June 15, 2009 |
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 |
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.
December 9, 2008 |
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.
September 17, 2008 |
A sale of pickled sharks, butterfly paintings and other pieces by provocative British artist Damien Hirst has raised $198 million, silencing his doubters and defying the global economic gloom. Sotheby's auction house said the total for the two-day sale was a record for an auction of works by a single artist, smashing the $20-million figure set in 1993 for 88 works by Pablo Picasso. The turmoil engulfing global financial markets did nothing to dampen prices as more than 600 prospective buyers packed the London showroom for each of the three auction sessions.
August 29, 2008 |
A British aristocrat is offering two public art galleries a $92-million bargain -- a Renaissance painting by the Italian artist Titian that has been on display in Britain for 200 years but now could be sold overseas. "Diana and Actaeon," one of Titian's greatest works, is estimated to be worth $275 million on the open market. Its owner, the duke of Sutherland, has offered it to major public galleries for a third of that price. The National Galleries of Scotland and London's National Gallery launched a public appeal Thursday for funds to buy the painting.