The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has purchased a pair of Champagne Standard lamps designed by Salvador Dalí and Edward James. Each lamp is made from 10 oversized brass champagne coupes stacked above one another, with a base “in the form of a Victorian papier-máché tray” covered in decorative gold ivy tendrils, berries, and leaves. The lamps were purchased using funds from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, and V&A members. “These lamps are of outstanding significance to the history of modern design and Surrealist art in Britain and we are delighted that the V&A is acquiring them for public enjoyment,” said Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion at the V&A.
The British Museum has returned a 3,000-year-old carved Babylonian stone tablet to Iraq. The artifact was discovered at London’s Heathrow airport in 2012, and its provenance was then investigated by the British Museum. Michael Ellis, Britain’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, says the object was likely stolen about 15 years ago during the Iraq war. [AFP]
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) has received a gift of 78 artworks from the collection of Dr. Constance E. Clayton, an American educator, civic leader, and arts advocate. The works, spanning the late 19th to late 20th centuries, are mostly by Black artists with ties to PAFA, such as alumni Henri O. Tanner, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Laura Wheeler Waring. “I hope visitors to our city will enjoy [the collection],” said Dr. Clayton. “Being at PAFA, it will certainly inspire budding artists to continue making their work and that is important to me.” The collection will go on display in an exhibition in January 2020 in honor of Dr. Clayton’s late mother, Willabell Clayton. In addition, PAFA will regularly exhibit the works in its permanent collection displays, also making them available to tour the country and the world.
Christie’s The George Michael Collection Online Auction brought in a total of £2,064,125 (~$2,735,000) from March 8–15. The sale’s top lot, Harland Miller’s Death, What’s in it for Me? (2007), sold for £212,500 (~$282,000).
Christie’s The George Michael Collection Evening Auction brought in a total of £9,264,000 (~$12,275,000) on March 14. The sale’s top lot, Damien Hirst’s “The Incomplete Truth” (2006), sold for £911,250 (~$1,207,000).
Christie’s South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art Auction brought in a total of $5,842,625 on March 14. The sale’s top lot, Maqbool Fida Husain’s “Untitled (Horses)” (c. early 1960s), sold for $1,035,000.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) has acquired Thomas Cole’s painting “An Italian Autumn” (c. 1844–47). The acquisition was made through the James C. Meade and Virginia W. Meade Acquisitions Fund for 18th and 19th Century American Art and the Beaux Arts Society Fund for Acquisitions. Beginning March 22, the painting will go on display on the second floor of the museum for the exhibition From the Golden Age to the Moving Image: The Changing Face of the Permanent Collection.
Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art sale in New York brought in a total of $3,004,375 on March 18. The sale’s top lot, Francis Newton Souza’s “Golgotha in Goa” (1948), sold for $437,500.
Sotheby’s Kangxi: The Jie Rui Tang Collection, Part II sale in New York brought in a total of $2,237,000 on March 19. The sale’s top lot, an inscribed famille-verte brushpot from the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, sold for $572,000.
Sotheby’s The Robert Youngman Collection of Chinese Jade sale in New York brought in a total of $1,036,625 on March 19. The sale’s top lot, a yellow and russet jade figure of Zhou Yanzi from the Ming Dynasty, sold for $150,000.
Sotheby’s Junkunc: Arts of Ancient China sale in New York brought in a total of $4,138,125 on March 19. The sale’s top lot, a large marble carving of a bodhisattva from the Tang Dynasty, sold for $740,000.
Sotheby’s Collection Marianne et Pierre Nahon day sale in Paris brought in a total of €2,646,939 (~3,000,000) on March 20. The sale’s top lot, César‘s “Ginette” (1988), sold for €175,000 (~$200,000).
Sotheby’s Made in Britain sale in London brought in a total of £2,481,753 (~$) on March 20. The sale’s top lot, Patrick Heron’s “Big Disc, Three Reds with Whites” (1971) sold for 162,500 (~$215,000).
Sotheby’s Important Chinese Art sale in New York brought in a total of $19,780,750 on March 20. The sale’s top lot, a rare complete set of the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment by the Qianlong Emperor (1746), sold for $2,660,000.