News

  • Stolen Paintings Recovered; Safe but Not Sound

    The paintings by van Gogh, Gaugin, and Picasso that were stolen from the Whitworth Gallery on Sunday were found on Monday following an anonymous tip, The Guardian reports. However, the artworks are thought to have been damaged, perhaps severely, by overnight rain. The extent of the damage and the authenticity of the works are still being assessed by experts.

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  • Arts Patrons: The Real Arbiters of Culture

    Arts patrons—the well-heeled volunteers who have won board seats at the city's largest arts institutions—are the people who really shape the cultural character of Los Angeles, Christopher Reynolds writes in the Los Angeles Times. But the price of admission to this exclusive club is rising fast, and, as their donations grow, board members are asking more questions and exerting more influence.

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  • Archaeologists to Build Comprehensive Database of Looted Art

    Archaeologists are building a comprehensive, searchable image database of the tens of thousands of objects that were stolen from Iraqi museums, Ryan Singel reports in Wired News. The Lost Iraqi Heritage project is a joint effort of more than eighty universities, museums, and individuals who say that they are motivated by what they see as an unprecedented, incalculable loss.

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  • Works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso Stolen

    Three watercolors, by van Gogh, Gauguin, and Picasso, respectively, were stolen on Sunday from the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, England, Rachel Campbell-Johnson reports in the London Times. Though their combined value is somewhere around 1 million pounds (1.6 million dollars), their loss will be far more than financial; it will leave a serious gap in the museum’s Post-Impressionist collection.

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  • Art Fraud Thrives on the Internet

    As the sale of art and collectibles through Internet auctions has boomed, so has the incidence of fraud, Lauren Foster reports in the Financial Times. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were nearly fifty thousand complaints of Internet auction fraud last year—more than double the year before—making it the agency's number-one Internet-related complaint.

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  • Frank Rich Points Finger at White House and Pentagon

    The Pentagon was repeatedly warned of the possibility of catastrophic looting in advance of the war, and some of its officials were on the case, Frank Rich writes in the New York Times. But at the highest levels at the White House, the Pentagon, and central command—where the real clout is—no one cared.

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  • Robert Blackburn, Founder of Printmaking Workshop, Dies

    Robert Blackburn, an artist who founded the influential Printmaking Workshop in New York, died on Monday at the Village Nursing Home in Manhattan at the age of eighty-two, Holland Cotter writes in the New York Times. The workshop, which existed for more than a half century, assumed a catalytic role in the “print boom” of the 1960s. Participants included Benny Andrews, Nell Blaine, Mel Edwards, Michi Itami, Lucio Pozzi, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Juan Sanchez, Michelle Stuart, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Kay WalkingStick, and William T. Williams.

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  • Slowly, Some Stolen Art Finds Its Way Back to Museum

    Some works of art are slowly finding their way back to Iraq's National Museum, Monte Reel reports in the Washington Post. At least a small portion of the thousands of objects that disappeared, it seems, were tucked away for safekeeping. Officials are also using tips from citizens to hunt down stolen artifacts, and some thieves are returning items voluntarily.

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  • Impressive Crowds Bode Well for Saatchi Gallery

    It was launched with more hype than the Titanic, but the new Saatchi Gallery is showing signs that it will stay afloat for a lot longer, Fiachra Gibbons writes in The Guardian. More than twenty-one thousand people dodged past Damien Hirst's spotty Mini on the stairs of the County Hall museum in London during the bank-holiday weekend to take a closer look at Tracey Emin's now notorious bed and ponder Sarah Lucas's ribald arrangements of fruit and vegetables.

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  • Despite Downturn, Cultural Institutions Move Forward

    The weak economy and its attendant fund-raising challenges won't sideline the two highest-profile cultural projects in Boston, say officials at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art. The expansion of the MFA and the construction of a new ICA on the Boston waterfront will be considered landmark developments if they do in fact come to fruition, Geoff Edgers writes in the Boston Globe.

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  • TV News Engineer Charged with Smuggling Paintings

    Members of the news media and US soldiers are being investigated for taking art, artifacts, weapons, and cash from Iraq, with criminal charges already brought against Benjamin James Johnson, who worked as an engineer for the Fox News channel. In a criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, Johnson is charged with attempting to smuggle twelve Iraqi paintings into the United States, Curt Anderson reports in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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  • Museum Anchors New Cultural District in Tokyo

    Although Tokyo's new Mori Art Museum, set atop a skyscraper in the seedy, tourist-filled Roppongi district, does not open until mid-October, it is already having a large impact on the city's art community. Smaller galleries are gravitating to Roppongi, which is being greeted as a new cultural center, Annabel Wright reports in the Daily Yomiuri.

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