Issue 246 - May 2013

News | Art Market | Books | Comment | Conservation | Features | Focus | Media | Museums | Obituary |


Bad feelings over Abu Dhabi’s unspent €25m gift to the Louvre Free

Letter leaked to left-wing French newspaper reveals not all has been well between emirati and French authorities

How prevalent is money laundering in the art world? Free

Federal raid on the Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York and a new book by a Brazilian judge point to a "big problem"

How Khalili almost sold his collection to Abu Dhabi Free

Fine works of Islamic art are at the centre of a dispute with his former business partner

Disarray at Royal Armouries revealed in public accounts

Figures submitted for government scrutiny expose irregularities; former head defends actions

Top London galleries team up with rail project

Crossrail goes direct to commercial sector

Anger as college sells off major Modern works

Critics say art was meant for students and the public

Manchester collector opens former dairy

Frank Cohen and Danish adviser Nicolai Frahm launch a London gallery

Conquistador letter found Free

One of the oldest missives to the New World, sent by Charles V to Hernán Cortés, had been missing for more than a century

American West opens up its heart to public art

Art and infrastructure come together as a construction boom helps to fuel new commissions

Audio archive breaks silence on Sehgal Free

Curator’s interviews with performers could prove a “goldmine” for scholars, skirting the artist’s ban on documentation of his work

Art Market

Twenty years of White Cube Free

Jay Jopling started his gallery in 1993. Two decades later, he’s no less secretive but a whole lot richer

Collector says Sotheby’s sold him Nazi-owned art—now it's unsellable Free

Uncertainty over whether the work, once owned by Goering, was looted means that auction houses don't want to put it on the block

Hauser & Wirth makes a big birthday book

Another 20-year landmark, now in print

Casino boss profits from damaged art

When Steve Wynn put his elbow through a Picasso in 2006, his face probably turned red. Now he has nearly 200 million reasons to smile

São Paulo turns up the heat…

The SP-Arte fair is cementing its place on the international circuit

Art fund calls for greater transparency Free

Founder of Tiroche DeLeon collection says increased openness will attract wider interest

Auction house says no to reproduction fees

Catalogue illustration dispute reveals inadequacy of country’s copyright laws

Fifty shows of grey

Older artists are back in fashion—have the young reached saturation point?

Air of malaise at Paris fairs

A scheduling clash and an unfriendly tax environment slowed business at most fairs

Houses slug it out in Hong Kong

The days when Sotheby’s had the season to itself are long gone as the Chinese auctioneers fight for a share of a limited inventory

Art Basel launches first Hong Kong edition

The fair keeps the flavour of its predecessor, ArtHK, but the galleries have changed


The historiography of art history

Subjectivity, unreconciled dialectics and relativism mark all the works by the art historians surveyed in this volume

Cambridge: the full picture

All of the University’s illuminated manuscripts are being published

The devil is in the detail of Bavarian dec arts

A close examination of the impact of the work of Joseph Effner

Picturesque partners

Uvedale Price and James Wyatt compared and contrasted in two very different books

Fashions in Impressionism

What paintings tell us about clothing and style in 19th-century Paris

Pioneer of colour photography

Prokudin-Gorskii’s forgotten pictures of the last years of the Russian Empire see the light of day

Deservedly written back into history

Keith Vaughan is, at long last, receiving serious critical attention


Out with the thematic at Tate, in with the chronological Free

Director says of revised British art display: "It follows real time rather than art-historical time"

Mrs Thatcher’s impact on the arts

Britain’s former prime minister may have had little interest in culture, but Thatcherism meant its great museums changed for the better

Why tear this building down?

MoMA could adapt the former home of the American Folk Art Museum rather than demolish it to expand


New home for Mary Rose Free

Purpose-built museum opens, showing ship’s hull and recovered artefacts—from anchors to nit combs

Boston museum sets its sights 20ft high Free

Museum of Fine Arts reinstalls an 18th-century English drawing room

Why is ‘volunteer’a dirty word?

Conference urges conservators to raise their profile and accept unpaid help

Auckland Castle opens with grand ambitions Free

Historic home of the bishops of Durham is restored, hopes to draw tourists with its exotic collection of Zurbaráns

Blue is not the colour

Museum’s investigation reconstructs Van Gogh’s original—and dramatically different—palette


When art fought the Cold War Free

A touring exhibition recreates the CIA’s 1946 secret weapon that scandalised conservatives

Reality is too hard

Famous for his cute Manga imagery, Takashi Murakami has joined forces with the Japanese cult zombie film-maker to create a monster movie drenched in the post-tsunami world of religious cults, mad science and the supernatural.


Government museums multiply by 1,000%

China builds more institutions, but can the infrastructure keep pace?

Between past and future

The director of the National Palace Museum on expansion, improvement and collaboration with the mainland

Foundation in bid to save China’s vanishing villages

The Global Heritage Foundation launches project to preserve architectural and cultural traditions

Pressured and privileged: artists born in the 1980s

A younger generation of artists is China’s most fortunate, but making a living is not that easy…

Contemporary Chinese ink: the Golden Age returns?

A classical artistic tradition is flourishing in 21st-century China – and abroad

Art market’s triple whammy

A slowing GDP, crackdown on tax evaders and rising rents have burst the bubble. But what remains?

Global Art Fair takes slot of SH Contemporary

The new fair is due to take place in the same venue and at the same time as SH, but they are “not related”

The world’s top dealer in Chinese art reveals quite a lot

Giuseppe Eskenazi has seen the market move from Europe to Japan to China over 50 years


No sex please, we’re Russian? Free

Questions over theatrical release for Peter Greenaway’s dizzying, dazzling—and sexually explicit—new film


Pushkin expansion criticised by man from the ministry

Moscow museum backs architects after deputy culture minister calls for changes to Norman Foster’s scheme

Rijksmuseum reopens with a bang

The Ashmolean Museum’s director, Christopher Brown, is impressed by elegant contemporary interventions and colourful historic restoration

Hungary’s patriotic plan takes shape

Architects sought to design museum quarter in Budapest, which will have five new national museums, including a national gallery

London’s big growth spurt

As the Tate and British Museum extensions reach their full height, institutions say business plans stack up

V&A closes a cultural gulf

Museum strengthens ties with Qatar by showing pearls exhibition from Doha, despite ethical concerns

European paintings get (back) the space they deserve Free

The Met’s Old Masters galleries reopen in rooms lost in the 1970s when the era of the blockbuster began

US museums round-up

New York's American Folk Art Museum to be demolished, Boston museums close during search for marathon bombers, Lacma's new Latin American galleries, and more

How to nip a legal problem in the bud

Museum staff and leading lawyers meet in Chicago to debate the biggest issues of the day

Back home to Houghton Free

Some of Sir Robert Walpole’s magnificent collection returns from the State Hermitage to his former home


Barbara Piasecka Johnson

A patron saint manquée of Poland, who came to America with $200 and made a good marriage