In Perspective

By: A&A Staff


A Stitch in Time: Alighiero e Boetti: “Mappa,” a show devoted to the late Italian conceptual artist’s series of embroidered world maps, continues at Gladstone Gallery in New York through Jan. 23.


Before the Puritans: A 1613 first edition of Samuel de Champlain’s Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain, which contains maps of the East Coast that predate the arrival of the Puritans and is valued at $250,000–$350,000, will headline a Dec. 3 sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in New York. The auction will feature 82 lots of books and charts relating to the earliest European excursions in America.

Drawing Attention: A black chalk drawing by Raphael could exceed $26 million at Christie’s Old Master and 19th-century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors sale in London on Dec. 8. Titled Head of a Muse, it is a study for the Parnassus fresco in the Stanza della Segnatura inside the Vatican, and carries a presale estimate of £12–16 million ($19.5–26.1 million).

Gone in an instant: Sotheby’s will auction 1,300 Polaroid photographs from the bankrupt company’s 16,000-strong corporate collection in spring 2010 in New York. Polaroid built its collection, which includes images by Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe, by providing film and equipment to artists in exchange for photographs. Sotheby’s expects the sale to realize $7–11 million.


High-flying Flag: A Union Jack flag flown during the Battle of Trafalgar sold for £384,000 ($638,000) at the Charles Miller auction house in London on Oct. 21, exceeding the upper range of its £10,000–15,000 ($16,600–25,000) presale estimate by a factor of 25. The flag was offered on the 204th anniversary of the naval battle.

Divine Beauty: Venus Disrobing for the Bath, a large nude by British artist Frederic Lord Leighton, garnered $1.8 million on an estimate of $1.2 million–1.5 million at Sotheby’s 19th-century European Art sale on Oct. 22 in New York, setting a new artist auction record.

Martial, Art: Christie’s New York set a new world auction record for Japanese armor at its Arts of the Samurai sale Oct. 23 when a 17th-century suit of Edo Period armor fetched $602,500 on an estimate of $250,000–300,000. The winning bidder was the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


Photographer Irving Penn, best known for his fashion imagery for Vogue, died on Oct. 7 in New York. He was 92.

White Housewarming: In October the White House released a list of 45 artworks it has borrowed from various institutions to decorate the presidential residence and offices. Selections include Mark Rothko’s Red Band, Jasper Johns’ Numerals, 0 Through 9, two Degas sculptures, three works by Josef Albers, 11 by George Catlin and a portrait of Harry Truman by Frank O. Salisbury and loaned by the Truman Library.

Mark of a Master: A Montreal-based forensics expert, Peter Paul Biro, is claiming that a portrait drawing of a young woman features a fingerprint left behind by Leonardo da Vinci, heartening scholars who suspect the drawing was rendered by the Italian artist. If the attribution is correct, the drawing could be worth well over $100 million.

Author: admin | Publish Date: December 2009