December 2017

Ahead of a Sotheby's auction of Important Judaica on December 20, the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased a rare illuminated Hebrew Bible. Sotheby's estimated the text's value between $3.5 and $5 million, but before bidders had a chance, the Met swept in, making a pre-auction private purchase for an undisclosed amount.

 

As the end of 2017 nears, so does the expiration date on a $10 million reward offered by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for information leading to the recovery of their famously stolen paintings.

The holiday season gives Historic Home Museums across the country the opportunity to bring in new visitors with the lure of festive decorations, a glimpse into history, and new takes on educational experiences. Compared to the fast-paced rotating exhibition schedule of many art museums, most historic home museums change their displays of art and decorative objects fairly infrequently. The holidays give these institutions the chance to be more festive and celebratory than their white-walled gallery counterparts can be.

Opening this month at the Denver Art Museum, Linking Asia: Art, Trade & Devotion explores the breadth and depth of the museum's Asian art collection. The exhibit includes objects retrieved from three shipwrecks, on view for the first time, as well as visitor favorites such as Shiva, King of Dancers (Shiva Nataraja). Linking Asia: Art, Trade & Devotion features approximately 150 works in a variety of media, including sculptures, ceramics, textiles, and scrolls.

Sotheby’s auctioned off an extraordinary collection of Tiffany Masterworks December 13th. Collected by William A Richardson, the ensemble showcased a number of extraordinary Tiffany Lamps, including the iconic Dragonfly Lamp, and included rare examples of Tiffany mosaics, fancy goods and leaded glass windows. The entire collection sold for $7,309,500 USD, with many items going for three to four times the estimated value.

In a recently premiered installation at the Newark Museum of Art, Molly Hatch is taking plates off of the table and onto the gallery wall. Blending craft, design and fine arts in her ceramic objects and installations, Hatch's unique take on a traditional and often under-sung art form is making waves. In her installations, Hatch hand paints a multitude of porcelain plates, which together recreate a pattern or motif often found on a single ceramic object.

The National Gallery of Victoria's Triennial open in Melbourne, Australia this weekend. A "celebration of contemporary art and design practice," the Triennial brings in over 100 artists from around the world. Installed across the museum's diverse galleries, the Triennial creates a dialogue between the new visiting works and the museum's collection.

Looking for a different take on filling the holiday season with light? Head to Houston, where the Day For Night Experiential Art and Music Festival will take place from December 15th through the 17th.

Currents 114: Matt Saunders, the latest exhibition in the Saint Louis Art Museum’s popular series showcasing current and emerging artists, opened November 17th. Saunders' mixed-media work incorporates his own imagery with those from avant-garde film and found photography. Melding painting, photography, animation, and printmaking, Saunders’ exhibit creates an interactive experience of perception and transformation. This free exhibition encourages visitors to examine the relationships not only between Saunders' works but between his show and the rest of the museum.

In the Tower: Anne Truitt

National Galley of Art, Washington, DC

Through April 1, 2018