Weekly Roundup: MoMA to Sell a Monet, Major Collection of Old Master Paintings to Hit the Auction Block, and More


In case you missed it, here’s what made headlines in the art world this week:

Museum of Fine Arts Houston unveils $450 million redevelopment plan
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston has announced a $450 million redevelopment plan designed by Steven Holl Architects. The project includes a new 164,000-square-foot building for 20th- and 21st-century art; and a new, 80,000-square-foot home for the Glassell School of Art. The construction will also Lake|Flato Architects-designed conservation center, is slated to break ground later this year, with a completion date of 2019. The museum has raised about $330 million of the estimated $350 million it needs for construction, although its capital campaign includes another $100 million for an endowment to support the new facilities. [Houston Chronicle]

Kehinde Wiley to receive U.S. State Dept. Medal of Arts
New York based portraitist Kehinde Wiley will be awarded the U.S.State Department Medal of Arts.Known for his flashy paintings that depict black men and women in the style of Old Master portraiture, Wiley is being honored for using art to promote cultural diplomacy. He will receive his medal for Secretary of State John Kerry on January 21. Past medal honorees include Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Koons, Kiki Smith and Carrie Mae Weems. [ARTNEWS]

St. Petersburg’s tresures travel to Spain
Works by Kandinsky, Chagall, and Malevich are due to travel from Russia to Spain for the opening of Malaga’s State Russian Museum this March. The first European branch of the St. Petersburg institution is due to be housed in a former tobacco factory in the southern Spanish city. The inaugural display, Russian Art of the XV-XX centuries, traces a path of the country’s art history through 100 works, beginning with Russian icons from the end of the Middle Ages to Modernism and concluding with Soviet Realism. The exact opening date has not been announced, but the mayor of Malaga told local press that it will depend on the schedule of Spanish and Russian personalities attending the inauguration, which could include Spanish and foreign government officials. [The Art Newspaper]

MoMA to sell a Monet in London
The Museum of Modern Art has decided to auction off a Claude Monet painting at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern art evening sale in London on February 3rd. Painted in 1887, Les Peupliers à Giverny, one of the artist’s many depictions of the poplar trees on his property in Giverny, is estimated to sell for $13.8 to $18.4 million. According to the auction catalog, the piece is being sold to benefit the museum’s acquisition fund. Before being given to MoMA in 1951 by New York collectors William and Evelyn Jaffe, the painting belonged to the Art Institute of Chicago, which sold it in 1947. [New York Times]

Major collection of Old Masters goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s Paris
Sotheby’s Paris has announced the sale of the Louis Grandchamp des Raux collection of French 17th and 18th century paintings. The fifty piece-collection includes works from some of the era’s most notable artists, including Francois Boucher and Jean-Honore Fragonard. Some of the highlights from the sale include Portrait of a Woman with Violin (1773) by Anne Vallayer-Coster, which has been estimated at €300,000 to €400,000. The sale also includes some major works by northern European artists, such as Still Lifes with Grapes, Cherries, and Strawberry Plant by the German Isaak Soreau, estimated at €150,000 to €200,000. The auction is set to take place on March 26,2015 in Paris. [artnet news]

Image: Detail of Kehinde Wiley, Officer of the Hussars, 2007