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Hush-hush! Wanna buy an Oscar? Where are all of the Academy Awards that have gone missing? Is an Oscar cat burglar on the loose?
Read Steve Rose's recent article in the Guardian UK to find out the some answers to those mysteries in his interview with veteran appraisal and celebrity memorabilia expert Caroline Ashleigh, AAA of Caroline Ashleigh Appraisers & Auctioneers
Picture provided by the FBI showing the empty frames of missing paintings after the theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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Netflix’s latest true crime documentary will revisit the infamous heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, an unsolved robbery in which a pair of thieves posing as policemen tied up a night watchmen and made off with 13 masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Manet, collectively worth an estimated $500 million. There is still a $10 million reward for information leading to the paintings’ return, and it remains the most expensive art theft in US history.
No one has ever been arrested or tried in connection with the case, leading to any number of theories about what really happened and where the paintings are. Both the Italian mafia and the Irish mob are suspected of being involved, and efforts to recover the works have spanned continents.
Famous artistic masterpieces

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From Michelangelo's 'David' to Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' here are the locations of the world's most famous artistic masterpieces:
  • Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (circa 1485/86), Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti, David (1501-04), Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (1503-06), Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Creation of Adam (1508-12), Sistine Chapel, Vatican
  • Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas (1656), Museo del Prado, Madrid
  • Jan Vermeer, The Girl with the Pearl Earring (1665), Mauritshuis, The Hague
  • Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night (1889), Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (1908), Austrian Gallery Belvedere, Vienna
  • Edvard Munch, The Scream (1893/1910), Norwegian National Gallery, Oslo / Munch Museum, Oslo




 A Chess Background Story for Anyone Binging "The Queen's Gambit"

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Chess is believed to have developed from an Indian board game called chaturanga, which rose to popularity by the 6th century. Like modern chess, all the pieces (king, minister, elephants, cavalry, chariots, and foot soldiers—the elements of an Indian army) had different powers and winning the game depended on defeating one piece (the opponent’s king). As the game spread into Europe over the following centuries, regional variations led to the creation of new rules and pieces that reflected the social dynamics of the time and place. You can see medieval European society reflected in the pawns, bishops, knights, and castles, who serve to protect the king and queen. Their powers evolved as their real-life counterparts evolved; for example, the queen replaced the “minister” and grew the ability to move any number of spaces in any direction, as opposed to a single space, as queens became more powerful across Europe.
The artist Man Ray, who worked in the 20's and 30's, was a chess aficionado, and in 1920 he designed his first chess set. Consistent with his surreal style that favored abstraction and whimsy over realism and tradition, the set imagines each piece as a geometric shape. The king is a pyramid, the queen is a cone, the bishop is a drinking container called a flagon, the rook (castle) is a cube, the knight is a violin finial, and the pawn is a sphere pictured below:
As one of the world’s oldest and most popular games, chess is depicted in paintings, photography, books, movies, and even song lyrics, often as the ultimate intellectual showdown.
The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli, 1781

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Today marks the anniversary of the publication of Sigmund Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams" in 1904. Determining the value of art is not open to "interpretation and dreams". It is based on independent research and knowledge of the market and its trends.
Anishnabe Treaty Hat

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On #IndigenousPeoplesDay, we celebrate the rich cultures, histories, and values of our Native communities. The "Anishnabe Treaty Hat" — created by artist Kelly Church — serves as a true example of this, representing the strength and resilience of our indigenous communities. The basket hat illustrates the relationship between the Anishnabe and the State of Michigan, and the Anishnabe and the United States government — while asserting the vitality and the treaty rights of the Anishnabe people.
"Anishnabe Treaty Hat", 2017, Kelly Church, black ash, sweetgrass, white cedar bark, birch bark, wild rice, maple sugar, water, black ash seed, tobacco, buckskin. From the Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts
Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

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The drama and mystery surrounding the world’s most expensive painting is set to take the stage in New York in 2022 as a major Broadway musical. “Salvator Mundi” will chronicle the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance-era portrait of Jesus, presumed lost for hundreds of years and only rediscovered this century, and sold for a record-shattering $450.3 million auction price in 2017.
Deborah Grace Winer, the screenwriter, believes da Vinci’s artwork has all the ingredients needed to make a compelling historical narrative for the stage. “There’s an epic quality about this story. It’s almost Shakespearean and operatic in the sweep of it’s history.” It is a story that poses the question: “What makes art, what gives anything value? It’s the idea of following one object through history. It’s about power and symbols.”
Yet art history is a rare subject for theater. The saga of “Salvator Mundi” may seem like a niche topic for a stage production, however, Winer believes some of the most popular musicals have succeeded because they are peculiar stories told in a compelling way, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda's rap musical "Hamilton." Winer adds, “The unlikeliest stories find incredible interest from audiences. The more specific it is, sometimes the more universal it becomes.”


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Happy Indigenous Peoples Day
Monday, 12 October 2020
Anishnabe Treaty Hat On #IndigenousPeoplesDay, we celebrate the rich cultures, histories, and values of our Native communities. The "Anishnabe Treaty Hat" — created by artist Kelly Church — serves as a true example of this,...
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