ARTFIXdaily News Feed - Breaking News from the Art World

Picasso's Absinthe Drinker under the gavel

The Australian / March 17th, 2010

Christie's in London will sell a coveted Blue Period Picasso portrait, owned by the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's Art Foundation, with a conservative estimate of between ₤30 million ($49.8 million) and ₤40 million, the highest for a work of art offered at auction in Europe. The June 23 sale of ...

Van Gogh's 'The Bedroom' gets a blog

Mediabistro Unbeige blog / March 17th, 2010

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is restoring one of Vincent Van Gogh's most famous works. While "The Bedroom" is out of view, the museum's staff will keep the painting in the public eye with a blog about the restoration process. The new blog, called "Bedroom Secrets; Restoration of a ...

FBI seeks help of Boston commuters in art heist

Boston Globe / March 16th, 2010

Rembrandt’s “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee,’’ his only seascape, has been plastered on Massachusetts billboards along two interstates in an effort by the FBI to publicize the Gardner Museum theft two decades after it transpired. In 1990, two men disguised as Boston police officers talked ...

Steady sales at The European Fine Art and Antiques Fair

Telegraph / March 16th, 2010

American museums have prowled TEFAF, the Maastricht art fair on through the end of this week, and made significant purchases. Washington's National Gallery of Art bought a 17th-century winter landscape with skaters by Adam van Breen for €910,000 (£830,000). The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of ...

Auction ahead to pay creditors in Salander fiasco

Bloomberg / March 15th, 2010

Inventory from New York's bankrupt Salander-O’Reilly Galleries LLC, including European art from the 12th century to about 1725, will be auctioned, possibly by Christie's in June. Last year, proprietor Lawrence Salander was charged with 103 counts of fraud, forgery and other crimes, in relation ...

Botero copies used to conceal Europe-bound drugs

Yahoo News / March 15th, 2010

Replicas of sculptures by Colombia's most recognized artist, Fernando Botero, were used to stash 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of cocaine intended for shipment to Spain, Colombian police said. The contraband was discovered by police on Saturday inside the sculptures held in a shipping warehouse. No ...

Treasure hunt on in Maastricht

New York Times / March 14th, 2010

The talk of TEFAF, so far, are a pearl-dropping neoclassical clock, a $25 million Giacometti sculpture, and the new works on paper section including such gems as Gainsborough drawings and Irving Penn photographs. Opening night, some collectors grumbled that there were no big-ticket paintings ...

Reward, but not ransom, offered in Gardner case

Boston Globe / March 14th, 2010

Twenty years ago this week, 13 major artworks by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas, Manet, and others were swiped from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The world's biggest art heist still baffles investigators who have no viable leads. A $5 million reward is offered for the recovery of all, or ...

Famous forger de Hory gets a museum show

Star-Tribune / March 14th, 2010

In 1969, Mark Forgy was a young, backpacking Minnesotan in Europe when he met a debonair Hungarian who happenend to be one of the world's most notorious art forgers. Elmyr de Hory was a master faker of Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, and especially Modigliani. Before he was caught, de Hory let loose ...

Striking masterpieces on view at the Frick

New York Post / March 11th, 2010

Gainsborough, Rembrandt, and Canaletto are a few of the European masters on loan from London's Dulwich Picture Gallery to New York's Frick Collection. View treasures such as the 1771-72 portrait of the lovely Linley sisters, before scandal and tragedy marred their lives, expertly captured by ...

Experts divided over Degas discovery

The Art Newspaper / March 10th, 2010

The Art Newspaper's Martin Bailey delves into the story of a set of plasters, uncovered in France, with a possible link to Degas. If the attribution rings true, this cache could represent one of the greatest of recent art finds. The unauthenticated plasters have already been cast ...

High hopes for blue-chip art sales at TEFAF

Luxist / March 10th, 2010

The Dutch city of Maastricht is now hosting 263 top dealers, bringing about $2.7 billion worth of art and antiques to the world's biggest art fair, TEFAF. Opening night, this Thursday, may be a litmus test for how buyers will react to such offerings as a $15 million ...

Bonhams eyes Asia for expansion opportunities

Wall Street Journal / March 8th, 2010

Following last week's announcement that Bonhams will open an outpost in Tokyo, Robert Brooks, the London-based chairman of the international auction house, now plans to relaunch a branch in Australia. Bonhams already has a presence in Hong Kong, where rivals Christie's and Sotheby's have also set ...

Cost-cutting pushes up profits for Sotheby's

BusinessWeek / March 8th, 2010

Sotheby’s reported a fourth-quarter profit of $73.6 million, its second best quarter ever, reportedly due to a downsizing of staff (1/5 lost jobs), salary cuts, and the elimination of money-losing price guarantees. Chief Executive Officer William Ruprecht has now had his full salary restored to ...

Optimism, sales at New York's Armory Week

Luxist / March 7th, 2010

The modern and contemporary art fairs last week were upbeat. Luxist lists four reasons: Big names brought in buyers, solo booths let collectors focus on one artist, big-ticket sales were back, and traditional art provided a counter-point to the cutting-edge. Recent record-smashing auction ...

Court hears about solicitor's role in Leonardo heist

Times Online / March 3rd, 2010

A solicitor is on trial in Edinburgh for offering to help return a stolen Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece in exchange for a reward. Marshall Ronald, 53, denies being part of a plot to extort £4.25 million from a Scottish duke. Ronald had sent a letter to a London loss adjuster claiming that he was ...

The best of the best lures collectors to Maastricht

Financial Times / March 2nd, 2010

From a newly discovered “Winter Landscape with Skaters” (1611) by Adam van Breen – one of the earliest winter landscapes by any Dutch painter - offered by exhibitor John Mitchell, to a stunning Cycladic marble head from 2500-2400BC from dealer Rupert Wace, word is getting out about the treasures ...

Art dealer Ernst Beyeler passes away at 88

Mediabistro / March 2nd, 2010

Swiss art dealer turned collector Ernst Beyeler died last Thursday at his home in Basel. His career began at an antiquarian book and print shop, but really launched with some saavy purchases (ie., Klees, Giacomettis) from steel magnate David Thompson.  In 1997, Beyeler and his wife put ...

Munch exhibit sans "The Scream" is missing a link

Bloomberg / March 1st, 2010

"...I was almost mad…You know my picture 'The Scream'...," Munch wrote of his seminal work, a stirring representation of modern man's anxiety. "The Scream" is one of the world's most widely recognized works of art, integral to the artist's "Frieze of Life" series. It's not part of a new ...

Lily Safra named as Giacometti buyer

Bloomberg / February 28th, 2010

Dealers say that London-based billionaire Lily Safra was the purchaser of the record-breaking Alberto Giacometti sculpture "Walking Man I" last month at Sotheby's for 65 million pounds ($104.3 million), the world record auction price for any piece of art. Bloomberg quotes Philip Hoffman, chief ...