Published: August 22, 2000
Trade News from Around the World
Prosecutors have succeeded in keeping behind bars antiques dealer William P. Youngworth III, 40, who claims to know the location of priceless paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, reports the AP wire. He was to be paroled August 15 after three years of prison time for stealing a van, but in Massachusetts’ Dedham Superior Court August 14, prosecutors asked Judge Paul Chernoff to set bail to keep Youngworth in prison while he awaits trial on an indictment of being a habitual offender. Later in the day, another judge denied Youngworth’s motion to set aside the habitual offender indictment. Prosecutors told the judge that Youngworth would flee if released, and that he had made violent threats against prosecutors. The infamous St. Patrick’s Day 1990 art heist at the museum included paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer. It was the costliest art theft in US history.
Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., has appointed Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr as distinguished fellow and consultative curator of American Art. Cuno concurrently announced the creation of an endowed curatorship in American art, funded anonymously and named in honor of Benjamin Rowland, a noted Harvard professor of fine arts who died in 1972. The Benjamin Rowland Curator of American Art will be appointed at a future date. Stebbins is one of the nation’s leading scholars of American art. He graduated from Yale College in 1960 and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1964 before turning to the study of art history at Harvard. He served as associate professor of art history and curator of American painting and sculpture at Yale University until 1977. In that year he went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as curator of American paintings, and in 1986 was appointed John Moors Cabot Curator of American Paintings. While at Yale, Mr Stebbins wrote his well-known landmark monograph on Martin Johnson Heade (1975), as well as a pioneering survey of American drawings and watercolors (1976). Stebbins is perhaps best known for his work with the Lane Collection. Working with William and Saundra Lane, he guided the acquisition of nearly 100 works by the MFA, including paintings by Charles Sheeler, Stuart Davis, Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur G. Dove, Marsden Hartley, and other American modernists. He also organized four exhibitions of American photography drawn from the Lane Collection, producing two books on Edward Weston as well as definitive monograph on the photographs of Charles Sheeler.
The Denver Art Museum, Colorado, is in the process of a $112.5 million project to double the size of the building and add a state-of-the-art arena, landing well-known architect Daniel Libeskind as designer, says AP’s Robert Weller. Founded in 1893, the museum boasts the largest collection of art between Kansas City and California, with more than 40,000 works. Collections range from American Indian and pre-Columbian to the paintings and sculptures of Monet, Picasso, Warhol, Degas, Rodin and Remington. With public and private financial support, the museum imported three major exhibitions of Impressionist art this year, which drew 476,000 visitors.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, N.Y., a $750,000 grant in support of an initiative to enhance access to the institution’s archival documents. The grant will support the transcription of these materials and will also provide the technical support to make the collections accessible to the larger international scholarly community. The award is the largest ever received by the BMA’s Libraries and Archives. In addition, the museum received a grant of $300,000 from the Starr Foundation to support renovation of the library.
Carl Hartman of the Associated Press reports that the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., the first American institution to specialize in modern art, will send 26 works to the Bellagio Museum of Fine Arts, Las Vegas, Nev., which belongs to the luxurious hotel of the same name there. The Collection hopes to raise $1 million or more with the six-month show that opens September 1. The display will include paintings by Twentieth Century American artist Edward Hopper, a 400-year-old El Greco, and a self-portrait by Paul Cezanne. Jay Gates, director of the Phillips, said the idea was to bring new, diverse groups of people to art. The Guggenheim Museum, New York City, is reportedly planning to hit the strip, sending a popular show called “The Art of the Motorcycle” to a new building that will be put up next to the parking garage of the Venetian Hotel.
A. Reynolds Morse, creator of the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, has died. He was 85. Morse died August 15 at a nursing facility in Seminole, Fla., near St. Petersburg after an 18-month illness, museum executive director Marshall Rousseau told the Associated Press. An exact cause of death was not announced. A wealthy plastics-machinery entrepreneur from Cleveland, Morse spent most of his life gathering the world’s largest collection of Dali’s Surrealist works. The museum had its beginnings in a warehouse addition of Morse’s Beachwood, Ohio, business in 1971. He and his wife opened the museum in St. Petersburg in 1982 after looking for a permanent home for the extensive artwork. The collection, valued near $150 million, includes 94 oil paintings.
After an extensive international search, the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., has appointed three senior curators to fill positions in the department of prints, drawings, and photographs and the department of European and contemporary art. Suzanne Boorsch comes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where she was associate curator of drawings and prints; Jennifer Gross has been curator of contemporary art and public programming at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and Jean Cadogan, an authority on early Italian art and a former curator, is currently on the fine arts faculty at Trinity College, Hartford.
The final weekend of the Auguste Rodin exhibit marked an unexpected success, museum officials at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, told the Associated Press. The four-month art exhibit closed August 13 after a 24-hour finale that alone drew 35,000 people to see works such as “The Thinker” and “Three Shades” by the famous artist and sculptor. The closing boosted the museum’s record-setting ticket totals to an estimated 190,000 – a significant jump over the 80,000 tickets issued for last year’s “Monet to Moore” exhibit. The show cost an estimated $2.5 million to stage.
Dr Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin professor in art history at Stanford University, has been awarded the 2000 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Her recent book The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935 (The University of California Press, 1999), is recognized as an outstanding example of art historical scholarship and a landmark study of early Twentieth Century modern art in the United States.
New School University, New York City, has appointed Stefano Basilico as the first full-time curator of the university’s art collection. Most recently, Basilico was the owner and director of the Basilico Fine Arts Gallery, which offered contemporary art. Basilico will oversee the university’s contemporary collection.
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