Published: February 20, 2001
Trade News from around the World
The family of sculptor Alexander Calder has chosen Philadelphia as the site of a museum dedicated to the late artist’s work. The $50 million project will be built on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is overlooked by his grandfather’s sculpture of William Penn, atop City Hall, and his father’s famed bronze swans in the fountain at Logan Circle. Organizers hope to complete the museum by 2004. “Among the Twentieth Century artists, he’s the person who reminds you of the invisible things around you,” said architect Tadao Ando, of Osaka, Japan, an admirer of Calder’s work who will design the building, to Maryclaire Dale of AP. The city is donating the parcel, but money for site preparation and construction will be raised from private sources, said project director Diane Dalto.
Paul R. Jones, a prominent collector of works by modern black artists, says integration was the reason he chose the University of Delaware, Newark, and not a historically black college, as the home for his 1,000-piece collection. “My major consideration is to see us weave Afro-American art into American art,” Jones told the Associated Press February 14. “Instead of treating it as something on a dotted line completely separate and distinct.” The collection includes works by Charles White, Herman “Kofi” Bailey, David Driskell, Elizabeth Catlett, Earl Hooks, Leo Twiggs, Stanley White, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, P.H. Polk and Selma Burke, who is known for creating the image of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that appears on dimes. The collection will be the centerpiece of the University’s new Center for the Study of American Material Culture, said Thomas M. DiLorenzo, dean of the College of Arts and Science.
The National Civil War Museum, a $38.5 million project that traces the history of the four-year conflict that pitted North against South, had its opening February 12 on a hilltop overlooking Harrisburg, Pa., reports George Strawley of AP. The operators of the 66,000-square-foot museum are presenting it as the only one that tells about the entire Civil War and presents both sides in balance. To accomplish the task, curators are relying on a collection of more than 12,000 artifacts that Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed began buying in 1992, sometimes to the grumbling of critics. About 10 percent of the rdf_Descriptions will be on display at any time. The $17 million that the city spent on the collection has brought in implements of history like the stovepipe-shaped box that held Abraham Lincoln’s hat in 1860, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s pocket Bible, and a sash and cap belonging to Maj. Gen. George Edward Pickett. The dapper Virginian’s name is permanently linked to Pickett’s Charge, the unsuccessful Confederate assault that ended the Battle of Gettysburg.
Carol Vogel of The New York Times writes that Ashton Hawkins, executive vice president and counsel to the trustees, is retiring after 32 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In March he will join the Manhattan law firm of Gersten, Savage & Kaplowitz, where he plans to focus on art law and issues of concern to collectors, philanthropists, museums and nonprofit institutions. He will remain a consultant to the Met.
Cloudband, an Internet portal for carpets, textiles and tribal art, and Invaluable, a provider of auction information to the trade, have formed an online partnership. Invaluable will promote Cloudband within its specialist “Channels” section; Cloudband will give users access to Invaluable’s “i-Find” auction search on its homepage.
Aborigine artist Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, 75, whose work helped popularize Aboriginal art and sold in auction rooms for record prices, died in poverty on February 12 in a desert camp in central Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales told the Associated Press. Tjupurrula was one of the most widely acclaimed of the Papunya Tula school of indigenous artists who pioneered the Aboriginal technique of dot painting. By the mid-1980s, Tjupurrula’s work was selling for thousands of dollars around Australia, although the artist regularly often was paid only a fraction of the value of the paintings by unscrupulous dealers.
Rosalie Gwathmey, 92, a photographer of black Southern communities who threw away all her negatives in 1955 after donating most of her prints to the New York Public Library, died February 12 at her home in Amagansett, N.Y. Her death was reported to Margarett Loke of The New York Times by her son, the architect Charles Gwathmey.
In a further consolidation of the Australian Internet market, one of the country’s top newspaper companies, John Fairfax Holdings Ltd., told AP February 15 it was selling its online auction site to the regional branch of Yahoo!. The sale to Yahoo! Australia & New Zealand would result in a gain of about $11 million. The sale covers the company’s SOLD.com.au auction site which offers everything from property to personal services. Fairfax launched the service in mid-1999.
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