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May 5, 2009 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Reuters reports $4.8 million total, 77% sold at Christie’s Dubai auction on Apr. 29, 2009, down from $8.6 million in November 2009. The sale featured 150 works by artists from the Middle East, including lots by Saudi Arabian artists for the first time. The top lot was The Wall and the Script by the Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli (b. 1937), which sold for $218,500; last year a Tanavoli work sold for $2.8 million.

Insider art-auction news: Christie’s cuts number of legal advisors from 70 to 13, according to Christieís general counsel Nick Deeming has appointed DLA Piper and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom as key legal advisors

The truth about "The Model as Muse" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute? Itís all high school. Hereís quarterback Tom Brady and "cheerleader" Gisele Bundchen at the Met gala on May 4, 2009, from

Philippe de Montebello on the stand in the Brooke Astor fraud trial in Manhattan testified that the old gal promised to give the Metropolitan Museum Childe Hassamís Up the Avenue from 34th Street (1917), a painting that hung in her library. Astorís son, Anthony Marshall, told his mother she was running out of money to get her to sell the painting, which went for $10 million, with a $2 million commission going to Marshall, according to a report on Bloomberg by Katya Kazakina.

Photographer Jill Krementz reports on the Met Costume Institute’s "Model as Muse" show on New York Social Diary

A painting of "les deux chats" by Tsuguharu Foujita, est. $50,000-$70,000 at Christie’s New York day sale of Impressionist and modern art on May 7, 2009.

Monday, May 4, 2009
Cleveland Museum cuts salaries "progressively" -- the more you make, the larger the cut, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Museum director Timothy Rub, who earns $400,000, takes a 15 percent pay cut, as do other staffers earning more than $300,000. The cut is 10 percent for $200,000 and more; five percent for $100,000 and more, and 2.5 percent for $75,000. The museumís endowment has dropped in value from $821 million in 2007 to about $510 now.

Another kinky painting, this one by Tom Wesselmann, est $25,000-$35,000, goes on the block at Sotheby’s New York on May 13 as part of the firmís day sale of contemporary art. The painting is eight inches (square)! Hope it’s not withdrawn! Ha.

Something to buy in the Met’s "Model as Muse" gift shop -- "The Muse" t-shirt, designed by exhibition sponsor Marc Jacobs, for $35.

Kinky -- and very large -- Eric Fischl painting up for sale at Christie’s New York on May 13, est. $800,000-$1,200,000.

New York auctions kick off with Sotheby’s Imp & Mods on Tues., May 5 -- thatís tonight! -- preview lots here

Art dealer David Zwirner played drums! Wall Street Journal interview by reporter Kelly Crow shows Zwirner as the new spokesperson for the contemporary art market. "It will come back," he says (in so many words). For the interview, click here

Latest work by Shepard Fairey is a Lance Armstrong art bike, which goes on view at Galerie Perrotin in Paris this summer.

Saturday, May 2, 2009
National Endowment for the Arts grants $83 million for more than 1,000 art projects. For details, click here

Friday, May 1, 2009
D.A.P. opens new bookstore, dubbed Artbook X, at former Dia Chelsea site with launch of Kembra Pfahler’s "Beautism" on May 16.

A painting of French fries, a little smaller than life-size, by Gina Minichino at Allan Stone Gallery, May 2-June 19, 2009.

David Hockney, "Drawing in a Printing Machine" at Annely Juda Fine Art in London -- thatís Hockneyís way of saying he made these drawings on the computer.

The Getty Trust cuts executive pay. James Williams, who oversees the Getty’s investments, gets a mere $800,654 this year. 

Finalists for Canada’s $50,000 Sobey Award: David Altmejd, Shary Boyle, Marcel Dzama, Luanne Martineau, Graeme Patterson.

Also on Twitter, though not very active, Flash Art -- most of the Tweets are about available ad space.

Art + Auction mag is also on Twitter (it follows only other McBain publications).

Looks like Modern Painters mag just joined Twitter.

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