Showing posts with label Stonehill Art Crime Symposium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stonehill Art Crime Symposium. Show all posts

August 5, 2012

Stonehill Art Crime Symposium Visits Boston Museum of Fine Arts

by Virginia Curry, Stonehill Art Crime Symposium

Our class was warmly welcomed to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Professor Candice Smith-Corby from Stonehill College arranged for a private lecture presented by Victoria Reed, the Monica S. Sadler Assistant Curator for Provenance and the first Curator of Provenance in the United States. Her job is to research works with questionable histories both in the collection and on the MFA’s "shopping list". As a result, Reed’s other job is to break curators’ hearts.

The MFA, which like many museums has had to return works in recent years, took special care in creating Reed’s post in 2010. She is the first and only endowed curator of provenance at an American museum.

Ms. Reed elaborated on the practices of past acquisition management at the MFA and the steps that it now takes to ensure that the Museum exercises due diligence in acquisitions and researches any questionable provenance of exhibits already accessioned into the MFA collection, which opened its doors to the public in 1876. The class learned that the MFA, due to Ms. Reed's research, has already returned numerous accessions in the collection when she proved that the title to each of the exhibits lie elsewhere.

Rhona Macbeth the Director of MFA Painting Conservation directed our class on a private laboratory tour of her on-going conservation of the painting "Allegory of Justice" dated 1636, by Gerrit van Honthorst (Dutch, 1590–1656) on loan from the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. The scale of this painting is such that the MFA uses a towering painting tube to transport the huge canvas within the Museum. 

"Allegory of Justice", 1636, Gerrit van Honthorst
This photograph of some of the members of our class with Ms. Macbeth gives a sense of the scale of the canvas, which was pieced together by the artist to present a larger than life portrait of Elisabeth, Electress Palatine and (briefly) queen of Bohemia (August 19, 1596 – February 13, 1662). She was born Lady Elizabeth Stuart, the eldest daughter to King James VI of Scotland and his Queen consort Anne of Denmark. She was thus sister to Charles I of England. With the demise of the Stuart dynasty in 1714, her direct descendants, the Hanoverian rulers, succeeded to the British throne.  In 1613, she married Frederick V, then Elector of the Palatinate, and took up her place in the court at Heidelberg. In 1619, Frederick was offered and accepted the crown of Bohemia, but his rule was brief, and Elizabeth became known as the "Winter Queen". She was also sometimes called "Queen of Hearts" because of her popularity.  Driven into exile, the couple took up residence in The Hague, and Frederick and their son drowned in 1632. Elizabeth remained in Holland even after her son, Charles I Louis, regained his father's electorship in 1648. Following the Restoration of the British monarchy, she traveled to London to visit her nephew, King Charles II, and died while there. Her daughter (illustrated in the paining as a winged figure flying above the scene, was known later as Sophia of Hanover. Her grandson became George I of the United Kingdom, thus making all her direct descendants heir to the British throne.  Honthorst depicts Elizabeth crushing Neptune, who is shown with his trident, under the bladed wheels of her carriage as her husband and son beckon from death to she and their surviving children.
Detail from "Allegory of Justice"

Our class also spoke with conservators who were preparing the severed head from the 2nd century A.D. cult statue of Juno for casting, and the conservation of the Etruscan couple sarcophagus of Larth Tetnies and Tanchvil Tarnai (approximately dated 3rd to 4th century B.C.E0.

After lunch at the MFA, we proceeded to Vose Gallery in Boston where we were met by Beth Vose, the director of the oldest family owned gallery in the United States. Ms. Vose gave our class a presentation concerning the history of collecting of the Vose Gallery, which first opened as an artist supply shop, and has been actively operated by descendents for six generations. Ms. Vose explained the role of the private gallery as collection consultants and the due diligence as they perform their acquisition and conservation of American paintings and sculpture from the northeast.

August 3, 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012 - No comments

Stonehill's Art Crime Symposium Tours Industrial History Center featuring Shovels

by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA blog editor

This week we're providing a service to the art crime symposium at Stonehill by posting the emails Virginia Curry sends me each day. Ms. Curry and Dick Ellis have been big supporters of ARCA over the years. This is what happened yesterday as reported by Ms. Curry:
The World of Art and Fine Art of Crime class toured the Stonehill College Industrial History Center with curator Nicole Casper. Some of the class is pictured in front of the silver plated commemorative shovels. 
Donated to Stonehill College by real estate developer, Arnold Tofias, in 1973, The Arnold B. Tofias Industrial Archives are the records, artifacts and papers of 19th and 20th century Ames enterprises, in particular the O. Ames Company, manufacturers of shovels. In addition to 755 shovels, the collection includes over 1,500 linear ft. of manuscript material.  
The Ames True Temper Collection was acquired by Stonehill College from 2002 to 2006 from the current Ames Company's facility in Parkersburg, West Virginia, since closed. The collection includes some materials from the 19th century but is dominated by 20th century items. Everything for inventories and catalogs to anti-submarine depth charges ("hedgehogs") made during WWII. The collection also contains promotional films and videos. See the finding aid for a more detailed itemization of items in the collection.

August 2, 2012

Former Scotland Yard Detective Dick Ellis "Waxes Poetic on the Topic of Due Diligence"

Former Scotland Yard Detective Ellis Teaching at Stonehill
Since this week's art crime program in Massachusetts sold out and not all of us can attend, ARCA Blog asked Retired FBI Agent Virginia Curry to keep us posted on the activities. This is Ms. Curry's latest note and photograph:
Here's Richard Ellis instructing class on the topic of due diligence at the "World of Art and the Fine Art of Crime" symposium at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.

July 31, 2012

Retired FBI Agent Virginia Curry Notes a "Lively" Beginning to Stonehill College's Art Crime Symposium with former Scotland Yard Detective Richard Ellis

July 30th was the first day of the art crime symposium conducted by retired FBI Agent Virginia Curry and retired Scotland Yard Detective Richard Ellis at Stonehill College outside of Boston.

A lecture on the economics of art began the day followed by lunch on campus. Then the sold-out class reviewed an auction preview at Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Massachusetts, Ms. Curry reported to the ARCA blog. Diane Rivas led a "lively" discussion about the auction market, Curry wrote.

Alex Bond (ARCA 2011) is at the Stonehill Symposium and is pictured here with Ms. Curry and Mr. Ellis.

Richard Ellis also teaches at ARCA's post graduate certificate program in International Art Crime Studies.

June 16, 2012

Stonehill College's "The World of Art and the Fine Art of Crime" Symposium has added seats

Retired FBI Agent Virginia Curry, who will co-teach with Dick Ellis "The World of Art and the Fine Art of Crime" symposium at Stonehill College this summer, would like to inform interested students that two seat have been added to the program.

"It has come to our attention that spam filters some emails failed to accept our response emails," Curry wrote in an email to the ARCA blog.  "In order to address the inquiries which we have received after the close of registration, we have added two additional seats to this very special program, on a first come, first serve basis."

The Stonehill College Symposium runs from July 30 to August 3, 2012.  Details may be accessed on the website:

May 6, 2012

Curry and Ellis: New website for Stonehill Art Crime Symposium

Virginia Curry and Richard Ellis at Q&A session
 at the Southeastern Technical High School, September 2011
Virginia Curry and Richard Ellis, formerly of the FBI and Scotland Yard, respectively, have a new website for Stonehill Art Crime Symposium they will be teaching this summer.  (You can read more about this program here on the ARCA blog).

The website address is here.  The program also has a twitter account @artcrimeclass for information updates.

In support of the Stonehill Initiative, ARCA is offering a tuition subsidy for its postgraduate certificate program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection for students who complete the Stonehill short course.