Fabergé at home and abroad

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In a recent interview Alexander Ivanov, the prominent Russian businessman, discussed his decision to open the world’s first Fabergé museum not in Russia, as he had originally planned, but in the German resort town of Baden-Baden. Ivanov, who in 2007 paid the world record price of $17.7 million for a Fabergé egg made for the engagement of Baron Edouard de …

Art Nouveau Jewelry

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July 2008 | The jewelry created in France, Belgium, and other parts of Europe by a select group of avant-garde artists at the close of the nineteenth century was revolutionary. It reinvigorated what had become a formulaic naturalism with new forms drawn from outside sources, including the arts and crafts movement in Great Britain and the arts of Japan. The …

What modern was: Mid Century masters of luxury

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May 2008 | Whatever is new, is bad,” Wallace Nutting wrote in 1925. A minister-turned-entrepreneur who almost single-handedly popularized the colonial revival style via the sale of period furniture reproductions, Nutting (1861–1941) was one of the most acerbic partisans in an aesthetic fight waged in the early decades of the twentieth century—a battle between modernism and tradition. In the 1920s …

Philadelphia

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Philadelphia is a city of great character and great contrasts: blue-blooded and blue collar; home of the beaux arts and the Broad Street Bullies; as steeped in history as it is in Tastee Cakes. In today’s Philadelphia, au courant fashion shops nestle next to dealers in exquisite art and antiques. In April the City of Brotherly Love celebrates its long …

Portrait miniatures in the New Republic

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April 2009 | The stunning events of July 1804 were almost unfathomable for the citizens of the new American republic. One Founding Father had fatally wounded another. Alexander Hamilton was dead and Aaron Burr  would be indicted for murder. The duel and its aftermath marked a turning point in American culture. Five days before the Burr-Hamilton duel, Edward Greene Malbone …

Museum attendance for 2008 reported

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The Art Newspaper just released its 2008 rankings for worldwide museum attendance. The top slot went to the Louvre, which held the position last year, with 8.5 million visitors (up from 8.3 million in 2007). The British Museum came in 2nd with 5.93 million (up from its 4th place ranking last year). In the US, the National Gallery of Art …

This Week’s Top Lots: March 23 – 27

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*  A week of 20th century design auctions kicked off on Tuesday at Wright in Chicago, with a steady sale that brought in over $1.5 million with 72.5% sold by lot. The top selling items were both by Paul Evans, a Faceted cabinet (model PE-354) that sold for $44,375 (estimate $20,000-30,000) and an Argente cabinet (model PE-38A) which brought $32,500 …

John Hardman and Company: Pugin’s glasspainters

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April 2009 | A human dynamo who burned himself out at the age of forty, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin is generally acknowledged as the most influential architect, designer, and propagandist of the nineteenth-century Gothic revival in England.1 Less well known are the entrepreneurs and manufacturers without whom Pugin could not have translated his medieval dreams into reality, and who spread …

Indiana Modern

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April 2009 | The cleverest exponents of modern architecture and design have furthered their cause by playing to a deep-seated human obsession: curiosity about how people live at home. Modernism’s radical reformation of the built environment would never have succeeded without the show houses, model rooms, and design journals that gave a broad audience tips on modern living. Persuasive as …

125 gifts for IMA’s 125th anniversary

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This week the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) announced that it had reached its goal of securing 125 gifts for its permanent collection in honor of the museum’s 125th anniversary.  The acquisitions range from Old Master paintings to works of contemporary design. Among the highlights is a trio of El Greco paintings including a depiction of Saint Luke; a woodblock …