The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 3 September 2017
To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Musée Barbier-Mueller, the Biennale Paris is welcoming a selection of 130 works from this Swiss family’s personal collections. An opportunity to retrace a passion and a saga.
For the Barbier-Muellers, collecting is part of the family history… It started off with the grandfather, Josef Mueller, then continued with the mother, Monique, the father, Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, and today the three sons, Gabriel, Stéphane, Thierry, as well as Diane, one of the granddaughters. Four generations of collectors that the Biennale Paris has chosen to honour through a selection of works from their collection, some of which have never been unveiled to the public. “The idea was to set up a dialogue between major pieces from four generations of collectors with very different tastes by recreating the atmosphere of Josef Mueller’s apartment, where modern paintings stood alongside primitive-art objects,” is the way that Laurence Mattet, director of the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Geneva, puts it. Sculptures and [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 September 2017
A.d.M.: First of all, the fact that it’s gathered very coherent sets of objects, as precious as they’re simple. The archaeological bronzes of the Vietnamese Dông Son civilisation comes to mind, but also the African chairs, a legacy of Josef Mueller that Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller took care to add to. It’s also a universal collection which gathers objects from Africa as well as Oceania or Indonesia. Not forgetting its Pre-Columbian art objects which comprise a key collection. It’s also exceptional for the rarity of certain pieces that are listed nowhere else… and for the beauty that unites all the objects.
A.d.M.: For his eye that was so unique and accurate… and his great erudition. Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller was a cultivated man who left nothing to chance. When he started up a collection, he invested in it entirely. He studied every object, consulted the best ethnologists and historians. He [.../...]See more
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, 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
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
Paris, 2 March 2015
Self-proclaimed “painter, sculptor, performer, who is constantly anxious yet fascinated by being ‘there’ without any understanding…” Olivier de Sagazan is a philosophical artist who takes his inspiration from Africa, where he was born, staging performances of terrifying dances which reflect his constant preoccupation with the meaning of life. AMA spoke to him and delved into the worrying world of this astonishing artist.
O. S.: After my MA in biology, I had the chance to go to Cameroon for two years. These years really saved me, allowing me to take a step back and return to my roots: Africa, where I was born. Just before I left, I discovered, by looking at a Rembrandt painting, another amazing way of questioning life. Coming back, I spent a year locked up working on a comic strip, Ipsul ou la rupture du cercle, and then I immersed myself in painting and sculpture. Performance was something I worked on later, as a [.../...]See more
Boston, 1 May 2014
The Curator’s Eye has announced a selection of tribal and ethnographic art which can now be found online.
The site presents pieces from different origins: African, Native American, Oceanian and pre-Columbian. Amongst notable lots are: a Marquesas Island Club (1700-1830), adorned with a sculpted head of a Tiki (image of a Polynesian god), as well as a Nañaka (1770-1830) — a woman’s ceremonial overskirt exclusively woven by the Aymara women in the town of Toropalca, Bolivia. For lovers of African art, there is a Stylistically Dynamic Zoomorphic “Suruku” mask (1890-1920) also to be presented on the site.
The addition of tribal and ethnographic pieces to the online platform coincides with the final preparations currently underway for the New York Tribal Art Week, to take place in May.