Published: September 12, 2000
Trade News from Around the World
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, and the union that represents more than 100 staffers on strike since April reached an agreement early September 9, according to the museum and the union president. The first strike in 27 years by museum employees – including archivists, conservators, curators, librarians and other professionals – forced visitors to pass picket lines, with strikers at times chanting and blowing whistles. At 3 a.m., the two sides finally reached a deal on a new contract that will last until the completion in about five years of the museum’s planned $650 million expansion on West 53rd Street. The union, one of several representing museum employees, was fighting what they said were unfair salaries starting at $17,000 for a sales clerk or visitor assistant, with median wages of $29,000. Another major sticking point was job security during construction; MoMA had planned for staff reductions. The truce reached Saturday provides for an average annual increase of 3.5 percent, with the contract expiring in five years, or six months after the new museum opens – whichever is longer, the union president told Verena Dobnik of the Associated Press.
Lelia D. Wingrove, 43, of Northford, Conn., died of a heart attack at her home August 14. As the owner of Wingrove Antiques in Northford, Wingrove was a beloved dealer for 12 years, exhibiting at Stella’s Pier Show, at Brimfield and Farmington, the Sturbridge Textiles Show and at many other events throughout Connecticut and New England.
Dr. Gordon Bendersky, a researcher with an interest in medicine and art history at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has discovered a medical link to Pre-Columbian sculpture dating back to 1200 B.C. and perhaps found the first scientific artwork ever undertaken. According to Jonathan Poet of the Associated Press, Bendersky has concluded that grotesque figures created by an ancient group of people near what is now Mexico City are artists’ impressions of conjoined twins. His article will appear in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, later this month. The figures, which measure less than 12 inches tall, were believed by art historians to represent mythological figures. They were created by artisans in Tlatilco, Mexico, between 1200 B.C. and 700 B.C. Bendersky believes the figures – which show humans with two separate heads or two faces on a single head – are actually a representation of the condition known as diprosopus. Diprosopus is an extremely rare malformation that can result in duplicated heads and faces.
Phillips Auctioneers, New York City, has appointed Thierry Millerand as Worldwide Head of Furniture. Millerand was most recently Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of French and Continental Furniture and a Senior Vice President, and has acquired more than 25 years of experience in the field of furniture. Born in Paris, Millerand received a law degree from Paris University and studied at the famed Ecole de Louvre. In 1970 he moved to London where he trained at Sotheby’s and then became assistant to Sir Francis Watson, Director of The Wallace Collection and Surveyor of the Queen’s Work of Art. He joined Sotheby’s New York in 1972.
The Gates Family Foundation of Denver has awarded the Fort Morgan Heritage Foundation, Fort Morgan, Colo., $100,000 to expand and renovate the Fort Morgan Museum. To receive the grant, the foundation must raise more than $1.3 million by November 1 for the overhaul of the museum-library complex. The foundation has raised $333,900 to date, including the Gates’ gift, and the Fort Morgan City Council has committed $600,000, says the Associated Press.
The American Express company has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail, Hartford, Conn., a consortium of 10 museums from New London to Greenwich. The new grant was announced by the White House Millennium Council, which last year chose the art trail as one of the 50 national Millennium Legacy Trails, and by the Department of Transportation and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
The Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wash., must pay $143,000 to reimburse New York art gallery Knoedler & Co.’s legal fees during court proceedings in its lawsuit against the gallery for selling it a Matisse masterpiece stolen by the Nazis in World War II. The museum filed an $11 million lawsuit against the gallery last summer over its sale of the Matisse. The 1928 work, “Odalisque,” was stolen by the Nazis from Paul Rosenberg, a well-known French Jewish art dealer, in 1941. The case is up for trial on February 26, but according to the AP wire, the museum angered the presiding judge by failing to show its proof of legal ownership soon enough. The judge ordered it to help pay the gallery’s costs due to the resulting delays in the case.
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