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Fine Art ConnoisseurFine Art Connoisseur

Fine Art Connoisseur November - December 2014

art magazine for collectors of fine art

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Streamline Publishing
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$32.99
6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
frontispiece: luca della robbia

" [Luca della Robbia's ] love of nature and his sense of art were his only guide, and he produced these lovely reliefs, in which observation and fancy were regulated by classical feeling, in a manner before unknown and scarcely equaled since.For once... the artist was emancipated." -Cosmo Monkhouse (1840-1901)…

access_time3 min.
rethinking museums’ rules on photography

This September, a jolly group of Fine Art Connoisseur readers enjoyed the magazine’s fifth annual Art Cruise, this time around Portugal and Spain. (A full account will appear in our next issue.) As we explored Madrid’s marvelous Museo Nacional del Prado, we admired iconic works by such stars as Velázquez and Goya, and we were particularly delighted to discover Spanish talents not as well-known abroad (for example, Francisco Pradilla and Martín Rico). Alas, the guards told us “no photos,” even as other visitors were clicking away nearby. So I wrote down these “new” artists’ names in the hope that I might later buy postcards or prints on-demand in the shop. But, to my disappointment, only the star works were available there. Although the Prado’s website is content-rich, and although I bought…

access_time3 min.
eye-opening museum visits

Recently I visited several museums in New England, and was inspired by innovative projects at two specific institutions. I first laid eyes on the Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) in 1983, when this town was enduring the collapse of its industrial economy. The past 30 years have witnessed a gradual recovery, and now restoration and construction projects are visible throughout the handsome downtown district. The museum is following suit by celebrating its 110th anniversary with a re-installation, Objectify: A Look into the Permanent Collection. Guest curators Peter Garlington (a local designer) and Leo Nash (a local artist) were challenged to highlight the most significant of the institution’s more than 50,000 artworks, natural specimens, and historical artifacts. They’ve succeeded in calling fresh attention to items that include an Egyptian mummy, Bouguereau’s luminous painting…

access_time11 min.
norfolk’s salon masterworks shine again

As the innovative museum director and writer Mario Amaya (1933-1986) observed in 1978, “Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.’s catholic taste [was] without either barriers or prejudice. Twenty years ago, at a time when Salon painting was held in almost universal disdain, he started to assemble a group of works that admirably illustrates the so-called ‘official’ side of art.” Today, Chrysler’s foresight is all the more amazing, and the recently expanded and reinstalled Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, offers us the opportunity, still rare in American museums, to enjoy highly finished, brilliantly colored works of the type exhibited at the annual Paris Salon during the 19th century. These are juxtaposed with some equally fine Romantic, Barbizon, and Impressionist paintings. SHIFTS IN CLASSICISM The new display begins with what is actually the last work…

access_time4 min.
bill hennessey’s dream

In 1945, the automobile heir Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. (1909-1988) married Jean Outland of Norfolk, Virginia. Twenty-five years later, when his tiny museum in Province-town on Cape Cod ran out of space for his burgeoning collection, Chrysler’s wife encouraged him to offer nearly 8,000 artworks to her native city. In 1971, the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences became the Chrysler Museum of Art (CMA), and its Renaissance palazzo-style building overlooking an inlet of the Elizabeth River has been growing ever since. Today it holds more than 30,000 artworks, with particular strengths in European and American art, and in glass of all periods. This October, William “Bill” Hennessey, 67, completed his 17-year term as president and director of the CMA (the longest such tenure in its history) and welcomed his successor,…

access_time8 min.
a sopranos hit man hits it big

On screen, Federico Castelluccio was no saint. As a lead character on the hit television series The Sopranos, the actor played Furio Giunta, a mobster whose profession is killing people. Off screen, Castelluccio is now doing something saintly, though he has nothing to atone for. He is lending the favorite, and probably most valuable, painting in his personal collection, Saint Sebastian (c. 1632-34) by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (a.k.a. Guercino, 1599-1666), to the Castello di Miradolo museum near Turin, Italy. There, this life-size, three-quarter view of the Christian martyr, beatific even while bound to a tree, will be featured in the exhibition Saint Sebastian: Beauty and Integrity in Art Between the 15th and 17th Centuries (on view through March 8). “Of course, I’m honored that the painting is going to be seen…

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