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This Gentileschi Painting Spent Some Time in a Prison, and a Nicolas de Staël Painting Sold for $3.3M

Plus, classic cartoons from The Peanuts change hands, and the mysterious case of an $88.8 million Rauschenberg may be solved.

Artemisia Gentileschi, “Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria” (about 1615-1617) (image courtesy National Gallery, London)

London’s National Gallery recently loaned an Artemisia Gentileschi painting to a women’s prison in England as part of its “Artemisia Visits” programming, between May 20 and 22. The Italian Baroque painter’s piece, “Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria” (1615-17) made headlines last year as the first piece by a woman artist that the National Gallery had acquired since 1991 — nearly 30 years ago. Gentileschi’s painting has traveled far and wide, making stops at a girl’s school in Newcastle, Glasgow Women’s Library, and Her Majesty’s Prison Send in Surrey, among other places. It will make one last stop at London’s E17 Art Trail festival before it returns to the National Gallery.

Charles M. Schultz, “Never!! Never in ten thousand million billion years!” (1956) (image courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Swann Auction Galleries’s Illustration auction on June 4 racked up $669,811 in total. Al Hirschfeld’s “Paul Robeson as Othello” topped the lots at $68,750, while works by Jo Mielziner and Mead Schaeffer tailed his at the top. Also auctioned off: works from Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz, like his strip “Never!! Never in ten thousand million billion years!” (1956) featuring Linus and Lucy, for $16,250; New Yorker cover artist Edward Gorey’s recent “Cat Fancy” (2018), for $16,250; and the pulp sci-fi magazine illustrator Lee Brown Coyle’s cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of “Weird Tales Vol. 40, No. 3.” (1948), for $18,750.

Al Hirschfeld, “Paul Robeson as Othello” (1942) (image courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)
Charles Loupot “Peugeot” (1926) (image courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Swann Auction Galleries’s Graphic Design sale on May 23 sold 273 vintage posters — the most expensive one being Charles Loupot’s “Peugeot” (1926), for $37,500. Loupot’s works dominated the top of this evocative sale. Other notable lots on the list: George Maciunas’s radical take on the American flag, “U.S.A. Surpasses All Genocide Records!” (1966), which sold for $9,100, and Tadanori Yokoo’s “Having Reached a Climax at the Age of 29, I was Dead” (1965) and “Ballad to an Amputated Little Finger” (1967), which sold for $20,000 and $9,375, respectively.

George Maciunas, “U.S.A. Surpasses All Genocide Records!” (1966) (image courtesy Swanna Auction Galleries)

We apparently now know who spent $88.8 million on Robert Rauschenberg’s “Buffalo II” (1964) a couple of months back. The art market newsletter The Canvas reported that the mysterious buyer was Alice Walton — of the Walmart Waltons. Walton is the billionaire heiress to the Walton fortune and the daughter of Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton. She has an estimated net worth of $48.2 billion, according to Forbes.

Christie’s auctioned off sixty pieces from the private collection of French critic Anne Tronche on June 3, netting £2,209,000 (~$2,494,705) for the sale. Georges Valmier’s “Figure” (1918) topped that list, selling for £394,000 (~$444,845).

Christie’s June 3 sale of Russian Art in London sold £16,172,688 worth of paintings, design work, plaques, and other formats. Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s “Still life with lilac” (1928) topped the lots at a whopping £9,286,250 (~$11,796,509) — roughly £9 million more than the next highest lot in the bunch.

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions, held on June 4 and 5 in Paris, sold  €17,975,000 (~$20,291,078) worth of works by artists like Hans Hartung, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Zao Wou-Ki. Nicolas de Staël’s “Paysage de Vaucluse No. 3” (1953) topped the lots, going for €2,890,000 (~$3,262,665).

Christie’s June 5 sale, Beyond the Horizon: The Mopelia Collection of Fine Atlases and Travel Books, closed at £2,301,000 (~$2,923,880). The top lot, Johannes van Keulen’s De Groote Nieuwe Vermeerderde Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Werelt (1688) — a hand-colored maritime atlas packed with illustrations, maps, and depictions of the gods — sold for £395,250 (~$502,228).

A $300,000 gift from 27 donors in the Caribbean communities of Toronto has allowed the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto to acquire 3,500 historic images from the Caribbean islands. The museum believes the cache of photographs, daguerreotypes, and more to be the largest of its kind in North America. The images represent a century’s worth of history between 1840 and 1940.

Fifty images by photographer Brett Weston will go to Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. The donation — comprised of stunning shots of landscapes, botany, and more — comes from collector Christian Keesee.

Seventy-six pieces by Ellsworth Kelly, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints,  have been given to the University of Texas at Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art. The gift from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and other philanthropists follows the completion of “Austin,” a $15 million, 2,715-square-foot building that Kelly designed at Blanton.

A collection of Marc Chagall prints is moving from one Wisconsin museum to another for the summer. Manitowoc, Wisconsin’s Rahr-West Art Museum has loaned its complete collection of Chagall’s “Le Cirque” prints to the Jewish Museum Milwaukee for next few months, where the 38-piece lithograph collection depicting different scenes from the circus will be shown until September 8.

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