The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has recently acquired a work by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s painting Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) (1928) recently joined the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. According to the museum, this was the first work that the artist ever sold. It is also the first of Kahlo’s works to enter the museum’s collections. The painting represents two Mexicans, Salvadora and Herminia, posing in front of tropical foliage; they were domestic helpers in Frida Kahlo’s childhood home Casa Azul, that today has become the Frida Kahlo Museum. The faces show dignity, almost heroism, echoing the artist’s Communist leanings. According to Graham Gund, director of the MFA: “Frida Kahlo’s work is a 20th century touchstone, and we’re proud to be able to count this remarkable acquisition among the MFA’s masterpieces of art of the Americas. As our community continues to grow and evolve, we’re committed to representing the diverse experiences of artists in our...

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Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston Receives Works By Female Artists

The philanthropist and collector Barbara Lee is giving the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston 20 works by 12 female artists, with a value estimated at $42 million; the largest value gift in the museum’s history. Ms. Lee’s gifts with be added to the museum’s “Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women”, which was established in 2014 after Lee donated 43 other works by women. This year’s gift, in 2015, includes sculptures, installation works and paintings by major figures such as Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Sherrie Levine and Kara Walker. The institute said the collection represents three decades of collecting by Ms. Lee. In a statement, Ms. Lee said that her gifts “put women front and center” at the institute. Ms. Lee, who promotes women in contemporary art, is also a political activist who helps women run for elected office. She is vice chair of the Institute of Contemporary Art’s board of trustees. Jill Medvedow, the institute’s director, said the collection allows the museum “to tell urgent and undertold histories of postwar and contemporary...

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Artist Paul Laffoley dies aged 80

On 16 November 2015, American artist Paul Laffoley (1935-2015) died in Boston at the age of 80 years old. Paul Laffoley is known for his large canvas paintings combining words and images, often referring to architectural plans or mandalas, producing works close to the manifest, devotional painting, plans and cosmic model. The New York gallery Kent Fine Art, which still presents him, devoted a solo exhibition from 11 September to 7 November 2015 titled “Paul Laffoley: The Force Structure of the Mystical Experience” and an important retrospective in 2014 with “The Boston Visionary Cell”, an exhibition that took up the name of the association that he had himself founded in 1971 to develop visionary art. Studied at Brown University and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Paul Laffolet then worked in New York with Frederick Kiesler and Andy Warhol. It was during the second half of the 1960s that he started integrating text onto his...

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Kim Conaty appointed curator of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum

Kim Conaty has been appointed curator of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States, and will take up her position as of December 2015. In 2003, Conaty was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship to study in Germany and went on to serve as biennial coordinator for the 2008 Whitney Biennial and a curatorial fellow at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. She then served as assistant curator of drawings and prints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 2008, and is currently in the process of completing her PhD at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. The Rose’s director, Christopher Bedford, has commented, “I am delighted to welcome Kim as a creative partner during an historic period of ambitious growth for the Rose. Working together as a team, we will create innovative exhibitions and programs that support and expand the museum’s roles as an educational resource for the university, a center for community engagement, and a cultural hub for the city of...

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The FBI appeals for witnesses to help recover lost paintings

On 6 August 2015 the FBI launched a fresh appeal for witnesses to help recover thirteen paintings stolen in 1990 from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The value of the stolen works is estimated at $500 million. On 18 March 1990, contrary to procedure, a night-guard named Richard Abath allowed two men disguised as police officers to enter the museum’s premises after they claimed to be investigating a complaint. The next day the police found him and another member of the museum’s security tied up and gagged. Amongst the thirteen major works stolen were a Rembrandt, a Manet, a Degas and a Vermeer. New studies of the security footage by the FBI have shown that Richard Abath also let another man into the museum compound the day before the robbery. The pictures released from the video seem to indicate a resemblance between the car used by the man who entered the day before the heist and the car used by the fake policemen. The FBI has requested the public’s help to solve the case. Meanwhile, the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum has offered a reward of $5 million to anyone with decisive information leading to the recovery of the paintings. The FBI has looked into the possible complicity of Richard Abath but it seems they are not pursuing this line of investigation....

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