May 4, 2012

A Wedding and Chicago

I'm really looking forward to this weekend and next week.  This Saturday, I'll be just outside of Baltimore celebrating the marriage of a friend before heading off to Chicago all next week for work.  I've never been to Chicago, so I'm adding a couple of days at the end of my work trip to explore the city.  I'm planning several touristy excursions, like a trip to the Art Institute and Millennium Park, a boat cruise, and if I'm feeling a brave, a step out onto the Willis Tower Skydeck. I hope to squeeze as much in as I can AND to remember to take some pictures along the way!

Cloud Gate in Millennium Park

May 3, 2012

The Scream: Follow Up

Yesterday, I shared that one version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" would be up for auction at Sotheby's, and that the final bid was estimated to be around $80 million.  

Well, the winning bidder, who has chosen to remain anonymous, ended up shelling out almost $120 million for the infamous work of art ($119,922,500.00, to be exact).  Bidding started at $40 million, and the sale broke the record for the final bid on any work of art, ever.  The second highest bid was a mere $106.5 million for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust" sold in 2010 at a Christie's auction.  

The other three versions of "The Scream" are in Norwegian museums.  This particular version is the most colorful of the four, and it is the only one that includes Munch's poem detailing the inspiration behind the artwork.  From an article detailing the auction:
Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist, said he sold the piece through Sotheby's because he felt "the moment has come to offer the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work." 
"I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time," Olsen said.  
Proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.  
The director of the National Museum in Oslo, Audun Eckhoff, says Norwegian authorities approved the Munch sale since the other versions of the composition are in Norwegian museums. One version is owned by the National Museum and two others by the Munch Museum, also in Oslo.

May 2, 2012

The Scream

Today, Sotheby's will be auctioning one version of Edvard Munch's notorious series, The Scream, with some experts estimating a final bid of more than $80 million, the highest presale amount Sotheby's has ever set.  Many people are familiar with "The Scream," but what many people don't know is that the artist actually created four versions of the "face that launched 1,000 therapists."

"The Scream" has an intriguing history that includes mental illness, theft, and too-many-to-count pop culture references. Munch suffered from severe anxiety, and himself described his inspiration for the painting:
"I was walking along a path with two friends — the sun was setting — suddenly the sky turned blood red — I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence — there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city — my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety — and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature "
It will be interesting to see who places the winning bid.

May 1, 2012

Jonathan Adler Coming to Georgetown

I've long been a fan of Jonathan Adler; his cheeky and whimsical housewares and fabric designs are, well, cheeky and whimsical.  I was happy to read that he will be opening a retail location in Georgetown this May.  It will be right in the heart of the shopping district, taking the place of the former GAP Kids, so this should be good news for retailers and consumers alike.  Washingtonian recently spoke with Adler about the new store, and Adler had this to say about DC: 
Washington is groovy. I've always loved Georgetown--the architecture, the vibe, all the glamorous politicos, students, and creative types. I've been looking for the perfect spot in Georgetown for years, and I finally found it.
Looking forward to welcoming you to 'hood, Jonathan.

Photos via Jonathan Adler.