Category: art

Sotheby’s Under the Hammer for $3.7 Billion

I’m finally back to scribbling after a very pleasant sojourn in Spain – hope you appreciated the updated archival posts, gentle reader – and the big art world news at the moment is the announcement that the venerable auction house Sotheby’s is being sold to French telecom billionaire Patrick Drahi for $3.7 billion. [Full Disclosure: I earned my Master’s in Art Business at Sotheby’s … Read More Sotheby’s Under the Hammer for $3.7 Billion

From The Archives: Is Gaudí Getting Closer to Sainthood?

Since I published this piece about four and a half years ago, the cause for the Beatification of architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (1852-1926) continues to be reviewed by the Vatican, but movement is glacially slow. Gaudí was named a “Servant of God” in 2003, a preliminary step on the road to possible sainthood, and interest in his cause has been expressed by Pope … Read More From The Archives: Is Gaudí Getting Closer to Sainthood?

From The Archives: Barcelona’s Forgotten Master

Although in the eight years (?!?!) since I wrote this piece he still hasn’t become a household name except among the cognoscenti, architect Enric Sagnier (1858-1931) remains one of the most interesting and underappreciated Catalan architects of the late 19th and early 20th century. While the attention of most visitors to Barcelona looking at architecture from this period is, understandably, drawn to the Big Three … Read More From The Archives: Barcelona’s Forgotten Master

From The Archives: At Home With Sorolla and Rusiñol: Two Very Different Artists, Two Very Similar Collectors

When I published this piece about a year and a half ago, I had recently returned from seeing the newly-restored beach house of Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931) in Sitges, and the grand, urban villa of Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923) in Madrid. Both homes contain not only many examples of these artists’ respective work, but also their studios, as well as impressive collections of art and decorative … Read More From The Archives: At Home With Sorolla and Rusiñol: Two Very Different Artists, Two Very Similar Collectors

From The Archives: The Curious Conundrum Of Catalan Vs. Castilian Coffee

Although I published this post two and a half years ago, I still periodically get comments about it, since people really care about their coffee – and they’re also, if they’ve traveled in Spain, inevitably confused as to why the coffee in Barcelona is so much better than the horrible swill that one gets in Madrid. As you read this, I’m probably enjoying the … Read More From The Archives: The Curious Conundrum Of Catalan Vs. Castilian Coffee

From The Archives: Mystery Solved? Debating the Case of Yale’s Basement Masterpiece

Since I wrote the following piece almost five years ago, Yale continues to attribute its basement storage find, “The Education of the Virgin” to Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). Following a symposium and exhibition of the painting held in Seville after I published the post, some scholars became convinced of the attribution to the greatest of all Spanish painters, while others are still skeptical or even opposed … Read More From The Archives: Mystery Solved? Debating the Case of Yale’s Basement Masterpiece

Out Of Office: Iberian Idyll

Beginning tomorrow, I’m off on vacation (or on holiday, for you Brits), so there won’t be any new blog posts, Federalist articles, or weekly Art News Roundup for a bit. Not to worry: I’ve scheduled some return visits to archival posts from the old blog, along with some updated commentary, which will hopefully suffice until my return. If you care to follow my adventures … Read More Out Of Office: Iberian Idyll

Art News Roundup: If You Build It Edition

I probably don’t write about architecture on here as often as I should, since even though these pages are primarily filled with stories about art exhibitions and auctions, I’m also always reading and thinking about buildings. So today, we’re going to take a look at some interesting stories from the past week or so dealing with architectural projects new, old, and revived. And ahead … Read More Art News Roundup: If You Build It Edition

Spaces for Seeing: The Importance of Exhibition Design

In case you missed it, here’s a link to my latest for The Federalist, in which I review the excellent exhibition, “Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912” at the Smithsonian’s Freer/Sackler Gallery. If you find yourself in the Nation’s Capital between now and June 23rd, you really need to go see it. You’ll learn a great deal from the show, and it’s a good … Read More Spaces for Seeing: The Importance of Exhibition Design

Art News Roundup: Second Act Edition

We’re all aware that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous observation, “There are no second acts in American lives,” doesn’t reflect reality for many people. The lives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ronald Reagan, Tina Turner, Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Cash, Grace Kelly, and countless other Americans demonstrate that, if anything, the second or even the third act in the play of one’s life can be just … Read More Art News Roundup: Second Act Edition

A Really Big Reveal: Conservation Project Completely Changes A Vermeer Masterpiece

The use of innovative technology in art conservation and restoration never ceases to amaze me, but a major development in this area has really thrown me for a loop this morning. You’re probably familiar with this beautiful painting by the Dutch Old Master painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), commonly referred to as “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”, which is now in the … Read More A Really Big Reveal: Conservation Project Completely Changes A Vermeer Masterpiece

Art News Roundup: Age Of Thrones Edition

With only a couple of weeks to go before I head off to Barcelona (and elsewhere) on vacation, the timing on some astonishing new archaeological findings at the city’s Cathedral could not be more perfect. Being more than 2,000 years old, Barcelona is one of those places where, particularly in the oldest part of the city, as soon as you start digging in the ground … Read More Art News Roundup: Age Of Thrones Edition