Johann Georg Edlinger, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1790.
BERLIN, GERMANY.- The Gemaeldegalerie in Berlin has announced the discovery of a painting depicting composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. According to art experts, this could be the last portrait of the composer. It was painted by the German artist Johann Georg Edlinger in 1790. Mozart died in 1791. An expert on Mozart used computer analysis to compare the painting with another painted 13 years earlier. The Gemaeldegalerie also announced the painting will go on show on January 27, the birthday of Mozart. The painting was acquired by the Gemaeldegalerie in 1934 and was recently restored. It measures 80cm by 62cm.
Dr Rainer Michaelis, the senior custodian of the art gallery, recently commissioned extensive computer analysis of the painting and asked Mozart expert Wolfgang Seiller to do the research.
Dr Rainer Michaelis said, "Mr Seiller noticed there were strong similarities between the subject of the portrait and Mozart."

Leonardo da Vinci. Mona Lisa (La Gioconda)(detail). c. 1503-1506. Oil on wood panel. 30.25 x 21" (77 x 53.5 cm). Musée du Louvre, Paris. WASHINGTON, D.C.- Research by engineer Marion Mecklenburg from the Smithsonian Institution could lead to better preservation of works of art such as the "Mona Lisa", painted on thin wood panels. Mr. Mecklenburg found that some of the techniques used to preserve paintings could harm them. The "Mona Lisa," was warping at the Louvre. Mr. Mecklenburg thinks that this was due to the preservation techniques of battens weakened the painting more than if it is allowed to bend naturally, and could lead to cracking. Mr. Meckenburg also attributed the warping to the wall behind the painting. He stated, "Water condenses behind the painting on the wall. You could spend a million dollars on an air-conditioned space, but it's the wall behind the painting, and unfortunately that wall got cold. When that happens, it's like hanging a painting on the window, which condenses when it's cold."


The book of hours, used for private devotional purposes, was the most popular book of late medieval and Renaissance Europe. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view some of the finest books of hours from the Pierpont Morgan Library, whose collection of manuscripts and printed books is among the best in the world. The exhibition features 52 manuscripts and six printed books ranging in date from the 13th through the 16th centuries produced in France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. It includes some of the greatest and most famous manuscripts in the world, including masterpieces like The Psalter-Hours of Yolande de Soissons, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, The Hours of Henry VIII, and The Farnese Hours. This exhibition is being offered during the period the Morgan Library, located in New York, is closed for renovation, making these works available for the first time to the Los Angeles public.




SAVANNAH, GA.- The Telfair today announced an exhibition presenting works by many of America’s best-known, most beloved artists. The exhibition, Strokes of Genius: Masterworks from the New Britain Museum of American Art, will be on view from January 19 through March 20 at the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, and features works by such artists as Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Louise Nevelson, Jacob Lawrence, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Frederick Frieseke, and Thomas Hart Benton. “We are pleased to be able to bring to Savannah art by such a broad selection of our country’s most admired artists,? said Diane Lesko, executive director of the Telfair, in announcing the exhibition. “The New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut is the first institution in the country to focus solely on American art, and being able to view the work of so many notable American artists will be a rare experience for Savannah residents and visitors alike.? “The exhibition represents the broad history of art in America from the 18th through the 20th centuries,? added the museum’s Curator of Fine Arts and Exhibitions, Holly Koons McCullough. “Ranging from mid-18th-century portraits by Joseph Badger to the postmodern conceptual work of Christo, the works in Strokes of Genius create a portrait of America itself. The history of our country is encapsulated in these works, from colonial portraiture reflecting British taste and traditions, to the homegrown subject matter of Midwestern Regionalism, to the breakaway aesthetic of Abstract Expressionism, sometimes considered the first truly American art movement.?

The first exhibition in ten years devoted to the Pictographs of Adolph Gottlieb (American, 1903-1974) will be on view at PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street, New York through December 31, 2004. Adolph Gottlieb: Pictographs 1941-1951, organized in conjunction with the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc., is an exhibition of over 30 oil paintings executed during that seminal decade. These works, on loan from the Foundation as well as major public collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, are reunited for the first time since 1994 when The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. organized an exhibition devoted to the series. The exhibition traveled to the Portland Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Arkansas Arts Center, Littlerock. Adolph Gottlieb: Pictographs 1941-1951, will be accompanied by a full color catalogue with an essay "Starting with Oedipus: Originality and Influence in Gottlieb's Pictographs" by Dr. Harry Cooper, Curator of Modern Art, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. Raised in New York City, Adolph Gottlieb (b. 1903, New York, NY - d. 1974, New York, NY) studied painting under John Sloan and attended lectures by Robert Henri at the Art Students League, NY (1920); he also attended sketch classes at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris and continued his studies in New York at Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union, and the Educational Alliance Art School. Gottlieb participated in his first group exhibition in 1926 and had his first solo show at Dudensing Galleries in New York City in 1930. Early in his career, Gottlieb became a founding member of "The Ten," a group of artists devoted to Expressionist and Abstract painting, and he began friendships with Milton Avery, Barnet Newman and David Smith. Gottlieb was also a founding member of "The New York Artist Painters," a group of abstract painters established in 1943 including Mark Rothko, John Graham and George Constant. That same year, Gottlieb co-authored a letter with Rothko published in The New York Times which was the first formal statement of concerns of the Abstract Expressionist artists.

TOKYO, JAPAN.- The Mori Art Museum presents Archilab: "New Experiments in Architecture, Art and the City, 1950-2005.? The exhibition examines for the first time ever in Japan those radical and visionary approaches to building design and urban planning that, since World War II, have changed the way we think about and use the city. Organized by the Mori Art Museum and the FRAC Centre, Orléans, Archilab features highlights from the collections of the FRAC Centre and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. In more than 220 projects by 90 architects and artists, Archilab revisits urban utopias from the 1950s, analyzes deconstructionist works from the 1980s, addresses the influence of new technology in the 1990s and reflects on the future direction of the current avant-garde. The models and drawings are shown in four sections corresponding loosely to different decades and concerns: The Pulsating City, The Endless City, The Deconstructed City, and The Contextualized City. Curators: Marie-Ange Brayer (Director, FRAC Centre, Orléans, France), Frédéric Migayrou (Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Centre Pompidou in Paris) and Nanjo Fumio (Deputy Director, Mori Art Museum).

Bezalel and Ancient Israel, Diaspora, "Golden Age" in Lithuania, Renaissance of Jewish Art, Holocaust and modern times.       Jewish contributions to mankind are enormous, especially from a cultural point of view. They gave us a concept of G-d [monotheism] and clear-cut standards of law [ten commandments]. Although these values are collectively understood as the Judeo-Christian ethic, the scope of their influence extends far beyond Christians and Jews.         Because Hebrew was weak on abstractions, Biblical verbiage was set in concrete terms, with numerous personifications. Bezalel personified art. The name means "standing in the shadow of G-d." According to Exodus 31:1-11, G-d gave him the intelligence, wisdom and skill "to create marvelous articles." Bezalel became an architect, sculptor and designer of holy garments. He was the first Jewish artist on record, known for making the Tabernacle that contained the Ark of the Covenant. [Boris Schatz, a sculptor from Lithuania, came to Jerusalem in 1903 and founded the Bezalel School of Art, completing the circle between the original master and modern members of the tribe.]       Recognized objects of Judaic art date back to the dawn of history, even before the "common era." Only a few survived the attrition of time. Among them were beautifully illustrated manuscripts, mosaics of Beth Alpha [Israel] and segments of Duro-Europos [Syria], the ruins of an ancient synagogue. After the Babylonian Captivity, however, cultural advancement would slow down or come to a stop, as Jews became scattered throughout the globe [Diaspora], meandering through centuries of exile, wandering and persecutions. In the European ghetto it was illegal for Jews to engage in art.

NEW YORK—It sounds crazy: The Metropolitan Museum reportedly paid around $45 million for a little-known painting of the Madonna and Child that could fit on a magazine’s cover. But the precious little tempera-and-gold panel is by Duccio di Buoninsegna (c. 1255–1319), a Siennese master revered by many scholars and connoisseurs for having changed the course of art history. Like his Florentine contemporary Giotto di Bondone, Duccio added a touch of realism and emotion to the stiff Byzantine imagery then standard for Christian altarpieces. In doing so, he helped pave the way toward the Renaissance and became a must-have for any museum that aspires to relate the entire history of art. Surviving examples of his work are extremely rare outside Siena, and this one—with its naturalistic foreground parapet and touchingly observed relationship of mother and child—has all the hallmarks of Duccio’s innovations. Known as the “Stoclet-Stroganoff Madonna? after its previous owners, the piece was sold by a European collector through Christie’s London a few months ago. Neither the Getty nor the Louvre mustered the funds to compete with the Met, which paid more for this prize than it ever has before for a single object. —Jason Edward Kaufman

The world’s richest charity spent £2.5 million on the arts last year The Wellcome Trust, the world’s largest charity, has announced plans for a £20 million public centre for science and the arts. It will be housed in the trust’s original 1930s headquarters at 183 Euston Road, in a conversion which is being designed by Hopkins Architects. Opening in autumn 2006, the new centre will have two permanent galleries for material from the Wellcome collection, plus a gallery for changing displays. Meanwhile, the Wellcome Trust has just moved its main offices down the road to a new building at 215 Euston Road. On his death in 1936, Sir Henry Wellcome left his pharmaceutical company and personal collection to a charity. The Wellcome company was sold off by the trust in 1986, later merging with Glaxo and then again with SmithKline. This left the charity with an enormous endowment, which now exceeds £10 billion. It currently disburses around £400 million ($740 million) a year in grants. Everything about Wellcome is massive. Sir Henry’s collection comprised over 1 million objects, broadly relating to medicine and society. Most of the art still remains with the trust, but 100,000 objects are on long-term loan to the Science Museum, 30,000 to the British Museum and a huge number have been dispersed elsewhere. The Wellcome Trust’s main purpose is to fund research on human and animal health, but it also promotes medical science as an intrinsic part of culture and society—and hence its interest in the arts. Expenditure on arts and museums last year was around £2.5 million. Projects include “Medicine in context? exhibitions at the Science Museum and Sciart (science & art) awards. Last year the trust also funded the “Medicine Man? show at the British Museum and selections from Wellcome’s Asian collection were recently on show in “Body Mind Spirit? at the Brunei Gallery at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

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Pause For Thought

Nathan on Irrationality

"Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness."