ARTFIXdaily News Feed - Breaking News from the Art World

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 ...

U.K. puts export ban on Raphael drawing

Times Online / February 28th, 2010

A Raphael drawing that fetched £29 million, a world record price for an Old Master drawing at auction, has been barred from export by Britain's Culture Minister. A committee determined the work is of outstanding aesthetic merit. The temporary ban will allow time to try to ...

A mysterious heiress, her legacy unknown

MSNBC / February 28th, 2010

She grew up with a Rodin and Rubens in the home. Now, Huguette Clark, at 103 years old, owns a $100+ million Santa Barbara oceanfront mansion which has been unoccupied since 1963. Her 52-acre New Canaan estate and a 15,000-sq.-ft. Fifth Avenue apartment are empty, ...

TEFAF aggregates the world's best art for sale

Hello Magazine / February 25th, 2010

Over 30,000 works of art, from antiquities to modern paintings, much of it desirable for pedigree, rarity, and beauty, will descend upon the Dutch town of Maastricht from March 12 to 21. With 263 top-tier exhibitors bringing the best of their blue-chip art, plus special sections for design, works ...

European masters to adorn N.C. Museum of Art's new building

Triangle Business Journal / February 25th, 2010

North Carolina Museum of Art has been promised works by Alfred Sisley, Maurice de Vlaminck, Emil Nolde, and Pablo Picasso from the collection of hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson and his wife, Josie, of New York City. The four paintings will be displayed in the Raleigh museum's new gallery ...

A newly-authenticated Van Gogh

Dutch News / February 24th, 2010

Art experts have decided an 1886 painting titled "Le Blute-fin Mill," depicting Montmartre in Paris, is the work of Vincent Van Gogh. The scene features a large amount of colorful figures, an atypical element in Van Gogh's work, gathered around a windmill. Museum director and collector Dirk ...

University faces more legal hurdles in art collection sale

Tennessean / February 23rd, 2010

Attorney General Bob Cooper issued a statement on Tuesday saying that a collection of 110 works of art, given by artist Georgia O'Keeffe to Fisk University, can not be moved. The Tennessee Supreme Court refused to hear the case so the fate of the artwork will be decided in chancery court within ...

Financial fortunes rise for Boston's Gardner Museum

Boston Business Journal / February 22nd, 2010

Rich in works by Old Masters and American impressionists, the palazzo-like Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum says its investment portfolio closed out the year valued at $161.6 million — some 53 percent higher than at the end of June, the close of its last fiscal year. A rise in the stock market and ...

Was Monet the father of Abstract Expressionism?

Reuters / February 22nd, 2010

With more than 100 works, Madrid's Thyssen-Bornemisza museum will attempt to show that French Impressionist Claude Monet influenced a stream of young artists of the post-WWII era, such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. On the Web, visit the museum's micro-site on the ...

Austrian museum offers multi-course dinner/exhibit viewing combo

Luxist / February 21st, 2010

On Thursday nights, Vienna's Museum of Fine Arts lures in tourists and locals alike with a tantalizing dinner and dessert buffet, not to mention the masterpieces of art. Leading caterer Gerstner provides a lavish spread, allowing for a taste of Caprese salad after taking in a Canova. Visitors ...

Mid-market art stolen from Europe often lands in U.S.

Naples News / February 18th, 2010

Robert Wittman, the de facto head of the FBI’s art theft program from 1988 until 2008, has tracked down stolen Goyas, a Rembrandt, and five Norman Rockwells, among many other multi-million dollar artworks.  Art and antiques originating in theft hotspots like Europe, South America, and ...

“Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker”

TCPalm / February 18th, 2010

A cache of artworks stolen by the Nazis from an influential Dutch art dealer now graces the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach in a traveling exhibition. Forty paintings, dating from the Renaissance through 19th c., highlights from the 200 works returned to ...

'Cezanne and American Modernism'

Washington Post / February 17th, 2010

A fascinating exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art traces the exuberant, all-over-the-map responses of 33 early 20th-century American artists to Cezanne's works in the decades when his oils and watercolors were more a matter of rumor than a mainstay of modern museums.

Signs of Rebound in Antiques Market

New York Times Art / February 17th, 2010

After 12 months in which antiques sales were down and prices fell, collectors and dealers again flocked to major antique shows last month in New York. Red dots were plentiful, but according to some of the shows' exhibitors, there are still good buys to be had in certain categories, such as ...