and abstract settings, to her photorealist paintings that captured the detritus of urban life, Weber’s practice poignantly reflected American life and culture. In her works, turbulent political themes, such as the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination, consumerism, and environmental decay, were distilled into essential forms. This dynamic interplay between formal and cultural investigation set Weber apart from contemporaries like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and positioned her as a critical voice in the dev ... More

A gem-set eighteen karat gold brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels designed as an owl with black star sapphire eyes, perched upon a river pearl branch. 9.1 dwt.; Length: 1 1/2 in.; Width: 1 1/4 in. Estimate $1,500-2,000. Sold for $2,860 (buyer's premium included).

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- On March 24, Freeman’s successfully hosted its first online-only jewelry auction: Luxe | Boutique Jewels & Vintage Watches @1600. The auction achieved just short of $250,000. 44% of successful bidders in this sale were new to the house. Bidders expressed significant interest in Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Retro pieces, and strong prices were achieved for pieces by designers Ed Weiner and Fred Skaggs. Jewelry by renowned houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co., and watches by Breitling, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega were coveted by bidders from all over the world including a large number of bidders (17%) from New York. Said Lauren Della Croce, Head of Sale: “I am delighted that our first online-only sale was a success, which speaks to the resiliency and strength of ... More

Paul Newman Daytona, Reference 6241, circa 1968. To be offered in the first sale, open for bidding 1-8 April (est. HKD 1-2m / USD 129,000 – 258,000). Courtesy Sotheby's.

GENEVA.- Sotheby’s Watch Division is to launch new weekly online auctions from 1st April, complementing its existing calendar of sales. The rolling sale format, with a new selection of watches being unveiled every seven days, will offer a fast and dynamic format for collectors to sell and buy watches. The new weekly sales will provide great responsiveness to trends in the market and more ways for sellers to offer their property. They are also in tune with the increased confidence from collectors in buying important watches online. Sotheby’s digital offering is rapidly growing and this innovative format is a further development in the company’s wider strategy of constantly exploring new ways to connect with watch collectors and respond to this evolving market. Sam Hines, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Watches said: “This move is grounded in countless conversations with clients over the course of recent months, and has on ... More

Every brushstroke is, in a sense, some kind of accident. Raphael Soyer

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Five brand new classics in bike sale for £176,000 with H&H
WARRINGTON.- H&H Classics will offer five brand new, never registered bikes which have been kept in private collections and are now up for auction at their sale on April 7th which will be held online only due to the Coronavirus. Mark Bryan of H&H Bike Dept says: “It is unusual to have one such motorbike in our sales so to have no fewer than five will doubtless attract a lot of attention from Norton, Ducatti, Triumph and Suzuki enthusiasts. The bikes range in estimates from £6,000 to £60,000.” The JPS F1 Norton is a limited run of race replica's made in 1990. They use the 588cc Wankel Rotary engine, similar to the race machines. What makes it very rare is that it’s never been registered or used! The 2014 1199 and 2016 1299 Ducati “Super Leggera” or "Super Light" made mostly of magnesium, carbon fibre and titanium and each with 200+hp making ... More

Changing circumstances but confidence in the art and antiques market holds firm
STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET.- Confidence remains high in the art and antiques market despite the current break to the auction calendar, say leading East Anglian firm Sworders. “Results at recent sales have underlined a robust demand for good quality and unusual art, antiques and collectables”, comments chairman Guy Schooling. “I have no doubt that, even in these undeniably difficult times, that is set to continue. Some great consignments are arriving and buyers remain confident and eager to transact, whenever that might be possible.” The first sales of the year at the Stansted Mountfitchet saleroom provided many memorable lots - with more to come when trading resumes. January’s sale of 20th Century Design featured items from the homes and offices of Sir Colin St John and MJ Long, architects of the British Library - a pair of Alvar Aalto Beehive' ... More

Kobe Bryant's towel fetches $33,000 at auction, report
LOS ANGELES (AFP).- The towel that Kobe Bryant wore over his shoulders during his farewell speech after his final National Basketball League game has fetched over $33,000 at auction, the US media said on Sunday. With the towel draped around him to help mop up his sweat, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar closed his speech with his signature phrase, "Mamba Out." The towel ended up in the hands of a fan as Bryant walked off the court and was then sold several times before the latest online auction. The winning bid on Sunday was $33,077. The buyer also received two used tickets to the April 13, 2016 Lakers game. Bryant scored 60 points in the Lakers' 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz that night. Jeff Woolf, president of Iconic Auctions, told American news broadcaster CNN that the winning bidder is famous for having a large Lakers memorabilia ... More

H&H Classics Automobilia auction achieves 97% sell rate despite coronavirus
LONDON.- The H&H Classics timed online Automobilia sale which ended yesterday (29th March) made a total of £132,319.50 with a staggering sell rate of 97%. Adam Sykes, who heads Automobilia at H&H comments: “The fact that the result was achieved during this difficult time for the country and the world speaks volumes about online sales as a powerful phenomenon in the tradition bound auction world. We were delighted with the sale. We had an astonishing 2,648 separate bids.” Top item in the sale was a 46-piece toolkit from a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost which made £4,830. Primarily original components plus a small number of high-quality like-for-like remanufactured items, offered within a custom leather tool roll. Items included: Spanners, Plug spanner, Grease gun, Dunlop tyre lever, Wheel spanners, Box Spanners, Screwdrivers, Pliers, Ring Spanner ... More

Dix Noonan Webb to utilise all of their online capabilities to host an increased number of auctions
LONDON.- In response to Covid19 and the temporary on/off restriction of movement that this is likely to entail for many of their customers across the world, Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists, have announced that they are planning to utilise all of their online capabilities to host an increased number of auctions over the next few months. As Chairman & CEO, Pierce Noonan explains: “In the last three weeks we have noted unprecedented levels of activity on our website, a trend we expect to continue over the months ahead. We anticipate that during this period many collectors will have more time to spend on their hobbies than usual, and it is therefore our intention, with the aid of our tried and tested online technology to step things up a gear and host more auctions than ever before. ... More

Containment is an opportunity to discover the Palace of Versailles in a different way
PARIS.- The Palace of Versailles comes to you thanks to two virtual reality experiences: Thanks to the partnership between the Palace of Versailles and Google Arts & Culture, you can visit the Palace of Versailles using virtual reality. VersaillesVR: the Palace is Yours gives you the opportunity to freely explore the State Apartments, discover incredible new cultural and multimedia content, and enjoy an extraordinary range of works of art and furniture from every angle. The Palace of Versailles is offering a virtual reality experience with the application “Experience Versailles”, created with Fondation Orange, which allows visitors to relive the visit by the Ambassador of Siam to the Court of Louis XIV in 1686 and the Yew Ball held by Louis XV. The YouTube channel of the Palace of Versailles has more than 500 videos about history, characters, collections, crafts ... More

Steidl publishes 'Dayanita Singh: Zakir Hussain's Maquette'
NEW YORK, NY.- The book is well known as Dayanita Singh's primary medium, one she explores to create new relationships between photography, publishing, the exhibition and the museum. But where did her passion for the book as the ideal vessel for her photos, for the stories she tells, begin? The answer lies in Zakir Hussain, a handmade maquette Singh crafted in 1986 as her first project as a graphic design student. The protagonist of Singh’s photo essay is the Indian classical tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, whom she captured on the stage and at home with his family. Surrounding the photos are handwritten texts gleaned from interviews Singh made with her sitters, including insights from Hussain: “I will always be a musician. A musician will always be a musician, not just me. He may stop performing but the musician is still there.” This ... More

Saatchi Gallery launches #SaatchiTakeover on social media platforms as part of its 35th anniversary
LONDON.- Saatchi Gallery launched their social media initiative, #SaatchiTakeover, set out to engage its audiences with art and creativity from all over the world. With the closure of the gallery and many other cultural institutions around the world, Saatchi Gallery is focusing its efforts by utilising this moment to acknowledge its followers. It is currently a particularly challenging time for individuals to thrive in community environments, made possible by engaging with art and cultural spaces. For this reason, the gallery is calling anyone online - students itching to create, social influencers, collaborators, aspiring artists, and art lovers; to share their artworks with the digital world. To join, users are invited to submit their works at any point during the week considering that they are; (1) inspired by the weekly theme, (2) made during their stay at home, and ... More

David Schramm, blustery comic foil in 'Wings,' dies at 73
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- David Schramm, an acclaimed stage and television actor best known for his role as the irascible owner of a small airline on the long-running sitcom “Wings” in the 1990s, has died. He was 73. Margot Harley, a founder of the Acting Company, where Schramm was an original member, announced his death Sunday. She did not give a cause or say where and when he died. Though well-known from his signature television role, Schramm was first and foremost a stage actor. He was drawing attention in New York while still a student at the Juilliard School, where he was a member of the first graduating class of the drama division. That division was created in 1968 under John Houseman, and its first class of students, graduating in 1972, also included Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone and David Ogden Stiers. The students’ work was ... More

Artemisia Gentileschi, 'Triumph of Galatea'



On a day like today, English painter John Constable died
March 31, 1837. John Constable, RA (11 June 1776 - 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home -- now known as "Constable Country" -- which he invested with an intensity of affection. In this image: A Sea Beach - Brighton, Photo: Bonhams.

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