This year has been momentous, marking our thirty-first anniversary. It feels as though we have gone from strength to strength; improving the quality of works we find and meeting new people along the way.
A few of us sat down to make a list of the artworks, exhibitions, books, restaurants, and events that have made our 2016.
ART & ANTIQUES
Painting of the Year
Beautiful and historical, we discovered this painting of the Twelve Year Old Christ (1879) at a minor sale on the East coast. Minor restoration showed soon it to be a technical masterpiece by its author, Ernst Zimmermann (German, 1852-1901). Research soon revealed that the painting was a lost treasure, given a top award at the Universal Exhibition (i.e. World's Fair) in 1879, and then lost to history. We were happy to see that the painting was donated to the Brigham Young Museum of Art, another gem in the Museum's impressive collection
Read more about this historic painting on our blog
Acquired only last week, this joins three other paintings we have on show by Émile Villa (French, 1836-1900). The work, La coiffe en danger (i.e. "The endangered bonnet") showed at the Paris Salon of 1893, and the Universal Exhibition (i.e. World's Fair) of 1894. Villa was himself a prestigious painter, who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, worked at the chief assistant to Gustave Courbet, and shared a studio with Claude Monet and Frédéric Bazille. After a quick cleaning, the painting will be on view starting mid-December.
Sculpture of the Year
After reading an interview with the screenwriter of the movie Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep, were were shocked to learn that we owned a sculpture commissioned by the "opera" singer, and since lost.
Read the entire story of how this fascinating bust is connected to one of the most intriguing characters in the New York Opera Scene
A tour de force of artistry, materials, and technical ability, this sculpture of the Goddess Diana is undoubtably one of the finest works we've ever had.
Two large and matching Japanese Imari baluster vases with covers, from the estate of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
Design Partner of the Year
(Also named one of Architectural Digest's "Top 100 Designers" of the Year)
Thomas Jayne Design Studio
Recently, we began working with the delightful Thomas Jayne on a few of his many, many international projects. A gentleman and a scholar, working with Thomas has been a privilege.
ARTISTS & EXHIBITIONS
Local Artist of the Year
An internationally award-winning artist who calls Utah home, Mary Sauer was our featured artist for September this year. We were thrilled to have two dozen of her works here for display
This year, we had the enormous privilege of putting on view Jeff Hein's work Triumphal Entry. Painted from life and executed over two years, the painting will be soon be on permanent display at the LDS Church History Museum. In the meantime, we've framed and hung several of Hein's graphite studies for the work on our top floor.
For years, we have been the only representative of Aaron Stills' beautiful still-life paintings. Calming and beautiful, each one is the fruit of hundreds of hours of work and Stills unique, thoughtful persona. Though we've had several, and each one is remarkable, we believe The Harvest, now on view, is his best, and one of the best works of art we have ever had.
Local Exhibition of the Year
Mark Magleby, Director of the BYU Museum of Art, and his team have put on show a treasure of religious art, collected over decades by one of the country's unabashedly religious art institutions. With works from the Renaissance to today, it is a remarkable, beautifully curated experience.
This year, we played host to small show that exhibited works by professional LDS artists working today. The show was judged by Peter Trippi (Editor, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine), Warren Winegar (Former VP of Sotheby's Auction House), and Jeff Lambson (Former Curator, BYU Museum of Art). Thinking we would only have a small number of works and submissions, we were surprised at both the quality of works and the large variety of people who came to see it.
Internationally, Utah is known for producing accomplished figurative artists. Now more than ever, the region boasts several masters and schools, each with a different and compelling approach. Rita Wright (Director of the Springville Museum of Art) has spent years developing relationships and preparing artists to show in this exhibit, for which several original works were created.
International Exhibition of the Year:
This year marks the 500th anniversary of Heironymous Bosch's birth. In a show that is unprecedented in scope and cooperation, museums from around the world lent their Bosch masterpieces — many of which are major draws and whose absence would affect each museum — to Bosch's birthplace. The result has been not only a remarkable experience to view; but, an explosion of scholarship as pieces that have been separated for hundreds of years are seen and examined together
We wish that every painter working today could see this show. It explores the role, for better and worse, of photography as an aid to creating fine art. Hardly a simple subject, the exhibition shows examples of artists who used it to enhance their already formidable skills; along with those who relied on it to their detriment. It is a timely and important exploration of a subject that is controversial still among many artists.
This is the first retrospective of the artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema, the Dutch virtuoso who made his career in London. It is what we hope is the first of many retrospectives of major nineteenth-century masters who, famous in their time, have since been neglected.
Exhibition Catalogue of the Year
Some exhibition catalogues are even better than the shows they accompany. Below are three catalogues from shows that stood out for their beautiful imagery and scholarship.
BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Tony, who has read hundreds of books on World War II and its aftermath has been passing this book out to friends and visitors. Though a heavy subject, it is written with great humanity and hope.
A colorful account from the former Director of the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore) detailing the bizarre and absurd world of collecting rare irreplaceable objects — like reading a scholarly gossip column.
Getting inside the heads of artists is nearly impossible. In this book — full of great illustrations and anecdotes from the artist's daily life — van de Wetering gets as close to how an artist puts together a work of art than anyone we've ever seen.
Esoteric Read of the Year
Okay . . . So this may not be for everyone. But, for those of you who wonder about the role of fine art in furthering truth and understanding, this is a worthy exploration of three great minds who tackled the topic.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS OF THE YEAR BY MEAL
We consume a lot of good food at the Gallery. (If you've seen us, you know that it's more than our fair share.) Below are some of the places we've found ourselves going back to again and again.
Trip to Rome (Next Year Spain)
Second Floor Remodel
We have four new people working at the gallery this year, who make what we do possible. They are:
José Becerra: The always positive and helpful young man tasked with the logistics and delivery of fine art and furniture.
Max Bleiweiss: Tony's brother; a Nuclear Physicist who worked at the White Sands Proving Grounds, who recently moved from New Mexico and is not quite ready to retire.
David Sauer: A PhD Opera singer, who makes everything we do look beautiful by taking professional-quality photographs of our work for online clients.
Marta Heinz: Recently moved from London, where she graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts from Sotheby's Institute, Marta is helping us develop our online presence.
Before the year is over, please come in and see us. We'd love to express our love and gratitude for you.
All Our Best,
Anthony Christensen, Brett Levitre, & Micah Christensen