Fine Art Connoisseur Nov/Dec 2015

art magazine for collectors of fine art

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

in this issue

1 min
frontispiece: andrea del sarto

…we have come to the most excellent Andrea del Sarto, in whose single person nature and art demonstrated all that painting can achieve by means of draughtsmanship, coloring, and invention…— Giorgio Vasari, 1550…

3 min
remembering nelson shanks One of the greatest benefits for me of commissioning portraits from the world’s top artists is spending time with them, sometimes even developing warm friendships. In 2009 I was introduced to Nelson Shanks (1937–2015) by our mutual friend Noralen Curl, and before long I was invited to spend three days conversing with him as he painted me. It was the beginning of a friendship that continued until his passing this August. Nelson and I spoke on the phone a few times each year. Our last conversation occurred in June, when he revealed the severity of his illness, his desire to finish his current works, and his eagerness for Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia to continue for generations. Though optimistic that he would beat cancer, he wanted me to see his most recent…

2 min
a season of milestones

One institution that has enjoyed enthusiastic coverage in this magazine is the Florence Academy of Art, founded in 1991 by the American artist Daniel Graves in order to pass along traditional techniques to the next generation. The FAA has trained hundreds of talented people now working worldwide and spreading their skills to still more artists. Long hampered by having to maintain multiple rented sites around Florence, the FAA has finally acquired a large facility that will be renovated so that all of its teachers and students can work together under one roof. In celebration, the FAA will soon host (on November 6) its first fundraising gala in New York City — the Beaux Arts Ball, named after the legendary costumed extravaganza once mounted annually at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts. Guests will…

2 min
auction fire sale

A task perhaps even harder than igniting a fire using sticks and stones is to paint a figure illuminated by flames. Joseph Henry Sharp (1859–1953), likely able to do both given his many sojourns camping in the American West, excelled particularly at illuminating American Indians on canvas while they stoked fires. “In the world of American Western collectibles, firelight is really what many people are looking for,” says Alissa Ford, director of Western and California art for Heritage Auctions, which will offer this diminutive oil on November 16 at its New York location. “Firelight in a painting is aesthetically charging, and Sharp’s ability to capture that effect, especially in disappearing cultures, is, well, I have to say it, hot stuff in the marketplace.” Ford points out that while Sharp is credited…

6 min
three to watch

ALICIA N. PONZIO (b. 1974) has won applause for her figure and portrait sculptures, primarily in bronze. “I am drawn to sculpture,” she explains, “because I believe that there is psychology in forms, that they elicit emotional responses on an abstract level.” Indeed, regardless of whether we recognize her narrative or know her sitter’s name, viewers are always moved by Ponzio’s sensitive, insightful characterizations. Born in Massachusetts, Ponzio grew up in New Jersey and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. During four years in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, her interest in anatomy blossomed (having been sparked earlier by her family’s background in medicine). Soon she was taking drawing classes at various venues in Southern California, including the Watts Atelier in Encinitas. The big leap came when she…

12 min
charles h. davis the clouds and beyond

Charles H. Davis (1856–1933) was among the preeminent American landscape painters of his day, often cited as the “Cloud Painter” and “Painter of American Skies.” In view of this celebrity, it is surprising how little known he is today, more than 80 years after his death. Davis was once ranked in the elite company of John Henry Twachtman, George Inness, and Theodore Robinson — artists who remain essential to the canon of American art. Now, however, many of his works can be seen only in storage, are in need of conservation, or have been deaccessioned. Some reasons for this situation can be surmised, but Davis’s standing certainly has been subject to the vagaries of taste — something that plagues the reputations of many once-popular artists. This phenomenon remains an issue,…