Paul Fribourg is the CEO of Continental Grain and a director of Estee Lauder, Burger King and the Loews Corporation. Clearly, the man has gobs of money sitting around, but that didn’t mean he was going to spend $45 million on a co-op at 998 Fifth Avenue.
In fact, it didn’t look like anyone was Read More
The Observer was about halfway through our black rice and bok choy at the Asia Society’s Asia Week kick-off gala on Monday night when iGavel online auctioneer Lark Mason plucked our dessert spoon off the table and politely asked us to tell him about it.
Mr. Mason, a frequent appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, was enlisting us to play along in mock version of the show.
We found the spoon while cleaning out our dead grandmother’s attic, we lied. We have a feeling it’s important.
Mr. Mason turned the spoon slowly in his hand.
“Manufactured in China, in the 1930s, for American export. She probably received it as a wedding gift,” he said matter-of-factly. “But I’m sure it has a lot of sentimental value.”
So far the art workers and their supporters have tried pranks, picket lines, an Occupy Wall Street alliance, a legal appeal to the National Labor Relations Board, and traditional negotiations, all to no avail. But perhaps a Christmas card will do the trick.
Sotheby’s has yet to let its locked-out workers back in after more than four months off the job due to disagreements over their union contract. So now the workers of the Local 814, the Teamsters union that includes art handlers at Sotheby’s high-end auctionhouse, have launched an email campaign comparing Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht to Scrooge and claiming the Teamsters have no money to care for their Tiny Tims. The catalyst? The locked-out workers are on the verge of losing their health insurance.
What is it about the preholiday season that winds everyone tighter than the postsurgery forehead of a Real Housewife? We’re trying to stay out of the drama as all of New York lets fly a seeming year’s worth of unaired grievances this week.
You could hear them a block away; their whistles and chants preceded them. About a hundred protesters stood outside Sotheby’s at the beginning of the auction house’s contemporary evening sale, the last important art sale of the year. ”We’re fired up! Won’t take it no more!” The crowd outside Sotheby’s was made up of N.Y.P.D., the auction house’s security, students from Hunter College, union members and Scabby, the oversize balloon rat who never seems to miss a strike, as well as a Scabby-sized balloon fat cat who squeezed a cigar in one paw and a union worker in the other. Picketers hoisted cutouts of the heads of Sotheby’s COO and CEO at the ends of long poles.
Occupy Wall Street
Disclosure: We were sent this video by someone with obvious sympathies and ties to the Occupy Wall Street movement. This video has been edited.
While some of Occupy Wall Street’s protests have focused on picketing outside Sotheby’s and disrupting art auctions since the establishment locked out its art handlers who were part of local Teamsters Local 814, a new form of occupation involves actually going to Sotheby’s parties and trying to get rich people to belittle the movement.
Prepping for its Nov. 9 contemporary art evening sale, Sotheby’s has released details of the four Clyfford Still paintings that it will sell on behalf of Denver, which is home to the Still Museum, which will open in November. The works are expected to fetch between about $50 million and $70 million, well more than the $25 million that the museum has said it wants to raise for its endowment.
Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters in New York will open a two-floor gallery space called S2 next week with a private selling show of the artist Sam Francis.
The show, on display from September 17 through October 14, will inaugurate the new space, which was designed by architect Richard Gluckman. The Francis exhibit is Read More
Less than 18 months after it failed to find a buyer during an evening sale at Phillips de Pury & Company in London, a gigantic, unusual Roy Lichtenstein piece will be offered by Sotheby’s New York, on Sept. 22, with a far lower estimate.
When it hit the block at Phillips in June 2010, the 8-foot-long acrylic on board work, called Prop for a Film (1969), was tagged with a £500,000 to £700,000 estimate, or about $754,000 to $1.05 million at the time of the sale. This time, it’s expected to sell for a comparatively modest $400,000 to $600,000.
Over the objections of Christie’s, the Denver City Council voted last night to approve the sale of four Clyfford Still paintings through Sotheby’s in order to benefit the endowment of the Clyfford Still Museum, which is set to open in the city in November. A press official at the City Council told The Observer this morning that the decision was unanimous.