Anna Pottery stoneware vase sells for $64,350 at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Anna Pottery salt-glazed stoneware presentation vase. Price realized: $64,350. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image


MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – An Anna Pottery stoneware presentation vase made by master potter Cornwall Elihu Kirkpatrick (1814-1890) for his daughter Amy R. Kirkpatrick (1862-1935) sold for $64,350 at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ Americana and fine arts auction June 17. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Pollock and Motherwell exhibition opens at Nelson-Atkins July 8

Jackson Pollock, ‘Mural,’ 1943. Oil and casein on canvas, 95 5/8 x 237 3/4 inches. Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1959.6. University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City. Reproduced with permission from The University of Iowa Museum of Art. Photograph courtesy the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2014


KANSAS CITY, MO. – Two famed American artists are featured in the focus exhibition “Pollock and Motherwell: Legends of Abstract Expressionism,” which opens at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City July 8. The exhibition includes two monumental paintings, Jackson Pollock’s Mural and Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 126. Pollock’s work is freewheeling and frenzied, while Motherwell’s painting presents a rhythmic, consistent structure.

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Philadelphia Museum of Art announces new acquisitions

Calligraphy and Chinese Figures, (left screen), 18th century, Ike Taiga, Japanese, 1723-1776. Ink and color on paper, mounted as a pair pf six-fold screens. 65 3/4 inches × 12 feet 7/8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art; Purchased with the Hollis Fund for East Asian Art Acquisitions, 2016.


PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Museum of Art has announced a number of new acquisitions that will significantly enrich its collection. Among the works that have been recently acquired are: a group of contemporary films and videos; Japanese ink paintings mounted as handscrolls, hanging scrolls, and folding screens; nine pieces of early American furniture that illuminate the artistic achievements of cabinetmakers in colonial New England and Pennsylvania; and a major work in stained glass dating to the 1520s commissioned for a church in Paris. These works have come to the Museum variously as gifts, promised gifts, and purchases. Some will be placed on view in the galleries in the coming weeks.

Timothy Rub, the Museum’s George D. Widener Director and CEO, stated: “Building the collections is among the most important of the Museum’s activities. We often speak about the Museum as housing a collection of collections, because the vast majority of our holdings have come as gifts from generous donors. And when works are purchased, this is most often made possible by contributions. We are deeply grateful to all those in our community and beyond who continue to help us develop a collection that ranks among the finest in this country.”

Contemporary Art

In recent years the Museum has placed an increasing emphasis on acquiring works of time-based media. This effort has been substantially aided by the recent gifts of Philadelphia collectors Peter and Mari Shaw. Their donation of ten works ranges from single-channel projections to multi-monitor installations created by a number of prominent mid-career artists including Fikret Atay (Turkish, b. 1974); Elaine Byrne (Irish, b. 1970); Marepe (Brazilian, b. 1970); Christopher Miner (American, b. 1973); Melik Ohanian (French, b. 1969); John Pilson (American, b. 1968); Anri Sala (Albanian, b. 1974); Matthew Suib (American, b. 1973); and Italo Zuffi (Italian, b. 1969). Among the highlights is Promises, 2001 by Sala, who represented France at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Another key work is Ohanian’s The Hand, 2002, an installation comprising nine monitors—some isolated, others stacked or grouped—placed in a kind of conversation, each featuring images of different sets of hands inspired by striking workers in Paris. Seven of the gifts from the Shaws are the first works by these artists to enter the Museum’s collection, which has also been augmented by the recently announced joint purchase, with the Pinault Collection, of two major recent works by Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies, I through VII, 2015/2016, consisting of seven large-scale video projections with sound, and Walks In Walks Out, 2015, a closely related work comprising a single-channel video with sound, currently on view.

Japanese Art

The Museum has also acquired a group of twelve Japanese literati, Zen, and Kano school paintings from the Gitter-Yelen Collection. Dr. Kurt Gitter began collecting in the 1960s when he was stationed as an Air Force doctor in Kukuoka, Kyushu. He and his wife Alice Yelen ultimately amassed one of the most renowned private collections of Japanese art in the United States. The Museum purchase was made possible through the Hollis Fund for East Asian Art Acquisitions.

Highlights include a pair of six-fold screens and a handscroll by two leading artists of the literati Nanga school who were the focus of Ike Taiga and Tokuyama Gyokuran, Japanese Masters of the Brush, a major exhibition presented by the Museum in 2007. The screens by Taiga (1723-1776) are notable for their exuberant brushwork and contain calligraphies of Chinese poems alternating with images of pine, plum, bamboo, and Chinese figures. They are considered to be among the most important works by the artist outside Japan.

Another significant addition to the Museum’s holdings of Japanese painting is a pair of screens by Kano Sōeki Kagenobu, an official painter to the military rulers of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Skillfully layered, these lyrical landscapes are executed in ink and colors on paper and mounted as a pair of six-fold screens. They depict idyllic farming scenes through the changing seasons. They are the first Edo period screens to enter the collection by an artist of the family dynasty of painters who were the focus of the major exhibition, Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano, organized by the Museum in 2015. Also included also in this group of works is a rare, large-scale pair of two-fold screens by one of the last of the Kano artists, Hashimoto Gahō (1835-1908), who embraced Western influences after Japan opened its ports to the outside world and entered a period of modernization.

Noteworthy as well is a four-fold screen by Shiokawa Bunrin (1808-1877), an important figure active when the military rulers who had supported the painters of the Kano school began to lose power. Dated to 1870, the screen pays homage to an earlier tradition of literati painting. Bunrin reflects an intense fascination with scholars’ rocks, often depicted in Chinese painting manuals, and taken up by Japanese artists. His rocks seemingly float, suspended in space, emphasizing the eccentric shapes for which such rocks came to be prized.

American Decorative Arts

During the past several months the Museum has received a large group of American furniture, highlights of which will be presented in a special installation, Transplanting Traditions: Early Colonial Furniture from the Anne H. and Frederick Vogel III Collection, in the American galleries beginning July 15, 2017. Nine works have come from the collection of Anne H. and Frederick Vogel III, of Milwaukee, major supporters of the Museum who, during the course of five decades, have assembled one of the country’s foremost private collections of American furniture. Especially noteworthy is an early chest of drawers, covered by a profusion of abstractly patterned carving, which (along with a related box) were made in Hampshire County, Massachusetts between 1715 and 1725, in a style of joinery and ornament popularly known as Hadley furniture. These are the first examples of this type to enter the Museum’s collection. Among the gifts from the Vogels are an easy chair made in Boston between 1710 and 1725 that retains evidence of the exuberant pattern of woven tapes and brass tacks from its original upholstery; an early turned chair with matching daybed, also from Boston, each from the late 1600s; and a mahogany desk made in Philadelphia between 1725 and 1735 that is significant for having an additional turned ball foot at its center. The Vogels have also promised an additional three works including a waxwork wall sconce with glass candle arms made in Boston between 1720 and 1740.

Together, these additions add significant depth to the Museum’s renowned holdings of Pennsylvania furniture and enrich its holdings of choice works made in New England. They enable the Museum to compare, for the first time, key achievements in different regional styles.

French Decorative Arts

The Museum has acquired a remarkable stained glass window by Jean Chastellain (French, active about 1517-d. 1542), head of one of the most important stained glass workshops in Paris active during the reign of King Francis I. Depicting The Adoration of the Magi, it was part of an innovative series of compositions devoted to the life and passion of Christ created around 1529 for a newly constructed chapel in the Temple Church, Paris. This large window is notable for the complex stained glass techniques used to create the brilliant colors and details of the figures, the shading of the draperies, and its sense of spatial depth. It was one of a number of stained glass windows made at the direction of the chapel’s donor, Philippe de Villiers de l’Isle Adam. He was the forty-fourth grand master of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, who had fought the Sultan Suleiman during the siege of Rhodes and who led the Knights to the island of Malta. The window is closely related to a painting of the same subject by Noël Bellemare (active Antwerp, Paris 1512-1546), executed for the same donor. When the church was demolished in 1796, the work was saved by Alexander Lenoir (1762-1839), founder of the Musée des monuments français, which was devoted to the preservation of monuments threatened by the French Revolution. The Adoration of the Magi, an outstanding addition to the Museum’s renowned collection of French Renaissance decorative arts, will be placed on view in Gallery 255 in early fall.


FADA names Contessa Gallery founder Steve Hartman president

New FADA president Steve Hartman, founder of Contessa Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio. FADA photo


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The Fine Art Dealers Association has named Steve Hartman, from Cleveland-based Contessa Gallery, as the new president of the board of directors. He will be focused on curating a new vision and expanding benefits of membership for the 27-year-old organization.

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Heritage Auctions nabs famous collection of mystery & detective books

Dashiell Hammett’s ‘Red Harvest’ is expected to sell for $30,000 or more. Heritage Auctions image


DALLAS – Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest is expected to be the leading feature in the KoKo Collection, part of the Sept. 14 Rare Books Auction at Heritage Auctions. Drawing on his experience as a Pinkerton operative, Hammett’s momentous debut novel, published in 1929, defined the archetype for the literary private investigator.

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Cristóbal de Villalpando paintings make US debut at Met Museum

Cristóbal de Villalpando (c. 1649-1714), ‘Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus’ (detail), 1683, oil on Canvas. Col. Propiedad de la Nación Mexicana, Secretaría de Cultura, Dirección General de Sitios y Monumentos del Patrimonio Cultural Acervo de la Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción, Puebla, Mexico


NEW YORK – Cristóbal de Villalpando (c. 1649–1714) emerged in the 1680s not only as the leading painter in viceregal Mexico, but also as one of the most innovative and accomplished artists in the entire Spanish world. Opening July 25 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition “Cristóbal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque” features his earliest masterpiece, a monumental painting depicting the biblical accounts of Moses and the brazen serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus, which was painted in 1683 for a chapel in Puebla Cathedral.

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Round barns becoming scarce landmarks in rural America

The Thomas Ranck Round Barn along Fayette-Wayne County Line Road in Fayette County, Indiana. The barn is on the National Register of Historic Places. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


WASHINGTON, Ind. (AP) – A picturesque century-old barn off Indiana 57 is part of a dwindling style of architecture that’s inspired books, road trips and at least one retirement project.

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Michael Jordan 1984 Olympics jersey auctioned for record $274K

Jersey worn at the 1984 Olympics (LA) by then-Team USA member Michael Jordan. Sold by Grey Flannel Auctions on June 22, 2017 for $294,000. Courtesy Grey Flannel Auctions


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A Michael Jordan Team USA jersey worn by the basketball legend in the 1984 Olympics has sold for a world-record auction price of $273,904. The jersey was the headline item in Grey Flannel Auctions’ 2017 Summer Games Auction, which closed for bidding in the early hours of June 22.

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David Webb frog bangle sells for $37,500 at Rago Arts & Auction Center


David Webb, enameled 18K yellow gold, diamond and ruby frog bracelet. Price realized: $37,500. Rago Arts and Auction Center image


LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Rago Arts and Auction Center conducted two highly successful auctions in June. The June 11 fine jewelry auction featured a David Webb enameled 18K yellow gold, diamond and ruby frog bracelet that sold for $37,500. Absentee and Internet bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers. Read more

Rail travel, Porsche, propaganda subjects of Onslows poster auction July 7

Fortunino Matania (1881-1963), ‘Southport (The Lido),’ original poster printed for London Midland & Scottish Railway by London Lithographic, circa 1931, 102 x 126 cm. Estimate £8,000-£9,000. Onslows image


STOURPAINE, UK – A sizzling selection of vintage posters comes under the online hammer July 7 at Onslows auction house. The poster specialist’s summer sale will offer some rare and stunning railway posters including Matania’s London Midland & Scottish Railway beach posters for Southport and Blackpool dating from 1930 and 1938. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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