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Christie's

Andy Warhol Really, Really Loved Christmas

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Christie's

Andy Warhol’s fondness for Campbell’s Soup cans is well documented. Less well known but equally ardent was his love of the holiday season. Yes, from poinsettias to Santa hats, the enigmatic artist who promised we’d all have our 15 minutes of fame spent much of the 1950s working as a commercial illustrator specializing in blotted line drawings, creating everything from shoe advertisements to greeting cards.

This holiday season, Christie’s—that world-famous purveyor of fine art for nearly 250 years—is spreading Warhol’s Christmas spirit with two unique events, including “Warholiday,” a pop-up event at the San Francisco Mulberry Store, which ran through December 19th. The yuletide showcase featured 36 works by the late, great artist, some of them never-before-seen and all of them for sale (if you had between $2000 and $30,000 to shell out on Polaroids of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls).

“Warholiday” follows hot on the heels of “A Christmas Thing,” an online-only auction from Christie’s that just concluded and featured 100 original photos, prints, and drawings from the master of Pop Art. Proceeds from the auction benefitted The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, an organization dedicated to “the advancement of the visual arts” (as stipulated in Warhol’s will) and kind enough to share a few of Warhol’s Christmas pieces for your art-gazing pleasure.

WREATH: Andy Warhol, Wreath, ink and watercolor on paper, Drawn circa 1956 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

SANTA CLAUS: Andy Warhol, Santa Claus, unique polaroid print, Executed in 1981 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS TREE: Andy Warhol, Christmas Tree, ink, tempera and collage on paper, Drawn circa 1958 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

POINSETTIAS: Poinsettias, screenprint in colors on paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed in 1983 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT: Christmas Ornament, ink and Dr. Martin's Aniline Dye on paper, drawn circa 1957 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS TREE 2: Christmas Tree, offset lithograph with gold leaf on folded paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed circa 1957 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

GEE: Gee, Merrie Shoes, offset lithograph with hand-coloring, on laid paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed in 1956 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS FAIRY: Christmas Fairy "Merry Christmas to You," ink on paper, drawn circa 1954. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to Launch Mobile Interactive Art Museum
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Since not everyone in America has easy access to first-class culture, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts wants to bring it to them: As Smithsonian reports, the Richmond-based institution plans to launch an interactive mobile museum in fall 2018.

Called “VMFA on the Road,” the museum-on-wheels will visit rural schools, community centers, colleges, retirement homes, and small museums. At each stop, art lovers can enjoy lectures, distance learning opportunities, and rotating virtual reality tours of the museum's exhibitions.

The mobile museum is a modern offshoot of another VFMA initiative, the Artmobile, which was launched by the late architect and VMFA director Leslie Cheek Jr. From 1953 to 1994, the museum loaded tractor-trailers with works by artists like Monet, Rembrandt, and Picasso, and toured the state's remote areas to compensate for their lack of art institutions.

By the 1990s, the Artmobile program had swelled to include four high-tech Chevrolet tractor-trailers, each one laden with historic art treasures. Eventually, though, the VMFA discontinued its Artmobiles due to conservation and financial issues, including the challenges of protecting the artworks on the road.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, the VMFA's new traveling museum will be a specially designed, 53-foot Volvo tractor-trailer, paid for with corporate funds, foundation grants, and donations. It's been dubbed "Artmobile 2.0"—a fitting nickname for a high-tech take on a decades-old public service.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former World War II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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