Swann Galleries has sold a set of two books featuring the scrawled marginalia of Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick. The books are two volumes of classical poetry, one of which was signed by Melville. Both are heavily annotated in the author’s loopy handwriting, paragraph symbols, and other markings. The books are copies of Juvenal and Persius’ The Satires and Euripides‘ The Tragedies, vol. III — both purchased in 1859 as part of a 37-volume set, Classical Library, published by Harper and Brothers (the progenitor of modern-day publisher Harper, of HarperCollins). The two books sold for $106,250, while the full sale raked in $1,011,799 in receipts.
The Design Museum in London has secured a £3 million loan in the wake of a dire financial situation. The numbers in the red come from a report commissioned in March of this year; museum attendance apparently fell by 16.5% last year and paying visitors dipped by 20%. The report laid the blame at “specialist” programming, and in its wake the Conran Foundation — the charity of the museum’s founder, Terence Conran — saved it with the donation.
Japanese architect Junya Ishigami’s Art Biotop Water Garden has just won the inaugural Obel Award — a pot of €100,000 (~$111,047.00). Given by the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation, the Obel is one of the world’s richest architecture prizes and is awarded to recent projects that offer “seminal solutions to urgent problems.”
Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World sale brought in £3,255,000 (~$4,197,208) in sales of centuries-old Qur’an leaves, Arabic manuscripts, and more. One of the most impressive pieces was the Indian gouache, “An Illustration to the Bhagavata Purana: Kamsa Attacks Devaki During Her Wedding Procession” (1780) — attributed to a master of the first generation after Nainsukh. It sold for £225,000 (~$288,855). Similarly, Sotheby’s sale of the Shakerine Collection: Calligraphy in Qur’ans and other Manuscripts topped out at £2,223,250 (~$2,866,803).
Sotheby’s Wedgewood and Beyond: English Ceramics from the Starr Collection topped out at $1,702,750, moving scores of examples of fine porcelain and sculpture from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Sotheby’s Important Works from the Najd Collection sale closed at a whopping final receipt of £33,465,400 (~$43,152,462). The top lot of the bunch was Osman Hamdy Bey’s “Koranic Instruction” (1890), which sold for £4,640,100 (~$5,957,285).
Sotheby’s European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture racked up a final sales ticket of $1,694,000 between its 159 lots. The top of the bunch was Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña’s “La Mare Aux Fées” (1868), an oil painting of an eerie wooded forest that sold for $118,750.
What feels like the right way to write about Roman Catholicism, or Christian iconography, to most art critics is heavily influenced by museum discourse, which is far from neutral.
A group exhibition at the Americas Society investigates ideas of paradise, approaching the Caribbean region as a product of the visitor economy regime.
Join the New-York Historical Society on December 9 for a virtual conversation with Kellie Jones, Rujeko Hockley, and Cameron Shaw on the past, present, and future of Black art in the US.
Visual artists who incorporate psychedelics into their practices maintain a foundational understanding that there is more to reality than meets the eye.
Many in the local Ukrainian community want the museum’s name to be changed to reflect the many artworks in its collection by artists from former Soviet states.
The unique MFASA at the Institute of American Indian Arts offers mentorships with world-renowned Indigenous artists, flexible schedules, and access to one of the US’s cultural capitals.
Lisa Ericson renders her real-world subjects beautifully, but the situations in which we find them are uncanny, menacing, and unexpected.
Contemporary society in the United States normalizes the idea of the exhausted mother, so why wouldn’t mother nature be equally exhausted?
Tsai’s style is the opposite of boring; in demanding the viewer’s attention, he allows for incredible moments of human connection and discovery.
Over 4,000 artists have signed on to the event, with a nifty online directory listing paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and much more.