Cheat Sheet: The Royal Couple in NYC, Picasso Theft, and What’s Wrong With Art Fairs

The top art news stories from December 8–12.

Miley Cyrus concert at the Raleigh Hotel
© Patrick McMullan, photo Paul Bruinooge/
Miley Cyrus performing at Art Basel. Photo: Startraks

Miley Cyrus performing at Art Basel in Miami Beach.
Photo: Startraks

artnet News columnist Christian Viveros-Fauné explores the question that was on everyone’s mind this year in Miami: have art fairs completely destroyed art? Similarly: who exactly is it that’s buying all this stuff? Viveros-Fauné also posits that regardless of your opinion on the merits of fairs, it is undeniable they have spawned a new kind of “art fair art” that’s high in flash and low in substance.

Andrew Shannon, an Irish “thug” who punched a Claude Monet painting worth $10 million in June 2012 has been sentenced to five years in prison. In court, Shannon claimed that he “felt faint” and fell into the painting, but footage from a security camera shows otherwise. He has been called a “big threat to society.”

Amid the blinding glitz of Miami Art Week, a thief managed to steal a small silver Picasso plate from Leslie Smith Gallery’s booth at Art Miami. The work, which is part of a 20-piece series, is worth an estimated $85,000. Gallery owner David Smith mused that though he’s been doing art shows all his life, he’s never seen anything get stolen before. But as fair-going becomes more mainstream and fairs continue to employ relatively lax security measures, we have to wonder if this isn’t about to become an unfortunate trend.

In November, Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932) sold at Sotheby’s for $44.4 million, tripling its high estimate and making it the most expensive painting by a female artist sold at auction. Want to know which other female artists have fetched the highest prices? We’ve got the top 10.

On the last night of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s whirlwind New York trip, they attended a $10,000 dinner at the Met in honor of their alma mater. The celebration took place in the large room housing the Temple of Dendur, and included VIPs like Anna Wintour, Princess Eugenie, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Olivier Sarkozy. Ahh, to be royal.

$6.5 Million Landscape Is World’s Most Expensive Photo

Art Dealer Helly Nahmad Released From Prison

Phallus-Wielding Performer Arrested at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Amazon Art Takes on eBay With Flexible Pricing Model

Art Basel in Miami Beach in Pictures, From Miley Cyrus to Baz Luhrmann


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