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Modigliani - Portrait de femme

Inside the Art Market: Centers of Influence

The paintings in the living room looked impressive, almost regal. The whopping Pissarro landscape over the fireplace was mesmerizing; but then one noticed a radiant floral still life by Matisse, a portrait by Manet, other works by Cézanne, Boudin and assorted Modernists like Utrillo, Soutine and Vlaminck; and on into a gallery in this spacious Northern California house one encountered a Modigliani portrait on one wall, a Van Gogh on another, and scattered pictures by minor 19th century French artists rounding out the rooms. Here was an old-money collection of taste and style, one which, in the booming current art market roiling with new money and eager buyers the world over, should be worth a fortune.

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Inside the Art Market-Invisible

Inside the Art Market: Invisible

This sale of the principal contents of Sutton Brailes Manor is being conducted on instructions from the Treasury Solicitor, the owner, the reclusive Mrs. Dorothea Allen, having died intestate. No next of kin has been traced, despite a nationwide search, and Mrs. Allen’s life remains shrouded in mystery.

—Introduction to Sotheby’s Catalogue, 4th September 1990

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Victoriana

Inside the Art Market: Victoriana

Then came the moment for the Queen to receive the Crown, and for all the peers and peeresses to put on their coronets. As the Queen knelt for the Crown to be placed on her head, a ray of sunlight fell upon her, and the Duchess of Kent, overcome by the scene, overwrought by mingled emotions, burst into tears.

—Edith Sitwell, Victoria of England

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Hendrix At Monterey

Inside the Art Market: Rock and Roll Immortality

It is hard to believe that Jimi Hendrix died almost fifty years ago. Changes in musical taste, social values and recording industry fortunes since then have been so profound that 1970 seems many generations removed, ancient history, a black hole. It was a time of free love, of social and philosophical gurus like Abbie Hoffman and R. D. Laing, of San Francisco and hippie splendor; a time when dropping out was considered a viable, even essential career move. In this long-ago era Jimi Hendrix rose to the top of the rock world, and then departed, with breathtaking speed. Since he never grew old, he remains with us—through his music—young and wild and hypnotic.

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