Musée des Confluences: Lyon, France’s New World-Class Museum

The Musée des Confluences is an exceptional new museum (even for France), and a welcome new symbol for France’s second largest city, Lyon.Boasting audacious architecture and a breathtaking view, the Musée hosts a number of enticing exhibits and temporary exhibitions.  Located at the gateway to the city — where Lyon’s two rivers, the Rhone and the Saone meet — the Musée des Confluences has rapidly become the newest symbol of the urban area known worldwide as the culinary capital of France. Through its boldness and scope, it embodies the renewal of Lyon, and more specifically of the Lyon-Confluence district where it is located. This area is undergoing a total transformation, fast becoming a showcase for the city of the future.Designed by the famous Austrian architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au — known for its works typical of Deconstructivism, such as the BMW Arena in Munich or the headquarters of the European Central Bank — the Musée des Confluences evokes a meeting between a crystal and a cloud, materialized within the building’s 22,000 square meters.
Lyon musee-des-confluences-lyon-france-museum skellyLess than one year old, this monument hosts a vast permanent collection which interconnects different disciplines to tell the story of mankind. The collections were mainly compiled in the 17th century by Emile Guimet. Four exhibitions entrusted to separate exhibition designers offer visitors an experience that explores the origins and destiny of humanity: Origins — The Narratives of the World; Societies — The Theatre of Mankind;  Species — The Tapestry of Life; and Eternity — Visions from Beyond.Lyon musee-des-confluences-mummy-deathThe Musée des Confluences stimulates curiosity, emotions, and amazement, by simultaneously drawing from various scientific disciplines (paleontology, mineralogy, entomology, science and techniques, etc.) and mythological references. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Musée des Confluences will also feature intense temporary shows over the next three years.Lyon musee bugsMusée des Confluences is also a prominent public place to spend an evening in Lyon. People can visit the Crystal, walk across the base and enjoy the confluence of the Rhone and Saone from the garden. This exceptional setting outside the confines of the protected city center has been recognized by UNESCO.The museum’s restaurants are tempting destinations of their own. Run by two Lyon-based chefs — Guy Lassausaie, a two star Michelin chef, and Jean-Paul Pignol – they serve light fare at the Comptoir Gourmand on the museum’s roof, while the Brasserie des Confluences, surrounded by shallow pools of water, provides a true gastronomical dining experience. To expand your itinerary for this interesting and delicious city, visit the Only Lyon tourism website at

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Goldwyn Film Family to Sell $30 Million Collection at Sotheby’s, Led by Picasso and Matisse

19GOLDWYN-blog427Pablo Picasso, Femme au Chignon Dans un Fauteuil (1948).
Photo: courtesy the estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Goldwyn family, the great Hollywood film dynasty, will sell its art collection following the death of producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. two months ago. With an estimated worth of $25 million–$30 million, the collection will be parceled out over nine auctions at Sotheby’s New York between May and October.

The centerpieces of Goldwyn’s holdings are Pablo Picasso’s Femme au Chignon Dans un Fauteuil (1948), a portrait of the artist’s lover Françoise Gilotand, and Anémones et Grenades (1946), a Matisse still life. The Picasso is estimated to sell for as much as $18 million, while the Matisse, bought for $13,500 in 1948, is tagged at upwards of $5 million.

Both paintings will be on offer at the house’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale on May 5. The collection also includes works by Milton Avery, David Hockney, and Diego Rivera.

Pioneering film mogul Samuel Goldwyn Sr., lent his name to MGM studios and ran Samuel Goldwyn Productions. His wife, Frances, may have been largely responsible for his purchases, according to Catherine Goldwyn, daughter of Goldwyn Jr., who told the New York Times that “she would present it to the outside world as his eye, but the archives show that she was more involved.”

The third generation of Goldwyns remains a force in the film industry, with Catherine’s brothers John and Tony working as a producer and actor, respectively. John’s credits include the Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), co-produced with his father, and the comedy MacGruber (2010), while Tony played Shailene Woodley’s father in Divergent (2014) and stars as the president in the popular ABC series Scandal.

Goldwyn Sr. won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1946’s The Best Years of Our Lives, while his son’s credits include Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) and Mystic Pizza (1988).

Former Sotheby’s chief auctioneer Tobias Meyer, who left the company in 2013 after 20 years, is serving as an adviser to the family.

Also for sale is the late film producer’s Beverly Hills estate, an almost 11,000-square-foot Georgian-inspired mansion built in 1934 by Goldwyn Sr., listed at $39 million.


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Record-Breaking $15.2 Billion Worth of Art Was Sold in 2014

Art has once again proved itself to be a stable investment as global art sales reached record-breaking heights totaling $15.2 billion, reports the Telegraph.

The billion of dollars worth of art that was sold at auction during the year was a 26 percent increase from 2013, Artprice stated in its annual report, which is produced with the China-based Chinese art platform Artron. Of the auction transactions, 1,679 sales of $1 million or more were recorded—four times the amount that was recorded more than a decade ago.

Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were market leaders, responsible for $5.6 billion in sales, followed by the United States. However, the slowdown in China’s economy and its crackdown on corruption have curtailed total spending, as sales were down 5 percent from 2013.

US auction houses saw a 41 percent increase to $4.8 billion in spending from 2013, and British houses saw a 35 percent increase to $2.8 billion in sales from 2013.

“Demand is constant and aggressive on every continent…notably from museums,” said Artprice CEO Thierry Ehrmann.

Wang Jie, president of Artprice and Artron added, “More museums were created between 2000 and 2005 than during the entire 19th and 20th centuries” and they need “a minimum of 3,000 to 4,000 quality works to be credible.”

Artprice also stated that the upper threshold for works could soon break the $1 billion ceiling, as just this month a Gauguin sold privately for $300 million (see Paul Gauguin Painting Sells for Record $300 Million to Qatar Museums in Private Sale).

Article by:
Christie Chu