The Art Inquirer is your source of news for the artist and the Art appreciator
Established in 2008

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Renoir's "Paysage Bords de Seine" was allegedly stolen and its auction has been cancelled

The story involving Pierre-Auguste Renoir's painting "Paysage Bords de Seine" (On the Shore of the Seine), bought at the Harpers Ferry Flea Market in Virginia, is starting to assume the form of a novel.

 Last week, The Art Inquirer mentioned that the 5 1/2 x 9 in oil on linen napkin painting was going up for auction this September 29th at The Potomack Company. But unforeseen events have detemined its cancellation.

 Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira, entered the library at the Baltimore Museum of Art and among the letters and artwork receipts from Baltimore arts patron, collector and important benefactor of the museum, Saidie Adler May, he found records showing that she had lent Renoir's to the museum in 1937. The discovery startled museum officials, who had already said the flea-market Renoir never entered their institution.

 In the possession of the loan registration number, museum officials ended up discovering an even-more-astounding clue about the painting's journey. An old museum loan registration document revealed that the "Paysage Bords de Seine" was stolen on November 17, 1951, from the Baltimore Museum of Art — shortly after May’s death.

A copy of the original police report from 1951 was provided by the Baltimore police this last Friday.

 Due to these unexpected events, the auction of the painting that had been acquired in 1926 by international lawyer Herbert L. May at the Gallerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris and bought at a flea market over eight decades after, has been cancelled and now the FBI is investigating, while at the same time museum officials are trying to learn more about the painting’s theft and why they couldn’t explain why it does not appear on a worldwide registry of stolen and lost art.

  The museum's Director Doreen Bolger has stated that the painting belongs in the BMA’s May Collection, but  for Potomack Company’s President Elizabeth Wainstein,  Herbert L. May is listed as the buyer by the French gallery where the piece was first sold, she’s not certain that Saidie May technically owned it.
According to Wainstein, the painting will remain at the auction house until the matter is settled.

These and other details may trigger a legal showdown over the painting's ownership and besides the already mentioned players (the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Potomack Company and the woman that inadvertently bought the painting together with a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll at the flea market), one cannot forget about the company that insured the painting and paid a $2,500 claim for the stolen artwork.

 According to Christopher A. Marinello, executive director and general counsel of the London-based Art Loss Register, the world’s largest private database of stolen and lost art, the rightful owner of "Paysage Bords de Seine" might be the company that insured the painting at the time of its disappearance. In the mid-20th century, most art insurers had policies stipulating that they were entitled to stolen artwork that was recovered and for which they’ve paid claims.

 The Art Inquirer contacted The Potomack Company and received the following feedback:


"Bellow is our press release from Thursday that explains the situation. Since then, a police report of the theft from the Baltimore Museum of Art has surface. Potomack Commpany is fullly cooperatin with the FBI to help ascertain who has the clear title to this work of art.



The Potomack Company announces the withdrawl of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's painting Paysage Bords de Seine from a planned sale on September 29 at the Potomack Company auction house after a question was raised by The Baltimore Museum of Art on Wednesday, September 26, about the ownership of the painting.


On July 27, 2012, a consignor brought a painting into The Potomack Company that she had bought at a flea market., and Potomack's fine art specialist, Anne Norton Craner, confirmed that it was a known Renoir painting titled Paysage Bords de Seine painted in the late 19th century.

The same day, July 27, 2012, Potomack Company promptly contacted Art Loss Register – a service that records and follows missing and stolen works of art - confirming that the painting had never been reported stolen or missing. Potomack also consulted the FBI’s art theft website to confirm that it was not listed as stolen by the FBI. Potomack researched the provenance of the painting, determining that it was a painting listed in Bernheim-Jeune’s Renoir catalogue raisonne and that the last record of the painting’s exhibition or sale was in Paris in 1926. The buyer was Herbert L. May, husband of Saidie May until their separation in 1924. Saidie May was an important donor of paintings and other objects to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

On September 6, Potomack issued a press release announcing the upcoming sale and explaining the mysterious provenance and discovery of the painting. The release was sent to major news organizations, to The Baltimore Museum of Art and to international Renoir specialists. Since the press release, there has been worldwide media coverage of the painting and the mystery of its whereabouts since 1926."

End of Quote.

   As you can see, this story is far from over. Further developments will be reported as soon as they become available.
The Art Inquirer used Lynda Robinson and Magda Jean-Louis report at The Washington Post (Post Local) as a reference for this article.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

VIII Bienal "Salão das Artes" Vidigueira 2012

Today at 16h30 will take place at the Town Hall of Vidigueira (Portugal), the inauguration of the VIII Bienal "Salão das Artes" Vidigueira 2012 (Vidigueira Biennial 2012).

 With 264 works, including painting, drawing, scultpure and installation from 172 national and international artists, including from Argentina, Brasil, Japan and Spain, the exhibition can be visited until October 21, 2012 at the following venues: Vidigueira's Town Hall (Salão Nobres dos Paços do Concelho); Parish Council building (Junta de Freguesia); Municipal Museum (former Professional School Fialho de Almeida); Exhibition Hall of the Multifaceted Center of New Technologies; Old Library building.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Renoir's Painting found at a Flea Market in Virginia is Going for Auction

 It's one of those stories that we wish it would happen to us. During a weekend day at the Harpers Ferry Flea Market in Virginia, a Shenandoah Valley woman acquired a box of miscellaneous items - a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll had caught her eye. After taking those two items, the remaining content was put inside a white plastic bag and stored in a shed. Later was moved into her car’s trunk and eventually into her kitchen.

 However, part of the content of the box, was also a painting of a landscape. But the woman wasn't really interested in the painting, but in the frame. She had already tored the brown paper off the back and thrown it in the trash when she asked her mother for help to take the painting from the frame.
Fortunately her mother told her to get the painting looked first before throwing it away. She hardly knew that she was in presence of a genuine Renoir, worth many times more than the price that she had payed for box's content: $50.

 A plaque on the frame with the author's name, led the owner to seek advice with a reliable expert, so she scheduled an appointment with The Potomack Company in Alexandria (VA).

 The painting's radiant plein air quality – the rapid brush strokes, the vibrant purple and pink colors, the Seine as subject matter and the luminous light, reminded fine arts specialist, Anne Norton Craner, of Renoir’s 1879 Landscape of Wargemont.
After further investigation, Craner was able to identify the painting as "Paysage Bords de Seine" (oil on canvas: 5 1/2 x 9 in), one of Renoir’s many river scenes painted along the Seine River near the towns of Bougival and Chatou.

 Anne Craner concluded the painting had been last purchased in 1926 from the Gallerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris, one of the preeminent dealers of Renoir’s work, by international lawyer Herbert L. May, husband of Baltimore arts patron and collector Saidie Adler May. Mrs. May was an important benefactor of the Baltimore Museum of Art, donating over 300 works of art as well as funds to establish the museum’s Renaissance and Modern Art wings.

 In the words of Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, owner of The Potomack Company, the painting’s journey is a rare story of a lost treasure found, now expected to fetch $75,000-100,000 at auction.
 The painting will be auctioned as Lot 1 on September 29th, included in the Sale 40 - September 29th/30th Auction at Main Gallery.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Closing exhibition: The Virtuous Creator. Joaquim Machado de Castro (1731-1822)

 Inaugurated on May 18th and presenting over one hundred items - sculptures, models, drawings and other important documents, from the museum's own colllection and from public and private ones - the exhibition "The Virtuous Creator. Joaquim Machado de Castro (1731-1822)" will close this September 30.

 Divided in eight sections and occupying the whole ground floor of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (Lisbon, Portugal), this major retrospective (almost 60 years after the last one dedicated to the artist in 1954) provides the necessary elements to admire the work and learn about one of the most, if not the most, consagrated Portuguese sculptors of all times, Joaquim Machado de Castro.

 Author of mangers, his most known and visible scultpure is the Equestrian Statue of D. José, located in Terreiro do Paço, Lisbon. But during his long life - he died at the age of 91 - Machado de Castro created a renowned portfolio of works, including the Neptune's Fountain in Loreto, Lisbon (Fonte do Neptuno do Chafariz do Loreto), the sculptures of the Basílica da Estrela and Palácio da Ajuda, in Lisbon, the statue of D. Maria I (National Library) and the busts of the Cascata dos Poetas da Quinta do Marquês de Pombal, in Oeiras.

 Particular events led the sculptor to create religious imagery, of which are examples the Santa Ana Ensinando a Virgem a Ler (MNAA), a Virgem da Piedade (Capela Palatina de Salvaterra de Magos), São João Baptista (Igreja Matriz de Almeirim), Nossa Senhora da Encarnação (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, Lisbon). He also sculpted funerary art, such as the tomb of D. Mariana de Áustria, in the former Real Hospício de S. João Nepomuceno and now Museu Arqueológico do Carmo, and the one of D. Mariana Vitória, in the Igreja de S. Francisco de Paula, located in the parish of Prazeres, Lisbon.

 Joaquim Machado de Castro started the first sculpture class in Portugal, with the purpose of training artists to colaborate in his workshop. He also fought for the awareness and appreciation of sculpture in the country.

 Commissioned by Ana Duarte Rodrigues e Anísio Franco, "The Virtuous Creator. Joaquim Machado de Castro (1731-1822)" exhibtion can be visited during the following schedule:

Tuesday - 14h00 - 17h30
Wednesday - Sunday - 10h00 - 17h30

The museum is closed on Monday, Easter Sunday and January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

Regular admission is €5. Other price plans and discounts are available.

 On September 28th takes place the EPAL Day and the museum will be opened from 10h00 to 24h00 with free admission and on the 29th, the day before the closing, the public will be able to visit the exhibition until 24:00, with free admission after 18:00.

A free multimedia guide is available for smartphones and tablets at

Latitude: 38.704516
Longitude: -9.162278

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ArtRio 2012

 Under the motto "Rio is Art. Everytime. Everywhere," the second edition of ArtRio will inaugurate this Thursday, September 13 (pre-opening for invited guests on the 12).

 After exceeding all expectations in its first edition, for 2012 the international contemporary art fair will occupy three warehouses and one outbuilding of the Mauá Pier,  translating into approximately 13,000m2, with 6,900m2 dedicated to international art.

 Gathering the collection of nearly one hundred national and international galleries, including names with worldwide reputation such as Gagosian, David Zwirner and White Cube, ArtRio is already considered abroad one of the major art fairs in Latin America.

 ArtRio will include diverse activities, such as the Panorama Program which will cover renowned galleries, with more than five years of establishment, with an active role in the art market, as well as the Solo Projects, featuring works by ten famous international artists, with the curatorship of Julieta González (who has worked for Tate Modern, the Alejandro Otero Museum of Caracas and the Whitney Museum of Nova York) and Pablo León de La Barra (art consultant, gallerist and active curator in the London market). The art fair will also feature highlights of the audiovisual production, curated by Carlos Duran, one of the Loop directors. Loop is a screen festival taking place in Barcelona.

 Lectures will take place during all days of the fair, in partnership with Casa do Saber, covering themes such as Art, Global Export; Curated Collection, Art Advisory: Focusing Brazil; etc

 Children were not forgoten and a Kids Area with art workshops for children coordinated by Daniel Azulay; Blooks Bookshop, promoting art book launches and free lectures; the Food Court (open until midnight) and intimate concerts overlooking the sea, are some of the activities available for younger ones with an appetite for art.

 Several parallel activities will occur during the fair, including ArtRio circuits around the city, enabling visitors the possibility to enhance their cultural experience.

 ArtRio 2012 can be visited from 13 to 16 September, at Mauá Pier, Warehouses 2, 3, 4 and 5, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

La Petite Escalère - International Residency Program Spring 2013

 Applications are open for La Petite Escalère's Spring 2013 residency program for international visual artists (Photographers and video artists are encouraged to apply)

 The program will last between April 30 and June 30, 2013 and will provide its residents with the opportunity to develop a specific project or pursue personal research in a unique setting and offers full accommodations, a weekly stipend and transportation to and from LPE.
 Located in the Southwest of France, on the banks of the Adour River, La Petite Escalère offers two residencies each year, one in the spring and one in the fall, each time hosting a single artist (two artists if developing a collaborative project) for a minimum of 1 week (2 for international artists) and up to 4 weeks at a time.

 Covering approximately 70 acres of marshland, meadows and wooded areas, LPE enables a close relation with nature and visual artst, naturally bringing up related artistic practices. Nonetheless, residential artists are invited to develop their own approaches and creations in an open and personal dialogue with LPE, its territory and heritage.
 No production is required at the end of the residency. Each resident is free of his/her time and work during his/her stay at LPE. But he or she agrees to dedicate half a day per week of residency to education programs, meeting and sharing with different groups around their work and experience.

 The application form must be sent by mail only and no later than October 15, 2012, together all the required documents. No reminder will be sent and no additional documents will be accepted. Incomplete applications will be discarded.

 Successful applicants will possess artistic excellence and commitment, affinity with LPE's missions and concerns. In order to facilitate the resident's stay at LPE and the outreach and education programs around his/her work,  the ability to speak French, English or Spanish is a must.

 The interview with pre-selected candidates will take place before December 15, 2012.
 A final notification will be sent no later than January 15, 2013

 Residents for the 2013 Spring Residency will be selected by LPE's Board, together with an artistic committee comprised of distinguished art professionals, artists and intellectuals.

Two categories of artists will be more specifically considered:

•On one hand emerging artists for whom such an experience would contribute to career development.
•On the other, established artists for whom LPE can offer a fresh approach to nature and sculpture.

A publication documenting the residencies and conceived in collaboration with the residents is published and distributed by LPE each year

NB: The Spring 2013 residency is limited to visual artists. Applications from other disciplines will not be accepted. For information about upcoming residencies, please check LPE's website.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Application for the Hodder Fellowship (2013–2014) at Princeton University

 Through its Lewis Center for the Arts academic unit, the Princeton University is offering the opportunity to creative people, including but not only, writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists to pursue independent projects at Princeton University during the 2013-2014 academic year.

 Successful applicants for the Hodder Fellowship, will have shown exceptional promise and "much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts"; they will be selected more "for promise than for performance."
The most successful Fellows have published a first book or have similar achievements in their own fields; the Hodder is designed to provide Fellows with the "studious leisure" to undertake significant new work.
Hodder Fellows spend an academic year at Princeton, but no formal teaching is involved. Fellowships cannot fund work leading to the Ph.D.
A 68,000 USD 10-month stipend will be provided.

Applicants should label each item submitted on-line and/or via mail with their name and genre (ex: writer/fiction, writer/playwright, visual artist, choreographer etc.).  As always, read the submission instructions carefully and according to your field, to avoid disapointment.
The submission deadline is November 1, 2012.
You need not be a U.S. citizen to apply and there's no age limit (according to information provided on the phone).

 Applications for the Hodder Fellowship/Visiting Fellow-Hodder Fellow (2013-2014 academic year) can be submited on this page.
If you need to edit your application information before applying for a position, please click on the Edit Application link on the left-hand side of margin. You will not be allowed to change your application information after you have applied for a particular position.
For a more complete information, please consult the 'jobs at Princeton' page.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Cecilia Prize: Restore Your Own Ecce Homo

 Soon after the mishap done by Cecilia Giménez when she tried to restore the Jesus Christ fresco entitled " Ecce Homo" (Behold the Man), painted by Elias Garcia Martinez over 100 years ago in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, news started spreading through the internet, provoking all sort of reactions from perplexity to merriment. There's even a petition circulating on the internet to keep the painting as it is.

 Now the BBH London creative team Viv Yapp and AK Parker, decided to create The Cecilia Prize for amateur restoration. A prize that invites you to daub away at the original painting and "restore" it to the best of your ability and creativity.

  After completing their work, the 'fixers' should tweet their masterpieces with the hashtag #ceciliaprize for a chance to win a poster of world famous Cecilia's "restored" Ecce Homo.
There is a gallery at Pinterest showing the already submited pieces.

 On this other website, you can take a photo of yourself using your webcam and be the Ecce Homo.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Mitos y Mitotes" at the Mexican Embassy in Portugal

 From 12 September through 10 November de 2012, the Mexican Embassy in Portugal, presents the collective exhibition "Mitos y Mitotes."

 In collaboration with the Colectivo Cultural Vallarta (city Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) and commissioned by Maria José Zorrilla, the exhibition gathers the artwork of 26 artists working in different mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography and sound landscape. Photos of the old and recent history of the city, accompany the exhibition and serve as support to the works presented by the artists.

 "Mitos y Mitotes" showcases the plurality evident in the cultural diversity of a city with nearly 161 years of existence, named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco. A city that differs itself from the majority of Mexican cities, it's during the 1960s and early 1970s that Puerto Vallarta starts its trajectory toward becoming a major resort destination.

 The exhibition can be visited Monday through Friday, from 9h00 to 18h00. Free admitance.

 The Mexican Embassy in Portugal is located in Lisbon, at Estrada de Monsanto, 78.