Banderas plays Picasso, a complex hometown hero, in ‘Genius’

Antonio Banderas stars as Pablo Picasso in Season 2 of National Geographic’s Genius. Image: National Geographic/Dusan Martincek

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Antonio Banderas, who shares his birthplace with Pablo Picasso, decided it finally was time to portray his hometown hero. But he leaves it to viewers of National Geographic’s drama series “Genius: Picasso” to reconcile the artist’s revelatory work with his treatment of the women who helped inspire it.

Read more

Lindsay Pollock named Chief Communications Officer at Whitney

Lindsay Pollock. Image courtesy of The Whitney

NEW YORK – The Whitney Museum of American Art is pleased to announce the appointment of Lindsay Pollock as Chief Communications and Content Officer. She joins the museum on May 7.

Read more

In Memoriam: Things to remember about Barbara Bush, 92

1989 photo of first lady Barbara Bush (1925-2018), by David Valdez. Image courtesy of White House Photo Office

HOUSTON (AP) – Beloved former first lady Barbara Bush, wife of the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, died yesterday at age 92. Here is a look back at several things to know about the life of the woman known as “America’s matriarch”:

LITERACY EFFORTS

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years with a goal to improve the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. The foundation partners with local programs and had awarded more than $40 million to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide as of 2014. “Focusing on the family is the best place to start to make this country more literate, and I still feel that being more literate will help us solve so many of the other problems facing our society,” she wrote in her 1994 memoir.

HISTORY

Barbara Pierce Bush was a descendant of Thomas Pierce Jr., an early New England colonist, and was also related to the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce. She was the second woman in U.S. history to be both a wife and mother of a U.S. president. Her husband, George H.W. Bush, was the nation’s 41st president, while her son George W. Bush, one of the couple’s six children, was the 43rd president. Abigail Adams was the wife of the second president, John Adams, and mother of the sixth president, John Quincy Adams.

THE WHITE HAIR

Her brown hair began to gray in the 1950s, while her 3-year-old daughter Pauline, known to her family as Robin, underwent treatment for leukemia. The child died in October 1953. Bush eschewed dying her hair, which ultimately turned white. She later said dyed hair didn’t look good on her and credited the color to the public’s perception of her as “everybody’s grandmother.” Her son George said a “crowning achievement” of his father, who was fond of coming up with nicknames for friends and family, was anointing Barbara, “The Silver Fox.”

THE PEARLS

Her triple-strand false pearl necklace sparked a national fashion trend when she wore them to her husband’s inauguration in 1989. The pearls became synonymous with Bush, who later said she selected them to hide the wrinkles in her neck. The candid admission only bolstered her common-sense and down-to-earth public image. A version of the necklace, “the famous triple strand, hand-knotted on a gold-toned clasp,” was even available for $125 at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University.

THE TEMPER

George W. Bush noted in his post-presidency book, Decision Points, that he inherited a quick, blunt temper from his mother. His wife Laura said her mother-in-law “managed to insult nearly all of my friends with one or another perfectly timed acerbic comment.” Barbara Bush kept her sarcasm under wraps in public, though one noted slip came in 1984, when her husband was running for re-election as vice president with President Ronald Reagan. Their Democratic challengers, Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro, questioned if wealthy people like the Bushes could relate to average Americans. An irritated Barbara Bush told a reporter that Ferraro was a “$4 million — I can’t say it — but it rhymes with rich.” Bush later said she meant “witch” and apologized; Ferraro accepted the apology.

______

By MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Auction of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s personal items earns $909,000

Margaret Keane portrait of Zsa Zsa Gabor, sold for $45,000. Heritage Auctions image

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Costumes, memorabilia and other items owned by late actress Zsa Zsa Gabor have sold at auction for more than $900,000.

Read more

Thomas Bompard appointed Chairman of Sotheby’s West Coast

 

Thomas Bompard, newly appointed Chairman of Sotheby’s West Coast. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

LOS ANGELES – Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) has announced that Thomas Bompard, one of the company’s leading specialists in Impressionist & Modern Art, will relocate from London to Los Angeles, where he will begin a new role as Chairman of Sotheby’s West Coast, and Senior Specialist in the Fine Art Division. Bompard joins an impressive team in Los Angeles and San Francisco and expands the range of expertise and services available to Sotheby’s clients in the region.

Read more

In Memoriam: British abstract artist Gillian Ayres, 88

 

Gillian Ayres (British, 1930-2018), Waterfront, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Bloomsbury Auctions

LONDON (AP) – British artist Gillian Ayres, whose abstract works celebrated shape and color, has died at 88.

Read more

Max Hollein named next director of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Max Hollein speaking at the 2015 opening of the Monet exhibition at Stadel Museum. Photo by Strandgut87, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

NEW YORK – The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Max Hollein has been elected its next Director. Hollein currently leads the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. After beginning his career at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, he was Director and CEO of three of Germany’s most prestigious art institutions, including the Städel Museum, Frankfurt. An accomplished curator and museum leader, Mr. Hollein has demonstrated exceptional skill at building collections, diversifying audiences, and broadening institutional development. He was elected at a meeting of the Board of Trustees today and will assume the directorship of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the summer of 2018.
Read more

Russell Crowe’s $104K violin high note of Sydney auction

Violin by Leandro Bisiach Sr (1864-1946), Milan, marked 1890, used by Russell Crowe as the character “Captain Jack Aubrey” in the 2003 film Master and Commander. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – A 128-year-old Italian violin that Russell Crowe learned to play in a few months before he starred in the 19th century war drama “Master and Commander” stole the show among movie memorabilia on offer at the Oscar-winning actor’s auction.

Read more

Wyeth Foundation issues $1M grant to art museum

Artist Jaime Wyeth. Image courtesy Monhegan Museum of Art & History

MONHEGAN ISLAND, Maine (AP) – An art museum in Maine has received a $1 million grant from the Wyeth Foundation and will have three years to match the grant.

Read more

Leonard Bernstein, social activist, is focus of new exhibit

Leonard Bernstein, 1973 photo by Allan Warren, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – In October 1979, Leonard Bernstein received a fan letter from a high school humanities teacher. Helen Morgan wrote to the celebrity composer-conductor-pianist in hopes he could share the theme that guided his compositions — something she could pass along to her students for inspiration.

Read more