Asia Week Highlight: A conversation with Joan B. Mirviss

Editorial Staff Opinion

As a highlight of Asia Week in New York, we spoke with Joan B. Mirviss, a veteran dealer who specializes in Japanese painting, woodblock prints, and contemporary ceramics. Mirviss discusses the market, the Haughtons, and Kawase Shinobu, the ceramics artist whose work is currently on view at her gallery. Can you explain some of the differences between selling Japanese antiques …

The Way We See Things Now: The Times, the National Gallery, and the new orthodoxy

Editorial Staff Opinion

On Friday March 6 Roberta Smith of the New York Times delivered a spirited and largely negative review of the recent reopening of the American painting galleries at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Held fast in the grip of what she describes as the “strictly orthodox” arrangement of periods and schools, the rooms bored her and, she …

Horton Foote, a collector remembered

Editorial Staff Opinion

Horton Foote, a Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright (“The Trip to Boutiful,” “The Young Man from Atlanta”) and a screenwriter (Tender Mercies,” “To Kill a Mockingbird”) with more than one Academy Award, died yesterday at the age of 92. In his work and in his life Foote spoke eloquently for the traditional American values of the small Texas town where …

Instant Symposium: Eileen Gray’s Dragons chair, a new design icon?

Editorial Staff Opinion

With the extraordinary sale of the Eileen Gray Dragons chair for $28.3 million at the YSL-Bergé auctions last week, we asked a group of dealers, curators, and other 20th century design experts for their reactions. Here are some of their comments: Liz O’Brien/ Liz O’Brien, New York City I was thrilled with the result. Everyone expected the Gray pieces to …

The Rabbit and the Rat: Who owns Chinese Antiquities? An interview with Kate Fitz Gibbon

Editorial Staff Opinion

Among the notable objects at the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé sale were a pair of bronze heads, a rabbit and a rat, that were two of twelve zodiacal forms that originally decorated an elaborate clepsydra, or water clock, in the Yuanming Yuan garden of the Old Summer Palace under Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795). In 1860, during the Second Opium …

Thrilling Results at YSL-Bergé Sale

Editorial Staff Opinion

Attending the historic three-day series of sales of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé was always going to be an extraordinary experience.  And it was. Imagine queues lasting five hours for the public preview, which saw over 30,000 people waiting to get in.  In the rain.  Imagine holding a huge sale with an audience of 1500 under …

Dealer Interview: Ben Janssens

Editorial Staff Opinion

Ben Janssens, the London dealer in Oriental art and chairman of TEFAF/Maastricht’s Executive Committee, describes new directions for Europe’s largest antiques and fine arts fair: Can you describe the origins and evolution of TEFAF/Maastricht? In 1975 a number of the world’s leading Old Masters dealers, such as Johnny van Haeften of London and the late Robert Noortman of Maastricht, believed …

Ralph Emerson Carpenter Jr., 1909-2009

Editorial Staff Opinion

Ralph Emerson Carpenter Jr. of Newport, Rhode Island, died on Monday, February 2, in the middle of his ninety-ninth year. Known affectionately as “Mr. Newport” for his lifelong work on the historic preservation of Newport’s architecture and for his research and writing on eighteenth-century Newport furniture made by the Townsends and the Goddards, Carpenter was a superbly elegant gentleman. His …