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Nadine Orenstein named Met’s prints, drawings curator

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Written by Museum PR   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:10
Nadine Orenstein. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art NEW YORK – Nadine M. Orenstein will become the Drue Heinz Curator in charge of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Feb. 1.

She will succeed George R. Goldner, who has been the chairman of the department since 1993.

Orenstein is currently a curator in the department who specializes in European prints and books through the 19th century.

“Over the course of his 21 years at the Met, George has proven time and again that he is a consummate connoisseur and scholar in his field,” said Thomas Campbell, director and CEO of the museum, in making the announcement. “He has led his talented team of curators in making an astonishing number of acquisitions – 8,200 –beginning with an exquisite Perugino drawing that was his first purchase for the museum. Our current exhibition, “ Paper Chase,” presents more than 60 superb works by such masters as William Blake, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Gauguin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Titian, in celebration of George’s accomplishments.”

Campbell continued: “I am certain that Nadine, an accomplished scholar, curator and writer with an impressive roster of exhibitions and publications to her credit, will carry on this tradition of excellence.”

Orenstein is currently in charge of the Dutch, Flemish and German prints and books through the 19th century. She has worked at the museum for much of her career.

She has organized several exhibitions at the Met, including “Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints” (2001), “Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), "Prints, Drawings and Paintings” (2003), and most recently "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine” (2011). She is also the lead curator of the current tribute exhibition to George Goldner, “Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints” (on view  through March 16).

She will oversee the work of the department on upcoming exhibitions and installations on Fragonard, Hercules Seghers, Michelangelo, the legacy of drawings curators William Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor, Renaissance textile designs, and early etchings in Europe.

Orenstein received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her dissertation was published in 1996 as “Hendrick Hondius and the Business of Prints in 17th-Century Holland.”


Nadine Orenstein. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:22

La Salle University's Bob Dylan archive getting rave reviews

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Written by JEFF GAMMAGE, The Philadelphia Inquirer   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:47
Bob Dylan 'Wanted Man' session autographed photo. Image courtesy of archive and Jaes Cox Gallery at Woodstock. PHILA., Pa. (AP) – The question has lingered in song since it was first posed in the 1960s:

How many roads must a man walk down – before he becomes the subject of a major university archive devoted to helping researchers discern the meaning of his every move and utterance?

The answer, my friends, ain't blowin' in the wind.

The answer is at La Salle University, which runs what it believes to be the nation's only academic collection focused on songwriter, poet, and troubadour Bob Dylan.

The Life & Work of Bob Dylan Collection, housed in the university's Connelly Library, holds loads of Dylaniana – more than 1,000 items, including rare bootleg records, concert posters, fan art, journals, DVDs, and tour T-shirts and programs.

“They have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of recordings of Bob that aren't readily available,” said Mark Sutton, an Australian who this year completed a doctorate on Dylan at the University of Sydney.

Sutton, writer of the tongue-in-cheek, guitar-and-vocal homage “I'm a Bigger Dylan Fan Than You,” saw Dylan perform 13 times just this year. He visited La Salle on what he called “a Dyl-grimage,” also traveling to see the singer's old New York City haunts and his hometown in Hibbing, Minn.

The collection holds 80 works of criticism and interpretation of Dylan's music, 40 books of scores and indexed lyrics, and eight separate periodicals devoted solely to the artist. Its 30 theses include 20 doctoral dissertations from colleges worldwide.

Fans in search of a little light reading before the academy concerts can dive into papers such as “The Alchemy of Individuation: A Case Study of Bob Dylan” and “Folksinger and Beat Poet: The Prophetic Vision of Bob Dylan.”

“There's some real obscure stuff in there,” said Haddonfield author David Kinney, who conducted research at the archive for his book The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob.

Kinney was interested in reading dissertations. And amused to find Dylan bootlegs stored in the same secure chamber as the university's invaluable collection of rare Bibles.

If it seems odd to find a Dylan center at La Salle – the Catholic liberal-arts school in the city's Logan section – that's because it is. In fact, it's odd for any academic institution.

“Rare books and manuscripts (departments) at universities are pretty risk-averse of what might be faddish, so they shy from contemporary collections,” said John Baky, La Salle's director of libraries.

But the idea of having a Dylan archive at La Salle, he said with no hint of musical irony, “struck a note.”

The school has embraced modern collecting, including the development of a compilation on the Vietnam War.

Dylan is now 73, and in many ways more popular than ever. About 20 years ago, Baky noticed the singer wasn't disappearing from the culture. If anything, he was getting more attention with each passing year – unusual for musicians, whose careers often flare and fade.

Baky also knew that prices for Dylan-related paraphernalia would only rise. So he began to gather items, accept donations, and buy what he could.

“Dylan, to me, was a cultural phenomenon, and if we didn't get the material contemporaneously, we were never going to get it,” he said.

Today, hundreds of people connect to the archive via the Internet each year, though perhaps only 10 physically show up. They're authors, researchers, aficionados.

“It's an incredible resource of musical material – all the Bob Dylan material is there, including covers of Bob Dylan by other artists,” said La Salle English professor Stephen Smith, who drew on the archive to create a course, “Dylan and the ’60s.”

The class emerged from his interest in the relationship between lyrics and poetry, an intersection familiar to Dylanophiles.

“I stayed away from the ‘spokesman for a generation’ stuff,” Smith said. “I don't know if he reflected what was happening in American society as much as he predicted it.”

Remember, he said, Dylan released “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which became an antiwar anthem, nearly two years before U.S. troops landed in Vietnam. And in 1969, with the nation riven by the war, he put out a country album, Nashville Skyline.

La Salle does not place a dollar value on the collection. But cost dictates much of what it can afford to add. Prices for sought-after Dylan material have soared, and even the stuff that's commonly available – original records, signed covers, or art prints – can cost thousands of dollars on auction sites.

Weirdly, the Dylan market has in a way worked in reverse.

Consider: Beatlemania drove a giant marketing effort that produced dolls, lunch boxes, and plastic guitars. Sales shrank as the band matured over time. Dylan, on the other hand, avoided the mass merchandising that could have accompanied his initial success in the 1960s. But now, older, he’s pumping out all manner of merchandise.

On his website, a “Like a Rolling Stone” T-shirt costs $34.99, and a “Shelter From the Storm” hoodie sells for $74.99. A signed harmonica is $5,000, and a set of seven signed harmonicas played by Dylan costs $25,000.

People sometimes seek to sell their collections to La Salle, like the Danish fan who offered more than 900 Dylan items. Archive directors loved his European concert posters, but already had much of the rest. The seller insisted on all or nothing, so no deal was struck.

The archive seeks goods that are useful for research, which tend to be print- and sound-related, while trying to discern what will be important in 50 or 100 years.

“You have to be very savvy,” said special-collections librarian Sarah Seraphin, who helps decide how the archive should grow.

She's fascinated by the academic interest in Dylan but not a fan of his music.

Baky describes himself as a fan but not a superfan, interested in Dylan mostly from an archival perspective. He explored getting tickets for Dylan's recent Center City shows at the Academy of Music, where the best seats were selling for $600 or more on secondary markets, then opted against it.

The price was too high.




Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,

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

AP-WF-12-14-14 1742GMT

Bob Dylan 'Wanted Man' session autographed photo. Image courtesy of archive and Jaes Cox Gallery at Woodstock.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 17:29

Marianne Richter named director of Columbus Museum

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 13:13

Marianne Richter. Columbus Museum image.

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Marianne Richter was today named director of the Columbus Museum, a nationally known American art and history museum.

Fray McCormick, the museum’s president of the board, announced the selection of Richter. Chosen after a national search, Richter’s appointment was unanimously approved at the museum’s board of trustees’ meeting Nov. 18. The Muscogee County School Board approved the appointment at their Dec. 8 meeting.

Richter will join the museum on Feb. 18. She currently serves as director of the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Ind., a museum of American art known especially for its Edward Hopper painting and its strong American Regionalist collection.

“Marianne Richter is a highly qualified leader with the experience and credentials to implement our strategic plan and to bring lively new-art programming and enhanced public engagement to the Columbus Museum,” said McCormick. “The board is excited about her new ideas, leadership, curatorial skills, and strong track record at other art museums. She also has successful experience with outreach, fundraising and expanding her museum’s young-professionals group. Marianne has both the administrative skills and academic credentials to take the Columbus Museum forward to even greater success.”

Previous to her current position in Indiana, Richter served as operations manager and previously curator at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. The Briscoe was a start-up museum which opened to the public after Richter moved the Swope in 2011. From 1995 to 2008, Richter served as curator at the Union League Club of Chicago, a private club with an important art collection. There, she organized many exhibitions of Chicago and national contemporary artists. Richter has also held positions as curator of American art at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio and supervisor of education at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pa. She has curated more than 30 exhibitions, produced many publications, and lectured widely on American art.

Richter reached doctoral candidacy in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she specialized in 20th century American art. She holds a master's degree in art history from the University of Delaware and is a 1983 graduate of Oberlin College, where she was an art history major and history minor. Richter also attended the Winter Institute in American decorative arts at Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Delaware. “She is well equipped to integrate art and history in new ways at our museum,” added McCormick.

Richter will take the reins from Tom Butler, who has served as director for the past 20 years. The board saluted his many accomplishments at an event in his honor on Nov. 18, after Butler’s final board meeting. Butler will retire at the end of this month.


Marianne Richter. Columbus Museum image.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 13:27

Sir Greg Knight MP joins UK auction house H&H Classics

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 08 December 2014 10:27
The Right Honourable Sir Greg Knight MP. Image courtesy of H&H Classics

WARRINGTON, UK - H&H Classics has announced that The Right Honourable Sir Greg Knight MP is joining Europe's longest-established specialist auction house of its type as a Non Executive Director.

Sir Greg, the Member of Parliament for East Yorkshire, has impeccable credentials for the role. Since 2001 he has been Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, which promotes and supports the continued use of historic and classic vehicles in the UK. He has been named by Octane magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in the worldwide historic vehicle movement and was shortlisted for 'Industry Champion of the Year' in the 2011 International Historic Motoring Awards.

Sir Greg is also a former Minister for Industry and has served as Government Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Commons.

Speaking for H&H, Business Development Manager Nick Delaney said: "Sir Greg is a Renaissance man, not only a leading Parliamentarian, a former Shadow Minister for Transport and a Privy Councillor, but a qualified Solicitor of the Supreme Court, the author of six books, a scriptwriter for TV and radio, a rock musician and of course the proud owner of a Cord, an Allard and a fabulous 1972 Jensen Interceptor. It would be hard to find a more enthusiastic supporter, and we believe his passion, strategic insight and commitment to representing the classic car fraternity along with the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs will be a wonderful asset to H&H Classics as together we work to safeguard the future of the industry."

Visit H&H Classics online at .

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The Right Honourable Sir Greg Knight MP. Image courtesy of H&H Classics
Last Updated on Monday, 08 December 2014 10:39

Irish-born artist Duncan Campbell wins Turner Prize

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Monday, 01 December 2014 16:45
Duncan Campbell, winner of the prestigious Turner Prize. Image courtesy of Tate Britain LONDON (AFP) - Dublin-born video artist Duncan Campbell won the prestigious Turner Prize on Monday for a complex film spanning African art, dance choreography and images of Irish Republican Army fighters.

The 42-year-old, who lives and works in Glasgow in Scotland, impressed critics with "It for Others," an hour-long work that was part of Scotland's entry to last year's Venice Biennale.

Campbell, known for weaving together old archival footage, YouTube clips and censored erotic images has described the work as being "about how you can understand certain histories through objects."

The prize was presented at a ceremony at Tate Britain, which oversees the prize, by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, start of "12 Years a Slave."

"This money will make a huge difference to me, even being nominated for the prize has given me great heart," Campbell said as he accepted the award.

The Turner Prize for artists based in Britain and aged under 50 celebrates its 30th birthday this year, and is notorious for challenging public perceptions of what constitutes art.

It was made famous by artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, who memorably won the prize for her unmade bed.

The favourite to win the award, Campbell fought off competition from James Richards, Tris Vonna-Michell and print-maker Ciara Phillips to scoop the £25,000 (31,500 euros, $39,000) prize.

The nominees are also given £5,000 each.

In the run-up to the award, Campbell had been described as "the only obvious winner" by The Observer's art critic Laura Cumming and as "the real thing as an artist" by The Telegraph's Richard Dorment.

Campbell's win was seen as a boost for The Glasgow School of Art, which was ravaged by a fire earlier this year, as he is the fourth graduate from the school's Master of Fine Art program to win the prize in the last decade.

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Duncan Campbell, winner of the prestigious Turner Prize. Image courtesy of Tate Britain
Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 16:52

Elissa Auther joins curators at Museum of Arts and Design

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Written by Museum PR   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 17:30

Elissa Auther. Image courtesy Museum of Arts and Design.

NEW YORK – The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) today announced that Elissa Auther will join the museum as its new Windgate Research Curator, effective Dec. 1, 2014. She will serve as the inaugural scholar and curator in this newly created position to advance scholarly research and critical discourse about craft and design.

Auther will bring far-reaching and diverse expertise to MAD as a scholar and widely published author, a skilled educator and an independent curator. She joins MAD from the University of Colorado, where she currently serves as an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art as well as the Director of the Art History and Museum Studies Program. Auther also serves as the Co-director of Feminism & Co: Art, Sex, Politics at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

The Windgate Research Curator is a newly created position, generously supported for five years by the Windgate Charitable Foundation. This initiative is a significant partnership between MAD, the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture (BGC) in New York, and the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) in North Carolina. Recognizing the resurgence of interest in craft and the process of making across a wide range of media and materials that has occurred in recent years, the new position establishes a leadership role for exploration and scholarship for this burgeoning field of study. The Windgate Charitable Foundation has been a much-valued partner of the Museum of Arts and Design for many years. In addition to its steadfast support of the Museum’s exhibitions, the Foundation has provided crucial support for the institution’s move to 2 Columbus Circle in 2008, and has been instrumental in enriching the museum’s collections in clay, glass, metalwork, wood and fiber.

“We are delighted to welcome Elissa Auther to the Museum of Arts and Design and to inaugurate the new position of Windgate Research Curator,” said Glenn Adamson, the museum’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. “With her diverse experience as a professor, author, independent curator and a co-director of a dynamic museum program, Elissa brings the distinctive combination of scholarly, curatorial and leadership abilities to help launch the innovative partnership between MAD, the Bard Graduate Center and the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. With so many new initiatives on the horizon for MAD, Elissa’s role will be critical in helping to build this important new function for the Museum, and support our reinvigorated mission.”

“I am thrilled to be joining MAD at this pivotal juncture in its history and look forward to being part of the next chapter of its growth,” said Auther. “Leaving the University of Colorado and my outstanding colleagues there and at MCA Denver was a difficult decision, but the new Windgate Research Curator position and the partnership with these three leading institutions offers a unique opportunity to expand my work and the field in an exciting new context.”

Prior to joining the University of Colorado, Auther taught at the University of Cincinnati in the School of Art, Architecture, Design and Planning. She has published widely, including String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft and West of Center: Art and the Countercultural Experiment in America, 1965–1977, which was also the subject of a nationally touring exhibition. Her current scholarship examines the fiber-based work of artist Josh Faught, the performances of Senga Nengudi, and the painting of Marilyn Minter. She has developed exhibitions for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, where she also serves as co-director of the nationally acclaimed public program Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics, as well as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and RedLine Denver. She is currently working on a large-scale retrospective of painter and photographer Marilyn Minter, which will open at the MCA Denver in 2015.

Auther received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Maryland, and her B.A. in the History of Art from San Francisco State University.


Elissa Auther. Image courtesy Museum of Arts and Design.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 22:28

In Memoriam: Andrew Bucci, modernist painter, 92

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:12
Andrew Bucci, b. 1922, Vicksburg, Miss., 1960s watercolor of woman, signed lower right 'Bucci.' Image courtesy of archive and Edens Auctions Inc. RIDGELAND, Miss. (AP) – Modernist painter Andrew Bucci, whose work spanned nearly eight decades and appeared on a U.S. postage stamp, has died.

Bucci died Sunday at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland after a brief illness, according to a statement his family released Tuesday. He was 92.

Bucci's painting of a magnolia flower appeared on the 5-cent U.S. postage stamp issued in 1967 for the 150th anniversary of Mississippi statehood.

Bucci's paintings have been featured in galleries all over the country such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, both in Washington, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work continues to be shown in galleries in Jackson and New Orleans. His best-known works are oil paintings.

His painting, Figure in Green, was the signature image on the commemorative poster for the 2014 USA International Ballet Competition.

In recent years, Bucci was honored with Mississippi's prestigious arts awards. In 2009, he received the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Mississippi Arts Commission for lifetime achievement. In 2012, he received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bucci worked as a meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau in Maryland from 1956 until his retirement in 1979. Earlier this year, he moved from Fort Washington, Md., to his hometown of Vicksburg.

He took his first art class at All Saints' Episcopal School in Vicksburg under the direction of impressionist Mary Clare Sherwood. In the 1930s, he began studying with Marie Hull in Jackson and continued to do so after he went to Louisiana State University to study architecture and engineering. He also took some courses at New York University before going to France to serve as a meteorologist during World War II. His service there gave him the opportunity to study at the Academie Julian in Paris. Upon returning from the war, Bucci enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received a bachelor's degree in fine art in 1952 and a master's degree in 1954.

He looked for work as an art instructor, but said nobody would hire him. He went to work for the weather bureau, where he stayed until his retirement.

Survivors include two sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be announced at a future date.

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

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Andrew Bucci, b. 1922, Vicksburg, Miss., 1960s watercolor of woman, signed lower right 'Bucci.' Image courtesy of archive and Edens Auctions Inc.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:42

Departing Smithsonian head reflects on its progress

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Written by BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 09:17
Wayne Clough. Image by Ethan Trewhitt. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license. WASHINGTON (AP) – As Wayne Clough prepares to leave the Smithsonian Institution after six years at the helm, the retiring engineer wanted to know a few more things about the 138 million objects at the world's largest museum complex.

He wondered: Could any pieces of the vast collection have come from his roots in rural South Georgia? So he began searching. It turns out quite a few relics and specimens come from his hometown, from a massive rattlesnake preserved in a jar to paintings, Native American pottery and other gems. He plans to publish a light-hearted book on his findings next year.

Beyond closing the loop on his career, Clough said his research shows the potential of opening up the Smithsonian's collection to a wider public by continuing to digitize thousands of objects.

“It really shows and will show more clearly in time the power of digitization and the power of personalization,” Clough said.

Clough has been the Smithsonian's chief for the digital age. The former president of Georgia Tech came to the museum complex in Washington with a focus on modernizing its digital outreach and fundraising.

With the major digitization effort and the Smithsonian's most ambitious fundraising campaign underway – with $1 billion raised in the past four years toward a $1.5 billion goal – Clough is stepping down at year's end. He will retire to Atlanta and a new home in the country.

In an interview Monday, Clough said the Smithsonian has become a more vital place that's focused on the public, delivering K-12 education programs in all 50 states, offering 2,000 lesson plans online for teachers and forging new partnerships with universities.

“Intellectually we've lifted our game,” Clough told The Associated Press.

Under his watch, the Smithsonian created a Transcription Center where 4,000 digital volunteers are working to attach information to images of museum objects to make them searchable and accessible online. Over time, a Google search of “Teddy Roosevelt” could produce a trove of museum holdings on the former president and naturalist.

None of that work in digital and educational outreach would be possible, though, without a major infusion of private money, Clough said.

The Smithsonian's taxpayer-funding model has been changing. The institution used to rely on Congress for 70 percent of its money, but that has fallen to 60 percent and could drop further.

Clough said he inherited an institution that had never run a national fundraising campaign and was still processing gifts by hand. He is proud that has changed with a donor base that has doubled in size.

Still, finances will be one of his successor's biggest challenges, Clough said, because the Smithsonian continues to grow and add new museums amid flat or declining government support. Federal funding will continue to be critical to maintain buildings, collections and free admission, he said.

“On the other hand, our Smithsonian business enterprises and philanthropy particularly and some of our research funding has to be part of the engine that makes the place work,” Clough said. “Rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we should feel very good that we can do this.”

David Skorton, the outgoing president of Cornell University, will become the next Smithsonian leader in 2015 and has a strong track record in fundraising.

In retirement, Clough plans to teach at Georgia Tech and will work to complete several ongoing book projects with the Smithsonian.


Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at .

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

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Wayne Clough. Image by Ethan Trewhitt. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 10:05

Chicago museum taps Tao Wang to lead Asian art department

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 11:08
Tao Wang. Art Institute of Chicago image. CHICAGO – The Art Institute of Chicago has appointed internationally recognized Chinese art scholar Tao Wang as the Pritzker Chair, Department of Asian Art, and Curator of Chinese Art.

Wang will lead the department as it aggressively seeks to expand the reach and raise the profile of the museum’s Asian collections and programs.

Wang, a naturalized British citizen who was born in China and educated in Kunming, Beijing and London, will assume his new responsibilities in April 2015. An expert in classical Chinese art, in particular early ritual bronzes, jades and inscriptions, he also has a deep interest in contemporary art. Wang is currently senior vice president and head of Chinese works of art at Sotheby’s New York, where he will remain until the end of March. Before joining Sotheby’s in 2012, he taught Chinese art and archaeology at University College London and at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

“Tao brings to the Art Institute an extensive knowledge of the art and archeology of China – one of the world’s most ancient living cultures – as well as a network of cultural connections in Asia, Europe and the United States, ” said Douglas Druick, president and director of the Art Institute. “He has the skills to lead our research efforts while enriching our historical collections and, most importantly, the vision to shape our growing Asian focus into the future.”

Wang will oversee the museum’s esteemed Asian collection, which is composed of works spanning nearly five millennia from China, Korea, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. It includes 35,000 objects, many of great archaeological and artistic significance, including Chinese bronzes, ceramics, jades, textiles and paintings; Japanese textiles, screens and paintings; Korean ceramics; Indian and Persian miniature paintings; and Indian and southeast Asian sculpture. The collection of Japanese woodblock prints is one of the finest in the world.

“I am thrilled to join such a storied institution and to collaborate with Douglas and other colleagues in building on the great work that already has been done,” said Wang. “This is an exciting time in the field of Asian art, and I look forward to using my knowledge and connections to enhance the Art Institute’s already distinguished collection of Asian art, as well as to promote its research in this area.”

Born in Kunming, the capital of the Yunnan Province in China, in 1962, Wang first studied Chinese language and literature, earning a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming. He did postgraduate work at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Arts in Beijing and holds a doctorate in Early Chinese Culture from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

While in London, Wang held a joint appointment at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University College London, where he taught courses on the art and archaeology of China and the Silk Road. He participated in archaeological explorations into the Taklamakan desert and led several research projects, including studies on the Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang in the British Library and on World Heritage sites in China.

In addition to authoring multiple scholarly publications, Wang is a regular contributor to The Art Newspaper, Orientations magazine and Arts of Asia. He has served on the editorial boards of the Early China Journal, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Chinese Archaeology Journal (English Edition), and East Asian Journal: Studies in Material Culture. He is the chief editor of the Shanghai Fine Art Press series Art, Collecting and Connoisseurship.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 11:15

Tate Britain toasts sculptor Phillip King on his 80th birthday

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Written by Museum PR   
Friday, 14 November 2014 17:30
Phillip King, 'And the Birds Began to Sing,' 1964 ©Tate

LONDON – Tate Britain marks the 80th birthday of renowned British sculptor Phillip King (b.1934) with a display of six of King’s works from the 1960s in the Duveen Galleries. The display, which opens on Dec. 8, celebrates King’s significant contribution to late 20th century sculpture.

King, a contemporary of Antony Caro, played a vital role in changing the face of British sculpture. His dissatisfaction with figurative, expressionistic sculpture of the 1950s, and his exposure to the new American painting in the 1960s, led him to start experimenting with abstraction, construction, material and color. The display will include key works from Tate’s collection made during this decade, including Genghis Khan, 1963, and the important loan of Rosebud, 1962, (private collection), his first colored sculpture using fiberglass.

King’s use of innovative materials such as fiberglass allowed him to mold shapes and structures not feasible with plaster or other traditional materials. Influenced by Matisse, he was also a pioneer of color – describing it as “no longer subservient to the material but something on its own, to do with surface and skin” and used it to bind the separate parts of a sculpture together.

This rich combination of materials, techniques, forms and color enabled King to create sculpture detached from conventional, figurative ideas. King also deferred from tradition by choosing to place his works directly on the floor, occupying a space alongside the viewer, rather than on plinths.

Phillip King was born in Tunisia in 1934 and came to England in 1945. He read Modern Languages at Christ’s College, Cambridge from 1954 to 1957. In 1957, he studied sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art before working as an assistant to Henry Moore. Soon after, King returned to St. Martin’s to teach with Anthony Caro. During this time he became influenced by developments in American art and began moving toward new abstraction in sculpture. In 1990 King was made Professor Emeritus of the Royal College and was the president of the Royal Academy from 1999-2004. In 2010 he received the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime

Phillip King, 'And the Birds Began to Sing,' 1964 ©Tate
Last Updated on Friday, 14 November 2014 17:51

SC State exhibit honors James Brown, Godfather of Soul

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 10:36
Autographed photo of James Brown. Image courtesy of archive and Signature House. ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) – Shoes, boots, costumes and even a hair dryer are on display as part of an exhibit examining the influence of singer James Brown at South Carolina State University.

The exhibit about the performer known as the Godfather of Soul opened Friday and continues through July at the university in Orangeburg.

Brown was born in Barnwell, S.C., and died on Christmas Day, 2006 at age 73.

The director of the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, Ellen Zisholtz, tells The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg that Brown had a tremendous influence on popular music and also stood for black pride and social justice.

The exhibit opening Friday evening included a reception featuring James Brown's band.


Information from: The Times & Democrat,

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

AP-WF-10-31-14 1413GMT

Autographed photo of James Brown. Image courtesy of archive and Signature House.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 10:55

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich revels in Hollywood, history

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Written by DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 12:14

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich. Image courtesy of the Missouri State Auditor's Office.

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) – It's just a few weeks before the election, and Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is talking animatedly about a big success that's been years in the making. The subject isn't his re-election, which appears all but assured.

Rather, Schweich is excited about buying a rare autograph and photograph of early 20th century movie star Greta Garbo, a reclusive Swedish-born actress who was particularly stingy with her signature.

“That is the hardest autograph to get in all of Hollywood,'' Schweich said, showing off a slightly yellowed album page bearing a swooping signature given to a prominent Hollywood makeup artist in 1928. “It's extremely rare.”

Perhaps even rarer than a Republican statewide official skating toward re-election with nary a token Democratic opponent.

Schweich, 54, is being challenged Nov. 4 by Libertarian Sean O'Toole and Constitution Party candidate Rodney Farthing, neither of whom has reported spending money against him. Democrat Jay Swearingen dropped out of the auditor's race before the official filing period even began, and no one stepped up.

Although Schweich is running some TV ads, the lack of a challenger allows him to conserve some of the $1.2 million he's accumulated. It could be useful later.

He's not publicly discussing it before the election, but Schweich may soon decide to join the 2016 gubernatorial race, which already features Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster and Republican Catherine Hanaway, a former state House speaker and U.S. attorney.

While politics is his profession, collecting stuff is Schweich's passion.

The Garbo autograph and a separate photograph – a rare original index print from a professional photo shoot – are just the latest additions to his extensive collections, much of them stored at a St. Louis-area bank.

He started gathering old coins at age 8 and now owns thousands of them. He has hundreds of autographs, photos and posters from the golden age of Hollywood, including about 60 Ronald Reagan items. And Schweich has dozens of historical documents, including ones signed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and every chief executive of the 20th century.

For each item, Schweich has a story about its historical significance and how he came to own it.

He has Washington's signature on an envelope addressed in 1798 to a Boston publisher with whom the president apparently was trying to resolve a subscription mix-up. Schweich bought the envelope from a European collector. He believes the letter is at the University of Virginia.

A signed letter from President Lyndon Johnson to Texas newspaper executive Amon Carter Jr. thanks Carter for sending Johnson photos of their time together earlier on the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot. An “exceedingly rare letter” because of the assassination reference, Schweich said; he bought it from Carter's estate.

Schweich has purchased much of his movie memorabilia from New York City autograph dealer Tom Kramer, who describes Schweich as a “rational” collector but “very unpredictable as to what he's going to like.”

Schweich is concerned about the content, context and story behind his collectibles.

“He's not your normal collector. He's dogged in tracking this stuff down, whether it's through personal contacts or looking on eBay or going through catalogs,” said Robert O'Brien, a Los Angeles attorney who worked with Schweich at the U.S. Department of State during President George W. Bush's administration.

Schweich says he draws political inspiration from the historical documents, but he's particularly passionate about his Hollywood photos. He spent several evenings searching for the right Garbo photograph to go with her autograph.

“I think it's really important when you're in public service – and when you're involved with the intensity of politics and the backstabbing and downright nastiness you sometimes get – to have something you can fall back on that really has nothing to do with any of it,” Schweich said. “That's why I like the Hollywood stuff, because it's fun and it's glamorous and it's interesting.”


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Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich. Image courtesy of the Missouri State Auditor's Office.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 12:53

Phil Collins donates his Alamo collection to Texas

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 27 October 2014 08:20
Singer-songwriter Phil Collins. Image by Dicknroll. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons  Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Singer Phil Collins' vast collection of artifacts related to the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution that he's donating to Texas is set to arrive in the state.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that crates of the collectibles will be delivered to San Antonio by truck on Tuesday.

Collins and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the state steward of the Alamo, are expected to oversee the transfer of the artifacts, which will be housed at a temporary location.

Patterson is leading an effort to build a permanent home for the collection.

Some of the artifacts being donated include a fringed leather pouch and a gun used by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie's legendary knife.

In a statement, Patterson says Texans are “deeply indebted to Phil Collins.”


Information from: San Antonio Express-News,

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

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Singer-songwriter Phil Collins. Image by Dicknroll. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons  Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 08:34

Elyse Luray joins Heritage Auctions' New York team

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 24 October 2014 16:16
Elyse Luray. Heritage Auctions image DALLAS – Heritage Auctions has announced that Elyse Luray, a leading expert in the collectibles and pop culture field with more than 20 years of appraising experience and several television shows to her credit, has joined its growing Trusts & Estates Division. Elyse will assist executors, advisors and fiduciary professionals with their client's needs for estate evaluations, appraisals and asset divestiture. She will represent Heritage Auctions from its New York office, 445 Park Ave. (at 57th Street).

“Elyse’s accomplishments in the field of fine art and collectibles could fill two careers,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “She is incredibly knowledgeable and her unique perspective and notable accomplishments brings a wealth of experience our clients can trust. She is a wonderful addition to the array of services we offer in New York.”

Elyse served as the department head of Collectibles for Christie’s for more than 10 years after earning a degree in art history from Tulane University in New Orleans. Since then she has collaborated and consulted with a number of specialty auction houses, handling high-profile auctions ranging from antique toys to sports collectibles and fine wine. The roster of important private collections she has managed include the archives of Lucas Films, DreamWorks, Fox Studios, Chuck Jones’ personal collection, Jimi Hendrix, Muhammad Ali, Eric Clapton, Marilyn Monroe, and Mickey Mantle.

Elyse is also the nationally recognized host of numerous television programs on collectibles, such as HGTV’s If Walls Could Talk and The Longest Yard Sale, as an appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow and as a permanent cast member of its popular History Detectives. She quickly earned roles as host of Collection Intervention on the Syfy network, Treasure Seekers on VOOM!, and as a collectibles expert on The Nate Berkus Show and Clean House NY! as well as several appearances on morning television programs. She is also an author, speaker and a licensed auctioneer in New York.

A member of the Appraisers Association of America, Elyse is a USPAP-certified appraiser of Entertainment memorabilia and a preferred appraiser for both the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies and Encompass Insurance.

“Elyse’s outstanding expertise in arts and collectibles, coupled with her diverse experiences on television, as an author and popular auctioneer, will be an instant asset to Heritage’s presence in the Trusts & Estates community,” said Mark Prendergast, Director of Trusts & Estates at Heritage.

To be based in New York, Elyse joins a team under the leadership of Prendergast and will work closely with Karl Chiao, Trusts & Estates Representative in Dallas; Michelle Castro, Consignment Director and Trusts & Estates in Dallas; as well as Carolyn Mani, Consignment Director and Trusts & Estates in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Elyse Luray may be reached at 212-486-3504 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Elyse Luray. Heritage Auctions image
Last Updated on Friday, 24 October 2014 16:23

In Memoriam: Famed Elvis photographer Alfred Wertheimer

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Written by LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:11
Alfred Wertheimer, 'The Kiss,' 1956. Image courtesy of archive and Phllips de Pury & Co. LOS ANGELES (AP) – Alfred Wertheimer, the photographer whose portraits of Elvis Presley documented the birth of a music legend, has died.

Wertheimer, who was 85, died of natural causes Sunday at his New York apartment, said Chris Murray, who owns Washington, D.C.'s Govinda Gallery, which counts Wertheimer among its artists.

Wertheimer was 26 when he was assigned to photograph the unknown 21-year-old singer. He traveled with Elvis from New York to Memphis by train and produced a series of now famous black and white portraits that were the subject of exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution and the Grammy Museum.

“There has been no other photographer that Elvis ever allowed to get as up close and personal in his life through photos as he did with Alfred,” Priscilla Presley said Tuesday. “I'm deeply saddened by the death of Alfred Wertheimer. He was a dear friend and special soul. I feel he was a gift for all who knew him especially, Elvis Presley.”

Among the most famous shots: The Kiss, a photo of Elvis nuzzling a woman fan backstage. Photographs of Elvis recording Hound Dog and Don't Be Cruel, reading fan mail, eating alone, staring out a train window, playing a piano in an empty studio and walking by himself on a deserted New York street depicted a solitude that later was surrendered to fame and mobs of fans.

Murray, who first exhibited the photos at Washington, D.C.'s Govinda Gallery where the photos are still shown, curated an exhibit of his photos for the Smithsonian and edited several books of the photos. His work has been shown in museums and galleries throughout the world. Wertheimer's photos are about to be exhibited at The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography in Moscow, his first Russian exhibit.

“Alfred's photos were about America in 1956, the lunch counters, the trains, the stores where Elvis looked in the windows and wondered if he could ever buy those things,” Murray said. “Apart from his recordings, the photos are the most important vintage documents of Elvis' life.”

He quoted Wertheimer as telling him: “I was a reporter whose pen was a camera.”

With his pictures appearing on calendars, in books, on memorabilia and clothing, the capstone of his career was the publication last year of Elvis and the Birth of Rock And Roll, a limited edition published by Taschen.

“Alfred Wertheimer always used to say, ‘If your pictures are boring, get closer.’ And he lived up to that rule, getting inside Elvis's world like no other photographer ever could,” said Nina Wiener, co-editor of the Taschen book.

At a book signing last year, Werthheimer recalled that he shot in black and white because RCA, Elvis' label, refused to pay for high-priced color film and processing, uncertain if Elvis was going to be worth it. The photographer shot one roll of color that he paid for himself.

Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises at Graceland in Memphis, called Werthheimer a great part of the Elvis legacy.

“The young Al Wertheimer collided with the young Elvis Presley at just the most unique time in 1956,” Soden said. “Al's photographs captured the beginning of a new era in popular culture and have continued to define the young Elvis over all the decades since.”

Werthheimer had humble beginnings. His family fled Hitler's Germany when he was 6 and settled in Brooklyn, where his father was a butcher. As a boy, he received his first camera from his brother and became fascinated with recording images.

He studied drawing at Cooper Union, graduating with a degree in advertising design. But photography was his passion. When drafted into the Army, he compiled a photo essay on his company and was assigned as a photographer for the Army newspaper in Heidelberg, Germany.

Back home, he began a freelance photo business and was hired by RCA to photograph singers. His fateful assignment in 1956 left all the other pictures in the dust. He would say later that he received a two-week assignment and it lasted nearly 60 years.

Wertheimer is survived by his nieces Pam Wertheimer and Heidi Wohlfeld.

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

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Alfred Wertheimer, 'The Kiss,' 1956. Image courtesy of archive and Phllips de Pury & Co.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:28

In Memoriam: Legendary designer Oscar de la Renta, 82

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Written by SHELLEY ACOCA and JOCELYN NOVECK, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 09:45
Oscar de la Renta during a visit to Madrid, Spain. Portrayed by foto di matti in the Hotel Ritz. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. NEW YORK (AP) – At his Fashion Week runway show in September, Oscar de la Renta sat in his usual spot: in a chair right inside the wings, where he could carefully inspect each model just as she was about to emerge in one of his sumptuous, impeccably constructed designs.

At the end of the show, the legendary designer himself emerged, supported by two of his models. He didn't walk on his own, and didn't go far, but he was beaming from ear to ear. He gave each model a peck on the cheek, and then returned to the wings, where models and staff could be heard cheering him enthusiastically.

De la Renta, who dressed first ladies, socialites and Hollywood stars for more than four decades, died Monday evening at his Connecticut home at age 82, only six weeks after that runway show. But not before another high-profile honor was bestowed on him: The most famous bride in the world, Amal Alamuddin, wore a custom, off-the-shoulder de la Renta gown to wed George Clooney in Venice. Photos of the smiling designer perched on a table at the dress fitting appeared in Vogue.

De la Renta died surrounded by family, friends and “more than a few dogs,” according to a handwritten statement signed by his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen. The statement did not specify a cause of death, but de la Renta had spoken in the past of having cancer.

“While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much with us. Oscar's hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company,” the statement said. “All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit.”

The late `60s and early `70s were a defining moment in U.S. fashion as New York-based designers carved out a look of their own that was finally taken seriously by Europeans. De la Renta and his peers, including the late Bill Blass, Halston and Geoffrey Beene, defined American style – and their influence is still spotted today.

De la Renta's specialty was eveningwear, though he also was known for chic daytime suits favored by the women who would gather at the Four Seasons or Le Cirque at lunchtime. His signature looks were voluminous skirts, exquisite embroideries and rich colors.

Earlier this month, first lady Michelle Obama notably wore a de la Renta dress for the first time. De la Renta had criticized her several years earlier for not wearing an American label to a state dinner in 2011.

Among Obama's predecessors favoring de la Renta were Laura Bush, who wore an icy blue gown by de la Renta to the 2005 inaugural ball, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wore a gold de la Renta in 1997.

“We will miss Oscar's generous and warm personality, his charm, and his wonderful talents.” Bush said in a statement. “My daughters and I have many fond memories of visits with Oscar, who designed our favorite clothes, including Jenna's wedding dress. We will always remember him as the man who made women look and feel beautiful.”

A statement from former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, said: “Oscar's remarkable eye was matched only by his generous heart. His legacy of philanthropy extended from children in his home country who now have access to education and health care, to some of New York's finest artists whose creativity has been sustained through his support.”

De la Renta made just as big a name for himself on the Hollywood red carpet – with actresses of all ages. Penelope Cruz and Sandra Bullock were among the celebrities to don his feminine and opulent gowns. His clothes even were woven into episodes of Sex and the City, with its style icon, Carrie Bradshaw, comparing his designs to poetry.

One actress who wore a de la Renta gown to this year's Oscars was Jennifer Garner.

“Mr. de la Renta loved women,” she said on Monday evening, wiping away tears. “And you saw it in every design that he did. He honored women's features, he honored our bodies. He wasn't afraid to pull back and let the woman be the star of the look.”

De la Renta was also deeply admired by his fellow designers. “He set the bar,” designer Dennis Basso said on Instagram Monday night. “But most of all he was a refined elegant gentleman.”

The designer's path to New York's Seventh Avenue took an unlikely route: He left his native Dominican Republic at 18 to study painting in Spain, but soon became sidetracked by fashion. The wife of the U.S. ambassador saw some of his sketches and asked him to make a dress for her daughter – a dress that landed on the cover of Life magazine.

That led to an apprenticeship with Cristobal Balenciaga, and then de la Renta moved to France to work for couture house Lanvin. By 1963, he was working for Elizabeth Arden couture in New York and in 1965 had launched his own label.

He told The Associated Press in 2004 that his Hispanic roots had worked their way into his designs.

“I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant,” he said.

While de la Renta made Manhattan his primary home, he often visited the Dominican Republic and kept a home there. Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour was a frequent visitor and she has said traveling with him was like traveling with the president.

He also had a country home in northwestern Connecticut. Gardening and dancing were among his favorite diversions from work. “I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops,” he said.

As a designer, de la Renta catered to his socialite friends and neighbors – he and his wife, Annette, were fixtures on the black-tie charity circuit – but he did make occasional efforts to reach the masses, including launching a mid-priced line in 2004 and developing a dozen or so perfumes.

He was an avid patron of the arts, serving as a board member of the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, among others, and he devoted considerable time to children's charities, including New Yorkers for Children. He also helped fund schools and day-care centers in La Romana and Punta Cana in his native country.

The Dominican Republic honored de la Renta with the Order of Merit of Juan Pablo Duarte and the order of Cristobol Colon. In the United States, he received the Coty American Fashion Critics Award twice, was named womenswear designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2000 and also received a lifetime achievement award from the CFDA – an organization for which he served as president in the 1980s.

Besides his own label, de la Renta spearheaded the Pierre Balmain collection from 1993-2002, marking the first time an American designed for a French couture house, and he was awarded the French Legion of Honor with the rank of commander. He also received the Gold Medal Award from the king and queen of Spain.

De la Renta gave up the title of chief executive of his company in 2004, handing over business duties to the Bolens, but he remained active on the design end, continuing to show his collections during New York Fashion Week.

De la Renta also is survived by an adopted son, Moises, a designer at the company.

De la Renta's first wife, French Vogue editor Francoise de Langlade, died in 1983.


Associated Press Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson in Los Angeles also contributed to this report.

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

AP-WF-10-21-14 1211GMT

Oscar de la Renta black silk taffeta ball gown having boned bodice with padded bust, slightly dropped waist, and layered full skirt with accordion pleats and ruffles. This dress will be sold at a Charles A. Whitaker Auction Co. auction on Nov. 1. Image courtesy of and Charles A. Whitaker Auction Co.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 10:10
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