What Pieces of Art Survived the Notre Dame Fire and What was Lost

On April 15, the roof of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught on fire. The fire burned for 12 hours before firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. While the roof of the Cathedral and the iconic spire collapsed, not everything is a loss. A lot of the precious relics and artwork were able to be saved from the building. First responders and firefighters formed a human chain to pass many of the artifacts to safety.

 

According to French Culture Minister Franck Riester, many of the most vital artwork and artifacts were able to be saved. Many of the pieces will be moved to the Louvre to be restored or repaired if needed. The Crown of Thorns thought to be worn by Jesus during his crucifixion, and a 13th-century tunic believed to be worn by St. Louis, the only French king that was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

 

A number of other famed pieces of art survived the fire. The three large stained glass Rose Windows survived the fire and don’t seem to have suffered any significant damage. The Cathedral’s grand organ, made up of over 8,000 pipes with some dating back to the Medieval period, is also thought to be safe, although it may have experienced water damage while the fire was being extinguished. The copper statues of the 12 apostles are safe. The statues had been removed a few days before the fire to be cleaned and restored, as they were badly tarnished.

 

Four large-scale paintings of the apostles from the 17th and 18th century suffered at least part damage. A separate part of the Crown of Thorns is known to have been lost during the fire, in addition to relics from two other saints. The unofficial symbol of France, a Gallic depiction of a rooster, is in poor shape.

 

The status of many items inside the Cathedral is unknown. State employees have to wait 48 hours before being allowed to enter the building to be able to care for the artwork inside. The fate of a nail and piece of wood believed to have used in the crucifixion of Jesus are unknown.

 

Because the fire was mostly contained to the roof, it’s believed that the flames have not damaged most of the artwork inside. However, there may be smoke damage to the pieces. Starting Friday, some of the most significant pieces of art will start being removed.  

Seven Great Women Artists Throughout History

These seven women made an incredible impact on the art world.

 

Mary Cassatt (1844–1926)

Cassatt was a painter and printmaker who is remembered as the only American artist associated with the Impressionist movement. Frequently, her subjects were women and children. Her famous works include The Mandolin Player and In the Loge.

 

American Modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)

O’Keeffe was heavily influenced by photography. Many of her paintings imitated photographic techniques such as cropping and close-ups. Red Canna and Black Iris III are enlarged floral images that are typical of O’Keeffe’s work.

 

Painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

Kahlo closely tied her identity, her artwork, and her homeland of Mexico. About one-third of her paintings are self-portraits, which often reflected her emotions surrounding events in her life. The Two Fridas show her conflicted feelings at the time of her divorce from Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

 

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)

Kusama is known for paintings and art installations featuring polka dots. She has also created mirrored rooms as art installations to explore the concept of infinity. In 2017, Kusama had the distinction of being the world’s top-selling female artist.

 

American sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907)

Lewis relocated to Rome as a young adult to pursue her profession in an environment that did not single her out for her color. (Her father was African-American and her mother was Native American.) Her work depicted neoclassical, biblical, contemporary subjects. The Death of Cleopatra is a masterpiece of realism and was commissioned to celebrate America’s centennial in 1876.

 

Printmaker and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)

Catlett was born in the United States but moved to Mexico in 1946, which became her home for the rest of her life. Her work depicts African-American and Mexican life and often has strong political themes. Her notable sculptures include Homage to My Young Black Sisters and Tired.

 

Agnes Martin (1912–2004)

Born and raised in Canada, Martin moved to the United States in 1931. While Martin’s early paintings are representational, her style evolved during her career. Eventually, geometric images featuring lines and grids became her signature work. Martin is sometimes classified as minimalist although her paintings also show the influence of surrealism, cubism, and abstract expressionism. White Stone, Little Sister, and Fiesta are some of her celebrated works.

How Blockchain is Changing the Art Industry

Blockchain technology is more prevalent than much of the public realizes. It is still in its infancy, but many companies are employing their own private blockchains. Public blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum are what most people are familiar with. Their advantages extend much further than the internal efficiencies promised by private blockchains. The art world is turning to blockchain to solve issues plaguing the industry. Some of the problems facing the art industry include:

  • antiquated property transactions
  • illegal activities
  • inefficiency in the auction process

 

Art is an international business. Buying and selling, as well as auction practices, need a blockchain based common ledger. It would serve as a neutral medium for international transactions to take place. But, blockchain technology is more than just a digital ledger. It enables elaborate new methods for data management. Blockchain improves value chains because of its distributed and transparent approach to record keeping. In addition to revolutionizing data management practices, blockchain shows a resounding proficiency to thwart both fraud and tax evasion.

 

Transparency is critical to the value chain of art ownership. Blockchain technology certifies transactions with tokens. Tokens transfer from buyers to seller at purchase. They transfer each time a piece is sold. Blockchain tracks the ownership record. This transparent and distributed ledger enables anyone to view the entire history of a piece. Fraud is minimized because any potential buyer can simply examine the owner’s claim via their crypto wallet.

 

Blockchain expects to impact all areas of the art industry. It directly affects:

  • artists
  • collectors
  • investors
  • auction houses

 

Artists, especially visual ones, believe in blockchain security. Uniquely coded virtual pieces represent a growing trend. These unique strings of code serve to authenticate purchases for collectors and artist compensation. Registrations are viewable alongside corresponding time-stamps. Auction houses are incorporating digital certification to improve operations through increased transparency and secured long-term records. Art investors have taken advantage of blockchain tokenization to promote fractional investments. Since ownership is ensured on a malleable digital platform, investors can purchase and liquidate pieces of art as easily as trading stocks.

 

Art records have historically been the subject of intense scrutiny. Blockchain technology brings a new solution that many professionals are praising.

How to Start an Art Collection for Beginners

No matter what your age is, if you have always admired art and have wanted to have your own art collection to view, appreciate, and enhance your home, following are some suggestions as to how you can slowly begin this exciting and unique hobby/investment:

 

Research Before Buying

 

Have the fun of getting to know what type of art and which artists really appeal to you. You can do a lot of that online at your leisure, but it is even more enjoyable if you are able to go to art galleries, openings, exhibitions, and art fairs to get a major feel for what will really “turn you on.”

 

Find out about the artists, their various works, what their styles are, the galleries where they have been featured and shows they have been in, their previous sales, and as much information as you can put together.

 

A great many artists will also sell their art for extremely reasonable prices on their own websites or on Instagram because they don’t have to pay all the extra costs involved in commissions when represented by galleries. You can also save money by going to auctions during the off-season.

 

Making Purchases

 

Once you have looked at length, realize what your particular tastes are, and you suddenly see something that jumps out at you and is within your budget, go ahead and make the purchase. You will stretch your dollars if you consider an emerging artist that is new with his or her career but is being successful at making sales as compared to a popular and established artist.

 

Consider Prints or Multiples

 

If you just “have” to own a certain piece of art or photographs offered by a particular artist but just cannot afford an original, there are often prints available at a much lower price. For example, check out benefit auctions where the proceeds will go to a specific charity that you are happy to help sponsor.

 

What is Editioned Work?

 

That means that a set number of the prints or photographs has been designated, and once that number has been sold, no more can be purchased. In addition to your knowledge that you have something unique, there is a better chance of the piece increasing in value over time because of being a limited edition.

 

For Pleasure or as an Investment

 

Whichever way you decide to dedicate your art collection, the main idea is to have something delightful to look at and which will add to your decor. ENJOY!

 

What to Know about Robin Williams’ Art Collection Sale

The late comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams was known for his wild standup routines and a wide variety of movie and television performances.

 

Maybe that is why his collection of artwork bears a similar diverse portfolio of some extraordinary and eclectic pieces.

 

Sotheby’s New York is selling the art collection owned by Williams and his former wife Marsha on Thursday, October 4th. The sale is titled: “Creating a Stage: The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams,” and now the public will have the chance to bid on these personal items. Williams was married to Marsha Garces Williams for 20 years, and the couple was avid collectors.

 

The Williams family has decided that proceeds from the auction will be divided among several of the late star’s favorite charities. Some of these organizations include the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Juilliard School, Wounded Warrior Project and Challenged Athletes Foundation.

 

The sale is expected to realize between $3.3 million to $4.7 million, according to Sotheby’s New York.

 

Robin Williams was revered for his unique sense of humor, and the range of objects from his interesting art collection that he shared with his then-wife Marsha reflects their vision. The works feature pricey sculptures, paintings, timepieces, sports and movie memorabilia, a selection of bicycles and design.

 

For instance, the first edition of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (est. $1,500–2,500) is up for auction. Williams starred with Steve Martin in the 1988 production at Lincoln Center.

 

A Gryffindor robe worn by actor Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is also up for grabs (est. $10,000-$15,000).

 

Robin Williams’s Golden Globe award for his winning role in “Good Morning Vietnam” will also be up on the auction block for bidding (est. $15,000–20,000).

 

A colorful and striking contemporary sculpture titled ” Le poète et sa muse” by artist Niki de Saint-Phalle is also part of the art collection sale (est. $350-450,000).

 

Even the actor’s famous Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque (1990) can be bid on by the public (est. $3,000-5,000). It was presented to Williams by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on the day of the placement of his star.

 

Robin Williams was 63 when he committed suicide in 2014. It was reported that he was suffering from depression.