THE DAUMIER YEAR
LOOKING BACK TO A SPECIAL YEAR: 2008 - THE DAUMIER YEAR.
As the year 2008 comes to an end, this seems to be a good moment to look back to the year in which the art world celebrated Daumier's 200th anniversary. It was a year crowned with manyfold activities and we are very happy that the Daumier Register could be of assistance in many ways.
Compared to any "regular" year, an overwhelming amount of exhibitions has taken place to honor the artist, some of them starting already towards the end of 2007. Many anniversary exhibitions are still reaching well into 2009. Here is a short list of the countries staging Daumier events:
Czech Republic :1
(For details consult the exhibitions list of this website.)
Two important new books on Daumier appeared this year, one by Michel Melot, the other one by SĂ©golĂ¨ne Le Men. We described both of them in the "Daumier News". To round up the big Daumier exhibition of the BibliothĂ¨que Nationale this year, the "Nouvelles dâ€™Estampe", an eminent Paris publication supported by the BibliothĂ¨que Nationale in Paris published an in-depth article on the background of the Daumier Register and its founders, supplying hitherto unknown information to the French speaking art world.
We from the Daumier Register are delighted to note that an increasing number of universities and high-schools are dealing with Daumier in their Art history classes. As a result, teachers and professors are recommending the consultation of our two Daumier websites for research studies. It has always been our profound wish to bring Daumier back to a young, open public.
The many activities during the Daumier year are well reflected in the high numbers of visitors of the Daumier website (www.daumier.org) and the Daumier Register (www.daumier-register.org). A benefit on the side: many collectors and scholars give us their findings on specific prints or inform us about possible corrections for our database. After careful consideration we are always very happy to do the necessary adjustments.
On another note we are pleased to notice that a growing number of publishers is taking up our offer to use Daumier reproductions from our sites for the illustration of their books, articles, lectures and announcements of various kinds (see the constantly growing list at www.daumier.org/index.php.
From a collectorâ€™s point of view this year brought some important, unexpected treasures to light:
In the USA the complete, bound Boulevard version in perfect condition.
In Switzerland a complete, unfolded collection of all the 24 prints of the Association Mensuelle.
In Germany the original drawing on a wood block of one of Daumierâ€™s street scenes.
In Switzerland a very important European private collection, the Neumann collection, was sold on auction.
In France several original wood blocks came on auction, one of which now belongs to the BibliothĂ¨que Nationale.
One word about the market situation for Daumier artwork in this year: Prices in international auctions for sculptures and drawings have significantly increased. The same holds true for important lithographs. On the other hand, the few paintings (about six) that appeared on the market sold either below their estimate or remained unsold. It will be interesting to see whether and how the financial crisis will influence this market. Experience from the past however would indicate that Daumier prices will only be marginally effected, since the collectors of Daumier works are not the type of 'speculators' often found in the art business.
(January 7, 2009)
List of exhibitions with prints and pictures on loan from the DAUMIER REGISTER for the Daumier Year
Last updated: April 30, 2008