Keith Girard

Bernard Boutet de Monvel’s Art, Estate Heading for Sotheby’s Paris Auction

Bernard Boutet De Movel, a darling of early 20th century Parisian Cafe Society, was a noted painter, engraver, sculptor, decorator and illustrator. Although he died in 1949, his collected works, plus furniture from his Paris residence will be up for sale for the first time next month at Sotheby’s Paris. The sale will feature around 300 lots, including paintings and drawings by the French artist and his father, the famous children’s book illustrator Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1850-1913), according to the auction house....

Luke Skywalker Blaster Used in Star Wars Movie Can Be Yours… For a Price

Luke Skywalker was pretty handy with a DL-44 Blaster in movies like “The Empire Strikes Back,” and now you can own one of the guns he used, if you’re willing to part with at least $200,000. That’s the pre-bid auction estimate. So who’s biting? Well, no one yet, according to Nate Sanders Auctions, which is handling the sale. Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford played Han Solo. ...

Pop Art Gets International Perspective at Philadelphia Museum of Art (photos)

Pop art has long been thought a uniquely American movement led by artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. But Pop flourished around the globe, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art has assembled an exhibit reflecting the bold, thought-provoking imagery of the period. The exhibition, tilted “International Pop,” chronicles Pop’s emergence as an worldwide movement during an era of social and political upheaval....

Mona Lisa May Not Be Who She’s Thought to Be; Startling New Discovery

Mona Lisa, the enigmatic portrait of a 16th century woman with a wry smile, may not be the person she was thought to be. A French scientist has made a startling discovery–an image from earlier paintings by the great Leonardo di Vinci. Pascal Cotte has been studying the 500-year-old masterpiece. He uncovered the image using a so-called “reflective light” technology, according to the BBC....

Egon Schiele Paintings at Center of Lawsuit Over Plundered Nazi Art

Egan Schiele paintings are at the center of a legal dispute in Manhattan filed by the heirs of holocaust victim Fritz Grunbaum. The Nazis plundered his art and sent him to a concentration camp in 1938. But the two paintings have recently resurfaced and may be worth $5.5 million. Grunbaum’s heirs, Timothy Reif and David Fraenkel, filed the complaint this week in Manhattan Supreme Court to block a pending auction of the paintings....

George Reeves’ Superman Costume Sells for $216k at Movie Prop Auction

George Reeves’ Superman costume from his iconic 1950s era television show sold for more than $200,000 at a Hollywood memorabilia auction. It was topped only by a space ship model from the original 1977 “Star Wars” movie. The spaceship sold for a record $450,000, according to the auction house. Among other items fetching significant prices were Harrison Ford’s bull whip from his “Indiana Jones” movies. It sold for $204,000. ...

Art Museums Create Plan to Safe Harbor Art Objects Threatened by War

Art museums under the auspices of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) have created a plan to safeguard rare art and antiquities that are threatened with destruction in war zones. The move was prompted by attacks on ancient, historic sites in the Middle East. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City joined arts organizations around the world in February to universally condemn the destruction of priceless antiquities by Islamic extremists in the Iraq city of Mosul....

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Chagall Headline Rare Phillips Collection Show (photos!)

Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Marc Chagall, and their works will be combined in a new exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., bringing together works assembled by two noted Swiss collectors for the first and only time in the United States. The Phillips will exhibit more than 60 celebrated masterpieces by titans of the modern art movement. All were created during the mid-19th and 20th centuries....

Andy Warhol Waterfront Estate on the Market for Whopping $85M (pics)

Andy Warhol’s sprawling Hamptons estate has hit the market at a price that rivals some of his most famous pop art. Current owner Mickey Drexler, chief executive of J. Crew clothing brand, is asking $85 million. On any given weekend, Jerry Hall, Cheryl Tiegs, Liza Minnelli, Liz Taylor, John Lennon, John Phillips, Mick Jagger, Jackie Kennedy and her sister Lee Radziwill could be found idling on the beach....

Van Gogh Painting Kicks Off Spring Auctions in NYC with $66.3M Sale Price

Sotheby’s kicked off the Spring art auctions with the sale of a Van Gogh painting for $66.3 million, the highest price paid for a work by the Dutch artist since 1998, the auction house said. Claude Monet’s water lilies also sold for $54 million. The Impressionist and modern art sale Tuesday, saw Van Gogh’s “L’allée Des Alyscamps” go to a private collector in Asia after heated bidding with at least five other collectors. Van Gogh’s works have always been among the most collectible among Impressionist artists. ...

‘Woodstock Daddy’ Elliot Tiber is Back With New Book ‘After Woodstock’

Elliot Tiber is the exception to the old adage that there are no second acts in life. In fact, like a Shakespearian play, Tiber has gone through at least five acts. The best known is his role behind the iconic Woodstock Music and Art Festival in upstate New York. His latest as he turns 80, is a new book about his incredible life after the concert, titled aptly 'After Woodstock.'...

Met Museum ‘Strongly Condemns’ Mosul Antiquities Destruction

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City joined arts organizations around the world today (Feb. 26) to universally condemn the destruction of priceless antiquities by Islamic extremists in the Iraq city of Mosul. The extremists from the Islamic State (IS) used sledge hammers, drills and other power tools to smash ancient statues and sculptures....

Michelangelo Sculpted Bronze Statues, New Evidence Suggests

Michelangelo is primarily known as a sculptor by his works in marble. But two statues that have existed under the noses of art historians for years are possibly the only examples of his work in bronze to survive the centuries, art experts said today. The statues of nude men riding panthers have been known to art historians for a century or more and once were attributed to the great master. If true, the find would be “phenomenally important,” according to one art historian....

Joan Fontaine ‘Suspicion’ Oscar Auction Stymied by Academy

Joan Fontaine’s historic best actress Oscar for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Suspicion,” won’t got to the auction block, because of a threatened lawsuit by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fontaine, who died a year ago at age 96, specified in her will that her Oscar should be sold to raise funds for the Monterey, California SPCA. It was expected to fetch as much as $300,000, according to an estimate by Christie’s, which was handling the sale....

Kelly Crigger Tries to Solve Riddle of Middle-Age Men in New Book

Kelly Crigger is standing up for middle-aged men who are having midlife crises in his new book, “Curmudgeonism: A Surly Man’s Guide To Midlife.” His prescription: “rediscover the world around you.” Midlife men know who they are. They’re struggling with their own impending mortality and legacy, especially those who change careers and lifestyles, says Crigger....

Andy Warhol Iconic Liz Taylor Painting at Center of Legal Battle

Andy Warhol’s iconic painting of Elizabeth Taylor is at the center of an intense legal battle between the artist’s foundation and Warhol’s former bodyguard, who claims the artist gave him the painting 30 years ago. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which manages the artist’s estate, claims however that the painting was stolen. The former bodyguard, Agusto Bugarin, claimed through his attorney that Warhol gave him the painting for work he did renovating the apartment of one of Warhol’s lovers Jon Gould, after ending his relationship with Jed Johnson....

Keith Girard

Keith Girard is Editor and Pubilsher of TheImproper, New York City’s cutting edge arts, entertainment pop culture and lifestyle Web magazine. Before that, he was editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine and a reporter for the Washington Post among other media positions.