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.
November 14, 2008 |
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.
September 27, 2008 |
Kathy Fuld, the art-collecting wife of Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Richard Fuld, is selling a $20-million set of rare Abstract Expressionist drawings at a November auction, according to two art dealers. Christie's International, which is offering the works in New York on Nov. 12, declined to reveal the seller's identity. The auction house announced the sale of the drawings, including three by Willem de Kooning, four days after Lehman filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S.
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.
July 18, 2008 |
An original watercolor illustration by Beatrix Potter for the final scene from "The Rabbit Christmas Party" sold in London on Thursday for $578,700 -- the most expensive book illustration sold at auction, Sotheby's said. The painting of rabbits leaving the party by candlelight was purchased by a private British collector, the auction house said. It was one of 20 original illustrations, books, unpublished Christmas cards and letters by children's author and illustrator Potter from the collection of her brother Bertram Potter on offer at the sale.
July 3, 2008 |
A portrait Francis Bacon painted of his lover has sold for $27 million at a London auction. Poni Ujlaky, a Sotheby's auction house spokeswoman, said Tuesday that "Study for Head of George Dyer" was painted by Bacon in 1967. Another painting, "Untitled (Pecho/Oreja)," by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, sold at the auction for $10.1 million on behalf of the rock band U2.
June 26, 2008 |
An old painting dropped off at a rural Maryland Goodwill store turned out to be a work by a French Impressionist. And now, thanks to the sharp eye of a store employee, the charitable organization is $40,000 richer. The Parisian street scene, left at the store in March along with daily donations of pots, pans, old clock radios and other items, turned out to be a work by Edouard-Leon Cortes, probably from the early 20th century. The painting -- called "Marche aux fleurs" or "Flower Market" -- was sold for $40,600 at a Sotheby's auction a few weeks ago. Store manager Terri Tonelli said employees asked her to look at the donated painting because they suspected it was valuable.
May 22, 2008 |
A kaleidoscopic 1915 Marsden Hartley painting, seized during World War II and cloistered for 54 years in a German museum, sold for a record $6.3 million Wednesday at Christie's International in New York. Hartley's colorful "Lighthouse" was the most expensive American Modernist artwork ever sold at auction. It eked past Georgia O'Keeffe's "Calla Lillies With Red Anemone," which sold for $6.2 million at Christie's in 2001. The sale price, $700,000 below the top estimate, also set a record for the artist.
May 15, 2008 |
Lucian Freud, the 85-year-old British painter, became the world's priciest living artist at auction when his graceful portrait of a 280-pound civil servant named Sue fetched $33.6 million at Christie's International in New York. The 1995 Freud was one of eight records smashed in an exuberant sale Tuesday night featuring the male clique of auction stars that includes Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Richard Prince. The top lot was a 1952 Mark Rothko painting, with red bands on a yellow background, that went for $50.4 million.