Archive for the 'Sotheby’s' Category

08
Jan
14

A Conversation with Chef David Kolotkin


This evening at 10:00pm (Eastern Time), we will be talking to Chef David Kolotkin, cookbook author (The Prime Grill Cookbook)  and Corporate Chef at Prime Hospitality Group. We will discuss what makes a Chef, coming up in the ranks of today’s brigade system kitchens and much more.

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DavKoll

Those of you who’ve been faithfully reading this blog, know that both SYR and I wrote many times about Chef David, you also know that because of his superior culinary skills, because of his people skills, his down to earth – friendly – personality, he is our favorite Chef among many great ones.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, listen to our last broadcast with Sotheby‘s Senior Vice PresidentJenifer Roth – on Israeli and International Art, and the fascinating world of antique Judaica with Consultant on Books and Manuscripts, David Wachtel

Please tune us in this evening at 10:00pm  (Eastern Time) for a fascinating show, pretaped at The Prime Grill Restaurant (25 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 – 212.692.9292). We will be waiting for you!

CS

17
Dec
13

Sotheby’s Upcoming Jewish Auctions – Part 2 – Israeli and International Art


Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue; NY, NY 10021; Tel:212.606.7000), second Jewish themed auction which is also taking place today, features paintings, photographs, scuplture and DVDs. While much of the art is of a very Jewish nature one can easily recognize outside influences such as the French Fauves in the works of Mane-Katz, who is well represented here. It is obvious therefore that while weaving a Jewish theme, these artists often see it through the style of their contemporaries.

Can we therefore, talk about Jewish art as more than just the representation of certain subject matter? Absolutely! As I went through the exhibit it was quite obvious that Jewish painters, sculptors, photographers – while using the styles, the colors, the techniques, the equipment prevalent in their time – also bring a unique perspective, a unique sensitivity, a unique joy, a unique pain, all of them quintessentially Jewish.

It is outside the scope of this blog to discuss every single item, or even a significant number of them, but here are a few of the artworks that impressed me.

I found Samuel Bak‘s Untitled (Lot 69), very powerful…

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Ebak

Bak, a surrealist painter, is a Holocaust survivor with a powerful eye for detail – who portrays his personal nightmares and symbolism. The above Untitled work is subtitled (Experimente Mit der Weisheit – Experiment with Wisdom). Without showing an actually war scene, it portrays, the horrors, the aftermath of battle. Painted in 1974, it is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Four other works by this painter are included, as well, ranging between $12,000 to $20,000.

Moshe Gershuni is represented by two works, my personal favorite…

MGershuni2

…of the two, is the above monochromatic canvas (Lot 86), in shades of grey. Bold, strong, heavy brushstrokes create almost a sculpture on the canvas. It was painted in 2005-2006 and is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.

Reuven Rubin also has a number of works here that show an evolution of styles and subjects…

ReuRub

Painted in 1928, The Milkman (Lot 27) depicts his love and amazement at the new land he had recently arrived in, Palestine. It has an estimated price ranging from $300,000 to $350,000. Two years later in 1930, Jakob Steinhardt in The Sunday Preacher (Lot 54), painted a powerful prophetic warning against the Weimar Republic’s decadence and the evil of things to come, it is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.

Between the powerful photography of Adi Nes, to the very personal art (sculpture and DVDs) of Sigalit Landau, works by Ohad Meromi depict the anti-hero.

Omer1

The Psychedelic Protagonist (Lot 134), shows a despondent would be musician of undefinable age, reaching out – perhaps halfheartedly – for a hallucinogenic mushroom. Will he pick it up? Will he use it? This work is priced between $15,000 to $18,000.

From Ludwig Blum‘s idyllic View of Jerusalem (Lot 8), painted in 1937 and estimated at $40,000 to $60,000…

LudBlum

…to Yigal Ozery‘s study of a decaying building in Window (Lot 124), estimated at $12,000 to $15,000…

YigOz

From idealism, to warnings and fear, from hope to despair, from celebration to tears, the whole rainbow of human emotions, is represented here in many styles, in many colors. The range of Jewish experience, dreams and nightmares, laughter and tears, yet an absolute belief that future will be a bright one, from the late 19th century onward, is shown through varied media as explained by Jennifer Roth, two evenings ago, on our radio show.  There is something here for every taste and almost every pocket!

CS

15
Dec
13

Our Radio Show this Evening


This evening at 10:30pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.com we will broadcast a conversation we pre-taped on Friday morning at Sotheby’s offices in Manhattan. We spoke to Jennifer Roth (Senior Vice President, Sotheby’s New York) and David Wachtel (Consultant on Books and Manuscripts).

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David Wachtel

David Wachtel

First we spoke with Mr. Wachtel on the fascinating topic of old and rare Judaica books and scrolls from the Important Judaica exhibit. Jennifer Roth, joined us next as we discussed the paintings, sculpture and DVDs offered in both Important Judaica and Israeli and International Art.

Both auctions will be held this coming Tuesday the 17th of December, at Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue; NY, NY 10021; Tel:212.606.7000)

Please join us at 10:30pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.com for fascinating insights into the world of rare Judaica and the place of Israeli and international Jewish artists in the context of modern art movements.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, please listen in to our conversation with Rabbi Asher Girshberg. Don’t forget to tune us in this evening at 10:30pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.com. We’ll be waiting for ya!

CS

26
Apr
13

About Tomorrow’s Radio Show…


After a far too long hiatus (due to the final disease and subsequent ptirah of my uncle – Henry Moss, alav haShalom), we are back with a radio show special on motzey Shabbat at 11:30 pm (Eastern Time). We prerecorded it on Wednesday, at Sotheby’s, at the press intro to the exhibit of the Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection.

The collection's catalog...

The collection’s catalog…

Detail of a very ornate Shabbat oil lamp, from the 18th Frankfurt Ghetto

Detail of a very ornate Shabbat oil lamp, from the 18th century Frankfurt am/Main ghetto.

We spoke with Jennifer Roth, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President and Department Head of the Judaica Department, John D. Ward, Vice President and Department Head of the Silver Department, Sharon Liberman Mintz and David Wachtel, Senior Judaica Consultants. The exhibit covers a millennium and a half of Jewish Ceremonial Art, from aquamanile to matza tools, from German Shabbat oil lamps to a British decorative silver plate given by the Jewish community to the Lord Mayor of London, to an illuminated medieval edition of MaimonidesMishnah Torah and hundreds more. Each item is unique, some are very rare, all show the extent to which the Jews appreciated art and integrated the artistic fashion of the time into their every day ceremonial needs.

The conversations with the four experts listed above were fascinating, as they opened up a new way to look at our history, at our values, and how the Jews truly fared in the European societies of old. Please listen to this fascinating show at BlogTalkRadio.com/kosherscene at 11:30 pm (Eastern Time) motzei Shabbat.

Meanwhile, in case you missed, please listen to the archive of our last show with Paula Shoyer.

Don’t forget to listen in tomorrow evening at 11:30 pm (Eastern Time), we’ll be wait’n for ya.

CS

01
Feb
13

The Michael & Judy Steinhardt Collection at Sotheby’s


You can glean an indication of a people’s essential soul through its art; you can tell an artist’s darkest fears or highest aspirations through his/her artistic creations. From its very beginning, Jewish art has been heavily influenced by its homestead environs, the cultural milieu, and the political and economic times of each era. Regardless of the external influences, however, the unique Jewish en-soulment  lives within every creation like a burning spark in each work. You can view these spiritual sparks in a collection of Judaica currently on partial display at Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021 - Tel: 212.606.7000). The full collection of 400 lots, collected by Judy and Michael Steinhardt consists of rare Jewish art spanning from antiquity to the 20th century and will be auctioned on April 29th, 2013.

Among the collection’s items one can find The Frankfurt Mishnah Torah, published sometime around 1457 to 1465, it is a beautiful set of eight illuminated manuscripts (another five volumes are in the Vatican). As Sotheby’s press release states, it is by far the most profusely illustrated manuscript of MaimonidesMishna Torah and is expected to command between $4.5 to $6 million. An item that is currently on display is this beautiful North German Bronze Lion Aquamanile, from the 12th century…

kosher-scene-copyright-copy

One of only four known Aquamanilia (hand washing vessels) with a medieval Hebrew inscription.

One of only four known Aquamanilia (hand washing vessels) bearing a medieval Hebrew inscription.

Other items I was privileged to see are a German psomim bixl, used for havdallah at the end of Shabbos, a very ornate Torah crown…

An Italian Torah crown, circa 1730

An Italian Torah crown, circa 1730

The detailed work and beautiful lettering on the crown, speak eloquently of the artist’s reverence for his subject and mastery of the delicate nuances of his raw material. Also displayed is a Torah breastplate of rare workmanship unequaled today…

Intricately designed, unique in its beauty.

Intricately designed, unique in its beauty.

Other items displayed include 2 Ketubas – like the one below, for example:

The full ketuba above and the actual written contract on the bottom...

The full ketuba above and the actual written contract on the bottom…

An unusual lot also on display is The Rouchomovsky Skeleton: A Russian Gold Articulated Skeleton in a Silver-Gilt Coffin, from Odessa 1892-96 and estimated at $150,000 to $250,000…

Very small, yet incredibly detailed.

Very small, yet exquisitely detailed.

This collection affords more than just a glimpse at the collective Jewish soul, to see it and even more to own a piece of it connects a person to centuries of Jewish hopes, dreams, tears and laughter. The complete collection of 400 lots will be on display at Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021 - Tel: 212.606.7000) from April 24 trough 28, while the auction itself will take place on the 29th of April.

CS

RELATED POST

Judaica at Sotheby’s – Valmadonna Trust Library

21
Sep
11

Judaica at Sotheby’s – Valmadonna Trust Library


This past Sunday, I went to Sotheby’s to see the current exhibits. On the first flight up, they were showing Mid 20th Century Furnishings, and a collection spanning the over 4 decades’ career of 20th century American painter Sam Francis. In the Furnishings area, there was a small glass enclosed alcove where a tiny sampling of the more than 11,000 sfarim of the Valmadonna Trust Library was on show.

The entire collection had already been exhibited in 2009, occupying the whole of Sotheby’s 10th floor gallery. Sotheby’s press release, at the time, described it thus:

New York, NY; February 9, 2009 – Sotheby’s announced today that it would display in its entirety, for the first time ever, the Valmadonna Trust Library, the finest private library of Hebrew books and manuscripts in the world. Assembled over the past century, this extensive group of over 11,000 works is monumental in its significance as a primary source on both world history and Jewish life and culture. The collection boasts rarities dating from the 10th century to the early 20th century from Italy, Holland, England, Greece, Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire, North Africa, India, and China, documenting the spread of the Hebrew press and the dissemination of Jewish culture around the globe. Among the treasures in the collection are: the only surviving manuscript written in England before the expulsion of the Jews in 1290; arguably the finest copy of the Babylonian Talmud produced between 1519 and 1523 by famed printer Daniel Bomberg, which was previously in the collection of Westminster Abbey; as well as the preeminent group of Hebrew books in existence from the dawn of printing (15th century). The entire collection will be exhibited in Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries from February 9-19, 2009, with the exception of February 14th.

A small sampling of this rare sfarim collection

This superb collection is comprised of books and manuscripts including Bibles and Talmuds, kabbalistic texts, siddurim, and Passover haggadot. Among the Library’s other holdings are Hebrew grammatical and legal texts; medical, philosophical and literary treatises; as well as periodicals, broadsheets, and wall calendars—particularly rare items on account of their ephemeral nature.

Printed by Daniel Bomberg, Maseches Me'ilah, around 1519-1523

Many medieval texts are here, dating from as early as the 10th century and including the first printed sfarim from the late 15th century. Among the collection’s jewels is a ktav yad of the earliest known Ashkenazic script, a Franco-German Chumash, dating from the 10th or 11th century. The crown jewel, however, is the Codex Valmadonna I. This is the only dated Hebrew text in existence from medieval England, before King Edward I’s 1290 edict expelling the Jews. The year following this manuscript’s creation, in 1190, mobs in York attacked the Jewish community living there, massacring the population, and looting their property.

Other opulent manuscripts in the collection include a Yemenite Chumash from the early 15th century, replete with characteristic Oriental illuminations. Of the original 29,000  titles – incunables [books printed on Gutenberg's original presses] – only 140 were done in lashon kodesh. This collections has almost half of them!

A superb collection, Sotheby’s is hoping to sell as one, perfect for an institution of Jewish learning!

CS




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