Art News – weekly round-up

  • 20 February 2015

Ancient treasure uncovered in Israel, Museum of the Mind opens and the mystery of a queen's head – we round up the top art stories of the week.

Uncovered Fatimid-period gold coins in Israel Associated Press

Uncovered Fatimid-period gold coins in Israel


Associated Press

Mediaeval coin discovery

Israel has unveiled the largest collection of mediaeval gold coins ever found in the country. According to the Times the treasure was accidentally discovered in the ancient harbour of Caesarea by amateur divers who thought it was ‘toy money’. Experts from the authority called to the site told the Guardian that the discovery includes almost 2,000 gold coins in different denominations that were circulated by the Fatimid Caliphate, which ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa from 909 to 1171.

Bethlem Museum of the Mind opens

Bethlem Museum of the Mind tackles the hospital’s history head on with displays of shackles and ankle tags, striking sculptures and paintings by patients past and present, says the Guardian. The new museum occupies the administrative building next to the hospital in Beckenham, Kent.

Bacall estate auctions works of art

A vast art and jewellery collection amassed by actress Lauren Bacall, who died in August 2014, is to go under the hammer. According to the Telegraph the collection is to be auctioned at Bonhams New York on 31 March and 1 April. Highlights include six bronze maquettes by Henry Moore, as well as prints by David Hockney, Jim Dine and Richard Avedon.

Mystery of a queen’s head

Scientists believe they have identified a portrait of Anne Boleyn, using facial recognition software that has compared the only confirmed image of her (on a medal in the British Museum) with a painting known as the Nidd Hall portrait. The Independent reports that historians have long debated whether the work depicts Boleyn or her successor, Jane Seymour.

And finally…

A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix now hangs in St Marylebone Church, the Daily Mail has observed. The work, called ‘For Pete’s Sake’ is part of a temporary exhibition to raise money for the Missing Tom Fund.