Official letter of russian art-experts

The decision on putting a ban on the expertise services by the museums brought a mixed reaction from the antiquarians and the museum experts themselves. The specialists-members of the National Organization of Art Experts have sent an official letter to Anatoly Shvydkoy.

A self-regulating organization,
«National organization of art experts»

No. 05-10, October 25th, 2006

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Published in: on December 28, 2006 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Hermitage in the Kremlin

The display titled «Gallery of the Hermitage’s treasures» closes the art project dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the museums of the Moscow Kremlin. The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) has taken to Moscow extremely comprehensive selection of unique artworks from its collection. The showcase features rare archeological findings (Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire), Scythian gold art pieces, jewelry decorations created by Chinese masters through XVII–XVIII centuries, masterpieces by Russian Court jewelers and artworks by Faberge Company. Eighty showpieces from the Hermitage’s famous Gold Treasury – cameos, snuffboxes, caskets, precious clasps, pocket watches and gemstone flowers have nave left the Petersburg museum before.

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Published in: on December 26, 2006 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Landmark Auction of «Znak» Company

Medal «For Foundling Hospital». Gold. Diameter 50,8 mm. Weight 73,6 g. Estimate 600,000 roubles. Sold for 1,400,000 roubles

The first auction organized by specialized company «Znak» (the company deals in numismatics, faleristics and military insignia) took place at «Marriott Royal Aurora» in Moscow on November 2006. The sale totaled stunning 22,500,000 roubles with 78 form 82 lots sold at the auction. Hammer prices for the majority of lots exceeded pre-sale estimates.

Four of the auctioned lots were sold for more than 1,000,000 roubles. The top-lot of the sale – the Order of St. Anna of the 2nd grade decorated with diamonds by famous company of Carl Bolin (estimate 750,000 roubles) fetched 1,100,000 roubles. Extremely rare medal «For Foundling Hospital», which was established in 1808 (estimate 600,000 roubles) was purchased by an anonymous buyer for 1,400,000 roubles. The hammer price for the gold medal «To Land Forces» four times exceeded the starting one making 1,250,000 roubles. The medal was established in 1807 and was awarded to militia officers from April 1808 to the beginning of the Napoleonic War of 1812 (the Patriotic War of 1812). The honorable badge commemorating 100th jubilee of Life-Guard Volynsky regiment brought 1,130,000 roubles, thus, three times exceeding the pre-sale estimate (360,000 roubles).

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Published in: on December 26, 2006 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Auction House «Gelos» Sold Belle Époque Pieces

Photograph with the autograph of actress Maria Ermolova in the verso (1914) and postcard (late XIX century). Starting price 1,800 roubles. Sold for 1,800 roubles. «Gelos», Moscow. November 10

On November 10, the Moscow-based auction house «Gelos» held subject auction dedicated to fine art pieces. Visitors to the event were able to bid for jewelry decorations, clocks and watches, walking sticks, hats and bonnets, books and other attributes of high-society life.

Among the guests of the «Gelos» auction were many present-day celebrities and VIPs: actress Marina Mogilevskaya, Konstantin Tsivilev and Alexei Aibozhenov, linkmen of the program «Couch Potatoes» (broadcasting station «Silver Rain»), poet Vladimir Vishnevsky.

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Published in: on December 18, 2006 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Avant-garde Season

Exhibition «Filonov’s circle: from MAI to post-avant-garde» will be opened at Moscow gallery «Art-Divazh». The showcase will feature seventy-four works by twenty-three artists belonging to the so-called Filonov’s circle (all of them were Filonov’s students once). Among the featured artists are Gurvich, Zaklikovskaya, Tsibasov, Poret, Glebova, Luppian, Leviton, Krapivny, Avlas, Livchak, Vazhnova and others.

According to the organizers of the event, the interesting and important exhibition includes many rare masterpieces, which are displayed to the wide public for the first time.

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Published in: on December 18, 2006 at 2:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Armenian-French-Russian Avant-garde

L. Tutunjan. Untitled. 1926. Gouache and ink on paper. 25.5 x 29.0 cm

Parisian galleries «Minotaur» (known for its passion for modern art) and «La Gaillard» are planning to launch interesting and important display devoted to the life and oeuvre of Leon Tutunjan, prominent avant-garde artist of the first half of XX century, one of the founders of biomorphic abstract painting. The exhibition titled «Abstraction 1925–1930» comprises rare and unique Tutunjan’s works, which will be of interest for both art experts and the wide public.

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Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Record Price for Engraving

E. Munch. Two Men. Solitude. 1899

An engraving by famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863–1944) fetched a record price at auction. The artwork «Two Men. Solitude» («To mennesker. De ensomme») set the new world record at the Blomqvist auction in Oslo on November 13. According to the organizers of the event, the bidder who requested anonymity paid stunning NOK 8,200,000 (about $1,200,000) for the unique lot.

Since the early 1890s, Edvard Munch followed the popular Art Nouveau style («The Artist’s Sister», 1892, «Room of the Dying Man», 1893). However, the artist introduced many new trends in his works, which were typical for him throughout his career (harsh line pattern, dynamic composition, dissociating color scheme). Many of his highly emotional and often tragic pictures influenced development of Expressionism movement in Europe («Cry», 1893, «Dance of Life» 1899, «Girls on the Bridge»).

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Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Expensive Art

G. Klimt. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II. 1912. Oil on canvas. 190,0 И 120,0 cm. Estimate $40,000,000–60,000,000. Sold for $87,936,000. Christie's, New York. November 8

On November 8 auction house Christie’s held sales titled «Impressionist and modern» at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The important auction totaled staggering $491,000,000, thus setting the new world record for an auction dedicated to works of art.

«I have never seen anything like that before, – Christopher Burger, the senior Christie’s auctioneer said just after the sales were over. – It was the most incredible auction I have ever taken part in».

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Published in: on December 12, 2006 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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«Ideological Weapon of the Russians»

The Moscow House of Photography presents unique exhibition «Soviet Photomontage. 1917–1950s». The display is on view in Paris up to December 25. Photomontage was invented in the Soviet Union under the influence of Russian avant-garde. The Soviet government widely used photomontage in ideological purposes to propagate the Soviet way of life. That is why many Europeans including the French call montage «Russian weapon».

«Soviet Photomontage. 1917–1950s» comprises 170 artworks. The featured showpieces were lent by the State Archive of Literature and Art, Museum of Vladimir Mayakovsky and several private collectors. Museum of Vladimir Mayakovsky lent one of the earliest propaganda photographs depicting poet Mayakovsky with Soviet passport on the background of New York’s skyscrapers. The inscription in the postcard runs like this: «Read and be envious, I am a Soviet citizen» (quotation from one of Mayakovsky’s poems).

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Published in: on December 12, 2006 at 3:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Vintage Clothes, Textiles and Accessories at Doyle

The large-scale auction of vintage clothes, textiles, jewelry decorations and accessories took place on November 16 at Doyle New York. The important sale included pieces by world famous brands Galliano, Castelbajac, Gucci, Hermès, Versace as well as items from collections of celebrities: actress Kim Basinger, Marissa Berenson and Monaco Princess Grace.

The textiles section of the auction comprised 32 kilts, four covers and three exclusive textile pieces dating 1930s–1950s. The lots had come from the renowned collector Shelly Mehlman Dinhofer.

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Published in: on December 8, 2006 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment