Dealer in Knoedler forgery scandal escapes jail time

The Long Island art dealer who sold fake Abstract Expressionist art to New York’s Knoedler Gallery has been handed a get-out-of-jail-free card by a Manhattan judge.

Glafira Rosales was indicted by the US Government in May 2013 on charges of conspiracy, tax fraud and wire fraud from the sale of up to US$60 million (£42 million) worth of fake art to the former Knoedler Gallery. On Tuesday (31 January), District Judge Katherine Polk Failla sentenced Rosales to nine months of home detention as part of a three year supervised release for her involvement in the scheme.  Continue reading

Very rare Van Gogh painting to go up for sale

newly rediscovered and ‘very rare‘ oil painting by beloved Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh will go on sale at the TEFAF art fair in New York City this October for $US2.4 million (£1.97 million).

Held in a private French collection since 1970, ‘View of the New church and old houses in the Hague’ (1883) was purchased by art dealer Bob Albricht this summer for an undisclosed sum. The painting went off the radar for some 50 years after the French collector passed it on to his descendants. Only a handful of art connoisseurs were aware that it even existed.

Van Gogh spent time in The Hague, Netherlands between 1883-1885 where he painted the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) and the surrounding houses. Measuring just 35.5 x 26cm, ‘View of the New church’ is a compact work but is considered typical of the artist’s early oeuvre and the colour palette he used at the time.

According to Albricht, the discovery of such a work in a private collection is virtually unprecedented. “The chance that you encounter such a painting is nil“, he said. The rediscovery of ‘View of the New church’ follows news of the recent recovery of two paintings by Van Gogh, which were stolen from an Amsterdam museum in 2002.

Albricht’s art gallery, Kunstgalerij Albricht, will be offering the rediscovered Van Gogh for sale at the TEFAF art fair, which runs from 22-26 October 2016.

Nazi-looted painting returned to rightful owners and then purchased back

New York’s Neue Galerie announced on Tuesday (27 September) that it had returned a painting looted by the Nazis to its rightful owners before purchasing it back from them at its current fair market value.

The Museum agreed to return Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s ‘Nude’ (1914) to the heirs of a Jewish shoe manufacturer and Expressionist art collector after they approached the Museum a little over a year ago with a potential restitution claim. The repurchase price has not been revealed but other works by Schmidt-Rottluff’s have commanded over US$1million (approximately £768,357) in recent times.  Continue reading

Alec Baldwin suing Manhattan art dealer

Actor Alec Baldwin is suing Manhattan art dealer Mary Boone for allegedly defrauding him in the purchase of a US$190,000 (£144,090) painting.

In court papers filed at the New York State Supreme Court on Monday (12 September), Baldwin accused Boone of selling him a 2010 copy of a painting by Ross Bleckner entitled ‘Sea and Mirror’ when she had promised to supply him with the 1996 original. Baldwin even asserts that Boone fraudulently stamped the back of the painting with the gallery inventory number of the original work in an effort to dupe him.  Continue reading

Replicas of the Palmyra arch to be made for London and New York

It has been a terrible year for the destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East. By September, the United Nations confirmed that militant group Islamic State (Isis) had razed two ancient temples, the Temple of Bel and the Baal Shamin temple, in the Syrian city of Palmyra.

As 2015 draws to a close, the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) has announced exciting plans which offer a glimmer of hope in the wake of the devastation. The IDA is to erect a replica of the entrance to the Temple of Bel, one of the few surviving parts of the 2,000 year old structure, in New York and London in April 2016. Continue reading

Portrait deaccessioned by the Met believed to be authentic Rubens

Leading scholars have revealed that a vivid portrait of a young girl, which the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York believed to be one of the least valuable pictures in their collection, is a genuine work by the girl’s father, Peter Paul Rubens. It will go on display as a fully attributed work in the Flemish master painter’s own house in Antwerp, as part of the upcoming exhibition: “Rubens in Private: the Master Portrays his Family”.  Continue reading

Developments at Sotheby’s: New CEO Appointed and Partnership with eBay Launched

Sotheby’s has announced that Tad Smith has been appointed as President and CEO, replacing William Ruprecht who resigned in November. Smith, who is 49, was formerly president and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company. Chosen on the strength of his experience with brands and brand strategy rather than with auction houses, he told the media that he plans to implement a five-year plan for the company, which will include an accelerated adoption of new technologies. Continue reading