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The World of Art

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  1. The World of Art Big Prices, Big Risks

  2. Art For Sale • The 3 Ds • Debt • Divorce • Death • Restitution • Art in museums returned to owners from whom they were stolen • Nazis

  3. Auction at Christie’s NY November 2006

  4. Issues • Guarantees: “undisclosed minimum sums that are paid [to the sellers] regardless of a sale’s outcome” • Protect sellers • Risky for auction houses • Possibility of losing millions • Warehouses full of unsold art • Hedge fund billionaires • Financiers (Asia, Russia and India)

  5. Contested Art Pulled from Auction • Picasso’s “Portrait of Angel Fernandez do Soto • Owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation • Claimed by Julius H. Schoeps • Great- uncle ‘forced sale’ after Nazis devastated his personal fortune • Federal court in Manhattan ruled it did not have jurisdiction to decide on the merits of the dispute

  6. Auction at Christie’s NYMay 2008

  7. Auction at Christies NY • Monet’s “The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil” sells at a record $41.4 million

  8. Auction at Christie’s LondonJune 2008 • Monet’s “Le Bassin aux Nymphéas” sells for a new record $80.4 million

  9. Private Sales • David Greffen--$283.5 million • Jasper Johns • De Kooning • Pollock

  10. Authentication

  11. Duccio’s “Madonna and Child” • Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY) in 2004 for $45 million • Thought to have been painted around 1300

  12. Stylistic Approach • James Beck (Columbia University Art Historian) • Jesus’ “goard-like head is hardly rewarding and is quite at odds with confirmed and documented paintings by Duccio” • “Parapet in the forefront of the painting is inconsistent with Duccio’s style and did not surface in Renaissance art until around 1400 or 1450” • Has studied the painting hanging at the Met, but has not asked to examine it

  13. Stylistic/Scientific Authentication • Keith Christiansen (curator of European painting at the Met) • Duccio scholars accept • X-ray and infrared reflectography • Comparison with the Frick’s “Temptation of Christ on the Mountain” • Luciano Bellosi (Duccio scholar at the University of Siena) • Comparison with the Duccio’s “Maestà” altarpiece in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Siena • Parapet testifies to the relation between “the young Duccio and the young Giotto, who both worked in the workshop of Cimabue”

  14. Authenticating Pollock’s Paintings

  15. Alex Matter • Matter’s mother and father were artists and friends of Pollock’s • Found a group of small drip paintings in a storage locker in Wainscott NY

  16. Controversies in Scientific Authentication • Richard Taylor (Assoc. Prof. of Physics at the University of Oregon) • Fractals (“regularities that recur on increasingly finer magnification”) are different in the drip paintings and paintings known to be Pollocks • Catherine Jones-Smith (Ph.D. candidate) and Harsh Mathur (Assoc. Prof. of Physics at Case Western) • Made drawings using Adobe Photoshop that had the same fractal characteristics as Pollock’s paintings

  17. Terri Horton • Bought a large painting in a thrift shop in CA for $5 • Buyer offered $9 million • Rejection by connoisseurs • Canadian restorer claims to have matched fingerprints • Documentary: “Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?”

  18. Kramer v. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation (SDNY 1995) • Christie’s and Southeby’s use the Pollack-Krasner Foundation EXCLUSIVELY to authenticate Jackson Pollack’s paintings. Kramer is claiming this connection is a conspiracy to monopolize and is in fact a monopoly.

  19. Is It a Warhol?