Trade News from around the World
A tablet dating back to 1300 B.C. has become the second artifact to be returned to Egypt in eight days, reports Sarah El Deeb of the Associated Press. Nearly six decades after it was smuggled out of the country, the Pharaonic limestone tablet, which had been on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, was brought back to Cairo by Mahmoud Allam, Egypt’s consul-general in New York, on August 4. The tablet portrays the wife of King Seti I breast-feeding her newborn child. Engraved under the carved drawing is the word “milk” and the name of the 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Seti I in hieroglyphic. The Metropolitan Museum acquired the tablet, measuring 18.5 inches high and 12.5 inches wide, from the private collection of a man who said he inherited it from his father, according to Allam.
Plans to expand an existing black museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, and preparations to open the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2004 are part of a nationwide surge in museums focusing on black culture and history, AP reports. Experts say the growth is primarily the result of grass-roots efforts and a rise in consciousness among blacks, as well as attempts to correct past inequities and educate people about a black experience that historically has been sparsely represented in mainstream museums. U.S. Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and J.C. Watts, R-Okla., introduced legislation this year to create a national black history museum on The Mall in Washington. The museum, which would be part of the Smithsonian Institution, would be a repository for black history. A second project in Washington is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, led by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The organization has until November 2003 to break ground for the project. In Indianapolis, organizers are planning an interactive black history museum that features arts, music and other cultural information about the history of blacks in Indiana. In Louisville, Ky., the Muhammad Ali Center, an interactive educational institution to promote peace, is scheduled to open in late 2003, and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage also is expected to open in 2003.
Lillian Kiesler, 91, art patron and widow of avant-garde architect Frederick Kiesler, died July 25, reports AP. Kiesler studied painting with Hans Hofmann in the 1930s and was introduced to her future husband by the artist Burgoyne Diller. After her husband’s death in 1995, Kiesler placed his work and papers at Harvard, Yale and the Archives of American Art. In 1996, she helped establish the Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Foundation in Vienna. In 1995, she established the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize. She taught art education at New York University.
Arie L. Kopelman, president of Chanel USA and chairman of the Winter Antiques Show committee, has announced that the loan exhibition for the 2002 Winter Antiques Show will be from the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur, Del. The exhibition, titled “Shells, Scrolls, and Cabrioles: American Furniture from Winterthur” will be featured at the 48th annual Winter Antiques Show from January 18 to January 27, at the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York City. The focal point of the exhibition will be five signature high chests, including the Van Pelt high chest from the renowned Reifsnyder collection that du Pont purchased at auction in 1929. Du Pont was in a bidding war with William Randolph Hearst and acquired the piece with a winning bid of $44,000, a record for American furniture that was unsurpassed for years.
In addition, Winterthur director Leslie Green Bowman has announced that the institution has received a grant of $250,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to support the Winterthur Professorship in the American Decorative Arts to teach and mentor students in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture (WPEAC). With this grant, Winterthur has met the goal of an anonymous challenge grant from a private foundation to raise $75,000. To date, the institution has reached 80 percent of the endowment objective of $3.5 million.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LACMA -has received a $1 million endowment gift from Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation. The gift will enable the museum to establish the Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellowship, a two-year post that will offer emerging curators the highest level of professional training within a museum setting.