February 21, 2014 | The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has made two exciting purchases that enhance its unparalleled ability to tell the story of Southern California as it was transformed from vast rural ranchlands into an international symbol of the good life. The newly acquired Ernest Marquez Collection of photographs, with prints from the 1870s to about 1950, includes rare views of Los Angeles as well of early Santa Monica, which, as the Southern Pacific Railroad was on the brink of connecting Los Angeles to the rest of the nation in the mid-1870s, welcomed city dwellers to its beachside tent cities. Photographers opened studios catering to the incipient tourist trade, and the illustrious San Francisco photographer Carleton E. Watkins visited in 1877 and 1880. The collection includes his images as well as ones by such other early photographers as William M. Godfrey, Francis Parker, and Hayward and Muzzall. Amassed over a half a century by a descendant of Mexican land…» More
February 20, 2014 | The Italian Renaissance taste for classical art fostered a revival of bronze statuary, wealthy connoisseurs collecting both antique statuettes and new works by artists like Donatello and Verrochio. Likewise, the nineteenth-century fascination with Renaissance art created an even larger market for bronze sculpture. Post-Civil War American sculptors, many European-trained, followed suit.
Cupid by Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937), 1895, balances gracefully on a globe while gesturing teasingly to lovers. Signed and dated "F. MacMonnies / 1895" on back of globe and with the French foundry mark on the base. Bronze; height 26 ¼ inches. $50,000. Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York.
Weighty and rich in appearance, bronze is primarily an alloy of copper and tin, sometimes lead or zinc. Because the alloys are stronger, have a lower melting point, and are easier to mold into intricate shapes, bronze is better suited to casting than pure copper. Ancient Greeks and Romans fa…» More
February 20, 2014 | New York City's Frick Collection recently opened an exhibition of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes from the collection of Janine and J. Tomilson Hill. Displayed are thirty-three statuettes, sculptures, and a relief by masters of the Italian, German, Dutch, and French schools of the late fifteenth into the eighteenth century. One highlight is a pair of bronzes titled Sleeping Hermaphrodite and Reclining Venus after terracotta models attributed to François Duquesnoy and Thibault Poissant commissioned by the celebrated seventeenth-century French sculptor François Girardon for his personal collection. An added pleasure for admirers of French decorative arts is that the gilded-wood couches supporting the bronzes are attributed to the versatile French designer Gilles-Marie Oppenord, Girardon's neighbor at the Louvre. Oppenord did a series of drawings of Girardon's sculpture collection, including these bronzes, in imaginary architectural settings, which were engraved and published by N…» More
February 20, 2014 |
Founded in 1918, the British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) has long been the gold standard for such organizations and may be the most difficult to gain entrance to. It has, however, recently struggled with how best to refresh itself without compromising its strict requirements for quality and ethics.
On the heels of the election of Michael D. Cohen of Cohen and Cohen as chairman of the council this past July, BADA has voted in a revolutionary new strategy to expand the organization's reach and reputation by extending its membership to include dealers from outside the United Kingdom. This initiative will begin with invitations to a select group of American dealers in 2014, with the hope of expanding further over time.
Simultaneously BADA has elected to extend its parameters to include a wider range of material, including modern and contemporary works. Cohen expects the qualifying guidelines for all dealers to follow the example of TEFAF Maastricht in requiring the…» More
February 15, 2014 | It's been more than half a century since the groundbreaking Loan Exhibition of Southern Furniture 1640-1820 held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 1952, and much has happened since then, not just in the study of southern furniture but of the decorative arts of the region as a whole. It is time, indeed, to revisit the subject on a grand scale, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is doing so with A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South, a new long-term exhibition that opens on February 15 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. It will include some 350 objects drawn from Colonial Williamsburg's collection as well as from fourteen private collectors and ten other institutions, chief among them the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with which CWF recently inaugurated an innovative five-year partnership. The furniture, paintings, silver and pewter, ceramics, and architectural elements-to nam…» More
[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi» View All