ArtDaily Newsletter: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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Established in 1996
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
 Israel puts 5,000 images of the Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google
A conservation analyst from the Israeli Antiquities department examines fragments of the 2000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls at a laboratory in Jerusalem before photographing them on December 18, 2012. The director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority Shuka Dorfmann and Professor Yossi Matias, managing director of Google Israel, announced the publishing of the Dead Sea Scrolls online, initiated by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Google. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA.
JERUSALEM (AFP).- Thousands of images from the Dead Sea scrolls, which date back more than two millennia, were on Tuesday made available to the world on a joint Israel Antiquities Authority and Google website. The new website http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/ aims to make "the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century accessible to both scholars and the general public," an IAA statement said. Using technology developed for NASA, the website offers high-resolution images of the ancient scrolls along with an advanced search engine. The IAA is in the process of uploading images of the 900 biblical and other manuscripts, comprising some 30,000 fragments, which were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea and photographed in their entirety with infra-red technology in the 1950s. The parchment and papyrus ... More
The Best Photos of the Day
NAPLES.- Italian artist Lello Esposito shows his 2,70 meters high lucky horns in his atelier in Naples. These giant version of horns, traditionally a luck symbol in the southern italian belief, were created by Esposito to prevent the end of the world which according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendar should take place on December 21, 2012. AFP PHOTO / CARLO HERMANN.
The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration
 
Remains of man in armour found at 'Pompeii of Japan' by Gunma Archaeological Research Foundation
 
United States Geological Survey tracks the story of the Russian Crown jewels found in rare book
The frescoes depict the Legend of the True Cross, written by Jacopo da Veragine.
FLORENCE.- The main chapel in Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in existence, was the last chapel in the basilica to be decorated during the 14th century. Impressive fresco cycle which covers 800m of wall space (30m high and 10m wide), was painted by Angolo Gaddi in the 1380s. Agnolo was considered to be an artistic heir of Giotto, since his father and master, Taddeo Gaddi was one of the best students and closest collaborators of Giotto. The frescoes depict the Legend of the True Cross, written by Jacopo da Veragine, a subject fitting to the church dedicated to Holy Cross. One of the richest banking families of the time, Alberti family were the patrons of this, probably most important artistic project in Florence at the end of the 14th century. After a five year restoration, Gaddi’s illustrious fresco is now open to public and visitors have a once in a lifetime opportunity to climb up scaffolding. Becaus ... More
 
A well-preserved body of a sixth-century man in a suit of armor (yellow), found at the Kanai Higashiura dig. AFP PHOTO / GUNMA ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION .
TOKYO (AFP).- The remains of a high-caste man wearing armour who was buried by hot ash -- possibly as he tried to calm the wrath of an erupting volcano -- have been found in an area known as the "Pompeii of Japan". Archaeologists say they have unearthed the well-preserved body of a sixth-century man who had apparently turned to face a flow of molten rock as it gushed through his settlement. "Under normal circumstances, you would flee if pyroclastic flows are rushing toward you and bringing waves of heat. But this person died facing it," said Shinichiro Ohki, of Gunma Archaeological Research Foundation. "Maybe, if he were someone of a high position, he might have been praying, or doing something in the direction of the volcano and attempting to appease its anger," ... More
 
This brooch was one of the four undocumented jewels.
WASHINGTON, DC.- Four previously undiscovered photos of undocumented Russian Crown Jewels were recently discovered in the USGS library. The photos appear in a 1922 album called "Russian Diamond Fund," that was uncovered in the rare book room of the library. The four unique photos were originally part of the personal collection of George F. Kunz (1856-1932), a mineralogist and gemologist, gentleman explorer, and employee of the USGS and Tiffany & Co. These four photos are unique because they are not included in the official documentation of the Russian Crown Jewels, "Russia's Treasure of Diamonds and Precious Stones," published in 1925. The USGS also has a copy of this 1925 publication in Kunz's collection. "Russia's Treasure of Diamonds and Precious Stones" is considered the most complete inventory of the Russian ... More
Contemporary artist Jeff Koons joins Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali in wine label art club
 
Sotheby's New York to offer The Andy Williams Collection of Navajo blankets in May 2012
 
Popol Vuh: The Mayan spiritual and philosophical book that remained secret until 1701
A bottle of French Bordeaux wine Mouton-Rothschild 2010 vintage designed by US contemporary artist Jeff Koons. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PIERRE MULLER.
BORDEAUX (AFP).- Jeff Koons has become the latest in a long line of illustrious artists to produce a label for the equally celebrated wine of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The elite Bordeaux estate has, every year since 1945, commissioned an original work to adorn its bottles and Koons has been accorded the honour for the latest release, the 2010 vintage. For his label, the contemporary American artist opted to return to antiquity, drawing inspiration from a Pompeii fresco depicting the birth of Venus. Mouton Rothschild's tradition of artist-designed labels began with a one-off production for the 1924 vintage and became a regular feature from 1945. The artists, who are paid with cases of the estate's highly-prized produce, have included the likes of Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Not all of them have been established figures in the art world: the outstanding 1982 vintage was adorned ... More
 
A Navajo First Phase Chief’s Wearing Blanket. Estimate: $200/300,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- In May 2013 Sotheby’s New York will offer The Andy Williams Collection Of Navajo Blankets, the celebrated collection that belonged to the singer who died earlier this year. Mr. Williams was known for his versions of popular Christmas hits such as The Most Wonderful Time of the Year and White Christmas, as well as Moon River from 1961. In addition to his musical accomplishments Mr. Williams also assembled a remarkable and important collection of Navajo Blankets that adorned his home, offices and the Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri. They were the subject of the renowned and critically acclaimed 1997-1998 exhibition Navajo Weavings from the Collection of Andy Williams at the St Louis Art Museum. The Collection is led by a Navajo First Phase Chief’s Wearing Blanket –the rarest type of Navajo Blanket and one of the great icons of American Indian Art, which is estimated to bring $200/300,000. Overall the collection is expected to fetch in excess o ... More
 
First page of the Popol Vuh.
GUATEMALA CITY (AFP).- Before the creation of the Earth, there was only silence and darkness, only the sky and the sea until the deities Tepeu and Gucumatz created trees, animals and man -- so says the Mayan holy book. The Popol Vuh is a spiritual and philosophical book that explains the creation of the world. Even today, it plays an important role in defining the identity of ethnic Mayas in Mexico and central America. The "Book of Community" is a mix of religion, mythology, history, astrology, customs and legends. "Then came the word, like a lightning bolt. It ripped through the sky, penetrated the waters, and fertilized the minds of the Earth-Water deities, Tepeu and Gucumatz," the book says. Its precise origin remains a mystery. Historians believe it was first put down on paper in the Quiche language by Christianized Indians in the middle of the 16th century but the author of the original text is not known. The text remained secret until 1701, when Spanish priest Francisco X ... More
Wreck of Soviet submarine sunk during World War II found in Baltic sea: Sweden military
 
Joyce Pensato to receive 2012 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize for achievement in painting
 
Malaysian art boom is under way as industry seeks to replicate rampant success in other markets
The remains of a Russian submarine on the Baltic Sea bed near the island of Oland. AFP PHOTO / Swedish Defence Forces.
STOCKHOLM (AFP).- The wreck of a Soviet submarine that was sunk during World War II has been found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea off the Swedish island of Oeland, Sweden's military said on Monday. The wreck is believed to be that of the S-6, which disappeared in September 1941. "In the autumn of 1941 several Russian submarines left their home bases to patrol the Baltic Sea. Several of them never returned. One of them has now been found, blown up into large pieces, southeast of Oeland," the armed forces said in a statement. The S-6 was probably blown apart by a German mine, though the military said it was impossible to say for certain what had happened. The vessel was found in international waters in Sweden's economic zone, in a heavily-mined area known as the "Wartburg minefield". Initially located by a Swedish team of civilian divers several months ago, the discovery has been confirmed by a navy ship specialised in submarine rescues. In June 2009, ... More
 
Joyce Pensato, 2012 Batman, 2012. Enamel on linen, 80 x 80 inches, 203.2 x 203.2 cm. Signed, titled and dated verso PEN 12/006. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Estate of Robert De Niro Sr. today announced the recipient of the 2012 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize, an annual award honoring an outstanding mid-career American painter. Brooklyn-based artist Joyce Pensato will receive the $25,000 award, administered by the Tribeca Film Institute, for her considerable contribution to the field of painting. Pensato is the second recipient of the merit-based prize, which pays tribute to the work and legacy of accomplished painter De Niro Sr. Painter Stanley Whitney received the inaugural award —among the first to celebrate and shine a light on mid-career artists—in 2011. A selection committee of distinguished individuals in the art world was appointed to nominate candidates and select the prize recipient. Pensato was selected by a jury including Betsy Baker, former editor of Art in America Magazine; art collector and television executive Douglas Cramer, founder a ... More
 
Malaysian artist Haslin Ismail talks about his creative work and its market. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN.
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP).- After art school, Haslin Ismail was the typical struggling artist, selling just a few of his mixed-media fantasy pieces for a few hundred dollars each over the next five years. But in September, a buyer paid 30,800 ringgit (7,675 euros, $10,100) at auction for a wall-sized Haslin painting full of outlandish images including a large human foot without skin. "It's still quite risky to become an artist ... but actually there is positive development," the soft-spoken 28-year-old said. "It has changed a lot." Affluent Malaysia is known more for its Islamic conservatism and a consumer culture embodied by air-conditioned shopping malls than for the Bohemian pursuit of art. But a nascent art boom is under way as the industry seeks to replicate the rampant success seen in markets such as China and Malaysia's neighbour Indonesia. Art auctions were once unknown, but five major sales have been held in Malaysia this year, earning more than 13 million ringgit, with domest ... More
Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award
 
New work by Roger Hiorns included in first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands
 
Bonhams Period Art & Design Sale in San Francisco achieves strong results across categories
Iman Issa. Foto Santos Romn.
BARCELONA.- Unanimously. This has been the conclusive decision of the jury of the Fundaci HAN NEFKENS MACBA Contemporary Art Award upon granting it to the Egyptian artist Iman Issa (Cairo, 1979). “We are sure that the granting of this award will very positively impinge on a key moment of her career. It also entails a challenge for her artistic practice in terms of rigour and objectiveness”, its members have said. This is precisely the aim of the new award established by the Fundaci Han Nefkens (FHN) and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona: to help to consolidate the career of artists with many years’ experience in this field but needing a definitive backing from the international artistic community. With this new award, addressed to artists of any age group, sex or citizenship, the Fundaci Han Nefkens and the MACBA also wish to foster international artistic contemporary creation, establish complici ... More
 
Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2010. Engine, copper sulphate, steel. Photo Ilya Rabinovich. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.
HAARLEM.- De Hallen Haarlem is presenting English artist Roger Hiorns’s first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands. Hiorns gained wide recognition with his spectacular work Seizure (2008): a titillating transformation of a London working-class house, which was nominated for the Turner Prize. For this monumental work he had the house’s entire interior covered with copper sulphate crystals; the visitor entered a sparkling, fairytale world. From 1 December 2012 until 24 February 2013 De Hallen Haarlem is showing the sculptor’s recent and new work. Simultaneously there is a solo presentation by Joseph Beuys that traces the historical roots of Hiorns’s work. Like a contemporary alchemist Roger Hiorns (Birmingham, 1975) works with unexpected natural materials. The use of fickle and uncontrollable materials like copper ... More
 
Italian School, Madonna and child with adoring angels.Tempera and gold ground on panel excluding frame: 21 x 15 1/2in. Sold for $4,375; Est. $3,000-5,000.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams in San Francisco is closing out the year with strong sales results of $714,450 from its Period Art & Design auction, December 16-17. The Jewelry and European paintings sections of the sale held the highest-selling lots of the auction, with all categories featuring highlights that exceeded their presale estimates. Jewelry highlights comprised many of the auction’s top spots, with such examples as a high-karat gold cable link necklace, which sold for $4,375; two Omega 18k and 14k gold integral bracelet wristwatches, which took in $4,000, ahead of a $2,000-3,000 estimate; a pear-shaped tanzanite that sold for $3,750; two enamel, diamond and gold firefighter badges, which brought $3,125, exceeding a $1,500-2,000 estimate; a diamond and 18k gold ... More
More News
Four new exhibitions at the Israel Museum showcase wide range of styles and media
JERUSALEM.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, inaugurates its Israeli Art Season, featuring four new exhibitions showcasing the work of emerging and established artists in a variety of disciplines. From realist painter Israel Hershberg to video artist Nelly Agassi and painter Joshua Borkovsky, these exhibitions highlight the Israel Museum's rich holdings in Israeli art, complemented by important loans and works from the Museum's international contemporary art collection. In conjunction with the Season's opening, the Museum will also host Review-Preview, a two-day symposium exploring Israel’s creative arts in the 21st century. "The Museum is committed to gathering and presenting the rich texture of Israel’s creative output in the visual arts, featuring the work of recognized artists of the past and present, alongside that of promising younger talents," said James Snyder, Anne and Jerome ... More
Custer items rule Heritage Auctions $2.5+ Million December Americana event
DALLAS, TX.- General George Armstrong Custer's personally owned Army-issue Model 1865 Spencer Carbine brought $179,250 to claim top lot honors in Heritage Auctions' $2.5+ million Political, Western Legends & Americana Signature Auction, Dec. 11-12. Items relating to the well-known general led the event, from an important oil painting of the Battle of Washita by Frederic Remington which sold for $179,250 to a trove of letters from an officer among the first on the scene to identify bodies following Gen. George Armstrong Custer's crushing 1876 defeat at Little Big Horn, which sold for $89,625. Additional top lots include one of the most important, from-life photographs of Custer ever to come to market sold for $83,650 and Custer's personally-owned gun belt with holder and accoutrements sold for $71,700. "Custer is among a special group of historical figures who simply captivate ... More
LA Art Show 2013 to feature top galleries, blockbuster special exhibitions
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The LA Art Show, now in its 18th year, is the longest running platform for contemporary, modern, historic and traditional fine art in the country. The 2012 show hosted more than 100 prominent galleries and attracted more than 50,000 visitors with its ‘Fair-within-a-Fair’ concept featuring distinct sections catering to diverse collecting genres. Taking place from January 24-27, The LA Art Show kicks-off at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a star-studded opening hosted by Ali Larter and Hayes MacArthur benefitting The Art of Elysium and the J. Paul Getty’s Education Department on January 23. Taking a cue a cue from the public art museum model, where there has long been a trend of juxtaposing contemporary art alongside older works to show movements and highlight the evolution of art through the ages, the LA Art Show is entirely unique in the art world, ... More
Teacher sole heir of $7.4M gold coin fortune
By: Scott Sonner, Associated Press
CARSON CITY, NEV (AP).- Walter Samaszko Jr. was a loner whose death went largely unnoticed. That all changed when a crew sent to clean out his house found a fortune stashed away in the garage of his modest ranch-style home. There were ammunition boxes stuffed with thousands of gold coins, from Austria, Mexico and the United States. There was enough gold to fill up two wheelbarrows — more than $7.4 million worth. "There was every kind of coin you could think of," said Alan Glover, the Carson City clerk and the public administrator of the estate who borrowed a neighbor's wheelbarrow to haul the treasure out. City officials searched through records to find an heir: a substitute teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area who a judge declared ... More
Garden Museum acquires unique Harold Gilman portrait
LONDON.- The Garden Museum announced the acquisition of Harold Gilman’s ‘Portrait of a Black Gardener’. This enigmatic painting will make a significant contribution to the Museum’s collection and we are very grateful for the generous support of 60,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Further support from the Art Fund, and the Royal Horticultural Society - with whom we will share access to this work, made the acquisition possible. The portrait will go on display here at the museum in spring 2013 after the completion of conservation work. ‘Portrait of a Black Gardener’, dated to 1905 by Wendy Baron, is unique as an heroic image of gardening; Gilman, Sickert's friend and rival, was a radical figure in British art before the first world war and this pictures demonstrates his skill with the brush - but also with the spade; he was a pioneer of Letchworth Garden City. It is also ... More
Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold
MIKOSZEWO (AFP).- As winter gales lash Poland's Baltic coast, the storms are spitting up a prehistoric treasure on the sandy shore. Here, amber is known as "Baltic gold". Rich veins of this 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin running along the coast have fuelled a centuries-old trade in the northern port city of Gdansk, making it the amber capital of the world. Deftly crafted beads, bracelets and amulets dating back to the Neolithic Age attest to the timeless appeal of this sensuous organic treasure. Combing local beaches for precious golden nuggets is a ritual here harking back centuries, if not millennia. It has become a life-long passion for Wlodek Janowski, a burly 53-year-old retired mechanic and amateur boxer. A good storm often brings with it what he calls a "Baltic gold rush". "With any luck after a gale, you can find a couple hundred grammes (seven ounces) of amber in just ... More
Spanish botched fresco artist sells work on eBay
MADRID (AP).- A painting by the 80-year-old Spanish artist who became famous for her botched restoration of a Christ fresco in a small-town church has fetched €1,080 ($1,421) on eBay. The closing price Tuesday for Celia Gimenez's oil painting "Las Bodegas de Borja" ("Borja's Wine Cellar") more than tripled its starting price after 52 bids. Gimenez said the proceeds will to the Catholic charity organization Caritas. Gimenez became a sensation in August when pictures spread on the Internet of an "Ecce Homo" ("Behold the Man") mural in the town of Borja that she disfigured while trying to restore it. Twitter users redubbed it "Ecce Mono" ("Behold the Monkey"). The painting has since become a tourist attraction and the image has been used on T-shirts and wine labels. ... More
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