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Category Archive for: ‘Art world News’
Frederic Lord Leighton’s Star of Bethlehem has American Debut in Sacred Visions: Nineteenth-Century Biblical Art from the Dahesh Museum Collection
November 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 1830-1896. 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 mobia.org and daheshmuseum.org.
The 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.”
- By Melanie Lefkowitz via The Wall Street Journal
Deb’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.
“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.”
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.
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).