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NEW YORK, July 30, 2015—The Museum of Modern Art announces Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, a major exhibition focusing on Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas's (1834-1917) extraordinary and rarely seen monotypes and their impact on his wider practice, on view March 26 through July 24, 2016. The first exhibition in the U.S. in nearly 50 years to examine these radical, innovative works—and MoMA's first monographic exhibition of the artist—Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty will feature approximately 130 monotypes along with some 50 related works, including paintings, drawings, pastels, sketchbooks, and prints. The exhibition is organized by Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA, with Richard Kendall, Curator-at-Large, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. MoMA is the sole venue for the exhibition. 

A towering figure in 19th-century art, Degas is best known as a painter and chronicler of the ballet. Yet his work as a printmaker reveals the true extent of his restless creativity, as he mixed techniques with abandon in his studio and shared recipes with colleagues for producing unconventional effects. In the 1870s, during an era of enthusiasm for experimental printmaking, the artist Ludovic Lepic likely introduced Degas to the monotype process—drawing in black ink on a metal plate that was then run through a press, typically resulting in a single print. Captivated by the medium's potential, Degas made more than 300 monotypes during two discrete bursts of activity, from the mid-1870s to the mid-1880s, and again during the early 1890s.

DALLAS—Collectors have access to top-shelf service across any mobile device now that Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, has relaunched its award-winning website HA.com to integrate Responsive Design, the firm announced July 28, 2015. The site provides seamless access to all Heritage online and live auctions from any mobile device. That includes instant research through more than 4.2 million auction records with prices, descriptions, and enlargeable images, industry-leading functionality for live bidding, and online collection tracking and valuation.

“Heritage Auctions invested millions of dollars and spent more than 18 months developing this new update for one reason: our bedrock belief that our clients deserve the very best access to their collections around the clock on whatever device they use,” said Heritage Co-Chairman James Halperin. “This relaunch brings the award-winning functionality of HA.com, already the world’s most popular and trafficked auction house website, to more buyers and sellers worldwide.”

As part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is proud to announce that the winner of the 2015 MCBA Prize is Ken Botnick, for his artist's book, "Diderot Project."

"I believe we make books in order to discover our subjects," Botnick remarks in his artist statement for the winning work. “Diderot Project” was inspired by a five-year-long investigation of the “Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers” — a 150-page visual and textual narrative; a meditation on the nature of craft, the hand, work, tools, machines, dreams, the senses and the imagination. The book is letterpress printed in five colors and incorporates six different papers, including handmade and watermarked paper made by Botnick at Dieu Donne paper studio in New York.

STURBRIDGE, Massachusetts—Collectors of all types—young and old to experienced and amateur—have undeniably shaped the identities of many American museums and historic sites since the 19th century. Many of these special places, such as Bayou Bend, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Biltmore, The Henry Ford Museum, and Old Sturbridge Village began as private collections of objects, assembled by individuals passionate about art, furniture, automobiles, clocks or whatever their area of interest was. 

Presented in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Kindred Spirits: A.B. Wells, C. Malcolm Watkins and the Origins of Old Sturbridge Village, the 2015 Collectors' Forum at Old Sturbridge Village on Saturday, October 24 will examine collecting in America, from its roots in the early 19th century through the present day. Participants will benefit from enriching lectures and workshops uncovering the origins of collecting, as well as the influences, trends, prominent personalities, and some of the challenges collectors face in today's market.

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ITHACA, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog. 

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera, artwork and collectibles.  Of particular interest is a fine collection of antique ceramics.  This catalog also includes our second session from a large and impressive private collection of early engravings.  Dispersed among the many book lots is a large personal inventory of desirable antique titles dating back to the sixteenth century.

The 15th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer, for the first time, a pavilion devoted exclusively to romance novels.

"Romance fiction is the second-best-selling genre in the publishing industry, generating more than $1 billion in publisher revenues in 2013," said Guy Lamolinara, the festival’s co-director.

"Romance accounts for 21 percent of the adult fiction market," added Marie Arana, the festival’s other co-director.

DALLAS—An outstandingly preserved hand-painted, double-sided jugate banner from the 1844 Presidential campaign of James K. Polk sold for $185,000 and claimed the world record as the most valuable piece of political memorabilia ever sold at public auction in Heritage Auctions’ June 27 presentation of the Merrill C. Berman Collection Part II. The banner took top lot honors amid more than 350 lots which realized $756,178 and recorded a sell-through rate exceeding 98 percent by value.

“Simply, this is the finest political banner known to exist and fully deserving of a new world record,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage Auctions. “Not only is this banner historically important to early American political campaigns, it is true work of art unique in the world of Americana memorabilia and American folk art.”

Composed over the course of sixteen years, John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) is one of his most prescient and personal works. A repository of observations, anecdotes, proclivities, obsessions, jokes and koan-like stories, Diary registers Cage’s assessment of the times in which he lived as well as his often uncanny portents about the world we live in now.

With a great sense of play as well as purpose, Cage traverses vast territory, from the domestic minutiae of everyday life to ideas about how to feed the world. He contemplates the consequences of both unbridled capitalism and an infinite field of information. He excoriates the state and augurs ecological disaster while taking heart in the great capacity for human ingenuity and compassion. A page or two of entries (e.g., pages 112-113) brushes Zen Buddhism with the benefits of legumes, fishing rights with banking in Buttonhole, Ohio, anarchy and revolution with the receipt of a parking ticket, so that the world he is observing is simultaneously intimate and immense.

New York, NY, July 20, 2015—Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, today announced the appointment of curator Margaret K. Hofer to the role of Vice President and Director of its Museum division. Ms. Hofer has contributed to or overseen New-York Historical’s decorative arts collections and exhibitions for over two decades, and spearheaded the groundbreaking 2007 exhibition and publication A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, which revealed previously unrecognized achievements of Tiffany Studios’ women designers.

“New York’s first museum has been fortunate to have had Margaret K. Hofer as a leading decorative arts historian and curator. Her commitment and proven track record have led the New-York Historical Society’s Board of Trustees and me to elevate Margi to the helm of our museum division,” said Dr. Mirrer. “She has been an exceptional partner in developing a new Tiffany gallery and other permanent collection reinstallations, which will star alongside a new women’s history center when our Henry Luce III Center reopens in early 2017.”

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YORK, Pa.—A hardcover first edition of Stride Toward Freedom which its author, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., signed and personally inscribed to Chief Justice Earl Warren, made a powerful statement of its own on July 14 when it sold for $49,335. The historically important book was the centerpiece of the political memorabilia section in a two-day Internet auction conducted by Hake’s Americana of York, Pennsylvania.

Competition for the book ran through the night and into the early hours of July 15th. When the last of 11 bids was accepted as final, the book had well surpassed its pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$35,000.

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