Anti-Obama Painter's Market Is On Fire, U.S. Arts Education Craters, and More Must-Read Art News

Anti-Obama Painter's Market Is On Fire, U.S. Arts Education Craters, and More Must-Read Art News
Jon McNaughton's "One Nation Under Socialism" (detail)
(Courtesy the Artist)

– Obama Art for Sale: How much does a fine work of Barack Obama-inspired art go for these days? Tea Party painter Jon McNaughton, now (in)famous for his image of an evil Obama burning the Constitution, is asking $300,000 for his latest works, emboldened by support from well-known aesthete Sean Hannity (who has purchased a McNaughton canvass and even offered to "loan" the image to the Brooklyn Museum). Meanwhile, the Atlantic takes a look at what different pro- and anti-Obama works are selling for these days, from a collectable Obama gargoyle ($4.95) to a totally weird image of Obama laughing at a topless Sarah Palin ($50 on Etsy.) [BuzzfeedAtlantic]

– Arts Plummeting at Public Schools: A National Endowment for the Arts study published last week found that children, especially those from low-income families, get better grades and have more ambitious aspirations when the arts are part of their education. This news was rapidly followed by a heartbreaking U.S. Department of Education report that arts education in public elementary schools has been in decline in the last decade. In the 2009-10 school year, 83 percent of schools offered visual arts classes (compared to 87 percent 10 years ago) and just 4 percent offered drama classes (down 16 percent from 2000). [AP


– Dealer Arrested for Selling Fake Picassos: Connecticut dealer David Crespo was arrested by FBI agents on Tuesday on suspicion of knowingly selling phony Picassos to clients. According to court documents, Crespo bought the fraudulent paintings on the Internet from a seller calling himself "Collectart4less." [Hartford Courant]

– Titian's First Masterpiece Leaves Russia for England: Following 12 years of intensive restoration work, Titian's "The Flight into Egypt" (1507) — which hasn't been seen outside Russia since Catherine the Great bought it in 1768 — will be presented at London's National Gallery alongside works that inspired it. [Guardian]

– Surrealism Resurgent: Works by Surrealists are reaching new highs this season — Salvador Dalí's "Portrait of Paul Eluard" fetched $21.7 million in February at Sotheby's — and in May, the auction house will bring more paintings from the psychologically charged movement to the auction block. Its Impressionist and Modern art sale in New York will include pieces by Dalí, René MagritteMax ErnstLeonora Carrington, and more. [WSJ]

– Pompidou's Sleeper Hit Steps Softly: An exhibition exploring the influence of dance on art since 1900 at France's national museum of contemporary art turned into a surprise blockbuster, bringing in nearly 400,000 visitors over its almost four-month run. "Dance Through Life," which included some 450 works by figures ranging from Matisse to Olafur Eliasson, saw an average daily attendance of 3,392 visitors. [Liberation]

– Turkey Tackles Midwest Museum: In its ongoing quest to recover allegedly stolen antiquities — which already had it knocking on the doors of the Getty and Metropolitan Museum — the Turkish government has requested the return of 22 artifacts from the Cleveland Museum of Art, including a 5,000-year-old stone-carved female figure known affectionately as the "Stargazer." [Plain Dealer]

– Archaeology is Greece's Achilles Heel: As Greece moves into a fifth year of recession, licensed archaeology digs are finding it difficult to obtain public funds, while antiquity smuggling is on the rise. At a recent summit, some archeologists said it would be wiser to rebury valuable discoveries than fail to protect them above ground. "Greece's historic remains have become our curse," one said. [AFP

– New Director for Michener Art MuseumLisa Tremper Hanover has been named director of the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She was previously the director of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College. [Philadelphia Inquirer


Elizabeth Catlett, African-American Printmaker and Sculptor, Dead at 96

Google Art Project Launches Phase 2, With Highlights Including a 7-Billion-Pixel Rembrandt From the Getty

The Damien Hirst You Didn't Know: 8 Unconventional Works From the Artist's Tate Retrospective, Explained

Seven, the Lovable Dealer-Run Miami Mini-Fair, Will Come to Williamsburg During Frieze New York

Sotheby's Hong Kong's Contemporary Asian Sale Soars to $27 Million, Boosted by a Big-Spending Indonesian Tycoon

Exeunt Exit Art: Director Papo Colo and Curator Rachel Gugelberger on 5 Works From the Space’s Storied History