Trade News from around the World
The Everhart Museum, Scranton, Pa., again failed in its attempt to sell its Henri Matisse painting when the artwork attracted no bids at Sotheby’s November 9. Auctioneer Tobias Meyer opened the bidding for “The Pink Shrimps” at $1 million but moved on to the next piece after there were no bidders, a Sotheby’s spokesman told AP. The museum tried to sell the painting at Sotheby’s in 1992, but rejected a bid of $1.6 million because it fell below the accepted amount. Sotheby’s had valued the work at between $2 million and $3 million. The museum has come under fire for the auction plan, which would allow it to sell the painting to a private owner without seeking a sale or trade to another museum or public institution. American Association of Museum ethical guidelines suggest selling a piece to a private buyer only after exhausting efforts to keep it available to the public.
Painter Philip Curtis – considered to be the “dean” of Arizona artists – died November 12 at his Scottsdale, Ariz. home. He was 93. Friends told the Associated Press that he had been in declining health for some time. Curtis created the institution that grew into the Phoenix Art Museum; his work has been on permanent display at the museum for the past 15 years, and a new Curtis Gallery will open at the museum in March.
Diana Fane, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of the Arts of the Americas and Chair of the Department of the Arts of Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas, will retire on November 30. Dr Fane, who did her undergraduate work at Radcliffe College and received both her M.A. and PhD from Columbia University, joined the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1979 as an assistant curator. Following her retirement she will remain active in the fields of pre-Colombian and Latin American colonial arts as an independent scholar.
Arizona State Museum Associate Director Hartman H. Lomawaima has been appointed to the national board of trustees of the planned Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, says the Associated Press. The new center is scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., in late 2003. Lomawaima will continue his position with the Arizona State Museum.
Art Basel Miami Beach, to be launched by Messe Basel in December of 2001, will be a contemporary art fair representing 100 to 150 galleries. The galleries will be mainly from North American, Latin America and Europe. The new art event will collaborate closely with art museums and private art collections in South Florida. Crossover cultural events with music, fashion, film, design and architecture will also be on offer as a complementary program. The organizers are planning to use various indoor and outdoor spaces close by for events and exhibitions. Ships’ containers will be set up in public spaces as project rooms for young artists.
A federal court suit filed November 9 by several artists and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and artists claims Corbis Corp. is selling photos of their murals, which cover the sides of buildings in San Francisco, Calif.’s Mission District, without permission. The UFW is concerned that its slogan “Si Se Puede” (“It can be done”), the union’s trademark black eagle logo and images of Huerta are being misappropriated by Corbis, a company founded and owned by Microsoft’s Bill Gates.Corbis says it is the leading provider of photography and fine art on the Internet with 65 million images, 2.1 million of which are available online. Corbis’ content includes the renowned Bettemann Collection, whose images range from cave paintings to modern-day photojournalism. A spokeswoman for the Bellevue, Wash. company told Ron Harris of the Associated Press the company had not seen a copy of the lawsuit and had no comment.
The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky’s largest art museum, has acquired a painting by Post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne for $3.5 million. Museum officials lauded the painting, “Two Apples on a Table,” as the most important addition to its collection since it acquired Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Woman” in 1977 for $1.2 million. The painting had been in the hands of private collectors for years before Ruth Cloudman, the museum’s curator, spotted it on display in a Paris France art gallery, which had been commissioned to sell it for a Japanese collector, museum spokeswoman Penny Peavler told AP. That collector, whose name was not released, had owned it since 1991, the museum said.
A rosewood dressing bureau, part of a bedroom suite made by the firm of Crawford Riddell in Philadelphia, Pa. and an example of the Gothic Revival style in American furniture, has been acquired by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.The dresser, currently on view in the museum, complements the institute’s collection of early-to mid-Nineteenth Century American furniture. The suite was commissioned by political supporters of Henry Clay in 1844, the second time he ran for the presidency. Had Clay been elected, it may have made its way into the White House collection. Riddell’s label is stenciled in one of the dresser’s drawers.
A multicolored, ceramic statue of a cat said to be a gift from Pablo Picasso to Ernest Hemingway has disappeared from its glass-enclosed perch at the Hemingway House museum, Key West, Fla. Museum general manager Michael Morawski told AP the 14-inch statue disappeared November 14 shortly before 4:20 p.m., about 10 minutes after a tour guide pointed it out to sightseers. The museum posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the culprit who made off with the feline sculpture, whose value remains a subject of debate. Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, first identified the cracked sculpture during a visit in 1972. She remarked the cat was a 1920s-era gift from Picasso.
And from cat statue to a naked woman: Police have recovered a painting believed to be a stolen Picasso, raising to five the number of paintings by the artist recovered in Turkey this year, the Associated Press and the Anatolia news agency reported November 14. The “Naked Woman” painting was recovered in an operation near the Turkish-Iraqi border in the southeastern province of Mardin, Anatolia said. Four suspects were arrested. Authorities in Mardin refused to comment on the report and it was unclear when the operation took place. Police say they have recovered four other paintings of Pablo Picasso since June, including “Ugly Woman,” the portrait of the painter’s mistress, Dora Maar, and the 1908 painting “La Fermiere,” or The Farmer’s Wife.