The best exhibition advert you'll ever see?
February 3 2011
Check out the Hollywood-style trailer for a new exhibition at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, 'Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art'. (I dare someone at the National Gallery to do a similar video for 'Leonardo'...)
There's an interesting ticketing system too;
'The Parish Advantage' offers discounts and premiums to Parishioners and members of the Church.'
When is a Holbein not a Holbein?
January 27 2011
When the museum label next to it says 'Netherlandish Painter, 1569'.
One of the joys of viewing the Old Master sales in New York over a weekend is being able to go to the Met early on Sunday morning - it opens at 9.30am, perfect for the jet-lagged. I was amused to see one of my favourite Holbein's demoted, and tried to tell the museum staff. They must get hundreds of people trying to tell them 'your label is wrong', so I don't blame them for not taking me seriously.
You can see a better photo of the portrait, properly catalogued, here.
January 7 2011
Picture: National Trust
Splendid news; ‘The Procession to Calvary’ by Pieter Brueghel the Younger at Nostell Priory has been bought for the nation after a campaign to raise £2.7m. The National Heritage Memorial Fund contributed £1m, and the Art Fund £500,000.
Public donations amounted to an impressive £680,000. The picture is a religious scene, by the younger Brueghel, and can in no way be described as specifically British. But that it still generated such a strong public response is testament to the appetite for good acquisitions.
Given the strong prices for anything Brueghel these days, I think £2.7m was a bit of a bargain. Well done to everybody involved.
More baffling Contemporaryartspeak
December 28 2010
From artdaily.com, describing a new exhibition (featuring Turner Prize Winner Simon Starling) at the Camden Arts Centre:
"It aims to create a temporal cacaphony by orchestrating a series of collissions between spatially and historically remote works, that themselves push and pull at an understanding of linear time."
Courtauld defeats Jewish heirs to keep Rubens
December 20 2010
In a strange ruling, the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel has concluded that the heirs of a Jewish banker cannot claim ownership of a Rubens sketch sold under the Nazis. Herbert Gutmann sold the picture at Graupe auction house in 1934, a year after Hitler assumed full control of Germany. Austrian authorities, on the other hand, have previously decided that Gutmann’s paintings sold at Graupe should be returned to his heirs.
The case revolved around whether Gutmann sold the Rubens at its market value because of debts he was obliged to repay legitimately, or whether he was forced to sell the picture because of anti-semitism.
The basic facts of the case are these:
Louvre secures Cranach
December 17 2010
The Louvre has raised a million euros towards the EUR4M it needs to buy Cranach’s Three Graces. Amazingly, in these straitened times, the million boost came from 5,000 individual donors via the Louvre’s appeal website. "It's a magnificent Christmas present," the museum's director Loyrette said.
Looks like a bargain too. The picture was listed as a French National Treasure, meaning it could never be sold outside France. I fancy that if the picture was to appear in a Christie’s catalogue in London or New York, it would have a far higher estimate.
New Napoleon Exhibition
December 17 2010
In Bonn till 25th April 2011, then at Les Invalides in Paris.
"Moving the Lady with an Ermine is absolutely crazy."
December 13 2010
So says Michael Daley of ArtWatchUK, ahead of the picture’s loan to the National Gallery’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in London, scheduled for November 2011 – February 2012. A group of Polish art historians is also anxious about moving the picture.
There's been a growing neurosis about moving, or occasionally even looking at, old paintings over the last decade. But the Lady will be fine. As long as the National Gallery doesn’t drop any more pictures, that is…
Lucknow at LACMA
December 12 2010
Picture: Philip Mould Ltd
A new exhibition on the court art of 18th and 19th Century Lucknow in India (then known as Oudh) has opened at LACMA. It runs until February 27th, when it departs for the Musee Guimet in Paris.
I'm pleased to say that our newly discovered portrait of Ghazi-ud-din Haidar, King of Oudh, by Robert Home will be joining the exhibition in Paris.