NEW ART-WORLD PORTAL ON WORLD WIDE WEB
The World Wide Web has a new search engine especially crafted for the professional art world -- that's right, it's ArtNet! Observant visitors to the site will have noticed that the "search" button on the ArtNet home page now scans the most important art sites on the entire web, not just the deep and wide contents of artnet.com. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, internet search engines are only 34 percent effective because the flood of content on the web overwhelms them. For an effective search, the spider must focus on a specific community. Over 22,000 top-notch art-world sites are listed in the ArtNet search engine -- so be sure to add ArtNet to your bookmark search-engine file along with Yahoo! and Excite!
SAATCHI SELLS 10 PERCENT
British super-collector Charles Saatchi plans to sell 10 percent of his art holdings -- 130 works by 97 artists, including Damien Hirst, Thomas Schütte and Cindy Sherman -- at auction at Christie's London on Dec. 8, 1998. The proceeds could raise as much as £1 million, which is earmarked for scholarships for young artists at four London art colleges -- the Slade, Goldsmith's, Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. The London Guardian noted the "neat circularity" of the scheme, since scholarship winners could also get a show at the Saatchi Gallery and have their works join his collection. "He's just doing a little piece of weeding," said curator Norman Rosenthal, who showed Saatchi's collection at the Royal Academy. Other artists in the Saatchi sell-off are Stephan Balkenhol, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Sean Landers, Charles Long, Jenny Saville and Rachel Whiteread.
SOTHEBY'S LONDON CUTS STAFF Sotheby's London has laid off 20 employees due to a "reorganization" within the company, according to the New York Times. Sotheby's spokesman Luke Rittner denied that the cuts were provoked by "the shrinking London art market."
$5.2 MILLION EARRINGS AT SOTHEBY'S
Jewels from the estate of Betsey Cushing Whitney, the wife of the late John Hay "Jock" Whitney, sold at Sotheby's on Oct. 19 for a total of $11.83 million, the fifth highest total for a single-owner jewelry sale at auction. Top lot was the "pair of fancy vivid blue diamond and diamond earclips by Cartier" that sold for $5,172,500 to Graff Diamonds Ltd. It's the second-highest price paid for earclips ($6.6 million is the record). Other high prices included $827,500 for a pair of yellow diamond earclips by Van Cleef & Arpels and Schlumberger, $530,500 for a Schlumberger diamond necklace, and $310,500 for a Tiffany diamond and emerald necklace. Almost 95 percent of the more than 100 lots sold, largely to American buyers. Now, did someone say something about a recession?
SEGALOT TAKES CHRISTIE'S POST Christie's has officially announced that Philippe Ségalot has been named to head the auction house's contemporary art department. Ségalot's early career was with L'Oreal in Paris. In 1988 he joined the French brokerage firm Financor Financial Group and created its corporate art division. From 1991 to '95 he worked with Marc Blondeau, a Paris-based art advisor. He joined Christie's in 1996. He succeeds Neal Meltzer, who resigned to start his own business in August.
KLAGSBRUN OPENS IN CHELSEA Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery has opened a new space in the Chelsea Arts Building at 526 West 26th Street, room 213, with a group show, featuring works by the Kaye Donachie, Ian Dawson, Robert Devriendt, Jenny Gage and Nari Ward, among others. Coming up is an exhibition of paintings by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugito, Nov. 7-Dec. 12, 1998. Coming up: a video project by Elaine Reichek in conjunction with her Projects show at the Museum of Modern Art. For more info: phone (212) 243-3335, or fax (212) 243-1059.
DUFFIELD GIFTS TO BRIT MUSEUMS
British philanthropist Vivien Duffield has given grants for education centers costing £2.5 million each at the British Museum and the new Tate on Bankside in London. Duffield has previously given funds for the Clore Wing at the Tate, which houses its J.M.W. Turner collection. Duffield's fortune, estimated at £45 million, is inherited from her father, the retail tycoon Sir Charles Clore.
TIM GREATHOUSE, 1950-1998 Tim Greathouse, 48, East Village art dealer who specialized in photography, died of AIDS at his home in Manhattan on Oct. 18, 1998. Greathouse exhibited his own documentary photos at Gracie Mansion's "Loo Division" in 1982, before opening his own gallery, Oggi Domani, at 318 East 11th Street in 1984. He later renamed the gallery Greathouse and opened on East 10th Street, first between Avenues A and B and finally in 1986 at the corner of 10th and B. Among the artists he showed were Zeke Berman, Kathe Burkhart, Jimmy de Sana, Peter Hujar, Marcus Leatherdale, Zoe Leonard and Hope Sandrow. After the gallery closed he worked as an art consultant and a graphic designer.