Previous Posts: August 2017

'Fake or Fortune?' is back!

August 20 2017

Video: BBC

The BBC's most watched art series, 'Fake or Fortune?' returns this Sunday with a programme about a potential oil sketch by John Constable. The series is now in its 6th 'season', though very sadly it will be the fist without yours truly. But fear not, it will still be the same excellent programme. And best of all, I now get to watch it without knowing what happens!

Just in case anyone really does miss me staring at pictures on the telly, my new series of 'Britain's Lost Masterpieces' will be on later this year. 


August 10 2017

...sorry for the lack of news lately. We're on holiday in Cambridge. And today we are going to fly a Spitfire! The main art history news of the moment seems to be a new book on Vermeer, and the old question of whether he used lenses. More on that soon.


Update II - sorry again for the abysmal posting the last week or so. I've been away on work, mainly in Venice, which was of course lovely. If rather crowded. 

Bless you for your patience, but to be honest there hasn't been much news about either.

$50m US deaccession

August 7 2017

Image of $50m US deaccession

Picture: Sotheby's

There's a hoo-ha in the USA over the deaccessioning of $50m worth of paintings, from Old Master to contemporary art (including the above Frederic Edwin Church), by the Berkshire Museum. The sales are needed, says the museum, to complete a $20m renovation programme and to increase its endowment. US museum bodies have sanctioned the museum, and said that deacessions must only take place in order to raise money to buy more art. But as long as the money is put to good use for the long-term future of the museum, and not just to keep the wolf from the door, is there much difference? 

The sale will be handled by Sotheby's in New York.

Richard Waitt exhibition

August 7 2017

Image of Richard Waitt exhibition

Picture: Grantown Museum

Bravo to Bonhams, who are sponsoring an exhibition of the Scottish portrait artist Richard Waitt. The Grantown museum in Scotland has assembled Waitt's portraits of Grant clan. More here

Fakes, fakes everywhere? (ctd.)

August 7 2017

Image of Fakes, fakes everywhere? (ctd.)

Picture: ArtNet News

There's a growing phenomena of 'authenticating' fakes by having them seized by police. Regular readers may remember the story of the '£90m Leonardo' seized by Italian police. The picture was neither a Leonardo, nor worth £90m. But combining an apparent art 'discovery' story with a criminal sub-plot more or less guarantees column inches (or rather, these days, clicks).

The latest in this genre* is the story of a previously unknown Basquiat seized by Spanish police. The news story of its recovery is replete with intriguing details, such as the fact that it was painted in 1982, 'the most coveted year for work by the artist', and was bought 'directly from the artist's father'. Hmm. This Basquiat looks more than usually rubbish. 

* (it appears)

Joseph Highmore exhibition

August 7 2017

Image of Joseph Highmore exhibition

Picture: Foundling Museum

I'm glad to read of a new exhibition on the British 18thC painter Joseph Highmore. It will be at the Foundling Museum, and opens on 29th September. More here

Martin Roth (1955-2017)

August 7 2017

Image of Martin Roth (1955-2017)

Picture: Guardian

Sad news that the former V&A director Martin Roth has died. More here, and an obituary in The Art Newspaper here.

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