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Massive Freud Collection for Sale The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop Bronze relief portrait medallion. 1906. 60mm diameter. The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop recently announced the sale of a massive 750-piece collection dedicated to the life and works of the father of modern psychology and psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The collection includes a comprehensive representation of Freud’s published works from the 1880s to the 1940s. Freud was is one of the field’s most prolific authors, and many of the books in this collection are in their original printed wrappers. A run of 22 rare offprints—galley proofs, presentation and association copies--is believed to be the largest such collection in private hands. Also among the items are etchings, lithographs, bronze medallions, and photographs of Freud, many of which are signed by the doctor. In addition to manuscripts, correspondence, and psychoanalytic journals, are nearly 80 books that Freud had donated to the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society, remarkable because the Nazis dissolved the society and destroyed the library in 1938. This cache was secretly saved. Believed to be one of the most thorough private collections on Freud, the entire collection is being offered for $350,000. For a detailed inventory, contact Stephan Lowentheil at 19th Century Rare Book and Photograph shop at 19thshop.com About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter. Tags Collection prints photography
New Exhibit Dedicated to Painter Dana Schutz Dana Schutz Currently on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is an exhibit dedicated to painter Dana Schutz. The eponymous show explores the last fifteen years of Schultz's meteoric rise to fame, including twenty-one works painted between 2002 and 2017. Though two new paintings, Conflict (2017) and To Have a Head (2017), are part of the show, it's worth noting that Schutz's Open Casket (2016), a painting depicting fourteen-year-old Mississippi lynching victim Emmett Till, is absent from the ICA retrospective. That painting sparked much debate over cultural appropriation, white privilege, and censorship. Some protesters even called upon the ICA close the current exhibition. In response, the museum moderated a panel called "Representation and Responsibility in Creative Spaces" on September 28th focused on creative license and cultural appropriation in the 21st century. Schutz's work is filled with explorations of struggle and confrontation. In other words, in her over-the top, in-your-face style, Schutz appears to be painting what it means to live a modern life in 2017. While there's no doubt the painter has become something of a lightning rod for social discourse, this show offers the viewing public a fresh opportunity to examine her work and decipher her thoughts on walking the fine line between exhilaration and humiliation. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, through Nov. 26. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter.
Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Expands Launched in 2014, Miami's Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has already outgrown its current location in the historic Moore Building, a former furniture showroom built in typical Art Deco style in 1921. As of December 1, the ICA moves into a new home built by Madrid-based architects Aranguren & Gallegos Arquitectos. Former Philadelphia Eagles owner turned philanthropist Norman Braman and his wife, Irma, fully funded the design and construction of the new building. Many of the ICA's recent acquisitions came from the Braman's $900 million-dollar collection of Picassos, Pollacks, and Calders. As the latest addition to Miami's hot Design District scene, the new three-story museum boasts 20,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 15,000 square-foot public sculpture garden. Educational programs, scholarship opportunities, and hands-on art experience are all planned as well. The new ICA opens to the public in December; museum goers interested in getting the VIP treatment are encouraged to become museum members before October 1. Membership benefits include VIP access to Miami Art Week, access to exhibition previews, and advance invites to the grand opening celebration. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter.
Gangster Memorabilia Finds its Mark at Auction Public Domain On Saturday, July 24, at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Boston-based RR Auction held a robst sale of memorabilia relating to notorious mobsters and outlaws like Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger. High spots included Capone’s ritzy platinum watch made by the Illinois Watch company. The timepiece exceeded its $25,000 pre-sale estimate, fetching a hammer price of $84,375.00. Manufactured between 1928 and 1929, the watch contains seventy-two cut diamonds, a platinum face, and an original 12 inch watch chain made of 14k white gold. The reverse of the case reveals the initials “AC,” itself consisting of twenty-three cut diamonds and surrounded by twenty-six others. The watch was accompanied by an affidavit from Capone’s great-grandson, Eric Griese, detailing its provenance. A signed demurrer (a legal document objecting to an opponent’s point) relating to a case between Capone and the State of Florida failed to meet its pre-sale estimate of $30,000, realizing $19,375.00. The document probably related to a raid on Capone’s Palm Island mansion in 1930 and highlights Capone’s constant run-ins with the law. Two life-size reproductions of John Dillinger’s death masks realized $406.25. Four plaster masks were believed to have been made of the outlaw, with two remaining in existence. The day after Dillinger was shot and killed by Chicago police, his remains were visited by over one thousand visitors at the Chicago morgue. Crime may not pay, but it sure makes for exciting auctions--check out all the results at rrauctions.com. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter. Tags photography auction Portrait
20th Century Asian Art Masters See Spike in Sales Christie's The secondary market for 20th century Asian artists has seen an uptick in sales and prices in recent years. Bonhams, Sotheby's, and Christie's have all realized massive sales of work by artists who traveled to Europe and absorbed Western ideas that they fused to Eastern artistic concepts, and buyers like what they see. Notable recent sales include a 7 ft by 11ft painting by Zao Wou-ki (1921–2013) a Chinese-French Abstract Expressionist who was also a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. An oil on canvas entitled 29.06.64, which Zao originally painted in 1964, sold for $19.7 million dollars at a recent sale at Christie's in Hong Kong on May 27, 2017.The sale broke a world record for any of Zao's work and blew past Christie's pre-sale estimate of $6 million, securing the artist's place as a major 20th century Chinese painter. Meanwhile, at Sotheby's April 3, 2017, sale in Hong Kong, Japanese artist Kusama Yayoi's fuchsia and black acrylic on canvas Pumpkin (1992) fetched $661,415, nearly double the asking price of $300,000, and her yellow and acrylic Pumpkin H.Q. (1990) realized a hammer price of just over one million dollars, with pre-sale estimates placing the piece at $250,000. With prices for contemporary Asian artists skyrocketing, experts suggest investing in artists whose works are still within reach, like Chinese-French painter Sanyu (1901–1966) and Japanese-French printmaker Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886–1968). Collectors curious about moving into this field would be wise to start investigating now, before the market picks up even more steam. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter.
The Trend Toward Modern British Artists Barbara Hepworth The secondary art market is seeing a steady increase in sales and prices for pieces by modern British artists, and that decade-old trend is likely to continue into 2018. Back in June, six sales dedicated to Modern British artists took place in the United Kingdom, each yielding exciting results. The sales included artists like Op artist Bridget Riley, figurative painter Frank Auerbach, and perennial favorite David Hockney. A painting completed by Cedric Morris (1892, 1989), the teacher of British portraitist and draftsman Lucien Freud (1922–2011) sold for roughly $220,000 at auction, sailing by its pre-sale estimate of $40,000. Mostly known for his rendering of flowers, Morris was also a renowned gardener, tending to extraordinary flower beds at Pound Farm in Suffolk. Another summer smash was the sale of a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975). Entitled Curved Form (Bryher), the bronze piece had a pre-sale estimate of $250,000, but realized a final hammer price of $1,071,303 at Christie's London on June 26th. Though there was some concern in the art-buying community that London was ceding its place as the premier destination for contemporary art buying, that fear has largely been dissuaded by the summer sales results. The recently concluded 20/21 British Art Fair, held from September 13–17 in London, welcomed more than 34 UK art dealers specializing exclusively in British Post War and Modern Art. Expect continued interest through the fall and winter sales. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter.
Chihuly Nights at the New York Botanical Garden New York Botanical Garden Looking for something sparkly and bright to light up your crisp autumn nights? Look no further than the New York Botanical Garden's Chihuly Nights installation. Twenty of Dale Chihuly's distinctive glass sculptures take on an added shimmer when the sun goes down. NYBG staff strategically placed lighting fixtures around the garden so that the sculptures appear illuminated at night. Only Neon 206 has a lighting component. Though NYBG last hosted a Chihuly exhibition back in 2006, this iteration aims to explore the evolution of the artist's style and processes through the presentation of Chihuly's early work and works on paper. New York Botanical Garden A prolific artist whose work is easily identified by his use of intense color and delicate linear decoration, Chihuly has been widely credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement, which traces its origins to 1962 when ceramics professor Harvey Littleton and chemist Dominik Labino began experimenting with various glassblowing techniques at the Toledo Museum of Art. Chihuly was Littleton's student at the University of Wisconsin, then went to RISD to found its own glass blowing program. Chihuly is on view through October 29, 2017, and tickets for Chihuly Nights are available for Thursday through Sunday evenings from 6:30 to 10:30. Non-member tickets are $38, children $18; discounted tickets for members. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter.
Limited-edition NYC Metro Cards designed by Barbara Kruger Courtesy SUTTON New York Barbara Kruger, MTA Card for Performa 17 The New York Metro Transit Authority (MTA) is upping the MetroCard’s style cachet in 2017, even in the wake of the MTA’s recent announcement that it will be phasing out the physical payment system in near future. For now, some MetroCards will be turned into modern art. The public transportation organization has provided MetroCards as art surfaces and mini billboards before; this past year it teamed up with cable television channel Showtime to promote the return of beloved 90s mystery drama Twin Peaks, and in February the MTA collaborated with skatewear brand Supreme. The Supreme campaign was so successful that collectors were seen lining up at subway stations from Broadway-Lafayette to 125th Street on the day of the card’s limited-edition release to grab them. Since then, the cards have popped up on Ebay for as much as $15.00 (fare not included). Now, conceptual artist Barbara Kruger is putting her mark on MetroCard with two designs in a limited-edition run of 50,000 cards. Kruger’s collaboration coincides with her participation in the biennial arts show Performa 17, taking place now through November 17 at locations throughout New York City. Kruger’s MetroCards are easily identifiable from their more common cousins: blazing red backgrounds are graced with questions written in large white font. Kruger’s hallmark--deceptively simple questions writ large--brought the artist into the public consciousness back on June 7, 1992, when her Whose Values? cover for Newsweek magazine accompanied a story on then vice-president Dan Quayle by journalist Joe Klein. The Kruger-designed tickets are available while they last at four vending machines throughout the MTA system: Broadway-Lafayette, East Broadway, the B/C station at 116th, and Queensboro Plaza. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter.
Recently Discovered Image of Henry Thoreau’s Sister Bequeathed to Concord Museum Used with permission from the Concord Museum. Portrait of Sophia Thoreau. Earlier this week, the Concord Museum in Massachusetts received a daguerreotype of Sophia Thoreau (1819-1876), younger sister of American essayist and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862). The timing is fortuitous; July 12 marks the bicentennial of the birth of the author of Walden and Civil Disobedience. “It is remarkable that her [Sophia’s] image should come to the Concord Museum, since all the great Thoreau objects in our collection came through her hands,” said museum curator David Wood. Numbering 250 artifacts, including Thoreau’s writing desk, snowshoes, textiles, and books, the Concord Museum boasts the largest collection of objects related to Concord’s native son. Thoreau’s journals and manuscripts are at New York’s Morgan Library. Thoreau’s fame came posthumously, largely due to the efforts of Sophia, who served as her brother’s literary executor until her own death. She shepherded Henry’s journals to Harrison Blake, an admirer and disciple of Thoreau who edited the material for publication. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Benjamin D. Maxham (1821-1889), Henry David Thoreau, 1856, daguerreotype. The Sophia daguerreotype is a gift from the Geneva Frost Estate in Maine, and the acquisition is so new that Concord Museum is still researching the portrait and how it ended up in Maine in the first place. The Concord Museum recently collaborated with the Morgan Library on a comprehensive exhibition dedicated to Henry Thoreau entitled This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal, currently on display in Manhattan. The show travels to Concord in September, where the portrait will be displayed alongside Henry’s quill pen, which is inscribed with a handwriiten note by Sophia, “The pen that brother Henry last wrote with.” This Ever New Self will be on display in Conord until January 2018. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter. Tags Portrait exhibition museum photography
Streaming Books, Literally PixGrove Ever feel like your home is overwhelmed with books? (No? Really?) Well, Spanish artist Alicia Martin has taken inspiration from book sprawl and created massive outdoor sculptures that suggest the aftermath of a book-eating cyclone. Since the late 1990s, Martin’s book sculptures have tumbled from windows or cascaded over archways throughout Europe, with three located in the heart of Madrid. Despite the innate grandeur of these projects, very little has been written about Martin’s work, in English or Spanish, other than on than a handful of Pinterest sites and blogs. But, here’s what we know: Each sculpture requires a minimum of 5,000 volumes, according to the artist, who sources her raw material from an ever-present supply of discards. Each structure is held together by internal metal and mesh framing, around which Martin attaches the books. These sculptures recall the work of another biblio-centric artist, that of Nancy Gifford and her piece “Lament,” which we wrote about back in 2014. (Update: “Lament” found a permanent home at the Davidson Library at UC Santa Barbara in 2016.) Reproduced with permission from Nancy Gifford. Lament In different ways, both Gifford and Martin offer up commentary on the grand sweep of cultural change underway. “The book chose me,” said Martin for the Spanish-language art website queleer.com in 2014. “It [a book] carries much symbolism, and though the result seems obsessive, I do not recognize myself in this obsession. It is an object that stores and records time and space. The book itself is an object to be read, and offers as many “readings” as there are people who have read it.” So, the next time your books find themselves everywhere but the bookshelves, just think: glued together and toppling out a window, they could have a new story to tell. About the Author Barbara Basbanes Richter Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for Fine Books & Collections magazine and Art & Object. She’s also a professional ghostwriter. Tags sculpture exhibition