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University of Texas at Dallas Receives Over 400 Swiss Artworks, and Colonial Williamsburg Acquires Revolutionary War Portrait

Plus, the Bruce Museum receives a collection of Native American baskets, textiles, and ceramics, and the Jewish Museum Vienna receives 170 Japanese netsuke on long-term loan.

Giovani Giacometti, "Bagnanti (Alberto and Diego)" (1919), oil on canvas, 41 1/16 x 37 13/16 inches (image courtesy the Barrett Collection)
Giovani Giacometti, “Bagnanti (Alberto and Diego)” (1919), oil on canvas, 41 1/16 x 37 13/16 inches (image courtesy the Barrett Collection)

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has received the Barrett Collection, a gift of over 400 works of Swiss art. The collection was started by Dallas residents Nona and Richard Barrett in the 1990s, and over the years, according to the press release, “the Barretts have become the most knowledgeable American collectors of Swiss art of the past two generations.” After Nona passed in 2014, Richard Barrett continued to expand the collection with his current wife, Luba. Their donation is the largest ever made to UTD and the largest gift of art to any school in The University of Texas system. The Barrett Collection will be housed in a new Barrett Museum to be built on campus. “We have benefited so much from our city of Dallas and are glad to have an opportunity to give something back. Our wish is for our collection to remain intact and have a permanent, public home in our own city as well as in Texas,” said Richard Barrett. [via email announcement]

Unidentified artist, "Portrait of Major Patrick Campbell" (1775-1776), oil on canvas (image courtesy the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg)
Unidentified artist, “Portrait of Major Patrick Campbell” (1775–1776), oil on canvas (image courtesy the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg)

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired a bust-length, Revolutionary War British military portrait of Major Patrick Campbell, a Scottish officer who served in the British military at the Siege of Yorktown. The portrait was painted in Scotland by an unidentified Scottish artist in late 1775 or early 1776, according to the press release. Up until the last few decades, the portrait had been passed down through the family of Campbell’s sister, and the acquisition was made possible through donations by the Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections. “Our goal is to tell the whole story of the Revolution in Virginia,” said Ronald L. Hurst, the Foundation’s Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president for collections, conservation, and museums. “Objects such as the portrait of Patrick Campbell allow us to put faces on the players and therefore humanize these events that changed the course of American history.” [via email announcement]

Chai donation baskets on view (image courtesy The Bruce Museum)
Chai donation baskets on view (image courtesy The Bruce Museum)

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut received a gift of Native American baskets, textiles, and ceramics, donated by Maryann Chai and Jay W. Chai of Riverside, Connecticut. Maryann became interested in Native American art and culture while on the board of a company in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a “fellow director of Native American ancestry,” according to the press release. She was then introduced to the collection at the Glicrease Musem in Tulsa and began to learn and collect from that point on. A selection of 13 Native American baskets from the gift are now on view in the Bruce Museum’s rotunda, complementing the exhibition A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. The exhibition is on display through November 25. In the future, the Bruce Museum plans to offer an exhibition that features significant pieces from the Chai collection.

Roger Vandercruse, a Luis XVI ormolu-mounted bois citronnier, tulipwood and amaranth bonheur du jour (c. 1780), 43 inches high, 27 ½ inches wide, 16 ½ inches deep (image courtesy Christie's)
Roger Vandercruse, a Luis XVI ormolu-mounted bois citronnier, tulipwood and amaranth bonheur du jour (c. 1780), 43 inches high, 27 ½ inches wide, 16 ½ inches deep (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s A Love Affair with France: The Elizabeth Stafford Collection sale in New York brought in a total of $2,956,750 on November 1. The sale’s top lot, a Louis XVI ormolu-mounted bois citronnier, tulipwood, and amaranth bonoheur du jour by Roger Vandercruse (c. 1780), sold for $118,750.

Christie’s online sale of Jewelry brought in a total of 4,648,750 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) (~$594,000) from October 29–November 6. The sale’s top lot, a ruby and diamond necklace with Gia report, sold for 437,500 HKD (~$56,000).

A rare and finely-cast gilt-bronze seated figure of Avalokiteshvara Xuande six-character incised mark and of the period (1426–1435)
A rare and finely-cast gilt-bronze seated figure of Avalokiteshvara Xuande six-character incised mark and of the period (1426–1435) (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in London brought in a total of £8,683,375 (~$11,422,000) on November 6. The sale’s top lot, a rare and finely-cast gilt-bronze seated figure of Avalokiteshvara, Xuande six-character incised mark and of the period (1426–1435), sold for £1,928,750 (~$2,537,000).

Maurits Cornelis Escher, "Ascending and Descending" (1960), lithograph, on smooth wove paper (image courtesy Christie's)
Maurits Cornelis Escher, “Ascending and Descending” (1960), lithograph, on smooth wove paper (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s online Modern Edition sale brought in a total of $439,375 on October 30–November 6. The sale’s top lot, Maurits Cornelis Escher’sAscending and Descending” (1960), sold for $40,000.

Sotheby’s Fine Japanese Art sale in London brought in a total of £2,515,000 (~$3,288,000) on November 6. The sale’s top lot, a magnificent pair of imperial presentation lacquer two-fold screens, meiji period, late 19th century, signed “Makie-Shi Yasui Hocho No In” [Yasui Hochu] and sealed “Shibayama,” sold for £730,000 (~$955,000).

Sotheby’s From Earth to Fire sale in London brought in a total of £1,557,438 (~$2,036,000) on November 1. The sale’s top lot, a pair of Italian maiolica two-handled albarelli, Cafaggiolo (c. 1500–1520), sold for £150,000 (~$196,000).

Sotheby’s Rugs and Carpets sale in London brought in a total of £1,342,063 (~$1,765,000) on November 6. The sale’s top lot, the Larsson lion-dog medallion with “hundred antiques” dias carpet from Ninghsia, West China (first half of 18th century), sold for £112,500 (~$148,000).

Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in London brought in a total of £9,082,500 (~$11,947,000) on November 7. The sale’s top lot, a fine “Huanghuali” and Nanmu corner-leg table from the 17th/18th century, sold for £3,070,000 (~$4,038,000).

British artist and author Edmund de Waal has given the Jewish Museum, Vienna his collection of 170 Japanese netsuke as a long-term loan. The collection inspired de Waal’s memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, and will join de Waal’s family archive, which he donated to the Jewish Museum earlier in the year. “The decision to place the netsuke on loan allows them to tell the story of migration, identity and exile to a new audience,” said de Waal. “In The Hare with Amber Eyes, I wrote of how objects can evoke histories through touch, and a stipulation of the loan is that a group will be available for handling by the many visitors to the Museum.” The museum will present an exhibition about the family and its collections, followed by an international tour. [via email announcement]

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