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Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, “Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan, Full-Length, Holding His Sword in a Landscape” (1788), oil on canvas, 88 3/4 x 55 1/2 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Masters Week sales in New York started off on a high note, with 170 paintings and drawings sold across two auctions, bringing in $67.8 million total. The Master Paintings Evening sale on January 30 brought in a total of $52,710,650. The sale’s top lot, Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun’s “Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan, Full-Length, Holding His Sword in a Landscape” (1788), sold for $7,185,900, setting the world auction record for any female artist of the pre-modern era.

Robert Rauschenberg, “White Paintings – 1951” (1965), ink, lined paper and staples on cardboard, and ink on paper (© 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, image courtesy MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art has received a gift of 800 works from the Gilbert B. and Lila Silverman Instruction Drawing Collection. The collection includes works by over 300 artists, including John Cage, Christo, Merce Cunningham, Walter de Maria, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, RAMMELZEE, and Robert Rauschenberg. Some pieces in the collection are Yoko Ono’s “22 Instructions for Paintings” (1962), Eva Hesse’s “Addendum” (1967), Robert Rauschenberg’s only extant instructions for creating his 1951 “White Paintings” (1965), and much more. Most of the drawings, which the Silvermans began collecting in the 1970s, are from the 1960s through the 1980s. [via email announcement]

“Jade Mountain,” China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 18th century Nephrite, carved wood base 14 × 17 × 4.5 inches (image courtesy Crow Museum of Asian Art)

The Crow family has donated the entire collection of The Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art, along with $23 million, to the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). The gift will be used to create a second museum on the UT Dallas campus, and UT Dallas will also operate the current Crow Museum in the downtown Dallas Arts District. The current collection includes over 1,000 works from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam, spanning across multiple time periods, from ancient to contemporary.

Statistik, Presse und Organisationen des Judentums in den Vereinigten Staaten und Kanada (image courtesy Library and Archives Canada)

The Library and Archives Canada has acquired a rare 1944 book previously owned by Adolf Hitler. The book is a 137-page German language report, titled Statistik, Presse und Organisationen des Judentums in den Vereinigten Staaten und Kanada [Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada], compiled by Heinz Kloss and containing information on population statistics and key organizations and presses of Canadian and American Jewish communities. The bookplate contains a stylized eagle, swastika, and the words “EX LIBRIS ADOLF HITLER.” The acquisition came from a Judaica dealer who obtained it from a collection owned by a Holocaust survivor, and it will be preserved in the Jacob M. Lowy Collection of the library. According to the press release, “Library and Archives Canada hopes that this book becomes a tool for Holocaust remembrance and for fighting Holocaust denial.”

Supreme skate decks (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

The only complete archive of Supreme skate decks in private hands sold for $800,000 in an online sale at Sotheby’s last week. The deck was purchased by Vancouver collector Carson Guo, who plans to display the archive in his creative shop, opening in Vancouver in 2020. Assembled by collector Ryan Fuller, the archive includes all 248 decks produced by Supreme over 20 years, from 1998–2018. The archive features collaborations with a number of artists, including Damien Hist, Rammellzee, George Condo, and more. “We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received from collectors and fans of Supreme, streetwear, skate culture and contemporary art alike, who came out in droves to view the archive in our galleries, on our website, and across social media,” said Noah Wunsch, Sotheby’s Global Head of e-Commerce. [via email announcement] 

Declaration of Independence, the only known privately held copy of the celebrated William J. Stone facsimile for which provenance can be traced back to a direct ancestor who received in in 1824 (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana in New York brought in a total of $4,496,375 on January 24. The sale’s top lot, the only known privately held copy of the celebrated William J. Stone Declaration of Independence, for which provenance can be traced back to a direct ancestor who received it in 1824, sold for $975,000.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, “Nude Study of a Young Man with Raised Arms,” black chalk, heightened with white, the two right corners cut, 19 3/8 x 12 3/8 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Old Master Drawings in New York brought in a total of $15,056,875 on January 30. The sale’s top lot, Sir Peter Paul Rubens’s “Nude Study of a Young Man with Raised Arms,” sold for $8,202,000. This is the world auction record for a drawing by the artist.

Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture, Fall/Winter 1977–1978 (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint-Laurent sale in Paris brought in a total of €900,625 (~$1,029,000) on January 24. The sale’s top lot, Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture, Fall/Winter 1977–1978, sold for €52,500 (~$60,000).

Christie’s Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent online sale brought in a total of £261,750 (~$343,000) from January 23–30. The sale’s top lot, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Fall/Winter 1986–1987 tartan long coat, sold for £6,875 (~$9,000).

Studio of Miguel Canals, “Baskets of pears, birds and foliage,” oil on canvas, in an artist’s frame, 57 x 60 5/8 inches including the frame (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Interiors sale in London brought in a total of £1,214,938 (~$1,593,000) on January 29. The sale’s top lot, Studio of Miguel Canals (1925-1995), “Basket of pears, birds and foliage” sold for £60,000 (~$79,000).

A Cambodian bronze ceremonial bell, Battambang Province, probably 2nd century BCE to 2nd century CE, of waisted oval section, decorated overall with geometric scrolls in low relief, 22 3/4 inches high, 13 inches wide, 10 3/4 inches deep (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Peter Petrou: Tales of the Unexpected sale in London brought in a total of £1,361,875 (~$1,785,000) on January 30. The sale’s top lot, a Cambodian bronze ceremonial bell, Battambang province, probably 2nd century BCE to 2nd century CE, sold for £125,000 (~$164,000).

Albrecht Dürer, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, from: The Apocalypse” (c. 1497/98),
woodcut on laid paper, block 388 x 280 mm., sheet 429 x 305 mm. (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Old Master Prints sale in New York brought in a total of $4,895,750 on January 29. The sale’s top lot, Albrecht Dürer’s “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, from: The Apocalypse” (c. 1497/98), sold for $612,500.

Yayoi Kusama, “Amour pour Toujours” (2000), the complete set of 10 screenprints in colors with glitter, on BFK Rives paper, with full margins, with accompanying poem by Alain Jouffroy, title page and colophon, the sheets loose (as issued) contained in the original handmade paper and embossed leather portfolio, portfolio 26 1/8 x 20 1/4 inches, eight S. 19 5/8 x 25 5/8 inches, two S. 25 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches (image courtesy Phillips)

Phillips’s Evening & Day Editions sale in London brought in a total of £3,625,313 (~$4,731,000) on January 24. The sale’s top lot, Yayoi Kusama’s “Amout pour Toujours” (2000), sold for £200,000 (~$261,000). This was the world record auction for this set.

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Deena ElGenaidi

Deena ElGenaidi is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden in 2016, and her work has appeared in Longreads, Electric Literature,...