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Sotheby’s January 2015 Old Master Week in New York will feature a select group of highly important paintings assembled by noted collector J.E. Safra. The choice offering of 17 paintings presents a wide range of styles and genres of the period including the Dutch Golden Age, as well as 18th century Italian and French. The vast majority of the works have been off the market for at least 20 years and together the group is estimated to bring $22/34 million. The paintings will go on public exhibition, alongside Sotheby’s Old Master Week sales, beginning January 24.

Leading a very strong group of Dutch works to be offered in Sotheby’s January 2015 sales is "Frozen River at Sunset," painted by Aert van der Neer in or shortly after 1660, a period that was a high point for Dutch landscape painting and for the artist himself (est. $4/6 million).

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Today the North Carolina Museum of Art unveiled a new vision plan for its 164-acre campus. The phased, long-term plan calls for a new campus entrance and streetscape, increased parking capacity, woodland and meadow restoration, additional Park trails and infrastructure, improved sustainability measures, and additional outdoor works of art.

The Museum enlisted landscape architecture and urban design firm Civitas, Inc., of Denver, Colorado, to develop the plan and commissioned internationally renowned artist Jim Hodges to create a signature work of art from the existing smokestack on campus. The Museum’s director of planning and design, Dan Gottlieb, is leading the project.

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The Clark Art Institute received the 2014 Apollo Award for Museum Opening of the Year during presentation ceremonies held in London on December 3.

The award, presented by Apollo, the noted international arts magazine, recognizes major achievements in the art and museum worlds.

The Clark received the award in recognition of its distinctive success in combining new construction, a subtle renovation of its existing facilities, and a significant rethinking of its landscape to create a unified new campus. Other museums nominated for the 2014 Museum Opening of the Year award included the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; the Imperial War Museum, London; the Musée du Louvre’s Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts Galleries, Paris; and the Mauritshuis, The Hague.

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Monday, 08 December 2014 11:10

The UK Places an Export Ban on Brueghel Painting

A temporary export ban has been placed on an early 17th-century painting, one of the most refined of the paradise landscapes by Flemish artist Jan Brueghel the Elder, in an attempt to keep it in the UK.

"The Garden of Eden With the Fall of Man" (1613), an oil on copper work measuring just 23.7cm by 36.8 cm, was set to go overseas after selling at Sotheby’s in London in July for £6.8 million, more than double the top estimate. It had been acquired by Algernon Percy, the fourth Duke of Northumberland, in 1853 and had hung in Alnwick Castle but was recently consigned for sale by the present Duke of Northumberland.

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Giovanni Battista 'Titta' Lusieri was one of Italy's great landscape artists,  yet within a few years of his death he had faded into obscurity. Lusieri was a watercolorist in Rome at a time when the medium was rarely embraced by Italians – as a result, he was more popular in Britain than in his home country.

Lusieri was one of the pioneers of 'panoramania', the fetish for panoramic cityscapes that swept through Europe and America at the end of the 18th century. The Panoramic view of Rome and its accompanying views are Lusieri's earliest known works in the genre, representing a key moment in the development of tastes in Western art.

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The Delaware Art Museum unveiled its renovated and reinstalled 18th- and 19th-century American Art galleries—Galleries 1, 2, and 3—to the public. Just in time for the holiday season, the beautifully redesigned space displays over 50 works of art, including many permanent collection objects that have not been on view for over 10 years. As part of this reinstallation, the galleries highlight 150 years of portraiture, sculpture, landscape painting, still life, and history painting.

“I am excited to be able to present our regional history within the context of the dynamic national art scene,” explains Heather Campbell Coyle, Curator of American Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “The product of more than two years of research and planning, the redesigned space gives us the opportunity to showcase the Museum’s outstanding collection of American art to the local community, visitors, and school groups in new and exciting ways.”

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From Philadelphia soup tureens made by German immigrants to a sweeping American landscape painted in Italy, there’s a surprising twist to the newly renovated American Wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art: many of the objects have an international accent.

The museum is already well known around the world for its 500-piece Henri Matisse collection and other European masterworks. Now curators in its new American Wing have reframed its pieces to underscore how U.S. artists continually exchanged ideas and styles with their counterparts abroad. The museum spent two years and $7.9 million renovating the 15,000-square-foot wing, which opens Sunday.

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The Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London has acquired a one-of-a-kind Tiffany stained-glass window piece to ensure that it will be on display for public view.

The acclaimed Tiffany Studios of New York created “Come Unto Me,” which depicts Jesus Christ juxtaposed by a magnificent background landscape consisting of mountains, cypress trees and a lake.

The piece, signed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, is made entirely out of Favrille glass and was installed inside the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in New London in 1924.

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014 12:34

A Look at the V&A’s John Constable Show

If I tell you John Constable’s reputation is on the up, your response may be that it hardly needs raising. The Suffolk-raised, Hampstead-dwelling painter has spent much of the past 200 years as Britain’s Favorite Artist, with iconic works such as "Flatford Mill" and "The Haywain" seen as the embodiment of a humane, unfussy approach to the mellow English landscape that every British person - okay, every English person -regards as their birth right.

At the same time, however, critics have come to see Constable as the epitome of dentists’ waiting room art: stolid, cliched, even a touch philistine in its apparent lack of interest in anything other than the trees and sky that were actually in front of him.

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014 10:30

Monet Landscape Found in Nazi Art Hoarder’s Suitcase

A Claude Monet landscape has been discovered in a suitcase that belonged to late art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt.

The case, which was left at a hospital where the German had been staying, was handed over to the administrators of his estate.

They are tasked with finding out if the newly uncovered artwork was stolen by the Nazis during World War Two.

Gurlitt, who died in May aged 81, had a stash of 1,280 works of art hidden in his Munich apartment.

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