Published: November 28, 2000
Trade News from around the World
The owner of an auction house in Tompkinsville, Ky., has been charged with breaking into numerous mini-storage facilities in two states. Darwin Sullivan, 41, is accused of selling the contents after stealing them. He faces charges in Dickson, Robertson, Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Sumner, Trousdale and Macon counties in Tennessee and four counties in Kentucky, said Detective Lt. Bill Rush of the Portland Police Department. Portland police could not access a list of Kentucky counties involved on November 24, says the Associated Press.
Sue Thompson, a former curator for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pa., said she was fired after 17 years because of age and sex discrimination and has sued in federal court in Pittsburgh on charges that the facility’s former director, Jay Apt, fostered an atmosphere that encouraged such biases. Apt, who resigned as museum director in February, told AP November 24 that he had not seen the lawsuit, and declined comment on Thompson’s allegations. Thompson was fired in November 1999 after working her way up to assistant curator in botany. She was among more than 12 other older employees who have either left voluntarily or been fired in the last three years. Thompson wants her job back in addition to an unspecified financial judgment.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., is returning a painting believed stolen by German Nazis sometime before 1941 from a Paris family’s collection, reports Leigh Strope of the Associated Press. The painting, “Still Life with Fruit and Game” by Flemish artist Frans Snyders, depicts a large basket of colorful fruit on a red tablecloth, surrounded by dead game, including birds and a small deer. The museum is arranging to return the painting to the Stern family, which discovered the piece and the history of its ownership on the gallery’s Web site. The gallery has been doing extensive World War II-era ownership research on the European art in its collection for three years, said Director Earl A. Powell III.
Since first going on sale last summer, more than 180,000 tickets have been booked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for “Van Gogh: Face to Face,” the first-ever museum exhibition devoted to the legendary Dutch artist’s portraits. This figure represents more than half of the total 300,000 visitors that are expected to see the exhibition in Philadelphia before is closes January 14, 2001.
An auction of so-called long-lost masterpieces was canceled at the last minute on November 24 in Jakarta, Indonesia after art experts said the pictures were fakes. Organizers had claimed the paintings had been recovered during the past 20 years across Indonesia. A Van Gogh was found in a Sumatran plantation house, a Picasso in a flea market and a Monet turned up somewhere in West Java. “This is an attempt to fool Indonesian art lovers. There is virtually no possibility of finding a Picasso in an Indonesian flea market,” said Agus T. Darmawan, a Jakarta consultant for Christie’s, told AP.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, Conn., has acquired a letter written by the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin when she was a 10-year-old girl. The letter, written on March 14, 1882, to her brother, was discovered in the basement of a New England Congregational church. It was put up for auction at R.M. Smythe, New York City, and purchased by the center on November 16 for $10,000. “To us the value is the content of the letter and what it tells us about the young woman who wrote the book that helped start the Civil War,” Katherine Kane, the center’s executive director commented to the Associated Press, paraphrasing the quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln when he met the author.
The Chicago Historical Society is hoping a snippet of towel supposedly soaked with Abraham Lincoln’s blood will help it authenticate other Lincoln-related rdf_Descriptions in its possession. Vinton Thompson, an administrator at nearby Roosevelt University, gave the piece of cloth to the museum after his family found it in his mother’s New York home. Nancy Binger, textile conservator at the historical society, believes the fragment – due to its distinctive weave – belongs with five others relating to Lincoln, including two already at the museum. According to AP, the society hopes to use DNA testing on the piece of towel and other objects in order to confirm that they were indeed related to Lincoln.
Thomas Krens, director of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and Edemar Cid Ferreira, president of the newly established Brazil -U S Council and of the Associaco Brazil +500, have made public plans for a feasibility study to explore possible cultural projects in Brazil. This major announcement formally acknowledges a signed agreement between the organizations and represents the Guggenheim Foundation’s first initiative in Latin America.
Skinner auction house, Boston, Mass., has hired Dorothy McGonagle to the position of specialist in antique dolls in its toys, dolls and collectibles department. Her published works include The Dolls of Jules Nicolas Steiner, and a Celebration of American Dolls from the Collections of the Strong Museum, as well as other works published both here and aboard. This past summer, McGonagle traveled across the country with Chubb’s Antiques Roadshow, the public television program produced by WGBH Boston currently broadcast nationwide.
Luise Kraus Addiss, 101, a patron of the arts from New York who was the first person to be a member of the Metropolitan Museum for 75 years, died November 19 at her Manhattan home. Addiss set the 75-year membership record in 1999, the museum told the Associated Press. She received flowers, an invitation to lunch and a tour of the museum from Philippe de Montebello, its director, on a Monday, when it is closed.
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