Published: January 23, 2001
Trade News from around the World
Carol Vogel, in the January 19 edition of The New York Times, reports that the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, now possesses photographs Thomas Walther made between the world wars. “Museum curators have also been courting Mr. Walther in the hope that someday their institutions will get at least part of his prized holdings,” Vogel writes. The gift/acquisition includes 328 modernist works by about 135 photographers along with 50 pictures from Walther’s collection of amateur snapshots, all of which may be valued at $50 million. “This is the most important private collection of photographs in the world,” Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Modern, told the Times. “It is one of the Modern’s most important acquisitions of the past two decades.”
More than 200 antiquities stolen from a Greek museum ten years ago were returned to Greek officials on January 18, closing the books on the nation’s largest, strong-arm antiquities heist on record, the Federal Bureau of Investigation told AP. The objects, valued at over $2 million, were stolen from the Archaeology Museum in Corinth, 50 miles southwest of Athens, in April, 1990. The heist involved at least four men who beat a guard, took 284 objects on display and loaded them onto trucks before disappearing. The objects were recovered in 1999, when the FBI, acting on a tip that the rdf_Descriptions had been consigned for auction at Christie’s, discovered the stolen objects hidden in fish crates at a storage area in Miami.
The St Louis Art Museum announced it has acquired Vincent van Gogh’s 1885 painting “Head of a Peasant Woman” for $2.9 million from the Galerie Daniel Malingue in Paris. The purchase comes just a month before the opening of a large van Gogh exhibit at the museum. The painting is an example of van Gogh’s expressive Netherlands paintings, a period that concluded with the 1885 masterpiece “The Potato Eaters.” Cornelia Homburg, the museum’s curator of modern art, told the Associated Press that “the strength and quality of the painting reflect the culmination of van Gogh’s artistic achievements toward the end of his time in the Netherlands.”
A pair of Nazi-era rdf_Descriptions have been pulled from Dumouchelle Art Galleries’ auction catalog after the firm received complaints that the sale was offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors. Concerned clients and Jewish leaders urged DuMouchelle, Detroit, Mich., to remove a swastika armband and banner from the public auction scheduled for January 7. “We had taken them from a historical perspective and failed to recognize the sensitivity of the issue in doing so,” general manager Robert DuMouchelle told the Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press, referring to the World War II-era objects. He said a permanent ban on Nazi memorabilia will be discussed at the gallery’s next board meeting.
According to Deborah Baldwin in the January 21 edition of The New York Times, C. Malcolm Watkins, 89, a museum curator and collector, died on January 12 in Leesburg, Va. Watkins spent 31 years of his career at the Smithsonian Institution, where he developed the first large exhibition hall devoted to everyday life in early America. He was a curator at Old Sturbridge Village, helped found the Society for Historical Archaeology, and was working on a book about New England pottery at the time of his death. “He said the object is the bottom line,” his wife and collaborator, Joan Pearson Watkins, a ceramist and historic preservationist, told the Times.
Frederick Hughes, 57, the longtime business manager for Andy Warhol, died January 13. He suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years and died of complications related to the illness, his mother, Jennie Hughes, told the Associated Press. In addition to serving as Warhol’s business manager from the late 1960s until the artist’s death in 1987, Hughes executed his will and is regarded as the driving force behind the founding of the Andy Warhol Museum in Warhol’s hometown of Pittsburgh. The museum opened in 1994.
John Rhoden, 82, a sculptor who worked primarily with bronze and wood, died January 4, according to AP. His commissioned works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Hospital in Harlem, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and the Afro-American Museum in Philadelphia. His work has been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, among other institutions.
Courneye G. Tourcotte, 80, one of the first photographers to be inducted into the Photography Hall of Fame, died January 10 at his home in Norton Shores, Mich., from Alzheimer’s disease, reports the Associated Press. He specialized in richly colored portraits of well-known people posing in a room or an outdoor setting.
Paula Garvey Manship has given $3 million to help build a new LSU art museum, Baton Rouge, and has promised to give one dollar for every two given by other donors, AP reports. LSU plans to renovate the third floor of the old Auto Hotel as an art museum and to create a new building next door as well. Building, furnishing and equipping the museum is expected to cost $16 million. The new LSU Museum of Art will house the University’s extensive collections of Seventeenth through Twentieth Century paintings, Newcomb pottery, Inuit and Pre-Columbian sculpture and decorative arts. They are now displayed in the LSU Memorial Tower.
Dallas art dealer and appraiser John Buxton, of Shango Galleries, has been elected to the National Board of Directors of the International Society of Appraisers based in Seattle, Washington. Buxton is one of only four African art appraisers in the country at the society. He was also selected as the ISA’s Member of the Year for 2000.
The National Art Education Association has awarded Della Watkins Eisenman the 2001 Southeastern Region Museum Education Art Educator Award. Eisenman is the manager of school and family programs at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Va.
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