Art news / 29 Aug – 2 Sept

All you need to know about the developments in art this week.

1. Culture minister Matt Hancock has come to the rescue and put an export ban on Queen Victoria’s coronet – a beautiful miniature crown encrusted with diamonds and sapphires; considered to be one of the “jewels” of the Victoria’s treasures. The coronet was deisgned by Prince Albert and is liable to exportation unless a buyer for £5 million can be found (but don’t get out your credit card yet; you’ll need another £1 million for VAT).

Hancock said: “Queen Victoria’s coronet is stunning. It is one of the most iconic jewels from a pivotal period in our history and symbolises one of our nation’s most famous love stories. I hope that we are able to keep the coronet in the UK and on display for the public to enjoy for years to come.”

The decision on the export licence application for the coronet will be deferred until 27 December 2016. This may be extended until 27 June 2017 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made. (via Art Daily)

2. The Royal Academy has announced a groundbreaking Matisse exhibition for it’s 2017 calendar. The exhibition will reveal how Matisse – plagued by poverty in his early career –  developed some of his earliest nude works not from ‘traditional’ muses, but from semi-pornographic imagery from cheap magazines as he was unable to hire models. Around 65 items will go on display, which will include Matisse’s personal collections along with his own art works, to allow visitors to examine the items (often cheap and day-today) next to the paintings and sculptures they appear in – such as the chocolate pot given to Matisse as a wedding present, which made an appearance in both Bouquet of Flowers in a Chocolate Pot (1902) and Still Life With a Shell in 1940.

3. The Victoria & Albert Museum has announced the first ever exhibition of Pink Floyd memorabilia and album artwork. The influential, psychedelic band of the 60s has garnered over 200 million records sales, and this exhibition will be in celebration of their 50th year. The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains will showcase the bands groundbreaking visual effects, light shows, sound design and experimental imagery to create a multi-sensory experience for its guests.

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A said: “The V&A is perfectly placed to exhibit the work of a band that is as recognisable for its unique visual imagery as for its music. Pink Floyd is an impressive and enduring British design story of creative success. Alongside creating extraordinary music, they have for over five decades been pioneers in uniting sound and vision, from their earliest 1960s performances with experimental light shows, through their spectacular stadium rock shows, to their consistently iconic album covers. The exhibition will locate them within the history of performance, design and musical production by presenting and complementing the material from Pink Floyd’s own archive with the V&A’s unrivalled collections in architecture, design, graphics and literature.” (via Art Daily)

4. For years art historians and experts have debated what the mysterious white stain haunting Edvard Munch’s The Scream might be: some had suggested it might be bird droppings, others paint. But scientists at the University of Antwerp in Belgium believe they have discovered what it is: candlewax. The scientists used a machine they developed themselves, a ‘Macro-X-ray fluorescence scanner’ – which was also used to clarify disputes over works of by the likes of Van Eyck, Rubens, and Van Gogh. (via Art Net)