A Swann Galleries sale of Classic & Contemporary Photographs came to a total receipt of $1,538,546. Photographer Irving Penn’s portrait of “Cuzco Children, Peru, December,” taken in 1948 and printed with platinum and palladium in 1978, topped the lots, selling for $93,750. This was one of 2,000 negatives Penn shot over the course of just three days spent in Cuzco; 11 of his shots, including this one, were later published in the pages of Vogue in 1949. The auction also included other memorable works by photographers like Edward S. Curtis, Dorothea Lange, John Divola, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
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A Weiss auction sold one of the rarest Pokemon cards on Earth this week. The “Pikachu Illustrator” (1997) card — one of just 10 believed to still be around out of a limited printing of 39 — sold for $224,500 this past week. It’s the most any individual Pokemon card has ever sold for, blasting the previous record of $54,970 (for another “Pikachu Illustrator” card) out of the water. The card’s graphic by Pikachu creator Atsuko Nishida features Pikachu, the adorable mascot of the Pokemon franchise, holding a paintbrush. Artsy!
One of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s latest repatriations is the head of a statue stolen from an archaeological site in Rome in 1968. The U.S. ambassador to Italy, Lewis Eisenberg, returned the head to Italian officials in Milan last week. The head — part of a statue of the lusty god Pan — apparently entered the U.S. in the mid-2000s, but the original thief has not been determined by investigators.
Stanford University’s Anderson Collection has accepted a gift of two major works from the estate of one of the university museum’s late benefactors, Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson. The works are Jackson Pollock’s “Totem Lesson 1” (1944) and Willem de Kooning’s “Gansevoort Street” (c. 1949). “By donating two of the most sought-after New York School paintings in private hands to Stanford, Moo Anderson continued to exemplify her strong conviction that art is to be shared and to be lived,” said Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a statement.
The New York Historical Society has acquired its first work by Harlem Renaissance sculptor Augusta Savage. Savage was the only Black woman artist to featured in the 1939 World’s Fair, and a small-scale replica of her piece “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will grace the society building’s first floor.
Sotheby’s Important Prints and Multiples Day Sale brought in $3,903,000 in receipts this week thanks to the sale of works by artists like Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Joan Miró. Warhol’s four screenprints of “Goethe” (1982) topped the lots, going for $231,250.
Phillips’ Editions and Works on Paper sale totaled at $6,678,500, moving pieces by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, and others. Warhol’s “Cowboys and Indians” (1986) topped the lots at a final sale price of $475,000.