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Leon Benrimon to lead Heritage NYC Modern & Contemp. Art dept.

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 14:52

Leon Benrimon, newly appointed head of Heritage Auctions' Modern & Contemporary Art department in New York. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

NEW YORK – Leon Benrimon has joined Heritage Auctions as Director of Modern and Contemporary Art for its New York office, continuing the company’s expansion into the market. This follows Heritage’s April 2015 announcement that it is effectively doubling the size of its Park Avenue space.

"Leon is an incredibly bright talent with a great eye and the drive to grow the category,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "As a company we anticipate great things from him as we continue competing for and auctioning the best available material in New York.”

Prior to joining Heritage, Benrimon owned Benrimon Contemporary in New York, where he sold blue chip artworks on the secondary market in association with historical exhibitions, while dedicating himself to representing and supporting emerging, established and mid-career Contemporary artists working in a variety of media.

Leon grew up immersed in the art world, with parents who both own art galleries, and three siblings, all of whom also currently work in the art world. He received his Master’s Degree at Christie’s Education in New York and worked at family owned galleries on Fifth and Madison Avenues at David Benrimon Fine Art.

"I look forward to getting to work with the Heritage team in New York curating auctions and corresponding exhibitions that present collectors with innovative ways to explain the continuum of Modern and Contemporary art," he said. "I want my work to foster growth for the collectors, for institutions, for Heritage and for its staff."

His specialty will be working with new collectors and post-war artists – such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, Prince, Basquiat, Longo, Kusama Haring, Murakami and Hirst, among others.

Visit Heritage Auctions online at

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 15:02

Stallone in France for debut of artwork retrospective

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Written by AFP wire service   
Monday, 18 May 2015 09:13

Sylvester Stallone at the Stallone in 2009 at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. Image by Nicolas Genin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

NICE, France (AFP) – Better known for his tough guy roles in the "Rocky" and "Rambo" films, Sylvester Stallone was in southern France this weekend for the opening of a retrospective of his artwork.

The 68-year old U.S. actor signed autographs for fans on Saturday at the modern art museum in Nice, where his "Real Love" exposition is running for two weeks.

"Painting, without a doubt, is the most honest form of all the arts.
 Because it's simple, unforgiving, and it's there to be studied up-close and personal. And you can't defend it, it's there. So I think it's the most honest of all the arts," Stallone, sitting alongside Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, told a press conference.

Stallone, an Academy-award nominated actor as well as a director and screenwriter, studied art before his film career took off, and has also had shows in Russia, Switzerland and Miami.

Estrosi praised Stallone's work on Twitter. "The exposition 'Real Love' ... reveals an inspired painter, a side often overlooked," wrote the mayor.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 May 2015 09:23

Profile: Texas business mogul, art collector Sam Wyly

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Friday, 15 May 2015 16:31

Sam Wyly as a young man just starting out on what would become a spectacular career in business. Photo courtesy of Sam Wyly

DALLAS – (ACNI) On May 20th, Dallas Auction Gallery will sell a number of artworks from the private collection of legendary Texas entrepreneur and philanthropist Samuel E. Wyly.

Wyly’s rise to fame and fortune began in 1963. With a $1,000 investment, he founded University Computing, a firm that provided computer services to engineers, scientists and researchers at Sun Oil Co., Texas Instruments, and other companies. Over the next 40+ years, Wyly and his brother, Charles, founded, bought and sold many other hugely successful businesses. In 2007, Forbes magazine estimated Sam Wyly’s net worth to be $1.1 billion.

Now 80, Wyly generously shared an hour of his time with Auction Central News to discuss his lifelong journey as an art collector, as well as insights on the childhood in Lake Providence, Louisiana, that influenced his aesthetic point of view. This is a transcript of that conversation:

ACN – What is your earliest recollection of being aware of art or being impressed by an artwork?

SM – In our home there were a few paintings from Great-Great-Grandma Anna Sparrow’s Grand Tour of Europe in the 1870s with her two sisters. Also, I read a lot of history and historical fiction, and the books had art on the jackets and within many of the books.

ACN - Sometimes art collectors gravitate to colors from the landscape they recall as children. What do you remember about northeastern Louisiana – the skies, the land, the water? Has that influenced any of your buying choices?

SW – [I remember] the blue, natural lake we swam in surrounded by 300-year-old cypress trees with Spanish moss hanging from the limbs, something we tried to recreate for our spring formal dance at Louisiana Tech. Also, the mud from rains on dirt roads when cars and trucks got stuck in the mud reminded me of how Dad would row the boat across the lake. A truck in a painting was always a grabber for me.

Shown below: Charles Wyly Jr. [center left] and Sam Wyly [center right] receive Boy Scout medals. The brothers were industrious as youths and worked in their parents' other business, a weekly newspaper, doing whatever jobs were required of them, from selling ads to folding papers and cleaning printing presses. Photo courtesy of Sam Wyly

ACN – In your collection, the engraving after Audubon titled ‘American White Pelican’ suggests a connection to your Louisiana roots, since it is Louisiana’s state bird. Would that be correct?

SW – [Audubon] painted most of his birds as a guest of plantation owners, like my folks, in the parishes up and down the Mississippi, the bayous and its tributaries.

ACN - Do you remember when you bought your first painting? Please tell me what that painting was and the circumstances of its purchase.

SW – At a gallery in Scotland in the 1960s, I bought a barnyard scene by the elder or the younger Herring. I was building a multi-national computing company from my Dallas base.

ACN - How did your collecting journey evolve after that first purchase?

SW - I’m a storyteller, so I bought pictures that told me a story.

ACN – Have you always been an intuitive buyer of art who went with what he liked, or have you made an effort to follow the art market the same way some follow the stock market?

Intuitive. I didn’t care about what anyone else thought about [my choices].

ACN – You come from a family of industrious people, and your own career has been built on hard work. I notice that this seems to be a theme in some of the paintings you’ve acquired. Let’s talk about a few that are going to be auctioned – tell me what you like about them and if there’s a story behind your purchase of the painting:

Joe Jones’ “Raking Hay”

SW - I helped bale hay and pick cotton as a kid. I also loved the fields of white cotton, and the green and yellow John Deere tractor.

Fred Darge’s (1900-1978) “Old Pedro the Goat Herder”

SW – We had a goat who pulled my brother and me in our wagon. [Shown below: Sam at front and Charles Jr in wagon, with friends T.P. Sewell and Watt Sewell standing left and right, respectively. Photo courtesy of Sam Wyly]

Frank Tenney Johnson’s (1874-1939) “The Pioneers”

SW – Ten generations ago, my folks came down the Great Wagon Road that ran west from Philadelphia and down the valleys of Virginia to Augusta, Georgia. Lots of the covered wagons were “Conestogas,” made by German craftsmen in Conestoga, Pennsylvania.

ACN – Have you ever had occasion in the past to buy art directly from the artist?

Yes. I’ve commissioned numerous family portraits by Marc Klionsky in SoHo. He and his wife, Ilena, and his dealer, Howard Shaw of Hammer Galleries, live in New York City. Marc and Ilena, and his sister, are in SoHo. I also commissioned paintings by Michael Deas, who paints as Evan Wilson; and David Wright.

ACN – Your collection has been home to at least two Norman Rockwell artworks that I know of. I suspect you appreciate his celebration of American life as much as you admire his talent as an artist. Would that be an accurate statement?

Growing up, we got the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines – Boys Life, Scout Magazine, Time, Life and Fortune – where Rockwell and other illustrators such as Mort Kunstler and Leyendecker told stories with art. My mama loved photo journalism.

ACN – Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter,” which is in the Crystal Bridges Museum’s collection, was previously part of your collection. Have you visited the painting since it was displayed there? It’s quite a magnificent museum.

SW – No, but I hope to go.

ACN – In the auction listing, we see a 1936 Rockwell charcoal and colored pencil on painting titled “Barbershop Quartet.” How did you happen to acquire it, and what is it about the artwork that spoke to you?

SW – Every Saturday, our family went to town and my dad would go to the barbershop. I tell that story in the book 1,000 Dollars & An Idea. He and the other farmers would swap stories about cotton, corn and soybeans, and the threats of another Great Flood from the Mississippi River.

ACN – One of the most recognizable of all Presidential images is the Rembrandt Peale portrait of George Washington. You must have taken great pride of ownership in that particular artwork. You’re both a patriot and an art collector – which was the primary motivation for purchasing this painting, and where did you display it?

SW – I loved this “Gorgeous George” more than Gilbert Stuart’s “Gnarly George,” and I hung it in my computer company headquarters, and then in our home. Stuart’s is on the $1 bill, but, Rembrandt Peale’s “Gorgeous George” is on the cover of the last five Washington biographies I have bought.

ACN – I admit that I was surprised to see the Chinese painting by Chen Yi Ming in your collection. It’s a beautiful painting, very sensitive – but not typical of the very masculine subject matter otherwise seen in your collection. What inspired you to acquire that painting?

SW Merchandising trips to towns in South China by way of Hong Kong, spending a week in Taiwan with my daughter, Laurie, just out of college; teaching Chinese kids to speak English, a trip to Beijing and the Great Wall of China and going to art galleries there; a ride on the “chicken bus” from Taipei to Kaohsiung.

ACN – You’re regarded as a great American patriot. Would you also call yourself a history buff?

For sure -- maybe even a “scholar.”

ACN – If you were to start your art collection all over again today, which artists’ work would you buy, and why?

Don’t know. Never been that sort of long-range planner.

* * *

Click to view a preview of Dallas Auction Gallery’s May 20 auction featuring the Sam Wyly collection.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to




Last Updated on Friday, 15 May 2015 17:28

David Hockney show blends painting, digital imagery

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:56

Signed photograph of David Hockney. Image courtesy of archive and International Autograph Auctions Ltd.

LONDON (AFP) – British artist David Hockney said he would keep working "until I fall over" as he unveiled his latest show in a gallery in London on Thursday in an exhibition blending digital photography and painting.

Wearing a linen cap, a red tie and a loose gray suit, the 77-year-old from Bradford in northern England told reporters that he was aiming for "a new kind of picture" intended to give perspective to photography.

"I'm going to go on until I fall over... Artists don't retire. What else is there to do?" he said, speaking at the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery near Oxford Street, a busy shopping thoroughfare.

Hockney, who had his first one-man show in 1963 and is best known as a leader of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s, is Britain's greatest living artist.

He still spends some time in his native Yorkshire region but is now based mostly in Los Angeles.

"I have a life there that suits me. I don't go out much. I go to bed at 9 o'clock. I wake up and I go to the studio. I live in the studio really," he said.

"Playing with photography excites me. You can make a new kind of picture," he said, his voice lightening.

"I've only recently realized what digital photography can do. You can play with perspective," he added.

The collection "Painting and Photography" comprises around 40 works shot and painted in his studio in Los Angeles in 2014 and 2015, including portraits and several pictures showing a card game in progress.

"The card players goes back to Caravaggio ... Card players are very good. They play and ignore you."

Hockney has used iPhones and iPads as part of his creative process although he admitted he was "too deaf" to actually have a phone call on a smartphone.

He also emphasized that there was no replacement for traditional drawing – a process that he compares to playing chess "because you plan ahead."

"It's always back to the drawing board, even when you're drawing on a computer," he said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 May 2015 13:09

In Memoriam: Performance artist Chris Burden, 69

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 13:17

In 2010, Chris Burden created 'Metropolis II,' a large-scale kinetic sculpture modeled after a fast-paced modern city. Courtesy of The Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation, © Chris Burden, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Performance artist Chris Burden, whose work included being shot at close range and having himself crucified on top of a Volkswagen Beetle, has died aged 69, museum managers said.

"We are saddened to note the passing of Chris Burden, an artist who has left indelible marks in both the international art world and here in Los Angeles," the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) said.

The museum, which hosts a Burden piece made of antique street lamps, hailed his "tireless, relentless pursuit of innovation in performance, sculpture, and performance-sculpture, among other media."

Burden died Sunday from malignant melanoma, according to the Los Angeles Times, which said he was diagnosed 18 months ago but kept the information private.

He was catapulted to fame in 1971 when he had a friend shoot him from about 15 feet away, with a .22-caliber rifle, in a gallery in Santa Ana, California. The piece, caught on a brief grainy video, was entitled "Shoot."

Also among his most famous works was 1974's "Trans-Fixed," in which he lay crucifix-like on the top of a Volkswagen Beetle car, with nails driven through his hands.

At LACMA, Burden's work "Urban Light" consists of 202 streetlamps dating from the 1920s and 1930s originally installed throughout Southern California. It has been unofficially accepted by the West Coast city as its symbol.

The museum said that in Burden's honor it will leave "Urban Light" turned on through Sunday, as "a testament to the work that will live on for generations."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 13:39

Joe Stagnitti to head Morphy's Antique & Vintage Fishing Tackle dept.

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:47
Joe Stagnitti, newly appointed head of Morphy Auctions' Antique & Vintage Fishing Tackle, Baits & Ephemera department. Image provided by Morphy's.

DENVER, Pa. – The fish will soon be biting at Morphy Auctions’ Pennsylvania gallery, with the announcement that the company has launched an Antique & Vintage Fishing Tackle, Baits & Ephemera department.

Heading the newest of Morphy’s specialty divisions is Joe Stagnitti, a well-known dealer and collector who has had a committed involvement in the fishing collectibles hobby for more than 25 years. Stagnitti will be representing Morphy’s at collector and club events around the country. Additionally, he will manage Morphy’s twice-yearly fishing tackle sales, the first of which is set for October 24-25 of this year.

“Joe is uniquely qualified and will do a fantastic job for us,” said Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions. “He knows both sides of the business, starting as a collector of antique and vintage fishing material and later transitioning into the role of dealer. He worked hard over the years to build his base of knowledge – reading old fishing magazines, studying early fishing tackle sales catalogs and speaking with ‘old timers’ and experts in the hobby. He has a photographic memory, which undoubtedly helped him to become the expert he is today.”

Stagnitti recalls that his love of fishing was instilled at an early age. “My father, who died when I was age seven, taught me two very valuable things – to play baseball and fish. I’m past the age that I can play baseball, but I sure can fish,” he said.

In 1989 Stagnitti started collecting old fishing lures and became a regular buyer at the barns, shops and showfields of Madison-Bouckville, a short distance from his home in Canastota, New York.

“To the dealers who were set up there year round, I became known as the ‘kid’ who collected fishing lures. I would pass through there a couple of times a week. If they came across any lures, they would hold them for me,” Stagnitti said.

During his first four years as a collector, Stagnitti said he thought he was the only person interested in old lures. Then he moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for business, and that’s where he discovered and became a member of the NFLCC – the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club.

“Back then, it was the Wild West for fishing collectibles. There were literally no set prices, and the demand for items was so great, you could ask almost anything you wanted,” Stagnitti said. “If you had something that six people wanted, you could name your price. Lures could go as high as $50,000 and there would be four people in line for it.”

In 1996, Stagnitti, who has degrees in landscape architecture and surveying and engineering, made the leap to dealing fulltime in antique and vintage fishing tackle and lures.

“Soon I was setting up at 10 shows a year and also selling via the Internet. That’s how I developed a private clientele,” he said.

Stagnitti says his goal now as a department head at Morphy’s is to “re-energize” the antique and vintage fishing tackle market, which cooled off for a period of time but is rebounding.

“Any area of collecting is cyclical,” he explained, “but we’re on the upswing, now. What is really exciting is seeing that there are now some younger collectors coming into the hobby who are sons of former collectors.”

Stagnitti wants to reach enthusiasts who have been flying under the radar. “There have always been lots of unknown collectors,” he said. “I would estimate that for every member of our national club, there are at least fifty people who collect fishing tackle but who don’t go to shows or belong to any organizations. They are missing the camaraderie that collectors enjoy so much when they get together, and that’s an aspect we want to develop at each of our auctions.”

Morphy’s is now accepting quality consignments of antique and vintage fishing tackle, baits and related advertising for their Oct. 24-25 auction, which will feature absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. To discuss consigning, call Dan Morphy at 717-335-3435 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit Morphy’s online at

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:59

Bata Shoe Museum kicks off ‘Men in Heels’ exhibition

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 09:49

Toronto shoemaker Master John made these men’s platform boots complete with 5 1/2-inch heels, appliquéd stars, and veritable landscape in leather. In the 1970s, some men followed the lead of rock stars in adopting lavish personal adornment and elevating shoes cultivating a persona at once dandyish and hyper-masculine. Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum. Photo credit: Image © 2015 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

TORONTO (AP) – The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada, is hosting a new exhibit opening May 8 called “Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels.”

The show looks at men's footwear from the early 17th century to the present, including its history, variety, function and significance. The exhibit will be on view through June 2016.

The show also serves to celebrate the museum's 20th anniversary.

Exhibits will range from military boots to cowboy and biker boots to footwear worn by John Lennon and Elton John, along with footwear from the musical Kinky Boots and current heeled fashions for men. Some early examples of men's heeled footwear were heeled riding boots that helped men secure their feet in stirrups.

Details at

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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From dime novels and Wild West shows to Hollywood Westerns, the high-heeled cowboy symbolized unfettered freedoms and self-reliance in the 20th century. Although 19th century cowboys first splurged on ostentatious cowboy boots after reaching the railheads at the end of a long cattle drive, it took Hollywood and dude ranches for the cowboy boot with its pointy toe and low slung heel to finally take shape. This pair of Tony Lama boots reflects the fashion for finery from the use of lizard skin at the toe to the high-stacked leather heel. Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum. Photo credit: Image © 2015 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada (photo: Ron Wood)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 10:14

Warhol Museum names Keny Marshall director of exhibitions

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 09:28

Keny Marshall. Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Andy Warhol Museum has appointed Keny Marshall as its director of exhibitions.

Most recently Marshall was a consultant working with artists and museums to design, fabricate and install interactive artworks and complex installation projects. He assumes his role at the Warhol on April 28, 2015.

Marshall earned a master of fine arts degree from Louisiana State University, and he holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Tennessee.

As a consultant, he worked on a variety of multifaceted projects in Pittsburgh including systems maintenance of the 2012 steel and fog sculpture Cloud Arbor, a collaboration among artist Ned Kahn, landscape architect Andi Cochran, and the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum; and specialty fabrication for Scott Hocking’s 2012 Mattress Factory installation Coronal Mass Ejection.

Marshall has also worked with a number of museums to oversee various facets of exhibition production and installation, including at Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles; State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg; and the Warhol’s sister institution Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 09:48

In Memoriam: former Sotheby's chairman A. Alfred Taubman, 91

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 20 April 2015 10:06

Taubman Centers, Inc. founder A. Alfred Taubman joined his sons Robert and William on March 26, 2015, at the grand opening of The Mall of San Juan. Left to right: Robert S. Taubman, Chairman, President and CEO, Taubman Centers, Inc.; A. Alfred Taubman, founder, Taubman Centers, Inc.; William S. Taubman, Chief Operating Officer, Taubman Centers, Inc. (Photo: Business Wire)

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Michigan (AP) _ A. Alfred Taubman, the self-made Michigan billionaire whose philanthropy and business success -- including weaving the enclosed shopping mall into American culture -- was clouded by a criminal conviction late in his career, has died. Taubman, who served as chairman of Sotheby's Holdings Inc from 1983 to 2000, was 91. Taubman, who donated hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, hospitals and museums, died Friday night at his home of a heart attack, according to son Robert S. Taubman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, Inc.

"This company and all that you stand for were among the greatest joys of his life,'' Robert S. Taubman wrote in a message to the company's employees. "He was so proud of what this wonderful company he founded 65 years ago has accomplished.''

Taubman's business success spanned from real estate and art auction houses to the hot dog-serving A&W restaurant chain, for which he traveled to Hungary to figure out why the country's sausage was so good. He also became a major backer of stem-cell research. But it was his rearrangement of how people shop -- parking lot in front, several stores in one stop close to home -- that left a mark on American culture. Taubman Centers, a subsidiary of his Taubman Co., founded in 1950, currently owns and manages 19 regional shopping centers nationwide.

"Everything that excited me that I got interested in, I did,'' Taubman told The Associated Press in a 2007 interview.

Born Jan. 31, 1924, in Pontiac, Michigan, to German-Jewish immigrants, Taubman worked at a department store after school near his family's home, which was among the custom houses and commercial buildings developed in the area by his father. He was a freshman at the University of Michigan when he left to serve in World War II, around the time he stopped using his first name, Adolph. He returned to Ann Arbor to study art and architecture,and then transferred to Lawrence Technological University near Detroit to take night classes while working at an architectural firm as a junior draftsman.

Recognizing the booming post-war growth of the middle class, he launched his first real estate development company in 1950. His first project was a freestanding bridal shop in Detroit -- but he had his eyes on something bigger. He'd noticed shoppers responding to the convenience of a "one-stop comparison shopping opportunity,'' he wrote in his autobiography. So when a friend suggested a shopping plaza in Flint, Taubman's company did something radical for the time: stores were pushed to the back of the lot and parking spaces were put up front. It was a success, his young company took on larger-scale developments in Michigan, California and elsewhere in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Taubman served as chairman of Sotheby's Holdings, Inc., parent company of Sotheby's art auction house, from 1983 to 2000, and was a partner in the international real estate firm The Athena Group before he was tangled in a price-fixing scheme. He was convicted in 2001 of conspiring with Anthony Tennant, former chairman of Christie's International, to fix the commissions the auction giants charged. Prosecutors alleged sellers were bilked of as much as $400 million in commissions. Taubman was fined $7.5 million and spent about a year in a low-security prison in Rochester, Minnesota, but long insisted he was innocent and expressed regret for not testifying in his own defense.

"I had lost a chunk of my life, my good name and around 27 pounds,'' he recalled in his book, saying he was forced to take the fall for others. The case cast a shadow over Taubman's accomplishments, but it diminished over the years -- and his philanthropy continued unabated. He pledged $100 million to the University of Michigan's A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute and its stem-cell research. He also financed public-policy programs at Harvard, Brown University and the University of Michigan. Taubman "had one of the biggest hearts in America,'' former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer told WWJ-AM.

On Wednesday, two days before his death, Taubman smiled and lifted his hat during a groundbreaking in Ann Arbor for a campus building project. Taubman donated millions and spoke passionately in support of the 2008 ballot initiative in Michigan that eased restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research and enabled his namesake institute to conduct major research for diseases -- including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. After turning over control of Taubman Centers to his two sons, Taubman made sustaining the Detroit Institute of Arts a priority. He helped guide the DIA as president of the Detroit Arts Commission through chronic financial problems.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 10:28

Longtime NYC museum director to retire in December

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 17 April 2015 15:11

Susan Henshaw Jones. Image courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

NEW YORK (AP) – The longtime director of the Museum of the City of New York has announced her retirement.

Susan Henshaw Jones, who came on board in 2003, will depart in December.

During her tenure, she oversaw a $97 million expansion and renovation of the Upper Manhattan museum.

She's also credited with increasing its school programming, attendance and changing exhibitions.

Among them were shows on Robert Moses, graffiti art and the tile work of Rafael Guastavino.

Next week it opens an exhibition on the 50th anniversary of New York City's Landmarks Law.

Jones also has been working on an exhibition that will come to fruition after her departure. “New York at its Core,” which opens in October 2016, will include a component that allows visitors to create their own vision of the city's future.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2015 15:21

Warhol Museum names Bartholomew Ryan curator of art

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Written by Museum PR   
Monday, 13 April 2015 16:27
Bartholomew Ryan. Photo by Gene Pittman

PITTSBURGH – The Andy Warhol Museum has appointed Bartholomew Ryan as its Milton Fine Curator of Art. Ryan was previously an assistant curator at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where he began as a curatorial fellow. Ryan assumes his role at The Warhol on May 18.

Ryan holds a master of arts degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, and he earned a bachelor of arts degree in drama and theater studies from Trinity College Dublin.

During his tenure at the Walker, Ryan curated numerous exhibitions, including “International Pop,” co-curated with Darsie Alexander, which opened April 11, 2015, at the Walker. The exhibition shows how popular culture and the mass media fueled artists’ imaginations around the world from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. Its scholarship places Ryan in a position at The Warhol to further contextualize Andy Warhol and his place in global art history.

Additional recent curatorial projects include the performance, visual art, and music hybrid “Scaffold Room,” by artist and choreographer Ralph Lemon, which premiered at the Walker in 2014, co-curated with Philip Bither and Doug Benidt.

In 2013 he curated the international group exhibition “9 Artists,” which considered the role of the artist in contemporary culture and featured the work of Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nastio Mosquito, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Hito Steyerl, and Danh Vo. Also in 2013 he co-curated “Painter Painter,” which explored contemporary approaches to abstract painting. Ryan organized the Walker’s presentation of the 2012 traveling exhibition “This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s.”

In 2011 he co-curated two intensive residency projects and exhibitions, “Goshka Macuga: It Broke from Within,” and Pedro Reyes’s “Baby Marx.”

Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 16:38

In Memoriam: Alaska artist Rie Munoz, 93

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Written by MOLLY DISCHNER, Associated Press   
Thursday, 09 April 2015 12:41
Rie Munoz, 'Osprey and Ravens,' offset lithograph. Image courtesy of archive and Best of the West Auctions

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Alaska artist Rie Munoz has died at the age of 93.

Munoz died Monday evening in Juneau from a stroke, according to her daughter-in-law Cathy Munoz, who serves as a representative in the state house.

Rie Munoz was born in Van Nuys, California, on Aug. 17, 1921, and spent her childhood in California and Holland.

Munoz lived in Alaska for 65 years after arriving on a steamship while vacationing, and is well known for her art, particularly bright watercolors of Alaska communities and scenes. She also worked as a journalist, teacher, museum curator and in other jobs while in Alaska.

She was devoted to art and her family, Cathy Munoz said.

“She was a terrific person, and was such a big part of our family and very supportive of each of her grandchildren,” Cathy Munoz said.

Rie Munoz attended her granddaughter Mercedes' first solo artist show at Annie Kaill's, in Juneau, last Friday, Cathy Munoz said.

“Rie was there and was just in her element,” she said.

Cathy Munoz said that Rie was adventurous and independent all of her life. As a teenager, Rie and her brothers lived alone in California after being separated from their parents, who were stuck in Holland during World War II. She also worked and traveled throughout Alaska during her time here, including teaching on King Island, which is in the Bering Sea.

In a press release, the family said she visited and sketched every community on the road system, and many of those off of it.

A celebration of life is planned for April 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Juneau's Centennial Hall.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 09 April 2015 12:55

Shannon Stratton named curator at Museum of Arts & Design

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Written by Museum PR   
Thursday, 02 April 2015 14:37
Shannon Stratton. Image courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

NEW YORK – Shannon Stratton has been named to the position of William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design effective June 2015. *

In this role, Stratton will work closely with Director Glenn Adamson to oversee the museum’s diverse exhibition program and collections, foster relationships with artists and designers, and develop new strategies to engage contemporary audiences.

Stratton joins MAD after 12 years as founder and executive director of Threewalls, a Chicago-based contemporary arts organization. In addition, she is co-founder of Hand-in-Glove and Common Field, a conference and national network for artists and organizers that amplifies the visibility and viability of arts organizing projects across the United States.

She is also an independent curator and researcher with specific interest in fiber/material studies and artist-run organizations.

Stratton received a BFA from Alberta College of Art and Design and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies as well as an MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she currently serves as an adjunct associate professor in both departments. Over the past few years, Stratton has been named a critical studies fellow at the Cranbrook Academy Art (2012); a fellow of the NAMAC Visual Arts Leadership Institute (2011); a “Chicagoan of the year” in the arts by the Chicago Tribune (2011) and one of the top five most vital people in Chicago’s visual arts scene as well as one of its “Visual Vanguards” by NewCity (2010, 2013).

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 April 2015 14:48

Ingrid Schaffner named curator of 57th Carnegie International

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Written by Museum PR   
Friday, 27 March 2015 14:57
Ingrid Schaffner, curator of the 57th Carnegie International. Image courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

PITTSBURGH – Lynn Zelevansky, director of Carnegie Museum of Art, announced Thursday the appointment of Ingrid Schaffner as curator of the 57th Carnegie International. The Carnegie International, initiated in 1896, is one of the world’s preeminent surveys of contemporary art.

The 57th International will open in fall 2018. Schaffner will assume her role on May 1 and move to Pittsburgh in September.

Schaffner is an American curator, art critic, writer and educator, specializing in art history. She lives in Philadelphia and Lubbock, Texas.

“The International is CMOA’s signature exhibition,” said Zelevansky. “It is the largest, most ambitious show that we take on, bringing art and ideas from around the world to Pittsburgh, while emphasizing the city’s unique sense of place.” She added, “It takes a special kind of curator to successfully organize such an exhibition, and we are delighted to have Ingrid on board. She is thoughtful and knowledgeable, an excellent writer and has true collaborative spirit.”

Since 2000, Schaffner has directed the exhibition program as chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work often coalesces around themes of archiving and collecting, photography, feminism, and alternate modernisms – especially Surrealism. She is author of more than 20 books and nearly 200 articles, reviews, and features, ranging from Salvador Dalí’s Dream of Venus to The Essential Andy Warhol, from an essay on exhibition wall text to an art history of chocolate. She has organized monographic exhibitions of the work of Karen Kilimnik, Barry Le Va, Jess, Jason Rhoades and Anne Tyng, among others.

Born in Pittsburgh, Schaffner grew up in Los Gatos, California. She attended Mount Holyoke College, and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program, where she was a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow. She then received a master’s degree in art history at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. After organizing shows for the Drawing Center, Swiss Institute, Haus der Kunst (Munich), Hayward Gallery (London), Independent Curators International, White Columns and elsewhere, Schaffner was invited by then-director Claudia Gould to reshape and oversee ICA’s curatorial department.

Schaffner envisions the 2018 edition of the Carnegie International as an exhibition informed by the perspectives of an international group of “traveling and thinking partners.” Invited for their expertise of different areas of the art world—geographic as well as disciplinary—each curator colleague will accompany Schaffner on a journey to a region unfamiliar to them both. Expanding on the role of the adviser, through the process of research, the partners will also spend time in Pittsburgh, integrating experiences of the particularities and perspectives of this city into the exhibition’s themes and ideas.

“Crafting the next Carnegie International is a chance to shape one of the momentous cultural forces that helped form me. I grew up going to the Carnegie museums and library, and I have been making pilgrimages back to Pittsburgh to see the International since 1995,” said Schaffner. “For me, embarking on this project is a venture into the unknown—a massive research enterprise that will be informed over the next three years by looking, by thinking and talking with artists, colleagues, and collectors, and by traveling to look some more. What better way to see where contemporary art will lead us in 2018?”

Established in 1896 as the Annual Exhibition, the Carnegie International was initially held every fall (with few exceptions) and focused almost solely on painting. By 1955, the show had adopted a triennial schedule and, in 1958, it became known as the Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture, a title it retained until 1970. After an interruption in the 1970s, the exhibition resumed in 1977 and 1979 as the International Series, single-artist shows intended as a parallel to the Nobel Prize for the arts. In 1982, it reappeared under its original triennial survey format as the Carnegie International, and has been mounted every three to five years since. After the Venice Biennale, the Carnegie International is the oldest international survey exhibition in the world.

Over the last 119 years, the museum has acquired hundreds of works of art that have appeared in Carnegie International exhibitions, including works by Josef Albers, Dara Birnbaum, Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Nicole Eisenman, Isa Genzken, Robert Gober, Dan Graham, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Mike Kelley, Ellsworth Kelly, Louise Lawler, Glenn Ligon, Agnes Martin, Julie Mehretu, Bruce Nauman, Chris Ofili, On Kawara, Nam June Paik, Sigmar Polke, Auguste Rodin, Doris Salcedo, John Singer Sargent, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kara Walker and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, visit the website at .




Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 15:23

Civil War expert William C. Davis wins book award

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Written by Museum PR   
Thursday, 26 March 2015 16:24
'Crucible of Command' by William C. Davis. Image courtesy of Da Capo Press RICHMOND, Va. – William C. Davis is the recipient of the American Civil War Museum 2014 Jefferson Davis Award for Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee – The War They Fought, The Peace They Forged. The book is published by DaCapo Press.

The Davis Award judges praised the book as a “masterful interweaving of Lee's and Grant's complex and somewhat tortuous journey to their Civil War eminence” in a way that “helps us understand both men better” within “a wonderfully understandable context of military history.”

Author and editor of more than 50 books in Civil War and Southern history, William C. “Jack” Davis is the former director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech and former longtime editor of Civil War Times Illustrated. This is his record fourth Jefferson Davis Award and his first since 1994.

The judges also named as a finalist for the 2014 Jefferson Davis Award Jonathan W. White’s Emancipation, The Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln published by Louisiana State University Press.

Given annually since 1971, the Jefferson Davis Award recognizes outstanding narrative works on the origins, life and legacies of the Confederacy and the American Civil War. The museum will announce in April the recipient of its other major literary award: the Founders Award, given for outstanding editing of primary source documents.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 12:28

Profile: German zookeeper-turned-artist paints in oil on aluminum

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Written by lifePR service   
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 16:41
German artist Frank Krüger preparing his 'canvas.' Image submitted. CALA RATJADA, Mallorca (lifePR) – The German artist Frank Krüger, who has been living in Mallorca since the ’90s and runs two galleries there, has recently begun painting in oil on 3mm aluminum. The artist’s fame continues to grow inexorably: his famous bull paintings, the different impressions of his chosen home Mallorca, or those from one of his many trips to New York are hanging on the walls of art enthusiasts around the world.

The paintings captivate the viewer's eye mainly through intense and glowing colors and their powerful expression.

"I would compare my art form to surreal photo realism,” says Krüger.

Recently, he has been working with aluminum as a basis for his works. The aluminum comes from Valencia and is manufactured especially for him. "I then process it myself, grind and weld it," Krüger explained.

Through further special handling, the finished works can also be displayed outdoors – in a garden, lounge, pool area or terrace. Thus, many of his works are available in oil on canvas, gold leaf, silver leaf, copper and aluminum. Of course, many of his art prints are available in both Majorcan galleries in Caja Ratjada and Palma.

Many prominent clients have let themselves be portrayed in oil by the artist. The list of stars from the stage, film and sport is long and spans from George Clooney and Tom Hanks on to Claudia Pechstein and Rudi Völler all the way to Sean Connery and Michael Douglas.

The picture of the athlete Claudia Pechstein was auctioned for more than 10,000 euro.

A piece of the Berlin wall has also been painted on by Krüger, and a work of his can be viewed in Berlin's natural history museum.

The modern and inviting concept of his gallery that is spread across 500 square meters and two stories in Costa d'en Brossa, right in the heart of Palma's old town, has been very successful for the past year.

"In order to keep the gallery in Palma exciting, we also display other artists. At the moment, Christian Sommer can be seen and soon there will be a vernissage with Nobert Jäger," says the native-born Berliner, who lives with his wife, the designer Laura Hahne, and daughter in Mallorca.

"I love the city of New York, which I visit at least once a year. This passion is reflected in many of my works, and it would be one of my biggest dreams to one day open a gallery there too," says Krüger.

Krüger, born in 1962 in Berlin, already created extraordinary works with oil on canvas in his early childhood. As the son of a photographer and a technical illustrator, a sense for detail, perspective and color harmony was something that he was aware of from an early age.

His wish to study art was shattered shortly before his school leaving examination because of bad appraisal from his art teacher. He left secondary school "on the spur of the moment" and completed a three-year apprenticeship as an animal caretaker in the Berlin zoo.

After that, years of artistic self-discovery followed until he finally decided to move to Mallorca and focus solely on art, following successful exhibitions in Berlin and Mallorca. Since 2007, the artist has been working and selling his works in the Galeria Frank Krüger on the boardwalk of the harbor of Cala Ratjada, Paseo Colom 13, Mallorca and also in the new Galeria Frank Krüger since March 2014, Costa d'en Brossa 3, 07001 Palma de Mallorca, Tel. 0034/971425861. Visit his website at .

German artist Frank Krüger preparing his 'canvas.' Image submitted.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 08:09
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