U.S.’s Oldest Cave and Rock Art Discovered in Tennessee
At more than 6,000 years old, prehistoric cave and rock art found in what is today Tennessee is easily the oldest discovered yet within the United States. The art is also the most widespread collection found anywhere in the U.S., according to a new paper in the journal Antiquity that documents the art. The extensive cave and rock art provides intriguing clues about what life was like for Native societies more than 6,000 years ago.
Exhibition curated from David Bowie’s personal archive to make first touring stop at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto this fall
“David Bowie is” will feature more than 300 objects from Bowie’s own personal archive, according to a press release issued by the AGO, including diary entries, more than 50 costumes and pictures of Bowie taken by star photographer Helmut Newton.
Online art museum highlights Muslim women
To mark International Women’s Day, the International Museum of Women launched “Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art and Voices”, a free, online exhibit featuring multimedia works from artists spanning the globe. In addition to traditional gallery pieces, the exhibit features interactives including a profile of Azizah Magazine editor Tayyibah Taylor, infographics about women’s participation in US mosques, and interviews with leading women’s rights advocates.
The initiative prides itself on being interactive and has partnered with the Women’s Museum in Denmark, the Ayala Museum in the Philippines, and the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization in the UAE, to promote forty specific artists as ‘Muslima Ambassadors’. It also includes an open call for submissions from the public and will update the gallery’s content on a rolling basis.
Paris rooftop display shows Indigenous artist Lena Nyadbi’s work to the world
Western Australian contemporary artist Lena Nyadbi was commissioned to design a piece specifically for the roof terrace of the Musée du quai Branly.
She came up with a black-and-white painting called Dayiwul Lirlmim, or Barramundi Scales, inspired by her mother’s homeland in Dayiwul Country.
A large-scale reproduction of the work, made with the same kind of rubberised paint used for traffic signs, now fills the museum’s 700-square-metre rooftop terrace.
The installation was designed to be visible from several different levels of the nearby Eiffel Tower, which draws in around seven million visitors every year.
It will even be visible from space, thanks to satellite mapping technology.
Young designer gives diseased trees new lease of life
Wood from diseased trees that would otherwise go to waste is being put to good use by a designer from Brighton.
It may be ash trees making the headlines in recent times with the outbreak of ash dieback across the UK in 2012, but Dutch elm disease, which killed 25 million mature trees in Britain during the 1970s and 80s, is still having an impact today.
Recent 3D design graduate Sheldon Stansfield has been working with diseased elm wood for the past year, making unique pieces of furniture. She lives and works in Brighton, home to the national elm collection, the largest collection of elms in the UK, which currently stands at over 17,000 trees.
“The arboricultural service of Brighton & Hove City Council monitor trees very carefully to ensure that diseases don’t spread,” says Stansfield. “They do what they can to keep the disease at bay, like selectively pruning the trees when they spot signs of infection, but unfortunately they also have to be regularly felled.”
Once felled, the trees are sent to be burned or chipped. “It’s a huge waste of wood,” said Stansfield. “But it’s important that they do fell them – if it didn’t happen, the disease would spread and be more rife.
“Through researching this area I learned how the elm is going to waste and thought ‘Why not put it to good use?’. The UK imports a lot of wood and I’m trying to make people more aware that there’s an abundance of resources right on our doorstep.
“I’ve always been interested in native materials and industries and these are often really important in shaping the physical and cultural make-up of our land. However, lots of them are overlooked and because of that, they end up lacking value. My work is about the importance of being resourceful, using what is locally available and about appreciating and celebrating the natural resources that we have.”
Stansfield’s collection of diseased wood furniture, called Native Provenance, features a bench carved from a single trunk of an elm tree and a chair that has been scorched to represent the practice of burning diseased elms.
This English bulldog was once known for her grumpy disposition, but these days she’s famous for her paintings, which benefit the dog rescue she once called home.
Three Native Artists Awarded $50,000 Grants
LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne/Arapaho) and Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut) were among the 54 artists to receive 2012 USA Fellowships from United States Artists.
The fellowships were awarded in December with unrestricted grants of $50,000. “The USA Fellows for 2012 are not only incredible artists, they also give back to their communities and engage with the most pressing social issues of our time. We are proud to honor 54 of this country’s greatest living artists and celebrate their extraordinary contributions,” said USA Executive Director Katharine DeShaw in a press release.
Christie’s Pinault Donates $40 Million Bronzes to China
The 18th-century dynasty bronze rabbit and rat heads had been part of the decoration of a water clock at the Summer Palace in Beijing, which was looted by French and British troops in 1860.
Artist scales Parisian heights to show beauty of the barramundi
The rugged and remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia is a long way from the Eiffel Tower.
But visitors to Paris’ most famous landmark will soon see an artwork depicting an Aboriginal dreaming story by indigenous artist Lena Nyadbi.
Nyadbi’s Dayiwul Lirlmim (Barramundi Scales) will be stencilled on a 700-square-metre section of the roof of the Musee du quai Branly in Paris. It will also be visible to Google Earth users when it is unveiled in June.
Australia Council chairman Rupert Myer said the rooftop installation would be 46 times larger than Nyadbi’s original black and white painting, which will also be housed in the Paris museum.
If a work of art was described as being “alive,” most people probably would assume this meant it was an especially inspiring piece. Perhaps they would take it to mean the art was a stunning work of realism, or that it had the power to move in profound ways. They probably wouldn’t take the description literally.
But what if the art was actually alive? Well, some artists aren’t satisfied working with paint and easel, preferring to make their art out of the fluid nature of living things.
Research sheds light on age of Burrup rock art
New research has revealed a large collection of Indigenous rock engravings in the Pilbara could be the amongst the oldest in the world.
Researchers from the Australian National University have measured the natural erosion rates of rock on the Burrup Peninsula which is home to one of the world’s largest galleries of rock art.
The results show the area has some of the lowest erosion rates anywhere in the world, helping to preserve the art.
Professor Brad Pillans says the combination of hard rock and a dry climate means the engravings could be up to 60,000 years old.
“While we haven’t actually dated the rock art directly, what we have been able to measure are very, very low erosion rates on the surfaces on the rock associated with the rock art,” he said.
“[That] indicates there is the potential for rock art up to 60,000 years to be preserved on the Burrup.”
Fundraising manager Lauren Vincent with four out of the seventy Gromit sculptures which have been painted by celebrity artists, left to right, Paul Smith, Cath Kidston, Richard Williams and Simon Tofield, before they are placed around Bristol for public view as part of a charity initiative arts trail. After being displayed the sculptures will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity.
Pair of vases man Inherited then packed away found to be rare Russian antiques, sold for $2.7 million
Randy Buttram never gave much thought to the two 4½-foot tall ornate vases that graced the elegant main entrance of his grandparents’ Oklahoma City mansion and later were displayed around a fireplace facade at his parents’ home.
The vases, which had been packed away for around a decade, turned out to be rare items from Russia dating back nearly two centuries — to the reign of Nicholas I.
They also carried immense value, fetching $2.7 million Thursday in a private sale about a week before they were to be auctioned.
Estee Lauder heir donates $1bn worth of cubist art to Metropolitan Museum of Arts
Cosmetics heir and art collector Leonard A. Lauder has donated his collection of 78 Cubist works valued at more than a $1 billion to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts.
The collection, which consists of 33 works by Picasso, 17 by Braque, 14 by Gris and 14 by Leger, was amassed over 37 years and is considered one of the foremost collections of Cubism in the world.
“This is an extraordinary gift to our museum and our city,” Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the museum, said in a statement. “Leonard’s gift is truly transformational for the Metropolitan Museum.”
The museum said the collection is unsurpassed in the number of masterpieces critical to the development of Cubism, which is considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century.
Lauder, an 80-year-old heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, said he decided to give the collection to the museum because he felt it essential that Cubism, and the art that followed it, be seen and studied within one of the greatest museums in the world.
“The Met’s collection of modernism, together with those of MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney, reinforce the city’s standing as the center for 20th-century art and fuel New York’s ongoing role as the art capital of the world,” he said in a statement.
The museum said it is establishing a new research center for modern art which will be supported by a $22 million endowment funded by museum trustees and supporters, including Lauder.
Picasso’s “The Scallop Shell” (“Notre avenir est dans l’air”) (1912) and “Woman in an Armchair” (Eva) (1913) and Braque’s “Trees at L’Estaque” (1908) and “The Violin” (Mozart/Kubelick) (1912) are among the highlights of the collection, which will be presented at the museum for the first time in an exhibition scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
Riches of Dutch history return to Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum, the National Museum of the Netherlands, is finally set to reopen to the public, with Rembrandt van Rijn’s masterpiece “The Night Watch” reclaiming its place of pride.
The giant painting hangs in the same central position it did before an epic, decade long, €375 million ($480 million) makeover, flanked by works by Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and thousands of other Dutch cultural and artistic artifacts.
In a preview Thursday ahead of the April 13 reopening, Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes said the far-reaching improvements will justify the long wait.
“It’s totally changed, renewed, improved, radiant — everything is new,” he said.
The Rijksmuseum houses the largest collection of Dutch artwork, with many treasures from the country’s 17th-century Golden Age and beyond.