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Art Movements

Paul Cézanne, Recto: “Trees (Arbres)” (c. 1900, possibly earlier), watercolor and graphite on laid paper; Verso: “Houses in Landscape with the Pilon du Roi” (undated), graphite on laid paper, 12 3/16 x 18 11/16 inches (courtesy the Barnes Foundation; © 2015 The Barnes Foundation)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.

The Barnes Foundation discovered two previously unknown Paul Cézanne sketches. The drawings were discovered on the reverse sides of two Cézanne watercolors which were taken down a year ago for conservation.

US officials will return Picasso’s “La Coiffeuse” (“The Hairdresser”) (1911) to the French government. The painting, which was disguised as a wrapped Christmas present, was seized by US customs officers in December. It went missing from the Centre Pompidou in 2001.

Trustees of Elizabeth Taylor’s Southern Trust are suing Christie’s for breach of contract and fiduciary duty. Barbara Berkowitz, Timothy Mendelson, and Christopher Wilding have accused the auction house of botching a charity sale of the star’s personal belongings.

Hamas prevented Gaza-based writer Atef Abu Saif from traveling to the Casablanca International Publishing and Book Fair, where his novel A Suspended Life was a finalist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Westminster Abbey received planning permission to build its first new tower in three centuries, which would provide access to a museum housed in its attic.

Artist unknown, "Hannibal" (c. 17th century) (image courtesy the University of Saskatoon Museum of Antiquities)
Artist unknown, “Hannibal” (c. 17th century) (image courtesy the University of Saskatoon Museum of Antiquities) (click to enlarge)

Helanna Miazga, an assistant curator at the University of Saskatchewan’s Museum of Antiquities, concluded that a bronze bust owned by the museum was once in the possession of Napoleon Bonaparte. It’s not yet known how the bust — which depicts the ancient general Hannibal — came to be sold at an estate auction in New York in 1939.

Painter Dan Levin filed a complaint against art dealer Robert Blumenthal. Levin alleges that he was only paid $18,500 for a sell-out show of 30 works valued at $215,000.

Hermann Nitsch weighed in on the cancellation of his exhibition at the Museo Jumex. In a report by the New York Times, Nitsch described the show’s cancellation as a waste of time and money (read Hyperallergic’s previous coverage here).

Workers at the National Gallery in London staged another round of strikes protesting the planned privatization of visitor services (read Hyperallergic’s previous coverage here).

Descendants of Jewish art dealers filed a lawsuit against Germany and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (PCHF) — which manages Berlin’s museums — alleging that the so-called Welfenschatz or “Guelph Treasure,” now valued at $266 million, was sold to the PCHF under duress.

The Yale and Paul Mellon Centers for British Art are collaborating on a new online, peer-reviewed journal entitled British Art Studies.

The Romanian Ministry of Culture declined to be interviewed for an article by the Guardian regarding the legal status of Constantin Brâncuși’s “The Wisdom of the Earth” (1907). The Romanian government utilized its right of first refusal to block the prospective sale of the sculpture last September. Negotiations between the owners and the state have not yet commenced.

Transactions

A rendering of the Jeff Koons sculpture in the Entertainment and Sports Center plaza (courtesy the Sacramento Kings)
A rendering of the Jeff Koons sculpture in the Entertainment and Sports Center plaza (courtesy the Sacramento Kings)

The City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings basketball team paid $8 million to commission Jeff Koons to create an outdoor sculpture for a new downtown arena.

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, received a gift of 63 Japanese woodblock prints from Adele Rodbell, a longtime docent at the museum.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has tapped Annabelle Selldorf, architect of choice for US mega-galleries, to design its new $50 million home. Construction is expected to begin in 2017, with the new building opening in 2019.

The FBI and US prosecutors returned Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s “The Holy Trinity Appearing to Saint Clement” and an Etruscan bronze from the 6th-5th century BCE to the Italian government. The artworks had been stolen from Italy in 1982 and 1964, respectively, and turned up recently in New York.

Jean-Baptiste Bertin, "Snuff Box" (c. 1770) (Gift of the heirs of Bettina Looram de Rothschild; photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Jean-Baptiste Bertin, “Snuff Box” (c. 1770) (Gift of the heirs of Bettina Looram de Rothschild; photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has been gifted a collection of 186 objects — including paintings, jewelry, furniture, and rare books — that once belonged to the Baron and Baroness Alphonse and Clarice de Rothschild, and which were seized by the Nazis when they invaded Austria in 1938.

Transitions

The 12th edition of the Havana Biennial — the first to take place in the wake of normalization talks between Cuba and the US — will open on May 22.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will close its South Asian galleries next week for a yearlong refurbishment.

Thomas Kren, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s associate director for collections, is retiring after having worked at the museum for 35 years. Richard Rand, a senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Clark Institute, will assume the role in September.

José A. Ortiz was appointed deputy director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Emily Ballew Neff was appointed executive director of the Memphis Brooks Museum.

Obituaries

Leonard Nimoy in 2011 (photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons)
Leonard Nimoy in 2011 (photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ed Albers, (1956–2015), New York-based painter.

Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015), actor, singer, artist, and art collector.

Henry Segerstrom (1923–2015), philanthropist, and founding chairman of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

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