Claude Monet, Edouard Manet & Edgar Degas Celebrated at Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum will be opening In a New Light: French Impressionism Arrives in America which will focus on Impressionist paintings from the Shelburne’s deep collection.   The new exhibit is inspired by Monet’s 1874 piece Le Pont, Amsterdam.  This work holds a very important distinction as it is the first Monet painting to be added to an American collection by the Shelburne Museum’s founder Electra Havemeyer Webb’s parents.

Other pieces for the In a New Light: French Impressionism Arrives in America exhibit come from several private collectors as well as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Along with Claude Monet, they include works by other iconic masters of French Impressionism such as Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas.  In a New Light will open June 14 and is guest curated by scholar Margaret Burgess.

French Impressionism was an era of artistic mastery that Galerie Michael believes to be one of the greatest and most vibrant.  That’s why we often showcase works by masters like Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas and have many of their original works available to add to your own collection.  If you’d like a full listing of the works available by these iconic artists, visit their pages at Monet, Manet, and Degas to inquire about your favorites.

Ashmolean Museum Features Many Works by Paul Cézanne in New Exhibit

In 1974, famed American businessman Henry Pearlman passed away.  At the time of his death, he left an incredible and extensive collection of fine art on long-term loan with the Princeton University Art Museum.  Now for the first time ever, Henry Pearlman’s collection will head to Europe where it will be on display at the Ashmolean Museum with the opening of Cézanne and The Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection.

Henry Pearlman was a self-confessed “Cézanne-worshipper,” and his love for the work of Paul Cézanne is quite obvious in the scope of the new exhibit. Cézanne and The Modern will showcase watercolors and oil paintings by the French Post-Impressionist master, many of which were inspired by the gorgeous mountains of Mont Sainte-Victoire.

Pearlman made his fortune by founding a cold storage company, and he soon used that money to begin collecting works of fine art.  Pearlman wasn’t just making an investment, however, he was a legitimate art enthusiast who was excited by the thrill of winning an auction.  His collection boasts masterpieces by many iconic artists like Degas, Gauguin, Van Gogh & Toulouse-Lautrec.

Cézanne and The Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection will showcase 49 works at the Ashmolean Museum through June 22nd.  If you’re a Cézanne enthusiasts, Galerie Michael has original works available for purchase.  Please visit us here to inquire about a work today.

Delaware Art Museum to Hold Million-Dollar Art Sale to Cover Its Debt

There was a thunderstorm of controversy surrounding the Detroit Institute of the Arts when it was rumored that they might consider selling off some of their masterpieces to cover the city’s ballooning debt.  While that institution’s decision is still up in the air, another museum is moving ahead with a similar measure.  The Delaware Art Museum has announced that they will sell three, maybe four, works of art to pay off its debt.

The move isn’t just controversial, it actually violates rules set forth by the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Alliance of Museums.   The Delaware museum is well aware of the potential sanctions that will be levied against them, but they plan to go ahead anyway.

The institution will not be selling any artworks that have been bequeathed to the museum but will instead look to resale some of their own purchases.  The hope is to raise $30 million to cover the debt they acquired after doubling their size in 2005.  This debt coupled with a decline in endowments and donations has put the museum in a tight spot.  The museum has already defaulted on parts of its debt agreement.

To focus on the more positive aspects of the museum, they are currently running an exhibit of photographs by Scott Heiser titled “Fashion, Circus, Spectacle” and a showcase of local fiber artists titled “FiberNext.”

A French Family Disputes Ownership of a Pissarro Painting at the University of Oklahoma

More and more paintings that were seized by the Nazis during World War II continue to come to light.  Along with their recovery have come some hotly debated ownership issues, however.  In many cases, the paintings have been returned to the surviving families that owned them when they were first taken, but in other cases, the current owners claim to have purchased the works through legal channels and attempt to hold on to the controversial art.

The debate continues over a 19th century painting by Camille Pissarro which is currently residing in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma.   A French family has claimed that the Nazi’s stole the 1886 Pissarro painting titled, “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep” from their father during the war.  The Museum is claiming that they became the legal owners of the masterpiece after it was bestowed to them by a private collector in 2000.

The French family may have some powerful allies in the state of Oklahoma, however.  A lawsuit has been filed in US federal court that would return the painting to them, and several lawmakers in Oklahoma are siding with the family.  The lawmakers aren’t looking for a legal answer but instead seem to be hoping to appeal to the museum’s compassionate side.  The museum, however, intends to hold on to the Pissarro painting until its return is ordered by a federal judge.

If you’re interested in Impressionist icon Camille Pissarro and want to own one of his works that are less debated but just as impressive visit http://galeriemichael.com/artists/pissarro-camille/ to inquire online.

Huntington Library Acquires Collection of Early Photos of Southern California

Southern California, as we know it, is busy, bustling, maybe even a bit chaotic.  But among the throngs of tourists and locals are some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.  From the desert to snow-capped mountains to the beach, there is always something new to experience.  While the population has boomed, the beauty of Southern California has always been present.  The Huntington Library intends to prove this with the acquisition of a collection of photos from the area’s earliest days of urban development.

The 4,600 piece collection includes rare photographs of Los Angeles and Santa Monica from the 19th to mid-20th centuries.  It’s actually become the museum’s largest purchase of photography since 1939.  The collection includes works by some of the very first photographers to bring their cameras to the area and shows landscapes barely touched by the manmade landmarks to which we’ve become accustomed.  Photographers include Carleton E. Watkins, Francis Parker, William M. Godfrey, and many others.

Along with the photographs are maps, pamphlets, and other tourist materials that will truly give viewers an understanding of life during those pivotal times in Southern California’s development.  It’s not certain if and when the Huntington will be displaying the new collection or if they intend to digitize them.

National WWII Museum to Showcase the Real ‘Monuments Men’ in New Gallery

Next month, the George Clooney-directed WWII movie ‘Monuments Men’ will open in theaters around the country.  The film revolves around a rag-tag group of individuals tasked with saving stolen artistic masterpieces from the clutches of the Nazis.  It’s a wild story, almost hard to believe, but it really happened.  In fact, the National WWII Museum in New Orleans wants to make sure that the public gets to know the real-life heroes that inspired the film as well.

The National WWII Museum plans to install a Monuments Men gallery in their new Liberation Pavilion.  The museum has an added interest in the story as well.  The author of the “The Monuments Men,” the acclaimed historical book on which the Hollywood film is based, is actually on the National WWII Museum’s Board of Trustees.

The gallery will map the entire operation from the recovery of the masterpieces from Nazi forces to the attempt to return them to their rightful owners.  It will also highlight the true-life figures behind what has been labeled “the greatest treasure hunt in history.”  The Monuments Men consisted of experts from across the US and Europe and included scholars such as an historian from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a conservator at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard.  Together this team recovered works by history’s greatest artist like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.  The film hits theaters on February 7th.

US Foundations Pledge Millions to Save the Detroit Institute of Arts

It’s no secret that the financial situation in Detroit has been dire for some time now.  The truly shocking news came when it was discovered that the city was considering selling off the valuable masterpieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts to help cover Detroit’s debts.  Many people were outraged, but it seemed like little could be done.  Well, it turns out some very reputable foundations want to keep Detroit’s art right where it is, and they’re backing it up with their pocketbooks.

Major contributions have come from institutions like the James L. Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.  Together they have pledged a staggering $330 million to help alleviate the city’s debt and protect the DIA’s artwork.

The artwork within the Detroit Institute of Arts has been appraised at over $850 million, and these pledges could very well keep the artwork from being used as collateral to put up against the city’s $18 billion budget deficit.

It should be noted that the museum is vehemently against putting the masterpieces up as collateral or monetizing them in any way.  The museum’s vast collection includes works by Edgar Degas, Rembrandt, Henri Matisse, and many, many others.  The Detroit Institute of Arts might be holding on tightly to works by these masters, but you can inquire about works available by some of these very same artists at Galerie Michael.

MFA Crowdsources New Exhibit for “Boston Loves Impressionism”

Museums exist for the people.  They are there to present and preserve our culture’s most important items, and interest from the public plays a large role in that.  This seems to be the ideology behind the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) and their decision to let the public decide which works of art will be included in their new exhibit Boston Loves Impressionism.

The event is called “Share the Love” and you can get involved by going to the MFA’s website or their Facebook page from January 6th through the 26th.  There you can select your favorite Impressionist work from a new set of categories each week.  These categories will include seascapes, portraits, and still lifes/ landscapes.

Included within the fifty works are paintings by legendary masters of Impressionism like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet.  The thirty most popular works will be included in Boston Loves Impressionism which (following the theme of love) will open on Valentine’s Day.  The ten works with the most votes will also compete in a final round to decide the public’s very favorite Impressionist work.  It’s believed this will mark the first time an art exhibition at a major institution has been publicly crowdsourced, so get involved in this history-making event!

We love Impressionist works at Galerie Michael, and we hope you do, too.  If you’re interested in owning an Impressionist work by masters like Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Edouard Manet, or many others go to http://galeriemichael.com/artists/?genre=Impressionist to inquire about your favorite piece.

A Nazi-Looted Masterpiece is Going on Display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Recently there has been a lot of buzz in the art world about lost paintings being recovered after being looted by the Nazis during WWII.  Fortunately some of these recovered works are being returned to their rightful owners after being missing for decades.  One such piece was a massive Baroque portrait by Bernardo Strozzi that was painted in 1615.

The portrait, which is a life-size rendering of St. Catherine of Alexandria, disappeared in 1943 when the Nazis occupied Florence.  It was taken from a collection by American expatriate, Charles A. Loeser, and for many years was placed on a list of Nazi-plundered paintings put together by Italian art historian Rodolfo Siviero.

After resurfacing, the ownership of the painting was in question, but after years of being tied up in legal battles the portrait was finally returned to the Loeser estate.  Often after these recoveries the rightful owners will sell the work of art to settle legal claims, but the Loeser estate had another idea.  They have donated the portrait which is valued at $2.5 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Last week it was installed on the LACMA’s third floor with other masterpieces of European Art.

Smithsonian Launches Online 3D Archive of Famous Artifacts

The world’s largest museum, the Smithsonian, is giving fans of history and art a new way to experience famous artifacts.  Recently the museum launched an online 3D-archive called the Smithsonian X 3D which allows users to explore every angle of artifacts in a 3D environment.

Some of the exciting things on display include ancient fossils, the Wright Brother’s first plane, Amelia Earhart’s flight suit, life masks of Abraham Lincoln, even the remnants of a Supernova.  In the Smithsonian’s own words their new endeavor indicates “that this new technology has the potential not only to support the Smithsonian mission, but to transform museum core functions.”  For them it’s all about education and the more immersive, the better.

It’s also a way to archive the condition of works, allowing them to map the change of artifacts over time.  It seems like the Digitization Program Office at the Smithsonian dreams of 3D mapping all of the museum’s works, but with around 137 million artworks and objects that task will be unbelievably daunting.  For now they are prioritizing which collections to digitize.  Regardless it is a bold step in the direction of bringing art and history directly to anyone who seeks it out.