NEW CHRISTIE'S HQ
Yesterday marked the start of construction of Christie's new North American headquarters at 20 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The new address, exclusive to the auction house, will combine space from two already existing adjacent buildings to suit Christie's unique needs. The first, mezzanine and second floors at what is currently 10 Rockefeller Plaza will become auction and gallery spaces with 18-foot double-height ceilings; the fifth floor of the same building will combine with the fifth and sixth floors in 1230 Avenue of the Americas to become Christie's offices.
PATER IS WATTEAU
When the Rococo landscape Fete champêtre was retrieved from the storage spaces of the Art Institute of Chicago and examined for inclusion in the recently published French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800 in the Art Institute of Chicago, researchers discovered that the painting, long attributed to Jean Baptiste Pater, was actually created by his teacher, Jean Antoine Watteau, says ArtDaily. The work -- whose reattribution reportedly greatly enhances the museum's 18th-century holdings and contributes to society's understanding of Watteau's late style and working methods -- is currently on view in the museum's Gallery 219.
PARIS, CITY OF 'AMOURS'
Through Nov. 2, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris will present "Amours," an exhibition featuring about 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and video works on the subject of love, the New York Times reports. Intended to show the long, continual history of love in art, the show includes a fragment from an Egyptian statue from 1350 B.C., an erotic Roman statue of a Satyr and Nymph from the second century A.D. and a 13th-century tomb known as The Good Marriage. More contemporary works include Henri Cartier-Bresson's 1934 photograph of a couple entwined in Mexico, Robert Mapplethorpe's Unmade Bed and Andre Labarthe's Love, Lies and the Weather, a video montage commissioned specially for the exhibit that ties together romantic moments from films by great directors, including Ingmar Berman and Alfred Hitchcock.
ALEXANDER SHILOV TO OPEN Alexander Shilov, a painter whose ultra-realistic portraiture has been severely castigated by art critics, will become the first living artist in Russia to have a museum dedicated solely to his work when the Moscow government-funded Alexander Shilov Museum opens its doors, according to the Washington Post. The museum, which will be located in a refurbished house in view of the Kremlin, received $1.2 million for renovation and first-year operating costs. In a year of serious art budget constraints -- the famed Tretiakov Gallery received less than $3 million in public funds -- the city's generous allocation raised more than a few eyebrows.
A $50 million donation to the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, by Alice Speed Stoll, granddaughter of museum founder J.B. Speed, marks one of the largest gifts given to any art museum and brings the museum's endowment to $70 million, placing it among the top 25 endowments in the country. The Speed, currently closed for the completion of an 18-month renovation program, will reopen to the public on November 25.
CRAFT AND DESIGN MUSEUM NationsBank and the Mint Museum of Art have announced the establishment of the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, to be located in the former Montaldo building in Center City Charlotte, North Carolina and slated for opening in spring 1999, PRNewswire reports. The new museum building -- made possible by NationsBank's $8.2 million donation, including land, building and renovation costs -- will house the Mint's permanent collection of traditional and contemporary crafts, as well as at least two temporary exhibits per year.