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A Manhattan real estate agent wants answers from his gallerista step-sister on why she hawked a family-owned painting by a renowned abstract artist last year for a measly $375,000 when it re-sold months later for millions.

Cyrus Greenspon claims in court papers that her step-sister's mega-cheap sell-off of their late dad's Ad Reinhardt painting was shady and a conflict of interest — namely because she got her former boss, the president of swanky Pace Gallery, to vouch for its low value and had a friend and former colleague buy it.

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Scratch an art dealer, and you’ll often find a curator. That’s the case with Craig Starr, who seems to operate in the secondary art market mainly to support his persistent curatorial itch. For nearly a decade, he has been mounting sharp-focus shows of historical works by prominent American postwar artists in his jewel-box gallery on the Upper East Side.

Mr. Starr’s latest effort — one of his best — is “Robert Rauschenberg: The Fulton Street Studio, 1953-54.” With 15 works borrowed from private collections, this exhibition delves into a formative period in the development of Rauschenberg (1925-2008), when he was in his late 20s and moving fast. It presents his sensibility in a nutshell, his broad aesthetic range, omnivorous curiosity, playfulness and intuitive elegance.

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Nan Rosenthal, a curator who helped bring the 20th century to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 76.

The cause was heart failure, her sister-in-law Wendy Mackenzie said.

Over three decades, Ms. Rosenthal organized exhibitions and oversaw the acquisition of contemporary art, first at the National Gallery, which she joined in 1985, and afterward at the Met, with which she was associated from 1993 until her retirement in 2008.

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On November 12, Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art in New York achieved an unprecedented $691,583,000 – the highest total for any auction in art market history. The top lot was Francis Bacon’s triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, which garnered $142,405,000, a world record for any artwork ever sold at auction.

The highly anticipated painting, which was was expected to sell for $85 million to $95 million, portrays Lucien Freud, Bacon’s friend and fellow artist. Executed in 1969, the work is one of Bacon’s most important paintings and unites two of the most significant figurative artists of the 20th century.

The sale set ten new world auction record prices for Bacon, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Lucio Fontana, Donald Judd, Wade Guyton, Vija Celmins, Ad Reinhardt, Willem de Kooning and Wayne Thiebaud. Three works sold for over $50 million, 16 went for above $10 million, and 56 works exceeded $1 million. In addition, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) achieved $58,405,000, a new world auction record for a living artist and the most expensive contemporary sculpture ever sold.

Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s, said, “We are thrilled to announce an historic total of $691.6 million for this evening’s sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art. It is the second time this year that Christie’s has broken the highest total in auction history. Collectors from 42 countries registered tonight with strong bidding from American, European and Asian collectors but also from institutions. The sale was heavily focused on icons and masterworks, achieving an astonishing 10 record prices and breaking the record for any work of art ever sold at auction. Beyond the records, 10,000 art lovers flocked to Christie’s galleries in the last week to engage with and enjoy the remarkable selection of artworks on display.”

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The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. received a promised gift of 250 paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs from the American art collector and gallerist Virginia Dwan. The bequest, which includes works by Robert Smithson, Yves Klein, Ad Reinhardt and Sol LeWitt, will help bolster the museum’s postwar and minimalist holdings.

The National Gallery’s director, Earl A. Powell, said, “The National Gallery of Art is thrilled to be the beneficiary of Ms. Dwan’s seminal collection. The pledge will significantly strengthen our holdings of art from the 1960s and 1970s.” Dwan owned and helmed the Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles and New York during the ‘60s and ‘70s. She presented the group exhibition My Country ‘Tis of Thee in 1962, one of the earliest pop art shows in the United States.

Dwan’s collection will be featured in the exhibition From Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery 1959-1971 when the National Gallery’s East Building reopens in 2016. The space will close next year for a maintenance and expansion project.

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