Back on June 28th, a painting in the style of Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445-1510) – he of the iconic “Birth of Venus” (c. 1485), or as I like to call it, “Venus on a Half-Shell” – came up for sale at auction in Zurich, with a pre-sale estimate of $5,000. A bidding war ensued, and the final hammer price was $6.4 million. Clearly, some … Read More Take A Chance On Me: Buying A Botticelli (?)
In case you missed it, my latest piece for The Federalist was published yesterday, in which I shared some news and thoughts about the recent trend of what I would call “museum shaming”. This is when activist groups go after museums for receiving donations from groups or individuals whom those groups find offensive in some way. Over the last couple of years, the most … Read More Storming The Palace: Where Does Museum Shaming Go From Here?
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
For decades now, Las Vegas hoteliers have been caught between two competing impulses when it comes to building and furnishing their resorts. Some have made an effort to distinguish their establishments from the more tawdry, gimmicky aspects of the city’s past, by erecting modern, luxurious structures and filling them with fine art. You’ll recall in the George Clooney version of “Ocean’s Eleven” that Andy … Read More Art News Roundup: Las Vegas Lifeguard Edition
When it comes to learning about art, it’s difficult to attempt something approaching comprehensive autodidactism. As professional art researcher Eric Turquin pointed out in a recent interview with the Art Newspaper, discussing his career and the hotly-debated “Judith and Holofernes” alleged to be a lost work by Caravaggio (1571-1610), being an art generalist simply isn’t possible anymore. “If you want to succeed,” he notes, … Read More Art News Roundup: Luxuriant Beard Edition
In popular culture, there’s inevitably a tipping point beyond which something that was once considered to be edgy and subversive – body piercings twenty years ago, tattoos now – becomes banal. The more commonly accepted something becomes, the less it costs those who obtain it, whether monetarily or socially. In the art market however, the opposite is true. The more popular a type of … Read More Art News Roundup: Poverty Chic Edition