Category Archive for: ‘Art world News’

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    New York, February 23, 2015 – The Dahesh Museum of Art has published a new book showcasing the masterworks within its holdings, Academic Splendor: 101 Masterpieces from the Dahesh Museum of Art Collection.  The book sheds new light on the treasures of the European Academic Tradition, an area of art history that is increasingly important to the general public, collectors and scholars alike.  The book is designed to foster a broader understanding of the Academy and its organized system of education, exhibitions and patronage, in addition to its role in the multifaceted 19th-century art world.

    101 Masterpieces is available in both hardcover and softcover editions, with a choice of one-of-two covers. The informative and entertaining text is by DMA curator Alia Nour, with a Foreword by Dahesh Museum Trustee Amira Zahid, and an Introduction by Dahesh Museum Director of Exhibitions, J. David Farmer.  It has 128 full-color illustrations, and presents works by more than 85 artists from both Europe and America.

    Academic Splendor: 101 Masterpieces From the Dahesh Museum of Art succeeds the museum’s first handbook, Highlights from the Dahesh Museum Collection (1999), and presents the most current findings on a selection of its artists, in addition to accessible essays on the academic system and the history of the Dahesh Museum or Art.  The book is organized according to the academic hierarchy of subjects, with sections devoted to history, historical genre, portraiture, landscape and animals, Orientalism, and still life paintings.

    “The Dahesh has recently been adding to the collection with a renewed fervor, and new information on these artists and their work is continually coming to light,” said J. David Farmer, Director of Exhibitions at the Dahesh Museum of Art.  “As the only museum devoted to the 19th- century Academic Tradition, it was essential that we update and upgrade our previous handbook.  We are delighted with the finished product.”

    Hardcover editions of Academic Splendor are $75, and softcover editions are only $60.

    About the Dahesh Museum of Art

    The Dahesh Museum of Art is the only institution in the United States devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting works by Europe and America’s academically trained artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Dahesh serves a diverse audience by placing these artists in the broader context of 19th-century visual culture, and by offering a fresh appraisal of the role academies played in reinvigorating the classical ideals of beauty, humanism, and skill.  Visit the museum at:


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    The New York Times On the New Location for the Dahesh Museum of Art

    [via New York Times] The 20-year-old Dahesh Museum of Art has a new home and a permanent exhibition space for the first time in seven years after the purchase of a townhouse at 178 East 64th Street.

    The five-story, 1899 building, which was once a private home, is 20 feet wide and has 12-foot ceilings. The museum declined to disclose the purchase price.

    The rooms are perfect, Amira Zahid one of the museum’s founding trustees said, for showing the Dahesh’s collection of academic European and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Read more here

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    Museum Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Move to East Side Townhouse

    NEW YORK CITY, January 20, 2015 – The Dahesh Museum of Art today announced that it has selected a townhouse at 178 East 64th Street as its new headquarters and exhibition space.  This coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the Dahesh, America’s only institution dedicated to collecting and exhibiting European and American academic art of the 19th and 20th centuries.  The five-story townhouse has been selected for its convenient location and spacious gallery-like parlor.  The Dahesh is currently consulting with architects, with an opening date to be announced later this year.

    The new home for the Dahesh Museum was built in 1899 and has a limestone and brownstone façade.  The building is 20-feet wide, comprising of approximately 7,000 square feet of space.  Original details include two fireplaces with imported French Louis XV marble mantles and a marble foyer. The new location also includes a beautiful finished outdoor space of Italian stone.

    “There is no better way to celebrate our 20th anniversary than to announce our new location,” said Amira Zahid, one of the DMA’s founding Trustees.  “For 20 years, the Dahesh Museum of Art has demonstrated that there is a receptive, appreciative and vocal audience for the great academic tradition of the 19th and early 20th century.  Our new home will provide viewing space for our masterworks, as well as the location for our many events, lectures and academic symposia.”

    For the last seven years, the Dahesh has functioned as a museum-without-walls, developing traveling exhibitions within the United States and abroad, while lending important works from its collection to museums worldwide.  The Dahesh has continued its program of acquisitions to build the collection, and just published Academic Splendor: 101 Masterpieces from the Dahesh Museum of Art.  In 2012, the Museum opened its offices and a high-end Gift Shop in Hudson Square, where the institution also offered programs, special events, and hosted the Annual Graduate Student Symposium in 19th-Century Art.  The Gift Shop at 145 Sixth Avenue will continue with scheduled events during renovations at the new location.

    “When the Dahesh first opened 20 years ago,” said J. David Farmer, Director of Exhibitions at the Dahesh, “We seemed a lone voice in the wilderness.  Since that time, we have made the case through our scholarship, our collection and our audience that the academic tradition is vital, alluring and eminently worthy of study and appreciation.  Many other major museums have since followed our lead by incorporating more 19th-century academic work into their collections, or mounting successful shows highlighting the era.  With our new space, the Dahesh will resume its position as America’s premiere institution dedicated to the academic tradition.”

    Updates on the renovation and ramp-up to the opening date will be available on the Museum’s Web site at, and on its Facebook page at

    About the Dahesh Museum of Art

    The Dahesh Museum of Art is the only institution in the United States devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting works by Europe and America’s academically trained artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Dahesh serves a diverse audience by placing these artists in the broader context of 19th-century visual culture, and by offering a fresh appraisal of the role academies played in reinvigorating the classical ideals of beauty, humanism, and skill.  Visit the museum online at:

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    New York, July 2, 2014 – Alia Nour, who has served as Associate Curator to the Dahesh Museum of Art since 2011, has been promoted to Curator.  Nour first joined the Dahesh in 2008, as Assistant Curator.  She recently co-curated the successful Sacred Visions: Nineteenth-Century Biblical Art from the Dahesh Museum Collection, exhibited at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), which featured some 30 works from the Dahesh collection. 

     Alia Nour has a Bachelor in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University in Cairo, a Masters in Museum Studies from Seton Hall University N.J., a Masters in Art History from Rutgers University N.J., and, currently, she is a PhD candidate in Art History at Rutgers University, N.J.  Her research focuses on the cultural exchange between France and Egypt, artistic production, and Egyptian national identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Her Masters theses were The Making of the Dahesh Museum of Art: An Account of Its Founding, Ten-Year History, Its Academic Art Collection, and Exhibitions (Seton Hall), and, Egypt Through the Lens of Pascal Sébah’s Commercial Photographs 1860s-1880s (Rutgers).

     In addition to the exhibition at MOBIA, she has curated several exhibitions including Becoming an Artist: The Academy in 19th-Century France, Dahesh Museum of Art at the Palitz Gallery, Lubin House, Syracuse University, New York City, 2010; Reconnecting East & West: Islamic Ornament in 19th-Century Works from the Dahesh Museum of Art and Syracuse University, Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2011; Encountering the Orient: Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum of Art at Christie’s New York, 2013; and, co-curated Rediscovering Egypt: The Collection of the Dahesh Museum of Art at the Baker Museum, Naples, Florida, 2014.  She recently prepared Academic Splendor: 101 Masterpieces from the Dahesh Museum of Art, due to be published in 2014.

     “This promotion acknowledges Alia’s significant accomplishments and her key role to our collection,” said J. David Farmer, Director of Exhibitions.  “We will rely on Alia’s expertise as the Dahesh continues to evolve in the future.”

     About the Dahesh Museum of Art
    The Dahesh Museum of Art is the only institution in the United States devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting works by Europe and America’s academically trained artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Dahesh serves a diverse audience by placing these artists in the broader context of 19th-century visual culture, and by offering a fresh appraisal of the role academies played in reinvigorating the classical ideals of beauty, humanism, and skill.  Visit us at:

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    Dahesh Museum of Art Adds Newly Acquired Painting Into Exhibition at Museum of Biblical Art

    Frederic Lord Leighton’s Star of Bethlehem has American Debut in Sacred Visions: Nineteenth-Century Biblical Art from the Dahesh Museum Collection 

    LeightonNovember 13, 2013, New York, New York — On Friday, November 8, 2013, Sotheby’s announced the top-ten sales results for its auction of 19th-Century European art. Included in that list was Frederic, Lord Leighton’s imposing Star of Bethlehem, purchased by the Dahesh Museum of Art, together with three other important paintings by other artists and complementing four artworks by Leighton already in the collection.  The subject matter fits so perfectly within the scope of the current exhibition, Sacred Visions: Nineteenth-Century Biblical Art from the Dahesh Museum Collection, on view until February 16, 2014 at the Museum of Biblical Art, that curators and directors from each institution immediately agreed to add the painting to the current installation, an opportunity not to be missed.

    “Yes, we know that this is not often done,” said Amira Zahid, founding trustee of the Dahesh Museum of Art and head of the acquisitions committee, “but who knows when we might have the chance to show this remarkable work within its proper context.  So we seized the moment. Luckily, this large work is in great condition, has a lovely frame, and both our Museum and MOBIA are blessed with an enthusiastic, nimble staff of registrars, preparators, curators and exhibition designers. We worked together to make this change happen as quickly and seamlessly as possible.”

    Richard P. Townsend, the Museum of Biblical Art’s director, commented “We are delighted to include this marvelous painting by one of the 19th century’s great artists in our exhibition. This reappraisal was made clear by the 1996 Royal Academy show and is quite apparent in this picture’s daring perspective and lush palette.”

    According to Dahesh’s Associate Curator Alia Nour, “Our collaboration with MOBIA has been very productive from the start, so when I called Adrianne Rubin, my counterpart at MOBIA, we decided to remove two smaller paintings to make room for this very large one and started to work on a new label.  We deemed it worthwhile to give visitors access to one of the most powerful biblical works Leighton produced during the 1860s.”

    The Star of Bethlehem was last exhibited in 1996 in London at the Royal Academy of Arts’ major exhibition, Frederic Leighton 18301896. It was first shown there in 1862 and again in 1897, a year after his death. (Leighton was a member of the Royal Academy and its president from 1878 until his death in 1896.) Even then, no one was absolutely sure it depicted one of the three Magi, but there is no doubt the subject is a king (shown half-lifesize), who gazes at the Star’s mysterious, summoning light from the battlements of his palace. With crown in hand, as if leaving behind his worldly office, he stares into the distance–back to the spectator–involved in a journey of his own.

    The Dahesh Museum of Art organized the exhibition Sacred Visions in conjunction with the Museum of Biblical Art. It opened on October 18, 2013, and will be on view until February 16, 2014. An introductory brochure and audioguide accompany the exhibition, along with adult, family, and community programs. The Dahesh Museum of Art has organized a scholarly symposium, in conjunction with MOBIA, to be held at MOBIA on January 17, 2014.

    The Museum of Biblical Art, located at 61st Street and Broadway in New York City, is open six days a week:  Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm, and offers programs on selected evenings.  Admission is free. For details, visit and

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    The New York Times on “Dahesh At Christie’s”

    [via nytimes]

    Benouville, F - Leconte de Floris, 1997.34The Dahesh Museum of Art has been without a home since it vacated its premises at Madison Avenue and 57th Street in 2007. Since then it has been teaming with institutions like Syracuse University to keep its name and collection in the public eye.

    Its latest partnership is sure to raise a few eyebrows, however. This week the institution said it had organized a show at Christie’s, “Encountering the Orient: Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum of Art,” which is to open on March 27. Is the Dahesh planning on selling some of its art?

    “That will never happen,” said Amira Zahid, a member of the museum’s board. “We’re breaking new ground. This is an opportunity to show that art and commerce are not that far apart. We both believe in education and have something to offer the public together.”

    Read More
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    Hudson Square Tries to Encircle Residents

    By Melanie Lefkowitz via The Wall Street Journal

    Dahesh Museum of Art Gift ShopDeb’s Catering, a gourmet deli in Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood, does a brisk business serving salads and sandwiches to office workers on weekday afternoons. But when those office workers go home for the day, Deb’s shuts down, too.

    “I’ve attempted to open on the weekends many times, but this neighborhood is pretty quiet on the weekends,” says Deborah Barall-Miller, owner of the 17-year-old shop.

    That may be changing. A rezoning of Hudson Square that would pave the way for new residential development was approved last month by the City Planning Commission, and a City Council hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, a handful of new businesses and institutions, ranging from the Children’s Museum of the Arts on Charlton Street to a branch of Hale & Hearty Soups on Hudson, have opened within the past two years, drawing new visitors. And the area business improvement district, the Hudson Square Connection, formed in 2009, is working on an ambitious five-year plan to improve the neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks.

    “What [local property owners] needed was to sort of knit this area into a neighborhood,” says Ellen Baer, president and chief executive of the Hudson Square Connection. “This whole area hasn’t had almost any infrastructure [work] done in almost 80 years.”< /p>

    Hudson Square, sometimes called West SoHo, and roughly bounded by Canal and Houston streets, and Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River, is historically an industrial neighborhood, formerly home to many of the city’s printing presses. Today, its large Art Deco buildings have drawn creative and media companies, such as ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, which was among the first to move into the area in 1985.

    But although it borders some of the city’s priciest residential neighborhoods, Hudson Square has little housing or shopping and can feel deserted on nights and weekends.

    “Because we don’t have a 24/7 population, it’s very difficult to get enough reta il here. We just got a drugstore but we don’t have a supermarket,” Ms. Baer says. “It’s unusual to have an area” within Manhattan that attracts so many workers “with so few residents,” she said. “I can’t even think of another one, frankly.”

    The Hudson Square Connection’s $27 million street-improvement plan includes refurbishment of a small park at Spring Street and Sixth Avenue and creation of other small plazas, improvements to make Varick and Hudson streets more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly and tree-planting throughout the neighborhood. The group would contribute $15 million toward the plan, with hopes that the city would finance the rest, Ms. Baer says.

    Since the rezoning was proposed by Trinity Real Estate, which controls 40% of the property in Hudson Square, other developers have bought sites in the neighborhood. Some local advocates are concerned about what this could mean for the entire area.

    Hudson Square map - Dahesh Museum of Art Gift shop“If Hudson Square basically becomes the hot new neighborhood, which is what this rezoning is intended to make it…that is going to have a tremendous spillover effect on the South Village next door,” according to Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, who has pressed city officials to include a lower height limit, lower density and landmark protections for the South Village in any plans.

    With just a few residential buildings, the neighborhood already appeals to buyers seeking proximity to vibrant downtown areas, but with a quieter feel, brokers say.

    “It’s really close to SoHo, which people love, but a lot of people don’t necessarily love living in the heart of SoHo,” says John Gomes, an executive vice president with Douglas Elliman. “It’s great to live in a quieter neighborhood where you can stroll to the water, or stroll east and be on Spring Street shopping at Prada.”

    Yet the area can also be far from the subway and choked with traffic, particularly near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel at Canal Street.

    Paula Webster, spokeswoman for the Dahesh Museum of Art, which recently opened a shop and office space at 145 Sixth Ave. after five years without a physical location, says the neighborhood feels like it is “on the verge.”

    “We have a long view, and we feel like we want to grow with the neighborhood,” Ms. Webster says. “The neighborhood is very exciting, because there is this feeling of expansion and transformation, and we’re in a mode of transformation ourselves.”


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    New York Times reviews “The Essential Line”

    Before the advent of action movies, thrill-seekers could always check out some history paintings for the kind of visceral excitement now provided by the likes of James Bond and Jason Bourne. And anyone who has doubts about the similarities between the old and new kinds of blockbuster needs only to have a look at “The Essential Line: Drawings From the Dahesh Museum of Art,” a small, punchy exhibition at Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Museum.

    Read more here

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    Dahesh Museum Gift Shop in TimeOut New York

    TimeOut says

    The institution devoted to 19th- and 20th-century European art has moved downtown, along with its chic gift shop. The eclectic space allows you to take a piece of art home via Charles Bargue lithograph prints ($180); books such as Nigel Spivey’s Greek Art ($30), which describes the extensive history of Grecian artistry; and intricately designed Syrian tables ($325–$550). The versatile store also sells handcrafted Parisian pillboxes ($48), multicolored recycled-glass bracelets ($20) and putti silk scarves ($65).

    Click to learn more.