The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has acquired three significant pieces of Medieval art: a large, rare Hebrew codex known as “The Montefiore Mainz Mahzor” (c. 1310–20); a rare surviving silver-gilt and enamel Spanish precessional cross (c. 1400); and an architectural drawing of Rouen Cathedral. The acquisitions were purchased through a fund dedicated to the museum’s acquisitions endowments. The works are currently on display in the European Art Galleries of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. [via email announcement]
Stanford University’s Denning House has acquired a 17-foot sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard titled “MOCNA.” The sculpture was the first piece commissioned for the Denning House art collection, which plans to acquire one piece each year from emerging and established artists. The sculpture has been placed on display in front of Denning House. Denning House has also acquired two dye sublimation prints by Trevor Paglen: “Matterhorn (How to See Like a Machine) Brute-Force Descriptor Matcher; Scale Invariant Feature Transform” (2016) and “Lake Tenaya Maximally Stable Extremal” (2016). Paglen’s work is on display on both floors of Denning House and will be available to see on monthly tours of the building beginning in the spring. The acquisitions were made possible through a gift from Roberta Bowman Denning (undergraduate class of 1975, MBA class of of 1978) and her husband Steven A. Denning (MBA class of 1978), past chair of the Stanford Board of Trustees.
Last week, the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair made a record total of $21 million in sales. John Mawurndjul’s bark painting “Ngalyod – The Rainbow Serpent” (1999) sold for an artist record of $140,ooo. The painting’s previous anonymous owner had been storing the work under their bed for the past 10 years. There has been renewed interest in Mawurndjul’s work due to his current retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Approximately $10 million of the total sales from the fair will go to the 300 exhibiting artists.
Wright auction house’s Paul Rand: The Art of Design sale in Chicago brought in a total of $730,265 on September 13. The sale’s top lots, a Gerrit Reitveld Red Blue Chair and Paul Rand’s photogram “Untitled” (1947) sold for $18,750 each.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired a “small, delicately engraved, silver teapot” that belonged to John Murray (c. 1730–1809), a Scottish nobleman, according to a press release. Murray was the fourth earl of Dunmore and Virginia’s last royal governor, and the teapot is engraved with the Murray family armorial crest beneath an earl’s coronet. It was made in London in 1771–72 under the sponsorship of Swedish-born silversmith Andrew Fogelberg and passed down through his family until it was gifted to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation by Angus Sladen of Hampshire, England, a descendent of Murray. “This teapot tells a fascinating story,” said Janine E. Skerry, senior curator of metals at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “Made in the shop of a Swedish-born craftsman working in London, it was used in Virginia by a Scottish nobleman on the eve of the American Revolution. It then traveled back to Britain only to be rediscovered almost 250 years later.” The teapot will be a part of a multimedia exhibition focused on objects made or used in Williamsburg. The exhibition is set to open at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in 2019. [via email announcement]
Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in New York brought in a total of $12,695,375 on September 12. The sale’s top lot, an archaic bronze ritual vessel (Zun) from the Shang Dynasty, Yinxu period, sold for $1,455,000.
Sotheby’s sale of the Tang Hung and Fung Bi-Che Collection of Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy in New York brought in a total of $4,802,375 on September 13. The sale’s top lot, Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chen)‘s work “Bridge to Mountain Temple Shrouded by Prismatic Clouds in Splashed Color” (1981), sold for $915,000.
Sotheby’s sale of Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy in New York brought in a total of $5,664,125 on September 13. The sale’s top lot, Wang Yuanqi‘s “Landscape of Yushan” (1689), sold for $1,215,000.
Sotheby’s Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art sale in New York brought in a total of $3,189,813 on September 15. The sale’s top lot, a “Zitan” and hardwood tabletop cabinet from the Qing Dynasty, 19th century, sold for $200,000.
Sotheby’s Made in Britain sale in London brought in a total of £2,501,563 (~$3,291,000) on September 18. The sale’s top lot, Chris Levine’s “Lightness of Being (Pink)” (2015), sold for £150,000 (~$197,000).
Christie’s sale of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art in New York brought in a total of $8,314,625 on September 12. The sale’s top lot, Tyeb Mehta’s painting “Diagonal XV” (1975), sold for $1,392,500.
Christie’s sale of Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian works of art in New York brought in a total of $2,890,00 on September 12. The sale’s top lot, an important bronze group of Shiva and Uma from South India, Tamil Nadu, late Chola-early Vijayanagara period, late 13th to early 14th century, sold for $636,500.
Christie’s Masterpieces of Cizhou Ware: The Linyushanren Collection Part IV sale in New York brought in a total of $1,230,000 on September 13. The sale’s top lot, a very rare large Cizhou Sgraffiato jar from the Jin Dynasty (1115–1234), sold for $175,000.
Christie’s Interiors sale in London brought in a total of £1,305,062 (~$1,716,000) on September 13. The sale’s top lot, an Indian white-painted architectural facade from the late 19th/early 20th century, sold for £100,000 (~$131,000).
Christie’s Fine Chinese Jade Carvings from Private Collections sale in New York brought in a total of $2,710,125 on September 13. The sale’s top lot, a well-carved white jade marriage bowl from the Qianlong period (1736–1795) sold for $588,500.
Christie’s sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in New York brought in a total of $15,538,875 on September 13–14. The sale’s top lot, an important and very rare grey limestone figure of Mahasthamaprapta from the early Tang Dynasty, eighth century, sold for $3,252,500.
Walmart has donated $2 million to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas for their new contemporary arts venue, the Momentary, set to open in the fall of 2020, with a preview concert in the fall of 2019. The Momentary will be a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that’s being built in a former Kraft Foods cheese plant. The Momentary will have free general admission for all visitors, and funds will go towards projects such as festivals, exhibitions, artist programs, and culinary offerings.