The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Standing Rock, 28 October 2016
Over 1,200 museum directors and curators, archaeologists, anthropologists, researchers and experts have signed a petition to stop the construction of a pipeline in Dakota on ancestral Amerindian land. Decorated in 2014 by the American Medal of Freedom, Suzan Shown Harjo, from the Cheyenne and Muscogee tribes, also declared that this pipeline “violated existing religious freedom, cultural rights, historic, environmental, and archaeological laws by failing to consult with the Standing Rock and other Sioux nations, and most recently by denying descendants access to the sacred place and enforcing the ban with attack dogs and other weapons (…). Native people and supporters urge official actions to stop this shameful project permanently.”
New York, 18 October 2016
On 22 September, in New York, three dealers from the Metropolitan Fine Arts and Antiques gallery were arrested for the unauthorised sale of ivory pieces, paying no heed to a 2014 law to limit the ivory market. Representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found in the gallery 126 objects valued at $4.5 million. The operation was initially devoted to the search for a $2,000 statuette sculpted from mammoth ivory.
Paris, 18 March 2016
Christie’s has entrusted its African and Oceanic Art department in Europe to Bruno Claessens.
After growing up in Antwerp, Belgium, Bruno Claessens worked as a researcher into African art at Yale University’s Van Rijn Archives. Having published widely in the domain, he is preparing a new book, Baule Monkeys, to be published this year by Fonds Mercator. The work of Bruno Claessens is notably publicised by his blog on African arts.
Working between Paris and Brussels, Bruno Claessens will be collaborating with Susan Kloman, the department’s global director, and consultant Pierre Amrouche. His appointment is expected to inject new dynamism into the department while keeping up the fine sales results established in Paris. On the occasion of the TEFAF, the department is putting together an upper-end selection, to be placed on sale in New York on 12 May.
Paris, 7 January 2016
In 1990, the American professor Joseph Nye developed, in his book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, the idea of “soft power”. Used in the field of international relations, this concept describes the ability of a political actor to influence indirectly – by means of structural, cultural or ideological – and without coercion, the behaviour of other actors.
Twenty-five years later, Gail Dexter Lord -co-founder and co-president of Lord Cultural Resources– and Ngaire Blankenberg – senior consultant at Lord Cultural Resources -proposed an update of the concept of soft power, by operating in particular a displacement of its scope (Cities, Museums and Soft Power, The AAM Press, 2015). Art Media Agency met Gail Dexter Lord for more information.
Soft power means the will and ability to influence people and cause behaviour through peaceful and cultural means. It is opposed to hard power, more coercive.
Today, we think that it is [.../...]See more
Paris, 5 January 2016
Fraud, money laundering, trafficking in cultural property, tax optimization, artificial increases of prices, confidentiality and anonymity… many dangerous hurdles, attributed to the art market, that for many elude to rules that have become an imperative necessity. Among the scandals involving diverse spheres of personalities and perplexed records in auction sales, we can equally cite a loss in standardisation and harmonization in the legal international disposals and especially the specificities of a lost market by subjectivity – justifying an irregularity and exaggeration of prices. The whole thing is encircled by an opaqueness and rigour silence. So which solutions are implemented today, for more clarity on the market that condenses as many singular facts?
The unexplored darkness of the tired and shaking art market
The USA Today, after the success of the autumn sales in New York, headlined: “Has art become a criminal enterprise?” Soaring prices, sometimes verging on irrational, leaves some [.../...]See more
Dallas, 25 September 2015
On 25 September 2015, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has celebrated the public opening of its new third-floor Arts of Africa Gallery.
The museum’s Arts of Africa gallery is the first major redesign in nearly twenty years and the new space will feature more than 170 works from the museum’s African art collection. “The opening of the new Arts of Africa gallery offers a fresh perspective on the DMA’s exemplary collection,” said Maxwell Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director. “We are excited to present several works that have been recently acquired or off view for some time, and to welcome a broad public to learn about the rich heritage of sub-Saharan Africa.” The collection features art from the Songye and Luba cultures in Central Africa and the Yoruba and Edo (Benin kingdom) in West Africa.
Representing and revealing the extraordinary diversity of sub-Saharan cultures and visual traditions, the gallery is installed in fived sections according to the themes of the art of [.../...]See more
Luanda, 22 August, 2015
Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo is launching a vast campaign to return works stolen in Africa during the colonial period.
To carry out this endeavor, the Sindika Dokolo Foundation in Louanda, Angola, has called upon a team of specialists to discover works that were pilfered during colonisation in private collections and auctions. Where applicable, the owner is asked to resell the work to the foundation at their purchase price or be sued for theft. In this regard, Sindika Dokolo told the New York Times: “There are works that disappeared from Africa and are now circulating on the world market based on obvious lies about how they got there.” This radical position has certainly stirred up opposition. Interviewed by Art Media Agency, Belgian tribal art dealer Pierre Loos expressed his reservations on the query, “Shouldn’t all the Picasso’s be in Spain? […] Returning to the logic of restitution is to open Pandora’s box. Those who profit are not art lovers, but those [.../...]See more
Denver, 24 July 2015
On 13 July 2015, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in Colorado, United States, announced the nomination of Tianlong Jiao as curator of the Asian art department.
After ten years of experience working in various museums, Jiao is joining the DAM. He previously worked as chief curator at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and also as Chairman of the Bishop Museum’s Anthropology department in Honolulu, Hawaii. Just before joining the DAM, Jiao worked at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, as curator of the Chinese art collection since September 2014. In the past, he has organised international travelling exhibitions which were hosted by museums including the National Palace Museum, in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Nanjing Museum, in China. Tianlong Jiao will join the staff at DAM in September 2015, where he will continue the museum’s commitment to bringing international exhibitions to Denver. “The scholarly depth of his experience with Asian art is impressive, and he will bring a new lens to [.../...]See more
Paris 16 July 2015
Jérôme Bastianelli was appointed Managing Director of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, where he will take office beginning 13 July 2015.
Jérôme Bastianelli succeeds Mouttalib Karim, Deputy CEO of the Quai Branly Museum since 2009, this year named General Director of the Louvre Museum. He has occupied, since 2009, the functions of assistant Director General Deputy Delegate of the Quai Branly Museum, under Stéphane Martin’s presidency. Inaugurated in 2006, the museum of arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, is one of the most visited museums in the world in its category, with around 1.5 million visitors a year.
A former student of the Ecole Polytechnique, Jérôme Bastianelli was posted in the Ministry of Transport from 1996 to 2006. He was also a reporter at the 7th Chamber of the Court of Auditors from 2006 to 2009, as well as the leader of the external audit United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Paris, 15 May 2015
In 1920, many artists in Western Europe harboured a deep contempt for materialist bourgeois society and its arrogant faith in science and technology, a society which, since the First World War, the Dada movement had aimed to disturb with their provocative works. In 1920, however, new means of expression were being developed, and non-European objects had become increasingly common. More than 30 years prior to this, Gauguin had turned towards traditional Oceanian cultures to find the necessary resources for the new means of expression that he wanted to develop, starting by acquiring two Minkissi statuettes from the Congo, which he displayed at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1889. A little later, in the 1900s, Picasso became inspired by traditional Congolese art, particularly for his Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). Unlike Western tradition, the so-called “primitive” artists attempted neither to reproduce nature, nor ideal beauty, offering an alternative to the Western tradition that was in crisis [.../...]See more