Published: December 19, 2000
Trade News from around the World
The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pa., has received $500,000 from the Pew Charitable Trusts, matching an earlier donation from the J. Paul Getty Trust aimed at rescuing the school and its art collection. The two grants will let the financially strapped foundation seek more aid while continuing to catalog and evaluate its collection of Impressionist, African and decorative arts, Barnes officials told the Associated Press. Leaders hope would-be donors are reassured by the grants. The Foundation was hurt by legal and other expenses in the past decade, as well as by the decision of its founder, the late Dr. Albert C. Barnes, to limit investment of his $10 million endowment to conservative, low-yielding government securities. The Barnes is seeking $15 million for immediate needs and $70 million to build long-term stability.
Romania’s government has intervened to stop a private auction of a prized sculpture it says left the country illegally, a Romanian official told AP’s Peter Barabas December 16. Romania’s consul in New York, Eugen Serbanescu, said in a telephone interview that Christie’s auction house had agreed to postpone the sale of the bronze sculpture by Constantin Brancusi until its export status is resolved. Christie’s spokesman Joel Gunderson confirmed the $11 million sculpture had been due to be sold at a private auction next week. Romania’s Culture Minister Ion Caramitru said the sculpture’s owners had not requested permission to export it. Under Romanian law, art works considered part of the national patrimony can only be exported with written permission from the state. The law is under revision, and it is not clear what punishment people breaking it can expect. Caramitru said he was alerted to the sculpture possibly being in New York by a newspaper article.
A Grey Flannel, Inc., of New York, has sued the Walt Disney Co., ESPN and Buena Vista Internet Group claiming they reneged on an agreement to produce online sports memorabilia auctions. Grey Flannel filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 15, says the Associated Press, claiming executives at Buena Vista Internet Group broke an agreement to produce, promote and design an Internet site for the auctions, which were to be hosted by ESPN.com. Disney owns Buena Vista Internet Group and ESPN.
The FBI has found the man who swiped a multicolored, ceramic statue of a cat said to be a gift from Pablo Picasso to Ernest Hemingway from its perch in the Hemingway House museum, Key Largo, Fla. The FBI arrested Robert J. Naughton in Stuart, Fla. on December 10. He confessed to stealing the alleged Picasso creation and was being held in Martin County jail on felony grand theft charges. Naughton had given the statue to a Stuart catamaran captain as a security deposit for a borrowed dinghy he used to return to shore from his motorboat, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela told AP.
The Ukrainian Museum has received a gift of $3.5 million for the construction of a new exhibition facility in Lower Manhattan.The donation was made by Eugene Shklar and his wife through the Eugene and Daymel Shklar Foundation of San Francisco, Calif., which supports and promotes Ukrainian studies and culture and educational and health care programs, primarily in Ukraine and Puerto Rico. Shklar told the Associated Press $1 million of the donation is designated as a challenge grant that will match, dollar for dollar, any additional gifts or grants received by the museum by the end of 2001.
Two historical acquisitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum have strengthened the museum’s European collection: a Sixteenth Century Russian icon – a 15-panel, Byzantine-style portable example valued at nearly $1 million – donated by a retired Wisconsin obstetrician, and a Seventeenth Century portrait of a lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman. According to AP, the latter work hailed from an unidentified Hartford, Conn. collection.
Jan Mlodozeniec, 71, a Polish illustrator and designer who won international acclaim as a trendsetter in poster art during the 1950s and 1960s, has died in Warsaw, an associate told the Associated Press December 12.Gallery owner Nina Rozwadowska said the artist died as a result of cancer, but declined to give any other details at the request of his family. Mlodozeniec created about 400 posters on film, theater and circus themes that have been widely exhibited.
Christie’s has announced the appointment of Andrea Fiuczynski as president of its Los Angeles branch, effective January 1. Having served as senior vice president, director of business development and principal auctioneer in Los Angeles since 1997, Fiuczynski will continue to develop Christie’s business on the West Coast while overseeing the management of the salesroom and office. And appointed to the firm’s board in the United Kingdom are Dermont Chichester and Charles Cator as co-chairmen.
A new Web site established in Geneva, Switzerland, ItsBeenStolen.com, enables purchasers of “second hand” rdf_Descriptions to first check to see if they are registered as stolen, and police agencies to locate the owners of recovered rdf_Descriptions, no matter where in the world they were lost or stolen, according to a company release.
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