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A 1958 Green Book Sets Auction Record, and Cincinnati Art Museum Acquires Nancy Rexroth Collection

Plus, Banksy and Kusama sell at auction, and the V&A acquires Grayson Perry’s Matching Pair vases.

Nancy Rexroth, "Boys Flying, Amesville, Ohio" 1976), gelatin silver print (© The 1988 Rexroth Family Trust)
Nancy Rexroth, “Boys Flying, Amesville, Ohio” 1976), gelatin silver print (© The 1988 Rexroth Family Trust)

The Cincinnati Art Museum has announced an acquisition agreement to form the Nancy Rexroth Collection, bringing together over 300 photographic works. Through this agreement, the Museum will acquire a number of Rexroth’s early photographs, some of which are previously unseen. The acquisition includes a complete set of photos from the 1977 and 2017 editions of Rexroth’s photobook, IOWA. The agreement is made possible through the Cincinnati Art Museum’s foundations and its photography community. [via email announcement]

Torah Pointer (Yad), Birmingham, England (1843–1844), silver and gold (gilding) (image courtesy the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Torah Pointer (Yad), Birmingham, England (1843–1844), silver and gold (gilding) (image courtesy the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired two objects of Judaica: a sterling silver and gold Kiddush cup and a silver and gold “yad,” or Torah pointer; and two objects that represent the Anglo-American experience: an alphabet sampler created by a Jewish schoolgirl and Chinese porcelain pieces owned by London Jewish families. “Because we use these objects to tell the compelling stories of early Americans, we seek to acquire things that speak to the full range of their experiences, whatever their race, religion, gender, age, or cultural ethnicity may have been,” said Ronald L. Hurst, the Foundation’s Carlisle Humelsine Chief Curator and Vice President for Collections, Conservation, and Museums. “These latest acquisitions mark important steps toward that goal.” [via email announcement]

Grayson Perry, "Matching Pair" (image courtesy the V&A)
Grayson Perry, “Matching Pair” (2017) (image courtesy the V&A)

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has acquired Grayson Perry’s Matching Pair vases (2017), to go on permanent display in the Ceramics Galleries. The vases were created in response to Brexit, meant to depict supporters of “Leave” and “Remain.” They were purchased with funds from the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, V&A Members, Sarah Nichols, the William Brake Charitable Trust, and an anonymous donor.

General Idea, "Infe©ted Mondrian #2" (1994), (image courtesy Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)
General Idea, “Infe©ted Mondrian #2” (1994), (image courtesy Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has acquired artists’ collective General Idea’s painting “Infe©ted Mondrian #2” (1994). The work is a replica a painting by Piet Mondrian, but it has been “contaminated” with a green patch meant to address the AIDS crisis. The piece was purchased through the Mondrian Fund and the Stedelijk Museum Foundation.

Irving Penn, "Chocolate Mouth" (2000) (© Condé Nast, image courtesy Moderna Museet)
Irving Penn, “Chocolate Mouth” (2000) (© Condé Nast, image courtesy Moderna Museet)

The Irving Penn Foundation has donated eight photographs by photographer Irving Penn to the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. The works are from the 2000s and will go on display beginning April 5. Currently, the museum has 1oo works by Penn already in their collection, with a newly installed gallery featuring 30 of those works. During the opening on April 5, Anna Telgren, curator of photography, will give a 45 minute presentation on Penn. Tom Penn, Executive Director of the Irving Penn Foundation will also be present at the event.

The Art Institute of Chicago has acquired Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Beauford Delaney,” joining the museum’s collection of over 20 works by O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe only produced a handful of completed portraits during her career, five of which feature Delaney.

Precious ornaments stolen from the Castellani Jewelry Collection at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome have been recovered and returned to the museum. The ornaments were stolen in 2013 by “three hooded men,” according to the New York Times. The thieves divided up the ornaments and attempted to sell them on the black market. Over the course of five years, police were able to recover all of the stolen pieces, a little bit at a time. The collection has now been returned in full to the Museum.

A Nazi looted painting by Salomon Koninck titled “A scholar sharpening his quill”(1639), has been returned to its rightful heirs, Michel Vernay, Laurent Vernay, and Eliane Demartini. The Vernays are great-grandsons of art collector Adolphe Schloss, and the painting was stolen from Schloss by the Nazis in 1943, during their occupation of France. It was subsequently sent to Adolf Hitler’s headquarters in Munich. The painting disappeared for some time after, only to resurface in November 2017 when a Chilean art dealer attempted to sell it through an auction at Christie’s in New York. Christie’s identified the painting and contacted the FBI. The piece is an inheritance shared with over 20 people, Michel told Agence France Presse. “As a painting cannot be split, I hope there will be a French museum able to purchase it and mark it as artwork recovered after being stolen,” he said. [ArtDaily]

Victor H. Green, <em>The Negro Travelers Green Book</em>, New York, 1958 (image courtesy Swann Galleries)
Victor H. Green, The Negro Travelers Green Book, New York, 1958 (image courtesy Swann Galleries)

A 1958 edition of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book by Victor H. Green sold for $27,500, a record for any edition, at Swann Galleries’ Printed & Manuscript African America auction on March 28. Another sale of note was a draft typescript with manuscript notes of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, which sold for $30,000. [via email announcement]

Christie’s Daydreaming: Photographs from the Goldstein Collection sale in New York brought in a total of $1,614,750 on April 2. The sale’s top lot, Richard Avedon’s “Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, 1955,” sold for $615,000.

Christie’s Photographs sale in New York brought in a total of $3,511,750 on April 2. The sale’s top lot, Alexander Rodchenko’s “Lestnitsa (Steps)” (1929), sold for $281,250.

Christie’s The Face of the Century: Photographs from a Private Collection sale in New York brought in a total of $1,812,000 on April 2. The sale’s top lots, Helmut Newton’s “Self Portrait with Wife and Models,” Paris (1981) and “Tied-Up Torso,” Ramatuelle (1980), sold for $100,000 each.

Banksy, "This is a Pipe" (2011), paint, vintage frame, and reclaimed metal artwork, 27 1/8 x 34 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches, framed 34 1/2 x 39 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Banksy, “This is a Pipe” (2011), paint, vintage frame, and reclaimed metal artwork, 27 1/8 x 34 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches, framed 34 1/2 x 39 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)
Yayoi Kusama, "Hat" (1981), acrylic on canvas, 17 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Yayoi Kusama, “Hat” (1981), acrylic on canvas, 17 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s First Open sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 47,380,000 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) (~$6,036,000) on March 29. The sale’s top lots, Banksy’s “This is a Pipe” (2011) and Yayoi Kusama’s “Hat” (1981), both sold for 3,725,000 HKD (~$475,000) each.

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art sale in Paris brought in a total of €8,583,875 (~$9,650,000) on March 29. The sale’s top lot, Alberto Giacometti’s “Projet pour un monument à la mémoire de Gabriel Péri (piédestal par Paul Nelson)” (1961), sold for €1,450,000 (~$1,630,000).

Bjarne Melgaard, "Untitled" (2007), oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Bjarne Melgaard, “Untitled” (2007), oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Handpicked: 50 works selected by the Saatchi Collection online sale brought in a total of £104,250 (~$137,000) on March 19–28. The sale’s top lot, Bjarne Melgaard’s “Untitled” (2007), sold for £10,000 (~$13,000).

Christie’s Thinking Italian Milan sale brought in a total of €13,932,875 (~$15,627,000) on April 3–4. The sale’s top lot, Giorgio Morandi’s “Natura morta” (1952), sold for €1,570,000 (~$1,761,000).

Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in Hong Kong brought in a total of 212,171,250 HKD (~$27,030,000) on April 3. The sale’s top lot, a fine and magnificent cobalt-blue and iron-red “Dragon” vase, Meiping, seal mark and period of Qianlong, sold for 30,175,000 HKD (~$3,844,000).

Sotheby’s The Robert Youngman Collection of Chinese Jade II sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 17,173,750 HKD (~$2,188,000) on April 3. The sale’s top lot, an extremely rare yellow and russet jade figure of a mythical beast, six dynasties, sold for 2,250,000 HKD (~$287,000).

Sotheby’s Scholarly and Imperial Works of Art from a Distinguished Collection sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 26,895,000 HKD (~$3,426,000) on April 3. The sale’s top lot, an important and rare dated Zitan-mounted archaic jade Bi Han Dynasty, the inscription and the stand dated to the Jiashen year, sold for 13,375,000 HKD (~$1,704,000).

Sotheby’s Six Treasures from an Important Private Collection sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 84,189,000 HKD (~$10,725,000) on April 3. The sale’s top lot, a rare guan lobed jardinière, Southern Song-Yuan Dynasty, sold for 38,514,000 HKD (~$4,907,000).

Sotheby’s Fine Imperial Porcelain from a Distinguished Private Collection sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 31,625,000 HKD (~$4,029,000) on April 3. The sale’s top lot, an extremely rare blue and white double-gourd flask, seal mark and period of Qianlong, sold for 14,575,000 HKD (~$1,857,000).

Sotheby’s Selected Imperial Ceramics from the Tianminlou Collection sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 193,590,000 HKD (~$24,663,000) on April 3. The sale’s top lot, an extremely rare and exceptional blue and white “Lotus” basin, Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period, sold for 33,775,000 HKD (~$4,303,000).

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