Cybercriminals scammed the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede, the Netherlands out of $3.1 million. The museum was attempting to purchase an idyllic landscape painting by 19th century British painter John Constable, “A View of Hampstead Heath: Child’s Hill, Harrow in the Distance” (1824), from Old Master art dealer Simon C. Dickinson. Hackers intercepted the email negotiations, posed as Dickinson, and convinced the museum to wire the money to a bank in Hong Kong. The Rijksmuseum brought a case against Dickinson for negligence but lost in a London High Court this past Thursday.
The German Lost Art Foundation won a lawsuit against claimant Wolfgang Peiffer, a collector in Baden-Baden, Germany. In 2018 Peiffer filed suit because a painting that he had purchased at auction in 1999, Andreas Achenbach’s “Sicilian Landscape” (1861), is listed on lostart.de, an online database of Nazi-looted art and cultural assets. In 1937 the painting changed hands via a forced sale by Jewish art dealer Max Stern. Peiffer claimed that he purchased the work in good faith but because it appears in the online registry it has been unsellable.
The “big three” auction houses — Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips — are vying for two important collections, which could go to auction as soon as May. Recently divorced real-estate moguls Harry and Linda Macklowe have been court-ordered to part with 65 works estimated at more than $700 million. Their collection of modern and contemporary art includes a $50 million “Marilyn” by Andy Warhol and a $10 million Jeff Koons sculpture. Donald Marron, the former president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, passed away this past December, leaving behind a collection that includes works by Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko and is valued at $450 million. Gloves may come off.
The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales at Sotheby’s London and Christie’s London garnered $64.8 million and $81.7 million, respectively. Several commentators suggested that Brexit and the general election have caused problems on both the consignment and sales sides; some savvy sellers are angling to have their works auctioned in New York or sold privately instead.
Sotheby’s New York will hold a dedicated sale of Juan Hamilton’s collection, which includes notable art, objects, and ephemera previously owned by power couple Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, who were married for 22 years. Hamilton, an artist himself, met O’Keeffe when he was helping to repair the plumbing in her home. They become close friends and quite possibly lovers, and he ended up being the sole executor of her estate. Valued between $4 and $6 million, O’Keeffe’s “Nature Forms–Gaspé” (1932) will be the priciest work in the sale.
Swann Auction Galleries in New York held a record-breaking sale of African American art from the collection of the Johnson Publishing Company, which formerly published Ebony and Jet magazine. The bankruptcy sale, which featured work by 75 artists, totaled $2.7 million with an impressive sell-through rate of 100%. It also set auction records for 51 artists, 22 of which had never had work come to the auction block previously. The publishing house’s legendary archives, which have featured prominently in contemporary art by Theaster Gates and Lorna Simpson, among others, were purchased and donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Getty Research Institute last year.
New York’s Film Forum received a gift of $1 million from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation in honor of the nonprofit movie theater’s semicentennial. The donation, which will be used to inaugurate the Diana King Theater, is equal to one-sixth of Film Forum’s current annual operating budget (and more than five times its annual operating budget when it opened in 1970). The independent movie house also received a donation of $250,000 from the Robert Jolin Osborne Trust, which will put toward the creation of the Robert Jolin Osborne Endowed Fund for American Classic Cinema of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.
Remembering the Migrants Who Died in US Detention
Artist Jackie Amézquita will lead a caravan of trucks with the names of the deceased to LA sites representing systems of oppression and solidarity for immigrants.
Mark Thomas Gibson’s Cartoons See the US Going Nowhere
If Thomas Nast, who is considered the “Father of the American Cartoon,” has an heir, it is Gibson, who goes one step further and elevates caricature and commentary into art.
LSU School of Art Grants Highest MFA Stipends in the Southern US
With funded assistantships, full tuition waivers, and generous stipends, Louisiana State University helps students lay the groundwork for a successful lifelong art practice.
Kahori Kamiya Transmutes Grief Into Play
Through artworks that encourage viewers to explore varied vantages, Kamiya conveys her accrued wisdom and experiences without the weight of their pain.
Maya Deren in Vivid Focus
Maya Deren: Choreographed for Camera depicts how the artist’s life and ideas cemented her place as a champion and influencer of culture.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Offers Summer Art and Design Courses Online and On-Campus
Emerging and established artists can choose from over 50 Adult Continuing Education courses at one of the most influential art and design schools in the US.
AI Image Generators Finally Figured Out Hands
Midjourney fixed its inability to render hands realistically, one of the telltale signs of an image being AI-generated.
Lorraine O’Grady, Emily Jacir Among American Academy of Arts’s 2023 Awardees
Artist Faith Ringgold and scholar Helen Hennessy Vendler received this year’s gold medals.
IDSVA Offers a Non-Studio PhD in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory
With no campus, the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts is a truly nomadic institution, existing everywhere our students and faculty are.
MTV’s The Exhibit Needs a Cutthroat Judge
In episode three, the artists created works about the pandemic and bonded with each other, which is cute but doesn’t really make for good TV.
Cauleen Smith’s Drylongso Depicts a Bygone Oakland
Smith’s 1998 film exudes the DIY charm of a low-budget, first-time feature while keenly depicting the complexities of both race- and gender-related inequalities.
Tyler School of Art and Architecture Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition Series
Students working in diverse disciplines explore temporality, connectedness in time and space, and global reckonings. On view in Philadelphia.
Take Ai Weiwei’s Middle Finger Anywhere in the World
A new collaboration between the artist and Avant Arte invites users to flip the bird anywhere and everywhere on Google Maps.
This week, gifted DeSantis a “fascist” snowflake, NASA’s Webb telescope captures a supernova, corporatizing London’s creativity, and much more.