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|MONET MANIA TO GO ROUND THE CLOCK?
The Royal Academy in London may stay open 24 hours a day to accommodate the crowds for "Monet in the 20th Century," which opened there Jan. 23. The museum sold more than 150,000 advance tickets at the rate of about 500 per hour. An RA spokesperson told artnet.com that that if the massive demand continues, the museum will open round the clock. Night owls will pay the same admission fee -- £9, about $15.
The Monet exhibition drew 556,000 fans at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where it was on view Mar. 29-May 31, 1998. Monet enthusiasts have until Apr. 18, 1999, to see the show in London.
FOLK ART FRENZY AT CHRISTIE'S
Christie's New York broke the record for folk art not once but twice in its sale of American furniture, silver, prints, folk art and decorative arts on Jan. 15. The Residence of David Twining, (1837) by Edward Hicks set the first record, selling for $1,432,500 (est. $700,000-$1,000,000) to a private American collector. Just a minute later a version of Hicks' Peaceable Kingdom (1837) sold for $4,732,500, more than double its $2,000,000 high estimate. Christie's also set a record for a set of dining chairs when 12 Chippendale carved mahogany side chairs from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. James L. Britton sold for $585,500 (est. $250,000-$350,000). Christie's week of decorative arts sales brought in a total of $23.9 million.
HERZOG & DE MEURON FOR DE YOUNG
San Francisco's M.H. de Young Memorial Museum has selected Swiss architects Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron to design the new $130-million, 270,000-square-foot facility planned for the museum's present site in Golden Gate Park. Museum trustees decided to raise the money themselves after San Francisco voters turned down two bond issues that would have funded the de Young repair. Museum director Harry Parker said that without a proper building to house blockbusters, the museum faced a $13-million deficit in five years. The museum has $65 million in hand so far; construction will be in phases and is scheduled to begin in 2002.
SEISMIC DANGER AT BERKELEY MUSEUM?
The Berkeley Art Museum at the University of California may be forced to close following poor seismic safety reports, and is already planning to move the Pacific Film Archive to safer temporary quarters on campus. Museum trustees have begun raising the approximately $30 million needed to reinforce the building against potential earthquake damage. UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Berdahl stated that if the funds are not raised soon the museum could be forced to close temporarily.
STOLEN POLLOCK AT MOMA?
New York Studio School founder Mercedes Matter has sued the Museum of Modern Art over a painting in the current Jackson Pollock retrospective, according to a report in the New York Post. Matter says that Pollock gave Composition with Pouring I to her and her late husband, Herbert Matter, as a wedding present in 1943, and that the painting was stolen in 1945. MoMA declined to identify the lender until New York State Supreme Court ordered curator Kirk Varnedoe to tell all in a deposition. Stay tuned.
PALM BEACH FAIR KICKS OFF
The third annual Palm Beach International Art & Antique Fair opens Jan. 29 for a ten-day run at the new International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches. Fair organizer David Lester has assembled 84 international exhibitors, including eight new dealers from the U.S. Highlights include a $550,000 Odilon Redon pastel drawing of St. George and the Dragon at Artemis, New York; Louis XIII paneling representing Ovid's Metamorphosis at Bernard Baruch Steinitz, Paris; and a $160,000 16th-century drawing by Taddeo Zuccaro at Tim D. Wright, Los Angeles, who is among the new faces. A gala preview on Jan. 28 will benefit the Norton Museum of Art. Call (561) 220-2690 for more information.
KIMBELL ACQUIRES EXPANSION SITE
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth has acquired a 5.8-acre plot next door to the museum's 1972 Louis Kahn building. The Kimbell says it has no immediate plans for the property, site of the now-shuttered Fort Worth Independent School District administration building. Several years ago the Kimbell proposed expanding its landmark Kahn building, but was dissuaded by protests from architectural purists.
SOTHEBY'S FRENCH CONNECTION
Sotheby's is teaming up with French auctioneers Hervé Poulain of Drouot and Rémi Le Fur to sell the $20-million contents of the Château de Groussay in a series of sales to be held June 2-6, 1999, at the chateau in Montfort l'Amaury outside of Paris. Sotheby's had planned to sell the de Groussay collection on its own, but the French art market is still closed to foreign auctioneers.
WEALTHY AMERICANS UNCHARITABLE
More than 80 percent of wealthy Americans leave nothing to charity when they die, according to a new study by the U.S. Treasury Department. Of the 2.2 million American adults who died in 1992, the study said, only about 60,000 had estates larger than $600,000, which required the filing of an estate tax return. At the top of the scale, 55 percent of the estates worth $20 million and over made bequests, a total of 145 gifts adding up to $3.75 billion. Charitable bequests totaled $8 billion in 1992, about eight percent of the donor net worth.
BRITISH ART COLLECTIONS GO ON-LINE
A new on-line museum will enable visitors to assemble virtual art collections from 2,500 British museums and galleries, according to British Culture Secretary Chris Smith. The 24 Hour Museum, as it is to be called, is scheduled to go online in May.
BAUMGARTNER TO CHELSEA
Washington, D.C., art dealer Manfred Baumgartner is moving his gallery to the Chelsea art district in Manhattan. The new space opens at 418 W. 15th Street on Mar. 20, 1999, with an exhibition of self-portrait paintings by the Dutch artist Philip Ackerman. Baumgartner told artnet.com that there wasn't enough action in "the provinces."
SIKKEMA TO CHELSEA
Wooster Gardens is no more. Art dealer Brent Sikkema is moving his gallery from Broadway in SoHo to 530 W. 22nd Street in Chelsea. There it will be known as Brent Sikkema gallery, opening with a group exhibition on Feb. 6, 1999. Dealer Anton Kern is taking over the vacated Wooster Gardens space. A performance by John Bock on will inaugurate Kern's expansion on Feb. 1.