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    PRESIDENT OBAMA AND MAYA LIN ON SCULPTURAL COMMISSION

    Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

    Here is a video on Maya Lin’s sculpture at the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side. It is designed by architects Todd Williams and Billie Tsien and ground on the project was broken last September. The Museum building will be a new landmark for the South Side, welcoming visitors to Jackson Park and marking the Center as an historic civic destination. The Museum building’s design embodies the idea of ascension—of a movement upward from the grassroots. Its form is inspired by the idea of four hands coming together; a recognition that many hands shape a place.

    THE PRESENTATION SISTERS AND THEIR SCHOOLS IN CORK

    Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

    A window  offering a glimpse of school life in Cork over the past 250 years is about to open. An absorbing exhibition about the Presentation Sisters and schools in Cork city and county gets underway at Nano Nagle Place in Cork city centre today and will run until  April.  The social context of foundations like North Pres in Cork city (1789) and Doneraile (1818) through to modern convents in city suburbs like Ballyphehane and Farranree is explored through the rich archival collections of the sisters which have been thoroughly trawled through and extensively mined. Images from past pupils were crowdsourced too  resulting in a rich and fascinating show in a brilliant location. The image here is from St. Mary’s School, Presentation Convent, Fermoy.

    GORGOSAURUS SKELETON MAKES OVER $6 MILLION AT SOTHEBY’S

    Friday, July 29th, 2022
    Gorgosaurus

    A Gorgosaurus skeleton sold for $6,095,600 at Sotheby’s Natural History sale in New York on July 28. It had been excavated on private land at Judith River, Choteau River, Montana in 2018. The exhibition mounted skeleton measures nine feet, two and a half inches tall and just under 22 feet long. It is from the late Cretaceous Period and approximately 77 million years old. The Gorgosaurus was a relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    FIGHT AGAINST COVID TAKEN TO THE NFT MARKET AT CHRISTIE’S

    Tuesday, July 26th, 2022
    The University Of Pennsylvania mRNA NFT

    A breathtaking 3d digital work that takes the viewer to the molecular level, showing a cutting-edge mRNA vaccine fighting COVID-19, sold for $226,800 at Christie’s on July 25. The one-of-a-kind digital University of Pennsylvnia mRNA NFT was designed by the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Drew Weissman, whose groundbreaking research helped create mRNA vaccines. The NFT comes with a storyboard that explains what the NFT depicts, the University of Pennsylvania-owned mRNA patent documents, and an original letter from Dr. Weissman, whose research produced key innovations that made mRNA vaccines safer and more effective. Proceeds from the auction will support ongoing research activities at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine.

    MRNA vaccines are a new form of technology that has been science’s main tool to fight the COVID virus. Unlike traditional vaccines, which use a weakened or inactive germ to trigger an immune response, mRNA vaccines are designed to teach the body to create a protein that triggers the immune response. This one-of-a-kind NFT features a stunning one-minute 3D sequence that uses color, shape, movement, and sound to show mRNA encapsulated inside of lipid nanoparticles, administered via a vaccine, and working in the body to teach cells to create a protein to help the immune system to fight COVID.

    In its review of the first half of 2022 Christie’s reported that the market for NFT’s is facing its first real endurance test.  It amounted to just $4.75 million (€4.71 million) in the half year. Collectors are responding by selecting the best digital artists from the rest and consolidating around a group more likely to survive the tumult of the broader cryptocurrency markets.

    ANTIQUE ROADSHOW AT HUNT MUSEUM FUNDRAISER

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

    There will be an antiques roadshow at the Hunt Museum in Limerick from noon to 4 pm on Sunday June 26. Experts on hands will cover all areas from books, coins, general ephemera, glass, ceramics, silver, pictures and textiles. The Friends of the Hunt Museum, who have organised the event to raise funds for upgrading and refurbishing a number of showcases at the museum, have advised people who would like to have a furniture valuation to bring a good photograph rather than the piece. There will be a panel of experts from the Irish Antique Dealers Association and auctioneers Fonsie Mealy and George Mealy in attendance.

    THE RED CROSS DIAMOND AT CHRISTIE’S GENEVA

    Tuesday, April 12th, 2022
    THE RED CROSS DIAMOND. UPDATE: THIS MADE CHF14,181,250 / $14,320,624 / €13,554,068

    An historically important fancy intense yellow, cushion-shaped diamond of 205.07 carat known as the Red Cross diamond will come up at Christie’s magnificent jewels sale in Geneva on May 11. Part of the price it makes will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The original rough stone was found in 1901 in a De Beers South African mine and is said to have weighed some 375 carats. Besides ranking amongst the largest diamonds in the world, a striking feature of the stone is its pavilion, which is faceted in the shape of a Maltese cross.

    “This is the third time in over 100 years for Christie’s to present this extraordinary canary yellow diamond of 205.07 carats. This is a very special bond and tremendous honour. Part of the proceeds of the sale will benefit the International Committee of the Red Cross, for a cause that is even more poignant in the midst of current events.”, said François Curiel, Chairman of Christie’s Europe and Head of the Luxury Department.

    LIFE AND CAREER OF BETTY WHITE AT JULIEN’S AUCTIONS

    Monday, April 11th, 2022

    Property from the life and eight decade spanning career of legendary actress Betty White comes up live and online at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on September 23, 24 and 25. On offer is a collection of over 1,500 lots featuring awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewellery, household and personal items from her homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California. Irish fans of the actress who died just short of her 100th birthday last December 31 will have a chance to see the collection at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge, Co. Kildare from August 1 to September 11.

    Highlights include White’s original director chair from The Golden Girls set; the first draft script, a production script used for the finale of the series signed by Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, a large number of production scripts from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a goodbye plaque from the cast and crew of The Betty White Show and numerous awards and nomination certificates including Emmy award nomination certificates for The Golden Girls, Saturday Night Live and Hot in Cleveland.

    UPDATE: THIS WAS A WHITE GLOVE AUCTION IN WHICH EVERY LOT SOLD. A director’s chair used by Betty White during the production of The Golden Girls sold for an incredible $76,800, seventy-six times its original estimate of $1,000.

    DONEGAL CARPET IN REMARKABLE CONDITION SELLS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

    This early 20th century Donegal carpet in remarkably fine condition sold for 5,292 GBP at Sotheby’s in London today. It came up at a sale of Art of the Islamic World including fine rugs and carpets and had been estimated at 4,000-6,000. Made in Killybegs in the early 20th century the carpet, with the label of Maple and Co. London and Smyrna, was discovered about 40 years ago in a sealed room by an antique restorer working on some library panels. It was thought then to have been stored for at least 50 years. The father of the present owner bought it, but found it too big for his home and passed it on to son, who also found it to be too big. So it has been stored ever since. It measures 368 cm x 265 cm approximately.

    THE LARGEST WHITE DIAMOND EVER AT AUCTION

    Friday, March 25th, 2022
    Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, with The Rock. UPDATE: THIS MADE CHF21,681,000 / $21,894,082 / €20,722,133

    The Rock, the largest white diamond ever to appear at auction, will come up at Christie’s in Geneva on May 11. Mined and polished in South Africa over two decades ago the 228.31 carat pear-shaped diamond is estimated at $20-30 million. Graded by the Gemmological Institute of America as G colour, VS1 clarity, The Rock is accompanied by a letter from the GIA stating that it is the largest existing D-Z colour pear-shaped diamond ever graded by the laboratory. The previous auction record for the largest white diamond was a 163.41 carat gem, which sold at Christie’s Geneva in November 2017 for US$ 33,701,000.

    Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery said: “The Rock will join the very best of legendary gemstones which have passed through Christie’s global salerooms since 1766. The market for diamonds is particularly vibrant and we are confident that this sensational gemstone will capture the attention of collectors across the globe this Spring season.”

    BRIAN KENNEDY: ART HISTORIAN AND ULSTER MUSEUM CURATOR

    Friday, March 11th, 2022
    Brian Kennedy

    The art historian Brian Kennedy, who died in February, was curator of 20th century art and later Keeper of Art at the Ulster Museum, for which he acquired many important contemporary works. As an academic he was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge. He produced the catalogue raisonne on Paul Henry and his PhD under Anne Crookshank at Trinity College Dublin formed the basis of a ground-breaking book, Irish Art and Modernism, 1880-1950. Those who love Irish art owe him a debt of gratitude for his very accessible work and contribution to the promotion of Irish art and artists. Brian Kennedy was 79.