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Fine Art ConnoisseurFine Art Connoisseur

Fine Art Connoisseur September - October 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_time2 min.
go with the pros

Perhaps, like me, you’ve occasionally fallen prey to rumors circulating on the Internet or social media. It’s easy to get worked up over something we learn later isn’t true at all. Such an experience reminds us that the key problem with digital communications is that most content has simply not been vetted. Anyone can post anything and seem believable. In collecting art, we’re equally subject to deception, especially when we’re hunting for bargains on eBay and Craigslist, hoping against hope we’ll come across a lost original offered by someone unaware of its actual value. Though great finds do surface, so do great frauds. Ever more horror stories are being shared by artists who find their own paintings offered online; their original image is illustrated to entice the buyer, but what arrives later…

access_time3 min.
stemming the tide of mediocrity

Recently I was fascinated to read a new book from the University of Chicago Press, Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade. It was written by Winnie Won Yin Wong, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Her subject is Dafen, a place in southern China where thousands of workers paint van Goghs, Leonardos, Warhols, and other Western-style artworks for the global market, producing an estimated 5 million paintings per year. Partly because she is of Chinese heritage, Prof. Wong got to know this place from various vantages: researching the artists on site, working as a dealer, apprenticing as a painter, surveying wholesalers and retailers around the world, and finally establishing relationships with local officials and initiating an exhibition for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. It’s an impressive investigation…

access_time7 min.
the remarkable journey of the housewife, the maid, and the fish

Painted by the Dutch artist Quiringh van Brekelenkam (1623-1669?), A Housewife and Maid with a Fish was displayed modestly, off to one side, on the stand of Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts at the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) last March. Perhaps that positioning was appropriate. It’s an unassuming domestic scene that shows a finely dressed merchant-class housewife assessing a fish presented by her maid, presumably for the evening meal. Brekelenkam painted many such scenes. Even though this one is gentle, appealing, and amusing, it may never have been displayed particularly prominently by any of its owners — not even by Alfred Cohen, the Amsterdam merchant who bought it in 1931. The events that followed his purchase, however, have earned A Housewife and Maid with a Fish a place of distinction in…

access_time14 min.
rediscovering mary rogers williams

You have likely never heard of the painter Mary Rogers Williams (1857-1907), whose work has scarcely been shown since her death. Here is just a partial list of the accomplishments of this baker’s daughter from Hartford, Connecticut, a woman who truly invented herself. Williams studied with James McNeill Whistler and knew Albert Pinkham Ryder. Her landscapes and portraits, mostly pastels in tonalist and impressionist veins, won acclaim when exhibited at such venues as Manhattan’s National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Paris Salon. And from 1888 to 1906, she ran the art department of Smith College in Massachusetts under the renowned painter Dwight W. Tryon. During her vacations and an 1898-99 sabbatical, Williams traveled in Europe, as far south as Rome and as far north…

access_time5 min.
sculpture victorious indeed

Ebenezer Scrooge, Downton Abbey, sooty factories, hot tea in Royal Worcester cups.... when most Americans hear the phrase “Victorian Britain,” these are the kinds of images that spring to mind. Few of us would normally imagine a massive monument in an industrial city’s main square, or a bronze statuette adorning the plushly furnished home of a middle-class family. Yet it was indeed the British who embraced and revitalized the making of sculpture — at almost all levels of society — during the long reign of Queen Victoria. That’s just one reason the ever-inquisitive Yale Center for British Art is about to open its next mega-show, Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901. On view in New Haven, Connecticut, from September 11 through November 30, the exhibition features an array…

access_time1 min.
learning from sorolla

The gifted Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) continues to win admirers and inspire other artists long after his death. Premiered last December at Dallas’s Meadows Museum of Art, the important touring exhibition Sorolla and America was curated by the artist’s great-granddaughter, Blanca Pons-Sorolla, to survey his achievements and highlight his brilliant success on these shores. It features more than 150 paintings and drawings, loaned by museums and private owners in the U.S., Spain, and Mexico. Having just concluded its popular summertime showing at the San Diego Museum of Art, the exhibition is now set to grace Madrid’s Fundación MAPFRE (September 23, 2014-January 11, 2015), where it will be enjoyed by guests traveling on the Iberian Art Cruise organized by Fine Art Connoisseur. Rather than repeating what the curatorial team has…

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