Samuel Goldwyn’s Art Collection On Offer at Sotheby’s

The Goldwyn family are selling Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.’s art collection through Sotheby’s this Spring. The family is advised by Tobias Meyer. The New York Times has the story:

Some pieces were sold over the years — a notable Chagall in particular — but the Picasso and Matisse never budged after their purchase, which “makes them particularly desirable in the marketplace,” said Simon Shaw, Sotheby’s co-head of Impressionist and Modern art. (The Goldwyns bought the brightly colored Matisse, “Anémones et Grenades,” in 1948 for $13,500, or about $131,000 in today’s money. A low estimate of its current value is $5 million. The Picasso is valued at $12 million or more.)

“To me, these film pioneers and these artists had the same spirit and energy,” Mr. Shaw said. “The art had to be bold, I suppose, to hold its own in that house.”

Goldwyn Heirs to Sell Art and Hollywood Hills Mansion (NYTimes)

The Chinese Are Coming, Museums Rejoice. Will Galleries Follow?

Chinese Tourists

The New York Times tours the museums that are making themselves friendlier to a huge influx of Chinese tourists who are now the biggest group arriving in Los Angeles, growing at a pace of 20% over the previous year, and account for 750,000 visitors to New York. 36% of those Chinese visitors go to museums or art galleries:

Fred Dixon, chief executive of NYC & Company, New York’s tourism marketing organization, said “icons” lure Chinese visitors — especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “They like the status,” he said. “The heritage and history are real draws for them as well.”

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ArtBasel Hong Kong 2015 Sales Report

The New York Times identifies some buyers and sales:

Hauser & Wirth had sold two paintings by Atsuko Tanaka to the Karuizawa New Art Museum in Japan

Eslite Gallery in Taipei reported that several works by the Chinese artist Xu Bing sold to Asian collectors for unspecified amounts.

The scene at the Galerie Gmurzynska booth one afternoon gave a sense of that blended identity. Perusing the booth at once were Joan Punyet Miró, a grandson of the Catalan painter Joan Miró; the Hong Kong style icon Bonnie Gokson; and Melissa Chiu, the director of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. By the end of the fair, the gallery had sold a number of works, including paintings by Wifredo Lam for between $150,000 and $300,000 and a work by Fernando Botero, which sold for $1.2 million in the minutes before closing.

Art Basel Hong Kong: The Reviews Are In  (

Bloomberg’s Fredrick Balfour reported these sales:

Indonesian billionaire collector Budi Tek purchased a painting by Chinese artist Cui Jie for 140,000 yuan ($22,474) from Shanghai-based Leo Xu Projects.

Adrian Cheng, scion of New World Development Co. and a growing force in the international art scene through his K11 Art Foundation, picked up six works including a Christian Boltanski from Marian Goodman Gallery.

White Cube dealer Jay Joplin said he was pleased with the results. “It’s been excellent,” he said, adding that his gallery sold a work by Damien Hirst for 800,000 pounds ($1.2 million) as well as pieces by Andreas Gursky and Theaster Gates.

Jack Ma, Gwyneth Paltrow Boost Profile of Art Basel Hong Kong  (Bloomberg Business)

Acquavella at ArtBasel HK

Liang Gallery

Chen Cheng-po Foliage , 1934  Sold for USD 1.95 Million

Chen Cheng-po Footbridge in Shanghai Sold for USD 1.95 MillionContinue Reading

The Uneasy Alliance Between the Old Master and Contemporary Communities

Moretti TEFAF 2015
Moretti TEFAF 2015

Colin Gleadell offers this interesting vignette on the attempts at cross-pollinating art constituencies:

Early Italian art dealer Fabrizio Moretti has juxtaposed a religious gold ground painting with an all-white, shaped canvas from the 1960s by Enrico Castellani, both priced around €2.5 million. Agnew’s has introduced two video screens from his recent St Paul’s Cathedral installation by Bill Viola, priced at $200,000, next to 17th-century crucifixion paintings priced at rather more.

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Kravis Acquires Seminal Johns Bronze for MoMA


Henry Kravis has bought an important Jasper Johns bronze work from dealer Mathew Marks, the price was not disclosed:

Created in 1960, “Painted Bronze” has been a fixture for more than three decades at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it has been on long-term loan from Mr. Johns’s personal collection. But now it will migrate north to a permanent home at the Museum of Modern Art, which will receive the sculpture as a promised gift from the collectors Henry R. Kravis and his wife, Marie-Josée Kravis, the Museum of Modern Art’s president, who recently bought it. […]

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WSJ on Sotheby’s Choice for New CEO

WSJ on Tad Smith

According to Kelly Crow, Tad Smith was chosen as the new CEO because he can “toggle.” The Wall Street Journal’s presenter, Geoffrey Rogow, points out that MSG has been criticized for its management culture. Rogow also points out that CEOs are chosen for their connections. He asks Crow how important those were in Smith’s getting the job. Crow responds that they were “crucial” without saying what connections Smith might have that would be valuable to Sotheby’s.

In her story for WSJ, Crow has a little bit of trouble coming up with relevant experience from Smith’s resume despite de Sole’s introduction on a pre-market conference call that claimed Smith had led an international sales force:

At MSG, Mr. Smith isn’t in charge of negotiating team salaries or show lineups at these venues, but he manages the company’s financials and oversaw development of Radio City’s new Rockettes show, “Spring Spectacular,” now in previews.

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What Does Sotheby’s New Chairman Want?

Domenico de Sole

In a little more than a year, Domenico de Sole has joined Sotheby’s, pushed out the former CEO and installed his own man while taking the role of Chairman and clearly the reins at the company. With a phenomenally successful career in the luxury business, experience working for Francois Pinault and ties to Simon de Pury, de Sole would seem the ideal leader for the auction house.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal profiling him almost a year before he joined Sotheby’s board:Continue Reading