News and Writing on Art and Art History | Jan 25 2013

Art and Art History News and Writing | Jan 25 2013

Katrina Grant

Charles Le Brun's rediscovered "The Sacrifice of Polyxena."

Ben Eltham in Crikey with good news for people in, or aspiring to, the creative industries. ‘New census data on Australia’s cultural and creative industries allows us to peer inside a dynamic sector for the first time in five years. And the news is generally good… Australia’s creative and cultural employment is growing faster than employment in the rest of the economy.’

A new blog called the ‘Grumpy Art Historian’ has some interesting musings on bad acquisitions.

The Ritz has discovered they own a Charles Le Brun painting of ‘The Sacrifice of Polyxena’ and plan to sell it at Christies.

The Art Gallery of South Australia has announced a rehang (pdf) of their European collection. they have moved away from the traditional chronological hang to a thematic one. The release states that ‘each room in the refurbished wing embodies a distinctive thematic idea which relates to the world in which we live.’ The rehang will be interesting to see, thematic hangs can be good but they can also fall a bit flat, with works taken out of context to make a single point about ‘death’ or ‘love’.

Roy Strong has criticised English museums for being too safe, saying ‘”There’s a real fear of being controversial beyond certain [contemporary] works of art and what I call the Britart scene… ‘ An interesting idea that only contemporary art is allowed to be controversial while ‘old’ art is confined to what is popular with the broader public. Although aimed at UK institutions Strong’s comments have a relevance here as our galleries and museums bring out a lot of shows from the V&A, which suggests that maybe some of our galleries defer to safe exhibitions about ‘glamour and money’ too.

This article on whether art history is just for the elite has done the rounds a bit already but I couldn’t resist including it, along with some responses from Bendor Grosvenor here and here.

The Louvre has opened new galleries dedicated to Islamic Art, which ‘places arts from the Islamic world on a par with those from the museum’s seven other departments.’

Erwin Panofsky’s thesis titled “The Creative Principles of Michelangelo, particularly in relation to those of Raphael”  written during the 1920s but never published is now to be published after it was rediscovered in Munich’s Central Institute for Art History last year.

Earlier in January the National Gallery in London gained another Titian with the new attribution of a potrato of Girolamo Fracastoro, for years kept in storage, but not everyone is convinced, see other opinions on the Grumpy Art Historian and Art History Today

The BBC reports that three people have been arrested in Romania for the theft of paintings from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal Museum last year, the theft included a Monet, Picasso, a Matisse and a Freud. Unfortunately the paintings have not yet been found.

Turkey has been accused of blackmailing museums around the world for the return of works by threatening to cut access to archaeological sites. The museums argue that the works requested were obtained legally and they are under no obligation to return them.

Online resources | A few new online resources

The Walpole Society’s British Art History Resources

A free online Palaeography course for scholars

 Cambridge Digital Library has put thousand of ancient religious texts online

The Vatican has created a database of art and artefacts in Italian churches - database link here


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