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ARTnews' annual list of the world's top 200 art collectors is shamelessly self-promotional, assuring a few thousand extra magazine sales as the chosen few splash copies around the guest rooms and pools of their many houses. Still, it is always a must read.
It's a very international bunch with more than half of the crowd hailing from somewhere other than the United States. Nevertheless, "experts say that Americans are still driving the market in a huge way," said Milton Esterow, the magazine's editor and publisher.
A quick scan shows NO Minnesotans this year. Come on collectors, ante up. The closest big buyers hereabouts are Mary and John Pappajohn of Des Moines, Iowa and New York who collect modern and contemporary art. Their fortune derives from "venture capital."
Other names of note include artist Damien Hirst of pickled shark fame, entertainment mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber, Walmart heiress Alice Walton and fashionista Miuccia Prada.
A special nod goes to the Doha-based philanthropist Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who appears to have the longest name. And another to Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder who seem to have the most homes, that would be five, in New York and Wainscott, New York; Washington, D. C., Palm Beach, Florida, and Paris.
Art sales at public auction often make headlines, but even more expensive art may change hands by private sale. Experts at The Financial Times, a London-based international publication, have consulted knowledgeable sources around the world and come up with a list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings ever sold. Some of them, including Edvard Munch's "The Scream," were sold at auction while others went quietly behind the scenes.
The list, published June 23, comes with cautions. Nothing has been officially announced and many of the sources are informed by nothing but their "nose" and the "process of elimination," wrote Julia Sutherland.
The identities of buyers are uncertain since no one is talking, but people in the know say that members of the royal family of Qatar are "some of the biggest players in the market at the moment -- but frustratingly for those who like to make lists, they never confirm or deny a purchase. So although the royal family's supposed holdings are now as fabled as Ali Baba's cave, we do not actually know what they have bought, or where they keep it, or even what they intend to do with it," the FT wrote.
That said, here's the FT's "reasonably authoritative" list:
1) "The Card Players" (1892 - 93) by Paul Cezanne. Sold 2011. Likely buyer royal family of Qatar. $250 million.
2) "No. 5, 1948" (1948) by Jackson Pollock. Sold 2006. Unknown buyer. $140 million.
3) "Woman III" (1953) by Willem de Kooning. Sold 2006. Buyer Steven A. Cohen. Price $137.5 million.
4) "Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I" (1907) by Gustav Klimt. Sold 2006. Buyer Ronald Lauder, Neue Galerie.135 million, British pounds.
5 ) "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" (1890) by Vincent van Gogh. Sold 1990. Buyer Ryoei Saito. Price: $82.5 million.
6) "Bal du moulin de la Galette" (1876) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Sold 1990. Buyer Ryoei Saito. Price: $78.1 million.
7) "Garcon a la pipe," (1905) by Pablo Picasso. Sold 2004. Likely buyer Barilla group. Price: $104.2 million
8) "The Scream" (1895) by Edvard Munch. Sold 2012. Likely buyer royal family of Qatar. $119.9 million.
9) "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" (1932) by Pablo Picasso. Unknown buyer. $106.5 million.
10) "Orange, Red, Yellow" (1961) by Mark Rothko. Sold 2012. Unknown buyer. $86.9 million.
If the Guthrie Theater's 50th anniversary season is a party, it's a party to which many people of color and white women feel univited. That is because the season that was unveiled Monday consists mostly of works written and directed by white men.
The noisy firestorm that erupted after the announcement by the nation's largest regional theater continues to gather steam.
On Tuesday, Minnesota Public Radio's Marianne Combs posted an article on the continuing controversy. Entitled "Guthrie Theater's debt to women and diversity." The lenghty piece quotes the Guthrie's mission and unearths some of director Joe Dowling's statements about cultural and gender diversity, his artistic choices, changing demographic trends and quotes theater director Joe Dowling, who has defended his choices in print and on TV.
Last Friday pn TPT, Ch. 2's "Almanac," Dowling said: "The Guthrie is not an organization that lacks diversity," he said.
"It is a very stern task to direct on a stage of our size," Dowling told the Star Tribune last week.
"To suggest that there just aren't talented women and people of color out there this season is appalling," actor Heidi Berg said to MPR. "It isn't as though the Guthrie's not hiring from a national and international pool of talent. While we are accustomed to being told there aren't enough local people qualified to fill positions in the Guthrie season, now we are to believe there aren't enough talented women and people of color in the WORLD."
"Ocean," a film by Charles Atlas of a dance work of that name by Merce Cunningham, is screening through Sunday at the Whitney Museum in New York as part of the Whitney Biennial. The large-scale work was filmed at a Minnesota granite quarry in 2008 and the movie had its world premiere at Walker Art Center in September, 2010.
Reviewing the movie Tueday, New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay said it "beautifully captures exceptional dancers in extraordinary choreography."
New York's Morgan Library and Museum is celebrating, through February 12, the 200th birthday of novelist Charles Dickens with a big show of his memorabilia including original manuscripts, letters, books, photos and original illustrations. Besides the manuscript for his ever popular "A Christmas Carol," the show includes his manuscript for "Our Mutual Friend," part of which the author apparently retrieved from a train wreck.
The Morgan will drop its $15 admission charge and admit visitors free if they mention Charles Dickens' birthday on the great man's big day, February 7.
For one day only, the magic words not only grant access to the Dickens' exhibit, but to the entire sumptuous museum which is housed in a 1906 Italian-Renaissance style palazzo that was once home to banker-aesthete Pierpont Morgan. A 2006 expansion by Renzo Piano added a glass courtyard, new shop and restaurant, concert hall and other modern amenities that make the Morgan a highlight of midtown Manhattan. It's collections range from manuscripts by Mozart, Byron, Poe, Mark Twain and Dickens to contemporary poetry and music. Plus art.
More museums should offer get-in-free passes to celebrate artists' birthdays. Think of Michelangelo (March 6, 1475); Dante Gabriel Rossetti (May 12, 1828); Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928); Diego Velazquez (June 6, 1599); Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881); Rembrandt (July 15, 1606); Maxfield Parrish (July 25, 1870). The list goes on.