NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR ARTNET
ArtNet Worldwide has opened its new headquarters at 61 Broadway in the heart of New York's financial district. The new offices, located high on the 23rd floor, offer spectacular views as well as double the previous space at the Hammacher Schlemmer building on East 57th Street. The physical expansion is to be matched by continued growth in cyberspace. Among the new features slated for ArtNet are a decorative-arts database (parallel to the existing fine arts database), a private trading desk for dealers, and a custom-designed search engine that will focus solely on professional art-world websites.
MONET LANDSCAPE GOES FOR $33 MILLION
Claude Monet's 1900 painting of the Japanese bridge and water garden at Giverny, Waterlily Pond and Path by the Water, sold at Sotheby's London on June 30 for £19,801,500, or $33,002,500, against a presale estimate of $6.6 million-$9.9 million. The price is a world auction record for Monet, and the most expensive picture sold at auction in Europe since 1990. Neither the seller nor the buyer's identities were revealed. The sale is widely considered a boost for the London auction market, which labors under a three percent tax on sales of imported works (even though the Monet came from a British collection).
BASS SELLS SOTHEBY'S STAKE
The Bass Management Trust, headed by Fort Worth art collector Sid Bass, has sold its entire stake in Sotheby's to another investment group lead by money manager Ronald S. Baron for $110 million, according to a July 1 report on Bloomberg News. The 4.9 million Class A shares were sold for $22.48 each. Bass seems to have done okay with the investment. A 1996 story in the New York Observer by Jeffrey Hogrefe noted that Sotheby's stock was selling for just under $15 a share at the time. Baron is a former money manager for superinvestor George Soros.
READER'S DIGEST SELLS COLLECTION
Under its new CEO, Thomas O. Ryder, Reader's Digest is selling the high-end corporate art collection built up under founders DeWitt and Lila Wallace. According to a report in the New York Times, the company has sold van Gogh's Flowers in a Vase for $3.7 million at Sotheby's in May, Monet's Landscape for $2 million and Georges Braque's Sunflowers for an undisclosed sum. Reader's Digest stock price has been faring exceptionally poorly, especially in the bull market.
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM LOSES VOTE
For the second time in as many years, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum has been defeated at the polls in its effort to expand and renovate its earthquake-damaged facility in Golden Gate Park. The $89.9-million city bond issue, partly earmarked for the de Young, was just shy of the two-thirds majority needed for passage, in part due to fears that an expanded museum would bring more traffic to the bucolic park. Museum officials vow to try again next year.
MERGER MANIA HITS GORNEY, BRAVIN POST LEE
Two SoHo galleries have agreed to merge and relocate in Chelsea. Jay Gorney and Bravin Post Lee, run by the husband-and-wife team of Karin Bravin and John P. Lee, have teamed up to become Gorney Bravin & Lee. The group is temporarily operating out of the 4th floor of 476 Broome Street (upstairs from P.P.O.W. and Sandra Gering) while they look for new quarters, most likely on West 18th Street. Bravin Post Lee has represented L.C. Armstrong, Fabian Marcaccio and Daniel Wiener, among others. Jay Gorney has exhibited Lari Pittman, Alexis Rockman, Jessica Stockholder and James Welling. Who's moving into Gorney's former Greene Street space? Old Navy....
VETROCQ TO A.I.A.
New senior editor at Art in America is Marcia Vetrocq, a long-time writer for the magazine who also taught at the University of New Orleans. She succeeds Nancy Marmer, who left some time ago to write a book. New photo editor at the magaazine is Martha Godfrey, replacing Sarah King, who's moved to New Mexico to write poetry.
The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the 147 winners of its 1998 artists' fellowships, $7,000 grants given in eight categories. Painting: Molly Barker, Karin Batten, Mary Begley, Colin Brant, Nancy Brett, Jim Byrne, Cynthia Coulter, Ivy Dachman, Ingrid Edwards, Bernard Goodman, Vanessa Haney, Julian Hatton, Charlotte Ka, Nina Kuo, Brian Lynch, Medrie MacPhee, Franca Marini, Wendy Menzie, Naima Rauam, Beth Sutherland, Denyse Thomasos, Mark Dean Veca, Gordon Voisey, Kevin Wixted. (Panelists: Paul Garland, Ik-Joon Kang, Noah Jemisin, Sumayyah Samaha, Duston Spear.) Photography: Fran Antmann, Hronn Axelsdottir, Susannah Briski, Rebecca Cammisa, Catherine Chalmers, Gerald Cyrus, Marion Fuller, Kathleen Fay, Randolph Graff, Steve Hart, Jeffrey Hoone, Susan Ingraham, Laura Larson, Janice Levy, Shigeyoshi Ohi, Andreas Rentsch, Joseph Rodriguez, Richard Sandler, Edwine Seymour, Kunie Sugiura. (Panelists: Renee Cox, Louis Draper, Gina Murtagh, Elaine Tin Nyo, Tony Velez.) Video: Dexter Buell, Jean Carlomusto, Ayoka Chenzira, Jem Cohen, Terry Cuddy, Andrew Deutsch, Shari Frilot, Jacqueline Goss, Kathy High, Denise Iris, Maura Jasper, Art Jones, Barbara Lattanzi, Kristin Lucas, Michael Rovner, Diana Irene Sosa, John Valadez. (Panelists: Leah Gilliam, Pamela Hawkins, Beverly Peterson, Calogero Salvo.) Architecture-Environmental Structures: Michele Bertomen, William and Mary Buchen, Joseph Bula, Heather Carson, James Cathcart, Elizabeth Diller and Richard Scofidio, Melissa Gould, Silvia Kolbowski, Craig Konyk, Susan Leopold, Michael Silver, Ian Taberner. (Panelists: Lily Chi, Audrey Matlock, Linda Pollak.)
SARGENT CATALOGUE RAISONNE
Yale University Press has issued the first volume in the John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonné under the sponsorship of Adelson Galleries. John Singer Sargent: The Early Portraits, The Complete Paintings: Volume I ($60) catalogues portraits dating from 1874 to 1889, and is by Sargent great-nephew Richard Ormand and Elaine Kilmurray, two members of the catalogue committee who are also cocurating a Sargent retrospective that opens at the Tate Gallery in London later this year. Volume II is due out next year.
BONNARD ON THE WEB
You don't have to get up from your comfortable chair to go see the beautiful Bonnard retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Instead, go to the MoMA website [www.moma.org/exhibitions/bonnard] and check out the museum's most extensive web project to date. There are images of works, a timeline, an interview with curator John Elderfield, documentary photographs and even scholarly analyses of the artist's paintings and working methods. The project is overseen by MoMA coordinator of education technology Elaine Cohen. Plus, you don't have to pay the extra $3 MoMA charges in addition to its usual entrance fees!
NUSSBAUM MUSEUM OPENS
The Felix Nussbaum Building, a new museum dedicated to the Weimar-era modernist who perished in Auschwitz in 1944, opens in Osnabrück, Germany, on July 18, 1998, with an exhibition of over 160 paintings and graphic works. The facility, an extension of the city's Museum of Cultural History, is the first completed building by celebrated avant-garde architect Daniel Libeskind. Libeskind's maze-like building is made of wood, concrete and zinc sheeting and incorporates a 17th-century bridge uncovered during construction. Libeskind is also designing a lightning-bolt-shaped Jewish Museum in Berlin, a new building for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Jewish Museum in San Francisco. The Nussbaum Building is located at Lotter Strasse 2, 49078, Osnabrück; phone (011) 49-541-323-2202.
HOUSTON MFA RENAMES ITSELF
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has renamed its original 1924 beaux-arts building, designed by William Ward Watkin, in honor of life trustee Caroline Wiess Law. Since the 1950s Law has been a generous donor of funds, land and art to the museum, the last including Picasso's Two Women in Front of a Window, Kiefer's The Sorrow of the Nibelungen and Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz's Feedin' the Hog.
PRIZE FOR PAIK
Nam June Paik has won the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation. The award comes with a purse worth about $350,000.
DELACROIX TO THE MET
New York collector Karen B. Cohen has promised 21 works by Eugene Delacroix to the Metropolitan Museum. "This gift not only marks the 200th anniversary of the artist's birth," Met director Philippe de Montebello told the New York Times, "it also doubles the size of our Delacroix holdings." The group includes exotic Moroccan scenes and studies of wild animals.
FAIRIES IN NEW YORK
"Victorian Fairy Painting" from the Royal Academy in London arrives at the Frick Collection in New York, Oct. 13, 1998-Jan. 17, 1999.
JAFFE TO LONDON
David A. Jaffe, paintings curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles for the last four years, has been named senior curator at the National Gallery of Art in London.