Posts in Art News

Art Afloat: All Hands On-Deck!

April 2nd, 2019 Posted by Art Education, Art Market, Art News, Education, Media Buzz 0 comments on “Art Afloat: All Hands On-Deck!”

This year Arius has the pleasure of joining a fascinating line up of speakers at ACREW Insights in Monaco, taking place on April 9th. The one-day event will focus on the management of rare and precious art onboard superyachts, and the implications of moving art across borders.

Art is, and will forever be, an integral part of personalizing a space. To the captains and crew of superyachts, it’ll be no surprise when owners of multi-million-dollar artworks want to bring them aboard to enjoy while relaxing at sea. Without a doubt, the art housed on superyachts is venerated, valuable and irreplaceable – but, it’s not typically something the crew will know how to look after.

Incidents regarding spiraling champagne corks heading towards a Picasso, or a bowl of cereal being thrown at a Basquiat, have made owners more aware of the implications of installing art onboard. Leading Art Historian and Conservator, Pandora Mather-Lees explains [1] "Now that the rich are increasingly bringing their art collections onboard their yachts, it's vital that captains and crew know how to care for these pieces."

Mather-Lees is leading this year’s ACREW Insights event, which will address themes including safety, conservation and the risk of prosecution when it comes to bringing a piece of art on board. In the lead up to event, we’ve taken a deeper dive into the biggest risks of installing art on superyachts and how we can prevent art from losing economic, cultural or aesthetic value.

Is Art on Superyachts a Conservation Nightmare?

An art collection onboard a superyacht is often worth more than the vessel itself – plus, it will most likely be financially and culturally appreciating. The question that comes mind… “is a yacht the best place to display artworks?”

Marine environments are quite harsh. Lighting, proper installation, and climate controls are all factors that owners must take into consideration when they want to bring their collection onboard. Just as on land, any piece of art needs to be protected from sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuations.

Insurers require the same conditions and requirements for displaying fine art in yachts, as they do for museums. Plus, we can’t simply hang a painting onboard; it must be installed properly so the artwork does not shift when sailing through six-meter waves.

While most superyachts have sophisticated climate control systems, when it comes to caring for artwork, at least a basic level of art conservation education is crucial for the crew to understand the specific environmental needs for fine art.

 

 

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Photo by Fraser from the UK edititon of GQ Magazine

Better to be Safe Than Sorry, With Crew Training and Museum-Quality Reproductions.

In addition to making sure the general environment is safe for artwork, Pandora Mather-Lees recalls some incidents where clients have come to her with some cases that are quite peculiar. On one occasion, Mather-Lees was called for a restoration case when a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting was victim to a bowl of cornflakes.

She states in an interview with The Guardian[2]: “The owners’ kids had thrown their cornflakes at it over breakfast on his yacht because they thought it was scary.” The damage did not just end there, as the crew had made matters worse by wiping the grainy mess off the painting. The crew did not think much of the painting, Mather-Lees stating that the crew thought it was “just some painting,” they had no idea it was worth millions.

It is understandable that the crew did not know the painting was worth a substantial price tag as their training is primarily focused on the safety and operation of the vessel.

Realizing the need to help captains and crew care for art as well as they can care for the superyacht owner, Mather-Lees is offering courses that provide basic training and advice. In addition to this, Arius is offering owners the opportunity to prevent any harm by producing high-fidelity textured reproductions – which can be displayed anywhere in the world while the original is displayed in a gallery or safely stored.

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Side by side comparison of Van Gogh's "Iris" (left) and our Verus brand museum-quality reproduction of "Iris" (right) from the National Gallery of Canada collection

Crossing Borders and the Risk of Prosecution and Confiscation

While in theory, a superyacht could meet the stringent requirements to be a suitable place to store art, there is still the headache of art crossing borders. The risk of prosecution is an area that ACREW Insights will be addressing in detail; clarifying the context of new National Heritage laws and adopting best practices and processes for travel with art.

There is an eminent risk of art being seized by Customs if proper measures are not taken during transportation of the valuable artwork from one jurisdiction to another. However, the risk of prosecution or confiscation remains a very grey area since rules and regulations vary across the globe and even from port to port.

In 2015, French customs in Corsica seized Picasso’s Head of a Young Woman from Spanish billionaire, Jaime Botín’s yacht. Botín argued that the yacht was sailing under the British flag and was under UK’s jurisdiction, but this argument did not sway the court in Spain, which deemed the Picasso’s work as a national treasure of Spain.[3]

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Members of the French and Spanish Police with the seized Picasso, Head of a Young Woman (1906). Courtesy Douane Fraçaise (Artnet News)

How Can Arius Help? 

While the incidents that we’ve highlighted might have been impossible to predict, hindsight is always 20-20. We believe our technology can help superyacht owners and Captains prevent disaster and eradicate the complications of insurance, conservation and travelling with art onboard.

Insurance Brokers even suggest that owners obtain reproductions of their valued artwork and store the original in a secure, climate-controlled facility. With our world-leading 3D scanning system we can safely digitize and reproduce paintings, ensuring the geometry and colour of every brushstroke is captured and printed.  

Arius’ textured prints take on the aura of the originals and can be displayed on any wall in the world, while the original remains safely tucked away from harm.

Arius3D Scanning System

Van Gogh's "Iris" undergoing scanning process in the Arius 3D Scanning System 


Footnotes 

Photo credit for featured image to Alexander Mils on Pexels

[1] Business Insider: Billionaire yacht owners are desperately seeking advice to protect their priceless art from flying champagne corks and corn-flake stains,  https://www.businessinsider.my/yacht-owners-hire-guide-to-protect-art-collection-from-champagne-corks-2019-2/

[2] The Guardian: Mind my Picasso… superyacht owners struggle to protect art, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/02/cornflakes-on-the-basquiat-perils-of-superyacht-art

[3] The Art Newspaper https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/are-super-yachts-the-best-places-to-keep-your-art-collection

Arius bolsters the art market’s blockchain-based Artory Registry with 3D scan data.

March 20th, 2019 Posted by Art & Blockchain, Art Market, Art News 0 comments on “Arius bolsters the art market’s blockchain-based Artory Registry with 3D scan data.”

As featured on Hyperallergic, Arius and Artory have partnered to integrate high-fidelity 3D scan data within Artory’s blockchain based art registry; together, revolutionizing the art industry’s approach to provenance, authenticity, and condition reporting.

Last week Arius CEO, Paul Lindahl, took to the stage at the second edition of UNFOLD Art Xchange, as part of Bahrain’s annual ARTBAB fair. Joining a panel discussion about “The Blockchain Art Market Revolution: Improving Provenance and Transparency for the Art Market”, it was the perfect time to announce our partnership with Artory, who’s CEO, Nanne Dekking, was also on the panel.

UNFOLD Art Xchange Panel about "“The Blockchain Art Market Revolution", featuring Arius CEO, Paul Lindahl. Photo Credit: Bernadine Bröcker Wieder
UNFOLD Art Xchange Panel about "“The Blockchain Art Market Revolution", featuring Arius CEO, Paul Lindahl. Photo Credit: Bernadine Bröcker Wieder

As the art market continues to cast a spotlight on blockchain technology, a lot of questions have been raised about the quality of information being added to various registries, and how this market will help the art-world move towards a more transparent marketplace, without compromising the privacy of buyers, sellers and collectors in general.

Arius recognizes the opportunities for both new and traditional art organizations to leverage our rich data sets, and sees blockchain registry as an essential part of creating a ‘cultural seedbank’ that helps safeguard our heritage for generations to come.

Partnering with Artory felt like a natural step towards this goal, as their world-leading Artory Registry uses only vetted and verified sources to track provenance for art and collectibles, creating the industry’s first object-oriented database.

In a bid to secure the most reliable art market data, last November Artory collaborated with Christie’s auction house with an industry-first project to register the entire catalogue of artworks in the Barney A. Ebsworth Collection on their blockchain based Artory Registry.

Edward Hopper’s “Chop Suey”, breaking a record of over $91M USD. Photo Credit: Artory.
Edward Hopper’s “Chop Suey”, breaking a record of over $91M USD. Photo Credit: Artory.

In another world-first partnership, Artory is expanding its tight network of trusted data sources by utilizing data that Arius Technology has captured via high resolution 3D scans of paintings. Working directly with museums and private collections, our 3D scan data maps every surface detail of an art object, recording both the geometry and colour of each brushstroke. With details finer than 1/10th of a human hair, Arius scans can detect features that are invisible to the human eye, setting a new standard for condition reporting and future authentication efforts.

As Artory’s Nanne Dekking explains, “The Registry we are creating supports the art marketplace and helps them, along with banks, insurance companies, and other service providers, to communicate with millions of art lovers. The challenge is not with the technology, but rather with the kind of information you are actually securing with blockchain. The technique, as such, doesn’t make information more reliable. But rather, by working with data only from distinguished partners such as auction houses, galleries, living artists, and museums to create records with credible information, the Artory Registry reduces the risk of permanently recording poor quality information on the blockchain, while still bringing all the benefits that registering provides.”

Arius engineers process the 3D scan data of paintings, recording information for the geometry and colour of every brushstroke.
Arius engineers process the 3D scan data of paintings, recording information for the geometry and colour of every brushstroke.

With the opportunity to include 3D scan data about the physical condition of artworks, Arius is effectively providing a 3D fingerprint of the surface of a painting. Such data can be used for verification of the same piece in years to come, as well as being used to detect even the earliest signs of degradation. This helps collectors plan essential conservation projects, as well as aiding professionals to accurately value a piece throughout its lifetime, based on its condition.

“Including timestamps of our 3D scan data within the Artory Registry is an exciting opportunity for the marketplace to create centralized, trusted records about any painting. Over time, we hope to see blockchain technology, like the Artory Registry, underpin the development of a “cultural seedbank”, where records like our scan data can be protected for generations to come.” Arius CEO, Paul Lindahl

As the art market continues to show interest, and enthusiasm, towards blockchain technology, it’s an exciting time to be a part of a shift in art market practices thanks to technological disruption. Follow us on social media for the latest Arius news and updates in the art technology market!

Art Forgery Uncovered- Biggest Art Fraud Scandals from 2018

January 18th, 2019 Posted by Art News, Behind the Scenes, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “Art Forgery Uncovered- Biggest Art Fraud Scandals from 2018”

The Game of Duplicity, known as the un-fine art of forgery, has always been a part of art history. In fact, forgery of art dates to more than 2000 years ago, when Roman sculptors began producing copies of Greek sculptures. Buyers at the time didn’t need to know whether they were genuine pieces, largely because it was a time when art was created for historical reference, religious inspiration, or for aesthetic enjoyment.   

As times evolved, so did an increased prosperity of the middle class, which created a fiery demand for art. Art became a commodity, not only were people interested in art, they became interested in who the mastermind was behind the artwork. Artists began to identify their works with marks and signatures and monetary value of the artwork was all dependent on their identity, and in typical market fashion, demand began to surpass supply. As result, forged artworks with fraudulent marks and signatures soon appeared in the art market. 

To help combat fraud and track where and who owns a real piece, provenance has become a familiar practice to authenticate artwork; good provenance indicates there is no doubt that a piece of art remains genuine and the signature of the artist remains in its threshold. However, a recent report by the Switzerland Fine Art Expert Institute reveals an estimated 50% of works circulating in the art market are forgeries. With a verified statistic this high, and eye-watering price tags to match, collectors and buyers are more and more inclined to request empirical evidence when making a transaction. Without taking the necessary steps in order to establish provenance, there really is no other way to rid the art market of forgeries. Thanks to constantly improving technology, fraudsters are faced with more challenges than ever before. Below we look at some of the biggest art forgery cases from 2018, and the process involved in authenticating whether a piece is genuine or not.

Modigliani Forgery Madness

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One of the paintings on display in the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa in March 2017. Source: ANSA via The Telegraph

The most expensive painting sold at auction in 2018 was Modigliani’s Nu couché (sur le côté gauche), which sold for $157.2 Million dollars! Modigliani’s works come with substantial dollar value attached to them and unfortunately, that same dollar value comes at the price of becoming a victim of forgery. In fact, Modigliani is one of the most copied artists in the world.    

In the spring of 2017, 21 of Modigliani’s pieces went on display in Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale. The exhibition caught the attention of tens of thousands of spectators near and far. However, Carlo Pepi, an art expert from Tuscany, raised doubts about the authenticity of the works on display and alerted the Italian authorities. Pepi raised concerns about the works during the promotion of the exhibition with a reprint of 1918 oil painting, “Marie the Daughter.” Pepi states: “My goodness, when I saw the poster of Marie and then looked through the catalogue and saw the others, I thought, poor Modigliani, to attribute to him these ugly abominations.” 

The exhibit soon came to a halt in July 2017, due to claims of forgery. The works underwent extensive testing for the next few months, concluding that 20 out of the 21 were forgeries. 

Because of the reputation of forgery surrounding Modigliani’s name, many institutions in France are conducting extensive forensic examination on all Modigliani works. Ten French museums have partnered with their national scientific laboratory to conduct a two-year forensic examination of all Modigliani’s works in French public collections. The project will put 29 pieces under the microscope, including 3 sculptures and 26 paintings. The Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France (C2RMF), which is based in the Musée deu Louvre, began the examination of the works in May 2018. The C2RMF will be conducting scientific imaging on the pieces as well as using chemical studies of synthetic pigments. The pieces will also be sent to the National Center for Scientific Research in Lille, where scientists will be examining the organics materials of the pieces.  

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Modigliani's Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne (1918) from the Musée d'Art Moderne de Troyes undergoing X-ray fluorescence analysis. Source: C2RMF/Vanessa Fournier via, Art Newspaper

The study is dated to conclude in December of 2019, the results and conclusions will be published along with a scheduled symposium in 2020, which will be the 100th anniversary of the artist's death. 

Artworks of the Russian Avant-Garde Deemed “Highly Questionable” 

In October 2017, The Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium (MSK Ghent) acquired some pieces for their permanent collection, to go on display to the public. The exhibition celebrated never-before-seen Russian avant-garde works from radical artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Alexander Rodchenko. It included 26 pieces that were on loan from the Dieleghem Foundation, which is a charity owned by Brussels art collector, Igor Toporovski. Several of the pieces at the exhibition had become under scrutiny from a prominent group of Russian art specialists. In an open letter, the group questioned the authorship of the works. 

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Works displayed (in order from left to right) by Olga Rozanova, Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzsky, Alexander Rodchenko and Lyubov Popova. Source: Museum of Fine arts, Ghent via, Artnet

Together, the specialists stated all 26 pieces were defined as highly questionable. They had no exhibition history, no documentation in academic research, and a lack of provenance. The works of notable artists such as Kandinsky and Jawlensky had not even been recognized by a Catalogue Raisonné (a scholarly compilation of an artist’s works). On top of this, the museum does not offer any information about how they assembled the exhibit without documenting the process.  

Artnet news was able to reach a spokesperson from MSK Ghent, who stated that the museum had followed standard procedures to review the loans that were to be featured in the exhibition, by conversing with the collector and reviewing the material supplied by the foundation. The museum went on to pass the task of providing documentation to the collector. The spokesperson states: ”It is not the task of a museum to conduct chemical tests which are only done in cases of doubts before making acquisitions, not for loans,” the museum spokesperson said. “We have acted throughout, we believe, correctly in this matter, and in good faith.” 

Artnet news went on to contact Toporovski about the documentation process, in which he states: “In the international museum practice neither certificates of authenticity, nor chemical conclusions are required. Nevertheless, each art-work belonging to the Foundation has its own file: provenance, history and technical description (condition). The Foundation can provide this information on request, for research, scholars and professionals.” 

All 26 of these works have not yet been proved as forgeries, albeit, critics stat that lack of proper documentation should provide enough reason for the museum to forgo the exhibition due to concerns about misleading the public. 

Museum to Honour Etienne Terrus’ Legacy Discovers Half of its Collection is Fake 

A community of 8000 people of Elne proudly stood together at the re-opening of its Ettiene Terrus Museum. Art historian, Eric Forcada soon raised doubts about the artworks when he visited the museum. Forcada states “on one painting, the ink signature was wiped away when I passed my white glove over it.” With these findings and his observations, Forcada alerted the local authorities and requested an investigation.

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Self portrait of Etienne Terrus, which is pictured at the gallery dedicated to his work in Elne. Source AFP via, The Local

A panel of experts concluded that a staggering 82 of the 140 works on display almost 60%, were considered forgeries. Terrus was described by the Mayor as “a part of the community, he was our painter.” Further expanding on the events, he states “knowing that people have visited the museum and seen a collection, most of which is fake, that’s bad. It’s a catastrophe for the municipality.”

What Can We Learn from These Incidents?

There is no doubt that original works of art hold special significance. Our appreciation of originality doesn’t only come from aesthetic attitudes, but also on the originality that comes with the artist’s ideas, and their creative process. We also consume through our senses, so when we look at an original by our favorite artist, it’s likely we’ve been on a profound journey to get there. Many will invest time and money to go on a personal artistic mecca to be in the very room that the real painting is on display. For many, we’ll be amongst a crowd, lining up to get that essential selfie with the Mona Lisa, or shuffling our way through the Sistine Chapel, necks craned, praying we don’t trip over while trying to memorize every detail because photography is banned. Through all of this, we somehow feel the essence of the artist, and it’s because of that special feeling that forgeries can be so hurtful to those who feel mislead, betrayed and blinded by trusting what they are admiring is authentic.

In order to acquire a piece of art, there is a lengthy process in order to establish provenance through scientific analysis, historical research, and obtaining a certificate of authenticity. These cases highlight the importance of validating artwork. Making sure to take all the steps in order to confirm that monetary, cultural, and moral value are still upheld and any loss that occurs is not to be tolerated

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Arius Scientific Advisor, Mike Jackson taking a closer look at our scan of Van Gogh’s Iris. 

Despite due diligence, unfortunately even in 2018 (and 2019) the risk of coming across a forged piece of art is highly likely. With pioneering data capture technology for art work, Arius strives to offer much-needed transparency within the art market. We are utilizing our team and technology to aid collectors and museums in verifying their transactions by offering them securely captured art data that accurately maps the color and geometry of a painting. Using our scan data, we hope to create a ‘digital fingerprint’ for every piece, eventually lessening the risk of anyone coming across a forgery.  To find out more on how Arius plans to use technology to combat forgeries in the art market, take a look at our findings from the Deloitte’s 11th Art and Finance Conferencewhere we participated in a panel discussion about the role of Big Data and AI in the art world. 

Arius Takes the Stage at Deloitte Art & Finance Conference

October 24th, 2018 Posted by Art News, Behind the Scenes, Media Buzz 0 comments on “Arius Takes the Stage at Deloitte Art & Finance Conference”

Announcement

We are pleased to announce that Arius will be part of the speaker line up at Deloitte’s 11th Art and Finance conference, in Luxembourg on October 26.

As a sponsor of this year’s conference, Arius is supporting the 2019 Deloitte Art and Finance report and will be contributing to the much-awaited panel discussions scheduled to take place at the conference.

The Deloitte Art and Finance Conference is an integral event, putting the spotlight on the role of technology in the worlds of art and finance. This year’s conference features 5 core themes:

 

  • The Challenges to Deploy Blockchain in the Art Market to Allow Fractional Investment in Artworks
  • Art, Law and Technology: What Are the Main Challenges?
  • Risk Management: How Technology Can Support Trust in the Art Market
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: How to Improve Analytics, Financial Decision and Experience in the Art Market
  • Investment in ArtTech Companies

 

Arius CEO, Paul Lindahl, will be partaking in the panel discussion about how big data and artificial intelligence improve analytics, financial decision making and experiences in the art market. Paul will be highlighting how our technology and rich data sets can be utilized to help tackle some of the art world’s biggest challenges when it comes to big data and market transparency.

 

The discussion will be taking place at 3PM-4PM CEST. If you are in a different time zone, make sure to tune to into our twitter feed, @ariustechnology and follow the hashtag, #DeloitteArtFinance, for updates from the conference throughout the day!

For more info regarding the conference, visit:

https://www2.deloitte.com/lu/en/pages/art-finance/events/11th-art-finance-conference.html

3D Scanning & Digitization – Uncovering New Possibilities for Art Conservation

August 25th, 2018 Posted by Art Education, Art News, Behind the Scenes, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “3D Scanning & Digitization – Uncovering New Possibilities for Art Conservation”

As technology progresses, science continuously gets integrated into the profession of conservation. Historic paintings are subjected to a variety of conservation efforts; however, it always begins with an examination. At Arius, our 3D scanning technology maps the colour and geometry of a painting to unveil data hidden to the naked eye – without ever contacting the surface.

La Mer Agitee - Monet

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) developed the foundations of our technology, which was used at The Louvre to scan the Mona Lisa, before being adopted by Arius Technology in 2015.

Developing a close relationship with the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, has allowed Arius engineers to refine and perfect our technology by working with conservation experts such as Stephen Gritt. Gritt is the Director of Conservation and Technical Research at the Gallery, where he has been fortunate enough to work on restoring a number of paintings, including pieces by the great master, Claude Monet. Inspired by Gritt’s philosophy, Arius understands that the job of a conservationist is to do “the minimum to get the painting to talk in its own voice again.”

3D scanning for art conservation allows us to uncover data that can examine details finer than anything a human eye could spot; more specifically, finer than one-tenth of a human hair. By inspecting the surface of the painting first through digital models, restorers have the opportunity to complete a detailed restoration plan, and even prototypes of the results, before beginning the physical process.

Our technology also has the potential for conservators to reach further back into the past and experiment within the digital file, turning back time by restoring original pigments and allowing the artist’s original brushstrokes to sing once again.

Discover more as we talk to Stephen Gritt about how we digitally restored a Monet masterpiece:

The World’s Most Mysterious Stolen Art Stories

July 30th, 2018 Posted by Art Education, Art News, For Art Lovers 0 comments on “The World’s Most Mysterious Stolen Art Stories”

What makes the perfect art heist? Does it involve stealing multiple pieces, or just one? Maybe it means shutting down the security system or even a distraction tactic such as a smoke bomb? To each art thief, the answer is different, but the result is the same.

Throughout history, dozens of artworks have been stolen from galleries, museum collections, homes, and even from artists’ studios. It is believed that many paintings have been sneakily replaced with fake copies and based on previous crimes it has proven difficult for investigators to solve cases of missing masterpieces. To be more precise, only 5 to 10 percent of stolen artwork is recovered; and we’re not talking about small pieces – we mean priceless pieces of art that are guarded by the most elite security teams and software.

So, if you’re wondering how art thieves somehow manage to get away with this devasting, yet skillful act, don’t worry, you are not alone. We have researched the world’s most successful art theft stories (at least, from the perspective of the thief) that will definitely leave you questioning how they got away with it.

“Le Pigeon aux petit pois”, Pablo Picasso

Le Pigeon aux petit pois
Source: Artsy

In May of 2010, Picasso’s “Le Pigeon aux petit pois” was stolen from the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris alongside five other works. Alone, the Picasso painting is estimated to be worth €20 Million and dates back to 1911. Authorities remain confused and frustrated eight years later as the painting is yet to be recovered. The mystery continues to build as not only were the paintings carefully removed from their frames, but the act also is believed to have been conducted by a sole individual. And this wasn’t the first Picasso to be pocketed. To this date, Picasso holds the top spot for having the most paintings stolen over time.

“The Concert”, Johannes Vermeer

The Concert By Vermeer
Source: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

On March 18, 1990, two thieves stole a total of 13 works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. One of the pieces was a Vermeer masterpiece, which was created mid-career, “The Concert”. Estimated to worth anywhere upwards of $200 million, the painting holds the record for most valuable unrecovered stolen work of art. The thieves dressed as Boston Police officers and sported fake mustaches. Within a few minutes of entering the museum, the fake officers claimed they had a warrant and arrested the museum guards. The theft was conducted by amateurs; however, it is said to be the largest art heist in history.

“View of Auvers-Sur-Oise”, Paul Cézanne

he View of Auvers-sur-Oise painting by Cézanne
Source: Art Market Monitor

Painted by Cézanne between 1879 and 1882, “View of Auvers-Sur-Oise” depicts a small town near Versailles where the artist lived for a brief period of time. This painting is important to art history as it captures a transitionary period from Cézanne’s earlier days to more mature work.

The theft, occurring in 1991 at an Oxford museum, was conducted by a professional burglar who smashed a skylight, lowered himself down with a rope, and created a smokescreen to hide from the security cameras. This act was carefully planned to occur on New Years eve, allowing the burglar to easily blend into the crowd once exiting the museum. 27 years later, the painting is estimated to be worth €3 million and is yet to be recovered

“Charing Cross Bridge, London”, Claude Monet

Charing Cross Bridge, London by Monet
Source: The New York Times

Monet’s “Charing Cross Bridge” is a famous series depicting the bridge at various times of the day, from different viewpoints. In 2012, one of the pieces from the series was stolen from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam and is valued at an undisclosed sum. Using speed as their main tactic, the group entered through the back exit of the gallery, grabbed the paintings, and fled, all within two minutes. A group of Romanian thieves was arrested a year later and one of which said the painting was burned in his Mom’s oven. However, there is not enough evidence to prove this claim and therefore the painting is still considered to be missing.

“Femme Devant Une Fenêtre Ouverte, Dite La Fiancée”, Paul Gauguin

Femme devant une fenêtre ouverte, dite la Fiancée, Gauguin
Source: Smithsonian Mag

Also stolen in 2012 from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, this Gauguin painting is considered both unique and rare. While the painting’s value remains undisclosed, the museum has said it is worth “a considerable amount of money”. Despite this, it appears the museum may have acted negligently as the painting was not equipped with an alarm. A statement was released claiming the thieves mother destroyed the painting in her oven, however the media later retracted this.

“Portrait of a Young Man”, Raphael

Portrait of A Young Man, Raphael
Source: Daily Art Magazine

Disappearing in 1945, “Portrait of a Young Man” is considered to be the most important piece of missing art since World War II. The $100 million piece was one of many snatched by the Nazis in Poland and depicts a confident and well-dressed young man. While there is controversy surrounding the piece, it is believed that the young man is Raphael himself. In 2012, a false report was published claiming the painting has been discovered but was quickly removed.

“The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”, Rembrandt

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrant
Source: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Nearly three decades after thieves stole Rembrandt’s “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” from the Boston Museum, investigators are still on the hunt to find the missing painting. The Dutch master’s iconic seascape was stolen alongside 12 other treasures, including Vermeer’s “The Concert”.  The privately funded reward was set at $5 million for years and unexpectedly doubled in May of 2017 to reignite a sense of urgency. However, the reward has since expired, and the pieces remained unrecovered.

“Poppy Flowers”, Vincent Van Gogh

Poppy Flowers, Van Gogh
Source: Artnet News

One of Van Gogh’s later works, “Poppy Flowers” was created just three years before the artist’s death. Despite being relatively small in size, the painting is estimated to hold a value of $50 million. No wonder the demand over this painting is so high as it wasn’t just stolen once, but twice! The first theft occurred in 1997 at the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo, Egypt and was recovered 10 years later. Then, in 2010 the painting was stolen again from the same location where it is believed to have been an inside job. On that day, only 7 of the 43 cameras worked in the museum and no alarm was triggered. To retrieve the painting, the thief moved a couch and cut the painting from its frame triggering zero alarms; not to mention it was broad daylight at the time and the museum only had 10 visitors that day!

Although shocking, this is just the tip of the art crime iceberg. More than 50,000 pieces of artwork are stolen each year from museums and galleries around the world. Police officers and art owners invest time and money into the recovery of art, especially as there are welfare costs from the disappearance of a stolen piece. This is because art is considered a public good, meaning one person’s enjoyment of an art piece does not diminish another’s. History has proven it is not impossible to steal artwork, however, doing so removes the opportunity for art to be shared among the masses. In an effort to make art more accessible, Arius’ has developed cutting-edge technology that allows for the re-creation of museum-quality masterpieces, while original pieces can safely remain in storage facilities. Get in touch to find out more about our Art Collector Services.

Explore Amazing Virtual Reality Museum Tours, Part II

June 22nd, 2018 Posted by Art News, Behind the Scenes, Digital Art, For Art Lovers, Living with Art 0 comments on “Explore Amazing Virtual Reality Museum Tours, Part II”

Museums have always been at the centre point of showcasing the world’s treasures in grand halls and galleries, while also trying to preserve our history for generations to come. However, with virtual reality technology, the future of how we visit museums is adapting quickly. This global movement is allowing art to become more accessible to the masses while ensuring our cultural heritage is preserved.

This piece is the second in a two-part series that explores how museums are embracing technology through the use of virtual reality. In Part I, it was discussed how world-renowned museums are using VR technology to enhance the visitor experience and make public art more accessible. This piece will outline a select number of virtual museums that are based solely online. These new museums will bring artwork that is found all over the world to a single location and will reveal private collections that can now be viewed through online, 3D means.

Feature Photo Source: Tech Crunch

1. The Kremer Museum

The Kremer Collection is a privately-owned collection by George and llomer Kremer. It is composed of artwork by historical artists such as Rembrandt, Van Rijn, and Frans Hals.  Now, these old masters have received a whole new virtual treatment. Using VR technology, visitors will be able to explore this private collection and view the surface of each painting, allowing them to better see all colours and textures. Additionally, they will be able to view the rear side of the painting to see the artwork’s provenance, something which is impossible to do at regular museums. George Kremer shares the idea behind the operation, “Imagine taking the museum to the people, instead of taking the people to the museum.” Visitors will be able to experience a true museum atmosphere regardless of where they are.

George Kremer has spent nearly two decades collecting 74 pieces of historical artwork. Now in collaboration with his son, Joël Kremer, who is a former employee at Google, new technology has been merged with the family’s legacy. In the beginning, the family thought about the idea to open this gallery as a brick and mortar building, however, costs and location were limiting factors. By having the artwork be based solely online, visitors of the museum are not limited by location, ensuring greater accessibility.

2. Open Heritage, Google Arts & Culture 

Google has partnered with CyArk, a 3D laser scanning non-profit organization, to create a new project devoted to helping preserve historical sites and landmarks around the world. Their digital conservation efforts allow visitors of Open Heritage to view 26 different world heritage sites and have even resulted in new information being learned by historians.

“With modern technology, we can capture these monuments in fuller detail than ever before, including the color and texture of surfaces alongside the geometry captured by the laser scanners with millimeter precision in 3D,” Chance Coughenour, a Digital Archaeologist and program manager with the Google Arts and Culture division, said in a press release. “These detailed scans can also be used to identify areas of damage and assist restoration efforts.”

3. The VR Museum of Fine Art

VR Musuem of Fine Art

Photo Source: VR Focus

The VR Museum of Fine Art allows visitors to embark on a journey that would otherwise require you to visit over 10 different countries. This latest technology enables you to walk around, duck under, and even hug famous sculptures and artwork; that’s right, no guards will be telling you to step away from the artwork! To help learn more about each piece, informative holographic plaques are offered. Thanks to virtual technologies, art lovers can interact with art in a totally new way.

4. The DSL Collection 

The DSL Private Collection was created in 2005 with a focus towards Chinese contemporary art. It is unique to others as a cap of 160-200 is kept on the number of works in the collection. In an effort to share the private collection with the rest of the world, Sylvain and Dominique Levy, the collection owners, made the world’s first VR Museum. Since 2005, the DSL Collection has been devoted to making it a nomadic collection and has refused to be fixed in one spot. As such, creating a virtual museum fit with the collection’s vision. It features work by Ai Weiwei and Zeng Fanzhi as well as younger artists such as Song Yuanyuan and Zhao Zhao.

The future of VR and art is dependent on many external circumstances. Of course, the primary cause is the development of technology in this sector. However, users must be willing to adopt this feature and push the limitations of how it can be used. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what art and science can achieve together. At Arius, we are also devoted to expanding these capabilities. Our technology has allowed for the creation of new contemporary art work through new means, has lead to groundbreaking research, and has made art more accessible. It showcases that the way we live with art is changing quickly.

This piece of the two-part series emphasizes key players in the museum-art industry that have leveraged the technology in new ways; but most importantly, it highlights that the future of art is very, very bright.

Explore Amazing Virtual Reality Museum Tours, Part I

June 8th, 2018 Posted by Art News, For Art Lovers, Living with Art 0 comments on “Explore Amazing Virtual Reality Museum Tours, Part I”

As museums are widely distributed around the globe, it is hard to imagine that one day we would be able to visit them all. By incorporating Virtual Reality into the museum experience, individuals are now able to explore national treasures; All at their easiest convenience, from the comfort of their home, for free, and without the distraction of other visitors. Virtual tours are truly an experience unparalleled to anything ever seen before.

In case your wondering what is available to explore, or don’t know where to start,  we’ve looked at some of the Museums who have incorporated VR into their gallery experience. Below are our top picks for you to enjoy today:

(Feature Photo credit: Museum Planner)

1. The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) began their VR efforts back in 2016. Today, visitors can experience the full east-wing of the museum, where their permanent collection is located. Key displays include the painting “Aurora Borealis,” by Fredric Edwin Church and the famous bronze sculpture, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Currently, the SAAM has over 47,000 pieces of art with 90% of them being stored out of sight from the public. In the future, they hope to create renders of these artworks, resulting in the public being able to experience them online, from anywhere in the world.

2. The British Museum, London, England

Photo Source: The British Museum Blog

The British Museum recently released their efforts to intersect art and technology. The new Virtual Reality tour of their Egyptian Galleries is “first-of-its-kind 360 experience” that can be viewed on any device.

The full tour includes expert audio commentary and interactive 3D models, transporting visitors to the bronze age. “The technology is particularly useful for the bronze age, a difficult period for visitors to engage with and imagine museum objects in their original context,” said the gallery curator, Neill Wilkin. Now visitors at the British Museum will truly be able to imagine life centuries ago.

3. The Louvre, Paris, France

Photo Source: The Louvre

The Louvre is not only the world’s largest art museum but a historic monument in Paris, France. It is the most visited art museum and contains artwork from the most impressive collections. Thanks to Virtual Reality, the museum offers free online tours of its most sought-after exhibits, such as the Galerie d’Apollon. A 360-view of the museum and the ability to zoom and pan are offered. Plus, one day, you’ll be able to virtually stop and enjoy the Mona Lisa, without the crowds!

4. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, New York

Photo Source: Guggenheim

Since 2016, the Guggenheim museum, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has offered an immersive VR experience. Visitors can fully experience the amazing architecture while viewing the buildings interior and select shows. An exciting aspect of this initiative is the opportunity to work with schools and teachers. This initiative allows children to be both creators and visitors.

5. The National Gallery of Art, London, England

Photo Source: Art Fund

The National Gallery of Art shares the story of European art, from artists such as Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. This art lover’s museum provides access to 18 rooms, showcasing 300 different paintings, to be exhibited virtually. While on the tour there are links to painting pages. This virtual experience offers visitors the chance to learn more about each specific piece.

6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York

The Met is the largest art museum in the United States and contains artwork from humanity’s greatest and most talented artists. The museum offers virtual tours through their program called “Met 360⁰.” Videos are posted to YouTube, allowing visitors a completely immersive experience where they can view masterpieces from artists such as Vincent van Gogh, unlike ever seen before.

Vincent van Gogh is one of history’s most iconic artists. He produced 900 paintings during his short, tragic lifetime. Ever wonder what It would be like through Vincent’s eyes? What about seeing each of his sunflower pieces together in one room? Now, new kinds of experiences are made possible at this museum in Amsterdam. This is something that seemed nearly impossible not too long ago. “One can only wonder what Van Gogh himself would make of it all.”

In the 21st century, there has been a rapid increase in technological advancements. The movement for organisations to adapt to these new trends have become essential. Within the art community, only recently have some museums offered new methods to make art more accessible, with virtual reality being one example. At Arius, we are also devoted to helping preserve and maintain an art-rich culture around the globe. Our latest 3D technology allows for the recreation of historical masterpieces from artists such as Monet and Vermeer. Now, it is possible for anyone to own and experience famous paintings, showcasing that leveraging technology can help make art more accessible in new forms.