Chelsea Hotel Owner’s Fabled Art Collection, Rediscovered Rodin, and More Fresh News

Tom Wesselmann (American 1931-2004) “Study for Blue Nude #14.” Estimate $50,000-80,000. Image courtesy of Freeman’s


News and updates from around the arts and auction community:

  • The late Stanley Bard, co-owner of the Chelsea Hotel — New York’s legendary refuge for the avant-garde — was known for his generosity toward struggling artists. He also collected their artworks, long before they were famous. Bard’s collection will be auctioned May 16. [Read more from Robb Report]

  • Auguste Rodin’s newly rediscovered marble masterpiece titled Andromeda will be auctioned in Paris in May. The work has remained in the same family for approximately 130 years. [Read more from Channel NewsAsia]
  • How big is the art market? Is it getting bigger or smaller? This is the time of year the art world’s number-crunchers release reports that try to answer these tricky questions. [Read more from The New York Times]
  • She’s small but mighty, and experts say she could be worth $333,000 per inch. What is it? A 9-inch-tall marble sculpture from Ancient Turkey that’s valued at around $3 million. [Read more from AP/US News]

For more news and updates, follow LiveAuctioneers on Twitter and Facebook.

Kansas City museum opens expanded European art galleries

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opened the Bloch Galleries on March 11. Photo by Joshua Ferdinand


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has opened the Bloch Galleries in the museum’s original 1933 Beaux-Arts building, featuring the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.

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No Worries for Mad Cover Art, Tea Caddies I.D.’d as Chinese Treasures, and More Fresh News

Norman Mingo (1896-1980) original cover art for Mad magazine #121 (Sept. 1968) featuring Alfred E. Neuman being held aloft by the Beatles, Mia Farrow and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 23.75 x 31.75 inches. Image courtesy of Hake’s Americana


News and updates from around the arts and auction community:

  • The acknowledged master of Mad magazine cover art is Norman Mingo (1896-1980), but most collectors would never have a chance to acquire one of Mingo’s fantastic originals. Recently one of his best works, the Sept. 1968 Mad cover art showing the Beatles and their guru Alfred E. Neuman, appeared at auction. [Read more from Scoop]
  • Two containers used as humble tea caddies for the past 40 years were recently identified as 200-year-old Chinese treasures. Their true value was revealed when an auction-house appraiser visiting the residence took a closer look at them. [Read more from Christian Davies Antiques]

  • A pastor in the West African nation of Sierra Leone recently discovered a diamond the size of a hockey puck, weighing 706 carats. He turned over the diamond to Sierra Leone’s president and hopes its sale proceeds can be used to improve the plight of poverty-stricken villagers. [Read more from Associated Press]
  • An IOU signed by Alamo hero William B. Travis, is expected to make at least $75,000 at a Texas-themed auction on Friday in Dallas. The 1836 letter is part of a collection that includes 19th-century maps, books about early life in Texas, and documents signed by historical Texas figures. [Read more from the San Antonio Express-News]

For more news and updates, follow LiveAuctioneers on Twitter and Facebook.

Stolen Van Gogh paintings return to Amsterdam after 14 years

‘Seascape at Scheveningen’ (1882) is one of two Van Gogh paintings stolen from the Amsterdam museum in 2002. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


AMSTERDAM (AP) – Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in a smash-and-grab heist more than 14 years ago went back on display Tuesday at the Amsterdam museum dedicated to the Dutch master.

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Record numbers view Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Hirshhorn Museum

Installation view of ‘Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field’ (1965) in ‘Floor Show,’ Castellane Gallery, New York, 1965. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York


WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden welcomed more than 14,000 visitors through the free special exhibition “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” during its first week on view (Feb. 23–March 1). This period also saw a record-setting 32,500 visitors to the museum and sculpture garden, its highest attendance for those dates in almost 40 years.

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New self-portrait of Howard Hodgkin featured in National Portrait Gallery show

‘Portrait of the Artist Listening to Music’ by Howard Hodgkin (left) 2011-2016, courtesy Gagosian © Howard Hodgkin; and ‘Portrait of the Artist’ by Miriam Perez, courtesy Gagosian.


LONDON – A recently completed self-portrait by the late Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) will go on public display for the first time in a major new exhibition, “Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends,” at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Portrait of the Artist Listening to Music was completed by Hodgkin in late 2016 with the National Portrait Gallery exhibition in mind.

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Warhol’s Forbidden Portrait of Mao, Rare Gold Coin Found in Old Table, and More Fresh News

Portrait of Mao by Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s Hong Kong

News and updates from around the arts and auction community:

  • Once banned in China, Andy Warhol’s iconic portrait of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong will be auctioned in Hong Kong on April 2nd. The painting could very well end up in Mainland China if the right bidder steps up to pay the estimated auction price of $15 million. [Read more from Fortune]
  • A Pennsylvania bus driver hit the jackpot when he found a rare gold coin hidden behind the drawer of an old table he had been given. The valuable pre-Civil War coin is one of only a dozen or so known to exist. [Read more from Southern Chester County Weeklies]

  • Because she was a known target for bounty hunters, African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman rarely sat for photographic portraits. Now a rare, full-length photo of Tubman in her 40s has surfaced, and when it is auctioned later this month, it’s expected to attract a winning bid in the vicinity of $30,000. [Read more from Biography]
  • Police say a 70-pound popcorn ball that was swiped from a suburban Cleveland shop where it was going to be auctioned has been returned. Luckily, no bites were taken out of it. The oversized snack is said to be worth around $700. [Read more from Associated Press/US News]

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Police: Brady’s missing Super Bowl jerseys tracked to Mexico

Super Bowl LI MVP Tom Brady in a Dec. 18, 2016 photo taken by Jeffrey Beall. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license


BOSTON (AP) – Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey has been found in Mexico six weeks after it vanished from the Patriots’ locker room — but the mystery isn’t over.

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Tribal group says elimination of Bears Ears National Monument would be tragic

View looking north along Utah Highway 261 toward the Bears Ears. Natural Bridges National Monument is to the left of the image. U.S. Geological Survey image


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Members of a newly formed tribal advisory commission for the Bears Ears National Monument reminded Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a letter Friday that his agency must partner with them, and warned him that rescinding or shrinking the monument would be “absolute tragedies.”

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Auction of 887-Carat Emerald, Miami Beach Makeover, and More Fresh News

The 887-carat raw emerald known as La Gloria, one of the largest known rough emeralds from the Muzo mines of Colombia, is probably the largest such emerald in the United States. Image courtesy of Guernsey’s auction house


News and updates from around the arts and auction community:

  • A once-neglected strip of Miami Beach whose landscape consisted of decaying structures and empty lots is getting a glamorous makeover. The $1 billion project includes opulent hotels, condos and a performing arts center. [Read more from AP/CNBC]

  • Billionaires and crowned heads the world over agree: stamps are an indispensable part of a smart portfolio. Last week a new world record price was paid for a New Zealand stamp — a 1949 three-penny stamp commemorating the Royal Visit. [Read more from StuffNZ]
  • A bankrupt French company’s massive stock of antiquarian manuscripts will be auctioned in Paris later this year. There are thousands of valuable examples, including Einstein’s calculations and the Marquis de Sade’s writings. [Read more from The Art Newspaper]

For more news and updates, follow LiveAuctioneers on Twitter and Facebook.