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‘Selling everything but the wallpaper’—auction reopens old wounds over Barnes legacy

Albert C. Barnes left an indenture of trust banning sales of works from his collection
Courtesy of A..

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Albert C. Barnes left an indenture of trust banning sales of works from his collection
Courtesy of AF archive/AlamY

While the Barnes Foundation continues a $100m funding campaign towards its centenary celebrations in 2022, two smaller transactions—a $98,000 auction of objects and a $100 lease of its former suburban headquarters for 30 years—raise questions about the institutions commitment to the legacy of its founder, Albert C. Barnes.

The foundation made waves in 1990 when its president proposed selling off Post-Impressionist paintings from its collection in defiance of the rigorous instructions left by Barnes before his death in 1951. This indenture of trust banned sales of works, any changes to the unique displays and even colour reproductions of the art. It also stipulated that the collection must limit public admission to Saturdays and be open “exclusively” for students during the week.

The Montgomery County Orphans Court overruled the indenture in 2004, permitting the Barness controversial move in 2012 from its original home in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, to a new $150m building in downtown Philadelphia, open to the public six days a week.

In March this year, the Pook & Pook auction house in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, offered 156 lots of around 430 objects that had belonged to Barnes and his wife Laura. The lots included furniture, clocks, textiles and porcelain objects, and hammered at $98,000 in total. One attendee dismisses the items as minor material—“the cleaning out of an office”. There was a “hush-hush atmosphere”, she says. “I think theyre worried its going to get out that theyre selling everything but the wallpaper.”

The Barnes Foundation left its original home in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, in 2012 after a protracted court battle
© Dmadeo

Personal effects

The foundation issued no press release about the sale, which was publicised by the online auction platform Bidsquare, and no catalogue was published.

“Its not what [Barnes] wanted,” says a former student of the art education programme in Merion, who bought some objects at the sale. However, a spokeswoman for the foundation says: “These items were not part of the Barnes collection; they were personal items which Albert Barnes specified should be sold after his death and that of his wife. It is unclear why this did not happen 50 years ago.” She adds that other minor objects, such as doilies, were sold through an affiliate auction company.

The Pook & Pook sale took place almost a year to the day after the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that the foundation had leased the galleries and administrative building inside its 12-acre arboretum in Merion to Saint Josephs University, which adjoins the site.

The Inquirers article—headlined “Barnes Foundation says St Joes lease deal does not mean sales are in the works”—also reported that a collections assessor had been hired to decide which objects to keep and which to sell. “We hired a collections assessment project manager with museum expertise in American decorative arts to work with our curatorial and collections team in reviewing these household items and our other non-collection holdings,” the foundations spokeswoman explains. The temporary position has since been eliminated. “There are no plans to sell other objects, and there is no plan to tour the objects in the collection,” she says.

The foundations executive director and president Thom Collins told the Inquirer that art cannot be sold without approval from the Orphans Court, and that the Barnes had no intention of selling the Merion property. Its lawyer said that the lease contract also bars Saint Josephs from altering the design elements commissioned by Barnes, such as the Jacques Lipchitz stone reliefs on the facade.

“Our partnership with Saint Josephs University is both an educational affiliation and a lease agreement, not a sale,” Collins tells The Art Newspaper through a spokeswoman. The foundation did not comment when asked about whether there were other bidders for the Merion lease. Saint Josephs is already operating the arboretum, but has not yet established a timeline for using the galleries, a university spokeswoman says.

Land in Lower Merion is some of the most valuable property in the Philadelphia area. Saint Josephs is paying just $100 for the entire 30-year lease of the Barnes land and buildings, with options to extend. “In addition to the nominal annual payment, Saint Josephs has taken on the financial responsibility for the management of the property and the horti-culture programme,” Collins says. “The Barnes retains oversight of the arboretum and the historic buildings.” The arrangement “advances our educational mission and commitment to our horticultural programme” and was approved by the Orphans Court, he says. A foundation press release in September 2018 celebrated the “long-termRead More – Source

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‘Visionary’ music producer Sophie dies aged 34

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Sophie, the Grammy-nominated experimental pop musician and producer, has died aged 34 following a “sudden accident” in Athens.

The Glasgow-born artist worked with the likes of Madonna and Charli XCX.

In a statement, Sophie’s management said the musician had died at around 04:00 on Saturday in the Greek capital, where she had been living.

“Sophie was a pioneer of a new sound, one of the most influential artists in the last decade,” they said.

A further statement from Sophie’s record label Transgressive, explained how the “terrible accident” had occurred.

“True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and slipped and fell,” they posted online. “She will always be here with us.”

“The family thank everyone for their love and support and request privacy at this devastating time.”

Sophie was also known as a transgender icon, after affirming their identity in the 2017 video for It’s Okay To Cry.

The artist’s management said she would be remembered “not only for ingenious production and creativity but also for the message and visibility that was achieved. An icon of liberation”.

‘A pioneer’

Sophie’s innovative productions drew on pop, trance and underground dance music, mixing them with warped, disorientating waveforms to create a sound that was both instantly recognisable and highly in-demand.

Madonna sought Sophie out to co-produce the 2015 single Bitch, I’m Madonna; while Charli XCX worked with the musician on her abrasive, avant-garde EP, Vroom Vroom and the hit single After The Afterparty.

Sophie’s debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, followed in 2018, exploring questions of identity, non-conformity and reinvention, while expanding her trademark sound with longer, more explorative tracks.

“Crossing boundaries of pop music and chasing transcendence, Sophie achieves the rare feat of making abstract, difficult electronic music that hits you straight in the heart,” wrote the NME in a four-star review.

The album was subsequently nominated for a Grammy for best dance/electronic album.

French pop act Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine and the Queens led the tributes to the late star, whose full name was Sophie Xeon.

Writing on Twitter, Letissier described Sophie as a “stellar producer”, “a visionary”, and “a pioneer”.

“She rebelled against the narrow, normative society by being an absolute triumph, both as an artist and as a woman” she added.

London-based Japanese singer Rina Sawayama echoed those sentiments, calling Sophie an “icon”. “The world and our community has lost a beautiful soul,” she tweeted.

Guitar hero Nile Rodgers said she was an “innovative”, “dynamic”, and “warm” person.

“Heart-breaking news,” added singer Sam Smith.

“The world has lost an angel. A true visionary and icon of our generation. Your light will continue to inspire so many for generations to come.”

After being given the Innovator gong at the Association of Independent Music (AIM) Awards in 2018, Sophie used the platform to promote trans rights.

“To be truly deserving of this award involved not only changing the sound of today’s music, but also ripping apart a deeply entrenched and deeply flawed patriarchal society,” said the producer while collecting the award.

“Creating a more diverse, inspiring and meaningful future for us and the generations whose lives our decisions affect and help shape.”

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-55860938

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Ralph & Russo put Dubai on the fashion map

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Ralph & Russo is an international luxury fashion brand known for its designs that are described as both contemporary and timelessly elegant. The brand was created in London in 2010 by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo. In 2014, it became the first British guest member in almost 100 years to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show their first runway collection as part of the Spring/Summer season.

In an inclusive interview with founders, Tamara and Michael, Euronews’ Jane Witherspoon got the lowdown on the iconic brand.

How did the brand come about, what did you want that brand to stand for?

Tamara Ralph: It really grew out of a passion for luxury and craftsmanship and design. I come from four generations of fashion and haute couture in my family. And when we had a chance meeting, it was something that we talked about, setting up a luxury brand. And we always had a vision to have a global luxury brand.

You were invited to join the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris, the first British brand to showcase a Fashion Week in almost 100 years.

Tamara Ralph: It was really quite a big milestone and the first Australians ever to be invited. And you know it was always something that was very important for the brand. To be recognised by the Chambless Syndicale was an incredibly important achievement.

We had obviously, the support of Didier Grumbach, at the time who was the president and was actually responsible for discovering a lot of the big names in fashion and nurturing their careers. So it was wonderful to have the support.

How do you personally define couture?

Tamara Ralph: Couture is an art. You know, all of our clients that purchase couture, they purchase it for generations. It’s really something that’s an investment. It’s like a piece of jewellery. It’s something that you’ll pass down and keep forever. And for us, that’s really special.

How have dressmaking techniques changed over the years? How have you adopted the changes? Have you stayed traditional?

Tamara Ralph: So we have a really big atelier, actually, that specialises in the couture side. And then we have obviously craftsmen in the house that specialise in other product categories, such as ready to wear and things like that. But in the couture atelier, there’s forty-five languages spoken. There’s ages ranging from 16 all the way up until the 60s. And it’s really nice to have that mix of the old techniques get more modern applications and things like that. We like to push and constantly innovate. We run apprentice programmes in-house where we can train and develop and innovate as well. So that’s really important.

You’ve dressed many wonderful clients, like Meghan Markle. Is that a challenge? How exciting or daunting is it?

Tamara Ralph: No, I think it was very it was very exciting, obviously, you know.

I think it was such an iconic moment because obviously not just because of the two of them, but also because of her choice of piece for the day, which was, you know, a little bit different to what I think, you know, some people were expecting. And I think that’s nice. It showed her personality. It pushed the boundaries.

Do your clients have much input if you’re designing something specific and special for them, or do you come up with the idea and see it through to completion?

Tamara Ralph: Both

Michael Russo: We’ve had some really diverse celebrity moments from stage outfits for Beyonce to the costume outfits for Angelina Jolie, for Maleficent. It’s been so diverse. So the challenge is always there.

Tamara Ralph: Yeah but also I think with clients, all of our private clients, it’s a very personal experience, you know, no matter if they’re a celebrity or a private client. And, you know, we love to guide them and be part of the process and be very involved.

How hard has it been to showcase virtually?

Tamara Ralph: It was an evolution, that’s for sure. I think that it’s difficult to create the connection that you have with the physical show. I think that was something that was the hardest part to kind of keep, alive. But I loved the innovations and things.

I thought it was very interesting just to push the boundaries with digital, to play with new ideas. But, you know, I think that the traditional fashion shows are still very important and are important to get that sense of what the collection is about, So, you know, a balance of both going forward. I think one is just as important as the other.

Why did you choose to launch in Dubai?

Michael Russo: Well, I think Dubai has got such a multicultural following, and I think for us as well, it’s a product that’s well suited for the market.

It’s got a customer base that’s very akin to Ralph & Russo and well known to Ralph & Russo. For us in this region, it was definitely our first flagship in the region.

Would you say you have a different clientele in Dubai?

Michael Russo: I think in Dubai we find that there’s a lot of tourists here and those tourists are typically Ralph Russo clients already. So the products that we’re offering here are still akin to the ones that we use worldwide and I think relevant to our worldwide customer as well as the local market. So I think it’s a nice little mix of local and international clients.

Do you think that the fashion scene in Dubai is growing? How does it compare to known fashion cities like New York, Milan, London and Paris.

Tamara Ralph: Well, I think it’s definitely, you know, integral to the Gulf region. Yeah, you know, it’s really the hub of the region. It’s so incredibly international. And I think, you know, it’s a huge destination for fashion for the region. So, yeah, I think it’s incredibly important.

You’re about to become a mum for the first time, how is that going to change your work-life balance?

Tamara Ralph: Yeah, of course. I mean, it teaches you definitely to kind of find that balance, which I think I probably didn’t have before. And so, you know, I have a great team.

You know, we have an amazing support structure internally in the company. And we’ll find a way, you know, and plus it might be a chance to kind of venture into a full fledged childrenswear line. You know, well, I’m having a girl, so now we have our first model.

You’re expanding into accessories, are there beauty lines down the line?

Tamara Ralph: What’s been amazing actually through, just before Covid and also through Covid is, you know, a few different things. We were able to kind of reset our thinking, focus on what we’d like to achieve in the next couple of years. And so, you know, cosmetics and beauty is something we’re very interested in. Home and furnishings and everything connected to that sector is actually something that we’ve been slowly putting in the works for a little bit of time.

 

Read from source: https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/21/ralph-russo-put-dubai-on-the-fashion-map\

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Michael Apted: TV documentary pioneer and film-maker dies aged 79

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Film director Michael Apted, best known for the Up series of TV documentaries following the lives of 14 people every seven years, has died aged 79.

He also directed Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist and the 1999 Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.

The original 7 Up in 1964 set out to document the life prospects of a range of children from all walks of life.

The show was inspired by the Aristotle quote “give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man”.

The first 7 Up show was followed by 14 Up at the start of the next decade, which interviewed the same children as teenagers – and the pattern was set right up until 63 Up in 2019.

Throughout all those intervening years ITV viewers became engrossed with the stories of private school trio Andrew, Charles and John, of Jackie who went through two divorces, of Nick who went from jobless and homeless to Liberal Democrat councillor, and of working class chatterbox Tony, whose life ambition was to become a jockey.

Apted’s shows – which won three Bafta awards – have often been described as the forerunner of modern-day reality TV series, giving its participants the time to tell their own stories on screen.

But unlike their modern counterparts, the original Up children tended to fade away from the limelight in the seven years between each chapter.

In 2008, Apted was made a companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the British film and television industries.

‘Remarkable’ career

Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America, said Apted was a “fearless visionary” whose legacy would live on.

He said Apted, who was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, “saw the trajectory of things when others didn’t and we were all beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication”.

ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo said the director’s six-decade career was “in itself truly remarkable”.

He said the Up series “demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition”.

“The influence of Michael’s contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed,” Lygo added.

Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond film franchise, said Apted “was a director of enormous talent” and “beloved by all those who worked with him”.

“We loved working with him on The World Is Not Enough and send our love and support to his family, friends and colleagues,” they said.

A post on the Twitter account of the band Garbage, who performed the theme for The World Is Not Enough, labelled Apted a “delightful, charming soul”.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Composer David G Arnold, who composed the Bond theme and worked with Apted on three other non-Bond movies, said he felt “lucky” to work with him.

“A more trusting, funny, friendly and, most importantly, kind, person you’d never meet. So pleased to have known him and so sad that he’s gone,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.

 

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55597263

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