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Old 07-10-2002, 05:04 PM   #1
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Michelangelo Drawing Found at New York Museum

That's quite a discovery !!!

Michelangelo Drawing Found at New York Museum
Wed Jul 10,12:09 PM ET
By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Michelangelo drawing that may be worth $12 million was unearthed among sketches of Renaissance lighting fixtures in what used to be a New York maid's room, museum officials say.

The unsigned drawing is a design for a seven-branched candelabrum -- some call it a menorah -- done in black chalk, brush and brown wash on cream-colored paper in the mid-1500s, according to officials at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.

The candelabrum's arms are only inferred, but the sketch clearly shows where they should go, said Sarah Lawrence, the museum's expert on the Italian Renaissance decorative arts.

Such a discovery occurs "once in a museum's lifetime," Cooper-Hewitt Director Paul Thompson said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "It's the stuff of children's story books."

The drawing was plucked from a box of sketches of lighting fixture designs by unknown artists in the museum's Drawings and Prints Department, on the fourth floor of the building in what used to be a maid's room, Thompson said.

The museum, part of the Washington-based Smithsonian Institution ( news - web sites), purchased the drawing within a group of five goldsmith drawings in 1942, for $60.

Museum scholars guessed the work might have been done by 16th century artist Perino del Vaga, who often followed Michelangelo's designs for decorative objects. Somehow it got into the wrong box and was described only as being Italian, from around 1530-1540.

"It's the old cliche: what you find in attics," Thompson said.

It was first identified as a Michelangelo in April by Sir Timothy Clifford, director of the National Galleries of Scotland, during a sabbatical visit to the Cooper-Hewitt.

While the experts agree on the artist, there is no agreement on how the finished candelabrum would have been used. It was never made, Clifford said.

Clifford called the object a menorah, after the seven-armed candelabrum used by Jews, but said that did not necessarily mean it was destined for use in a Florentine synagogue, since such candlesticks were used in both Jewish and Christian houses of worship during the 16th century.

He said it might have been destined to be part of a project for tombs of the Medici rulers.


"You recognize a Michelangelo as you recognize a friend," Clifford said by telephone from Florence. "If you're familiar with a friend, and you're walking down the street, you wave to them. You do rather the same sort of thing when you're seeing a Michelangelo."

While Clifford was convinced that the work came from Michelangelo's hand, others were skeptical. To authenticate the find, the drawing was taken to London in mid-June for examination by Michelangelo scholars.

A Smithsonian statement said experts who have agreed with Clifford's assessment include George Goldner of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, William Griswold of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Michael Hirst of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and Paul Joannides of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.

But Lawrence said what clinched it for her was to juxtapose the Cooper-Hewitt's drawing with a Michelangelo drawing of a salt cellar in the British Museum.

The drawing will go on display at the Cooper-Hewitt museum in about a year, Thompson said.

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Old 07-10-2002, 05:08 PM   #2
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Wow! That's really cool.

"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 07-10-2002, 05:15 PM   #3
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I bow to the Master

Awesome! And to think his true passion was Sculpture!
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Old 07-10-2002, 05:19 PM   #4
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Thats amazing!!

I love old historical artifacts like that!
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Old 07-10-2002, 07:36 PM   #5
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Has anybody here ever read the book "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"?
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Old 07-10-2002, 07:51 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Mirrorball Girl

Has anybody here ever read the book "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"?
LOL! Yes! I thought of that as well when I read this thread.

But, seriously, this is really neat.
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Old 07-10-2002, 08:04 PM   #7
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I wish my house had old secrets like that!!!!!

that's pretty freaking cool though!!
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Old 07-10-2002, 08:09 PM   #8
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That is very cool! And to think they bought it for only $60!
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Old 07-11-2002, 07:27 AM   #9
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Big Grin

Wow, that's amazing!
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Old 07-11-2002, 07:51 AM   #10
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I was just thinking the other day, how he really is THE artist. I have a small model of the Pieta, one of my favourite objects. It is lovely the way the Clifford said he felt as if he recognised a friend .

"last night I dreamed about you
I dreamed you were a pilgrim
...in the wings of some desire
Abandoned long ago

Thanks for the good news naya
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Old 08-24-2002, 01:59 PM   #11
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More good news imho
I heard on the radio, they have found a long missing Titan.
I don't know the full story.
It is of the madoona and child.
I would to see it.

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