POUSSIN TO ISRAEL MUSEUM
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has acquired the "lost" masterpiece by Nicholas Poussin, The Destruction and Sack of the Temple of Jerusalem (1626). The painting is a gift to the museum by Yad Hanadiv, the Rothschild Foundation in Israel, in memory of the late 20th-century philosopher and Zionist Isaiah Berlin. The painting was originally commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Barberini and passed through the collection of Cardinal Richelieu before its whereabouts became unknown. In 1995 it was sold at Sotheby's -- misattributed to Piero Testa -- from the estate of Ernest Onians, an eccentric post-war collector and swill merchant who had kept it untouched in a barn. It was purchased by Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, who restored the work and identified it as a Poussin.
CONCEPT ARTIST CLEARED OF TRAFFIC CITATION
San Francisco concept artist Guy Overfelt has been cleared in a court case involving a traffic citation received in Feb. 1998 for making a drawing by "laying rubber" with a 1977 black Trans Am in front of Second Space Gallery, a Swedish government-funded art space in San Francisco's Soma District. Charged with a criminal misdemeanor for "spinning his wheels," the artist was represented by Tony Serra, a veteran criminal defense attorney who is the brother of artist Richard Serra. The legal proceedings were recorded by celebrated courtroom sketch artists Walt Stewart and Vicky Behringer. All this material and more is scheduled to go on view at Bronwyn Keenan Gallery in New York on May 29, 1999.
LAWRENCE RUBIN GREENBERG VAN DOREN TO OPEN
Gallery-goers, mark a new stop on your 57th Street tour. Lawrence Rubin Greenberg Van Doren Fine Art opens in February 1999 in the Crown Building at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue. Premiering in the 3,000-square-foot space, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, is an exhibition of work by Richard Diebenkorn. Principals in the new venture are veteran gallerists Ronald Greenberg and John Van Doren (who have the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery in St. Louis), Lawrence Rubin (who has the Galleria Lawrence Rubin in Milan) and New York art advisor and curator Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. Director of the gallery is Dorsey Waxter. Forthcoming shows include works from Roy Lichtenstein's "Pop Interiors" series and by British artist Sarah Jones.
$20 MILLION IN NEA GRANTS
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced nearly $20 million in new grants for fiscal 1999 -- almost one quarter of the $80.5 million in grant money that NEA has for the year. Among the grantees are the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, which received $130,000 for the Carnegie Triennial exhibition, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which won $130,000 for a show of California art. The Hood Museum in New Hampshire, the Fowler Museum in L.A., the Birmingham (Ala.) Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum for African Art in New York all received support for shows of African art. The Atlanta art magazine Art Papers won $28,000, Art Issues in Los Angeles got $25,000, the Bang on a Can Festival got $12,500 and something called New Radio & Performing Arts of Staten Island got $30,000 to commission art projects on the World Wide Web. An NEA grant also goes to help install a 90-foot sculpture called Geese in Flight along a county highway in North Dakota. In addition, 40 Literature Fellowships of $20,000 each totaling went to writers and translators of poetry.
SOTHEBY'S TEAMS UP WITH ROSSI & ROSSI
Sotheby's New York is jointing with London Asian-art dealer Rossi & Rossi to present an exhibition of Buddhist ritual and ceremonial objects in the former Andre Emmerich Gallery space in New York. "Sacred Symbols: The Ritual Art of Tibet" is to feature some 60 works dating from the 12th through the 19th centuries. The exhibition goes up Mar. 24-Apr. 3, 1999, and corresponds with Asia Week and the International Asian Art Fair.
LOUDMER AUCTION GROUP LIQUIDATED
A Paris court has ordered the liquidation of the auction company Etude Loudmer following the indictment of auctioneer Guy Loudmer in connection with the 1990 sale of the Bourdon collection, in which he was accused of breach of trust and tax evasion. Etude Loudmer's debts are set at over $68 million, and Loudmer's personal debts total $71 million, while his son Philippe -- who a year ago fled to France to seek refuge in Israel -- has debts totaling almost $40 million. -- Adrian Darmon
GETTY PROMOTES ITS OWN
Timothy P. Whalen has been appointed director of the Getty Conservation Institute at the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. Whalen has been in charge of conservation grant-making activities for the Getty Grant Program since 1991, and has been with the Getty since 1981.
JAPANESE AMERICAN PAVILION IN L.A.
The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles unveils its new 85,000-square-foot pavilion, designed by architect Gyo Obata, on Jan. 23, 1999. The new facility premieres with two special exhibitions: "Common Ground: The Heart of the Community," a show of personal artifacts documenting the Japanese American community over the past 130 years; and a video installation titled "Bruce and Normon Yonemoto: Memory, Matter and Modern Romance." The pavilion adds more than 18,000 square feet of gallery space to the original museum, a former Buddhist temple built by Japanese immigrants in 1925.
CALDER BREAKS RECORDS AT SFMOMA
"Alexander Calder: 1898-1976" generated record-breaking attendance at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sept. 4-Dec. 1, 1998. Over 300,000 people visited the museum, more than twice as many during the same time period in 1997, and 35 percent more than the number that saw the show at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. SFMOMA saw a one-day record attendance of 8,961 visitors on Nov. 27, 1998, during the show's final weekend. Over 7,600 people became new members of the museum during the exhibition.
WOMEN IN CHARGE
Courtesy Los Angeles Times reporter Suzanne Muchnic, we present here her tally of women in charge of U.S. museums, on the occasion of a story previewing former Drawing Center director Ann Philbin's taking the reins at the UCLA/Hammer Museum on Jan. 11, 1999. They are: Andrea Rich at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Anne d'Harnoncourt at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Kathy Halbreich at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Mary Gardner Gates at the Seattle Art Museum; Vishakha Desai at the Asia Society Galleries, New York; Sherri Geldin at the Wexner Art Center, Columbus, Oh.; and Emily Sano at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. By the way, Philbin said that at the Hammer Center she hopes to develop a flexible "project space," have an artists advisory committee and perhaps even have an artist on the curatorial team.
CHILDREN'S BOOK FROM AMON CARTER MUSEUM
The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth has published its first children's book. Cowboy with a Camera, Erwin E. Smith: Cowboy Photographer is written for children ages nine and up by historian Don Worcester. It features reproductions of over 50 vintage photos by Erwin E. Smith (1884-1947) of the cowboy life. The hardcover book is priced at $18.95; call (800) 573-1922 for telephone orders.
DIA TO RAISE ADMISSION FEE
The Dia Center for the Arts has a curious valentine planned for next February 11, 1999. Admission to the center goes up to $6; students and seniors pay $3.