RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announces that it has received a gift worth nearly $60 million, including a significant contribution to the museum’s expansion campaign and 15 paintings by prominent American artists.
LONDON (AP) – The 25-foot tall (7.6 meter) sculpture of a shark crashing through the roof of Magnus Hanson-Heine’s house in rural Oxford, England, is now a protected landmark – and he’s not happy about it.
LONDON – New research from Auction Technology Group plc (LON:ATG), the operator of the world’s leading marketplaces for curated online auctions, has found that one million tonnes of carbon emissions were saved in 2021 by the sale of just 15 item types at auctions run on its marketplaces globally. This is the equivalent of 50 million mature trees growing for one year and only accounts for 6% of the 9.5 million items sold across ATG’s platforms in the period.¹
MES AYNAK, Afghanistan (AP) – The ancient Buddha statues sit in serene meditation in the caves carved into the russet cliffs of rural Afghanistan. Hundreds of meters below lies what is believed to be the world’s largest deposit of copper. Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers are pinning their hopes on Beijing to turn that rich vein into revenue to salvage the cash-starved country amid crippling international sanctions.
The fighters standing guard by the rocky hillside may once have considered destroying the terracotta Buddhas. Two decades ago when the Islamic hard-line Taliban were first in power, they sparked world outrage by blowing up gigantic Buddha statues in another part of the country, calling them pagan symbols that must be purged. But now they are intent on preserving the relics of the Mes Aynak copper mine. Doing so is key to unlocking billions in Chinese investment, said Hakumullah Mubariz, the Taliban head of security at the site, peering into the remnants of a monastery built by first-century Buddhist monks.
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Skinner Auctioneers announces the appointment of interior designer Phillip Thomas as the auction house’s inaugural designer in residence, strengthening Skinner’s long-held relationship with Thomas. Having collaborated with him on a number of design events and sales since 2018, Thomas’ appointment demonstrates Skinner’s innovative approach to auctions as an avenue for interior design.
PALOS VERDES, Calif. – The Palos Verdes Art Center / Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education is currently showing Water, Earth & Fire, an exhibition celebrating ceramics as a powerful creative force and expressive mode of communication. It will run through April 16.
NEW YORK (AP) – A particularly prized copy of the first-ever Marvel comic book sold for more than $2.4 million in an online auction on March 18. Known as the Marvel Comics #1 “pay copy,” it’s “arguably one of the top three comic books in the world of comics collecting,” said Vincent Zurzolo, chief operating officer of ComicConnect. The New York-based auctioneer sold the book on St. Patrick’s Day for a bit under $2,427,800.
LOS ANGELES – Southern California homes formerly owned by supermodel Cindy Crawford and actress Brooke Shields have drawn interested buyers, with Crawford’s one-time Malibu property listing for $99.5 million and Shields’s Pacific Palisades residence selling for $7.4 million.
DALLAS (AP) – A group dedicated to finishing the work of World War II’s Monuments Men is betting on a deck of playing cards – and reward money – to help find missing works of art taken by the Nazis. Inspired by the U.S. military’s history of creating playing cards related to missions, the Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art on March 23 announced the creation of the deck focusing on works – including paintings, sculptures and reliquaries – they believe still exist.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard Art Museums have received a gift of 21 works of 18th-century American silver from the collection of Daniel A. Pollack and Susan F. Pollack. The gift comprises a range of vessels and table implements intended for domestic use, including cups, bowls, spoons, tankards and teapots crafted by noted silversmiths from Boston, New York and Philadelphia.