Monday, April 19, 2010

Critics, Auctions & Sex!


- Scrawled in the Margins, Signs of Twain as a Critic : "By the end of his life, Samuel Langhorne Clemens had achieved fame as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi, a globe-trotting lecturer and, of course, the literary genius who wrote “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and other works under the name Mark Twain. He was less well-known, but no less talented, as a literary critic. Proof of it has resided, mostly unnoticed, in a small library in Redding, Conn., where hundreds of his personal books have sat in obscurity for 100 years. They are filled with notes in his own cramped, scratchy handwriting. Irrepressible when he spotted something he did not like, but also impatient with good books that he thought could be better, he was often savage in his commentary..." Read the full story

- Simon de Pury: the Mick Jagger of art auctions : "Star auctioneer Simon de Pury talks about art market jitters, wild bids – and the thrill of the sale..." Read the full story


April 19, 1588: Renaissance painter Veronese died. "Paolo Veronese (born 1528) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi. He adopted the name Paolo Cagliari or Paolo Caliari, and became known as "Veronese" from his birthplace in Verona. Veronese, Titian, and Tintoretto constitute the triumvirate of pre-eminent Venetian painters of the late Renaissance. Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and for his illusionistic decorations in both fresco and oil. His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful Mannerist style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. His large paintings of biblical feasts executed for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially notable. His brief testimony with the Inquisition is often quoted for its insight into contemporary painting technique."

April 19, 1927: Mae West is sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity for her play 'Sex'. 'Sex' was written by, and starred, Mae West, and was very popular for about a year before the New York Police Department raided West and her company, charging them with obscenity, despite the fact that 325,000 people had watched it, including members of the police department and their wives, judges of the criminal courts, and seven members of the district attorney’s staff. West was sentenced to 10 days in jail, getting out two days early for good behavior. The resulting publicity increased her national renown."


“The Golden Age of Japanese Okimono. Dr. A.M. Kanter’s Collection”

By Laura Bordignon.
Published by the Antique Collectors’ Club in 2010.

“A comprehensive study of the exquisite, intricate, and often humorous Okimono carvings from the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Over 120 pieces are illustrated with full descriptions, and explanations of the relevant myths, beliefs, folk tales, or historical background. The signature marks for each piece are illustrated, along with a transcription and translation. The pieces, from the extraordinary collection of Dr. A.M. Kanter, depict a variety of subjects, including artisans, farmers, animals, beautiful ladies, Samurai warriors, entertainers, mythological characters and creatures, and people and situations from everyday life. As well as ivory Okimono carvings, bronze, silver and shibayama pieces are also illustrated.”


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