Photography & Art

Documenting a Changing Vietnam Through Photographs

Andrew Lam

Though the country remained under a one-party rule, Vietnam has since the late 1980s eased its once-iron grip on the economy and cultural life, moving from a socialist to a free market economy. Gone are the days when citizens were required to discuss Marxist-Leninist doctrines at weekly neighborhood sessions. Gone too are the permits needed to buy rice from state-run stores, or to move from one city to another. The drab, impoverished and immobile nation that Catherine saw when she first visited in 1990 quickly shifted under her lens. And fascinated, she kept coming back. 

Intriguing Exhibit of Self-Portraits Featured at the National Academy Museum

Sandra Bertrand

But the primary focus of the show is a far-reaching exploration of how such personal portraiture has been transformed over the decades.  It comprises not only choice works from Academy members, but entries from places as far-flung as Palestine, Lebanon, Iran and China.  Perhaps the biggest and most welcome surprise is the extent of entries from women—62 such artists represented from 30 different countries in all.  

Christie's Aims for Auction Record Book With $140 Million Picasso Painting

Chris Michaud

"Les femmes d'Alger (Version “O”)," a vibrant cubist work last auctioned in 1997 when it nearly tripled the expected price, is estimated to fetch about $140 million, by far the highest price ever for a work of art on the auction block. Pre-sale estimates do not include the standard commission of just over 12 percent, making for a final price in excess of $155 million if Christie's has accurately assessed the work's appeal to a global, deep-pocketed market hungry for a dwindling supply of trophy works.

Lost Venice Photographs Offer Insight into Famous Critic John Ruskin

Michael Roddy

Early daguerreotype photos of Venice that were auctioned off as an odd lot belonged to John Ruskin and provide new insight into the Victorian art critic's work, the authors of a book about the images said on Thursday. The Venice scenes, taken around 1850 and purchased at an auction in the northern English Lake District in 2006, coincide roughly with Ruskin's work on his epic three-volume treatise "The Stones of Venice" about Venetian art and architecture.

London Musem Pays Homage to Late Designer Alexander McQueen

Li-Mei Hoang

Trained as apprentice on London's Savile Row, the designer rose from an East End London boyhood to become of the world's leading talents in fashion before he took his own life five years ago. More than 240 pieces of McQueen's work feature in the exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, including dresses made from feathers and hand-painted glass, as well as intricately embroidered kimonos and lace-covered antlers.

Global Art Market Peaked at 51 Billion Euros Last Year

Thomas Escritt

The Maastricht, Netherlands-based foundation, which puts on the annual European Fine Arts Fair, one of the world's largest, said a 7 percent year-on-year increase had pushed the market above its 2007 level of 48 billion euros. But while total value reached a new peak, the number of transactions was down from its 2007 level. The bulk of the value came from large sales.

Marc Riboud Captures the Mysteries of Asia in Photo Series

Sabeena Khosla

While it sounds typical – Western male artist enters “exotic” land to bring stories back home – one must remember that at the time of Riboud’s creations, the metropolitan West, in the fallout of the World Wars, was just starting to gain a real appreciation for what Asia had to offer. Yet Riboud deters from juxtaposing the differences in cultures as a way to highlight both sides’ strengths. 

Heirs of Jewish Dealers Seek To Recover German Art Collection

Alexandra Hudson

The heirs of Jewish art dealers who say their families were forced to sell the Nazis a trove of medieval church treasure worth some $250 million today have turned to a U.S. court to reclaim it, after failing in their attempts in Germany. The collection, known as the Guelph Treasure, consists of 44 gold, jewel and pearl-encrusted pieces which have belonged to the city of Berlin's art collection since their purchase in 1935.

Christie's, Sotheby’s Set Records With Sales of Surrealist, Impressionist Artworks

William Hardy

Auctioneers Christie's staked out its share of a buoyant art market on Wednesday with a barrage of surrealist works, a day after fierce rival Sotheby's set a London auction sale record. Sotheby's brought in $280.2 million from its Impressionist and Modern paintings sale, led by a brace of museum class Claude Monet landscapes, showing the world's rich still eager to collect despite an oil price collapse and talk of chillier times ahead.

New Exhibit Features Life of Helena Rubinstein – Every Woman’s Empress of Beauty

Sandra Bertrand

From her small town beginnings in the Jewish Poland of 1872, Helena Rubinstein grew a cosmetics empire that spanned four continents.  By her death in 1965 at 92, this self-made magnate of beauty had not only amassed a world-class collection of Western, African and Oceanic art, but transformed how millions of women thought about themselves.  The Jewish Museum’s gorgeously-mounted exhibit, Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power, is aptly titled.  

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