Issue 243 - February 2013

News | Art Market | Books | Comment | Conservation | Diaries | Exhibitions | Focus | Media | Museums | Obituary |


Sales halve at China’s leading auction houses Free

Demand plummets as economic growth slows, but business picks up in the US

Lacma director to rehang Pinault’s art Free

Michael Govan will co-organise an exhibition at the Punta della Dogana during the Venice Biennale

What now for the £45 Da Vinci?

Dallas museum fails to raise $100m to buy the authenticated Salvator Mundi, until recently believed to be a mediocre copy

Cases in the courts

Several ongoing cases are testing the US’s authority over foreign governments

Tax deal chips away at arts donations

Congress has avoided the fiscal cliff, but museum groups fear that changes to charity tax law will deter wealthy benefactors

London riots get tied up in knots Free

Marc Quinn has turned a defining image of the violence and looting into a tapestry

How to stop a thief Free

Court orders for anti-social behaviour, or Asbos, are one option for heritage organisations

Michelangelo sculpture heads to jail Free

…despite vociferous opposition from art historians

Turkey says return objects or forget loans

Roman and Ottoman-era exhibitions will suffer as US and European museums face tougher calls for restitution

Art Market

Move over galleries: artists sign with agents Free

As Stuart Semple joins an agency that also represents models and musicians, is there a new way to sell art?

What next for Phillips?

Simon de Pury’s departure signals a change of direction after four patchy years

China debates droit de suite Free

Some say it will stifle the market, others think it could stop fakes at auction

Court of appeal finds Christie’s in the wrong

French judge rules that auction house should not have collected droit de suite from buyers

Sotheby’s chief does it all

Bill Ruprecht has also taken on the role of chairman—but does this present a conflict of interest?

Couple wins Van Dyck case

Ownership of the painting had been contested by a Californian lawyer

Backing dealers for 50 years Free

The executive director of the Art Dealers Association of America on fairs, ethics and the calm after the storm

Fair overload continues apace

Markets are squeezed, collectors and dealers grumble and austerity bites, yet the expected slowdown in events has yet to materialise

Mass appeal helps fair find its niche

With a dynamic Art Projects section and works on offer from just £50, the London Art Fair shrugged off the snow


A universal man only now coming into his own

The complete works of Karl Friedrich Schinkel in print and online

Gothic in all its expressions

The interaction of various disciplines in Italy and Northern Europe

Maiolica explained through the world’s greatest collection

This book, linked to a current exhibition, explores the V&A’s unrivalled holdings

Perthshire’s answer to the Ritz revealed

Portraits of a diverse selection of Scottish country houses

Lifting the lid on masters of metal, stone and glass

A study of Johann Christian Neuber’s snuffboxes and a survey of the Zilkha collection

Dickens’s instinct for art

His own artistic tastes were far from sophisticated, but his fiction inspired all kinds of artists

Bloomsbury before it was famous

A history of the neighbourhood and the educational, medical and cultural institutions that made it London’s intellectual quarter


Free entry can pay dividends

US museums in cities beyond tourist hot spots stand to gain far more than it costs by going free

The big hole in Britain’s National Gallery

The omission of paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood could be rectified by judicious loans


More shrines destroyed in Mali

As violence escalates, Unesco condemns militant Islamist rebels’ continuing attacks on cultural heritage in Timbuktu

Menil’s major car wash Free

Museum discovers bright colours and bumper stickers while conserving Chamberlain’s car-metal sculptures




Less is more: the rise of the very limited edition Free

The days when Modernists saw design for mass production as the height of achievement are gone

Dreams that things are made of

Rafts of plastic jetsam, sun-powered laser fusion and bees being busy—all utilised to make items from the edge of designers’ imaginations

The designer as revolutionary

Andrea Branzi wrote the rules and set the standards for industrial design

More form than function

Design collectors have moved away from looking for a utilitarian purpose to the objects they buy

A renaissance in contemporary design

Modern pieces dominate the market, but confidence in new works is returning


Up close and personal

Unprecedented access to Carolee Schneemann’s archive informs this portrait of the controversial, sometimes explicit, feminist artist


Headcount tumbles at UK’s big museums Free

Government cuts take their toll as more than 120 posts are lost without fanfare in just two years

Who opposed a £4,665 Lichtenstein? Free

Artists Barbara Hepworth and Andrew Forge and fellow Tate trustee Herbert Read did in 1966

Dallas Museum of Art adopts free-for-all policy

Scrapping admission fees and introducing an innovative members’ scheme attracts interest beyond Texas

A foreigner as next head of the Louvre?

Henri Loyrette will leave on a high note despite looming budget cuts

Hermitage gets into bed with luxury hotel

Museum lends its name and acts as adviser but what it stands to gain financially is unclear

Humanity and Abu Dhabi’s museums

As the consortium that is to build the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island is announced, artists and Human Rights Watch lobby again for workers’ rights, while an independent report demonstrates that outside pressure is causing the UAE to address the issue


Géza Fehérvári

Hungarian émigré who played a leading role in the development