Published: August 1, 2000
Trade News from Around the World
Christie’s Nineteenth and Twentieth Century art department, under the direction of Franck Giraud, international specialist head, and Marc Porter, international business director, will now organize bi-annual evening and day sales of Impressionist and Modern Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art in its New York and London salesrooms. These changes mirror the academic organization of these artistic genres currently embraced by museums worldwide. Edward Dolman, chief executive officer of Christie’s International, commented, “We feel these changes best fit with [our] business strategy [and] will help further strengthen our international approach to selling art.”
Two Western senators are throwing their support behind a measure that would crack down on the sale of fake Indian arts and crafts: New Mexico Republican Pete Domenici is cosponsoring the bill of fellow Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado to make it easier for Indian artisans to stop fraudulent representation of their work. Domenici told the Associated Press the legislation sends a message to the people who misrepresent and manufacture fake goods and makes it more likely they will be caught and fined by giving Indians greater access to the courts.
The highlight of The Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Gala, conducted July 15 in Southampton, N.Y., was the announcement of the Carroll Petrie Foundation’s $3 million gift to the institution. The sum represents the museum’s largest-ever individual donation, and will be used for the purchase and renovation of the Rogers memorial Library, located adjacent to the museum. The Parrish, which is developing a plan for expanding its facilities, will restore the historic 1893 library and create an innovative public art education center to be named the Carroll Petrie Center for Education.
Police have arrested a woman on charges of receiving stolen property after finding Japanese woodblock prints stolen from the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, Springfield, Mass., in her home. The artwork and rare books, valued at about $17,000, were taken from the museum sometime over the past six years, police reported to the Associated Press on July 26.
You’ve got your stocks, mutual funds, some bonds safely salted away, and a little real estate that will accrue value. How about some art? According to the AP wire, most people involved in the art world – as well as most investment advisers – agree art should be bought for art’s sake, not to make a profit. Art-world insiders stress that you still need to treat art acquisitions as investments, with the same degree of research you’d give an initial public offering of stock.
Dr David Park Curry, curator of American arts at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Va., is one of the first ten recipients of research grants awarded by the Getty Grant Program. Curry will use the grant to fund three months of work on a monograph titled “James McNeil Whistler: A Visual Synthesis.” Getty Curatorial Research Fellowships totaling more than $100,000 support professional scholarly development by allowing curators time off from their regular duties to take on short-term research or study projects.
Hananiah Harari, an American painter who championed international modernism and abstraction during the 1930s, died July 25 at the age of 87 in Halthorne, N.Y. Born in Rochester, Harari studied with Fernand Leger in Paris from 1932 to 1934. Harari was one of a group of painters who promoted abstraction in the United States in the 1930’s – a time when the country was in an isolationist mode politically. His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University Art Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others.
New York native Eyvind Earle, who painted the backgrounds for the classic Disney films Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp, is dead of esophageal cancer at age 84 in Monterey, Calif., on July 20. Earle came to Walt Disney’s attention in the early 1950s, when he created the look for the animated short Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won both an Oscar and a Cannes Film Festival award.
Through the support of a $15,591 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Va., will begin conservation of its Adney collection of North American native canoe models. This unique collection of 120 canoe models represents the boatbuilding traditions and daily vessel use of 30 different Native American peoples.
Attendance woes are plaguing outdoor history museums across the country, says the Associated Press, and particularly on the East Coast. Attendance is flat or dropping, and “nobody really knows why,” commented Tom Kelleher, the New England region representative for the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums. Approximately 865 million people visit museums, botanical gardens and zoos in the United States, according to the November-December 1998 issue of Museum News. Of those visitors, 69 million people attend history museums and historical sites annually. But attendance at history museums and living history sites has been stagnant for about 15 years, Kelleher said.
The Museums at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, N.Y., has received a $1 million bequest from the estate of Gladys M. Whitehead, a lifelong resident of Rahway, N.J. In accordance with Whitehead’s wishes, her bequest will be used for the maintenance, acquisition and preservation of rdf_Descriptions in The Museums’ Carriage Collection and Carriage Reference Library. “Raising funds for the care of the carriage collection is an ongoing challenge,” said Deborah J. Johnson, president and CEO of the museum. “We have over 250 vehicles and thousands of related rdf_Descriptions such as a harness, metalwork and textiles.”
Stolen documents signed by the chief judge in the Salem witch trials were sold over the Internet three years ago, Massachusett’s Suffolk County Register of Probate Richard Iannella says. Iannella discovered the sale last week while researching Isaac Addington, who was a lawyer, a judge and the first Secretary of the Colony. Addington also served on the grand jury that charged the defendants in the Salem witch trials. Iannella found a description of an auctioned 1697 will on the Internet that was signed by Addington and William Stoughton, another colonial judge. He subsequently checked the files at the state archives, and found the documents missing. The papers were sold by History Makers auction house in Indianapolis, Ind. Steve Nowlin, owner of History Makers, said he bought the documents from New York’s Swann Galleries Auctioneers and Appraisers in 1992. He declined to say at what price he sold the documents.
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