Friday, August 1, 2014

Philbrook Museum of Art Announces Receipt of the Hyatt Collection of Hopi Art

The Hyatt family began traveling to the Hopi reservation in northern Arizona in the late 1980s.
OKLAHOMA--- Philbrook Museum of Art announced the important gift of 364 works of Hopi art, including katsinas, basketry and other media from Atlanta and Santa Fe-based collector, Wayne S. Hyatt. Featuring works by more than 160 artists, the Hyatt Collection both expands and strengthens the impressive survey of 20th and 21st century Native American art within the Philbrook holdings. Highlights of the collection include 25 katsinas (carved wooden figures of Hopi spiritual beings) by brothers Wilmer and Wilfred Kaye of the Badger/Butterfly Clan of Third Mesa. [link]

Fitzwilliam Museum Bids to Acquire Weeping Virgin by Spanish Sculptor Pedro de Mena

Pedro de Mena (1628-1688), The Virgin of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa), about 1670-5.
UNITED KINGDOM---A remarkably realistic painted wood bust of the Mater Dolorosa (Virgin of Sorrows) by Pedro de Mena (1628-1688), one of the most celebrated sculptors of the Spanish Golden Age, has gone on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge as part of an appeal to acquire the sculpture. It was most likely created for the private chapel, study or bedchamber of a devout patron, and would almost certainly have been protected under a glass dome and originally paired with a similarly-sized bust of the Ecce Homo (Christ as the Man of Sorrows). The Fitzwilliam Museum has already raised a substantial amount towards the work (including £30,000 from the Art Fund and £10,000 from The Henry Moore Foundation) but needs to secure a further £85,000 by the end of September 2014 in order to acquire the remarkable bust. [link]

The Race to Find New Art Collectors

By Kelly Crow
Korean collector Hong-gyu Shin bid on a $142 million Francis Bacon, but lost Nicholas Hunt/Patrick McMullan
In early May, Christie's invited a group of 18 new collectors from China to visit New York. The auction house threw the guests a lavish dinenr at its Rockefellor Center ballroom, escorted them on guided tours through the Museum of Moden Art and arranged VIP tickets to a local art fair. Christie's efforts paid off: During its May 13 contemporary art ales, members of the grip placed bids on at least half the top 10 priciest pieces in what became an historic $745 million auction. [link]

A quarter of all art-auction sales were made to first-time buyers this year. An inside look at Sotheby's and Christie's global quest to identify and recruit them.

The Problems With Seeking Greater Conservative Representation in the Arts

By Ross Douthat

My post on conservatives and the arts has prompted an interesting reply from Micah Mattix, of the “Prufrock” blog and newsletter: "It inescapably treats art or culture as a tool, or weapon, in the struggle for power." Not surprisingly, I have a “yes, but …” reply here. Yes, a project specifically intended to get more conservatives into the arts would tend to suffer from the instrumental vices Mattix identifies. But if such a project did get more conservatives into the culture industry it might still improve that industry’s productions, notwithstanding the problems with the motives behind the project. [link]

Sunday Review: Really? You’re Not in a Book Club?

By James Atlas

NEW YORK---“WHAT’S your book group reading?” By some estimates, five million Americans gather every few weeks in someone’s living room or in a bar or bookstore or local library to discuss the finer points of “Middlemarch” or “The Brothers Karamazov.” I used to think that the popularity of this institution was a quirk of life in New York, like restaurants where you can get a reservation only by calling a month in advance or parties where every single person you meet is smarter than you are. But the book-club boom is nationwide. But the most prevalent way of conducting a book club is still in someone’s living room. It may be social, but it’s also serious; members devote long hours over many weeks to getting to the last page. For most of them, it’s all about the book. [link]

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Obama Nominates First Non-Christian to Lead Religious Freedom Initiative

By Peter Montgomery
“O. C. Blue Amulet” (2009) by Yona Verwer; print 16” x 20"
S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday (Monday) that President Barack Obama is nominating the first non-Christian, Rabbi David Saperstein, to the post of ambassador for international religious freedom. Saperstein has served as head of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism for more than 30 years, been a member of the advisory council for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and teaches First Amendment and Jewish law at Georgetown Law school. In his remarks on Saperstein’s religious freedom pedigree, Kerry called him “the gold standard,” pointing to his work “across faith lines,” with “women of faith networks,” and with “American Muslim communities.” [link]

Goryeo Buddhist Paintings Are 'Resting Place' by Ven. Hyedam

"Water, Moon Gwaneum" by Ven. Hyedam. Courtesy of KyeTae Temple
KOREA---She's not one to count how many hours she spends re-creating Goryeo Buddhist paintings, because for her, it is a way of practicing Zen. But Ven. Hyedam, 63, who, for more than four decades, usually spends 16 to 18 hours a day on such paintings, thinks it comes down to some 200,000 hours. Since she was a child, Ven. Hyedam has been enraptured by Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) Buddhist paintings. She will show her work based on the paintings at her special exhibition at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, which will run from Dec. 9 through Dec. 15. [link]