Art Buzz April 19, 2012: Girolamo Romano Painting Looted by Nazis Is Returned to Owner’s Heirs



Painting Looted by Nazis Is Returned to Owner’s Heirs

Source: NYT, 4-19-12

A painting looted by the Nazis from its Jewish owner more than 70 years ago was returned to his heirs on Wednesday after being loaned to a Florida museum, Reuters reported.

The painting, ”Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue,” by the 16th-century Italian painter Girolamo Romano, was part of an exhibition on Baroque art that the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, Italy, had loaned to the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee last fall.

A tip from an employee at Christie’s auction house alerted Interpol investigators that the painting may have been stolen. Last year the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida ordered the Brogan museum to hold on to the painting until the ownership question could be sorted out. In November federal agents removed the painting from the museum….READ MORE

Art Buzz April 19, 2012: Linda Nochlin Awarded with the 2012 Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Appraisers Association of America



Art World Dignitaries Gathered to Honor Dr. Linda Nochlin with the 2012 Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Appraisers Association of America

The Appraisers Association of America (AAA), the premier national association of fine and decorative arts appraisers held its 2012 Annual Award Luncheon and presented the AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS to Dr. Linda Nochlin, Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts/New York University. Nochlin, celebrated art historian and educator, is among a venerable group in the art establishment to have received this award, which began in 2005 and includes such notable recipients as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Thomas Krens, and Arne Glimcher.


“AAA has a tradition of honoring pioneering art world figures, and this year we are thrilled to be bestowing the organization’s Award for Excellence in the Arts to Dr. Linda Nochlin. All the work we do as appraisers is deeply grounded in the research of dedicated art historians, and Linda Nochlin is an undisputed luminary in the field — a ‘living legend’. Linda’s writings and criticism changed the way the world looked at the contributions of women artists. The totality of Dr. Nochlin’s scholarship, from studies on Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, to the latest tendencies in Emerging Art, has always been insightfully brilliant,” says Nancy Harrison, AAA President.

The Appraisers Association of America assembled a distinguished group of art industry elite to support Nochlin. Committee members include MoMA Director Glenn Lowry; Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Nan Rosenthal; Vassar College President, Catharine Bond Hill; Columbia University’s Rosalind Krauss; Yale University’s Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Robert Storr; Journalist Paul Goldberger; Publisher Hugh Merrell; Artists Ellsworth Kelly, Philip Pearlstein, Liza Lou and Ida Appelbroog; art dealers Larry Gagosian, Richard Feigen, Michael Findlay, and Dominique Levy; Sotheby’s Chairman, Warren P. Weitman, Jr.; and Christie’s President, Marc Porter, among others.

MoMA President Emerita Agnes Gund spoke at the ceremony and said, “Linda Nochlin is a much heralded art historian, giving so much to students as well as the public and scholars. She is much revered, respected and especially knowledgeable about art made by women. Linda is probably the most globally revered historian for her work on women in the art world.”

And University College London’s Dr. Tamar Garb, who met Nochlin nearly 25 years ago when Garb was a graduate student, delivered the keynote speech and said of her mentor, “Linda has a way of engaging with people, irrespective of status, with an openness and a generosity that has never altered – and which characterizes her scholarship as well as her personal relationships. She is ageless, irreverent, brilliant and radical. One of the first scholars to challenge the inbuilt power relations and hierarchies of art historical orthodoxies, she rewrote the history of nineteenth century art, embedding hallowed masterpieces in the social situations that made them possible, questioning entrenched values such as artistic genius and inspired creativity, exposing prejudice and writing beautifully about the formal and stylistic properties of works. A formidable critic of contemporary art, a brilliant scholar of nineteenth and twentieth century Modernism, an indefatigable champion of women artists and a profound, irreverent and original thinker, she is arguably the most influential art historian of her generation.”

The AAA commissioned artist Liza Lou to create an art piece for Nochlin’s award. And other speakers included AAA president, Nancy Harrison, and Art in America’s Editor-at-Large, Elizabeth Baker….READ MORE


Art Buzz April 18, 2012: John Golding, Renowned Cubist Scholar and Abstract Painter, Dies at 82



John Golding, Renowned Cubist Scholar and Abstract Painter, Dies at 82

Source: Gallerist NY, 4-18-12

John Golding. (Courtesy the family of John Golding/The Guardian)

John Golding, one of the premier historians of cubism and an accomplished abstract painter, died on April 9 at the age of 82, according to The New York Times. The news was first announced by the Courtauld Institute of Art, in London, where he taught for many years. No cause of death was available.

Golding is perhaps best known for his 1959 landmark book Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907–1914, one of the earliest thorough studies of the topic. Margalit Fox, writing in The Times, had this to say of the work:

In that book Mr. Golding refuted the idea, widely prevalent at midcentury, that Cubism represented a break with the realistic tradition. On the contrary, he said, the Cubist perspective, with its emphasis on spatial depiction from simultaneous multiple vantage points, marked a singular return to realism after the misty prospect of Impressionism.

Fittingly, Elizabeth Cowling’s obituary for Golding in The Wall Street Journal carries the headline “Cubism’s Vasari.”

Golding organized a number of major exhibitions on artists like Picasso, Braque and Matisse, including “Matisse Picasso,” which examined the close (and competitive) relationship those two artists shared for many decades. It visited the Museum of Modern Art’s temporary Queens branch in 2003.

Born in Mexico, in 1929, he did his undergraduate work at the University of Toronto, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the Courtauld Institute.

In addition to being a practicing painter, exhibiting widely, Golding penned a number of well-regarded essays for The New York Review of Books. (His pieces are available here.) In The Guardian, Michael McNay singled out Golding’s almost 11,000-word essay “The Triumph of Picasso,“ published in 1988 in The NYRB, as “one of the finest accounts of Picasso’s achievements.” Added Mr. McNay:

In person he looked a little like Picasso, but his voice was soft and his delivery almost contemplative, as though he was thinking his way forward, trying his ideas out on his audience as he formulated them, even on subjects he knew well.

His partner of four decades was historian James Coll, who died in 1994.

Art Buzz April 16, 2012: Gabriel Ritter: Dallas Museum of Art hires new assistant curator of contemporary art



Dallas Museum of Art hires new assistant curator of contemporary art

Source: Pegasus News, 4-16-12

Gabriel Ritter

Gabriel Ritter

He comes to Dallas from Los Angeles.

The Dallas Museum of Art‘s new director, Maxwell Anderson, has hired another person to join their management team. Gabriel Ritter is the new assistant curator of contemporary art for the museum.

He is currently finishing his Ph.D. in art history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), according to the museum. He has also worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

Here’s more information about Ritter, as sent by the Dallas Museum of Art:

Gabriel Ritter has been appointed The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, it was announced today by Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. He will begin work in Dallas on May 14, 2012. Ritter has extensive knowledge of modern and contemporary art. He has worked internationally in museums and has served as an independent curator, organizing exhibitions of emerging artists from the United States, Europe, and Asia. “Gabriel’s great enthusiasm and sincere interest in connecting artists globally with the collection and the community in Dallas will add depth and excitement to our increasingly diverse and energetic programming in contemporary art,” said Anderson.

Ritter is currently completing his Ph.D. in Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he also earned his masters of art history, and is completing a Doctoral Fellowship at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Previously a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) for three years, Ritter organized Out of the Ordinary: New Video from Japan and MOCA Focus: Karl Haendel, the first solo museum exhibition and publication dedicated to the artist. As Curatorial Assistant to former MOCA Senior Curator Ann Goldstein, now Director of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Ritter also assisted on a number of exhibitions including The Art of Richard Tuttle and Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective.

Ritter has delivered numerous scholarly papers and contributed to publications, including essays for monographs on the artists Makoto Aida and Koki Tanaka. His dissertation, Kitawaki Noboru and Surrealism in Japan, 1930–1951, explores Noboru’s involvement with surrealism in Japan during the 1930s and 40s. Ritter most recently organized Sculpture by Other Means, currently on view at the ONE AND J. Gallery in Seoul, Korea, featuring work by Masaya Chiba, Teppei Kaneuji, Yuki Kimura, and Koki Tanaka. Jeffrey Grove, The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, notes that “Gabriel’s depth of knowledge as a scholar and breadth of interest as a curator will be an invigorating complement to the contemporary art program at the DMA,” adding that “he will also be a passionate advocate for the concerns and practices of artists working today in Dallas, nationally, and internationally.”

It was recently announced that Ritter will serve as one of three curators for the upcoming 2013 Roppongi Crossing exhibition held by the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. He is one of the first non-Japanese curators to participate in this reoccurring series of exhibitions founded in 2004. At the DMA, Ritter will work closely with Dr. Grove on a number of projects, including the organization of exhibitions in the Concentrations series, focused on overlooked and emerging artists, as well as other exhibitions. Ritter will work with artists and organizations in the area to strengthen relationships and programs, as well as conduct research on the collection, make acquisitions, and collaborate on installations of the collection in galleries throughout the Museum.

Art Buzz April 15, 2012: Christie’s to unveil a very rare 15th century Renaissance Jewish prayer book in New York



Christie’s to unveil a very rare 15th century Jewish prayer book in New York

Offered at auction for the first time, the manuscript is estimated at $540,000-800,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2012. 
On April 16-17, Christie’s New York will unveil a rare and splendid example of Renaissance Judaica, an illuminated manuscript Mahzor that will be included in the May 11, 2012 Books and Manuscripts auction at Christie’s Paris. Comprising over 400 pages, this illuminated manuscript on vellum is a festival prayer book written in Hebrew and was created in Tuscany, and probably Florence, circa 1490. Offered at auction for the first time, the manuscript is estimated at $540,000-800,000 (£360,000-530,000/€400,000-600,000).
The illuminating manuscript was purchased in Frankfurt before 1908 and was subsequently owned by Edmond Bicart-Sée. It has never been publicly exhibited and has remained in the possession of his descendants in Paris for over eighty years. This Mahzor, containing prayers for the entire liturgical year, is richly highlighted in gold with renaissance motifs and contains everyday customs, rituals and practices of Jewish life including daily prayers and blessings for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth. The striking frontispiece of the Mahzor is in the characteristic style of Giovanni di Giuliano Boccardi, known as Boccardino il vecchio (1460-1529) – ‘one of the last representatives of the golden age of Florentine Renaissance Illumination.’ The Jewish community of Florence flourished in the 15th century, their position closely linked to the fortunes of the Medici. While there are other Hebrew manuscripts illuminated by Christian Florentines, this Mahzor is the only example we know illuminated by Boccardino. The coat-of-arms on the frontispiece is azure, a rampant lion or holding a flaming chalice and sun; the lion is flanked by a crescent moon and a sun or star, having some resemblance to the coat of arms of the Ambron family. Coats of arms used by Jewish families in Italy were inventions, often using traditional Jewish symbols and often variable, making certain identification difficult. The 16th century binding of the Mahzor has a central medallion with another coat-of-arms of two affronted rampant lions flanking a palm tree, combined elements featuring in the arms of a number of families in Italy, including the Tedesco/Tedeschi and Uzielli in Tuscany.

Art Buzz April 13, 2012: Karen Sherry: Portland Museum of Art hires new Curator of American Art



Portland Museum of Art hires Brooklyn Museum’s Karen Sherry as new Curator of American Art

Source: Art Daily, 4-13-12

Since 2003, Karen Sherry has worked at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, most recently as Associate Curator of American Art.
Karen Sherry has been named Curator of American Art at the Portland Museum of Art. Sherry will play a national role in promoting research and scholarship on American art, Winslow Homer, and the significance of Maine in American art and cultural history. Sherry will join the Museum staff on June 26. “Karen brings to Portland great energy and scholarship as well as extensive experience gained at the great Brooklyn Museum,” said Museum Director Mark H.C. Bessire. “She will provide the path to reinstall the collection, engage audiences through innovative exhibitions, and be part of a curatorial team that seeks to redefine the role of the 21st-century museum. We are also thrilled that her background in American art and Winslow Homer will energize our commitment to the role Maine plays in the national art conversation.”…READ MORE

Art Buzz April 13, 2012: ‘Offering of the Angels: Treasures from the Uffizi Gallery,’ Florence, Italy Exhibition at Michener Art Museum in Doylestown



Angelic host of paintings from Italy bound for Doylestown display

Source:, 4-13-12
uffizi gallery

Ufizi gallery art at the Michener Museum

Bruce Katsiff, director of the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, is pleased to be bringing a Botticelli to Bucks County with “Offering of the Angels,” a selection of paintings and tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

The Italians are coming to Doylestown.

Masterworks of the Italian Renaissance will be on view the Michener Museum in Doylestown for a limited run.

Forty-two paintings from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence — a museum with one of the largest and finest collections of Renaissance art in the world — have been culled for a traveling show. The James A. Michener Museum is one of four institutions in America to host the show, beginning April 21.

All the paintings in “Offering of the Angels: Treasures from the Uffizi,” as well as two tapestries and an illuminated manuscript, are from the 14th through 17th centuries. They depict events in the life of Jesus Christ.

“The association between art and the religious was very much the dominant relationship,” said Michener director Bruce Katsiff. “It’s only in the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries that there’s been a division between artists and religion. So much of art has been about service to religion.”

Just two years ago, the Michener Museum expanded its gallery space to handle large, traveling shows like this one. The Uffizi exhibition allows the Michener to prove itself on the international stage.

“These paintings are the mother’s milk of art history,” said Katsiff. “To have works of this caliber — we’re just a country museum. We aspire to behave as the best institutions in the country. It’s an important moment for the Michener.”

Many of the paintings have never been to America before; some have never been shown publicly, even in Italy.

Art Buzz April 13, 2012: Edvard Munch’s Modern art masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction at Sotherby’s



The masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction

Source: CNN, 4-13-12

It’s one of the world’s most famous paintings; Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is an iconic image of despair. And now a version of the painting is up for grabs in a public auction next month. But the winning bidder may also need to fork out money for extra security because this masterpiece also holds the dubious honor of being the “most stolen work of art”.

“Shivering with anxiety, I felt the great scream in nature,” so wrote Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1895. They are lines from a poem that inspired one of the most famous paintings in the world. Simon Shaw with Sotheby’s says, “What Munch was trying to do was create the modern life of the soul as he described it. a new kind of history painting for the godless age where he would draw on his own personal experiences of love anxiety and death and create universal resonate images that we can all understand”

Munch created four versions of the painting, three of which are on public display in museums in Norway. This is the only version in private hands and the only one to feature the poem that inspired it hand painted on the original frame and the only one for sale to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York in May. Shaw says, “Very challenging to put a price on a work so globally recognizable so famous as this one. Great modern masterpieces can sell for a bit over a hundred million dollars so we’re estimating that the scream will sell for somewhere above $80 million today.”

So what is so captivating about this painting? Shaw says, “It’s really a key image in the history of modern art. but on the other hand it’s become something quite different. It’s become a cornerstone of popular culture if you like.”…READ MORE

Sotheby’s London presents one of the most famous masterpieces in the world

Staff stand guard by Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as it is hung for display at Sotheby’s Auction Rooms in London, Thursday, April 12, 2012. The picture made with pastels is one of four versions of the composition, and dates from 1895, it will be auctioned in the Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in New York on May 2, with an estimated price of 80 million dollars. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth. 
Sotheby’s today presented Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa. The present version of The Scream, which dates from 1895, is one of four versions of the composition and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby’s opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s in advance of the sale beginning 27 April.
The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch. “Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity, and it is an immense privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with one of the most important works of art in private hands” commented Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York. “Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived. At a time of great critical interest in the artist, and with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2013, this spring is a particularly compelling time for The Scream to appear on the market. For collectors and institutions, the opportunity to acquire such a singularly-influential masterpiece is unprecedented in recent times.” Mr. Shaw continued: “Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value. The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”…READ MORE

Art Buzz April 7, 2012: Thomas Kinkade dies at 54; artist was called the ‘Painter of Light’



‘Painter of Light’ Thomas Kinkade dead at 54

Source: Zap2it, 4-7-12

thomas-kinkade-paintingsThomas Kinkade, the “painter of light,” whose paintings and prints hang in one out of every 20 American homes, is dead at the age of 54. A statement from his family says Kinkade died from natural causes on Friday (April 6) at his Los Gatos, Calif., home.

“Thom provided a wonderful life for his family,” his wife Nanette says of the artist in a statement to the San Jose Mercury News. “We are shocked and saddened by his death.”


Kinkade was never a favorite with critics — his Christmas paintings and other scenes of wholesome American cottage scenes — are often dismissed as kitschy. But fans love the warm paintings and Kinkade’s talent for painting light.

As news of his death hit the Internet, Kinkade fans poured out their tributes on Twitter and other social networking sites, though they were outnumbered by critics of his work who turned out en masse to make light of his death.

PICS: Thomas Kinkade Paintings

“I try to create paintings that are a window for the imagination,” Kinkade said on his website. “If people look at my work and are reminded of the way things once were or perhaps the way they could be, then I’ve done my job.”