ARTFIXdaily News Feed - Breaking News from the Art World

Auctions Tally Record $92 Million during Asian Art Week in London

Bloomberg / November 12th, 2011

A selection of 1,695 Chinese artworks and antiques offered at Sotheby's, Christie's and Bonhams during the 14th annual Asian Art in London event last week totalled a record 57.4 million pounds ($92 million) even while 44% of the lots failed to sell.

Chinese Citizens Rally in Aid of Ai Weiwei to Cover $2.4 Million Tax Bill; His Work On View in New York, Miami, Taipei

ArtfixDaily / November 4th, 2011

The Chinese government claims influential artist and activist Ai Weiwei owes $2.4 million in back taxes. Thousands of individual Chinese have since sent money to his Internet account to help pay the bill within the ten-day deadline...

Sotheby's Six-Day Hong Kong Series Raises $411 Million

Businessweek / October 6th, 2011

A week of auctions held by Sotheby's in Hong Kong netted a total of HK$3.2 billion ($411.3 million) with selective buyers competing to record levels for blue-chip art, rare gems, and Chinese ceramics.

Irish auction market heats up with record prices

Irish Times / October 2nd, 2011

A Jack B. Yeats painting of Irish small-town life fetched a record artist price of €1 million last week to become the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction in Ireland. An unidentified Irish buyer bought the Yeats, paying well above the estimate of €500,000-€800,000 at an Adam's ...

Freer Gallery reveals light-filled Whistler's Peacock Room

ArtfixDaily / August 17th, 2011

For the first time in 25 years, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art will open the shutters of James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room for public view on the third Thursday of each month, beginning Aug. 18, 12-5:30 p.m. Visitors to the room will have a chance to experience the tonal ...

Sotheby's tallies record $3.4 billion first half sales

ArtfixDaily / August 3rd, 2011

Competitive bidding for high value works combined with commissions from booming private transactions pushed Sotheby's consolidated sales to a record $3.4 billion in the first half of 2011. Sotheby's private sales were up 114% in the first half.

Tulsa taping yields record treasure on "Antiques Roadshow"

Antiques Roadshow / July 25th, 2011

Rare antique Chinese cups brought into the Tulsa stop of "Antiques Roadshow" on Saturday became the most valuable discovery in the PBS television show's 16-year history. Appraisers gave the collection of five Chinese carved rhinoceros horn cups, dating from the late 17th century or early ...

Auction market bullish in 2011, so far

ArtfixDaily / July 21st, 2011

The market for fine and decorative arts roared through the start of 2011 at the world's two biggest auction houses. Christie’s reported worldwide sales for the first half of 2011 of $3.2 billion, up 15% over last year's figures. Sotheby's just breezed through a summer of blockbuster sales in ...

Indian court orders curator for Hindu temple treasures

Voice of America / July 7th, 2011

A treasure with an estimated value of more than $20 billion that was discovered in the vaults of a Hindu temple last week will have a court-ordered curator. The immense trove of diamonds, emeralds, gold and silver coins, and figurines...

Water Views from the Figge Collection

Quad-City Times / June 30th, 2011

Works by Hudson River School masters figure laregly in“Water Views from the Figge Collection,” an exhibition on display through Aug. 21 at the Figge Art Museum, appropriately overlooking the Mississippi River, in Davenport, Iowa.

French wine, Chinese art soar to $106m at Christie's

Bloomberg / May 30th, 2011

The weeklong series of sales held by Christie's in Hong Kong began on a high note with a total of HK$821.2 million ($106 million) spurred by a demand for vintage bottles of Chateau Latour and modern Chinese paintings. Totals for the first three days of sales were up by 40% over equivalent ...

Qi Baishi painting soars to record $65m at Chinese auction

China / May 23rd, 2011

An ink wash painting by Qi Baishi (1864-1957) set an auction record of 425 million yuan (US$65.4 million) for Chinese art at the Guardian Spring Auction in Beijing on Sunday night. The sale totaled 1 billion yuan (US$649 million). "A Long Life, A Peaceful World," depicting an eagle on a pine ...

Imperial Chinese antiques spike London auction results

Bloomberg / May 22nd, 2011

London auction results in mid-May were boosted 180 percent by a growing demand among buyers for Chinese Imperial pieces. A record 58 million pounds ($93.9 million) was achieved in the sale series, almost three times the 20.6 million pounds total last May, according to Bloomberg. Bonhams alone ...

Yale debuts free online collection database

ArtfixDaily / May 13th, 2011

Yale University has launched a massive online database with records on over 250,000 objects from its museums, archives and libraries. Providing unprecedented, unlimited access to the Ivy League school's varied collections, including a tantalizing peek at artwork in storage, the digitization ...

Spring Show attracts fresh crowd, steady sales

Art Newspaper / May 3rd, 2011

The inaugural Spring Show, organized by the Art and Antiques Dealers League of America, had a promising first-run at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. About 1,495 attendees, including a contingent of designers, celebrities, and collectors, enjoyed the opening night party on April 27. Over the ...

Detained artist Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads opening delayed in New York

Zodiac Heads / May 2nd, 2011

Update: The official unveiling has been rescheduled to Wednesday morning, May 4. Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, the first major public art sculpture by celebrated contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, was supposed to make its outdoor debut on May 2 in New York at the historic Pulitzer ...

Delinquent, delayed payments stumble Chinese auction market

Newsweek / April 17th, 2011

China has catapulted to the world's largest art auction market, ahead of the U.S. and U.K., with an estimated $8.3 billion in sales, according to But are mainland buyers slow to pay sellers, or paying at all for their bids? Newsweek takes a look at the rise of the Chinese mainland ...

Museum directors push petition to free Ai Weiwei / April 13th, 2011

On April 3, prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was seized by government agents when he tried to board a plane in Beijing. His charge is unspecified "economic crimes," according to the Chinese government. is circulating a petition started by 12 leading figures in the international art ...

Islamic art reaches new auction record

Los Angeles Times / April 6th, 2011

Sotheby's in London sold a 16th century illustrated portfolio from the "Shahnameh" ("Book of Kings") of Shah Tahmasp of Persia, for 7.4 million pounds ($12 million) on Wednesday, a new auction record for an Islamic work of art. The leaf comes from the Persian national epic depicting Faridun ...

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei disappears

Christian Science Monitor / April 5th, 2011

Chinese authorities have not disclosed the location of artist and social activist Ai Weiwei since detaining him on Sunday at Beijing's airport. The Communist government in China has been stepping up arrests of political dissenters following uprisings in the Middle East. The ...