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Small Museum Makes Waves

For Sotheby’s, the continuing sales of Alfred Taubman’s estate have got to be a disappointment. The auctioneer may not even make back its $500 million-plus guarantee, based on sales of his Impressionist, Modern, contemporary and American art, let alone make a profit. This week, his The Great Florida Sunset (at left) by Martin Johnson Heade sold […]

Becoming An Art Convert In Spain–And Why

Earlier this year, I made an art pilgrimage to Valladolid, the home of Spain’s National Museum of Sculpture. So much Spanish Renaissance and Baroque sculpture resides and stays in Spain, sometimes because it can’t leave and sometimes because there is no demand to borrow it, and I had felt remiss in not having seen enough Spanish […]

On The Road: The Maine Art Museum Trail

If you ever have the opportunity, drive the Maine Art Museum Trail. Did you even know there was a MAMT? Or that it includes eight institutions around the state, from the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in the south to the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor? Truth is, it should be better […]

The Broad Museum Answers Back

Several days ago, I asked here if any other art museums in the U.S. were spending as much money buying art as the Crystal Bridges Museum. I had added up the announced purchases over the past year or so by Crystal Bridges and it came to more than $150 million. I could think of only […]

Crystal Bridges Makes A Few Announcments

When it come to art purchases, there could  be a “Crystal Bridges” watch–it seems to me that the museum in Bentonville built largely with Alice Walton’s and the Walton Family Foundation’s money is spending more money buying art than another other U.S. museum currently open to the public. For a short item in tomorrow’s New […]

Crystal Bridges Reshuffles PostWar Galleries With 2014 Acquisitions

The postwar and contemporary art galleries at the Crystal Bridges Museum have always been the weakest part of the collection, but steadily the museum has been filling out the collection. Sixteen acquisitions in this category, all made in 2014, were announced on Friday–I broke the news Thursday evening in a small item in The New […]

Buyer of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi Identified–UPDATED

Along with, supposedly, the final price tag. He is Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev and he is said to have bought the painting for $127 million. When I last left this subject, in November, 2013, I said that the painting has been sold to a private collector in Europe.  In March, 2014, the New York Times picked […]

The Story Behind LACMA’s Saudi Partnership

Press releases often provoke more questions than they answer. That was certainly the case when one from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art issued one on Jan. 6 about its new collaboration with Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. It said that LACMA and the Center: are pleased to announce that the Center […]

Merry Christmas…

I’ll be away celebrating Christmas for a few days. Here’s my Christmas greeting to you this year: Francesco di Giorgio Martini’s The Nativity, With God the Father Surounded by Angels and Cherubim, which is jointly owned by the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum. And there’s a story behind this joint ownership, provided to […]

Freer-Sackler Digitization Project: A Modest Suggestion

The other day, the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian announced that it had digitized its entire collection and was putting it all online for all to see and use–with more than 90 percent of the images in high-definition resolution and without copyright restrictions for noncommercial uses–as of Jan. 1, 2015. This is good news, […]

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