22.4.11

SOTHEBY'S TO SELL RARE 10.99 CARAT PINK DIAMOND


SOTHEBY'S GENEVA ANNOUNCED RECENTLY THAT IT WILL PRESENT AN IMPORTANT PINK DIAMOND, WEIGHING 10.99 CARATS IN ITS SALE OF MAGNIFICENT & NOBLE JEWELS ON 17.MAY, SIX MONTHS AFTER THE RECORD BREAKING SALE OF THE GRAFF DIAMOND, THE MOST EXPENSIVE DIAMOND AND JEWEL EVER SOLD AT AUCTION. COMMENTING OF THE FORTHCOMING SALE, DAVID BENNETT, CHAIRMAN OF SOTHEBY'S JEWELRY DEPARTMENT FOR EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST SAID: 'I DO NOT REMEMBER THE MARKET FOR COLOURED DIAMONDS TO HAVE EVER BEEN AS STRONG AS IT IS TODAY. THIS WAS UNDERLINED BY THE UNPRECEDENTED RESULTS OF OUR LAST NOVEMBER SALE AND UNDOUBTEDLY INFLUENCED THE OWNER'S DECISION TO SELL THIS BEAUTIFUL PINK DIAMOND WHICH HAS NOT APPEARED ON THE MARKET FOR OVER 30 YEARS.' THE SUPERB STONE, MOUNTED AS A RING, HAS BEEN GRADED 'FANCY INTENSE PINK', NATURAL COLOUR AND VSI CLARITY BY THE GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA. IT HAS BEEN FURTHER ASSESSED TO BE PART OF A VERY RARE SUBGROUP OF DIAMONDS AS TYPE IIa AND COMPRISING LESS THAN 2% OF ALL OF THE WORLD'S GEM DIAMONDS. THE BEAUTY AND RARITY OF THE STUNNING DIAMOND ALSO LIES IN ITS CUT AND SHAPE. IT FEATURES A CLASSIC EMERALD CUT, A STYLE OF CUTTING NORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH WHITE DIAMONDS AND IMMENSELY SOUGHT-AFTER WHEN FOUND IN THE RARE COLOURS SUCH AS PINK AND BLUE. ESTIMATED AT $9-$12 MILLION, THE STONE IS BEING OFFERED FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTOR.

20.4.11

V&A ACQUIRE RARE OTTOMAN EMPIRE JADE TANKARD


A RARE JADE TANKARD INLAID WITH GOLD AND STUDDED WITH RUBIES AND EMERALDS HAS BEEN ACQUIRED BY THE V&A. THE TANKARD WAS ORIGINALLY MADE FOR AN OTTOMAN SULTAN IN THE LATE 16th CENTURY, IN THE IMPERIAL CAPITAL OF ISTANBUL. A LIMITED NUMBER OF THESE OBJECTS WERE PRODUCED AND THIS IS THE FIRST EXAMPLE TO ENTER A BRITISH NATIONAL COLLECTION. THE TANKARD WAS OFFERED TO THE V&A PARTLY THROUGH THE ACCEPTANCE IN LIEU (AIL) SCHEME. THE ART FUND GAVE £220,000 TOWARDS TO PURCHASE, WHICH INCLUDED A CONTRIBUTION FROM THE WOLFSON FOUNDATION. IT COST A TOTAL OF £477,500. THE TANKARD IS A SPECTACULAR EXAMPLE OF HOW THE OTTOMAN COURT BORROWED FORMS FROM EVERYDAY LIFE AND TURNED THEM INTO STUNNING LUXURY ITEMS. ITS SHAPE IS BASED ON THE INDIGENOUS DRINKING VESSELS USED IN A VARIETY OF BEVERAGES INCLUDING BOZA, THE FERMENTED MILLET DRINK STILL POPULAR IN ANATOLIA AND THE BALKANS. HOWEVER, INSTEAD OF WOOD OR LEATHER, IT IS MADE FROM JADE, WHICH HAD TO BE IMPORTED AT HIGH COST, OVER A GREAT DISTANCE FROM CENTRAL ASIA. BY THE 1560s, THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE WAS ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT POWERS, AND THE SULTANS WHO RULED IN THE FOLLOWING DECADES NO LONGER FELT THE NEED TO BORROW ARTISTIC IDEAS FROM THEIR RIVALS. INSTEAD, THEY CELEBRATED THEIR REGIONAL SUPREMACY BY ADOPTING LOCAL FORMS AND RECREATING THEM IN LUXURY MATERIALS FOR USE IN COURT. THIS PARTICULAR TANKARD HAS A DISTINCTIVE FORM, POT-BELLIED IN FRONT AND FLAT AT THE BACK, WHICH SUGGESTS IT HAD A LEATHER PROTOTYPE. IT IS DECORATED WITH A GOLD WIRE INLAY AND GEMSTONE SETTINGS, ARRANGED IN A PATTERN OF FLORAL SPRAYS, WITH A VASE MOTIF ON THE FRONT. IT WAS THE CUSTOM TO SET OBJECTS OF ALL KINDS WITH RUBIES AND OTHER GEMSTONES TO MARK THEM OUT AS COURT OBJECTS. AROUND 1800, THE TANKARD WAS FURTHER EMBELLISHED WITH GOLD FITTINGS IN THE ROCOCO STYLE, CONSISTING OF GEMSET GOLD MOUNTS AROUND THE FOOT, THE RIM AND THE LID AND THE DISTINCTIVE CURVED HANDLE. SIR MARK JONES, DIRECTOR OF THE V&A SAID: 'THIS TANKARD IS A SPLENDID EXAMPLE OF OTTOMAN ART. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE V&A OR ANY OTHER COLLECTION IN BRITAIN.'

19.4.11

CONTROVERSIAL ARTWORK DAMAGED BY ASSAILANT


POLICE QUESTIONED WITNESSES ON MONDAY IN THEIR SEARCH FOR A MAN WHO TOOK A HAMMER TO A CONTROVERSIAL PHOTOGRAPH OF A CRUCIFIX BATHED IN URINE AT AN ART EXHIBITION IN AN AVIGNON MUSEUM. THE MODERN ART MUSEUM, THE COLLECTION LAMBERT, IN SOUTHERN FRANCE, SAID AN ASSAILANT DESTROYED THE PHOTOGRAPH BY AMERICAN ARTIST ANDRES SERRANO, 'IMMERSION (PISS CHRIST)' ON SUNDAY AND APPARENTLY ACCIDENTALLY DAMAGED ANOTHER OF THE ARTIST'S WORKS WHILE STRUGGLING WITH A GUARD. IT WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY CLEAR WHETHER THE ASSAILANT WAS PART OF A DEMONSTRATION A DAY EARLIER BY A RIGHT-WING GROUP DENOUNCING THE 1987 PHOTOGRAPH AS BLASPHEMOUS AND DEMANDING ITS REMOVAL FROM THE EXHIBITION, ENTITLED 'I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES'. ACCORDING TO POLICE, CITING WITNESSES, TWO PEOPLE TRIED TO ENTER THE MUSEUM LATE SUNDAY MORNING CARRYING A CAN OF SPRAY PAINT AND A CHISEL IN THEIR JACKETS. THE GUARD REMOVED THE OBJECTS, JUST AS A THIRD PERSON TOOK A HAMMER TO 'IMMERSION'. THE ATTACKER STRUGGLED WITH A GUARD, BUT HELPED BY AN ACCOMPLICE, MANAGED TO ESCAPE, POLICE SAID. IN THE STRUGGLE, HE APPARENTLY DAMAGED ANOTHER WORK, 'THE CHURCH (SISTER JEANNE-MYRIAM)', WHICH SHOWS A NUN PRAYING. THE MUSEUM'S DOORS WERE SHUT MONDAY FOR ITS WEEKLY CLOSING. HOWEVER, IT SAID IT WILL REOPEN TUESDAY WITH THE DESTROYED WORKS ON DISPLAY SO THAT THE PUBLIC CAN VIEW THE DAMAGE. THE MUSEUM CLOSED EARLY SUNDAY BECAUSE OF PROTEST OF THE PROTEST. SERRANO MADE THE CONTROVERSIAL WORK BY PLACING A CRUCIFIX IN URINE AND BLOOD, AND IT HAD DRAWN CRITICISM IN THE PAST FROM SOME CHRISTIAN GROUPS. YOUNG FAR-RIGHT CHRISTIAN ACTIVISTS FROM THE GENERAL ALLIANCE AGAINST RACISM AND FOR THE RESPECT OF THE FRENCH AND CHRISTIAN IDENTITY IS THE COLLECTION LAMBERT TO COURT WEDNESDAY TO TRY TO HAVE THE CRUCIFIX PHOTOGRAPH REMOVED FROM THE EXHIBIT. THE GROUP DENOUNCED THE PHOTOGRAPH ON ITS WEBSITE, SAYING IT 'INSULTS AND INJURES CHRISTIANS AT THE HEART OF THEIR FAITH'. THE EXHIBIT OPENED 12.DECEMBER.2010 AND IS TO RUN UNTIL 8.MAY.

18.4.11

GLENMORANGIE PRIDE


SCOTTISH DISTILLER GLENMORNGIE HAVE CREATED AN EXCLUSIVE NEW LIMITED EDITION SINGLE MALT CALLED GLENMORANGIE PRIDE. THE WHISKEY IS AGED 28 YEARS, FIRST IN BOURBON BARRELS FOR 18 YEARS AND A FURTHER 10 YEARS IN BARRELS PREVIOUSLY USED TO AGE CHATEAU D'YQUEM SAUTERNE WINE. ONLY ONE THOUSAND DECANTER WILL BE MADE AND COME IN A SPECIALLY DESIGNED WOODEN BOX.

GEORGE WASHINGTON LIBRARY BREAKS GROUND AT MOUNT VERNON


IT WAS ONE OF THE FEW THINGS GEORGE WASHINGTON WANTED TO DO BUT NEVER GOT AROUND TO: BUILD A LIBRARY TO HOLD HIS OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL PAPERS. ON THURSDAY, MORE THAN 200 YEARS AFTER WASHINGTON WROTE OF THE IDEA, DIGNITARIES BROKE GROUND AT HIS MOUNT VERNON ESTATE ON A $47 MILLION PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY OF SORTS THAT THEY HOPE WILL EVOLVE INTO A 'THINK TANK' PROMOTING SCHOLARSHIP ABOUT ONE OF THE NATION'S FOUNDING FATHERS. THE ESTATE HOPES THE LIBRARY WILL BECOME A HOME TO A CENTRALIZED COLLECTION OF WASHINGTON'S PAPERS. THE PRESIDENT WROTE IN A 1797 LETTER, TWO YEARS BEFORE HIS DEATH, ABOUT A LIBRARY, SAYING HIS PAPERS WERE 'VOLUMINOUS AND MAY BE INTERESTING'. DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES SAID AT THURSDAY'S CEREMONIES THAT NO ONE DESERVES A PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY MORE THAN WASHINGTON. HIS LEADERSHIP AS PRESIDENT PROVIDES GUIDANCE EVEN TODAY, GATES SAID. GATES COMPARED WASHINGTON'S GUIDANCE DURING THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TO THE MODERN DILEMMA ABOUT HOW AMERICA SHOULD SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC-LEANING UPHEAVALS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. WASHINGTON, GATES SAID, WAS CAUGHT BETWEEN FRANCOPHILES LIKE THOMAS JEFFERSON WHO SAW A KINDRED SPIRIT BETWEEN FRENCH, AND AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARIES AND FEDERALISTS LIKE JOHN ADAMS AND ALEXANDER HAMILTON WHO WERE SHOCKED BY THE FRENCH REVOLUTION'S EXCESSES. ULTIMATELY, WASHINGTON EMBARKED ON A CAUTIOUS, PRAGMATIC STRATEGY THAT INCLUDED A DECLARATION OF NEUTRALITY TOWARD FRANCE AND STRUCK A PEACE TREATY WITH THE BRITISH LEADING SOME TO CONCLUDE WASHINGTON WAS 'SELLING OUT THE SPIRIT OF 1776', GATES SAID. 'FROM OUR EARLIEST DAYS AMERICAN LEADERS HAVE STRUGGLED WITH REALISTIC VERSUS IDEALISTIC APPROACHES' TO FOREIGN POLICY, GATES ADDED. THE LESSON FROM WASHINGTON, HE SAID, IS THAT 'WE ARE COMPELLED TO DEFEND OUR SECURITY AND INTERESTS IN WAYS THAT IN THE LONG RUN LEAD TO THE SPREAD OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS.' THE BUILDING WILL BE CALLED THE FRED W SMITH NATIONAL LIBRARY FOR THE STUDY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. MOUNT VERNON DIRECTOR JAMES REES SAID THE TERM 'PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY' COULD MISLEAD PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING THAT THE MOUNT VERNON LIBRARY WILL RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDING, AS MODERN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES DO THROUGH THEIR ASSOCIATION WITH THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES. THE MOUNT VERNON LADIES' ASSOCIATION, WHICH HAS RUN THE ESTATE SINCE PURCHASING IT FROM THE WASHINGTON FAMILY IN 1858, HAS NEVER ACCEPTED GOVERNMENT FUNDS. THE BIGGEST CHUNK OF MONEY FOR THE LIBRARY CAME FROM THE LAS VEGAS-BASED DONALD W REYNOLDS FOUNDATION, WHICH CONTRIBUTED $38 MILLION. FRED W SMITH, THE FOUNDATION'S CHAIRMAN, HAS BEEN A MOUNT VERNON SUPPORTER SINCE 2001, AFTER BECOMING INVOLVED IN EFFORTS TO KEEP A FAMOUS PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON FROM BEING SOLD AT PRIVATE AUCTION. REES SAID THE LIBRARY WILL ALLOW THE ESTATE TO EXPAND ITS EXISTING TEACHER-TRAINING PROGRAMS AND HOST SEMINARS FOR GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS GROUPS ON TOPICS LIKE WASHINGTON'S VISION OF LEADERSHIP. THE ESTATE HAS NOT COMPLETED ITS FUNDRAISING. IT HAS SO FAR RAISED ABOUT $70 MILLION OF THE $100 MILLION THAT WILL BE NEEDED TO BUILD AND ENDOW THE LIBRARY, REES SAID. COMPLETION IS SCHEDULED FOR 2013.

16.4.11

SOTHEBY'S SELLS PAINTING ONCE OWNED BY BARYSHNIKOV


A 19th CENTURY PAINTING OF ST. PETERSBURG THAT MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV PURCHASED DECADES AGO, AND DEPICTING THE RUSSIAN CITY HE LOVED, WAS AUCTIONED RECENTLY FOR $746,500 TO BENEFIT THE FAMOUS DANCER'S NEW YORK CITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SOTHEBY'S SALE WILL GO TOWARD NEW PROGRAMMING AT THE BARYSHNIKOV ARTS CENTER. A GERMAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR PLACED THE WINNING BID BY TELEPHONE FOR 'VIEW OF ST PETERSBURG' BY PETER PETROVICH VERESHCHAGIN. THE PRE-SALE ESTIMATE FOR THE STUNNING CITYSCAPE WAS $300,000 TO $500,000. BARYSHNIKOV RECENTLY DONATED THE PAINTING TO THE CENTER'S FOUNDATION SO IT COULD SELL IT TO RAISE MONEY TO DEVELOP NEW PROGRAMMING FROM THEATER DIRECTORS, MUSICIANS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS. BARYSHNIKOV SERVES AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER THAT HE FOUNDED IN 2005 AS A 'CREATIVE LABORATORY' AND PERFORMANCE SPACE FOR MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. IT HOUSES FOUR STUDIOS, A STUDIO THEATER AND A 232-SEAT JEROME ROBBINS THEATER IN MANHATTAN's HELL's KITCHEN, OFFERING PERFORMANCES IN CHAMBER MUSIC, DANCE, THEATER AND VISUAL ARTS AND FILM SCREENINGS. IN A RECENT INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, BARYSHNIKOV SAID HE PURCHASED THE PAINTING AT A HELSINKI GALLERY AROUND 1978. WHILE IT HELD SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE 'SPENT THE BEST OF MY YOUTH' IN ST PETERSBURG, HE FELT THE MONEY FROM THE SALE COULD BE USED TO PRODUCE NEW ART AT HIS CENTER. 'THAT'S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN A LOOK BACK AND BEING NOSTALGIC ABOUT THE PAST', HE SAID. BARYSHNIKOV SAID HIS NONPROFIT ARTS CENTER DID NOT YET HAVE AN ENDOWMENT AND RELIED ON DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS AND CORPORATIONS. HE HAS ALREADY DONATED HUNDREDS OF WORKS FROM HIS EXTENSIVE 19th-20th CENTURY ART COLLECTION TO THE FOUNDATION BUT SAID THE VERESHCHAGIN WORK WAS THE FIRST TO BE SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ORGANIZATION. EVENTUALLY, BARYSHNIKOV SAID HE PLANNED TO DONATE ALL HIS ARTWORKS TO THE FOUNDATION.

15.4.11

CHRISTIE'S TO SELL NEWLY DISCOVERED ROTHKO PAINTING


CHRISTIE'S ANNOUNCES THE AUCTION OF A PREVIOUSLY UNDOCUMENTED MASTERPIECE BY THE GREAT ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MARK ROTHKO, TO BE OFFERED AS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE AT CHRISTIE'S NEW YORK ON 11.MAY. THE BOLDLY COLOURED 1961 PAINTING UNTITLED #17 COMES TO AUCTION WITH AN ESTIMATE OF $18,000,000-$20,000,000. THE PRESENT OWNER OF UNTITLED #17 ACQUIRED THE WORK DIRECTLY FROM ROTHKO, AND THE WORK HAS REMAINED IN PRIVATE HANDS SINCE 1965. IT IS ONE OF ONLY 10 PAINTINGS THAT HAVE COME TO LIGHT SINCE THE ROTHKO CATALOGUE RAISONNE WAS PUBLISHED IN 1998. THE DISCOVERED WORK WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE SUPPLEMENT TO THE CATALOGUE RAINSONNE. DAVID ANFAM, AUTHOR OF THE CATALOGUE RAINSONNE, MARK ROTHKO THE WORKS ON CANVAS, HAS WRITTEN A TEXT ON THE PAINTING AND HAS NOTED: 'RECENTLY COME TO LIGHT AFTER AN EXTENDED PERIOD IN PRIVATE HANDS, UNTITLED #17 FITS SQUARELY AMONG THE 22 HITHERTO DOCUMENT OILS ON CANVAS FROM 1961. LARGE, CLASSIC CANVASES THAT MANAGED TO ELUDE MY CATALOGUE RAINSONNE ARE UNCOMMON, AND MOST WELCOME. AT ITS PUBLICATION IN 1998, I COMPARE THE CATALOGUE RAINSONNE PROJECT TO A SORT OF HOMECOMING, FOR A FAMILY OF WORKS THAT HAD BEEN SCATTERED AROUND THE WORLD BY TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCE INTO PUBLIC, PRIVATE AND EVEN FORGOTTEN PLACES. ABSENT FROM MY PAGES THEN, THE REDISCOVERY OF UNTITLED NO.17 ADDS ANOTHER INDELIBLE PRESENCE TO THE GREAT ROTHKO CANON.' ONE OF THE PRE-EMINENT ARTISTS IDENTIFIED WITH ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM, ROTHKO EVOLVED HIS CLASSIC STYLE AT THE END OF THE 1940s, CREATING LARGE-SCALE CANVASES IN WHICH FORM AND COLOUR ARE ONE. ALTHOUGH OTHERS HAVE DESCRIBED THESE WORKS IN PURELY FORMAL TERMS, ROTHKO SPOKE OF THEM AS 'INTIMATE AND INTENSE', AND SAID THEY WERE MEANT TO BE EXPERIENCED AT CLOSE QUARTERS, SO THAT THE VIEWER GETS THE FEELING OF BEING 'WITHIN THE PICTURE', PARTICIPATING IN ITS HUMAN 'POIGNANCY'. UNTITLED #17 WAS PAINTED AT THE END OF THE DECADE ROTHKO'S CLASSIC WORK, WHEN HE RECEIVED THE MAJOR COMMISSIONS FOR THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT, THE HOLYOKE CENTER AT HARVARD AND THE DE MENIL CHAPEL IN HOUSTON THAT ALTERED THE DIRECTION OF HIS OF HIS ART.

14.4.11

JEWELRY ONCE BELONGING TO POPE PAUL VI TO BE AUCTIONED


IN THE MOST UNLIKELY LOCATION OF A NORTH CAROLINA JEWELRY STORE NEAR THE BEACH, A LAVISHLY JEWELED CROSS AND A RING ONCE OWNED BY POPE PAUL VI SIT UNDER LOCK AND KEY, AWAITING TRANSFER TO AN EVEN LESS FAMILIAR VENUE FOR SYMBOLS OF ROMAN CATHOLIC AUTHORITY: AN eBAY AUCTION. THE ITEMS HAVE TURNED UP AT A WILMINGTON STORE OWNED BY A SOUTHERN BAPTIST WITH A FLAIR FOR SELF-PROMOTION. IT'S THE LATEST STOP IN A STRANGE JOURNEY INVOLVING LUMINARIES RANGING FROM UN SECRETARY GENERAL U THANT TO EVEL KNIEVEL, AND WHICH BEGAN WITH PAUL VI's NOVEL DECISION TO ALLOW SOME OF HIS JEWELRY TO BE SOLD TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY. ONE OF THE ITEMS IS A PECTORAL CROSS, GIVEN TO CLERGY WHO ATTAIN THE RANK OF BISHOP OR HIGHER TO SIGNIFY THEIR OFFICE. THE POPE'S DONATION WAS A TESTAMENT TO HIS WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD BY DE-EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF SUCH REGALIA. 'THIS IS NEW FOR ME', SAID JEWELRY STORE OWNER ALAN PERRY, WHO THINKS THE ITEMS MIGHT FETCH $800,000 TO $900,000 AT AUCTION. 'THAT'S WHY WE'RE GOING TO PUT IT UP ON eBAY. IT'S ONLY WORTH WHAT SOMEONE'S WILLING TO PAY FOR IT, AND eBAY MIGHT BA A GOOD MEASURE TO SEE IF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED.' PERRY WAS ENLISTED BY A WIDOW IN WILMINGTON WHOSE HUSBAND HAD BOUGHT THE RING AND CROSS IN THE 1970s. A NEW YORK FIRM HAD TRIED TO SELL THE ITEMS FOR $1.25 MILLION, BUT HADN'T BEEN ABLE TO FIND A BUYER. AFTER SERVING THE BOARD OF A LOCAL CHARITY WITH PERRY, THE WOMAN ASKED IF HE WOULD TRY HIS LUCK. IT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT HIS STORE, PERRY's EMPORIUM, HAS MADE HEADLINES. PERRY APPEARED ON ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA AFTER HE VOWED LAST YEAR TO REFUND THE COST OF JEWELRY BOUGHT OVER A TWO-WEEK PERIOD IF A CITY IN THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS HAD THREE INCHES OF SNOW ON CHRISTMAS. IT DID, AND HE PAID OUT ROUGHLY $400,000 THAT WAS COVERED BY INSURANCE. HE PLANS TO PUT THE CROSS AND RING ON PUBLIC DISPLAY STARTING 14.APRIL THROUGH HOLY WEEK WITH AN ARMED GUARD. THE VATICAN CONFIRMED THAT THE ITEMS ARE THE 'PERSONAL' RING AND PECTORAL CROSS OF PAUL VI. EACH POPE'S OFFICIAL RING IS SMASHED WITH A HAMMER WHEN HE DIES. PAUL VI IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED, PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE ENDURING POPULARITY OF THE PONTIFFS WHOSE REIGNS BRACKETED HIS. HE SUCCEEDED THE CHARISMATIC JOHN XXIII, WHO CALLED THE HISTORIC SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL. AFTER PAUL's DEATH IN 1978, THE NEXT POPE DIED ROUGHLY A MONTH LATER, TO BE FOLLOWED BY JOHN PAUL II, REVERED BY CATHOLICS AND NON-CATHOLICS AROUND THE WORLD. THE FIRST PONTIFF TO REALLY TRAVEL THE GLOBE, PAUL VI DONATED THE RING AND CROSS DURING A 1965 VISIT TO THE UN. HE INTENDED THE ITEMS TO BE AUCTIONED AND THE PROCEEDS USED TO RELIEVE HUMAN SUFFERING. THEY WERE BOUGHT IN 1967 FOR $64,000 BY CHICAGO JEWELER HARRY LEVINSON, WITH THE MONEY BEING SPLIT AMONG FOUR UN AGENCIES. THE ITEMS CHANGED HANDS SEVERAL TIMES AFTER THAT, INCLUDING A PERIOD WHEN THEY WERE OWNED BY EVEL KNIEVEL, ACCORDING TO A 2004 BIOGRAPHY OF THE DAREDEVIL, WHICH REFEREED TO THE ITEMS AS KNIEVEL's 'MOST EXTRAVAGANT JEWELRY PURCHASE' IN AN INVENTORY THAT ALSO INCLUDED A 13 CARAT DIAMOND RING SHAPED LIKE A MOTORCYCLE. POPE PAUL VI ALSO DONATED HIS PAPAL TIARA, THE THREE-TIERED CROWN SYMBOLIZING THE POPE's AUTHORITY, AS A FUNDRAISING TOOL TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AMERICA. IT REMAINS ON DISPLAY AT THE BASILICA OF THE NATIONAL SHRINE, AND NONE OF HIS SUCCESSORS HAVE BEEN CROWNED WITH TIARAS.

13.4.11

EDWARD M KENNEDY INSTITUTE FOR THE UNITED STATES BREAKS GROUND IN BOSTON


GROUND WAS BROKEN FOR THE EDWARD M KENNEDY INSTITUTE FOR THE UNITED STATES, SITUATED ON THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON. THE HISTORIC PROJECT WILL STAND BESIDE THE EXISTING JOHN F KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM, ENCOURAGING VISITORS TO EXPLORE BOTH BUILDINGS. THE NEW FACILITY WILL HOUSE PARTICIPATORY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO ENGAGE THE PUBLIC IN THE SYSTEMS OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND HEIGHTEN AWARENESS OF THE US SENATE'S ROLE IN THE GOVERNMENT. THE FACILITY WILL CONSIST OF ROUGHLY 40,000 SQUARE FEET OF PROGRAM SPACE, COMPRISED MAINLY OF CLASSROOM, EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS, AND A REPRESENTATION OF THE SENATE CHAMBER. THE INSTITUTE'S OVERALL SITE PLAN HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO WORK IN HARMONY WITH IM PEI'S NEIGHBORING JOHN F KENNEDY LIBRARY. THE DESIGN INCLUDES AN INNOVATIVE COMPOSITE CLADDING, WHICH WRAPS THE EXTERIOR OF THE CHAMBER REPRESENTATION. THE CLADDING IS VISUALLY SEPARATED FROM THE 1-STORY VOLUME BY A RIBBON SKYLIGHT, WHICH RUNS ABOVE THE GROUND-FLOOR EXHIBITION SPACE. THE COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT WILL BOAST A LARGE EXPANSE OF OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACE, GUIDING VISITORS TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE BUILDING. THE PUBLIC GREEN SPACE IS BORDERED BY TWO TRIANGULAR VOLUMES, WHICH DEFINE THE ENTRY TO THE BUILDING AND GEOMETRICALLY CONNECT THE INSTITUTE TO THE JOHN F KENNED LIBRARY. THE EXTERIOR OPEN SPACE IS A LINK BETWEEN THE INSTITUTE, THE JOHN F KENNEDY LIBRARY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON CAMPUS, WHILE ALSO ACTING AS A CONNECTION TO THE WATERFRONT AND BOSTON HARBOR WALK. THE ENTRANCE APPROACH IS DESIGNED TO INCORPORATE COMPONENTS FROM EACH OF THE 50 STATES AND ENHANCE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BUILDING AND THE ENTIRE NATION. THE SENATE CHAMBER REPRESENTATION IS THE HEART OF THE INSTITUTE, AND WILL FACILITATE INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING, SUCH AS AN IMMERSIVE MULTI-PLAYER SOCIAL EXPERIENCE, ACTIVATED BY 100 INTERACTIVE DESKS, BRINGING PARTICIPATING DEEP INSIDE THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH GAME DESIGNER ERIC ZIMMERMAN, THE ROLE-PLAYING EXPERIENCE WILL GUIDE GROUPS THROUGH HISTORICALLY ACCURATE EVENTS, WITH THE VISITORS DETERMINING THE OUTCOME. HIGHLY SOCIAL BY DESIGN, THE IMMERSIVE ACTIVITIES WILL ENABLE PARTICIPANTS TO ENGAGE IN NEGOTIATION, DEBATE, CAUCUSES AND VOTES. THE INSTITUTE WILL ALSO FEATURE A RECREATION OF THE ACTUAL OFFICE OF SENATOR KENNEDY.

12.4.11

MFA, BOSTON, TO PRESENT 'CHIHULY: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS'


GLASS ARTIST DALE CHIHULY SAYS HIS WELL OF INSPIRATION NEVER RUNS DRY, EVEN AFTER SOME 40 YEARS PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF HIS MEDIUM. 'JUST WORKING WITH THE MATERIAL BRINGS FORTH A LOT OF IDEAS, IN BOTH THE GLASS BLOWING AND IN WORKING WITH THE GLASS AFTER IT'S BEEN BLOWN', CHIHULY SAID ON THE SIDELINES OF HIS MAJOR NEW EXHIBIT AT BOSTON'S MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS. 'CHIHULY: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS', 12 INSTALLATIONS THAT LIVE UP TO THEIR ALICE IN WONDERLAND BILLING, OPENS ON 10.APRIL AND WILL RUN THROUGH AUGUST IN THE RECENTLY OPENED ART OF THE AMERICAS WING. THE EXHIBIT FEATURES A MIX OF NEW AND EARLY WORKS FROM CHIHULY, PERHAPS THE FOREMOST ARTIST NOW WORKING IN GLASS AND, WITH HIS DISTINCTIVE CURLY HAIR AND EYE PATCH, CERTAINLY THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE. THE INSTALLATIONS CONTAIN SOME 7,000 INDIVIDUAL PIECES, INCLUDING MILLE FIORI (ITALIAN FOR 'A THOUSAND FLOWERS'), A 58 FOOT LONG INSTALLATION DISPLAYED IN A DARKENED ROOM. NEODYMIUM REEDS ON LOGS IS A SERIES OF TALL, PURPLE GLASS RODS SET AGAINST FRESHLY-CUT MAINE BIRCH, WHILE PERSIAN CEILING EVOKES A MADLY COLOURED SEASCAPE. THE 42 FOOT TALL LIME GREEN ICICLE TOWER, INSTALLED IN A HIGH-CEILINGED COURTYARD, WEIGHS SOME 10,000 POUNDS AND COMPRISES OVER 2,300 INDIVIDUAL PIECES OF GLASS. 'I TEND TO DO THINGS ON A HUGE SCALE BECAUSE IT'S EXCITING. I LIKE TO PUSH THINGS IN NEW AND DIFFERENT WAYS', CHIHULY SAID. 'MY PHILOSOPHY IS: WHEN ONE IS GOOD, A DOZEN IS BETTER.' 'THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS' WAS SOME 18 MONTHS IN THE PLANNING AND CONCEPTION BEFORE ARRIVING IN BOSTON IN SIX GIANT CONTAINERS FOR A THREE-WEEK ASSEMBLY MARATHON. THE WORKS WERE CREATED IN CHIHULY'S TWO FACILITIES IN SEATTLE, THE BOATHOUSE, THE 'HOT SHOP' WHERE THE GLASS PIECES ARE BLOWN, AND THE BALLARD STUDIO, WHICH HAS 25 FOOT CEILINGS TO HELP PUT LARGE INSTALLATIONS TOGETHER. CHIHULY SAID HE DOESN'T TRY TO ANTICIPATE HOW VIEWERS WILL RESPOND TO HIS CREATIONS, BUT HOPES HIS WORK WILL LIFT UP THEIR SPIRITS. 'PEOPLE RESPOND TO THINGS IN A DIFFERENT WAY. IF YOU COULD RECORD WHAT PEOPLE WERE THINKING, THERE WOULD BE A TREMENDOUS VARIATION', HE SAID.

CHRISTIE'S TO SELL ELIZABETH TAYLOR'S COLLECTION



ELIZABETH TAYLOR'S RENOWNED COLLECTION OF JEWELRY, WORKS OF ART, CLOTHING AND MEMORABILIA WILL BE SOLD AT A SERIES OF AUCTIONS, CHRISTIE'S RECENTLY ANNOUNCED. 'CHRISTIE'S WILL BE SELLING THE HISTORIC COLLECTION OF ELIZABETH TAYLOR', WHO DIED LAST MONTH IN LOS ANGELES AGED 79, THE AUCTION HOUSE SAID IN A STATEMENT. TAYLOR'S POSSESSIONS WILL BE SOLD IN A SERIES OF SALES, DETAILS AND THE TIMING OF THE SALES WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DATE, IT SAID. STEPHEN LASH, CHAIRMAN EMERITUS OF CHRISTIE'S AMERICAS, AND MARC PORTER, CHAIRMAN OF CHRISTIE'S AMERICAS WORKED WITH TAYLOR AND HER FAMILY 'OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, AND ARE MOST HONORED TO HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH COLLECTION OF THIS WORLD RENOWNED FILM LEGEND, HUMANITARIAN AND TASTE MAKER', SAID THE STATEMENT. TAYLOR, KNOWN FOR HER BEAUTY, LOVE OF DIAMONDS, EIGHT MARRIAGES AND WORK AS AN AIDS ACTIVIST, DIED OF CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE IN LOS ANGELES ON 23.MARCH AND WAS BURIED THE FOLLOWING DAY. CHRISTIE'S STATEMENT REGARDING THE SALE OF ELIZABETH TAYLOR'S COLLECTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

'STEPHEN LASH, CHAIRMAN EMERITUS OF CHRISTIE'S AMERICAS, AND MARC PORTER, CHAIRMAN OF CHRISTIE'S AMERICAS, TODAY CONFIRMED THAT CHRISTIE'S WILL BE SELLING THE HISTORIC COLLECTION OF ELIZABETH TAYLOR, INCLUDING HER COLLECTION OF JEWELRY, WORKS OF ART, FASHION AND MEMORABILIA, IN A SERIES OF SALES THAT WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER THIS SEASON. FURTHER DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THAT TIME. MESSRS. LASH AND PORTER AND THEIR COLLEAGUES WORKED WITH ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND HER FAMILY OVER THAT PAST TWO DECADES AND ARE MOST HONORED TO HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH THE COLLECTION OF THIS WORLD RENOWNED FILM LEGEND, HUMANITARIAN AND TASTE MAKER.'

11.4.11

MFA, BOSTON, DISCOVERS PROVENANCE OF 17th CENTURY TAPESTRIES


PROVENANCE RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON (MFA), HAS RESULTED IN NEW DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE HISTORY OF OWNERSHIP OF FOUR 17th CENTURY TAPESTRIES IN THE MFA's COLLECTION. THE MUSEUM's RESEARCH REVEALED THAT THE TAPESTRIES, GIVEN TO THE MFA IN THE 1950s BY EUGENE GARBATY, A GERMAN JEWISH ART COLLECTOR AND REFUGEE, HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN A FORCED SALE IN 1935 OF THE STOCK OF THE ART DEALER MARGRAF & CO IN BERLIN, A FIRM RUN BY JAKOB AND ROSA OPPENHEIMER. THE MFA CONTACTED THE OPPENHEIMER HEIRS IN 2010 TO INFORM THEM OF THE DISCOVERY AND TO BEGIN SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS, WHICH CONCLUDED RECENTLY. THE FOUR TAPESTRIES (EACH MEASURING APPROXIMATELY 222 x 48 INCHES) WERE PART OF A LARGER SERIES THAT DEPICTED THE LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF POPE URBAN VIII. THE ENTIRE SERIES, BEGUN IN 1663 AND FINISHED IN 1679, WAS COMMISSIONED AFTER THE POPE'S DEATH BY HIS NEPHEW, CARDINAL FRANCESCO BARBERINI. THE TAPESTRIES HUNG IN THE BARBERINI PALACE IN ROME UNTIL THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY, WHEN THE SERIES WAS DISASSEMBLED AND SOLD. ORIGINALLY, THERE WERE 34 TAPESTRIES MADE OUT OF COLOURFUL WOOL AND SILK. AMONG THEM WERE 10 LARGER NARRATIVE PANELS, OF WHICH NINE ARE NOW IN THE VATICAN MUSEUM IN ROME, AND ONE IS IN THE MUSEES ROYAUX D'ART ET HISTOIRE IN BRUSSELS. THE SERIES ALSO INCLUDES 10 HORIZONTAL BORDER PANELS, CALLED FRIEZES, AND 14 VERTICAL BORDER PANELS, KNOWN AS PILASTERS. BY 1928, EIGHT OF THE PILASTERS FROM THE SERIES, INCLUDING THE FOUR AT THE MFA, WERE OWNED BY MARGRAF IN BERLIN. IN 1933, THE OPPENHEIMERS, WHO WERE JEWISH, FLED GERMANY TO AVOID NAZI PERSECUTION AND RELOCATED TO FRANCE. IN THEIR ABSENCE, THEY WERE FORCED OUT OF THEIR MANAGEMENT ROLES AT MAGRAF AND WERE FORBIDDEN FROM PERFORMING ANY LEGAL TRANSACTIONS FOR THE COMPANY. AS A WELL-KNOWN JEWISH BUSINESS, MARGRAF WAS DISSOLVED BY THE NAZI REGIME, ITS GALLERY STOCK SOLD OFF QUICKLY AND AT LOW PRICES IN A SERIES OF AUCTION HELD IN BERLIN IN 1935. THE EIGHT BARBERINI TAPESTRIES WERE INCLUDED IN THE MARGRAF LIQUIDATION SALE HELD AT THE AUCTION HOUSE PAUL GRAUPE ON 26-27.APRIL.1935. DISCOVERY OF THIS INFORMATION BY VICTORIA REED, THE MFA's MONICA S SADLER CURATOR FOR PROVENANCE, HELPED TO DETERMINE THAT THE TAPESTRIES WERE INCLUDED IN THE FORCED SALE, FROM WHICH THE OPPENHEIMERS WERE UNABLE TO REALIZE THE PROCEEDS. THE MUSEUM THEN CONTACTED THEIR HEIRS. JAKOB AND ROSA OPPENHEIMER LOST THEIR LIVES BEFORE THE END OF WORLD WAR II. AFTER THE WAR, THE BUSINESS SHARES IN MARGRAF WERE LEGALLY TRANSFERRED TO THEIR HEIRS, BUT ALMOST NONE OF THE GALLERY'S ARTWORK WAS RECOVERED.

9.4.11

CHRISTIE'S TO SELL WARHOL SELF-PORTRAIT


AN ANDY WARHOL SELF-PORTRAIT PURCHASED IN 1963 FOR $1,600 ON AN INSTALLMENT PLAN IS POISED TO FETCH $30 MILLION OR MORE WHEN IT GOES ON THE AUCTION BLOCK AT CHRISTIE'S IN MAY. 'SELF-PORTRAIT', A FOUR-PANEL ACRYLIC SILKSCREEN DEPICTING THE POP ARTIST WEARING A TRENCH COAT AND SUNGLASSES, IS BEING SOLD BY THE FAMILY OF DETROIT COLLECTOR FLORENCE BARRON. BARRON FIRST COMMISSIONED WARHOL TO PAINT HER PORTRAIT, BUT CHANGED HER MIND AND SUGGESTED THE YOUNG ARTIST DEPICT HIMSELF, TELLING HIM, 'NOBODY KNOWS ME...THEY WANT TO SEE YOU'. THE RESULT WAS WARHOL'S FIRST SELF PORTRAIT, FOUR IMAGES TAKEN IN A COIN-OPERATED PHOTO-BOOTH RENDERED IN HUES OF BLUE. 'MY MOTHER DIDN'T LOOK AT COLLECTING IN TERMS OF 'IS THIS IMPORTANT OT NOT IMPORTANT', GUY BARRON TOLD REUTERS. SHE LOOKED AT IT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF WHAT RESONATED WITH HER, AND OF 'I WANT TO LIVE WITH IT', IT WAS NOT DONE AS SOME PEOPLE DO TODAY, AS WALL POWER.' THE PORTRAIT GRACED THE LIVING ROOM WALL OF THE FAMILY HOME IN DETROIT. IT ALSO WENT ON PUBLIC DISPLAY, SERVING AS THE COVER IMAGE FOR CATALOGS FROM MAJOR WARHOL EXHIBITIONS AND RETROSPECTIVES AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN NEW YORK AND THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM IN BILBAO, SPAIN. BRETT GORVY, CHRISTIE'S INTERNATIONAL CO-HEAD AND DEPUTY CHAIRMAN FOR POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART, SAID THE WORK MARKED THE BEGINNING OF WARHOL'S OWN STARDOM. 'WITH DARK GLASSES AN OBLIVIOUS GAZE, WARHOL WAS AHEAD OF HIS TIME IN CREATING A NEW ARCHETYPE OF GLAMOR', GORVY SAID. 'THE PAINTING IS REMARKABLE NOT ONLY FOR ITS VISUAL IMPACT AND THE INTRODUCTION OF THE PHOTO-BOOTH GENRE, BUT FOR MARKING A KEY MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF ART, WHEN WARHOL TAKES HIS PLACE IN THE PANTHEON OF CELEBRITY ALONGSIDE MARILYN, ELIZABETH AND ELVIS.' BARRON, WHOSE FAMILY INCLUDES TWO MARRIED SONS AND SEVERAL GRANDCHILDREN, SAID THEY WERE AUCTIONING THE WORK BECAUSE 'DIVIDING IS NOT POSSIBLE, SO SELLING MAKES THE MOST SENSE.' THE RECORD FOR A WARHOL SELF-PORTRAIT IS $32.6 MILLION SET LAST MAY AT SOTHEBY'S IN NEW YORK. THE RECORD PRICE FOR ANY WARHOL SOLD AT AUCTION IS 'GREEN CAR CRASH (GREEN BURNING CAR I)' WHICH CHRISTIE'S SOLD FOR $71.7 IN 2007.

BOUCHERON CIRQUE DU SOLEIL COLLECTION


PARISIAN LUXURY JEWELER BOUCHERON HAS RELEASED A STUNNING AND UNIQUE SERIES OF ONE OFF PIECES TO CELEBRATE THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL. THE SERIES FEATURES TWENTY DIFFERENT PIECES AND CELEBRATES TWENTY OF THE BEST SHOWS PUT ON BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL AROUND THE WORLD. EACH PIECE IS DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT AND USES A WIDE VARIETY OF GEMSTONES.



8.4.11

BROOCH THE BELONGED TO QUEEN VICTORIA SELLS FOR £11,400


A GOLD, ENAMEL AND GARNET BODICE BROOCH FROM 1830 THAT BELONGED TO QUEEN VICTORIA MADE FOURTEEN TIMES ITS PRE-SALE ESTIMATE AT BONHAMS JEWELRY SALE THAT TOOK PLACE YESTERDAY IN KNIGHTSBRIDGE. WITH A PRE-SALE ESTIMATE OF £600–800, THE BROOCH SOLD FOR £11,400. THE FINELY DETAILED BROOCH IS EMBELLISHED WITH GREEN AND RED ENAMEL, SET WITH CABOCHON GARNETS THAT SUSPEND AN ELONGATED DROP OF A SIMILAR DESIGN. THE BROOCH ORIGINALLY BELONGED TO VICTORIA, DUCHESS OF KENT, WHO ON HER DEATH IN 1861 LEFT HER JEWELRY TO HER DAUGHTER, QUEEN VICTORIA. QUEEN VICTORIA SUBSEQUENTLY GAVE THE BROOCH TO HER THIRD DAUGHTER HELENA, PRINCESS CHRISTIAN OF SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN, AS A PRESENT ON HER 24th BIRTHDAY IN 1870. THE REVERSE OF THE BROOCH HAS A SIMPLE, YET VERY PERSONAL ENGRAVING: 'BELONGED TO DEAR GRANDMAMMA V. FROM MAMA V.R. TO HELENA 25th MAY 1870'. ALTHOUGH PRINCESS HELENA MARRIED THE GERMAN PRINCE CHRISTIAN OF SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN IN 1866, THEY REMAINED IN BRITAIN CLOSE TO THE QUEEN, WHO LIKED TO HAVE HER DAUGHTERS NEARBY. HELENA WAS CONSIDERED THE MOST ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, CARRYING OUT AN EXTENSIVE PROGRAM OF ROYAL ENGAGEMENTS. SHE WAS ALSO A COMMITTED PATRON OF CHARITIES, AND WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE RED CROSS. SHE WAS ALSO THE ORIGINAL PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL SCHOOL OF NEEDLEWORK, AND PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL BRITISH NURSES' ASSOCIATION.

HERMES TO LAUNCH FURNISHINGS COLLECTION


THE ICONIC LUXURY DESIGN HOUSE HERMES HAS ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL LAUNCH ITS FIRST FURNITURE COLLECTION DURING THE SALONE DEL MOBILE, RUNNING 12-17.APRIL. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PIERRE-ALEXIS DUMAS HAS TEAMED UP WITH DESIGNERS INCLUDING ENZO MARI, DENIS MONTEL AND ANTONIO CITTERIO TO CREATE FURNISHINGS, FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN SELECT HERMES BOUTIQUES THIS FALL. IN ADDITION, AS PART OF A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH ITALIAN MANUFACTURER DEDAR, HERMES WILL PRESENT A RANGE OF HOME FABRICS, WALLPAPER AND CARPETS. UNDER THE LABEL OF NEWLY FORMED VENTURE FAUBOURG ITALIA, THE LINE WILL GO ON SALE IN HERMES AS WELL AS DEDAR BOUTIQUES IN MAY.

7.4.11

ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE


THE ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM, BOSTON, ANNOUNCED THE LAUNCH OF A NEWLY DESIGNED EXPLORATORY WEBSITE. IN ADDITION TO STRUCTURAL AND NAVIGATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS, THE MUSEUM'S NEW WEBSITE AIMS TO ENGAGE ONLINE VISITORS WITH MEANINGFUL EXPLORATIONS THAT REFLECT THE UNIQUE, MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCES OF A PHYSICAL VISIT TO THE GARDNER MUSEUM AND ITS INTERIOR COURTYARD AND GALLERIES. THE SITE'S LANDING PAGE, ORGANIZED AROUND THE HISTORIC GALLERIES AND FLOORS OF THE MUSEUM, SHOWCASES A MOSAIC OF IMAGES LEADING TO A SELECTION OF ALMOST 300 OBJECTS OF ART, WHICH CAN BE UNDERSTOOD THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND HISTORIC MATERIAL. THE DESIGN FOR THE SITE DIMINISHES THE CONCEPT OF A TRADITIONAL HOMEPAGE BY INVITING VISITORS TO VIRTUALLY EXPLORE THE GALLERIES AND COLLECTION: TO LISTEN TO AUDIO; TO READ ARCHIVAL EXCERPTS; TO LOOK CLOSELY AT WORKS OF ART; AND TO DISCOVER DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE COLLECTION OR NEW WORKS BY VISITING CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS. THIS EXPLORATION IMPROVES ACCESSIBILITY TO THE GARDNER MUSEUM'S COLLECTION AND ENCOURAGES CONNECTIONS ACROSS MUSEUM DEPARTMENTS, PROGRAMS AND MEDIA THROUGH A USER-DRIVEN PATH THAT PROVIDES A PERSONALIZED WEB EXPERIENCE. THE NEW WEBSITE AT www.gardnermuseum.org WAS LAUNCHED ON 8.MARCH FOR A QUIET PHASE, FOLLOWING A YEAR OF CONCEPTUAL PLANNING AND DESIGN WORK WITH AWARD-WINNING WEB DESIGN FIRM TENDER CREATIVE, BASED IN NEW YORK. IN THE WEEKS SINCE ITS LAUNCH, www.gardnermuseum.org HAS SEEN AN INCREASE IN DAILY PAGE VIEWS OF ALMOST 100%.

CHRISTIE'S TO SELL STUBBS PAINTING FOR ESTIMATED £20 MILLION


CHRISTIE'S WILL OFFER A GEORGE STUBBS HORSE PAINTING FOR SALE IN LONDON ON 5.JULY AND EXPECTS IT TO MAKE MORE THAN £20 MILLION, POTENTIALLY PUTTING IT IN THE OLD MASTERS AUCTION ELITE. 'GIMCRACK ON NEWMARKET HEATH, WITH A TRAINER, A STABLE-LAD, AND A JOCKEY' WAS PAINTED BY STUBBS, RENOWNED FOR HIS ANATOMICALLY PRECISE PORTRAYALS OF HORSES, IN 1765, AND IS DESCRIBED BY THE AUCTIONEER AS 'A TRUE MASTERPIECE'. IT DEPICTS GIMCRACK, ONE OF THE MOST ADMIRED 18th CENTURY RACEHORSES WHICH WON 28 OF HIS 36 RACES AND FINISHED UNPLACED ONLY ONCE. THE PAINTING SHOWS GIMCRACK TWICE, IN THE BACKGROUND WINNING A 'TRIAL' AND IN THE FOREGROUND WITH HIS TRAINER AND JOCKEY, A STABLE LAD RUBBING HIM DOWN. SHOULD THE PAINTING EXCEED PRE-SALE EXPECTATIONS, IT WOULD PLACE STUBBS AMONG THE MOST VALUABLE OLD MASTER PAINTERS IN AUCTION HISTORY, ACCORDING TO CHRISTIE'S. THE MOST EXPENSIVE OLD MASTER PAINTING AT AUCTION REMAINS 'THE MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS' BY PETER PAUL RUBENS WHICH FETCHED £49.5 AT SOTHEBY'S IN 2002. THAT IS FOLLOWED BY TWO WORKS BY J.M.W. TURNER, A PAINTING BY PONTORMO AND IN FIFTH PLACE, REMBRANDT'S 'PORTRAIT OF A MAN WITH ARMS AKIMBO' WHICH SOLD FOR £20.2 MILLION AT CHRISTIE'S IN 2009.

6.4.11

NELSON-ATKINS TO PRESENT MONET 'WATER LILIES' TRIPTYCH


ONE OF IMPRESSIONIST MASTER CLAUDE MONET'S 'WATER LILIES' TRIPTYCHS, SEPARATED 50 YEARS AGO AND SOLD TO THREE MUSEUM, HAS BEEN REUNITED IN A MULTIFACETED EXHIBIT THAT HIGHLIGHTS NOT ONLY THE THREE-PANEL ARTWORK, BUT THE ARTIST TOO. 'I THINK ALL OF US THINK OF MONET AS THIS FATHER OF IMPRESSIONISM, AS THIS PAINTER WHO WAS SPONTANEOUS, WHO PAINTED OUTDOORS IN HIS GARDEN', SAID NICOLE MYERS, ASSOCIATE CURATOR AT THE NELSON-ATKINS MUSEUM OF ART, KANSAS CITY, MO, WHERE 'MONET'S WATER LILIES' OPENS 9.APRIL. 'THAT WAS CERTAINLY TRUE. HE PRESENTED HIMSELF THAT WAY PUBLICLY, REALLY TO THE END OF HIS LIFE.' BUT MONET HAD ANOTHER SIDE THAT'S ALSO DETAILED IN THE EXHIBITION, WHICH ENDS 7.AUGUST BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE ST LOUIS ART MUSEUM AND THEN TO THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. 'WITH THESE LATER PAINTINGS FROM THE 20th CENTURY THAT HE'S WORKING ON, YOU SEE THE SORT OF OBSESSIVE, ALMOST OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE, ARTIST WHO CAME INDOORS AND WORKED TIRELESSLY MAKING REVISIONS AGAIN AND AGAIN IN THIS KIND OF OBSESSIVE WAY', SHE SAID. IT'S UNCLEAR IF MONET EVER CONSIDERED THE THREE PANELS FINISHED, SHE SAID. 'AND IT REALLY BLOWS OUT OF THE WATER THIS IMPRESSION WE HAVE OF THIS MAN WHO JUST SORT OF DASHED OFF HIS FIRST THOUGHTS AND LEFT THINGS ALONE. HE WORKED ON THEM ALMOST CONSISTENTLY FROM 1915 TO 1926', MYERS SAID. THE THREE PANELS, EACH 6 FOOT TALL AND 14 FEET WIDE, LANGUISHED IN MONET'S STUDIO AT GIVERNY OUTSIDE PARIS AFTER HIS DEATH IN 1926, MYERS SAID. THE PIECES ON DISPLAY AT THE NELSON-ATKINS COMPRISE ONE OF TWO OF MONET'S WATER LILY TRIPTYCHS IN THE US. THE OTHER IS AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN NEW YORK, WHERE THEY ARE A STEADY, POPULAR SELECTION. THE TRIPTYCH AT THE NELSON-ATKINS WAS BROUGHT TO NEW YORK IN THE 1950s. IT WAS THEN SEPARATED, AND THE INDIVIDUAL PANELS WERE SOLD TO THE ST LOUIS ART MUSEUM, THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART AND THE NELSON-ATKINS. IT HS BEEN MORE THAN 30 YEARS HOWEVER, SINCE THEY WERE SHOWN AS MONET INTENDED FOR THEM TO BE SEEN, TOGETHER. 'SO FOR A NEW GENERATION THIS IS REALLY A FIRST TIME TO GET THE CHANCE TO SEE THESE GREAT PAINTINGS COME TOGETHER', MYERS SAID.

5.4.11

WOMAN ATTACKS GAUGUIN PAINTING AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART


A WOMAN ACCUSED OF POUNDING ON A PAINTING BY PAUL GAUGUIN AND TRYING TO RIP IT FROM A WALL AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART TOLD POLICE THE POST-IMPRESSIONIST ARTIST WAS EVIL AND THE PAINTING SHOULD BE BURNED, COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW. SUSAN BURNS, OF ARLINGTON VA, HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED SECOND-DEGREE THEFT AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY FOLLOWING THE ATTACK FRIDAY. SHE WAS BEING HELD WITHOUT BAIL PENDING A MENTAL HEALTH HEARING TUESDAY. THE GAUGUIN PAINTING 'TWO TAHITIAN WOMEN', VALUED AT AN ESTIMATED $80 MILLION, WAS NOT DAMAGED AND WILL GO BACK ON VIEW, THE NATIONAL GALLERY SAID IN A STATEMENT. THE PICTURE IS ON LOAN FROM THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART IN NEW YORK FOR AN EXHIBIT TITLED 'GAUGUIN: MAKER OF MYTH'. THE PAINTING DEPICTS TWO WOMEN STANDING NEXT TO EACH OTHER, ONE WITH BOTH BREASTS EXPOSED AND THE OTHER WITH ONE BREAST SHOWING. ACCORDING TO CHARGING DOCUMENTS, AN INVESTIGATOR TOLD BURNS HER RIGHTS AND ASKED WHY SHE HAD TRIED TO REMOVE THE PAINTING. 'I FEEL THAT GAUGUIN IS EVIL. HE HAS NUDITY AND IS BAD FOR CHILDREN. HE HAS TWO WOMEN IN THE PAINTING AND IT'S VERY HOMOSEXUAL. I WAS TRYING TO REMOVE IT. I THINK IT SHOULD BE BURNED', ACCORDING TO THE DOCUMENTS. BURNS ALSO SAID: 'I AM FROM THE AMERICAN CIA AND I HAVE A RADIO IN MY HEAD. I AM GOING TO KILL YOU.' BURNS' ATTORNEY, SHARON WEATHERS, DECLINED TO COMMENT MONDAY. BURNS APPROACHED THE PAINTING AROUND 4.45p FRIDAY, GRABBED THE FRAME AND PULLED THE BOTTOM PART OFF THE WALL, CAUSING SCREWS TO FALL TO THE FLOOR, ACCORDING TO THE WITNESSES. SHE THEN BEGAN BANGING ON THE MIDDLE OF THE PAINTING WITH HER FIST. BURNS WAS QUICKLY APPREHENDED BY THE MUSEUM'S FEDERAL PROTECTION SERVICES OFFICERS. THE PAINTING WAS PROTECTED BY A TRANSPARENT PLASTIC SHIELD. IT WAS THE FIRST DOCUMENTED CASE OF SOMEONE TRYING TO DEFACE A PAINTING AT THE GALLERY SINCE THE 1970s, SPOKESWOMAN DEBORAH ZISKA SAID. SHE SAID THE GALLERY'S SECURITY PROCEDURES WORKED. BURNS HAS BEEN ARRESTED SEVERAL TIMES. SHE SERVED SIX MONTHS IN JAIL AFTER A 2006 CONVICTION FOR ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON A POLICE OFFICER. IN 2002, SHE WAS CONVICTED OF MISDEMEANOR TRESPASSING. SHE HAS ALSO BEEN CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT, OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, VANDALISM AND A SEPARATE ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER, BUT PROSECUTORS DECLINED TO PURSUE THOSE CASES, VIRGINIA COURT RECORDS SHOW.

RUSSIAN ARTIST CREATES PEARL-ENCRUSTED PAINTING FOR THE QUEEN


A RUSSIAN ARTIST IN SERBIA HAS SPENT A SMALL PERSONAL FORTUNE OVER A THOUSAND PEARLS FOR A RELIGIOUS PAINTING HE HAS MADE FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH II. CLAD IN EMBROIDERED ROBES, ADAM AND EVE SIT IN THRONES ON A SUSPENDED GARDEN OF EDEN IN ANATOLY PASTYREV'S PAINTING, WHICH IS CROWNED BY A RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ICON AND PEARL-ENCRUSTED THROWOUT. 'THE BRITISH MONARCHY IN PARTICULAR HAS BEEN THE BASTION OF MODERN CIVILIZATION WHICH HAS CENTURIES-OLD TRADITIONS COMING FROM CHRISTIANITY', PASTYREV TOLD REUTERS ON SUNDAY AT HIS HOME IN TAIGA FOREST ENCIRCLING KRASNOYARSK, SOME 3,300km EAST OF MOSCOW. PASTYREV NOW WANTS TO GIVE THE PAINTING, CALLED 'GLORIFICATION OF THE LORD', TO THE BRITISH MONARCH AS A TRIBUTE TO HER TITLE AS SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND. THE BULLDOZER OPERATOR-TURNED-ARTIST SPENT MONTHS WORKING ON THE PAINTING, WHICH HAS 1,360 NATURAL PEARLS HE BOUGHT IN MOSCOW FOR A HANDSOME SUM OF 500,000 RUBLES (£10,947). 'THE BRITISH ROYAL COURT IS THE OLDEST, MOST POWERFUL AND MOST INFLUENTIAL', SAID PASTYREV, WHO WAS A FERVENT COMMUNIST IN SOVIET DAYS. HE IS NOW LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GIVE THE PAINTING, WHICH MEASURES ONE METER BY 1.4 METERS LONG AND IS PEARL-ENCRUSTED ALONG ITS OUTLINE, THROUGH-OUT THE GARDEN AND ON THE BUBBLE-LIKE CLOUDS, TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE. BUT PASTYREV WANTS TO WAIT WHILE THE 'HAT' SURROUNDING PRINCE WILLIAM'S MARRIAGE TO KATE MIDDLETON ON 29.APRIL DIES DOWN BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO GET HIS ARTWORK TO THE BRITISH MONARCH. 'I AM THRILLED BY THIS EVENT...I HAVE NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR THE YOUNG PRINCE WILLIAM', HE SAID.

4.4.11

ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM RESTORES TAPESTRY ROOM TO FORMER GLORY


FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE IT OPENED IN 1914, THE ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM'S 4,000 SQUARE FOOT TAPESTRY ROOM IS BEING RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL GLORY AND WILL ONCE AGAIN TAKE ITS PLACE AS ONE OF THE NATION'S GREAT TAPESTRY HALLS. THE RESTORATION OF THE BELOVED SPACE WILL RETURN THE TAPESTRY ROOM TO ITS ORIGINAL CONFIGURATION FOR ITS FIRST TIME SINCE A TEMPORARY STAGE, CHAIRS, AND OTHER MODERN ELEMENTS WERE ADDED TO ACCOMMODATE FORMAL CONCERTS IN THE EARLY 1970s. HISTORICALLY, THE TAPESTRY ROOM HAS BEEN A GALLERY AND HOME TO MANY OF THE MUSEUM'S PROGRAMS, INCLUDING THE POPULAR SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES. NOW, AS PART OF THE GARDNER MUSEUM'S EXTENSION AND PRESERVATION PROJECT, THE MUSEUM'S WORLD CLASS CONCERTS WILL BE RELOCATED TO AN INTIMATE NEW PERFORMANCE HALL IN THE RENZO PIANO-DESIGNED ADDITION, AND THE GARDNER WILL BE ABLE TO RESTORE THE SPACE TO ITS HISTORIC APPEARANCE, ENABLING VISITORS TO SEE AND ENJOY THE TAPESTRY ROOM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY 40 YEARS. NO EVENT PROGRAMMING IS SCHEDULED FOR 2011 IN THE TAPESTRY ROOM; PROGRAMMING WILL RESUME IN 2012 IN THE NEW WING AND THE GALLERY WILL REMAIN OPEN UNTIL THEN SO THAT VISITORS CAN VIEW THE CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION WORK TAKING PLACE. THE REINSTALLED TAPESTRY ROOM WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED AS PART OF THE MUSEUM'S GRAND OPENING FOR ITS NEW WING IN JANUARY 2012. 'ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT GOALS OF THE NEW WING IS THE RELOCATION OF PROGRAMMING WHICH HAS OUTGROWN THE HISTORIC GALLERIES', SAYS ANNE HAWLEY, THE NORMA JEAN CALDERWOOD DIRECTOR OF THE ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM. 'THE TAPESTRY ROOM IS PERHAPS THE MOST DRAMATIC EXAMPLE OF THAT AS IT HAD BECOME THE HUB OF THE MUSEUM'S LARGEST AND MOST POPULAR PROGRAMMING AND HAD LOST ITS FOCUS AS A GALLERY. THIS EFFORT RETURNS THE SPACE INTO A BEAUTIFUL GALLERY FOR VIEWING TAPESTRIES, SOMETHING AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF VISITORS HAS NOT EXPERIENCED.' THE NEW 70,000 SQUARE FOOT WING DESIGNED BY RENZO PIANO INCLUDES PURPOSE-BUILT SPACES FOR MANY OF THE ACTIVITIES FORMALLY HELD IN THE TAPESTRY ROOM, SUCH AS LECTURES, VISITOR ORIENTATION AND THE SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES. WHILE OCCASIONAL SMALLER MUSICAL PERFORMANCES AND TALKS WILL CONTINUE IN THE REINSTALLED SPACE, THE TAPESTRY ROOM WILL SERVE PRIMARILY AS A GRAND GALLERY FOR VIEWING TAPESTRIES AND OTHER WORKS OF ART. CURATORIAL AND CONVERSATION STAFFS HAVE PLANNED THE PRESERVATION AND RE-INSTALLATION OF THE TAPESTRY ROOM BASED ON HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE MUSEUM'S ARCHIVES, WHICH WERE TAKEN IN 1915, 1916, AND 1926 BY PHOTOGRAPHER T.E. MARR AND SON. THE PHOTOGRAPHS REVEAL A PIANO PLACED IN FRONT OF THE LATE 14th CENTURY FRENCH FIREPLACE AND AN ARRANGEMENT OF FURNITURE AND OBJECTS IN THE CENTER OF THE GALLERY. CONSERVATION TREATMENT WILL ENCOMPASS CLEANING, RESTORATION AND RE-INSTALLATION OF MANY PARTS OF THE GALLERY, INCLUDING ITS MERCER-TILED FLOORS AND FRENCH MEDIEVAL STONE FIREPLACE, SELECT ART AND FURNITURE OBJECTS, AND NEW LIGHTING. THE HISTORIC ARRANGEMENT OF FURNITURE IN THE CENTER OF THE GALLERY AND OTHER VIGNETTES AROUND THE WINDOWS AS DEPICTED IN EARLY PHOTOGRAPHS ALSO WILL BE RESTORED. TWO OF THE MOST STRIKING AREAS WILL BE THE CONSERVATION OF THE MASSIVE FIREPLACE AND THE PAINTING OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL BY PEDRO GARCIA DE BENABARRE THAT HANGS ABOVE IT, AND AN ARRANGEMENT OF TEN SIDE CHAIRS UPHOLSTERED IN 18th CENTURY NETHERLANDISH PAINTED LEATHER THAT WILL BE RE-INSTALLED AROUND A 17th CENTURY DUTCH TABLE IN THE CENTER OF THE GALLERY. ADDITIONALLY, LIGHTING UPGRADES WILL ENHANCE THE GALLERY'S HISTORIC ATMOSPHERE, REDUCE HARMFUL LIGHT ON THE COLLECTION AND IMPROVE VISIBILITY. EIGHTEEN TEXTILE PROJECTS ARE INCLUDE IN THE ROOM REFURBISHMENT PLANS. THEY INCLUDE CONSERVING ORIGINAL TEXTILES, RE-UPHOLSTERING FURNITURE, AND REPLACING MISSING, DAMAGED OR INAPPROPRIATE FURNISHING TEXTILES. TWO TAPESTRIES WILL BE REINSTATED TO THEIR ORIGINAL 1926 POSITIONS.

PIAGET LIMELIGHT COLLECTION 2011


AS PART OF THEIR LIMELIGHT COLLECTION PIAGET HAS RECENTLY RELEASED A STUNNING COLLECTION INSPIRED BY THE SIMPLE BEAUTY OF SPRING. THE CENTERPIECE OF THE COLLECTION IS A UNIQUE DIAMOND ENCRUSTED BIRD PERCHING ON A RUBELLITE GEM. THE COLLECTION ALSO FEATURES A BIRD PERCHED ON A WHITE GOLD SPRIG AND OTHER PIECES FEATURING PEARLS, RING DIAMONDS, EMERALDS AND PINK SAPPHIRES.

2.4.11

CHRISTIE'S TO SELL RARE GALCONDA DIAMOND EAR-PENDANTS


A PAIR OF SPECTACULAR EAR-PENDANTS FEATURING THE WORLD'S RAREST DIAMONDS FROM THE LEGENDARY GOLCONDA MINES WILL BE OFFERED AT CHRISTIE'S HONG KONG MAGNIFICENT JEWELS SALE, WHICH WILL BE HELD ON 31.MAY AT THE HONG KONG CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE. THE IMPERIAL CUSHIONS, A PAIR OF D POTENTIALLY FLAWLESS GOLCONDA TYPE IIa DIAMONDS EAR-PENDANTS, IS ESTIMATED AT $7-$10 MILLION. THE OCCURRENCE OF SUCH A PAIR OF GALCONDA GEMSTONES, WITH A LIMPIDITY THAT IS PARTICULAR TO THE WORLD'S FINEST TYPE IIa DIAMONDS, IA A NATURAL MARVEL. AT 23.49 AND 23.11 CARATS EACH, THE PAIR IS OF EXCEPTIONAL CALIBER PROPORTIONS. WITH TYPE IIa DIAMONDS BEING LESS THAN 2% OF THE WORLD'S PRODUCTION, THE SUPERBLY MATCHED PAIR OF THE IMPERIAL CUSHIONS IS A UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF MAGNIFICENCE AND RARITY. WHILE THE PRESENT DIAMONDS DO NOT ACTUALLY COME WITH AN IMPERIAL PROVENANCE, THE QUALITY, WORKMANSHIP, SIZE, AND RARITY ARE CERTAINLY OF A CALIBER WORTHY OF A ROYAL COLLECTION.

1.4.11

PUBLIC ART FUND PRESENTS ROB PRUITT'S THE ANDY MONUMENT


PUBLIC ART FUND PRESENTS ROB PRUITT'S THE ANDY MONUMENT, 30.MARCH-2.OCTOBER, AT THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF UNION SQUARE. THE MONUMENT TO ANDY WARHOL, THE FATHER OF POP ART AND ONE OF NEW YORK'S ENDURING CULTURAL ICONS IS INSTALLED JUST OUTSIDE THE BUILDING THAT HOUSED WARHOL'S 'FACTORY' FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS IN THE 1970s AND EARLY 1980s, AND JUST DOWN THE STREET FROM AN EARLIER 'FACTORY' SITE. 'WE ARE THRILLED TO BE COLLABORATING WITH ROB, WHOSE WORK HAS EXACTLY THE SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY AND ENGAGEMENT THAT LENDS ITSELF SO WELL TO PUBLIC ART', SAID NICKOLAS BAUME, PUBLIC ART FUND DIRECTOR AND CHIEF CURATOR. 'INSPIRED BY WARHOL AND HIS STORY, ROB MOVED TO NEW YORK AS A YOUNG MAN AND EVEN MET WARHOL WHEN HE VISITED THE 'FACTORY' TO INTERVIEW FOR A JOB. ROB'S MEMORY OF THE ARTIST THAT DAY FORMED THE VISION FOR THIS SCULPTURE, AND I THINK THAT PERSONAL CONNECTION WILL RESONATE WITH MANY WHO COME TO VISIT, JUST AS IT DOES WITH ME.' PRUITT ENVISIONS THE MONUMENT AS A PILGRIMAGE SITE THAT EMBODIES THE SPIRIT OF WARHOL AND THE DOWNTOWN CULTURAL MOVEMENT. 'EVERY DAY A THOUSAND MORE KIDS COME TO NEW YORK PROPELLED BY HIS LEGACY. AND EVEN IF THE DECADES PASS AND WARHOL'S LEGACY BECOMES FURTHER DISTANT, THERE IS A DIRECT LINK TO HIM, LIKE THIS PILGRIMAGE, COMING HERE TO MAKE IT BIG, TO BE AN ARTIST', SAID PRUITT. 'LIKE OSCAR WILDE'S GRAVE AT PERE LACHAISE, THERE SHOULD BE A DESTINATION IN NEW YORK TO MARK THE JOURNEY. I THINK SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE IN THE STREETS OF NEW YORK, SOMETHING YOU COULD VISIT AT 4:30 IN THE MORNING.' ADAPTING THE VISUAL LANGUAGE OF FORMAL STATUARY, LIKE THE NEARBY MONUMENTS TO GANDHI, LINCOLN AND WASHINGTON, THE SEVEN FOOT TALL FIGURE STANDS ATOP A CONCRETE PEDESTAL, ITS CHROMED SURFACE REFLECTING THE SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE WARHOL WORKED FOR MUCH OF HIS LIFE: MAX's KANSAS CITY, A FAVORITE WARHOL HANGOUT, ONCE STOOD NEARBY, INTERVIEW MAGAZINE WAS LAUNCHED IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND VALERIE SOLANAS ATTEMPTED HER ASSASSINATION OF WARHOL HERE.