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Art in the News

Trove of Great Depression photographs a click away

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Written by JOHN SOWELL, Idaho Statesman   
Friday, 19 September 2014 13:51
 Russell Lee (American, 1903-1986) photograph of Mrs. Bill Stagg with states quilt, Pie Town, New Mexico. Russell photographed Japanese-American citizens sent to internment camps during World War II. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. BOISE, Idaho (AP) – When Dorothea Lange drove through Emmett on her way to Ola in northern Gem County one day in October 1939, the San Francisco woman was arguably the most famous photographer in the nation.

Three years earlier, Lange had shot a series of photographs of Florence Owens Thompson and her children that became known as the “Migrant Mother” series. One of the photos shows Thompson with a baby in her arm, two other children beside her facing away from the camera, and their mother looking into the distance without hope.

That photograph was printed in newspapers across the country and became the iconic photo of the Great Depression.

In 1939, Lange was sent by the federal Farm Security Administration to document the Ola Self-Help Sawmill, a cooperative established by Ola residents. The mill was seeded with a $1,500 loan from the FSA.

Lange shot 58 photos during her time in Ola. (I doubt my mother, Io Blessinger Sowell, ever realized who the photographer was who took a photo of her and her classmates in front of the Ola school.)

Those photos are among 170,000 now available for viewing via an online map created by Yale University. The photographs, taken between 1935 and 1944, can be accessed by clicking on a particular county or by searching under Lange or 131 other photographers who fanned out across the country to document government relief programs.

All but six Idaho counties – Bear Lake, Benewah, Caribou, Elmore, Kootenai and Owyhee – are represented.

Malheur County, just across the state line in Oregon, has nearly 800 photos, more than any Idaho county. Lange went there after she left Ola.

The photo project was part of a massive propaganda effort meant to build support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs. It came after courts had dealt the president a massive blow by repealing many of his early programs designed to lift the country out of the Depression.

While in Ola, Lange wrote that the owners of the Ola lumber mill needed a way to sustain themselves after several years of severe conditions that caused a deterioration of farming and grazing.

“The nearest supply of lumber available is at Emmett, which makes its cost, delivered to the farmer, prohibitive,” Lange wrote. “Their own valley is bordered on the east by a forest that could develop an unlimited supply of yellow pine and Douglas fir.”

Lange's photos showed members of the cooperative sawing logs, and posing individually and in groups. There are also photos of the kids outside the school, co-op members farming and some home scenes.

“It's amazing,” longtime Ola resident and music teacher Gloria Sutton said. “It's just interesting to see those photos.”

Three other heavyweight photographers – Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein and John Vachon – also took pictures in Idaho.

Lee became famous for his color shots of people in Pie Hole, N.M., in 1940. It turned out he also shot 942 of the 1,215 Depression-era photos taken in Idaho, including one of a car coming down what's known today as Old Freezeout Hill south of Emmett.

Rothstein shot 37 photos in Oneida County in southeastern Idaho in 1936, when he was 21. He documented farm families whose land was too poor to support them.

Earlier that year, he shot his most famous photograph in Cimarron County, Okla. It showed farmer Art Coble and his two sons struggling to walk in front of their house during a dust storm.

Vachon started work maintaining the FSA's photo collection. He later became a photographer himself and shot nine photos in Idaho Falls in April 1942. Eventually, he worked as a staff photographer for Life and Look magazines.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order on Feb. 19, 1942, more than 120,000 people of Japanese heritage – two-thirds of them United States citizens – were uprooted from their homes in Washington, Oregon and California and sent to prison camps in several states.

Single men were recruited before they left the horse barns that served as a temporary holding center in Portland to work the sugar beet crop in Nyssa, Ore.

“They were so hard up for help over here and the reason they were hard up for help, everybody was in the Army,” said Yasu Teramura, in an interview with the organizers of a photo exhibit that debuts Friday at the Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario. “The sugar company got an OK that we could come over here ... but we had to be under strict restrictions that you could only stay up (until) 8 o'clock at night and you know you couldn't roam around all over unless you went with some guard ... to go to the show and stuff.”

The laborers were allowed to live without the barbed-wire fences that kept inmates inside the World War II prison camps where many of their friends and relatives were sent in Hunt, north of Twin Falls, and in other states. Yet they were forced to live in tents that provided little shelter and, later, in meager barracks.

“This was still internment,” said Matthew Stringer, executive director of the Four Rivers center. “They had a curfew and they could only go into town twice a week (never on Saturday) and under constant supervision.”

The photo exhibit, “Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II,” features a series of photographs taken by Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee in Nyssa and at later farm camps that opened in Idaho in Rupert, Shelley and Twin Falls.

Many of the photos, available for viewing online from Yale University's Photogrammar site, have never been part of a public exhibit before.

Organized by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, the exhibit opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday. From 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, curator Morgen Young will present a history of the Nyssa farm camp. Several of the camp workers and others who had friends and family members work at the camp are expected to take part in a question-and-answer session during the lecture.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 12. It will then be on display from Jan. 16 to March 16 at the Minidoka County Historical Society in Rupert, followed by exhibitions in Portland and in Los Angeles.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, and redistributed.

AP-WF-09-18-14 1726GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
 Russell Lee (American, 1903-1986) photograph of Mrs. Bill Stagg with states quilt, Pie Town, New Mexico. Russell photographed Japanese-American citizens sent to internment camps during World War II. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 September 2014 14:42
 

Eisenhower Memorial panel puts off vote on Gehry's design

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Written by BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 11:16

Model of the proposed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. Eisenhower Memorial Commission image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal commission working to build a memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower near the National Mall was considering Wednesday whether to move forward with architect Frank Gehry's design after years of controversy over the project.

No votes were taken, however, because the commission lacked a quorum. Seven lawmakers did not attend the meeting on Capitol Hill, including Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts and Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, who have championed the project in the past. Instead the panel will hold an electronic vote by Sept. 24 on how to proceed.

Earlier in September, Gehry's team presented a revised design for a proposed memorial park in response to objections from critics and Eisenhower's family who said the earlier design was too big and extravagant. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday for the first time in more than a year to consider Gehry's changes or whether to move the 15-year-old project in a different direction.

In the revised design, Gehry's Los Angeles-based team eliminated two large, metal tapestries on the sides of the memorial park, along with some large columns. One long, stainless steel tapestry would remain as a backdrop, depicting the Kansas landscape of Ike's boyhood home. The park would also include statues of Eisenhower as president and World War II general and inscriptions from some famous speeches.

But in a letter to the commission this week, Eisenhower's family said the revised design still does not address their concerns. They said the project is at a “crossroads” and should pursue a simpler design without any tapestries or columns – or be completely redesigned.

“Our family is ready to help move this memorial to completion under conditions that can re-energize this effort,” wrote the 34th president's granddaughters, Anne Eisenhower and Susan Eisenhower.

As an alternative, the Eisenhower commission will consider building only the “core of the Gehry design without any tapestries or columns,” as suggested by the family and by California Rep. Darrell Issa, who has weighed in on the project. In that case, Gehry would likely withdraw from the project if his trademark tapestries are eliminated.

“Gehry Partners has indicated that it will not present or associate its name with a design that does not include the tapestry and column elements and will withdraw from the project,” wrote Brig. Gen. Carl Reddel, the commission's director, in a letter Monday.

Dan Feil, the executive architect for the project, will present both alternatives to the commission, which includes Democratic and Republican lawmakers and presidential appointees.

The Eisenhower memorial would be Gehry's first major project in Washington. The famed architect's designs include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, among others.

Project estimates have put the memorial's total cost at $142 million. The cost has become a primary concern, resulting in Congress' decision not to approve any additional funding until the design dispute is resolved, according to Issa, who is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“All the project's stakeholders recognize the importance of creating an enduring memorial that honors President Eisenhower's legacy,” he wrote to the commission last week, “but these controversies have clouded the decision-making process and prevented the project from moving forward.”

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Eisenhower Memorial Commission: http://eisenhowermemorial.gov

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Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Model of the proposed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. Eisenhower Memorial Commission image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 11:26
 

Tenant vacating Grant Wood's 'American Gothic' house

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 09:33

Grant Wood's masterpiece 'American Gothic.'  Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

ELDON, Iowa (AP) – The rural Iowa house that helped inspire the famous American Gothic painting is empty and could be up for rent.

The home in the southeast Iowa town of Eldon has had the same tenant for the past four years. But Monday marked Beth Howard's last day in the house, the Des Moines Register reported.

“There should be a statute of limitations for how long one can live in a tourist attraction,” she told the newspaper Tuesday.

The 700-square-foot home was made famous by Grant Wood, a native Iowa artist who spotted the house while traveling through the area. He used it as the backdrop to his 1930 painting of a farmer holding a pitchfork next to his daughter.

The house, now owned by the State Historical Society of Iowa, was rented to Howard for just $250 a month. Officials reasoned it would help offset the tenant's patience for dealing with curious tourists walking on the property and peeking inside.

Jerome Thompson, the society's historic site administrator, said the group is weighing its options on what to do next. They may rent it out again or they may offer an artist-in-residence program. They may also allow the next-door visitors' center, which is run by the city and county, to use it.

Eldon is located about 100 miles southeast of Des Moines.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Grant Wood's masterpiece 'American Gothic.'  Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 

The State Historical Society of Iowa owns the 1881-82 house, which was built in the Carpenter Gothic architectural style. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:57
 

Indianapolis museum to present works by video pioneer Bill Viola

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Written by Museum PR   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:10
Bill Viola (American, b. 1951-), The Crossing (detail), 1996, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, and gifts from an anonymous donor, Howard E. Rachofsky, Gayle Stoffel, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Solomon, Catherine and Will Rose, and Emily and Steve Summers, in honor of Deedie Rose, © Bill Viola, Long Beach, California. Photo by Kira Perov. INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today an exhibition of works by the world-renowned video pioneer Bill Viola.

Bill Viola: Capturing Spectacle and Passion will feature two works by the acclaimed video artist. On loan from the Dallas Museum of Art, The Crossing (1996) consists of a double-sided screen with two videos simultaneously projected—one featuring a man being engulfed in flames, the other a man consumed by water. The 12-minute spectacle confronts the eternal cycle of life, death and the hope of rebirth.

Also on display is The Quintet of the Silent (2001), a work from the IMA’s contemporary collection. The video shows five men depicting various emotions in slow motion, allowing the viewer to witness the evolution and complexity of each feeling.

"I am thrilled to have The Crossing on loan from my former museum to share with Indianapolis,” Venable said. “When I first saw the video I was totally astounded. The imagery of fire and water glowing in the darkness and the sound of destruction rumbling through the space produces a truly transformative experience. Visitors will be mesmerized by the power of it all."

A pioneer of video art, Viola has been working with the medium since the early 1970s. His brilliant video installations explore timeless themes of human existence with his signature slow motion style. Describing his work as a"slowly unfolding ballet,” Viola reveals the hidden beauty found in moments, allowing viewers to carefully examine and reflect on the action occurring.

"Viola’s impact on the development of video art is immeasurable," said Tricia Y. Paik, the IMA’s curator of contemporary art. "He continues to expand new media practices in engaging and innovative ways while staying firmly committed to exploring what it means to be human, by tackling timeless and complex themes such as life and death, joy and sorrow."

The exhibit opens Sept. 26 in the June M. McCormack Forefront Galleries.

About the Indianapolis Museum of Art:

Founded in 1883, the Indianapolis Museum of Art serves the creative interests of its communities by fostering exploration of arts, design and the natural environment. Encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the IMA is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts that spans 5,000 years of history. Additionally, art, design, and nature are featured at The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, Oldfields–Lilly House and Gardens, a historic Country-Place-Era estate and National Historic Landmark on the IMA grounds and the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana, one of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences. For more information visit www.imamuseum.org .

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:54
 

Converting lighthouses for private use can be tall order

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Written by CHRIS TOGNERI, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review   
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 09:52
U.S. Coast Guard photo from 1900 picturing the Borden Flats Lighthouse at Fall River, Mass. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sheila Consaul's front yard is the largest natural sand beach in Ohio.

Her walkway is a stone jetty that extends a half-mile into Lake Erie. Her front steps are the rungs of a ladder, and the light atop her three-story home can be seen for miles. It comes with the benefit of helping boaters navigate at night.

“So yeah, I bought a lighthouse,” Consaul said recently while trekking along the jetty to her summer home in northeast Ohio. “I heard about these lighthouses coming up for auction, and I thought, ‘Well, that would be interesting.’”

Since 2000, the federal government has sold more than 100 lighthouses to private buyers, many of whom are turning them into livable spaces.

Consaul and others bought their lighthouses through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, under which the government sells unneeded properties.

“Advancements in navigation technology have reduced the Coast Guard's requirement to own and operate light stations,” Cat Langel, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, wrote in an email.

Although the lighthouses continue to operate, they are run by computers, she said, meaning the “structures themselves are often no longer critical to the (Coast Guard's) mission needs.”

The government offers lighthouses first to local government agencies or certified nonprofits. If they're not interested, the lighthouses are sold through public auction.

The GSA has sold more than 100 lighthouses at prices ranging from $10,000 to $933,000, Langel said. Proceeds – $4 million to date – go to the Coast Guard's aid to navigation fund.

Consaul paid $72,010 for the Fairport Harbor lighthouse in 2011. She spent the following summers renovating and repairing. On the ground floor where boats once were stored is a new kitchen. The second floor, formerly the lighthouse keepers' living space, now holds three bedrooms.

“It was not occupied since 1948 when the last keeper moved out, but basically, it's in very good shape,” said Consaul, 56, of Reston, Va. “I have just about everything painted inside, the hardwood floors have all been redone, the furniture is moved in and in place. ... It's pretty much livable now, except that there's no running water yet. It's really nice camping, is what it is.”

Nick Korstad turned the Borden Flats Lighthouse in Fall River, Mass., into a unique bed-and-breakfast. Built in 1881 at the mouth of the Taunton River, outside Mt. Hope Bay, the cylindrical lighthouse is half a mile from shore.

“This was my dream since I was kid: To be a lighthouse keeper,” said Korstad, 33, of Fall River. “It's just something I always wanted to do. I have no idea why, but it started when I was like 7. The only thing I can say is possibly in a past life, if that exists, I was a lighthouse keeper.”

Wisconsin painter John Burhani bought the Kenosha Lighthouse and turned it into his art studio.

“It's a good place to work,” said Burhani, who grew up in Kenosha and as a kid fished from the pier where his lighthouse stands. “It gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter, but it's good for my art.”

For many people, lighthouses hold a certain mystique, a romantic aura. Owners find lighthouses to be a lot of work.

“It's constant,” Korstad said. “There's always something to fix or cleanup. You don't get to relax.”

It's also expensive.

For starters, lighthouse owners must buy costly insurance policies.

“It's pretty hefty. The minimum liability policy in my case was $2 million,” Consaul said. “And you can't just call your average State Farm agent. I did, but obviously, our conversation didn't go very far.”

Plus, there's maintenance. Though the Coast Guard retains the right to enter the property to maintain the beacon, lighthouse owners are responsible for everything else.

“It's a lot of work,” Consaul said. “There are many challenges. The biggest has been dealing with the water situation. I have a composting toilet, which works for sewage. But for things like showers, that water needs to be treated. I'm still working on a solution for that.”

Still, buying a lighthouse means owning an iconic piece of property, thick with history.

In Korstad's case, the history is difficult to ignore: The Borden Flats Lighthouse, he said, is haunted by ghosts, including the former keeper, his 10-year-old son who died after a tumble down the lighthouse stairs, and a little girl who drowned in the bay.

“My brother was outside working, and a woman came up and started talking into his ear,” he said. “It gave us goosebumps.”

The haunting has not kept visitors away. From June to August, he had 100 percent overnight occupancy rates.

“There is definitely this cool factor to it,” Consaul said of owning a lighthouse. “I get out here, and you can see 360 degrees, and the view is phenomenal. The sunrises and sunsets, just watching the boat traffic, especially the sailboats ... it's hard to beat.”

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Online:

http://bit.ly/1m7Wq4W

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-09-15-14 1417GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
U.S. Coast Guard photo from 1900 picturing the Borden Flats Lighthouse at Fall River, Mass. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:08
 

Unseen Picasso letter, with doodles, on display in France

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Monday, 15 September 2014 12:21

Photographic portrait of Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), taken 1908-1909, anonymous photographer, Musée Picasso, Paris. Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Pablo Picasso via Wikipedia.

QUIMPER, France (AFP) - A previously unseen letter written by Pablo Picasso, complete with sketches, has gone on display in western France.

The letter, to his friend the French poet Max Jacob, comes from a private collection and is displayed at the fine arts museum in the western city of Quimper.

Beginning "my dear Max" and signed "your brother Picasso," the letter shows the close bond between the Spanish artist and Jacob, who was "his best friend at the time and the person who really discovered him," according to museum director Ambroise Guillaume.

It was written in 1903 when Picasso was in Barcelona and offers details of his life there and also his wish to come back to Paris.

"If I can work here, I'll stay here, but if I see I can't do anything here, I'll bugger off back to Paris," wrote the artist in broken French.

The letter is extremely rare given that only 10 or so letters from Picasso to Jacob have ever been found, the museum noted.

The sketches show a women appearing to comfort a seated man, an outstretched hand, what appears to be a child kneeling next to a man while animals look on, and a couple deep in conversation.

They are typical of the artist's "blue period" which dominated his output around this time.

The letter is displayed at the Quimper museum of fine art until September 21, to mark the 70th anniversary of Jacob's death.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Photographic portrait of Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), taken 1908-1909, anonymous photographer, Musée Picasso, Paris. Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Pablo Picasso via Wikipedia.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 12:36
 

O'Keeffe Museum to auction Jimson Weed, 2 other paintings

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Written by SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press   
Friday, 12 September 2014 14:59

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986), 'Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1,' to be auctioned at Sotheby's New York gallery on Nov. 20, 2014 to benefit the Acquisitions Fund of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, consignor of the painting. Estimate: $10 million to $15 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby's

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum said Friday it will sell three works by the American modernist painter to benefit its acquisitions fund.

Going on the auction block is one of O'Keeffe's most well-known flower paintings — Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1. The painting is expected to fetch as much as $15 million when Sotheby's offers it as the centerpiece of its American art sale in New York in November.

The other two works are "On the Old Santa Fe Road" and "Untitled (Skunk Cabbage)." Those paintings are expected to bring in $3.7 million combined.

The larger-than-life image of the white bloom of the jimson weed will be on view in Los Angeles and Hong Kong before returning to New York for the auction.

"It's a difficult sacrifice to let it go, but that's part of the reason it was selected," said Cody Hartley, the museum's director of curatorial affairs. "We tried to select the ones that have strong appeal in the market so we could get the best result possible."

The current auction record for an O'Keeffe work is $6.2 million, set at Christie's New York in May 2001.

Museum officials said the decision to put the works up for auction included a thoughtful process that has taken more than a year. The auction is supported by the donor and was unanimously approved by the museum's board of directors.

Hartley explained that auctioning the pieces will substantially boost the museum's acquisitions endowment as well as the museum's ability to be more competitive when pursuing iconic O'Keeffe works that aren't already part of the collection.

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Follow Susan Montoya Bryan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susanmbryanNM

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986), 'Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1,' to be auctioned at Sotheby's New York gallery on Nov. 20, 2014 to benefit the Acquisitions Fund of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, consignor of the painting. Estimate: $10 million to $15 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby's 

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 16:41
 

Bill Barrett sculpture gifted to Purdue commemorates 9/11

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 12 September 2014 08:28

Bill Barrett (b. 1934-), 'LEXEME VIII, welded bronze and aluminum, 11 x 8 x 6 feet, permanent collection Purdue University, North Central Campus, Westville, Indiana. Image courtesy of the artist

WESTVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A large marble sculpture commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks is set to be dedicated at Purdue University North Central in Westville.

The piece known as Lexeme VIII, which was unveiled yesterday, Sept. 11, 2014, is a gift of artist Bill Barrett and his wife, Debora.

Campus Chancellor James Dworkin calls the sculpture a moving reminder of an event that must never be forgotten. The Times of Munster reports the sculpture will remain on permanent outdoor display on the campus about 25 miles west of Gary.

Barrett attended high school in South Bend and has a studio in New York City just 10 blocks from what is now known as Ground Zero. In the aftermath of the attacks, Barrett began a series of work he called Lexeme, which grew to 15 pieces.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Sculptor Bill Barrett stands next to his sculpture, LEXEME VIII, which was just installed at Purdue University North Central in Westville, Indiana. Image courtesy of the artist

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 09:38
 

Hans Kotter exhibition 'Interruption' opens Sept. 11 at DeBuck Gallery

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Written by Art Gallery PR   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 09:36
Hans Kotter (German, b. 1966-), 'Big Bang...Interruption,' from the exhibition opening Sept. 11, 2014 at De Buck Gallery, New York, NY NEW YORK - De Buck Gallery's exhibition by Hans Kotter titled "...Interruption" will open on September 11 and run through October 4, 2014. Kotter will attend the opening reception, which will be held on September 11 from 6-8 p.m.

Centered around the dramatic installation "Big Bang...Interruption," Kotter's first solo exhibition with De Buck Gallery since the 2011 "Light Sensitive," shows a marked evolution in the artist's work, especially in his increased utilization of three-dimensionality. Arrows of light shoot from illuminated surfaces, complimenting the illusions created by reflections of light throughout the artwork.

In these works, Kotter builds upon his ongoing interest in the transformative power of light, emphasized by his trademark use of color-changing LED technology. The works presented in this exhibition highlight the different directions that Kotter has worked in over recent years: in tunnels of light, illusory shapes that seem to float in space, and the aforementioned use of light arrows. The latter especially possesses a dynamic, explosive quality that fully qualifies the contention in Kotter's artwork that light alone can truly transform and completely inhabit, the environment.

Hans Kotter was born in Muhldorf am Inn, Germany in 1966. He has been recognized globally for his work in the field of light art, and was recently nominated for the 2015 International Light Art Award, issued by the Centre for International Light Art. His work has been included in recent exhibitions such as those at the Osthaus Museum (Hagen, Germany), Kunstmuseum Celle (Celle, Germany), and the Museum Ritter (Waldenbuch, Germany), and is represented globally in permanent collections including the Targetti Light Collection (Florence, Italy), the Borusan Art Collection (Istanbul, Turkey), and the Kinectica Museum (London, United Kingdom). Kotter currently lives and works in Berlin.

De Buck Gallery is located at 545 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011. To contact the gallery, call 212-255-5735 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit them online at www.debuckgallery.com .

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Hans Kotter (German, b. 1966-), 'Big Bang...Interruption,' from the exhibition opening Sept. 11, 2014 at De Buck Gallery, New York, NY
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 09:48
 

Argentina to build Latin America's tallest skyscraper

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 09:22
 View of Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero neighborhood at night. Photo by Juan Ignacio Iglesias from Paso del Rey, Argentina. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Argentina will build a soaring skyscraper set to be the tallest in Latin America, President Cristina Kirchner said Tuesday.

The building, to be used for television production among other things, will rise 335 meters (1100 feet) in Puerto Madero, the capital's upscale newest neighborhood, Kirchner said in a televised address.

The building, expected to cost $300 million, should be built over the next five years. It would edge out Santiago, Chile's Gran Torre Santiago, which rises 300 meters high.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
 View of Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero neighborhood at night. Photo by Juan Ignacio Iglesias from Paso del Rey, Argentina. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 09:31
 

Sotheby's Paris to auction works from studio, estate of Man Ray

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 10:22
A number of intriguing Surrealist objects will be auctioned on Nov. 15 at Sotheby's Paris gallery, including Man Ray’s legendary irrational and humorous object 'Ce que manque à nous tous,' comprising a clay pipe with a glass bubble. Image courtesy of Sotheby's

PARIS - Sotheby’s has announced a November 15, 2014 sale of 400 works by Dada and Surrealist icon Man Ray. The collection, which is the property of the Man Ray Trust, includes works from various categories, including: Photographs, Paintings, Drawings, Objects, Jewellery, Chess and Film. The items will be offered in 300 lots.

According to a Sotheby's statement, the November 15 auction reppresents "the very last opportunity to acquire works by Man Ray coming directly from the studio of the artist, the artist’s estate. Following the first sale of works by Man Ray, coming from the studio of the artist held at Sotheby’s London in 1995, the [Nov. 15] auction will be the largest and most important sale of works by the ground-breaking artist in nearly 20 years." Many of the works to be auctioned have never been seen previously.

Simone Klein, Head of Sotheby’s European Photographs Department, commented: “The photographs from the Man Ray collection are like a time capsule, reflecting the era and the creativity of one of the most prolific artists of the twentieth century. This incredibly varied ensemble groups together vintage prints of some of Man Ray’s most emblematic images as well as some of his least known works, ranging from Surrealist compositions to portraits of contemporary personalities, also including hitherto unseen landscapes of France and the United States. This sale will be a unique opportunity to acquire photographs with attractive estimates and the most perfect provenance: coming from the artist himself.”

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 10:36
 

Famous George Washington painting to be restored

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Written by BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 08:48
Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828), 'Lansdowne' portrait of George Washington, 1796, Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. Image from Google Art Project, Google Cultural Institute. Licensed under public domain via Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the most famous portraits of George Washington will soon get a high-tech examination and face-lift of sorts with its first major conservation treatment in decades.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has begun planning the conservation and digital analysis of the full-length “Lansdowne” portrait of the first president that was painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796, museum officials told The Associated Press. The 8-foot-by-5-foot picture is considered the definitive portrait of Washington as president after earlier images in military uniform.

Work will begin in 2016 to delicately remove a yellowed varnish to reveal the original colors and details intended by the artist. The painting will remain on view until then. Once it’s taken to a lab, conservators will use digital x-rays and infrared imagery for the first time to examine Stuart’s work and changes he made beneath the painting’s surface. Some of the work will be completed within view of the public.

“We are preserving this painting forever, for posterity, and at this point in its history, it needs some attention,” said chief curator Brandon Brame Fortune. “It’s still very, very stable. But we want to be sure our visitors are seeing it looking its absolute best.”

Bank of America provided a recent grant to fund the conservation project, along with education programs around the picture.

The 18-month conservation project will be part of a major “refreshing” of the galleries that hold the nation’s presidential portraits to give more historical information about each president’s achievements, challenges and events from their time in office, said museum Director Kim Sajet. Plans call for the improvements to be completed in time for the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2018.

The Lansdowne portrait has been a centerpiece at the Smithsonian since 1968, and about 1 million visitors see it each year.

For his first full-length portrait, Washington was dressed in a black velvet suit, his official dress for receiving the public as a civilian leader, rather than showing him as a soldier or king. It’s based on earlier European portraits of aristocrats and dignitaries.

The president sat for Stuart in Philadelphia and helped determine how he would be portrayed. The resulting picture was celebrated in the U.S. and Europe. It was originally painted for the Marquis of Lansdowne, who had been a British supporter of the colonies during the Revolutionary War.

Stuart created three replicas of the portrait, one of which is held by the White House. It was made famous when Dolley Madison saved the painting when the British burned the White House 200 years ago.

The original Lansdowne painting remained in Britain for most of its history until the 1960s when it was loaned to the Smithsonian. The Portrait Gallery then bought the painting in 2001 for $20 million with a donation from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

Conservators wanted to clean and restore the painting for many years, but the museum was reluctant to take it off view. The painting is in good condition but does have problems, including paint losses in Washington’s black coat, said CindyLou Molnar, the museum’s head of conservation. The biggest problem is the heavy yellow varnish that disguises details in the painting.

“It will take me quite a while to figure out what it will take to safely remove the yellow resinous varnish and not disturb the actual paint surface,” Molnar said.

In 2001, film X-rays of the painting revealed some changes Stuart made in the picture. In one case, he moved a quill ink pen on the table beside Washington. The images showed how Stuart was having trouble adjusting the figure and objects in his original portrait, Molnar said. New technology will provide a clearer image beneath the surface. It’s not clear, though, whether any new discoveries will be made.

“Anything we can gain in terms of materials and techniques that were used only adds to the picture of how Gilbert Stuart worked,” Molnar said.

The premiere portraitist of his day, Stuart packed symbols of American history into his depiction of Washington. Furniture in the picture is carved with the U.S. seal and eagles. Books in the painting reference the Constitution, Congress and the Federalist papers. In the windows behind Washington, a rainbow appears in the sky behind dark clouds.

“The storm clouds had to do with the passing of the American Revolution,” Fortune said, “and the rainbow signified a new beginning for the new republic.”

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Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828), 'Lansdowne' portrait of George Washington, 1796, Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. Image from Google Art Project, Google Cultural Institute. Licensed under public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 08:59
 

Dutch artist Hofman's giant white rabbit wows Taiwan

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Written by Catherine Saunders-Watson   
Monday, 08 September 2014 12:05
Closeup of giant white rabbit created by Florentjin Hofman. Image courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman TAIPEI (AFP) - The Dutch artist whose huge inflatable yellow duck caused a sensation in Asia has now drawn more than one million visitors with a giant white rabbit on show in Taiwan, organizers said Monday.

Florentijn Hofman's creation, made of waterproof paper material, wood and polystyrene, stands 25 meters (82.5 feet) tall.

The beaming bunny drew 350,000 admirers on Monday alone as Taiwanese celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival, bringing to 1,004,000 the total number of visits over five days to the exhibition in the northern city of Taoyuan, the local government said.

"The number has beaten our expectations, we expected up to 200,000 visits a day," an official at the government told AFP.

"Hofman had already impressed lots of locals last year, and perhaps people wanted to have a look at his new creation designed exclusively for Taoyuan," she said on condition of anonymity.

The creation, the official said, was inspired by ancient Chinese folklore about a goddess who lived on the moon and her companion -- a rabbit which constantly pounded the elixir of life for her.

"Hofman said he felt the rabbit might need to take a break after working on the moon for thousands of years," the official said, speaking of why he posed the rabbit reclining against a bunker at a former naval air base.

The official said the artwork would remain in Taiwan after the festival, which also features installation and performance artists from China and Taiwan, closes on Sunday.

Hofman's yellow ducks drew millions of visitors when they were on display in three Taiwanese cities last year.

Since 2007 the original duck designed by Hofman -- which was 16.5 meters tall -- has travelled to 19 cities in 11 countries, including Brazil, Australia, the United States and Hong Kong, on its journey around the world.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Closeup of giant white rabbit created by Florentjin Hofman. Image courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman Smiling giant white rabbit in repose. Image courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 13:40
 

Harry Sefarbi exhibition opens at Wayne Art Center in Pa., Sept. 21

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Monday, 08 September 2014 11:34
Harry Sefarbi (American, 1917-2009), 'Hello Lover.' Image courtesy of Wayne Art Center

WAYNE, Pa. - Paintings by the artist Harry Sefarbi (1917-2009) will be exhibited for sale at Wayne Art Center in Wayne, Pa. (suburban Philadelphia) from September 21 through November 15, 2014.

WayneSefarbi's work is known for its use of varied colors, overlay of patterns, and witty subject matter featuring gentlemen callers, proud mothers, dinner parties, and mosaic cityscapes. The exhibit will be the first substantial retrospective of Sefarbi's works since his death.

Sefarbi was born in the greater Philadelphia area. After serving in World War II, he studied at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Barnes Foundation, then lived and painted in Paris for several years. He returned to Philadelphia in the early 1950s, established a home and studio in Powelton Village and taught art appreciation at the Barnes Foundation for over fifty years.

Dr Albert C. Barnes, the scientist and art collector who established the Barnes Foundation, purchased a Sefarbi painting for the Barnes collection, and Sefarbi's paintings are held in many other collections in the Philadelphia area and beyond. As a painter and an educator, Sefarbi inspired many artists and influenced many lives.

The fall 2014 exhibition at the Wayne Art Center will include paintings that Sefarbi completed shortly before his death as well as works painted earlier in his career.

Lectures about Sefarbi’s work will be offered by The Violette DeMazia Trust during the exhibition. The opening reception is from 2:00—5:00pm on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

For further information about Harry Sefarbi please visit harrysefarbipaintings.com or contact Danni Malitzski at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 610-716-2555.

The Wayne Art Center is located at 413 Maplewood Avenue in Wayne, Pa., on Philadelphia's Main Line. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Harry Sefarbi (American, 1917-2009), 'Hello Lover.' Image courtesy of Wayne Art Center Harry Sefarbi (American, 1917-2009), 'Gentleman Caller.' Image courtesy of Wayne Art Center
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 12:02
 

Sotheby's to auction Turner masterpiece, Dec. 3 in London

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 08 September 2014 10:25
Joseph Mallord William Turner R.A. (1775-1851), 'Rome, from Mount Aventine,' 1835 (est. £15-20 million), oil on its original canvas and in its original frame, 36 by 49 in.; 91.6 by 124.6 cm. Image courtesy of Sotheby's

LONDON - One of the last great Turner masterpieces remaining in private hands will be the highlight of Sotheby’s London Evening sale of Old Master on Dec. 3, 2014. Painted in 1835 by Britain’s most celebrated artist, Rome, from Mount Aventine is among Turner’s most subtle and atmospheric depictions of the Italian city, a subject that captivated Turner for over twenty years. The large-scale oil painting is further distinguished by its exceptional state of preservation, as well as a prestigious and unbroken provenance, having changed hands for the only time in 1878, when it was acquired by the 5th Earl of Rosebery, later Prime Minister of Great Britain. The picture has remained in the Rosebery collection ever since and will be offered for sale with an estimate of £15-20 million.

Discussing the forthcoming sale, Alex Bell, Joint International Head and Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings Department said: “There are fewer than ten major Turners in private hands known today and this work must rank as one of the very finest. This painting, which is nearly 200 years old, looks today as if it has come straight from the easel of the artist; never relined and never subject to restoration, the picture retains the freshness of the moment it was painted: the hairs from Turner’s brush, the drips of liquid paint which have run down the edge of the canvas, and every scrape of his palette knife have been preserved in incredible detail. Rome, from Mount Aventine comes to sale at the same time as the groundbreaking exhibition of “Late Turner” at the Tate which will further enhance our understanding of the artist’s genius. Its emergence on the market represents a rare and exciting opportunity for collectors.”

Rome, from Mount Aventine is a brilliant technical feat demonstrating the artist’s virtuosity as a landscape painter. It is possibly Turner’s most serene and beguiling vision of Rome - an enduring, timeless image, in which every detail of the city is painstakingly and accurately portrayed. With infinite subtlety he captures the first rays of morning light as they dispel the rising mist from the Tiber and bath the eternal city in a soft golden glow. The work depicts the city as seen from the Aventine Hill, looking north across the ancient city to the Field of Mars and the distant Vatican. The topography is dominated by the luminous River Tiber, which meanders its way through the ruins of antiquity, the glories of the High Renaissance and the wonders of the modern metropolis.

This spectacular panorama of Rome was a response to a specific commission from Turner’s friend and most important patron during the 1820s and 1830s, Hugh Munro of Novar (1797-1864). Munro requested that the artist painted what he termed “a copy of the city,” a “picture of modern Rome” when Turner visited the city for the second time in 1828. However, it was not until seven years later, in 1835, that the work, based on detailed studies made during the artist’s trip, was completed. When Turner exhibited his work at the Royal Academy in 1836, the Morning Post wrote: “This is one of those amazing pictures by which Mr Turner dazzles the imagination and confounds all criticism: it is beyond praise.”

The painting was hung upon the walls of Hugh Munro of Novar’s London house until the sale of his estate in 1878. Here it caught the eye of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929), who had just married Hannah de Rothschild, the greatest heiress of her day. He paid £6,142 for the picture, a price which exceeded all previous records for a work by Turner at the time. The painting is one of two great works by Turner purchased by the Earl of Rosebery from the Munro of Novar sale, the other being Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino (first exhibited in 1839) for which he paid the lesser sum of £4,240. The latter picture was acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum at Sotheby’s London in July 2010 for £29.7 million, an auction record for the British Master.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Joseph Mallord William Turner R.A. (1775-1851), 'Rome, from Mount Aventine,' 1835 (est. £15-20 million), oil on its original canvas and in its original frame, 36 by 49 in.; 91.6 by 124.6 cm. Image courtesy of Sotheby's
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 10:32
 

Roy Lichtenstein sculpture installed at IMA in time for art fair

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Written by Museum PR   
Friday, 05 September 2014 10:27

Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Five Brushstrokes,’ designed 1983–1984, fabricated 2012. Robert L. and Marjorie J. Mann Fund, partial gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Museum of Art has unveiled an exciting, world premiere sculpture by Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, who died in 1997. The work, with five separate elements, was designed in 1983 and 1984 and fabricated in 2012.

A few quick facts about the monumental Five Brushstrokes sculpture:

  • The tallest element soars 40 feet into the air and another spans 30 feet wide.
  • Until being installed at the IMA, the piece had never before been assembled.
  • It took more than 48 hours and nearly a dozen crew members to install the sculpture.
  • Originally commissioned in the early 1980s and designed by Lichtenstein, but was never assembled due to the costs associated with creating such a massive, complex sculpture.
  • Considered to be Lichtenstein’s most ambitious work in his "Brushstrokes" series.
  • The piece was finally “brought to life” by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, who funded the fabrication in 2012.
  • The IMA worked with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation for over a year to acquire the work.

The sculpture was unveiled Aug. 29 in advance of Saturday’s Penrod Art fair, which is held on the lush grounds of the IMA. The annual fair features nearly 340 artists from around the country and has drawn more than 960,000 visitors in its nearly 50 years. Attendance this year is expected to hit 20,000 visitors.

The IMA is located at 4000 Michigan Road in Indianapolis.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Five Brushstrokes,’ designed 1983–1984, fabricated 2012. Robert L. and Marjorie J. Mann Fund, partial gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. 

Dorothy Lichtenstein, the wife of the late Roy Lichtenstein, addresses the crowd at the unveiling of ‘Five Brushstrokes’ at Block Party at the IMA on Aug. 29. Image courtesy of Indianapolis Museum of Art.  

Last Updated on Friday, 05 September 2014 10:50
 
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