artappreciation Newsletter

Art Appreciation

August 14 2009 Art Appreciation Newsletter

Art makes history every day. New artists are born, new works exhibited, and new galleries open. But art makes history today even for artists who are long gone. This week has been a busy one for new stories involving art history.

In Paris, an obviously frustrated Russian-born woman threw a ceramic teacup at the much revered painting, the Mona Lisa, as it hung in the Louvre. The painting was unharmed, protected by a bulletproof glass barrier, and citizenship is said to be the source of the angry woman’s frustrations. She’d applied for French citizenship but her request had been denied.

Also making news this week is the late painter, Mark Rothko. Big-time financier and crony to Bernie Madoff, J. Ezra Merkin had amassed an impressive collection of Rothko paintings, which sold for $310 million this week. Merkin is under investigation by Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General, and all Merkin assets have been frozen. This sale was allowed to proceed, however, as a means of finding money to repay investors who got burned in Madoff’s record-breaking Ponzi scheme. Read more about Mark Rothko in my latest Art History article:

Rothko Sale Recoups Madoff Losses
Mark Rothko paintings sell for $310 million. The collection was owned by a hedge-fund financier under investigation for ties to Bernie Madoff. Proceeds will help recoup investor losses in this largest-ever Ponzi scheme.

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Sandy Hemphill, Art History Editor

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