The remains of a man and two children in the necropolis of an ancient town near the town of Provadia, some 410 km (255 miles) northeast of Sofia, A team of scientists led by Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Vassil Nikolov has uncovered the settlement which is dated back to 4,700-4,200 B.C., in the vicinity of a salt production centre, which was the source of prosperity of the region in the pre-historic period. These are the remains of the most ancient town unearthed in Europe, according to Nikolov. AP Photo/ Handout Bulgarian National Institute of Archeology/ V. Nikolov.
By: Veselin Toshikov, Associated Press
SOFIA (AP).- A prehistoric town unearthed in eastern Bulgaria is the oldest urban settlement found to date in Europe, a Bulgarian archaeologist said Thursday. Vasil Nikolov, a professor from Bulgaria's National Institute of Archaeology, said the stone walls excavated by his team near the town of Provadia are estimated to date between 4,700 and 4,200 B.C. He said the walls, which are 3 meters (6 feet) high and 2 meters (4 ½ feet) thick, are believed to be the earliest and most massive fortifications from Europe's prehistory. "We started excavation work in 2005, but only after this archaeological season did we gathered enough evidence to back up this claim," Nikolov told The Associated Press. The team has so far unearthed remains of a settlement of two-story houses with a diameter of about 100 meters (328 feet) encircled by a fortified wall . Excavations have also uncovered a series of pits used for rituals as well as parts of a gate. Carbon analysis has dated them to the Chalcoli ... More
The Best Photos of the Day
MEDELLIN.- A promoter shows one of the 100,000 bottles designed by renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero for the Liquor Company of Antioquia ?FLA?, in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia on November 1, 2012. Botero has turned his talents to liquor, designing a bottle and label for an aged rum, with 80 percent of the proceeds pledged to Medellin?s museums. Fabrica de Licores de Atioquia is making 100,000 bottles of the Botero Rum special reserve, each priced at between 80,000 and 90,000 pesos (or between $45 and $50). The bottle is voluptuous and somewhat asymmetrical -- like the figures Botero has become famous depicting. AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDA.
NEW YORK, NY.-Blain|Di Donna announced their exhibition, Jean Arp, A Collection of Wood Reliefs and Collages, on view November 1 through December 11, 2012. The core of this whimsical and colorful exhibition is a collection of unique painted wood reliefs and collages by Jean Arp coming on public view for the first time in America. This group of works demonstrates the importance of the interplay between form and color for Jean Arp throughout his life, as well as the developmental nature of the works' physicalityfrom the streamlined surfaces of his paper collages to the heightened sculptural dimensionality of the wood reliefs. Arp and the print publisher Louis Broder collaborated on many projects and publications, beginning in 1957. Their most ambitious was an album published in 1966 titled Le Soleil recerlé (The Re-circled or Re-ringed Sun). Arp created the paper collages in this exhibition as a prerequisite fo ... More
Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955), Portrait of Mademoiselle Podbelskaya. Oil on canvas, 80.7 x 77.5 cm. Estimate: £800,000 1,200,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.
LONDON.-Christie's continues to celebrate its 40th anniversary of Russian Art Sales, which first began in 1972. On 26 November, Christie's auction of Important Russian Art will offer 415 works of art, ranging from evocative views of the Russian landscape and sensual portraits, to examples of the finest craftsmanship, with over 60 works by Fabergé. The sale also features a particularly strong group of militaria, and focuses on important and imperial provenance. The Auction will be highlighted by an exciting rediscovery; an exquisite portrait by Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955), unseen in public since 1913 (estimate: £800,000-1,200,000). A renowned and versatile artist, Nicolai Fechin, was an outstanding master of portraiture. While he painted many significant works following his emigration to America, Fechin's 'Russian period' (1910-1923) is particularly prized among international collectors and ... More
A reproduction of French painter Claude Monet's masterpiece entitled "Poppy Field near Vetheuil". AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI/ BUEHLRE COLLECTION FOUNDATION.
GENEVA (AFP).- The grandson of a wealthy Jewish businessman is demanding that a Swiss foundation return a Monet masterpiece that the family was forced to sell for a fraction of its value as they fled Europe during World War II, a Swiss newspaper reported Wednesday. Juan Carlos Emden, the Chilean grandson of Max Emden who bought French master Claude Monet's "Poppy Field near Vetheuil" in the 1920s, is seeking to recover the painting from the Swiss Buehlre collection, the Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) reported. Max Emden was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 for Ticino in Switzerland, where he built the Villa Emden to house his large art collection, including "Poppy Field near Vetheuil", one of Monet's most famous paintings. After his death in 1940, his only son Hans Erich Emden was forced to sell his father's art collection in haste to finance his trip fleeing Europe for South America. He sold the Monet for just 30,000 Swiss francs to a Jewish German merchant, who in turn sold it ... More
Photographers take pictures of the painting "Odalisque in Red Pants" by French painter Henri Matisse. AFP PHOTO / Felix Gerardi.
MIAMI (AFP).- A Cuban American man and a Mexican woman pleaded guilty in Miami Wednesday to trying to sell a $3 million Henri Matisse painting that vanished from a Venezuelan museum a decade ago, authorities said. Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman, a 46-year-old resident of Miami, and Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo of Mexico City earlier denied in court that they conspired to transport and sell "Odalisque in Red Pants" but then changed their story, prosecutors said. Marcuello Guzman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and sell stolen property, interstate transportation of stolen property and possession of stolen property, said US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer. Ornelas Lazo, 50, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and sell stolen property. Marcuello Guzman could face up to 10 years in jail and Ornelas Lazo as many as five. The two were scheduled to be sentenced January 22. Venezuelan ... More
File photo of Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo walking between the installation 'We the people (detail)' (2011), a replica of New York's Statue of Liberty. AP Photo/Jens Meyer.
NEW YORK, NY.- HUGO BOSS announces that artist Danh Vo has been awarded the HUGO BOSS Prize for 2012. Established in 1996, the HUGO BOSS Prize has become a significant forum for recognizing achievement in contemporary art. HUGO BOSS is pleased to continue its close relationship with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and confer this award to Danh Vo as its ninth recipient. Innovation and creativity are the sole criteria when determining the recipient. There are no restrictions in terms of age, gender, nationality, or artistic media. The prize carries an award of $100,000 and is administered by the Guggenheim Foundation. An exhibition of Vo's work will be on view at the Guggenheim Museum in spring 2013. "HUGO BOSS is honored to continue to work with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation to recognize outstanding achievement ... More
FRANKFURT.- From November 1, 2012 to February 3, 2013 the Schirn is presenting numerous contemporary artworks with a view to exploring the topic of the disappearing private sphere and the "public nature of the intimate". Privacy today this almost seems like a concept from the past. It hardly appears apt in times when everything is posted on Facebook, from your favorite recipe to your current relationship status. Exhibitionism, self-revelation, the urge to tell stories, the pleasure of presenting and voyeurism are the social strategies of our day and age a structural change of the public sphere has long since taken place. Showcasing around 30 artistic positions, the extensive group show "Privacy" impressively explores the fragile boundaries between the public and the private sphere. Photographs, Polaroids, cell-phone photos, objects, installations and films show domestic scenes and reveal personal secrets. Familiar and intimate things are vi ... More
CHICAGO, IL.- Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, announced the extraordinary gift of $10 million from longtime supporters Helen and Sam Zell on behalf of the Zell Family Foundation to create The Zell Fund for Artistic Excellence. "Helen and Sam Zell are visionary philanthropists whose passion and commitment to the arts is beyond measure," said Madeleine Grynsztejn. "We are extremely grateful for this generous gift which will help support key Vision initiatives to position the MCA as a pre-eminent contemporary art museum. As a Trustee and mentor, Helen has been an inspiring force over the course of the MCA's history, and we have all benefited from her intelligence and guidance." "This is a watershed moment for the MCA," said King Harris, Chair of the MCA Board of Trustees. "The Zell Fund for Artistic Excellence will empower the museum to reach new heights in programming and en ... More
AKRON, OH.- Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor offers a look at a largely uncharted aspect of the career of one of the most highly influential thinkers and artists of the 20th century. This exhibition pairs Gottlieb's little-known sculptures with late-career paintings that illustrate his interest in gravity, suspension and motion. A first-generation abstract expressionist painter, Adolph Gottlieb made art that was central to the development of mid-twentieth century painting in America. Gottlieb was one of the few among his colleagues to create both two- and three-dimensional works, and his sculpture is has rarely been seen in the United States. Born in New York City, he left high school to study art in France and Germany. Upon his return in 1924, he attended classes at the Art Students League. Gottlieb came of age at a time when ... More
Woman's "victory print" dress, 1945. Rayon crepe. Center back: 45 x 42 in. Bust 46 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf, 2011.2390.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL.- When the British government produced the poster "Keep Calm and Carry On" in 1939, it was a rallying cry for the public, and a demonstration of a new collaboration between the government and the creative class. The Norton Museum of Art opens its special exhibition season exploring the ways in which artists, designers, architects, and filmmakers in Great Britain bolstered a nation and helped win the war on the home front. Keep Calm and Carry On: World War II and the British Home Front, 1938-1951, opens Nov. 1, 2012 and runs through Jan. 20, 2013. (Companion programming includes the four-part series, Keep Calm and Carry On: British Films with Scott Eyman. Eyman, literary critic and arts writer for The Palm Beach Post, is a noted film historian and author.) ... More
Italian architect and designer Gae Aulenti is seen in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007. AP Photo/Luca Bruno.
ROME (AFP).- World-renowned Italian architect Gae Aulenti, whose creations include the transformed Musee d'Orsay in Paris, has died at her home in Milan at the age of 84, her family said Thursday. Aulenti, who had been ill for some time, had made her last public appearance only two weeks ago to receive an award in recognition of her life's work. "My mother had been ill for a long time but she resisted as best she could," her daughter Giovanna told La Repubblica newpaper, announcing Aulenti's death on Wednesday. Among her large-scale museum projects, Aulenti transformed the former Parisian railway station into the Musee d'Orsay in the 1980s and refurbished the contemporary art gallery at the Pompidou Centre in the French capital. Born in December 1927, Aulenti was one of the few women designers in the post-war period in Italy. She also worked as a stylist ... More
Sabiha is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts in Islamic art.
DALLAS, TX.- Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, today announced the appointment of Sabiha Al Khemir, the founding director of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, as the Museum's first Senior Advisor of Islamic Art. The appointment, effective immediately, is for a three-year term during which Dr. Al Khemir will support Anderson and senior staff in building partnerships with art institutions across the globe. Al Khemir, an internationally known authority on Islamic art from the 7th century through the present, will work with the DMA to enhance the presence of Islamic art within its exhibitions and collections and promote the exchange of Islamic works between the Museum and other participating institutions. "Sabiha is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts in Islamic art, having worked with the Met, the Louvre, and the British Museum, i ... More
Dr Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, poses with Nicolas Poussin's (1594 1665) Extreme Unction. Photo: National Gallery.
CAMBRIDGE.- A campaign by the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Art Fund to raise £3.9m to enable the museum to acquire Nicolas Poussin's masterpiece Extreme Unction (c. 1638-40) has reached a successful conclusion with the help of a substantial grant of £3,021,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the acquisition and outreach work, and almost £1m in donations from members of the public and charitable organisations. Supporters of the Fitzwilliam Museum gave a total of £692,000 including significant funds from Friends of the Fitzwilliam. As well as giving a grant of £100,000, the Art Fund also raised funds through contributions from nearly 3,000 members, bringing in an additional £142,000. The Museum and the Art Fund are grateful for the support of a number of trusts and foundations. These hugely generous donations and grants mean that the ... More
Contemporary Chinese seals by Li Lanqing on view at the British Museum LONDON.- This exhibition of contemporary Chinese seals by statesman-turned-artist, Li Lanqing, is the first to focus on this significant art form that has been under appreciatiated in the West. The exhibition features over 100 exceptional carved seals and two works of brush-written calligraphy by Li Lanqing, who has revived and updated the traditional art of seal carving. These objects are displayed in the Sir Joseph E. Hotung Gallery, which houses some of the best examples of Chinese art from across all ages, creating a special resonance by situating the contemporary seals within a historic context. Li Lanqing (b.1932) is a prolific seal carver and calligrapher, who previously served as Vice Premier of the State Council of China from 1993 to 2003. Since his retirement in 2003, Mr Li has worked to transform seal carving by bringing a new focus on modern themes, including ... More
Christie's Hong Kong announces Magnificent Jewels Autumn 2012 Auction on November 27 HONG KONG.-Christie's Hong Kong will present its autumn sale of Magnificent Jewels on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. With a pre-sale estimate of approximately HK$580 million/US$70 million, this season's sale will present collectors with a diverse selection of over 300 jewels in line with current collecting tastes. Highlights extend to a Burmese pigeon's blood ruby and diamond necklace by James W. Currens, an assortment of diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires from the world's legendary mines, and natural seawater pearls and jadeite jewellery, exhibiting a level of quality seldom available for sale. Also on offer is a collection of contemporary creations from select international jewellery designers. Leading the sale is a strand of Burmese no heat pigeon's blood ruby and diamond necklace, and a pair of oval-shaped Burmese no heat ... More
A satirical archaeology of the Royal Academy Collections and Library by Mark Hampson LONDON.- Almost Real Art: A Satirical Archaeology of the RA Collections and Library by Mark Hampson opened in the Tennant Gallery this November. Since 2010, Mark Hampson has been working 'in residence' at the Royal Academy and from his studio in Kent on a collaboration with the RA Collections, Library and Archives. Exploring the RA's holdings during this two-year period, he has created a satirically inspired 'archaeological' response to its complexities of information and histories. The resulting work exploits and distorts the 'official' biography of the RA. By corrupting the apparent facts, he produces newly imagined narratives that are rooted in the lives and works of some of the great artists who have been connected with the Academy. The exhibition contains a series of mock-historical artworks combining image and text, made by Hampson with commercial sign-makers, which ... More
Scandalous love letter from Nelson to his mistress on sale at Bonhams LONDON.- A lasting piece of evidence of the affair between Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton is for sale with Bonhams in Knightsbridge, on 13th November. In the letter, Nelson documents the turbulent love life between himself and his mistress, referring to a disagreement from the previous evening. He takes care to note his devotion to her and vows to defend her integrity amidst the scandal. At the time the letter has been roughly dated, Emma had given birth to their child and their affair was public. Despite Nelson's wife's demands, he refused to relinquish Emma as his mistress and eventually he left his wife. In the 19th Century, this was an unthinkable social affront and he aggravated the scandal further by choosing to live with Emma and their daughter upon his return from sea. During the scandal, Nelson urged Emma to destroy the letters sent between them, as he largely ... More
Maritime paintings and ship models bring $1.4+ million in Heritage Auctions Annapolis event ANNAPOLIS.- James Edward Butterworth's oil United States, from the MBNA Collection of Maritime Art & Ship Models, brought $68,500 to lead Heritage Auction's Oct. 27 Maritime & Ship Models Signature® Auction. The auction's 323 lots enjoyed a 99% sell-through rate to realize $1.4 million, exceeding the high estimate. Of the almost 500 participants, nearly a fifth attended the auction in person at the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The collection, managed by Nicholas Dawes, Vice President of Special Collections, was considered 'a comprehensive look at the best maritime art has to offer.' "We are thrilled with the results," Dawes said. "Exhibiting this grouping during the Annapolis Boat Show and holding the sale at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium set the stage for success: The venues appealed to passionate bidders and perfectly accentuated this unique collection, ... More
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to sell Andy Warhol's Cartier wristwatch CHICAGO, IL.- On November 8, 2012, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will sell Andy Warhol's personal timepiece, an 18 karat yellow gold Cartier Tank Solo with a black crocodile strap. The watch, estimated at $1,500/2,500, is part of the house's auction of Property from the Estate of David Stickelber of Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Stickelber acquired the timepiece at the 1988 Sotheby's auction of The Andy Warhol Collection. Warhol's six-story Manhattan townhouse confirmed what many of his close friends already knew: he was a legendary hoarder. The ten-day auction of the contents of the home included everything from Jean Emile Puiforcat silver and Pierre Legrain console tables to bags of costume jewelry and cookie jars, many of which had never been unpacked after Warhol's move to the house in 1974. Mr. Stickelber displayed the watch in an illuminated shadow box frame with a copy of the ... More