Washington alive and well

Editorial Staff Art

Despite the ongoing difficulties in the United States economy, to judge by a President’s Day weekend sale at Skinner Auction in Boston, Americans continue to place a lot of faith in the Founding Fathers. In lively bidding in the room and on the phone, a portrait miniature of George Washington brought $336,000-the second highest price ever paid for an American …

The lure of provenance

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February 2009 | There may never be another event to match this month’s seven hundred lot sale of the collection of Pierre Bergé and the late Yves Saint Laurent. What could well be one of the greatest private collections of the twentieth century, the result of fifty years of passionate and informed acquisition, is estimated to bring between 200 and …

Paris Dealers

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From the stalls of the bouquinistes along the Seine to the rarified galleries of Saint-Germain and the Made­leine and out to the puces (flea markets) at the Porte de Clignancourt in the north and the Porte de Vanves in the south, Paris brims with antiques. As with many things, from architecture to cooking, the French refined the trade into an …

Master drawings from the collection of Horace Wood Brock

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February 2009 | Horace Wood “Woody” Brock defines himself as a collector of fine aristocratic furniture and decorative objects, especially English and French eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century pieces—Louis XIV, neo-Palladian, rococo, chinoiserie, Regency, Empire—but he is also a very significant collector of master drawings. These range from mid-sixteenth-century Italian to early nineteenth-century French and are wonderfully diverse in style, subject …

Earth and Fire at the Alliance Française

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Astonishingly, not one but two intriguing offerings of French craftsmanship can be seen in the shoebox gallery of the Alliance Française in Earth and Fire: French Master Artisans, the inaugural exhibition of a biennial series devoted to France’s craft heritage. The first comprises a selection of works by six maîtres d’art, a designation that has been bestowed on ninety artists …

High Museum Welcomes Heydt as New American Art Curator

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The High Museum of Art in Atlanta recently announced the appointment of Stephanie Heydt as the new Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art.  Heydt will be responsible for the High’s American art collection, comprising nearly nine hundred objects, which includes significant works by renowned 19th- and 20th-century American artists such as William Merritt Chase, Henry Ossawa Tanner, John …

Rare Lincoln Speech to be Auctioned

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On November 10, 1864, two days after northern citizens reelected him, President Abraham Lincoln addressed some 1,500 late—night supporters gathered outside the White House. Standing at the window over the north portico, Lincoln spoke from carefully prepared notes about the wartime turmoil that had “brought our republic to a severe test” and nearly jeopardized the national election itself. Although the …

In conversation with…Ralph Harvard

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While booth design may be a secondary consideration for some exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show, every year a handful make a splash.  Among these, the designs of the New York-based interior designer and architectural historian Ralph Harvard have come to be the most anticipated of the show. We recently caught up with Harvard and asked him to talk about …

New Orleans

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Natives and longtime residents of New Orleans have an endearing habit of describing their city as if it were a woman, one who is by turns refined and blowsy. Her sybaritic side is notorious, and her exquisite taste in food is famous. But what is slightly less well known is that Lady Orleans is passionate about antiques. For the dedicated …

Endnotes: An Icon for Yale

Editorial Staff Art

Not all the news about the economy in general-and as related to the decorative arts and painting in particular-is bad. Late last year Skinner in Boston auctioned a miniature of George Washington by Robert Field that fetched more than $300,000-some ten times its presale estimate. According to the portrait miniature specialist Elle Shushan of Philadelphia, who was the successful bidder …