Antiques Roadshow Finds Lost Diego Rivera, L.A. MOCA's Curator Exodus, and More

Antiques Roadshow Finds Lost Diego Rivera, L.A. MOCA's Curator Exodus, and More
A Texas resident has a 1904 oil painting by Diego Rivera appraised on Antiques Roadshow.
(Courtesy PBS)

– Diego Rivera Turns Up on Antiques Roadshow: Spoiler alert! Among the highlights of the forthcoming 17th season of PBS's much-loved "Antiques Roadshow" is a visit to Corpus Christi, Texas, during which a local resident presents appraiser Colleene Fesko with what turns out to be a long-lost and historically significant 1904 oil painting by Diego Rivera. She estimates that it is worth between $800,000 and $1 million, the highest appraisal she will give during her multiple appearances this season. [ArtDaily]

– L.A. MOCA's Brain Drain ContinuesRebecca Morse is leaving her job as associate curator at the embattled L.A. MOCA for a post with the same title within LACMA's photography department. Her departure leaves only two curators at MOCA, down from a high of seven in early 2009. Morse has spent her entire career at MOCA, joining the museum in 1999 upon recieving her Master's. A rep from the museum said there are "no plans right now" to replace her. [LAT]


– Israeli Heritage Site Plan Causes Furor in Palestine: Israel is advancing a plan to invest in what it considers to be national heritage sites, including nine locations in the disputed West Bank. The announcement triggered an angry response from Palestinian leadership, which objected to Israel's plan to add handicapped access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a sacred site to both Jews and Muslims located in the city of Hebron. "The Tomb of the Patriarchs is a Palestinian site, and the Palestinian Authority is the only one in charge of making any changes to it," said a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority. [AP]

– Epic Indonesian Art Heist: More than 100 paintings by Indonesian modernist H. Widayat were stolen last week from the H. Widayat Museum in Central Java. Some suspect it may have been an inside job, possibly orchestrated by one of more of the late artist's 11 children, some of whom would like to see his works sold rather than held in a museum. "The paintings are not going to be easy to resell in the market, at least not at auction, " said Christie's contemporary art specialist Wang Zineng, "because international auction houses like Christie's consult the arts laws register as well an informal database of lost paintings to make sure that whatever comes are not stolen material with no proper legal ownership. In this case, these paintings are now in questionable ownership." [VOA News]

– Picasso Portrait Leads Sotheby's Impressionist AuctionSotheby's has high hopes for its Impressionist and modern sale next month, which carries a total estimate of $165 million to $240 million. (That's up significantly from the lackluster total of last year's equivalent sale, which brought in $127 million.) The auction house's optimism may be due in part to its top lot, Pablo Picasso's 1932 portrait of muse Marie-Therese Walter, "Femme assise pres d'une fenetre," which is estimated to sell for between $40 million and $56 million. [Reuters]

– Speed Museum Renovation Gets Going: The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, has begun taking apart and storing its collection — including a room lined with wood panels dating back to the 1620s — as it prepares for a $50 million, three-year-long renovation and expansion project that will see it reopen in 2015. "You can't rush it, I'm amazed at this crew working on it from 8 to 5 everyday," said curator Scott Erbes. "The wood came out of a house in southwestern England, the carving is just extraordinary." [WDRB]

– Scottish Government Gives Culture a Boost: The government of Scotland is giving an additional £7 million ($11.2-million) to arts organizations over the next three years to help fund major projects. Among the beneficiaries are Creative Scotland, whose programming will be boosted from £15 million ($24.1 million) to £16.5 million ($26.5 million), and National Museums Scotland, for whom the additional £2 million ($3.2 million) will be used to address what the government referred to as the "most urgent elements" of its many long-overdue repair projects. [Scotsman]

– Auctioneer Sues for "Ten Commandments" Tablet Money: The Los Angeles auction house Profiles in History says it is still owed $60,000 that a buyer bid to acquire the prop tablets containing the ten commandments passed from God to Charlton Heston in the Cecil B. DeMille classic "The Ten Commandments." The auction house says the defendant, Albert Tapper, also owes $8,000 for his winning bid on a letter written by Clark Gable to his estranged father Will Gable. [Courthouse News]

– Middle Eastern Galleries in London Aim to Break Stereotypes: A slew of new galleries focusing on Middle Eastern art have popped up in London, and their goal is to show that there is more to Middle Eastern art than "calligraphy, calligraphy, calligraphy," in the words of Ayyam Gallery co-founder Khaled Samawi. Adds the director of P21 Gallery, Palestinian-Jordanian Yahya Zaloom: "When I studied art history at university in London, the only critic to engage with Arab culture was Edward Said. Everything about the Arab world was focused on politics and religion, not art." [FT

– Bashir Makhoul and Aissa Deebi to Rep Palestine in Venice: The multimedia artist pair have been selected to represent Palestine at this year's Venice Biennale. Their project, "Otherwise Occupied," will address their homeland's geopolitical identity. Makhoul is the head of the Winchester School of Art in England and Deebi is a founding member of ArteEast, a Brooklyn-based organization that supports Middle Eastern arts and culture. [Gallerist]


Discovering a lost Diego Rivera, "El Albañil," on Antiques Roadshow


How Cult Comedian Andy Kaufman Became Today's Hottest Performance Art Star

VIDEO: See Works From China's Rising Generation of Artists on View in Beijing

13 Questions with "Consuming Spirits" Experimental Animator Chris Sullivan

5 Spectacular Architectural Additions to the French Cultural Scene

No Longer Art HK, Art Basel Hong Kong Releases Debut Exhibitor List

As Business as Usual Resumes in Chelsea, Galleries Assess Catastrophe Prevention

For more breaking art news throughout the day,
check ARTINFO's In the Air blog.