Previous Posts: October 2020

Lecture: Anne Seymour Damer (1748-1828)

October 19 2020

Image of Lecture: Anne Seymour Damer (1748-1828)

Picture: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

London Art Week are hosting a rather interesting lecture and panel discussion on the female sculptor Anne Seymour Damer (1748-1828). Damer exhibited at the Royal Academy and was admired by notable patrons. The above bust of the sculptor's mother, on loan to the MET, is remarkable.

The expert panel will include Silvia Davoli (Curator, Strawberry Hill House, and Research Associate, University of Oxford), Elyse Nelson (Assistant Curator, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Emanuela Tarizzo (Gallery Director, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art).

The lecture will be broadcast on 20th October 2020 at 4.30pm (London Time).

Dorotheum Auction

October 19 2020

Image of Dorotheum Auction

Picture: Dorotheum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Vienna's Dorotheum auction house have published their two Old Master paintings catalogues online. There are many interesting pictures to look through as usual, including a Jan Steen and Jacob van Ruisdael as their top lots.

I thought the painting above by Bicci di Lorenzo (1368-1452) to be the most curious of all. This Scene from the Life of Saint Nicholas of the child restored to his parents, estimated at €150,000 - €200,000, is not the sort of story we often hear being told of the saint at Christmas.


October 19 2020

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This week will be a little slow with posts I'm afraid, but I'll get round to it as soon as time allows. Full steam ahead by next week!

Rubens Projection at Brussels Airport

October 19 2020


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a very fun projection show, illustrating a cupid from a Rubens painting causing havoc in Brussels airport. This project was created by Filip Sterckx and his organisation It must have been done long before covid-19 I imagine!

Frans Hals Portrait Exhibition at the Wallace Collection

October 15 2020

Image of Frans Hals Portrait Exhibition at the Wallace Collection

Picture: The Wallace Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Wallace Collection in London has announced that it will be putting on an exhibition next year entitled Frans Hals: The Male Portrait.

As their website explains:

In the first ever show to focus solely on Hals’s portraits of men posing on their own, The Laughing Cavalier will be showcased alongside other great male portraits by Hals in order to explore his highly innovative approach to male portraiture in particular, from the beginning of his career in the 1610s until the end of his life in 1666.

This exhibition will bring together a careful selection of the artist’s best male portraits from Europe and North America. In doing so, the show will aim to demonstrate how, through pose and virtuosic painterly technique, Hals completely revolutionised the male portrait into something entirely new and fresh, capturing and revealing his sitters’ characters like no one else before him. It will also showcase the evolution of Hals’s style, which is especially evident in his male portraits, from finely painted works to those demonstrating increasingly free and loose handling in his later years.

This exhibition is made possible due to the recent overturning of Lady Wallace's bequest which expressly stated that the collection " shall always be kept together unmixed with other objects of arts...". It is exciting to see what loans will be secured for the show, which one images have been negotiated with reciprocal arrangements. I wonder when The Laughing Cavalier will make his first trip abroad in 155 years? It's only a matter of time I suppose.

The planned dates for the ticketed exhibition are 23rd September 2021 - 30th January 2022.

Sorolla Recovered by Spanish Police

October 15 2020

Image of Sorolla Recovered by Spanish Police

Picture: @policia

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish Police have recovered a large painting of a Bull Fight by Joaquín Sorolla in Brussels, Belgium. The owner of the picture, who is facing alleged crimes relating to insolvency, had attempted to illegally export the work of art out of Spain. It is claimed the painting could be worth €3m.

The BL Uploads 18,000 Maps and Views to Flickr

October 15 2020

Image of The BL Uploads 18,000 Maps and Views to Flickr

Picture: The British Library

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The British Library has announced that it has uploaded 18,000 digitised maps and views onto the photo sharing site Flickr. The quality of images is excellent and entirely free to download. Do go and have a scroll through when you can afford a precious free moment.

Former Trustees call for BMA to be Investigated over Sales

October 15 2020

Image of Former Trustees call for BMA to be Investigated over Sales


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Several former Trustees of the Baltimore Museum of Art have called on the State of Maryland to investigate the museum's plans to sell $65m worth of art from their collection.

They have attacked the plans on several grounds including 'procedural irregularities'. Their letter suggests that the $40m guarantee for Andy Warhol's Last Supper was too low and that they had not properly acknowledged the significance of the works offered for sale. Criticisms too have been levelled at proceeds being used to top up the salaries of staff, which they claim goes against rules laid down by the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Two curators from the museum recently gave the following defence for the BMA's deaccessioning plans in an article published by The Art Newspaper:

The BMA believes that the mission of the museum is civic, and that its dual responsibility is to create an internally equitable structure and an equitable and mutual relationship with the public, as expressed in the collection, exhibitions, programming and overall engagement.

Too many critics routinely enlist a white and privileged few tied to—dependent on—the status quo, but unsurprisingly fail to consider who isn’t speaking.

The full letter can be read on The Wall Street Journal's Kelly Crow's Twitter page.

Van Dyck Brasserie

October 15 2020

Image of Van Dyck Brasserie

Picture: @JVDPPP

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Justin Davies of the Jordaens and Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project has shared this amusing image on his social media account of a board advertising the Antoon Van Dyck Brasserie in Antwerp.

This advert is using an image of Self Portrait of the artist on loan to the Rubenshuis in Antwerp. It really looks as if the painter is jealously guarding his waffle there.

Proceeds from Göring's Cuyp to be Split

October 15 2020

Image of Proceeds from Göring's Cuyp to be Split

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper has published an article relating to the above painting of a hunter by Aelbert Cuyp. The picture had belonged to the dealer Jacques Goudstikker who fled the Netherlands when the Nazis invaded in 1940. It then ended up in the collection of Hermann Göring.

Last year the painting resurfaced at auction and was identified by the Goudstikker Art Research Project. The present owner has agreed to share the proceeds of the painting with the heirs of the Goudstikker estate when it comes up for auction next month in Frankfurt. The article suggests the work is valued at €700,000.

Getty Museum Acquires 39 Dutch Drawings

October 14 2020

Image of Getty Museum Acquires 39 Dutch Drawings

Picture: Getty Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has announced that it has acquired 39 Dutch drawings and works on paper from a private collection. The haul includes works by Rembrandt, Jacob van Ruisdael, Adriaen van de Velde, Ferdinand Bol and Piet Mondrian (pictured).

The museum's director Timothy Potts is quoted as saying:

Set in motion nearly two years ago and finalized in January 2020, this major acquisition dramatically enhances our Dutch drawings collection, increasing it by a third, and placing it among the most important museum holdings in the United States.

Several drawings represent artists who are almost never available on the market, including Cornelis Vroom, Hendrick Dubbels, Jacob Pynas, and Gerrit Pietersz, adding rarity and depth to the group, and enabling the Getty to showcase a more complete history of Dutch art.

Vacancy: Curatorial Research Fellow

October 14 2020

Image of Vacancy: Curatorial Research Fellow

Picture: Armagh Robinson Library

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This looks like a fascinating opportunity. The Armagh Robinson Library in Northern Ireland are looking for a Curatorial Research Fellow (fixed term). This 15 month contract will be to work on the library's collection of 4,500 prints and engravings. I'm sure there will be many interesting things to be found! The position is being funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

The salary on offer is £25,481 and the closing date is 16th November 2020.

Free Lecture: Modern Portraits for Modern Women

October 14 2020

Image of Free Lecture: Modern Portraits for Modern Women

Picture: Royal Holloway

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Dr Imogen Tedbury is giving a free online lecture entitled Modern portraits for modern women: principals and pioneers in the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College art collection. As the title suggests, the talk will focus her research into the portraits female principals that remain in the college's collection. Earlier this summer Dr Tedbury reidentified a forgotten portrait of the suffragist Millicent Fawcett in the college's collection, I'm sure she might be discussing a little about that rediscovery too.

The lecture, organised by Royal Holloway, will be broadcast on 20th October at 1pm. It's free to attend but registration is required.

The Watts Gallery is Hiring!

October 14 2020

Image of The Watts Gallery is Hiring!

Picture: The Watts Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey, is looking for a new Curator.

To quote their job summary:

Watts Gallery Trust (WGT), a registered charity, is seeking to recruit a dynamic, emerging Curator to join the Curatorial Team. The successful candidate will develop exhibitions and displays that engage the widest range of audiences with the art and ideas of the Victorian and Edwardian era. They will also work closely with WGT’s fine and decorative art collection, ensuring its ongoing care, development, display and interpretation. Working within the team, they will play a central part in the development of digital interventions to increase global access to the work of George Frederic and Mary Watts.

The salary on offer is between £28,000 - £32,000, and applications must be in by 13th November 2020.

It really is worth visiting the gallery if you're ever down that way. Its idyllic setting and sumptuous collection is very special. Here's another video featuring the gallery's former curator Richard Jefferies, whose descriptions of Watt's paintings never fails to lift my spirits.

Good luck if you're applying!

Albrecht Altdorfer at the Louvre

October 12 2020

Image of Albrecht Altdorfer at the Louvre

Picture: Albertina, Vienna

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre has recently opened its new exhibition on the sixteenth century German artist Albrecht Altdorfer (c.1480-1538). Around 200 works have been gathered for the show, the first of its kind in France.

As the Louvre's website explains:

Closely connected to humanist circles, Altdorfer was at once a highly original artist, prolifically inventive both in form and choice of subject, and thoroughly aware of the work of his German and Italian contemporaries. Arranged chronologically and by theme, the exhibition features sections devoted to major works commissioned by Emperor Maximilian, as well as to gold and silver smithery, and the two genres pioneered by the artist—landscape and architecture.

I've always found Altdorfer's landscapes incredibly haunting for some reason. I think it is because they are noticeably different from the many Italianate and Netherlandish landscapes we're very used to seeing from this period. Altdorfer's always feel rather jagged to me, which isn't a bad thing at all.

The exhibition will run until 4th January 2021.

Lecture: The Fate of Art in Vienna during the Nazi Period

October 12 2020

Image of Lecture: The Fate of Art in Vienna during the Nazi Period

Picture: MFA Boston

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's an interesting lecture. Dr Victoria S Reed, Curator of Provenance at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, will be delivering a online lecture on Zoom entitled The Fate of Art in Vienna during the Nazi Period.

As the lecture's description explains:

Many works of art that were in Viennese private collections before World War II were displaced, looted, or forcibly sold during the National Socialist period. Recent attempts to recover lost and stolen masterworks by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and others have led to high-profile ownership disputes in the United States. This lecture will examine the fate of Austrian art collections during the Nazi era, and will take a close look at the journeys of highlights from the MFA’s collection as well as well-known paintings by Klimt and Schiele.

Attendance for non-members of the host society is $20 and the lecture will be broadcast on 15th October 2020 at 6pm (GMT -4).

HRP is Hiring!

October 12 2020

Image of HRP is Hiring!

Picture: HRP

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Historic Royal Palaces in the UK are hiring a Curator of Inclusive History. This news comes only a few weeks after the HRP announced it was shedding 145 jobs across their sites.

As their job advert explains:

As the custodians of nationally significant sites, we cannot ignore the fact that for hundreds of years colonialism and empire, enslavement and exploitation were part of our national story but have allowed much of this story, and the stories of people of different race and ethnicity to go untold.

Our aim is to give the palaces a future as bright as their past and to create unique and memorable experiences for everyone. In order to undertake this work, we need help and so are seeking a new Curator for Inclusive Histories, directly focused on introducing inclusive perspectives into all our research. The new curator will lead this, but it will be the responsibility of our entire research team to deliver it. This research will inform the experiences that we create at our sites. In future, it will provide the content for our exhibitions, programming, publications and digital activity.

This 4 day a week role comes with a salary of £38,978 and applications must be in by 1st November 2020.

Good luck if you're applying!

Paris Biennale Christie's Sale Results

October 12 2020

Image of Paris Biennale Christie's Sale Results

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper has published an article on the disappointing results of the recent Paris Biennale sale at Christie's. The auction generated a total of €1.5m (including commission) with only 21 out of 91 lots sold. The presale estimate was between €7m to €10m.

There were a few impressive results, including the above Virgin and Child with a Parrot which made 150,000 over its 120k - 180k estimate.

The article quotes a French trade source who said:

this was a good idea that went wrong…for this to have been a success, the auction needed to include some exceptional works.

However, in defense of the sale Biennale board member Marella Rossi Mosseri said:

There were some exceptional pieces. The [sale] result was not the aim, the aim was to get people talking about La Biennale. The [initiative] also brought people into the galleries.


As I pointed out in June, making a success out of dealer lead auctions isn't always as easy as it might first appear. Buyers generally tend to like fresh-on-the-market pictures, rather than ones that dealers may have already presented at several fairs. Equally, if the estimates aren't tempting enough, as the mark-up dealers add on for costs such as restoration etc., then this may prevent bidders from getting involved.

On the other hand, and as this blog points out, the market for sleepers seems to be as vibrant as ever!

Lord Salisbury's Pictures

October 12 2020


Video: HHCMF

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival has uploaded this splendid video. It contains a tour of Hatfield House with Lord Salisbury and looks at many of the paintings in his collection. The tour is co-presented by the art historian Dr Emily Burns.

Sleeper Alert!

October 11 2020

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Marion Auctions

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter (via. @RohanGreyFA) that this portrait catalogued as 'Drawing of a Nobleman' just achieved a staggering $430,000 over its $200 - $300 estimate at Marion Auctions in the USA. It bears the signature I L and the date 1653.

Eagle eyed art historians on Twitter have also worked out that it is in fact a portrait of Admiral Maarten Harpertsz Tromp.

Updated - I should have mentioned that the name Jan Lievens has been suggested on Twitter as the likely candidate.

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