Fine Art Connoisseur January - February 2016

art magazine for collectors of fine art

United States
Streamline Publishing
$9.32(Incl. tax)
$44.25(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
be the spark

Recently I was very moved to be among six individuals honored by the Florence Academy of Art during its first U.S. gala. As the photos on page 104 suggest, co-chairs Gregory and Margaret Hedberg organized a festive celebration, yet it also felt like a milestone for the field of contemporary realist art. I was truly thrilled to stand alongside Jacob Collins, Christopher Forbes, Daniel Graves, Judith Pond Kudlow, and Stone Roberts, all of whom have done so much to bring this field where it is today. During my brief remarks, I raised a few points that seem appropriate to recap here. We all have a spark inside, so when I turned 40, my wife, Laurie, said, “You seem to be interested in art, so why don’t you try it?” Well, I…

2 min
celebrating great collectors

What an inspiring experience! For the past few months, our editorial team has again been engrossed in learning about the real-life individuals who are collecting superb contemporary realist art across America. Our conversations with these enthusiastic patrons—conducted via telephone, email, and in person—have confirmed our belief that huge energy—not to mention cash—is being expended in support of the ever-growing number of talented artists working among us. We are particularly delighted by the fact that these visionaries live all over the country, and that each fell in love with this field in a different way, especially when it wasn’t cool to do so. That’s an old story, of course: 140 years ago, collectors who supported the Impressionists were considered a bit unusual, too. In preparing the profiles here, we learned that many…

3 min

Long before Westerners could distinguish yellowfin tuna from eel sushi or drive Toyotas, they knew precious little about Japan. In 1881, when the hearing-impaired American Harry Humphrey Moore (1844–1926) arrived in Tokyo with his paints and sketchbooks, he was among the first Western artists in centuries to see the prevailing culture of teahouses, gardens, kimono-clad women, and domestic scenes that might include children playing with pet tortoises. Anne Cohen DePietro, the director of American paintings at Doyle New York, who is bringing four diminutive works by Moore to sale this February, likens the effects of Moore’s trip to those of a trip by an earlier American painter. “When Thomas Cole went up the Hudson to draw, he was so inspired by a pristine wilderness that he had what might be called…

3 min

Children like to look at each other. When Salvador Salort-Pons was a 5-year-old living in Madrid, his parents would take him most weekends to the Prado, where they would look at Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece Las Meninas, which is also known as The Family of Philip IV. While this iconic image depicting the palace workshop of the painter himself incorporates many figures, including ladies-in-waiting, court jesters, and a sleepy dog, it was the little girl at center, the Infanta Margarita, who particularly intrigued the young Salort-Pons. “That painting was one of the first images I saw regularly as a boy,” says Salort-Pons, now director of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where he was formerly chief curator of the European department. As he grew up, and the more often he visited this…

7 min
three to watch

DEREK PENIX (b. 1980) has earned growing attention for the extraordinarily palpable atmosphere he gives his painted scenes, and for their lively brushwork. Yet it was not always thus. A lifelong resident of Tulsa, Penix (pronounced Pen-nicks) grew up watching his mother and grandfather paint, but he was not bitten by the art bug until after high school. At 19, he admired the idyllic European scenes of the Tulsa-born, Washington-based impressionist Leonard Wren (b. 1940), and quickly began to sell works in the same vein through a local gallery. Soon Penix was hired by a publisher to produce what he now calls “pretty-pretty” scenes, a factory-like experience he so hated that he was grateful to be laid off during the recession. At loose ends, Penix registered for a workshop with the Denver…

11 min
thérèse schwartze painting for a living

In her day, the Amsterdam painter Thérèse Schwartze (1851–1918) was a celebrated portraitist who combined talent and expertise with a head for business. She produced likenesses of the Dutch elite and members of the royal family in a notably un-Dutch style, becoming a millionaire in the process. Schwartze also established an international reputation, with countless exhibitions and commissions throughout Europe and the United States. The seemingly effortless brilliance with which she turned out elegant (and sometimes flattering) likenesses of her wealthy clients earned Schwartze much success, but also harsh criticism, especially from advocates for democratization and the renewal of society and art. Of crucial importance were the upbringing and training she received from her father, Johan George Schwartze (1814–1874). Truly a “citizen of the world,” born in Amsterdam to German parents…