News

  • Long Out of Sight, Hassam's Masterpiece Goes on View

    In 1905, the father of American Impressionism, Childe Hassam, painted June, a picture of three nude women among the blooms of a pink mountain laurel alongside the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Hassam himself called the seven-foot-square painting a “masterpiece.” Now, Diane Scarponi reports in Newsday, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme has restored the painting and is exhibiting it after almost sixty years out of public view.

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  • Michelangelo's “Life Control Issues” Attributed to Autism

    Two medical experts claim Michelangelo could have suffered from a form of autism, James Burleigh reports in The Independent. Outlining their evidence in the Journal of Medical Biography, Dr. Muhammad Arshad, a psychiatrist affiliated with England's Whiston Hospital, and Professor Michael Fitzgerald of Trinity College Dublin, note that “Michelangelo's single-minded work routine, unusual lifestyle, limited interests, poor social and communication skills, and various issues of life control appear to be features of high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome.”

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  • Gallerist Assaulted for Showing Painting of Prisoner Abuse

    Dozens of art lovers and First Amendment defenders turned out Saturday outside a San Francisco gallery to show support for owner Lori Haigh, who has been under siege for the last two weeks for displaying a controversial painting depicting the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the supporters had hoped to persuade Haigh to reconsider her decision to close the Capobianco Gallery, which came after she was threatened, spat upon, and, most recently, punched in the face for showing Guy Colwell's painting depicting the torture of Iraqi prisoners.

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  • LVMH Accessorizes with Serra and Barney

    Richard Serra's Single Double Torus and Matthew Barney's Jachin and Boaz will be the centerpieces of an art-filled atrium at the fashion conglomerate LVMH's new Paris headquarters, Suzy Menkes reports in the International Herald Tribune. LVMH president Bernard Arnault sees his new space as an opportunity to bring international contemporary art to central Paris. The atrium will soon be open to the public on weekends.

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  • Madonna Settles Lawsuit over Appropriation of Bourdin Images

    Madonna has settled a federal lawsuit that accused her of “ripping of” the work of Guy Bourdin, the Smoking Gun reports. Details of the financial settlement are confidential, and Madonna acknowledged no wrongdoing in her appropriation of the images of the late French photographer. Last September, Bourdin's son Samuel filed a federal copyright lawsuit against Madonna, claiming that her video for the song “Hollywood” was a blatant theft of his father's influential images.

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  • Following Saatchi's Lead, Collectors Plan to Open Galleries

    The blaze that tore through a London art warehouse last week has accidentally thrown light on a mysterious and little understood corner of British culture, Vanessa Thorpe writes in The Guardian: the discreet millionaires and billionaires who acquire art compulsively, only to stash much of it away in specialist warehouses and storerooms. But now, following the lead of Charles Saatchi, at least two top collectors—contemporary British art collector Frank Cohen and Islamic art collector Nasser Khalili—are planning to open galleries that will enable their art to remain in the public eye.

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  • On Five-Year Anniversary, Mass MoCA's Director Takes Stock

    Since its opening five years ago in North Adams, Massachusetts, Mass MoCA has drawn tens of thousands of visitors, spurred commercial investment, and contributed to the creation of hundreds of new service jobs. But in an interview with the Berkshire Eagle's Jeffrey Borak, Mass MoCA director Joseph C. Thompson points out that, despite signs of a resurgent downtown, “you don't have to dig deep to find pockets of poverty in North Adams and areas that need redevelopment.” And at Mass MoCA itself, “the picture is more robust from outside than from inside. . . . It takes sweat, equity, and cleverness

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  • New Moscow Art Fair Will Tap into the Russian Market

    According to data released by Forbes earlier this month, Moscow is now home to more billionaires than any other city in the world. The new Moscow World Fine Art Fair, which opens this week, aims to tap into the city's reservoir of disposable income. As the Moscow Times's Valeria Korchagina reports, exhibitors from Europe, the United States, and Japan have come together for an event that emulates Maastricht's International Fine Art and Antiques Fair and that is the first art fair of its scale in Russia.

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  • UK Bans Export of Bacon's Study After Velasquez

    The export of a painting by Francis Bacon has been temporarily banned by the British government in an attempt to find a buyer in the UK, the BBC reports. Bacon's Study After Velasquez, 1950, will be subject to the export ban until July 27, with the possibility of an extension until November 27. The move has been made to give British buyers time to meet the unnamed seller's asking price of £9.5 million ($17 million).

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  • Phoenix Art Museum Receives Largest Gift in Its History

    A three-million-dollar gift from the heirs to the Campbell Soup fortune is the single largest donation ever to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The gift from the Dorrance Family Foundation, announced by the museum Tuesday, includes two million dollars for the design and construction of an outdoor sculpture court. It also includes a one-million-dollar endowment for education in the form of a matching challenge gift.

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  • Artists and Collectors Prepare to Sue Storage Company

    Artists and collectors are preparing to sue Momart, the art storage company, for negligence after Monday's warehouse fire in which hundreds of works were destroyed, including many belonging to Charles Saatchi, Nic Fleming reports in The Telegraph. Claims are expected to exceed £50 million ($90 million). Those who lost paintings, sculptures, and installations said they were surprised and angry to learn that artworks worth millions of pounds were kept in a structure that also housed garages with highly explosive gas canisters.

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  • Art Gallery of Ontario Regains Support of Benefactors

    The falling-out between the Art Gallery of Ontario and its longtime benefactors Joey and Toby Tanenbaum has ended, as the gallery announced Wednesday that Joey Tanenbaum will immediately rejoin its board of trustees, CBC News reports. In March, the couple—who have donated tens of millions of dollars in art and cash to the AGO over the past thirty years—withdrew their support because they opposed the gallery's upcoming $194-million redesign by Canadian architect Frank Gehry. But now that the design has been revised, Joey Tanenbaum said in a statement, “We are very pleased with the overall design

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