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Art Sales

June 15, 2009 | Mike Boehm
The Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach has quietly sold 18 of its 20 California Impressionist paintings to an undisclosed private collector, sparking criticism from two local museum directors who say the secrecy violated the public interest by preventing them from bidding to keep the works in collections open to the public. The Times learned of the sale after a reader's tip on its Culture Monster arts blog. Reached Friday in Zurich, Switzerland, OCMA director Dennis Szakacs said the paintings from the early 1900s fetched a total of $963,000 in late March from a Laguna Beach collector whose identity the museum promised not to disclose.
February 26, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Two rare bronze sculptures that disappeared from China in 1860 sold for $18 million each as an auction of art owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge, concluded with total sales of more than $484 million. The telephone bidder or bidders who bought the disputed bronze fountainheads -- heads of a rat and a rabbit that disappeared from China's summer Imperial Palace -- were not identified. China had hoped to stop their auction, but on Monday a French judge refused the request.
The National Academy Museum in New York has been under fire recently for selling off art from its collection to pay debts. It turns out the museum has deaccessioned paintings before -- the first time in the 1970s with a work that, after a long and circuitous route, became the gain of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA last year acquired Thomas Eakins' terrific 1899 painting "Wrestlers" as a gift from the Cecile and Fred Bartman Foundation....
December 9, 2008 | Bloomberg News
The Russian government has set up a commission to review the legality of the Soviet Union's sale of artworks from the country's museums before World War II, the director of the State Hermitage Museum said Monday. Of the hundreds of paintings sold from the Hermitage Museum in the late 1920s and early 1930s, about 20 of them eventually went to help create the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
November 14, 2008 | times wire reports
A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat has been sold for $13.5 million at an auction in New York City. The 1982 painting, "Untitled (Boxer)," was consigned to Christie's auction house by Lars Ulrich, drummer for Metallica. Christie's didn't identify the buyer. The current auction record for a Basquiat is $14.6 million for "Untitled," which sold at Sotheby's last year. But Francis Bacon's "Study for Self-Portrait" went unclaimed at Wednesday night's auction. It had been estimated to go for $40 million or more, but no bid approached even $30 million.
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