For Collectors of the Fine and Decorative Arts
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  • Features From Previous Issues

    Surround Sound


    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

    Escape to Freedom

    When Beatrice Mandelman and her husband, fellow painter Louis Ribak, left New York for New Mexico in 1944, she knew she was leaving behind one of the world’s most dynamic hubs of cultural and intellectual activity—and the possibility of making a lasting mark there. Mandelman could not have predicted that World War II would end the following year, but she certainly knew that New York had become modern art’s axis mundi by the time she decided to move away. Continue reading

    The Real Grant Wood

    The story of Grant Wood is surely one of the strangest episodes in the entire history of American art. As of 1930 he was a little-known local painter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, whose greatest honor was that he had once won a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair. Then he made a painting of his sister and his dentist dressed up as farm folk, standing in front of a little wooden cottage with a gothic window, and sent it to the annual exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.
    Continue reading

    A Woman of Valor

    This month, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, which originated at the Philadelphia Museum of Art last fall, comes to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. With a broad selection of works, some of them never before shown, and a series of installations that demonstrate Gorky’s work process, the exhibition illuminates the development of the artist’s unique style. Continue reading

    A Haunting Humanism

    Nearly a century ago, much of Europe waited with trepidation for war to break out. In August 1914, the conflagration that would become World War I finally erupted, and the German artist Otto Dix was one young volunteer who eagerly headed to the front. An avid reader of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th-century philosopher who had championed an ideal “superman” or “overman” who would overcome the limitations of mere humanity as it had evolved thus far, Dix would soon find his illusions shattered. Continue reading

    Walking Into History

    It was a thrilling victory, but a narrow one. Once the currency conversions were worked out, it was clear that Alberto Giacometti’s L’homme qui marche I (Walking Man I), offered at Sotheby’s in London on Feb. 3, had made history, fetching £65 million, or $104.3 million, to claim the title of “most expensive artwork sold at auction” from Picasso’s Garçon à la pipe (Boy With a Pipe), a 1905 painting that fetched $104.1 million at Sotheby’s New York in 2004. Continue reading

    Talking Pictures: Sons, Fathers and Forefathers

    In his new book, Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock (Bloomsbury, $35), Henry Adams, a professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University, challenges the received wisdom about these two great 20th-century painters—one, the foremost exponent of American Regionalism; the other, the mysterious genius of Abstract Expressionism Continue reading