Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Know I Know But This Time I Mean It...Ciao

Enough said. This time I'm really going to take some time off. Not only is my brain fried but I think the PC is too. Its acting up all kinds of crazy. We both need some down time. So, I'm off to the Outer Banks of North Carolina through Labor Day. Ain't that great! Hurricane's please stay away!

I'm hoping that this fall, after such a dark year, will bring us all new thoughts and ambitions. When I get back, I want to take Homer to new Oddessy's. Until then, I hope summer's end finds you ready for exciting new adventures.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

At Pebble Beach, High End Holds as Other Prices Soften

New York Times 8.21.9


DESPITE the Champagne flutes and oversize hats at the Pebble Beach classic-car celebrations last weekend, it was clear that the economy was weighing on collectors.

Five auctions took place in the Monterey area starting on Aug. 13. And while these provide a gauge of the current market, the mixed results make it hard to reach simple conclusions.

As expected, total dollar volume declined — to about $117 million this year from $138 million in 2008. Gooding & Company was again the overall leader with just over $50 million of sales.

But the total amounts that changed hands don’t tell the whole story: overall results were puffed up by sales of high-price cars like a 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe that brought $7.25 million including buyer’s premium (the weekend’s high sale) at the Mecum Auctions sale; a Ferrari California Spider sold by Gooding for $5.1 million; and a Jaguar C-Type that brought $2.8 million at the RM auction.

A 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special, once Ettore Bugatti’s personal car, sold for $1.38 million.

A collection of 50 American woodys was also well received, selling for a total of nearly $7.5 million at an RM auction.

The auctions’ sell-through rates — the percentage of cars that actually sold — ranged from a high of more than 80 percent to a low of around 50 percent.

Clearly, buyers at the very top end of the market still have no qualms about writing checks for very expensive cars. The 10 highest single-lot sales came to more than $40 million, or a third of the total.

But the situation was less rosy further down the line. More common cars and those in less-than-perfect condition sold, in many cases, for much less than their low estimates.

Beyond the auctions, Pebble Beach continued to draw sponsors despite the recession. Automakers as varied as Hyundai and Bentley introduced new models here.

Of the classics, a scene-stealer was a 1937 Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet. The imposing German convertible, owned by Robert M. Lee of Sparks, Nev., was named Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vente à la Bougie

Pardon? Okay, I took fifteen years of french and understand it a little, but this kind of auction is so french.

Now folks, I've tried over the past couple of years to assuage your fears and tutor you a bit about how to enjoy the auction process and get a great deal in the process. However even this story would have me treading very carefully when it comes to buying a property at auction in France. It is fascinating how such processes evolve and I enjoyed this explanation from "French Property News."

"In France, the majority of homes are sold by estate agents and notaires. Properties sold by auction make up a very small percentage of the market, which would suggest it is not necessarily a good place to buy but you may pick up a bargain – it does happen."

Its got me into a bit of wunderlust and is great auction trivia.Full story here. Vivre la France.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Familial Recommendations

News from family and friends have reached me on a hot summer night and its cool news. I'm lucky enough to have such close relations with people that are at the top of their game and I want to pass on the good news and send my best wishes.

To start with, I have an ultra hip LA cousin with the equally smooth name of Alessandro Uzielli, whose restaurant," La Dolce Vita" has been named by Bon Appetite Magazine as a "Top Ten Must-Visit Classic Restaurants." I knew I had found what I was looking for when I entered La Dolce some two years ago on a short trip to LA and sat myself down at the cozy bar. There are perhaps only four or five stools at the bar and a few photos letting me know that my keister was warming the same seats that Sinatra, Cooper and Grant had sat in before. The place had me thinking martini but my great host poured a much finer glass of red before I enjoyed a great Italian dinner and good conversation. It was like I was in "Mad Men" and only lacked the cool blonde at my right. Perhaps I should have stayed an hour longer. Cheer's Al.

I've written before about my great friend Joanie Brady's watercolors and received a new work this evening, so tasty looking for an August summer's dessert endeavor, along with the perfect phrase for thought. You can find more of her work at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Keno Auction House

Here's news on a new auction house from one of the great brother's Keno. Leigh Keno has announced that he is opening an auction house and I wish him great luck.

"We packed up four estates in New England," said Keno on the phone announcing his new venture. "We will have our first sale in May. We are looking for space to rent for the sale, and we will show the highlights on the second floor of my gallery during the Winter Show in January." Here is the full story from Maine Antique Digest.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mid-August And There's Nothing To Watch..NOT

I'm staying in Sunday night to watch the best show since the Sopranos. Mad Men.

Here's a link to the great Annie Liebovitz photographs from this month's Vanity Fair.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Results From Rago's August Estate Auction

ENGLISH TEA CADDY George III carved fruitwood apple with hinged cover, late 18th C. 5 1/2"

$800 - $1,000
SOLD FOR $2,280.00

The results, I believe, show that there are still great deals to be had in the auction markets but that prices are stabilizing...a bit.Some pieces really went higher than the house thought. I guess I have a good eye ;).Take a look.Prices include the buyers premium.

Here's a fun August sale from Rago's Auction House in Lambertville, NJ. As the press release for the event suggests, many fine pieces from the Stanley estate are going on the block with no reserves; which makes every auction hound salivate. I went through the entire catalogue last night and picked far more pieces than I usually do because their was so much that caught my eye. As a NJ native, I'd love to spend the day at the auction and may have to send some siblings to scope out the action. There's some really nice pieces on sale. Results will of course follows because its so much fun to see what everything is worth, in the auction world. Oy this takes a lot of time..but its what I do!

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 12 pm: An Estate Auction featuring the Estate of Joseph Stanley

“Buyers will find the best of the Stanley estate in this Saturday sale, all unreserved,” says Tom Martin, the specialist in charge of Estates at Rago’s. “We’ve included 200 lots of his antique English furniture and over 100 paintings and 100 lots of decorative arts and accessories. It’s a treasure trove.”

You can view the entire catalogue here.

WELSH CUPBOARD Pine with brass hardware, ca. 1820-1840. 59" x 16 1/2" x 72"

$600 - $800
SOLD FOR $840.00

SIX ENGLISH REGENCY CHAIRS With caned seat chairs and original painted stenciling, 19th C. 18" x 19" x 31 1/2"

$600 - $800
SOLD FOR $1,200.00

ENGLISH CORNER CUPBOARD Two-piece blue paneled cabinet, 19th C. 44" x 86"

$1,000 - $2,000
SOLD FOR $1,560.00

ENGLISH REGENCY DAYBED Walnut with upholstered seat and matching accent pillows, 19th C. 82" x 26 1/2" x 36 1/2"

$2,000 - $3,000
SOLD FOR $4,200.00

ENGLISH PAPIER MACHE TRAY Scalloped shape with fine peacock and floral embellishments, 19th C. 24 1/2" x 32"

$600 - $800
SOLD FOR $1,200.00

ENGLISH CHINA CABINET Chinoiserie-decorated with many drawers, on stand, 19th C. 40" x 20" x 66"

$800 - $1,200
SOLD FOR $2880.00

ENGLISH LACQUER TABLE Black lacquer tea table, 19th C. 25 3/4" x 30" x 19 3/4"

$400 - $600
SOLD FOR $450.00

ENGLISH BUTLER"S TRAY TABLES Two oak tables, 19th C. 22" x 28" x 18"

$400 - $600
SOLD FOR $1,140.00

ENGLISH CORNER CHAIR Carved oak, missing cushion, 18th c. 18" x 19" x 33 1/4"

$500 - $700
SOLD FOR $420.00

ENGLISH CAMPAIGN-STYLE CHEST Two section, three drawer chest with brass handles in camphor wood, 19th C. 21" x 30" x 42"

$800 - $1,000

SHERATON SOFA Upholstered in yellow silk damask, with original painted decoration, ca. 1810-1820. 71" x 27" x 32"

$1,000 - $1,500
SOLD FOR $3,000.00

It looks like its about to move. Don't you love it?
GEORGIAN DRESSING TABLE Burled walnut with two drawers, claw and ball feet, ca. 1780. 29 1/4" x 18 1/2" x 35 1/2"

$1,200 - $1,500
SOLD FOR $2,400.00

ENGLISH CABINET Gothic display cabinet with mirrored back and glass shelves (not shown), 19th C. 80" x 48 1/2" x 17"

$1,500 - $2,000
SOLD FOR $4,500.00

TORTOISESHELL CHAIRS Fine pair in the Regency style with horsehair upholstery, late 19th/early 20th C. 34" x 19 1/2" x 21"

$10,000 - $15,000
DID NOT SELL. Darn I was wondering what they were worth.

ROYAL COPENHAGEN Flora Danica ice dome with pierced decoration, early 20th C. Inside hairline, restored near base. Blue wave...

$600 - $800
SOLD FOR $1,200.00. Still don't know what its purpose was.

ROYAL COPENHAGEN Seventeen-piece Blue Onion service includes coffee and teapots, sugar and creamer, six cups and saucers...

$300 - $500
SOLD FOR $450.00

Monday, August 10, 2009

David Rockefeller's Introduction to Art

An Interview from MOMA Videos via Youtube isn't this a great new world! Now here is a man worth listening too. Well worth three minutes of your time.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Have You Ever Been To Naples? Forgeddaboudit!

Naples hires ex-cons as tour guides
The program keeps the ex-cons away from crime, while they help tourists do the same.
By Angelica Marin — Special to GlobalPost
Published: August 5, 2009 06:52 ET

I Dunno..whadda you think? Man I love Italy..truly I do. You ever try to peaceably buy a ticket to Capri? Hey!

NAPLES, Italy — In downtown Naples, a group of rowdy men crowd around a tall blond woman, yelling at her in a throaty Italian. Luckily for her, they’re armed with brochures, not guns.

“You should speak English,” says the woman, as she stands at the entrance of the Spanish Quarter holding a map of the city.

“My mentor spoke English,” jokes one man in Italian, “but he died in a train accident yesterday!” Theatrically, he waves his hands into the sky in a sign of prayer. The woman laughs hysterically — still with no idea where to go.

Sporting bright yellow vests and nametags, these animated men look like tourist guides, but have a hard time acting like them. Most speak only Italian, have never heard of personal space and give out tourist brochures as aggressively as a street vendor peddles stolen goods. Perhaps it’s not surprising, as their resumes include petty theft, drug-pushing and armed robbery — the tourist guides are ex-convicts.

In June, 420 ex-cons were deployed throughout Naples by a program called “Esco-Dentro,” or Exit-Inside, which helps newly released convicts re-enter society.

“I spent 19 years of my life in prison,” said Pietro Ioia, an Esco-Dentro worker who learned Spanish while serving two years in a Barcelona prison. “ I’ve made some mistakes, and I want to change. Why don’t people expect us to change?” WHY!!!

As the spokesperson for the Union of Organized Convicts in Naples (DON), Ioia is a strong supporter of the Esco-Dentro initiative. Now in his 50s, he’s gained some perspective and encourages his fellow workers to keep honest so they can keep making the $700 a month the city pays them.

“If I’d had a job every time I left prison, maybe I wouldn’t have wasted all this time behind bars,” he said.

Just weeks after he was interviewed for this story, Ioia found himself behind bars again serving a five-year sentence after the slow-moving Italian justice system caught up with a past charge against him. Now the ex-cons lack a spokesman for their cause.

But earlier this summer, Ioia was stationed at the entrance of the city’s Beverello Harbor, helping tourists find the best pizza and avoid pickpockets — and who better to give that advice than he and his fellow ex-cons?

Naples is a unique mix of architectural beauty and environmental violations. It is home to the infamous Camorra mafia, and has one of the highest crime rates in Italy. It’s no wonder that newly released ex-convicts find it easier to jump back into crime than find a regular job.

“The biggest financial enterprises in southern Italy are the mafia, the Camorra and the ‘Ndrangheta,” said Naples Councilman Corrado Gabriele, who oversees Esco-Dentro. “You don’t need to read Roberto Saviano’s great book to know that,” he said, citing “Gomorrah,” the internationally acclaimed book on the Neapolitan mafia.
More on Italy travel:
Local food, to the extreme
Been ripped off eating in Rome?
Cruising the cobblestones
By targeting ex-cons, Gabriele is chipping away at the Camorra’s workforce. “With this small intervention, we hope they can avoid asking the Camorra for a job,” he said. Gabriele’s approach didn’t pass unnoticed. He has already received direct threats from the Camorra. His political opponents, on the other hand, have criticized him for hiring ex-cons as tour guides, saying that it could hurt the city’s image.

But the $2.8 million allocated by the European Union for Esco-Dentro, said Gabriele, is keeping hundreds of ex-convicts off the streets while providing on-the-job training that could be useful to them in the future — enough payback for the councilman to ignore the disapproving sneers.

Criminologist Antonio Di Rosario, who works for Esco-Dentro as a consultant, said the city is giving them a sense of community.

“This makes the reintegration process into society much easier,” said Di Rosario.

The program will run until December on EU funds. For now it’s unclear whether or not it will continue after that. The city seems unwilling to support the program out of its own pocket. This worries Esco-Dentro workers.

“I have 700 people waiting in line outside my office who don’t want to go back to crime,” said Pietro Ioia, “and we need to give them an answer. Because if they get a job, that means 700 less in the hands of Camorra, and that would be outstanding.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Is This Going To Hurt?

A bit of Friday humor.
NORWALK, Conn. — A Connecticut woman who authorities say spent more than $2,000 to stage a dinner honoring her as "Nurse of the Year" has been charged with pretending to be a nurse at a doctor's office. Betty Lichtenstein, 56, of Norwalk was charged Thursday.

Prosecutors say Dr. Gerald Weiss believed Lichtenstein was a registered nurse, especially after she was named the Connecticut Nursing Association's "Nurse of the Year" in 2008.

According to the arrest warrant, that association does not exist.

The state's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating after a patient complained about Lichtenstein.

She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of reckless endangerment and criminal impersonation charges.

Lichtenstein did not return a telephone message for comment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Nights In DC Often Sound Like This

A very cool "musical" video for a hot steamy August night.

Give it a few seconds for the sound.Thanks Connie for the heads up.

Its For The Birds

Copley's Steve O'Brien with the Elmer Crowell Canada goose from the Harry Long collection that sold for $661,250.

Art and Antiques Online:Six Decoys Sell For $1.8 Million At Copley Fine Art Auctions
Aug 4th, 2009
David S. Smith
The second stop on the annual series of New England decoy auctions featured a stellar selection of decoys and select sporting artwork offered by Steve and Cinnie O'Brien and their firm, Copley Fine Arts Auctions. Opening on Tuesday evening for a special preview party, the auction took place Wednesday and Thursday, July 15 and 16.

After two action-packed days of decoy auctions on the Cape, the large crowds of collectors and dealers migrated north with a sense of great anticipation. Copley had secured the consignment for a group of exquisite Elmer Crowell decoys that had been assembled at the turn of the Twentieth Century by avid sportsman and philanthropist Harry V. Long.

Close to 700 lots were offered during the two-day auction, with the first day focusing on decoys, while day two served up a stellar selection of sporting art by masters such as Ogden Pleissner, Aiden Lassell Ripley, Frank Benson, Edmund Osthaus and Lynn Bogue Hunt. The auction grossed an impressive $4,158,929; even more impressive is the fact that $1.8 million of that total came from the six of the seven Crowell decoys from the Long collection.

The crowd waited with anticipation for the Elmer Crowell carved preening pintail from the Harry Long collection to be sold. The lot opened at $275,000, with it selling moments later to a buyer in the rear of the room for $546,250.

Here is the full story.

Sotheby's Profit Plunges 87%

Lean Times

WSJ, August 5, 2009

Profit at Sotheby's plunged 87% in the second quarter, as the art auction house's sales tumbled, but auction commission margins improved.

The New York-based company reported earnings of $12.2 million, or 18 cents a share, down from $95.3 million, or $1.41 a share. But it was the first quarterly profit for Sotheby's after three consecutive losses.

Auction houses have been struggling to secure enough top material to entice bidders, as the economic downturn forces them to rely heavily on individuals selling art for personal reasons.

Sotheby's latest quarter's results included a $4.8 million restructuring charge, while the year-earlier quarter's figures included an $18.4 million benefit related to the expiration of discount certificates the company issued in 2003 in connection with an antitrust settlement. Revenue fell 48% to $167.3 million, with auction sales declining 66%.

Auction-commission margins at Sotheby's rose to 21.3% from 15.1% a year earlier, helped by a change in the company's sales mix.

Sotheby's shares rose 4.9% to $15.72 each in after-hours trading, as revenue topped Wall Street's expectations. The stock has regained nearly three-quarters of its value this year, but it is still far below its all-time high of more than $58 in 2007. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share earnings of 28 cents on revenue of $153 million.

The company has seen its credit ratings downgraded to junk status amid concerns about near-term covenant violations and a decline in the world-wide art-auction market. In June, Sotheby's struck a deal that would lower the borrowing limit on its credit line by $100 million but raise the interest rate it pays on its borrowings. The company also said it is in discussions about a new credit line with an expiration date beyond September 2010 to replace its existing facility.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Pooh Archival Auction

Art Daily: LOS ANGELES, CA. Within the Fine Books & Manuscripts auction at Bonhams & Butterfields on October 19, 2009 is an archive of rare correspondence and black and white photographs related to the personal life of Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne, his wife, and his son Christopher Robin.

"The Milne family archive provides a rare look into the life of an author and his family. It is fascinating to see photographs of the child that inspired the Christopher Robin character used throughout Milne's books and poems. Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to offer such a rare piece of children's literary history," said Dr. Catherine Williamson, Department Head, Fine Books and Manuscripts.

In the 1920s, American Alma Junghans struck up a friendship with the Milne family. According to the correspondence on offer in September, Junghans was among the small party that accompanied Christopher Robin to the London Zoo to meet the famed bear Winnie who, together with the child's own teddy bear, became the inspiration for the classic children's book character Winnie-the-Pooh.

Junghans was a faithful correspondent to the Milnes, remembering birthdays and holidays; as well as sending much needed supplies to the United Kingdom during and after World War II. As a family the Milnes took great pains to thank Junghans, writing gracious and chatty letters over the years.

Highlights from the Milne family archive include three charming letters written by Christopher Robin, the earliest at age nine, and six rare snapshots dating from 1928-1930 capturing images of the Milnes at home, including two rare pictures of Christopher Robin with his beloved Winnie-the-Pooh bear (est. $3,000-5,000).

Additional highlights for the September Fine Books & Manuscripts auction will be announced in late summer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Old or New

Thanks to "What is James Wearing," I've discovered a new blog "Tartanscot" who is posting about about a new line of dining pieces from Kravet Furniture which certainly look appealing,... but look at the sideboard..where had I 'd seen that before? Just recently, I knew. Ah yes here at Homer's, but old and better looking and cheaper, from an auction of course. Which one would you prefer?

Welsh $600 to $800.00 at auction.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Film Review: "Herb and Dorothy"

A love story and a great gift to the nation.

by Shirley Moskow (Independent), Jul-31-09

Walking hand-in-hand along a New York street, the elderly couple seem unremarkable. He is stooped with age and uses a cane. She is still spry and gently helps him. Profiled in the prize-winning film, “Herb and Dorothy,” the Vogels look like a granny and a grampa - straight out of central casting.

Appearances are deceiving. Megumi Sasaki’s documentary reveals an extraordinary couple. The film screened earlier this year at the Jewish Film Festival and is now at the Landmark Theater, Kendall Square, Cambridge.

“Herb and Dorothy” is a subtle gem that succeeds on many levels. It is an endearing love story about an unassuming couple, now in their eighties, who amassed a world-class collection of modern art on a shoe-string budget. It is also an entertaining crash course in the important art movements of the second half of the 20^th century.

Most important, it celebrates a gift of unmatched generosity to the nation. The couple, who have lived all of their married life in a rent-controlled, one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, donated their multi-million dollar art collection to The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. It will be exhibited later this year.

Many films feature artists. Sasaki wasn’t aware of any about art collectors. She was intrigued that the Vogels had acquired their collection on a modest budget. After she met them at an art event at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor of New York, she determined to tell their story. Her skillful weaving of old photographs, historic film clips, newspaper headlines, and footage of Herb and Dorothy at home and with artists in galleries presents an intimate profile of an engaging couple.

Herb’s passion for art started long before he met Dorothy in 1950. The son of Russian emigrants, he grew up in New York City. He worked the night shift as a postal clerk so that he’d have days free to paint, take art classes, and spend hours poring over art books at the library.

He met Dorothy at a large party. He was attracted to the slim, dark-haired girl across the room because, he says, “She looked intelligent.”
“And cute, too, I hope,” Dorothy teases, more than half a century later. She’d grown up in the small town of Elmira, NY. It bored her. A friend invited her to New York City. She didn’t hesitate. With her freshly minted master’s degree, she found a position as librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library.

“I didn’t know anything about art,” says Dorothy, but she found Herb’s enthusiasm irresistible. They honeymooned in Washington, DC. Their first stop was The National Gallery of Art, where Herb treated his bride to a lesson on the history of art.

Back in New York, they settled into a comfortable married life. Dorothy attended art classes. They paid their living expenses from her earnings. Herb’s salary bought art. They haunted art galleries and attended openings, where they met artists, who became their friends. Now some artists call every week to let the Vogels know what they’re working on.

“There wasn’t a market for what we were doing,” says Herbert Mangold, one of the first artists they collected. “The money was very useful.” They bought Robert Rauchenberg, Chuck Close, Robert Motherwell, Donald Judd, and Jeff Koons, among others, long before their art became fashionable commodities. And they collected in depth, following the artists’ development.

“It was like a hunger, they couldn’t satisfy,” one artist comments. When their apartment walls were covered, they hung art from the ceiling. The art under their bed was piled so high it raised the mattress.

“They were greedy,” says Linda Bengali, an artist represented in their collection. “Thank God they were greedy.”

The Vogels have no children. They thought about the future of their collection. They considered offers from several museums. The National Gallery of Art was interested, but couldn’t meet the prices bid by museums. Nevertheless, the Vogels chose to gift their collection to The National Gallery. They reasoned that they had made their money at government jobs and giving back seemed right. They liked, too, that the National Gallery does not deaccession. There were too many pieces for the National Gallery, however, so Herb and Dorothy are giving fifty pieces to a museum in each of the fifty states.

Herb and Dorothy’s gift to the people of The United States is unique, according to the film. There are no collectors in any country in the world who have given everything they have to their country.

Borrowed Treasures From the Musée d’Orsay

One of my favorite places in the world is sharing during reconstruction.


Some of the most celebrated paintings in art history — van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles,” Whistler’s Mother, Manet’s “Fife Player” and Degas’s “Dancing Lesson” — will leave their home at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for two exhibitions to be held at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2010 and 2011. Other institutions will get a smaller sampling of the Musée d’Orsay’s treasures too, in cities like Tokyo, Madrid and Canberra, Australia, as well as Nashville.

The shows come courtesy of renovations at the French museum. “The Musée d’Orsay is aging now and has to be redone,” Guy Cogeval, its president, said of the institution, which opened 23 years ago in a converted turn-of-the-century train station. The museum will remain open while its upper-floor galleries and east pavilion close for about 14 months for a project that includes adding 20,000 square feet of space to show more decorative arts holdings.

Rather than put paintings in storage during the renovations, officials decided to send the works on an international tour. In exchange the museum is charging an undisclosed loan fee. The arrangement is similar to one the Museum of Modern Art in New York had with the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. After MoMA closed for renovation and expansion in 2002, it sent a group of its greatest hits to Berlin. The German museum was said to have paid MoMA more than $5 million for the exhibition. (Officials in San Francisco and the Musée d’Orsay both declined to discuss the financial arrangements.)

While the Musée d’Orsay’s two most famous paintings — Manet’s “Déjeuner sur l’Herbe” and “Olympia” — will not travel, it is parting with about 240 works that will be divided into two exhibitions. The first, “Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces From the Musée d’Orsay,” on view at the de Young from May 22 through Sept. 6, 2010, will explore the development of the style and include about 100 paintings.

The second show, “Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces From the Musée d’Orsay,” on view there from Sept. 25, 2010, through Jan. 18, 2011, will explore the work of early Modern painters and include some 120 pieces.

The de Young Museum has had long ties with the Musée d’Orsay. So when John E. Buchanan, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (which includes the de Young), heard about plans for the Musée d’Orsay’s renovations and of the shows that were being organized there, he said he “leapt at the opportunity to bring these paintings to San Francisco.” It will be the only museum to present both exhibitions