Wednesday’s Art Notes

BY alozano  December 9, 2009 at 8:42 AM EST

Raphael's 'Head of a Muse'; photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

—Raphael’s “Head of a Muse” sold for a record $48 million Tuesday at the Old Masters and 19th Century Art Evening Sale at Christie’s in London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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Two records were broken last night at an auction at Christie’s in London, as Raphael’s drawing, “Head of a Muse,” was sold for $48 million and Rembrandt’s painting, “Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo,” went for $33 million. The price tags were the highest ever for works by those artists sold at auction, and the Raphael drawing is now the most expensive work on paper ever to be sold.

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A new biopic about African musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti has just been announced by Focus Features. British artist and director Steve McQueen (who made his feature film debut in 2008 with ‘Hunger’) will direct. The project is not related to the current musical on Broadway, “Fela!” which the NewsHour profiled in November.

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The National Endowment for the Arts announced its 2010 grant recipients Tuesday. The NEA highlights three of the funded projects on their Web site, including arts festivals in Bangor, Maine, and Waco, Texas. (For the full, state-by-state listings, click here.)