20th Century

Graham Sutherland's Study of Winston Churchill Coming Up for Sale

March 22 2024

Image of Graham Sutherland's Study of Winston Churchill Coming Up for Sale

Picture: artscouncil.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Arts Council's website has alerted me to news that Graham Sutherland's Study of Sir Winston Churchill, a work of art which is under the exemption scheme, has a notice of sale on it. The painting, which appears to have always been in a private collection since it was completed in 1954, will be offered for sale at Sotheby's in June carrying a guide price of £800,000.

Rediscovered Klimt on display at Daniel Katz Gallery

March 14 2024

Image of Rediscovered Klimt on display at Daniel Katz Gallery

Picture: @danielkatzgallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Daniel Katz Gallery in London have shared news on Instagram that they are hosting Klimt's rediscovered Portrait of Fräulein Lieser. The work is due to come up for sale at Kinsky in Vienna on 24th April 2024 carrying an estimate of €30 - €50m. It isn't clear whether members of the public can go and see it, or how long it will be on display for, but why not try your luck if you can't make it to Vienna next month! It's rather beautiful and slightly eerie how much Robin Katz (pictured) appears to have been teleported from fin de siècle Vienna for this photo...

Matisse and the Sea in St. Louis

February 23 2024

Video: Krannert Art Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Saint Louis Art Museum opened a new exhibition last week entitled Matisse and the Sea. The inspiration for the show came from the museum's own Matisse known as Bathers with a Turtle, the subject matter and history of which has inspired the themes examined within. In case readers can't make it, the curator Simon Kelly was recorded giving a lecture on the themes of the exhibition (see above).

Muncaster Castle's War Time History

February 23 2024

Image of Muncaster Castle's War Time History

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The BBC have published a short article detailing the war time history of Muncaster Castle, the northern historic site which housed hundreds of artworks from Tate Britain during WWII.

Free Talk: A Technical Investigation into the Materials and Methods of Evelyn De Morgan

February 5 2024

Image of Free Talk: A Technical Investigation into the Materials and Methods of Evelyn De Morgan

Picture: demorgan.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This Thursday (8th February) the De Morgan Foundation are putting on a free talk on the subject of A Technical Investigation into the Materials and Methods of Evelyn De Morgan. The talk at 4 Cromwell Place in London will be given by the conservator Alexandra Earl, a final year student in conservation at the Courtauld Institute.

According to the blurb:

Through close technical examination and art historical analysis of two paintings, ‘Queen Eleanor and the Fair Rosamund’ (1901-02) and ‘In Memoriam’ (1890-1919), Alexandra Earl will illustrate how De Morgan’s practice was influenced by her Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries as well as driven by her artistic training and own idiosyncratic methods. New primary material, coupled with the first in-depth scientific analysis of her paintings and palette, has enabled De Morgan’s oeuvre to be better understood – thus contributing to the expanding recognition of De Morgan as an artist in her own right.

Philip de László (1869–1937): Master of Elegance at Gainsborough's House

February 2 2024

Image of Philip de László (1869–1937): Master of Elegance at Gainsborough's House

Picture: gainsborough.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Gainsborough's House in Sudbury will be opening a new exhibition next month dedicated to Philip de László (1869–1937): Master of Elegance.

According to the exhibition blurb:

De László was already one of the most famous portrait painters in Europe when he decided to settle in England in 1907. His relentless energy, charisma and pursuit of perfection in his art saw his circle of patronage widen from Budapest, the city of his birth, via the princely houses of Europe. London attracted him as a city immersed in a golden age and the work he produced there during the next thirty years was bursting with vitality and virtuosity. The period is brought to life through portraiture and landscapes and features a section on his experiences during the First World War.

The exhibition will feature rarely-seen loans from private collections as well as important works from the Royal Collection, including a childhood portrait of Queen Elizabeth II when Princess of York.

The show will run from 23rd March 2024 until 23rd June 2024.

€30 - €50m Rediscovered Klimt at Kinsky

January 26 2024

Image of €30 - €50m Rediscovered Klimt at Kinsky

Picture: Kinsky

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news from Vienna that a rediscovered portrait by Gustav Klimt will be offered for sale in April. The Portrait of Fräulein Lieser was photographed as part of a Viennese exhibition in 1925, and its history afterwards remains largely unknown. It is thought the painting had been in the possession of sitter's parents, Adolf and Henriette Lieser, the latter of whom died in a concentration camp in 1942. The painting was acquired six decades ago by an Austrian citizen, and will be sold by its current owners alongside the legal successors of Adolf and Henriette. It will be offered in at Vienna's Kinsky auction house with an estimate of €30m - €50m.

Elton John Sales at Christie's

January 12 2024

Video: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Following on from the ever-increasing interest in celebrity ephemera, see the recent Freddie Mercury sales for evidence of that, Christie's New York have announced a significant 8 auction series dedicated to the collection of Sir Elton John. Sir Elton has had periodic moments of selling parts of his collection, including his art nouveau and art deco collections in the 1980s, but, this seems to be far more extensive and eclectic than any previous sales. It seems only a matter of time before the media circus kicks in, and art lovers will be aghast at the amount that 'stage-worn' shoes, boots, outfits and 'sneakers' will be selling for.

Schiele Drawing Questions in Chicago

January 12 2024

Image of Schiele Drawing Questions in Chicago

Picture: The Art Institute of Chicago

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Chicago that the city's Art Institute will be defending its ownership of a valuable drawing by Egon Schiele later in April. A claim has been made by the heirs of Fritz Grünbaum, a performer and songwriter who perished at Dachau in 1941. His heirs claim that Grünbaum was forced to hand over his art collection under duress, a collection which included this drawing amongst several others by Schiele. Two have already been returned, however, the Russian War Prisoner (pictured) remains at the museum.

According to reports:

A spokesperson for the museum said in a statement that it had done “extensive research” on the provenance of the work and that officials were “confident” in their lawful ownership of the piece.

“Fritz Grünbaum’s sister-in-law, Mathilde Lukacs, inherited Egon Schiele’s ‘Russian War Prisoner’ and subsequently sold it in 1956,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also pointed to a yearslong federal court case involving another piece of Schiele’s artwork that ultimately went against Grünbaum’s heirs in 2012 and raised questions as to whether his collection was actually stolen.

Similar arguments were made in court by an attorney representing an art dealer in a case involving two of Schiele’s works in New York in 2018. The judge dismissed the contention that Grünbaum voluntarily relinquished his collection in the first place and ordered the works returned to his heirs.

Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Fakes

December 15 2023

Image of Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Fakes

Picture: vanartgallery.bc.ca

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada are opening an exhibition tomorrow dedicated to 10 oil sketches they acquired in 2015 purportedly by the celebrated Canadian 'Group of Seven' artist J.E.H. MacDonald (1873–1932). Alas, it transpired that the oil sketches were all modern fakes. Rather than hide the paintings in a cupboard of regret, the gallery have bravely put on a show to explain how they came to the conclusion that the paintings were 'not right' (as it is said in the art trade).

According to the gallery's website:

In 2015, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced the acquisition of ten previously unknown painted sketches attributed to J.E.H. MacDonald, one of Canada’s most celebrated painters and a founding member of the Group of Seven. Soon after, experts in the wider arts community began to publicly raise questions about the authenticity of the ten works. Experts took sides and the Gallery ultimately postponed a planned exhibition in order to investigate the works further. This included bringing in leading art historians, handwriting experts, and the scientific resources of the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI).

J.E.H. MacDonald? A Tangled Garden will not only provide an answer regarding whether the ten sketches can be attributed to MacDonald, but will also allow visitors a rare and detailed look into how that conclusion was reached. Most notably, the Gallery will be working closely with the CCI to present their soon-to-be published findings. Visitors will be able to assess the key evidence and come to their own conclusions.

The exhibition will run until 12th May 2024.

Help the Stanley Spencer Gallery Keep Patricia

November 2 2023

Image of Help the Stanley Spencer Gallery Keep Patricia

Picture: stanleyspencer.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham are raising money to keep the artist's Patricia at Cockmarsh Hill in the gallery. This beautiful painting of the artist's wife set amongst the surrounding Cookham landscape has been on loan to the gallery for twelve years, but, it seems that the owner has decided to remove and potentially sell the work of art. Amazingly, the gallery have already raised a staggering £130,000 to buy it, however, they need another £20,000 before the end of the year to meet the asking price.

If you'd like to donate to their very worthy campaign click here.

Sotheby's to offer $40 - 60m Basquiat Self-Portrait

October 26 2023

Image of Sotheby's to offer $40 - 60m Basquiat Self-Portrait

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's New York will be testing the upper end of the modern and contemporary art market next month with the sale of the following Basquiat Self-Portrait. With an estimate of $40 - $60m, this will certainly be an interesting indicator for the state of the market in this area. Interestingly, a video produced by the auction house for Instagram has directly compared the self-portrait to examples by Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Parmigianino, Durer, Wright of Derby and others (Schiele, Van Gogh etc.). It's good to know that the Old Masters are still the benchmark for this particular genre!

Klimt & The Kiss - Upcoming Release

October 20 2023

Video: seventh-art.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new film will be out in the cinemas on 30th October 2023 exploring Gustav Klimt's iconic painting in Vienna. Klimt & The Kiss is the latest film documentary by Seventh Art Productions, who were also behind the Vermeer: The Greatest Exhibition film. The film was created in association with The Belvedere, Vienna, the painting's palatial home.

Bob Dylan on Van Gogh

April 10 2022

Image of Bob Dylan on Van Gogh

Picture: faroutmagazine.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Far Out Magazine have published a short article on Van Gogh's influence on the music of Bob Dylan. The article, which contains some YouTube links to Dylan's songs, explores the thematic influence on his lyrics.

To quote some lyrics from his Blonde on Blonde demo:

When I’d ask why the painting was deadly / Nobody could pick up my sign / ‘Cept for the cook, she was always friendly / But she’d only ask, ‘What’s on your mind?’ / She’d say that especially when it was raining / I’d say ‘Oh, I don’t know’ / But then she’d press and I’d say, ‘You see that painting? / Do you think it’s been done by Van Gogh?

Magritte realises £59.4m

March 3 2022

Image of Magritte realises £59.4m

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Despite the absolute horrors unfolding in Eastern Europe at the present, Sotheby's London managed to sell René Magritte's L’empire des lumières (1961) for a record-breaking £59.4m (inc. commission) last night. Both modern and contemporary sales realised high prices. The Now Evening Auction realised £29,982,500 (inc. commission) and the Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction realised £192,161,150 (which included the Magritte, of course).

Neighbouring London auction house Phillips also made headlines by announcing they would be donating the entirety of their fees from the 20th-century and contemporary art evening auction in London to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. The donation from the Russian-owned auction house amounts to £5.8 million ($7.7 million) for the charity.

Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

March 3 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

Picture: Routledge

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The publishers Routledge will be releasing the following book later this month. Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe features a collection of essays edited by Sven Dupré and Jenny Boulboullé.

Here's a list of the essay titles featured within:

1 Introduction: Experts in the Interbellum

Part 1 Science, Authentication and Issues of Conservation 

2 "We Cannot Splash Light onto Our Palettes": The 1893 Munich Exhibition and Congress and Its Public Demand for Research on Painting Materials and Techniques

3 A. P. Laurie and the Scientific Appreciation of Art

4 Seeing Through the (Old) Masters: The Crisis of Connoisseurship and the Emergence of Radiographic Art Expertise  

5 Rome 1930, the International Conference on the Scientific Analysis of Artworks and Its Legacy in Italy

Part 2 Education and Professionalisation 

6 Mending, Sticking, and Repairing: Reconstructing Conservation Expertise in Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

7 Wissenschaft, Vocation, or Bildung?: Debating the Sites and Aims of German Art History at the End of the Nineteenth Century

8 Education in the Art and Conservation Field in German Countries

9 Experiments in a Teaching Museum: The Fogg’s "Laboratory for Art"

Part 3 Museums and Institutions 

10 Omnium Gatherum to a ‘Treasury of Art and Science’: The Development of Conservation Expertise at the Ashmolean Museum

11 The (In)visibility of the Paintings Restorers of the Rijksmuseum in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

12 Gemäldekunde. German Pioneers of the ‘Science of Painting’ 

13 Invention as Necessity: The Salvage of Italian Frescoes During World War II

14 Expertise, Multiple Actors, and Multiple Voices

The book will be released on 15th March 2022.

Face to Face: Picasso and the Old Masters in Málaga

February 22 2022

Image of Face to Face: Picasso and the Old Masters in Málaga

Picture: Picasso Museum Málaga

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Picasso Museum Málaga have opened their latest exhibition today entitled Face to Face: Picasso and the Old Masters.

According to the museum's website:

From 22nd February until 26th June 2022, visitors to the Museo Picasso Málaga will have a unique opportunity to discover the links between Pablo Picasso and leading artists of the past. The MPM will be hosting Face to Face. Picasso and the Old Masters, an exhibition, jointly organized with Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, in which paintings by El Greco, Francisco Pacheco, Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, Francisco de Zurbarán, Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbretchs, Bernardo Lorente Germán and Diego Bejarano will be hung alongside major works by Pablo Picasso. 

Face to Face. Picasso and the Old Masters presents paintings from the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla’s remarkable collection of Spanish and other European Masters opposite nine important works by Picasso belonging to the Fundación Almine y Bernard Picasso para el Arte (FABA).


These pairings not only enable viewers to make specific comparisons between the work of Picasso and the Masters in order to understand how deeply Picasso’s art was rooted in Spanish traditions. The juxtapositions also allow us to discern how he transformed these traditions into the revolutionary art of the 20th century. 

£10m - £15m Freud coming up at Christie's

February 18 2022

Image of £10m - £15m Freud coming up at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London will be offering a £10m - £15m painting by Lucian Freud in their upcoming 20th / 21st Century Sale on 1st March 2022. Girl with Closed Eyes was painted in the mid 1980s and is being marketed as a hark back to Venuses by the likes of Giorgione, Canova and Modigliani. The model for the picture was Janey Longman whose mother Elizabeth had been a bridesmaid at Queen Elizabeth II's wedding.

According to their website:

The canvas was sold as soon as it was painted and, having been in the same private collection ever since, now comes to market for the first time. It has been exhibited only occasionally in the three and a half decades of its existence, notably in the landmark retrospective Lucian Freud Paintings, which toured the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Hayward Gallery in London and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1987-88.

Inspiring Walt Disney at the Wallace Collection

February 9 2022

Image of Inspiring Walt Disney at the Wallace Collection

Picture: The Wallace Collection / Disney

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Following on from their incredibly successful collaboration with shoe-designer Manolo Blahník, The Wallace Collection in London will be launching their latest decorative arts exhibition in April. Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts will run from 6th April 2022 until 16th October 2022. The show has been organised in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

According to the museum's website:

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts displays American 20th-century hand-drawn animation alongside French 18th-century art to reveal the surprising and enchanting connections between these two artistic movements. 

Drawing on the outstanding artworks of the Wallace Collection and spectacular international loans, the exhibition will highlight the exceptional talent and innovation of both Walt Disney Animation Studios artists and the creative pioneers of the French 18th century. Although separated by two centuries, the artists, craftspeople and animators all had the same ambition – to breathe life, character, and charm into the inanimate.

It will be very interesting to see how successful this collaboration will be in bringing new audiences to this treasure box, which is after all only a few minutes walk from Oxford Street.

The 1973 Cincinnati Rembrandt Heist

January 31 2022

Video: WCPO 9

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For those of you who like a good heist story, the Cincinnati Enquirer have written a long format piece on the 1973 theft of two Rembrandts from the Taft Museum of Art. The story is a rather long and curious one, do click on the link if you want to read it in full.

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