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Today's Top Arts News & Features

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....

Jeff Koons Whitney Exhibit Graffiti Vandal Caught on Video (watch!)

The Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan was hit by a graffiti vandal last night, who was caught on video spray-painting a wall in front of dozens of startled patrons. Christopher Johnson, 33, of Manhattan, was arrested at the museum after he was accosted by security guards and turned over to police, according to reports. Fortunately, the focus of the exhibit, Koons’ “Hanging Heart” sculpture, and other works were not harmed,...

Heirs to Looted Nazi Art Sue Swiss Bank Over ‘Sham’ Family Trust

Ludwig and Margret Kainer were avid art collectors in Germany until the rise of the Nazi regime in the 1930s. They were also Jews and fled for their lives after Hitler came to power. The vast art collection, however, stayed behind. Their case highlights the extreme difficultly Holocaust survivors have encountered trying to recover assets seized from Jews by the German government during World War II....

Joan Rivers, Prolific Author in Life, Sees Her Book Sales Soar in Death

Joan Rivers prided herself on being an writer and had a prolific career as a writer mostly of self-help books and works based on her life. But what a life. Although her books were popular while she was alive, sales are soaring in death, according to reports. She penned 12 books in her long career starting with “Having a Baby Can be a Scream” in 1974. Her most recent, “Diary of a Mad Diva,” is currently No. 2 on Amazon’s bestsellers’ list....

Francis Bacon’s Dyer Triptych Shatters Auction Record in London

Francis Bacon painted his lover George Dyer with great passion, which may help explain the extraordinary price of a small format Bacon triptych of Dyer that just sold in London for $45 million. The sale was not only an affirmation of Bacon, but also of contemporary art, which continues to set records at auction in London and New York City. Sotheby’s auction grossed $159.3 million in total sales, according to the auction house. ...