George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Heirs Sue Bank Over Sale of Nazi-Looted Art " @nytimes by PATRICIA COHEN

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann "Heirs Sue Bank Over Sale of Nazi-Looted Art " @nytimes by PATRICIA COHEN

“Danseuses” by Edgar Degas, which was sold in 2009. Credit Christie's

When Christie’s auctioned off Edgar Degas’s “Danseuses” for nearly $11 million in 2009, the catalog noted that the masterpiece was being sold as part of a restitution agreement with the “heirs of Ludwig and Margret Kainer,” German Jews whose vast art collection was seized by the Nazis in the years leading up to World War II.

But now a dozen relatives of the Kainers are stepping forward to object. Not only did they fail to benefit from that sale, they say they were never even told about it, or any other auctions of works once owned by the couple, including pieces by Monet and Renoir.

It turns out that the Kainer “heir” that has for years collected proceeds from these sales and other restitutions, including war reparations from the German government, is not a family member but a foundation created by Swiss bank officials.

In lawsuits filed in New York and Switzerland, the Kainer relatives contend that officers of the bank — now part of the global banking giant UBS — never made a diligent effort to find them, and worse, used the family name to create a “sham” foundation ostensibly organized to support the health and education of Jewish youth but actually formed, they say, to cheat them out of their inheritance.

Both the foundation — named after Norbert Levy, Mrs. Kainer’s father — and UBS have said in court papers that they have done nothing wrong, but declined to comment. The lawsuits come as high-profile disputes over looted art focus attention on how courts and governments have handled assets stolen from Jews by the Nazis. Despite the scrutiny, this case shows just how difficult adjudicating such claims remains. The Kainer family lawsuits, for example, involve the legal systems of four countries and rest on the intentions and actions of people who have been dead for many decades. Like many families who survived the Holocaust, the Kainer descendants were not even aware that their relatives had lost or left behind valuables to which they might have a claim. As experts note, the ability to track family members has made great leaps over the years. This case only came to light when Mondex Corporation, which helps recover looted property, noticed in 2009 that hundreds of works once owned by the Kainers had been listed in an international database of art lost in the war years, and then tracked down their relatives.

Then there is the added drama that the New York lawsuit names UBS as a defendant, striking a sensitive chord. UBS, the result of a 1998 merger between Swiss Bank Corporation and the Union Bank of Switzerland, was one of several Swiss banks accused of trying to block attempts by Jewish war survivors and heirs to reclaim assets deposited in what they had thought were safe havens.    

Margret Kainer in 1952. Credit C. Messen-Jaschin

The Kainer family’s dealings with Swiss banks stretches back to the period before Hitler grabbed power. Margret Kainer and her father relied on the Swiss Bank Corporation to manage their fortunes. Before his death in 1928, Mr. Levy, a Berlin metals dealer, set up a foundation to benefit his only daughter. He trusted the Swiss bank so much that in the foundation’s bylaws he required a bank director to be one of its two trustees.

When the Nazis seized control in Germany a few years later, Margret and her husband, Ludwig, a well-known artist and illustrator who designed sets for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, fled to France.

The Germans ended up confiscating much of the Kainers’ extensive holdings, which included real estate, securities, bank accounts and a world-class art collection that contained works by Goya, Ingres and Renoir as well as Chinese ceramics and ancient Egyptian sculptures, according to court papers.

Out of the Nazis reach, however, was the Norbert Levy Foundation, based in Switzerland. The foundation provided regular payments to the couple: 800 Swiss francs a month (about $2,800) until the money ran out in 1944, court papers say.

Most of Margret’s relatives were not as lucky. At least four were killed in the Holocaust, said Max Corden, a great-nephew of Norbert Levy, now 87, who is a party to the lawsuit.

After the war, the Kainers, who had briefly sought refuge in Switzerland, moved back to Paris where Mr. Kainer died in 1967, followed by Mrs. Kainer in 1968. Since they were childless, the rightful heirs, the lawsuits contend, are the 12 children and grandchildren of Mrs. Kainer’s cousins. The foundation, they say, was legally terminated with Mrs. Kainer’s death.

What happened next is at the crux of the legal dispute. Did bank officials make a good-faith effort to track down family heirs after the couple died?

The Kainer relatives say no. They charge in court papers that even a cursory search would have turned up the names of relatives who had contacted the bank in 1947 and 1950 to ask about arranging for help from the foundation. A diligent effort, they say, would also have included contacting the International Tracing Service of the Swiss-based Red Cross, which was created specifically to find missing and displaced people. Family members, the court papers say, were listed with the service.

What bank officials did do was post a notice seeking heirs for three months of 1969 in a local governmental journal published by the Swiss state of Vaud, where the Kainers maintained a legal address.

Experts acknowledge that in those days, few institutions initiated the kind of full-bore efforts to find heirs that are considered standard now.

“There were different expectations of what was required,” said Anna Rubin, the director of New York State’s Holocaust Claims Processing Office. She noted that genealogical research was less advanced, and that digital databases did not exist.

Still, experts said a basic search would have included contacting the Red Cross. A more thorough attempt, they say, would have involved Jewish organizations and a registration office in Germany, where Margret Kainer was born.

Ludwig Kainer, in an undated photograph. Credit Ruth Mottek, Charlottenburg

The question of who qualified as an heir languished until 1970, when West Germany, as part of a postwar settlement, finally agreed to pay the family a lump sum as restitution (the exact amount is unclear). But the money would be forfeited if there were no legal heirs.

Since the bank had not located any family members, Dr. Albert Genner, a Swiss Bank Corporation director who had personally known Norbert Levy, came up with a plan to revive the foundation in order to get the payout. In a memo dated Dec. 21, 1970, and stamped “Private,” Dr. Genner advocated resurrecting the foundation to function as the Kainers’ legal successor, so that “a claim could be constructed.” The foundation’s purpose, Dr. Genner wrote, would be to help educate children, preferably “of Jewish heritage from prewar Germany,” who “for health reasons” needed to attend school in Vaud’s favorable climate.

What no one understood at the time was just how valuable the Kainer estate really was. Over the last decade and a half, millions of dollars in misplaced assets and recovered art have surfaced. The biggest bonanza came after Swiss officials discovered a lost portfolio worth more than $19 million, according to public records in Switzerland. Swiss officials said they, too, were unable to find Kainer descendants despite multiple searches and claimed the windfall. After the Norbert foundation objected, they ultimately negotiated a settlement in 2005 under which the foundation received $5.6 million. (The Kainer family is suing the municipalities of Vaud and Pulley in Switzerland to recover the rest.)

George Lindemannh Journal by George Lindemann - "Art Glass Offers Clear Advantages to Collectors" @wsj by Peter S. Green

Amber Cowan uses recycled mid-century pressed glass to create new pieces                                         

Amber Cowan uses recycled mid-century pressed glass to create new pieces. Matthew Hollerbush           


There was a time when glass was a craft. But in recent years it has become something more: an established art form, and an attractive—and affordable—investment.

"Art glass is a great way to begin collecting art because there is so much available at so many price points," says Carina Villinger, head of 20th century decorative art and design at Christie's.

Since the launch of the Studio Glass movement in the 1960s, glass has slowly crossed the species barrier from craft to fine art. Today, examples of glass art include bright colors and arresting shapes, works that resemble paintings in glass, and objects both strange and familiar encased in glass.

'Something Higher'

"You're taking sand, soda and ash, and through fire transforming them into something higher," says Douglas Heller, a partner in Heller Gallery in New York City. A successful glass artist needs both the inspiration of an artist and the skill of a craftsman to make a successful piece of art glass, Mr. Heller says.

"Right away, that separates out the dilettantes," he adds.

Harlan Fischer, president of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, a group of leading collectors, says what attracts collectors to art glass is the sense of "urgency" seen in a finished piece. "You can't just start on your artwork and go eat lunch and come back," Mr. Fischer says. "You have to continue working it in its molten form to prevent it cracking and shattering."

Experts in the field agree there are opportunities for collecting art glass at all points on the price spectrum. "Admittedly you have to have some discretionary income," says Mr. Heller. "But you don't have to be wealthy."

Wide Spectrum

Works at the high end of the market have brought auction prices ranging from around $70,000, for the Italian artist Paolo Venini, to $480,000 for a piece by Czech collaborators Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova that was sold in 2007. Glass works by Libensky tend to be massive exercises in geometry—some more than 10 feet tall—that transform the light that passes through them. Blown glass pieces by Lino Tagliapietra, who has fused the techniques of Murano glassworks with vibrant colors of American studio artists, sell for $50,000 to $75,000. His cast glass panels can sell for $95,000 to $250,000.

Lino Tagliapietra fused Murano glassworks techniques with colors of American studio artists ENLARGE
Lino Tagliapietra fused Murano glassworks techniques with colors of American studio artists. Russell Johnson

There are newer artists as well whose pieces fetch prices from $5,000 to $15,000, including Amber Cowan, whose floral hangings use recycled mid-century pressed glass, Norwood Viviano, whose castings map the decline of industrial cities including his hometown of Detroit, and Nicole Chesney, who paints mirrored glass plates evoking stormy skies.

Czech collaborators Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova created objects that transform light that passes through them ENLARGE
Czech collaborators Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova created objects that transform light that passes through them. Eva Heyd

Works by artists who achieve critical acclaim have proved to be good investments. Libensky pieces that sold for $1,200 to $6,000 in the early 1980s are commanding prices 20 to 30 times higher these days, says Ferdinand Hampson, founder of Habatat Galleries, in Royal Oaks, Mich. Works by Harvey Littleton, widely considered to be the father of the Studio Glass movement, in recent years were fetching as much as $40,000, according to the Artnet price database, after selling for as little as $600 in the 1970s, Mr. Hampson says.

"The fun part about glass," says Tina Oldknow, senior curator of modern and contemporary glass at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., "is that there's so much going on that's so different."

Mr. Green is a writer in New York. He can be reached at

"Detroit Mum on Proposal to Use Its Art as Collateral" @nytimes by MARY WILLIAMS WALSH

The collection in the Detroit Institute of Arts was appraised at 81 billion by Art Capital an investment firm that is offering loans collateralized by the art
The collection in the Detroit Institute of Arts was appraised at $8.1 billion by Art Capital, an investment firm that is offering loans collateralized by the art.Credit Andrew Burton/Getty Images

On Wall Street, there is the art of the deal. In Detroit, there is the deal of the art.

As Detroit prepares to defend its plan next week to exit bankruptcy, city leaders have received an unusual offer: Why not mortgage all the Van Goghs, Picassos and other works in the Detroit Institute of Arts? A company called Art Capital, which makes loans backed by artwork, has told the city it is willing to lend it up to $3 billion, roughly 10 times the exit financing Detroit is now contemplating, using the museum’s art as collateral.

The city’s response: silence.

Detroit already has plans for the art. Donors have promised hundreds of millions of dollars to put the collection under new ownership — safe from the bankruptcy creditors — and to help the city’s retirees. Detroit had a big hole in its pension fund when it declared bankruptcy last year, which made the retirees unsecured creditors, subject to painful cuts.

By rolling up the art and pensions in a single deal, known as the grand bargain, Detroit hopes to keep its treasured collection intact while also getting more money to the retirees.

But there is a problem: The grand bargain may be illegal. Bankruptcy law calls for equally ranked creditors to be treated the same way, yet the grand bargain would, in the view of some creditors and critics, effectively sell the art to a bankruptcy-proof entity at a below-market price, then steer all proceeds to the retirees, leaving other unsecured creditors in the lurch.

Detroit is poised to go to court on Tuesday to begin urging a judge to approve this deal, which has been backed by unions, retiree groups and pension funds, many of which agreed to cuts to avoid even deeper ones. The most vocal opponents are creditors that would receive the least relief under the city’s plan.

Art Capital’s proposal makes the case, indirectly, that the court should reject the plan — which would force the city back to the drawing board and could imperil fragile agreements.

“The museum is owned by the city, and the city is, in fact, in bankruptcy. That asset lawfully should be available to assist in the plan of exit,” said Ian Peck, Art Capital’s chief executive. “But we also believe that this art is a national treasure and should be preserved as such.”

That, he explained, is why his firm would lend against the art instead of trying to sell it. Under his proposal, the art would still be Detroit’s as long as the city made good on the loan. The interest rate would be reasonable because the collateral — the art collection — has such tremendous value: $8.1 billion, according to an appraisal Art Capital commissioned.

“We believe that our proposal strikes a balance between the realities of the situation,” Mr. Peck said.

Details of Art Capital’s proposal came from a term sheet, marked “proprietary and highly confidential,” that was provided to The New York Times by a person opposed to the grand bargain. Terms were said to be subject to negotiation, but the city will not negotiate.

“The city supports and is committed to the grand bargain,” said Bill Nowling, a spokesman for Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn D. Orr. “I am sure there are many suggestions on how the D.I.A. collection can be monetized, but outside of the grand bargain, such discussions are academic.”

To exit bankruptcy, Detroit has requested proposals for a loan of up to $300 million that would be secured by the city’s income taxes. Mr. Nowling said that the responses were still being studied and that information about the final amount and other terms would not be available until after the trial had started.

Art Capital is proposing a loan that would range from $500 million to $3 billion, which could be cut up into different maturities and repayment schedules. Interest rates would be based on the benchmark rate known as Libor plus 5.5 to 8.5 percentage points, which analysts say would be reasonable for a bankrupt city that is preparing to repudiate some of its debt. Art Capital’s supporters say its loan would have the advantage of not tying up an essential city tax stream in the event of a default because it would be heavily collateralized by the artwork.

Both loan options would be repaid by the city’s revenue streams, like income, property and casino taxes.

Art Capital, a firm that made headlines four years ago for a troubled loan to the photographer Annie Leibovitz, first appeared in the Detroit bankruptcy last April, when one of the city’s bond insurers, the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, offered the names of several parties who were interested in the art collection. Financial Guaranty is slated to receive one of the worst settlements of the bankruptcy and has been trying to show that the grand bargain is not the only game in town.

On Tuesday, it and another bond insurer, Syncora Guarantee, were ordered by Detroit’s bankruptcy judge, Steven W. Rhodes, to work with the bankruptcy’s chief mediator on their many objections to the way Detroit hopes to handle their claims.

Most of the “expressions of interest” that Financial Guaranty received were from prospective buyers, but Art Capital proposed an art-backed loan of just $2 billion at the time. Mr. Peck said it was impossible to set precise terms without a credible appraisal. At that point Judge Rhodes gave Financial Guaranty limited permission to work with the museum on an appraisal.

Works at the Detroit Institute of Arts include murals by Diego Rivera
Works at the Detroit Institute of Arts include murals by Diego Rivera.Credit Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Perhaps the most striking thing about Art Capital’s current proposal is the appraisal. It covers some 60,000 works, spanning in time from Mesopotamia to Mark Rothko and representing cultures from around the world. In addition to extensive Islamic, African, Chinese and Native American art, there are European masterpieces by Bruegel, Cézanne and Matisse, among others, and a unique gallery where the walls are covered with murals by Diego Rivera, depicting auto manufacturing.

“It is one of the country’s few encyclopedic art museums,” wrote Victor Wiener, who runs an appraisal firm, in the report commissioned by Art Capital.

It was completed on July 25, just days after the creditors’ votes on Detroit’s exit plan were tallied. A majority of the city’s retirees voted to accept the plan. For many, it was a wrenching decision because the money available through the grand bargain would not make them whole. The donations coming from philanthropic organizations, companies and the state add up to $816 million, spread over 20 years.

Just before the creditors’ votes were due, Detroit presented its own estimate of the collection’s value, by Artvest Partners, an art investment firm. It found that, while the collection might be worth $2.8 billion to $4.6 billion, Detroit would never get that much on the market. Such a huge sale would flood the market, driving down prices, and Detroit’s bankruptcy might turn off serious investors, Artvest said.

For those reasons, Artvest estimated that a liquidation might fetch as little as $850 million — a figure not too far off the grand bargain amount. If retirees were still sitting on the fence at that point, the conclusion may have helped them decide how to vote.

Mr. Wiener’s appraisal surfaced only after the voting, but gives a much different view. In addition to finding that the art was worth $8.1 billion, or nearly double the high end of Artvest’s range, it lists what appear to be flaws in Artvest’s thinking.

Far from steering clear of a sale of Detroit’s collection, it said, art buyers would come flocking because the works were assembled at a time when Detroit was booming and able to attract curators of worldwide renown.

“Collectibles from museums and other significant collections perform much better at auctions than similar objects lacking notable provenance,” Mr. Wiener wrote, citing many examples.

Detroit has filed a motion with the court to have Mr. Wiener rejected as an expert witness.

David Skeel, who teaches bankruptcy law at the University of Pennsylvania, said that while the new appraisal left many questions unanswered, it served as a challenge to Detroit’s numbers on the eve of the trial.

“It’s extraordinary that you’d have appraisals that are this far apart,” he said.

That does not mean curtains for the grand bargain, said James E. Spiotto, a bankruptcy lawyer who consults with cities. But the vastly different art numbers could be a signal for Detroit to slow down and give its exit strategy the straight-face test.

“Remember, there’s a great impetus, as you get to the end of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy, to confirm the plan,” he said. “But more important than confirming the plan is doing the right thing.”

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "Digitizing Warhol’s Film Trove to Save It" @ntimes by RANDY KENNEDY

George Lindemann Journal by George Lindemann - "Digitizing Warhol’s Film Trove to Save It" @ntimes by RANDY KENNEDY

“Nico/Antoine” (1966), one of hundreds of Andy Warhol films. Credit Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol wrote lovingly of his ever-present tape recorder. (“My tape recorder and I have been married for 10 years now. When I say ‘we,’ I mean my tape recorder and me.”) But for almost a decade beginning in the 1960s, his real boon companions seemed to be his 16-millimeter film cameras, which he used to record hundreds of reels, many of which are still little known even among scholars because of the fragility of the film and the scarcity of projectors to show them on.

Now the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Museum of Modern Art, which holds Warhol’s film archives, are beginning a project to digitize the materials, almost 1,000 rolls, a vast undertaking that curators and historians hope will, for the first time, put Warhol’s film work on a par with his painting, his sculpture and the Delphic public persona that became one of his greatest works. It will be MoMA’s largest effort to digitize the work of a single artist in its collection.

Patrick Moore, the Warhol Museum’s deputy director and a curator of the digitization project, said that the goal was, finally, to integrate Warhol’s film work fully into his career. “I think the art world in particular, and hopefully the culture as a whole, will come to feel the way we do,” Mr. Moore said, “which is that the films are every bit as significant and revolutionary as Warhol’s paintings.”

Warhol began using his first film camera, a 16-millimeter Bolex, in 1963. He spent more than two years shooting what became known as the “Screen Tests,” hundreds of short filmed portraits of celebrities, fellow artists, acquaintances and members of his inner circle, like Lou Reed and the socialite Edie Sedgwick, before moving on to longer, more narrative pieces. He made some 600 films of varying lengths, but only about a tenth of those have been available in 16-millimeter prints through the Museum of Modern Art.

While a few of Warhol’s movies are well known — among them, the feature-length “Chelsea Girls” from 1966 and “Empire” from 1964, a single-shot “antifilm” showing the Empire State Building for eight hours — the great majority have not been shown for years or have been available only through bootlegs of varying quality. Several years before Warhol’s death in 1987, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art joined forces to preserve and study the films, which often use the movie screen as a static canvas, a confessional or a window onto the seeming banality of everyday life. But the films’ visibility, even in the art world, increased only up to a point.

“A lot of people feel like they know Warhol’s films but only because they’ve read about them,” said Mr. Moore. “Fewer and fewer people have the ability to show 16 millimeter.”

Frame-by-frame transfer of the films, which is expected to take several years, will begin this month and be conducted by MPC, an Oscar-winning visual-effects company that is donating its time and services to the project.

(In connection with the project, a few pieces of unseen film will make their way into theaters well before the transfers are completed. “Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films,” a project commissioned by the Warhol Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Centers for the Art of Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles, will screen digital copies of 15 never-before-shown films in October and November, along with newly conceived, live musical accompaniment by musicians, including Tom Verlaine, Dean Wareham and Eleanor Friedberger.)

Film purists will undoubtedly mourn the migration to digital. In a review of “Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures,” a show of part of Warhol’s film work at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010, Ken Johnson complained in The New York Times that seeing Warhol films digitally was “like seeing a movie on television, and that casts in doubt their status as works of art.”

Rajendra Roy, the chief film curator at the Museum of Modern Art and a self-described “unexpected analog guy,” agreed, saying that the right way to see Warhol’s films should always be on film, in part because he helped revolutionize the medium by upending or undermining so many of the conventions of moviemaking.

“I get really grumpy sometimes when things can’t be shown on film, but that said, these will become inaccessible very quickly if we don’t digitize them,” he said. “There are still many discoveries to be made, and that’s the exciting part of this project. Folks are looking at work in boxes of some of Andy’s film that probably hasn’t been seen since he shot it.”

Warhol documented so much of the New York art world of the 1960s that the films could also fill in crucial art-historical gaps about who was doing what, when and where. But curators hope that a more important benefit will be an awareness of how, long before phone cameras brought the quotidian and the personal fully into the realm of media, Warhol was already forging his own kind of YouTube. (He once deadpanned in an interview: “I think any camera that takes a picture, it comes out all right.”)

“He filmed everything around him,” said Geralyn Huxley, a curator of film and video at the Warhol Museum. “He went to people’s houses and filmed the dinners. He was basically a workaholic and the amount of film is unbelievable.”

But she added: “For all of the film out there, there’s very little of Warhol himself in any of it, actually. You get the sense that he didn’t really like to see himself on camera.”

'Gold': Putting the Shine On @wsj - Bass Museum of Art

An exhibit opening Aug. 8 at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach spotlights gold-related works from two dozen contemporary artists.

Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, 2012
Galvanized cast copper
Collection of Isabelle Kowal
Though gold has symbolized excess, putting it in an artwork also raises its market value. That paradox is a basic theme in 'Gold.' Many artists in the exhibit fuse the luxury of gold with low-end materials. This insulation board by Rudolf Stingel was marked up by museum visitors, cast in copper, and electroplated with gold, giving it a sense of permanence.

"Monumental Paper Chain to be unveiled at Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach" @miamiherald by Jeffrey Pierre

HAVING FUN: Nicholas Gonzalez, 5, watches as Mariana Corbalan, the education outreach coordinator at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, takes a piece of paper and folds it into a paper chain link. The Monumental Paper Chain will be on display at the museum, 2100 Collins Ave., from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. JEFFREY PIERRE / FOR THE Miami HERALD


Mariana Corbalan starts off each of her arts-and-crafts sessions by telling children about El Anatsui, a Ghanaian man who takes discarded stuff from his town — chicken wire, bottle caps, tin can lids— and turns them into works of art.

“Today, boys and girls, you’re going to do the same thing,” said Corbalan, the education outreach coordinator at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. “Who wants to be my helper?”

“Pick me! Pick me!’’ the children cry, their hands popping up like a game of Whack-A-Moles.

Corbalan, who has been with the Bass Museum for two years, has been hosting the workshops at summer camps and community centers throughout South Florida for the past few months. Corbalan and the museum’s mission is simple: to teach kids the lessons of El Anatsui, that is, the lessons of teamwork, community and the concept that one man’s trash is another man’s artistic medium.

As Corbalan and her group have traveled around town, they have set up tables stocked with recycled paper, asking people to write messages of peace and inspiration. It is those messages Corbalan has incorporated into the Monumental Paper Chain, to be unveiled from 2 to 4 p.m. July 27 at the Bass, as part of its Family Day.

“The Bass Museum is taking this lesson on the road, educating communities about this important artist, while inspiring people to create chains of their own,” Corbalan said.

El Anatsui was born in Ghana, but he spent most of his life in Nigeria. Throughout his career, the internationally known artist has experimented with different media, including wood, ceramics and paint. For his recent projects, he has used objects that he has found, mostly made of metal.

El Anatsui draws inspiration from the aesthetic customs of Ghana and Nigeria, and blends that with the cultural, social and economic histories of West Africa, including the slave trade and Colonialism.

In her workshops, Corbalan shares a few fun facts about El Anatsui.

“Did you know El Anatsui had 30 brothers and sisters?” she asks the aspiring artists.

Afterward, she tells the kids to write down the words or draw pictures of the people, places or things that make them happy.

The room breaks out in riveting sound.

“My Mom!”


“My dog!”

Once the kids settle down and put their ideas to paper, Corbalan shows them how to fold the paper into a chain link. Then they work with the other children to assemble the links into one large paper chain.

“How do we put everything together?” asked Scott Schultz, 10, who was at Corbalan’s workshop at the Coral Gables Museum.

“It’s teamwork, you’ll have to figure it out together,” Corbalan answered, pointing to the other kids.

Corbalan says she emphasizes teamwork when it comes time for the children to put together the chain. “El Anatsui works with many people to create his monumental tapestries. They are a product of many ideas and many hands,” she said.

Corbalan has taken the workshop to New Jerusalem Ministry, a summer program that works with disabled kids; West Dade Regional Library; Miami Beach Regional Library; the camp at the Coral Gables Museum; and SUCCESS Miami, where they work primarily with deaf and hard-of-hearing middle school students.

Dianely Cabrera, the school and family manager at the Coral Gables Museum, says Corbalan’s workshop is exactly what her kids needed.

“I was really impressed at how she captivated all of the campers,” Cabrera said.

“It’s like turning an old car into a spaceship,” said Scott, who vowed to look at trash differently from now on.

“He’s [El Anatsui] recycling while making beautiful work of art,” added Rebecca Ferrer, 7.

Read more here:

George Lindemann Journal - "By the Numbers | The Facts and Figures Behind Jeff Koons’s Massive, Awe-Inspiring Show at the Whitney" @nytimes by KEVIN MCGARRY

George Lindemann Journal - "By the Numbers | The Facts and Figures Behind Jeff Koons’s Massive, Awe-Inspiring Show at the Whitney" @nytimes by KEVIN MCGARRY

Like Jeff Koons himself, “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is larger than life. The biggest show the institution has ever devoted to a single artist, it sprawls across all four floors, occupying 27,000 square feet of exhibition space. Included among the 145 works on display is a pastel Koons created last year specifically for T. The show also serves as the farewell party for the Whitney’s iconic Marcel Breuer building before the museum relocates to its new Renzo Piano-designed space downtown next year. Here, a few more key figures about this one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime survey.


George Lindemann Journal "Women as Sumo Warriors" @nytimes by Sean Patrick Farrell and Taige Jensen

Women as Sumo Warriors

Sean Patrick Farrell and Taige Jensen

American sumo wrestlers of all shapes and backgrounds descended on Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the United States Sumo Championships. The women were a small, but proud, contingent.

Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser: