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The sale in Paris of the Hubert Goldet collection of African art on June 30 and July 1 met tremendous success, totaling 88.4 million French francs ($11.8 million), including the buyer's premium.

Hubert Goldet, a passionate collector of primitive art, died at age 55 last year. This quick-tempered collector, who always would dicker over the price, large or small, of any piece he was interested in, had assembled some 700 works in his faintly lit Paris apartment.

Most major dealers of African art were present at the sale, where 644 items were offered (Goldet had already donated several major works to the French state).

A Tshokwe ritual table from the Congo-Angola region fetched FF 7.5 million ($970,000), while a Punu mask from Gabon representing a female kaolin-painted face with almond-shaped eyes went for FF 3.4 million ($440,000) against a presale estimate of FF 800,000 -- a crazy price, according to most specialists.

An Ambete reliquary from Gabon representing a male ancestor in polychrome wood with a lozenged face, which had an impressive pedigree since it belonged to Charles Ratton, Madeleine Rousseau and René Rasmussen, sold for FF 14 million ($1.81 million).

A Yaka head-rest from Congo, in the shape of a dog with an incurved back, sold for FF 2.1 million ($270,000) against a FF 200,000 estimate.

The price madness continued during the second day of the sale when a Kota reliquary from Gabon, in copper and brass, went for FF 2.2 million ($290,000), while a Yoruba scepter from Nigeria representing a woman with an enormous Shango headdress sold for FF 1.1 million ($140,000) against an $18,000 estimate.

A marvelous Dan ceremonial spoon, which was exhibited at the Dapper Foundation in 1991 in Paris, went for twice its estimate when it sold for FF 1.6 million ($210,000) and an Aye abstract-shaped mask from Ivory Coast fetched FF 1.4 million ($181,820).

Meanwhile, the French government preempted an Anyi statuette from Ivory Coast, which had belonged to the Fauve painter Maurice de Vlaminck, paying FF 700,000 ($90,900).

The success of the sale seemed to confirm the current pre-eminence of Paris over New York and London in the African art market.
-- Adrian Darmon

The winners of the prestigious New York Foundation for the Arts awards for 2001 have been announced. A total of more than $1 million goes to 161 artists in $7,000 fellowships in eight disciplines: computer arts, crafts, film, nonfiction literature, poetry, performance art/multidisciplinary work, printmaking/ drawing/ artists books, and sculpture. In addition, NYFA has awarded for the first time a new $25,000 NYFA Prize to "an artist of exceptional promise" who also wins a NYFA fellowship; the recipient is filmmaker Monteith McCollum. Below, a list of fellowship winners in visual-art-related fields.

Computer arts: Zoe Beloff, Diane Bertolo, Laura Carton, Toni Dove, Theresa Duncan, Shelley Eshkar, Adam Frank, Elvira Garcia-Moran, Ariana T. Gerstein, Frank Guerrero, Ken Jacobs, Paul Kaiser, Yael Kanarek, Dafna Naphtali, Mark Napier, Karen Ostrom, Matthew Ostrowski, Susan Spence, Helen Thorington, Marek Walczak, Dolores Zorreguieta. Crafts: Elia Alba, Reina Mia Brill, Patrice Case, Noel Copeland, Elizabeth Duffy, Lynn Duggan, Peter Harrison, Tamiko Kawata, Mary Ann Lomonaco, Concetta Mason, Walter McConnell, John McQueen, Paula Nadelstern, Trinh H. Nguyen, Jackie Pancari, Stephen Saracino, Kathleen Spicer, Rich Tannen, Raychel A. Wengenroth. Performance art: David Cale, Mamadou Dahoue, Tai Dang, Chris Doyle, Karen Finley, Joshua Fried, Bob Holman, John Kelly, Eve Andree Laramee, Taylor Mali, Pat Oleszko, Laurie Olinder, Leni Schwendinger, Ward Shelley, Theodora Skipitares, Francesc Torres, Marshall Weber, Catherine Weis, Martha Wilson. Printmaking/drawing/artists' books: Rande Barke, Roberley Bell, Nina Bovasso, Elise Engler, Jeff Konigsberg, Sarah Leahy, Christopher Lowery, Jose Morales, Cyrilla Mozenter, Jennifer Nuss, Alex O'Neal, Victoria Palermo, Carolanne Patterson, Danica Phelps, Pablo Ramella, Elena Del Rivero, Charlotte Schulz, Stephen Sollins, Javaka Steptoe, Tamar Stone, Allyson Strafella, Mary Ting, Costa Vavagiakis. Sculpture: Isidro Blasco, Suzanne Bocanegra, Barbara Broughel, Carla Brown, Byung-Wang Cho, Tim Clifford, Susan Spencer Crowe, Curtis Cuffie, Matt Flegle, Zach Hadlock, Amy Hauft, Duncan Johnson, Heidi Kumao, Arnaldo Morales, Aimee Mower, Alejandra Munizaga, Donna Nield, Julie Peppito, Dread Scott, Steven Siegel, Jude Tallichet.

The 2002 NYFA fellowships are awarded in painting, photography, video, architecture and four other disciplines. The deadline for applications is Oct. 2, 2001. For more information, visit the NYFA website.

Art Forum Berlin 2001, the sixth installment of the upstart new art fair in the German capital, is set for Oct. 3-7, 2001. Approximately 170 galleries from 28 countries are taking part, including more than 60 from Germany, along with 18 from the U.S., 16 from Britain and 14 from Scandinavia. The emphasis seems to be on younger, cutting-edge galleries, if U.S. participants are any indication: De Chiara/Stewart, Dee Glasow, Thomas Erben, Gasser & Grunert, Greene Naftali, Griffin Contemporary, Richard Heller, I-20, Leo Koenig, Lombard-Freid, Low, Florence Lynch, Maccarone, Patrick Painter, Pierogi, the Project, Spencer Brownstone, Vedanta.

Museum of Modern Art education chief Patterson Sims has been appointed director of the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J., succeeding Ellen S. Harris. The 87-year-old museum, which has a staff of 22 and an annual operating budget of $3.6 million, closed on June 17 to complete a $14.5-million renovation and expansion. The museum reopens on Nov. 18 with "Primal Visions: Albert Bierstadt 'Discovers' America," among other installations. Sims was previously curator of the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum and curator and associate director at the Seattle Art Museum.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has augmented its holdings with a slew of new items from various sources. A collection of 300 pieces of European and American silver, including 175 items by Helen Bateman, a 1710 sugar castor from Peter van Dyke, and a castor by Myer Myers, was donated by Richmond's Mrs. E. Claiborne Robins. The Virginia MFA purchased through the Kathleen Boone Samuels Memorial Fund a four-foot tall Songye mask in rare complete condition. Other acquisitions include an 18th-century portrait by John Trumbell of American Revolution Captain Samuel Blodget, purchased with moneys from the museum's J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art; a trove of Tibetan artifacts, including an 18-inch-tall copper-alloy figure of mystic Milarepa from the 14th or 15th century and a rare early watercolor on cloth depicting Mahakala, the embodiment of compassion, through a combination gift-purchase from the Zimmerman Family Partners of Putnam Valley, N.Y.; and a 1964 Norman Lewis painting, Post Mortem, part of his " Civil Rights" series from the 1960, donated by the Fabergé Society of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Margaret Kilgallen, 34, a popular "street artist" from San Francisco whose large installations combined folkish imagery and signage of considerable charm, died in San Francisco of breast cancer on June 26, 2001, two weeks after the birth of her daughter, Asha Kilgallen McGee. A Washington, D.C., native who settled in California after college, Kilgallen was an enthusiastic surfer and banjo-player who worked for eight years as a book conservator in the San Francisco Public Library. She had solo exhibitions of her work at the Drawing Center in New York (1997), Deitch Projects (1999) and the UCLA Hammer Museum (2000). She was married to the artist Barry McGee.