Thursday, March 28, 2019

Ten Painters of Chicago Cityscapes

Andy Paczos

Brian Wells

David Rettker

Dmitry Samarov

Emily Rapport

Emmett Kerrigan

Enrique Santana

Kevin Swallow

Marion Kryczka

Sandra Holubow

Art Chartow

Albert Vidal

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Qing Dynasty Jade Brushpot

This Qing Dynasty six-inch jade brushpot just sold for $2,060,000 at Sotheby's.  It depicts an imperial procession.

For the previous 118 years it was in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago - but I don't remember ever seeing it.

I doubt that it has been on display recently.  The gallery space for Chinese art was reduced significantly when the Roger Weston Galleries of Japanese Art was installed in 2010.

Here are some  detail views:

I would call this a treasure of world art. It's subject matter - an imperial procession - and it's function - a container for writing brushes -  celebrate  the political and intellectual foundations of  Chinese civilization.  Its craftsmanship (it's only six inches high!)  in an extremely hard material is amazing. No evaluation of its formal qualities, however, should be attempted without seeing the actual object.

As usual, the Art Institute made no announcement of the deaccession.  Many thanks to Matt Morris for bringing it to public attention -- and  for suggesting that the museum be more transparent about  deaccessions by displaying the works one last time and sharing the reasons for cashing them out.

This is exactly what the DePaul Art Museum did in 2010 when it mounted an exhibit of all the stuff it was selling off in preparation to move into its new facility.

The  DePaul Art Museum even invited the public to vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down for each piece.

That vote was just a gag. Everything in the show was still removed from their collection.

And I would not pay much attention to the opinions of the great unwashed public either.

But I would like the museum to explain their decisions.  It might make desist from  deaccessioning when no good reasons can be given.. While,  if the explanations are really good ones --- wouldn't they serve to edify the rest of us?