For Collectors of the Fine and Decorative Arts
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    Pile On

    Marianne Richter, Granen flatweave carpet, 1949, Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom AB, hand-woven wool, 64 x 95 inches.

    Twentieth-century carpets weave strands of modernist geometry and color abstraction into traditional formats, taking textile into the realm of fine art. Continue reading

    Surround Sound

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    One of the rarest and most collectible Braun items, the portable “Combi” radio-phono designed by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, sold at the Quittenbaum auction house in Munich for €4,500. Continue reading

    Brit Mod

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    After a long period of neglect, 20th-century British sculptors are once again basking in the art market’s sunshine. Continue reading

    Modigliani Finds a Dealer

    By Meryle Secrerst Excerpted from the forthcoming book Modigliani: A Life, by Meryle Secrest, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) was a charismatic figure about whom legends began to accumulate long before his death. His creative power, striking … Continue reading

    A Passionate Patron

    Not too long ago, a slogan for Jamaica’s tourism industry advised, “It’s not just a beach. It’s a country.” Apparently, some visitors needed to be reminded that the sun-drenched island was, in fact, an independent state with a complex society and a vibrant culture. That very goal was given a big boost in 1974 by the opening of the National Gallery of Jamaica, a government-funded repository of the country’s visual-arts patrimony. Continue reading

    The Once and Future Philatelist

    Now, after a half-century hiatus, I have taken up stamp collecting again. The stock market collapse of 2008—which took half my personal worth—surely played a role. I decided to invest in something besides shares and bonds. I read reports that during the global crisis stamps held their value while financial instruments, real estate and most collectibles plummeted. And my thoughts turned back to my childhood stamp collection. Why not put some of my savings into something that was familiar, emotionally satisfying and intellectually appealing? Leaning on my journalistic experience, I set upon a journey of philatelic discovery. Continue reading

    The Rest is Noise

    The Futurist Luigi Russolo was a lousy painter, but as a composer he was way ahead of his time. Reminiscing in the late 1950s, Igor Stravinsky recalled an evening in 1915 when he first heard the Futurist music of Luigi Russolo. “Five phonographs standing on five tables in a large and otherwise empty room emitted digestive noises, static, etc.,” he said. “I pretended to be enthusiastic and told [the Futurists] that the sets of five phonographs with such music, mass produced, would surely sell like Steinway grand pianos.” Continue reading

    From the Editor: Wings of Eagles

    Take a look at the forbidding Aztec warrior at left, encased in an eagle suit, and then look at the Roman bronze eagle on page 70. Not exactly birds of a feather, art-historically and stylistically speaking. But according to the curators at the Getty Villa, they had a lot in common, at least in the minds of the 16th-century Aztecs and Spaniards who are the subjects of a fascinating exhibition that opens there late this month. Continue reading