Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Art Tidbits Du Jour

A German mediation panel heard a dispute Wednesday between a Berlin museum and the heirs of World War II-era Jewish art dealers over a vast medieval church art collection.

Called the Guelph Treasure or "Welfenschatz", it includes gold and silver relics, gem-studded crucifixes and other ornate Christian artifacts, some dating back to the 11th century and believed to be worth hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in total.

The fight centres on whether its three Jewish former owners sold the collection under duress and below market price in a deal with the Prussian state in 1935, two years after Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler rose to power. The case comes at a sensitive time, due to the recent discovery of a hidden treasure trove of looted art. 
Links to more images of the tresure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guelph_Treasure

After a tumultuous several years, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is set to announce its new director. The role is expected to go to Philippe Vergne, director of the Dia Art Foundation in New York, according to a report from the New York Times, citing unidentified sources.

News of the long-awaited appointment comes a week after MOCA announced that it had achieved its goal of a $100 million endowment. Much of the money was raised in the past year, from just $6 million in 2008.Vergne would take over for Jeffrey Deitch, who was also plucked from New York and had brought on some controversy during his tenure from 2010 to last summer.Controversy has come Vergne's way, too, including his decision to sell works from the Dia's collections to fund new acquistions. At a Sotheby's sale, the works fetched $38.4 million.

Bosnia opened today a new library to house its ancient Islamic manuscripts, which were saved from destruction during the 1992-1995 war by residents who hid them in eight different locations. Sarajevo re-opened the 477-year old library, containing the largest collection of oriental books and manuscripts in South-Eastern Europe, after it was rebuilt with the financial help from Qatar. AFP PHOTO

Francisco Goya (1746—1828).Pesadilla (Nightmare), ca. 1816—20
Black ink and wash . 10 3/8 x 6 3/4 inches (264 x 171 mm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard, 1959; 1959.13

Rarely seen Spainish Drawings at the Morgan. From the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, Spain witnessed the rise of the Catholic Church along with the flourishing of court artists who explored deeply spiritual visions. Concurrently, the nightmare of the Inquisition drove artists to probe the darker side of human nature through scenes of martyrdom and torture. Drawing played a central role in their conception of these diverse subjects—from Murillo's preparatory studies for painting commissions to Goya's private albums satirizing contemporary society. In addition to this rich tradition in Spain, Spanish artists also worked abroad, notably in Naples, which was a Spanish territory.

Visions and Nightmares marks the first exhibition of Spanish drawings at the Morgan, whose holdings in this area are small but significant. Showcasing over twenty sheets by Spanish artists spanning four centuries, this selection traces the shifting roles and attitudes toward the art of drawing in Spain.


A Cuban In London said...

What a beautiful cross in that first picture! Many thanks.

Greetings from London

Namastenancy said...

The treasure was - or is - fabulous. It's another case where the original Jewish owners were pressured by Goering to see it to him and at a fracion of the value.