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Is This A “New” Piero della Franscesca?

PierodellaFrancesca

"New" works by Old Masters turn up all the time in places like Italy -- especially Italian churches. So it's not surprising perhaps that one of the latest discoveries took place in St. Anthony the Abbott Church in San Polo. There, a fresco -- some art historians say -- is at least partly by the hand of Piero della Francesca. San Polo is about a 165 miles to the north and west of Arezzo, where Piero created his famous Legend of the True Cross frescoes. A few weeks back, the Italian press published articles, including this one, about the … [Read more...]

I’m Away…

I'm taking a vacation, back just after Labor Day. … [Read more...]

Mass MoCA Dreams Big: And Wakes Up Almost Middle-Aged

josephthompson

With the stroke of Gov. Deval Patrick’s pen a few weeks ago, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art got the go-ahead to realize the nearly 30-year-old dream of transforming a 19th century, 26-building, 16-acre factory complex into a destination arts center that would also help revive the economy of North Adams, Mass. As the art world knows, the road has been a bit bumpy and, along the way, the vision has changed. But Mass MoCA has hit something of a groove of late, giving state officials the confidence to allocate $25.4 million from … [Read more...]

Ethics 101 For Dealers: Deaccessioning

Delaware-Art-Museum

Are dealers are "accessories" to an ethical violation if they agree to sell works of art for museums, like the Delaware Art Museum (pictured below), that are selling to raise money for capital or operational purposes? Accessories to criminal acts may, after all, be guilty of an infraction. That's the underlying question, but not my point, in a short piece I wrote, published today, on a  a new(ish) website based in London and with an international audience, mainly of art and antiques dealers. The site, Art Antiques Design, was started by a … [Read more...]

Name The Best Four Hudson River School Paintings — To Go On Stamps

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On Monday, the Nelson-Atkins Museum announced that its wonderful Grand Canyon painting by Thomas Moran, from 1912, would grace a Forever stamp as part of an homage to the Hudson River School of artists -- it's one of four tributes. What are the other three paintings? (I got no other press notices.) Were the other three museums, as the Post Office would choose only from works held in the public domain, mum on the honor? Guess so. But I looked it up. As you can well imagine, the other three artists in this series are Thomas Cole, Asher B. … [Read more...]

Corcoran Case: Over. “Painful.” But Necessary, Alas?

Corcoran Gallery via AP

Judge rules that mergers can proceed, a headline about the Corcoran Gallery of Art cy pres case would say. But the decision, D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Okun made, he said, was "painful." That's sort of how I have felt from the beginning: it's a bad situation and it's pretty hard to dream up a way to save the Corcoran as it was. The Corcoran's troubles and management/governance, or lack thereof, had simply got too bad, and the Corcoran was damaged goods. I never believed in the plan of Wayne Reynolds to save it; in the long run, I … [Read more...]

Museum-Goers Say The Darndest Things

3 El Morocco New YorkWinogrand

Remember the old Art Linkletter "House Party" TV show feature, "Kids Say the Darndest Things"? Linkletter would interview kids and they would provide answers that boggled the mind, either because they were funny or poignant. I couldn't help think of it yesterday, after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum.* Among the exhibits I visited was Garry Winogrand, which consists of "more than 175 of the artist's iconic images, a trove of unseen prints, and even Winogrand’s famed series of photographs made at the Metropolitan Museum in 1969 when the … [Read more...]

About That Stolen Guercino

StolenGuercino

This is just plain bad: Last week, a painting titled Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory Thaumaturgus (1639) was stolen from a church in Modena, Italy. Not only was the church alarm system in active, but also the Baroque masterpiece wasn't insured. It's a big painting -- 10 ft. by 6 ft. -- and reports say it was stolen in its frame, with speculation that the theft was "ordered" by a private collector because a work of this size and renown would be hard ever to resell openly. Unless, speculated the Telegraph in London, it … [Read more...]

Take Control of The Tate, With A Robot, After Dark

TateAfterDarkRobot

If an interactive experience with art is all the rage these days -- and to some people it is -- the latest project (I don't know what else to call it) at the Tate in London is both in vogue and new. I think -- at least I've not heard of anything like this. It's called After Dark and it just won the inaugural IK Prize, which is going to be awarded annually by the Tate to a project that "celebrates digital creativity and seeks to widen access to art through the application of digital technology." (That's per the press release.) After … [Read more...]

Watching Art Be Made

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Many people love going behind the scenes -- and many art museums now offer some sort of occasion or event to do so. Next week, if you're in Washington, the Freer-Sackler will let us all in on the installation of Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, who is representing her country at the Venice Biennale next year. I was struck by the photos the Freer* sent me, and so decided to share them here, along with some of the information in the press release announcing the Aug. 18-21 installation. For her installation, Shiota -- based in Berlin -- "will … [Read more...]

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