Reagan Museum Mounts Margaret Thatcher Show, "Nude Men" Moves to Paris, and More

Reagan Museum Mounts Margaret Thatcher Show, "Nude Men" Moves to Paris, and More
Wilhelm von Gloeden's "Flötenkonzert (Flute Concert)" (1905) from the "Nude Men" exhibition
(Courtesy of the Leopold Museum / © Private Collection)

Reagan Museum Mounts Thatcher Exhibition: Following the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, a longtime ally and friend of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan, Simi Valley's Reagan Library and Museum has opened an exhibition chronicling the relationship between the Thatcher and Reagan clans. The exhibition includes photographs, objects, and a Richard Stone portrait painting of Thatcher, in addition to gifts exchanged by the two families. [LATimes]

"Nude Men" Coming to Paris: The controversial "Nude Men: From 1800 to the Present" exhibition, a survey of male nudes through art history that recently ended its run at Vienna's Leopold Museum, will travel to Paris's Musée d'Orsay next, where it opens in September. It will remain on view through January 2, 2014, though it remains to be seen whether the French institution will admit nudist visitors. [TAN]


Giacometti Forger Gets Real: The prolific forger Robert Dressen and his two accomplices — both of whom are in jail — made more than $10 million selling between 1,000 and 1,400 fake Alberto Giacometti sculptures, and the master forger has spent the last eight years living beyond European authorities' reach in Thailand, where he runs a cafe and hangs out with Roman Abramovic when the Russian billionaire's yacht sails into port. During his 30-year career as a professional forger, Dressen also made copies of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Käthe Kollwitz, and countless others including, according to legend, once painting 15 fake Emil Nolde watercolors in a single day. "I knew that I was forging art," Dressen says. "The dealers knew that they were buying forgeries. But we didn't talk about it. I assume that they sold the forgeries as authentic paintings." [Spiegel]

Smithsonian to Honor Birthplace of Hip-Hop: In 2015 an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History titled "The Places of Invention" will chronicle major hubs of creative energy, from MIT and Silicon Valley to Hollywood and the Bronx, where hip-hop culture began to emerge in the late 1970s. "Inventors in the Bronx had a lot of hands-on skills and were able to apply that in ways that led to the creation of these innovative sound systems," said Smithsonian curator Larry Fritzch. "We wanted to show that it’s not just a single inventor who creates something, but really a community that creates the right recipe for an invention." [AllHipHop]

Bill Could Boost California Arts Funding: Bill AB 580, which has just been passed by the California Assembly's committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, would provide a major boost to the state's funding for the arts, effectively increasing the annual general fund for the California Arts Council from $1 million to $75 million. "Of course there's an embarrassment factor," says representative Adrin Nazarian, who introduced the bill. "As the creative capital of the world, where we have Hollywood and the technological creativity in Silicon Valley, and where we have some of the best arts institutions housed within our state, it's unfortunate that as a government we're not reflective of the talents we offer." [LATimes]

Kokoschka Painting Returned to Jewish Dealer's Heirs: The Oskar Kokoschka painting "Portrait of Tilla Durieux" (1910), which belonged to art dealer Alfred Flechtheim until the eve of World War II when it was sold by his former employee to a Cologne-based collector for far below its market value, should be returned to the dealer's heirs, according to the German government. The work, now valued at $3.9 million, has made its way to the collection of the Museum Ludwig, whose director Philipp Kaiser plans to comply with the order and said he "respects the commission's decision." [Blooomberg]

Market for Black Artists Still Slow Despite Museums' Interest: Major U.S. museums are on a buying spree to increase their holdings of works by African-American artists, though you wouldn't know it judging by the same artists' results at auctions or their representation in galleries. "The market isn’t broad enough and the price point isn’t high enough," says private dealer and former Christie's specialist Debra Force. Some are trying to correct this trend, like Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, whose associate director Elisabeth Sann says: "Our goal is to erase the line between contemporary and African-American art." [TAN]

Judge Orders Hearing on Hopi Auction: A French judge has ordered a hearing tomorrow to evaluate claims by the Hopi tribe of Arizona that an upcoming sale of 70 traditional Hopi artifacts at Paris's Néret-Minet auction house is illegal. Earlier this week an official from the U.S. embassy in France called for a halt to the sale. The auction house's director Gilles Néret-Minet maintains that he will not delay the sale, which is expected to bring in $1 million. [NYT]

NYC Will Repay Occupy Protesters: The City of New York will pay Occupy Wall Street protesters a total of more than $100,000 for property damaged during the early-morning clearing of Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011, including $47,000 for the Occupy Library. "This settlement creates a record that what they did that night was wrong," says Norman Siegel, the protesters' attorney. The city offered an alternate reading of the settlement: "There are many reasons to settle a case, and sometimes that includes avoiding the potential for drawn-out litigation that bolsters plaintiff attorney fees." [Reuters]

Paris Dealer Sold eBay Fakes: A Parisian antiques dealer is out on €80,000 bail after being arrested for selling paintings on eBay that he had previously purchased from the online auctioneer, embellished with recognizable details and famous signatures, and marked up tenfold. The ruse came to light after a devotee of the French painter Pierre-Edouard Frère saw an unsigned landscape, supposedly by the 19th-century artist, go under the hammer at Drouot; France's leading art investigation agency tracked down the dishonest antiques dealer after finding the original on eBay. [Le Monde]


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