Published: January 8, 2002
Trade News from around the World
A yellowed sticker attached to a painting antiques dealer Michael Hirschfeld bought for $900 was the first clue it might be more than an ordinary piece of art, reports the Associated Press. The sticker, “Collectie Goudstikker,” left Hirschfeld wondering if it once belonged to Jacques Goudstikker, a Dutch Jew who fled the Netherlands in 1940, leaving his vast collection behind. Much of that collection wound up in the hands of German Field Marshal Hermann Goering. Written on the label, in pencil, is “Netscher.” That could mean the painting is a work by Dutch artist Casper Netscher (1635-1684), who, while not in the same league as Rembrandt, was an accomplished portrait painter in the Netherlands. “Maybe there is some rational reason for this popping up here,” Hirschfeld told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But I think we owe it to ourselves to find out.” Hirschfeld bought the painting at a Phillips-Selkirk auction in October. Malcolm Ivey, the managing director at the Clayton, Mo. firm, commented, “What you really need to do, if possible, is a resonance [ownership history] of his collection and see if this was ever part of it.”
Gerald Peters Gallery of Santa Fe, N.M., has sued San Francisco’s Pacific Heights Gallery and its owner over possession of a drawing by Pablo Picasso. The drawing, “Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe,” was loaned on consignment in 1998 to Pacific Heights, according to a lawsuit filed in state District Court in Santa Fe by Gerald Peters Gallery. Pacific Heights was supposed to sell the artwork or return it but did neither, said Gerald Peters. “It was a nice drawing and we didn’t get paid,” he told AP January 1. “So we’re going to get paid one way or another.” Peters is suing for the estimated value of the drawing – $85,000 – plus interest, legal expenses and punitive damages. Nancy Wandlass, executive director of Pacific Heights, said she mailed the drawing to the Santa Fe gallery January 3.
A nine-inch ivory sculpture found decades ago in Greece may be part of the lost throne of King Midas, a University of Pennsylvania archaeologist told the Associated Press January 2. The throne belonging to the king, whose wealth inspired the myth that he could turn anything he touched into gold, disappeared around 400 B.C. Keith DeVries, an associate curator at the university’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, said he believes the ivory statuette of a lion tamer once adorned Midas’ seat of power. The sculpture was found in 1939 in Delphi, Greece, but historians have been unable to agree on its origin. DeVries said the sculpture appears to be Phrygian, produced in Gordion around the time that Midas was alive, and bears markings on its back indicating that it was once attached to something else.
About $10 million was raised for September 11 relief efforts through eBay’s Auction for America program, which let people earmark certain rdf_Descriptions for charity, the site announced January 4, according to AP. EBay had hoped the program, which ran from September 17 through December 25, would generate $100 million in its 100 days. Although it fell well short of that goal, more than 100,000 people participated, with celebrities, politicians and large companies among the donors.
The Bard Graduate Center’s Susan Weber Soros has announced the recipients of the sixth annual Iris Foundation Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the Decorative Arts. This year’s awardees are James R. Houghton, the chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and chairman of the board of Corning Incorporated; Dr Geoffrey Beard, the former director of the Visual Arts Center at the University of Lancaster and an internationally-known author; and Dr Valerie Steele, chief curator and acting director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The awards will be presented at a luncheon at the St Regis Hotel, New York City, on April 11.
Historic Deerfield’s executive director Donald R. Friary has announced the appointment of Jessica L. Neuwirth as the museum’s new director of Academic Programs. She succeeds Kenneth Hafertepe who has been appointed director of Museum Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Tex. Neuwirth joins the staff after a five-year joint appointment as curator and research and archaeology program director for the Historic Annapolis Foundation and faculty research associate at the University of Maryland College Park. She holds an MA with distinction and a PhD in American Civilization, both from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Wellesley College.
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