WHITNEY GETS ARCHITECTURE
The Whitney Museum, which has no architecture department of its own, has formally teamed up with the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal to organize architecture exhibitions. The Whitney's current "Frank Lloyd Wright: Designs for an American Landscape, 1922-1932," June 25-August 31, 1997, comes from the CCA. The first co-production of the two museums is a show of work in America by Mies van der Rohe, scheduled to open at the Whitney in 2000.
KOENIGS STAKES CLAIM
Amsterdam artist Christine Koenigs has filed a legal claim to the famous Koenigs collection of some 50 Old Master paintings (including 20 by Rubens and four by Hieronymous Bosch) and 3,000 drawings. Seized during WWII from her grandfather, Franz Koenigs -- who Christine believes was pushed under a train and murdered in 1941 by the Nazis -- the works are scattered among private and public collections, including the Boymans Museum in Rotterdam, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Courtauld Institute in London. According to the London Telegraph, Koenigs has submitted her family's claim to the Dutch goverment's Inspectorate of Cultural Property, which will conduct an investigation.
The British government has denied the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu an export license for its £16-million purchase of Nicholas Poussin's Temps Calme (c. 1650). The scene of a shepherd and his flock was purchased from Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. The National Galleries of Scotland are believed to be interested in trying to match the Getty's price. Getty Museum director John Walsh said he was "dismayed" and that the painting "is far from being the finest by Poussin" in Britain. A total of 48 paintings by Poussin are known to be in British private and public collections.
DOUGLAS HUEBLER, 1924-1997
Conceptual artist Douglas Huebler, 72, died of pancreatic cancer on July 12 in Truro, Mass., where he lived. Huebler was known for works that combined photographs with captions into trademark "Variable," "Location" and "Duration" pieces. Among his projects was a plan to photographically document the existence of everyone alive. He taught for over 20 years at CalArts in Valencia, and exhibited in New York at Castelli.
EUGENE C. GOOSSEN, 1921-1997
Art critic Eugene C. Goossen, 76, died of pneumonia after a long illness on July 14 in Bennington, Vt. He served for many years as chairman of the art department at Hunter College. His books include The Art of the Real and Stuart Davis; among the shows he organized were retrospectives of Helen Frankenthaler at the Whitney Museum (1969) and Ellsworth Kelly at the Museum of Modern Art (1973). He was married to Patricia Johanson, an environmental artist.
NEIL POLEN, 1945-1997
Photographer and bookseller Neil Polen died from internal bleeding as a result of a minor surgery this past Memorial Day. Best known for his rare book table in front of Dean & Deluca's in SoHo, Polen left behind a large book collection at his death. Artist and dealer Sur Rodney Su has begun to organize the collection for donation or sale. To inquire, contact Sur at (212)222-2753 or Cloudsmith@aol.com.
GLEIZES GOES BACK
Crusading art journalist Hector Feliciano's new book, The Lost Museum, has resulted in the return of at least one artwork seized by the Nazis during World War II and kept ever since by French museums. The Pompidou Center in Paris has returned Cubist Albert Gleizes' Landscape to Francois Warren, grand-nephew of French collector Alphonse Kann, from whom the work was stolen in 1942.
Live entertainment and a raffle on July 18 kicked off the Chicago Art Dealers Association's Absolut Vision 2, a summer celebration of art in Chicago's River North Gallery District. Among the participating galleries are Fassbender Gallery, Gallery A and Carl Hammer Gallery. Sponsored by Absolut Vodka in cooperation with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, WHERE Chicago magazine, and the River North Association, the celebration features gallery tours throughout July and August and free monthly lectures. All raffle proceeds and a portion of opening night sales benefit the AIDS Foundation. Info: (213)649-0065 or CADAchgo@aol.com.
Christie's has announced worldwide auction sales of $908 million for the six-month period Jan. 1-June 30, 1997, representing a 23% increase over the same period in 1996 and a record high since the first half of 1990. Christie's attributes its success to the exceptional $92.8 million sale of the Loeb Collection in New York in May, and to the growth of the Hong Kong market (to $41.5 million for the period).
DON'T POOH-POOH POOH
At a recent sale at Christie's London, 13 original Winnie-the-Pooh drawings by illustrator Ernest Howard Shepard sold for a total of over £205,000. The Shepard pen and ink sketches I'm Not Throwing It, I'm Dropping It, and Just the Hose for Owl. Don't You Think So Little Pooh?, from A.A. Milnes' 1928 The House at Pook Corner, both went for £67,500, more than four times their persale estimates.
The London hit play Art -- which features three guys arguing about a modern painting -- is coming to Broadway next spring, according to the New York Post. It opened to raves last October with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay in leading roles. The play was written in French by Yasmina Reza and translated by English playwrght Christopher Hampton.
FRANCIS TO CHRISTIE'S
Richard Francis, former chief curator at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, will join Christie's New York as a senior specialist in 20th-century art on Aug. 1.
TEMPORARY HEAD FOR BOSTON ICA
Christoph Grunenberg, curator of Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, has been named acting director there. He succeeds Milena Kalinovska, who left the museum in June. Grunenberg organized the ICA's "Rachel Whiteread" exhibition and "Enterprise," which opens July 23.
NEW HEAD FOR GETTY
California State University chancellor Bary Munitz has been appointed to be president and c.e.o. of the J. Paul Getty Trust. He succeeds Harold M. Williams, who has headed the Getty since 1981.
40 ARTISTS AND A WEBSITE
The Seattle Art Museum is sponsoring a project to teach 20 artists and 20 nonprofit organizations how to build their own Web sites. The project is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington, D.C.-based Benton Foundation. Okay, but we still say the best online address is ArtNet.
ISOZAKI BACK at MOCA
The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art is building a new glass-and-metal canopy over the sunken court at its California Plaza facility. The "translucent cloud" is designed by Arata Isozaki, original architect of the building, and scheduled to be installed by early September.
Soho artist Bill Rabinovitch, long a feature on the local art scene with his colorful paintings that are part Matisse and part Picasso, faces immanent eviction from his Mercer Street studio. Rabinovitch now owes $15,000 in eight months back rent. Angels -- or anyone who simply wants to get a good deal on a picture -- may contact Bill at (212) 226-2873.