Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic has become the most expensive car ever to sell at auction, fetching over $30m (£20m) in California yesterday.One of only three ever built, the gorgeous Atlantic - styled by Ettore Bugatti's son Jean - was bought by an anonymous bidder at the Gooding classic car auction in Santa Monica. The exact amount remains undisclosed, but reports from the show floor suggest it could be as high as $40m (£27m), smashing the $12.2m (£8m) paid for a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa at the same show last year.That is, in technical terms, a hell of a lot of cash. But this is a hell of a lot of car. First bought by Lord Philippe de Rothschild in 1936, the Atlantic was fitted with a supercharger in 1939, boosting the power of its 3.3-litre inline eight to a heady 210bhp. In its prime, the Atlantic would run to a dizzying 123mph. Since 1971, it was owned by Bugatti collector Peter Williamson, who restored the Atlantic to its original specification after an ambitious previous owner decided to paint it red. And fit new rear windows. Oops. Williamson did a good job: the Atlantic won top prize at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003.And now... well, who knows? No word on which deep-pocketed collector has acquired the Atlantic, but let's hope he or she isn't going to hide it away in some high-security vault deep within a shark-infested laser volcano.Question for the day, then. If the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic rolled off the delivery truck in front of your house this morning, where would you take it? A blast down the French Riviera? The Nurburgring? Asda?
2. Michael Jackson glove sells for $160,000 at auction
When Michael Jackson’s denim jacket from his Jackson 5 days sold for $26,000 — more than five times its estimated sale price — it was the first indication that the late pop star’s belongings were going to sell for more money than anyone may have anticipated.
Even his brothers’ and sisters’ items were selling for thousands at Julien’s Auctions summer sale on Friday at Planet Hollywood. On the one-year anniversary of Jackson’s death, everything was a hot commodity. ans, bidders and curious passersby filled the auction area at Planet Hollywood for the nearly six hours of bidding on 251 lots of Jackson memorabilia.
But there was one item that everyone really came to see — one of Jackson’s signature Swarovski crystal-studded gloves. After nearly 150 lots and much anticipation, the glove finally made its appearance. At an auction in November in New York, a glove Jackson wore when performing his signature moonwalk for the first time at the “Motown 25” concert in 1983 sold for $420,000.
“I’ll start the bidding at $1 just so you all can say that you bid on Michael Jackson’s glove,” auctioneer Kathleen Guzman said as bidders raised their paddles in a frenzy.
Then the real bidding began. It started at $31,000 and rose to more than $100,000 within seconds.
Julien’s Auctions employees raised their own studded-gloved hands furiously as competing bids came in from anonymous bidders over the phone and online. In the end, a $160,000 bid from Wanda Kelley of Los Angeles won out. The glove was expected to see for between $20,000 and $30,000. Kelley said she was prepared to go higher than her $160,000 winning bid, but she was reluctant to say how much higher. “Let’s just say I wasn’t walking out of here without that glove,” Kelley said coyly shortly after claiming her prize. Aside from the glove, Kelley scooped up most of the gold records in the Jackson collection. She said she’s been a fan all her life but wasn’t aware that today marked the anniversary of his death. “I’ve just been so busy. I was up in my hotel room watching CNN and it was a surprise to me to hear it was the anniversary,” Kelley said.
Julien’s Auctions owner Darren Julien said the price of Jackson memorabilia has skyrocketed since his death last June. That was more than obvious during Friday’s sale. Julien said Jackson's 251 lots sold for $1.98 million, nearly double what the auction house originally expected.
His MTV music video award, priced between $6,000 and $8,000 in the Julien’s catalog, sold for $37,500. Handwritten lyrics to “Bad” went for $8,000, 10 times its estimated sale price. A signed fedora went for $45,000 and a corduroy shirt for $23,000.
The jacket Jackson wore during his 1996 wedding to Debbie Rowe sold for $60,000 to a woman sitting with Anna Nicole Smith’s former boyfriend and the father of Smith’s daughter, Larry Birkhead. The T-shirt Jackson wore in his “Beat It” video sold for $36,000, and an autographed replica of the jacket he wore in the video went for $110,000.
Susie Lopez of California paid $24,000 for a caricature drawn and signed by Jackson. Lopez traveled to Las Vegas with the goal of picking up one his drawings after losing a bidding war at a New York auction in November.
“The drawings are just so personal, not like some of the other items up for bid. I don’t think people realize what a great artist he was,” Lopez said as she held her catalog marked with other items she was interested in. “I got what I came for.”
Noboru Ochiai scooped up one of the priciest items of the afternoon, a custom jacket for $100,000, along with a fedora for $37,500. Both were worn by Jackson during a 1997 interview with Barbara Walters.
Ochiai was bidding for Japanese pop star and magician Princess Tenko. He was hoping to pick up a pair of Jackson’s autographed black loafers for Princess Tenko, but he lost to an anonymous bidder on the phone who purchased the pair for $75,000.
As for the glove, Ochiai wasn’t even considering bidding. “Too expensive,” he said.
Donning their Jackson T-shirts and “I love MJ” bracelets, Kandice Jones of Las Vegas and her daughter Deanna didn’t come to bid but to remember Jackson and compare prices with their own memorabilia.
Kandice Jones said she’s been collecting Jackson memorabilia since 1979 and has lost count of how many pieces she owns today. Perfume bottles once owned by Jackson, an autographed copy of his “Thriller” album and a signed Jackson doll are among her most prized possessions.
Her love of Jackson has become a family affair passed on to her children.
“I really didn’t realize how passionate I was about him until he died,” Deanna Jones said. “I was crying for days.” The Jones family was devoting the day to celebrating and remembering Jackson, beginning with a memorial service Friday morning and the auction in the afternoon.
Later tonight, they’ll be watching their VCR tape copy of his memorial service from last year and making one of Jackson’s favorite dishes — cheese enchiladas.
3. NEW YORK, NY - One of the things that made cowboy actor Roy Rogers so famous was his horse "Trigger".
Roy Rogers' had his faithful companion preserved by a taxidermist after its death in 1965 at the age of 30. Trigger was put on display at the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, which was relocated to Branson, Missouri, and closed, in late 2009.
Wednesday one of America's most memorable horses was sold at auction for $266,000 in New York to owners of a Nebraska television station.
The golden palomino was featured in over one hundred movies and The Roy Rogers Show. Trigger had 150 trick cues and could walk 50 feet on his hind legs.
The horse was purchased at the Christies Auction by RFD-TV in Omaha, Nebraska. The station announced plans to acquire more Roy Rogers and Dale Evans memorabilia at the auction and open a museum.
Items at the auction came from the now-closed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri.
4. NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s September 2010 series of Asia Week auctions in New York included Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 15 September. The high point of the sale came in LOT 304 A 'GE' OCTAGONAL VASE (BA FANGHU)SONG DYNASTY estimated to sell between 400,000—600,000 USD Sold with a hammer Price with Buyer's Premium of 1,762,500 USD . It is 8 1/2 in. in height. It is described as very thinly potted, of pear shape and octagonal section, resting on a slightly flared foot pierced with a circular aperture on the sides, rising from a swelling body and tapering to a gently everted mouth, the collar with a double-band of horizontal raised ribs, flanked by a pair of tubular handles, applied overall with a lustrous opaque creamy-gray glaze, suffused with black and gray craquelure among finer golden-orange crackles, the footrim unglazed and burnt to a dark-brown color in the firing
Collection of an old Chinese-American family, by repute.
Ge ware is one of the most celebrated wares of Chinese ceramics, along with the first 'official' 'Ru', and the extensively copied guan. According to Regina Krahl in her discussion of this group in Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, Vol. One, p. 213, 'Originally, the term Ge, often mentioned in classical Chinese literature, may have been applied to a distinct ware from a specific but unidentified kiln; later, however, it appears to have turned into a connoisseurs' term for wares with certain features.'
The shape of this vase, referred to as fanghu (the ba preceding denotes the eight sides), is based on ritual bronze prototypes that were discovered and excavated during the Song dynasty. The Northern Song emperor Huizong (r. 1101-25) was a keen collector of both archaic bronzes and jades and commissioned the production of ceramic vessels after bronze pieces in his collection.
Two similar, but slightly smaller, vases are in the National Palace Museum collection in Taipei, and are illustrated in Porcelain of The National Palace Museum: Ko Ware of the Sung Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1962, pls. 3 and 4 (Fig. 1). Another smaller example is illustrated in Gakuji Hasebe, Ceramic Art of the World: Sung Dynasty, Tokyo, 1977, Volume 12, p. 207, no. 205. A larger vase (height 10 1/2 inches) was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 19th March 1991, lot 506.
Bonhams plans in November to auction a seal made of white jade for the Chinese emperor Qianlong could fetch more than £5m . The seal is one of a set of three commissioned by the emperor and made in 1793. It features a dragon to represent the emperor and includes the motto: "Self-strengthening never ceases."
PBS Arts Paula A. Kerger Thomas Mann Arts Dailey
Or maybe you recall the wishes of George Gustav Heye and what he envisioned for his collection of 1 million objects. "The National Museum of the American Indian is home to the collection of the former Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The collection includes more than 800,000 objects, as well as a photographic archive of 125,000 images. The collection, which became part of the Smithsonian in June 1990, was assembled by George Gustav Heye (1874–1957) during a 54-year period, beginning in 1903. He traveled throughout North and South America collecting Native objects. Heye used his collection to found New York’s Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation and directed it until his death in 1957. The Heye Foundation’s Museum of the American Indian opened to the public in New York City in 1922."
"In order to remove the collection, the museum - formally known as Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation - must have the approval of the New York State Attorney General. George Gustav Heye obligated the original trustees ''and their successors'' to ''maintain the museum within this state.'' The present trustees have indicated that judges may rewrite trust priorities if that is necessary to protect the trust's most important obligations - the preservation of the collection. Still, as native Americans we have a very personal interest in seeing that the original agreements are honored..." ROSEMARY RICHMOND Executive Director American Indian Community House New York, May 22, 1987
You would think that some consideration of what the original benefactor would want might hold some water. Now, in the case of the Heye Foundation material, we have a token presence in New York, a very small group of objects on display at the National Museum of American Indian on the Mall, and the bulk of the objects instorage in Maryland accessible only by appointment and permission. The majority of the non-indian community interested in the rich tradition of native americans hate the fact that this beautiful building pretends to be a museum. It is in every way a cultural center, which any rationale person would agree that the native american community deserves. This really isn't the point. The point is that Heye certainly envisioned both indian and non-indian people learning from what he collected. That trust has been betrayed.
Judge Rejects Fisk Deal to Sell Georgia O'Keeffe Share
NASHVILLE (AP).- A Nashville judge has rejected Fisk University's proposal to sell a joint share in a 101-piece collection donated by late artist Georgia O'Keeffe to an Arkansas museum. Fisk argued that its precarious financial state prevents the historically black university from maintaining and displaying the collection. Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle agreed Friday that the cash-strapped school is unable to exhibit the collection. But Lyle said the Fisk proposal to sell a 50 percent stake in the collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark., for $30 million does not meet the terms of the donation O'Keeffe made to the school in 1949. Lyle ordered the state attorney general to offer a "Nashville-based solution" ... More
Here again a bequest was made based on a set of permanent conditions. Considering the history of over turning the wishes of our generous dead patrons, I would bet here that the Walmart money behind Crystal Bridges will also prevail.
It might give you some basis for considering carefully your last wishes.
6. PHILADELPHIA, PA. - University Museum, University of Pennslyvania -River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte is available and ready to travel. This exhibit presents more than 120 exquisitely crafted pieces of Precolumbian goldwork from Penn Museum’s 1940 excavations at the ancient cemetery site of Sitio Conte in what is now central Panama. The exhibition includes large embossed plaques, cast pendants and nose ornaments, gold-sheathed ear rods, and necklaces of intricate beads—as well as polychrome ceramics, and objects made of precious and semi-precious stones, whale-tooth ivory, and bone. In the first section of the exhibit, visitors are introduced to the geographical setting of central Panama and the excavations at Sitio Conte.The exciting story of the dramatic find of a multi-grave burial containing a wealth of gold is told through site photographs, maps, drawings, even a video from the original color film of the archaeological team. The second section reconstructs lifestyles of Precolumbian society in ancient Panama. The third section analyzes the tantalizing iconography found on Sitio Conte goldwork and ceramics to help viewers interpret aspects of a long-lost ideology. The sophisticated metallurgical processes by which the goldsmiths of Sitio Conte achieved extraordinary results are thoughtfully explained in the final section of the exhibition. River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte is not only visually stunning, it also gives viewers an invaluable glimpse into a Panamanian society as it was 1,000 years ago.
The new galleries in the museum's iconic 1916 neoclassical building hold items spanning 5,000 years. Art history and humanities chair Gerald Guest at John Carroll University says the project will provide what he calls "an extraordinary canvas" to show off one of America's great art collections.
Recent reinstallations of Houston's two leading African art galleries — the Menil Collection's in 2008 and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's this summer — have given visitors ample opportunities to study and appreciate these incredible objects. But both galleries omit a chapter of African art history most people outside of Nigeria have no idea occurred because of laws keeping cultural property in the country.
A landmark traveling exhibition that makes its U.S. premiere Sunday at the MFAH after three European stops is about to change that. More than 100 magnificent copper, terra-cotta and stone sculptures from the ancient West African city-state of Ife (pronounced ee-fay), now a city in southwest Nigeria, display a level of sophistication and realism we normally associate with the European Renaissance.
But Ife sculptors mastered human anatomy, proportion and metal casting significantly earlier. Most of the work in Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria was created between the ninth and 15th centuries. More (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/7204376.html)
The British Museum is located in Bloomsbury, London Two charitable trusts established by the Sainsbury family have donated £25m to the British Museum in what is thought to be one of the biggest gifts to the arts for two decades. The Linbury Trust, established by Conservative peer Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover in the 1970s, will pay £12.5m to the museum over the next three years.
A further £12.5 million will come from the Monument Trust established by Lord Sainsbury's late brother Simon. The money will go towards a major redevelopment of the London museum's facilities, helping fund a new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre. A spokeswoman for the museum described the donations as "incredibly generous". The gift was a vital part of a project which would "benefit future generations". "This is an incredibly important project for the British Museum and has been planned for a long time," the spokeswoman added.
NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) announces the appointment of Susan M. Taylor as Director Designate. She will officially become the Museum's sixth director on September 1, 2010. Taylor will succeed E. John Bullard, who will retire as one of America's longest-serving museum directors. Bullard will remain on staff as Director Emeritus to aid Taylor in the transition and will continue to work on NOMA's centennial celebrations throughout 2011. "As NOMA commemorates a century of art, I am thrilled that Susan Taylor has been selected to lead the Museum into its next chapter of service and success," Bullard said. "I have known her for a number of years and know that she is an outstanding choice to lead our institution." A museum director for over 20 years, Taylor most recently directed Princeton University Art Museum, where she is well-known for instituting wide-ranging innovations in collections development, planning, programming and outreach. She is also deeply involved in the ongoing debate about collection ownership and cultural property issues, having successfully resolved several ownership claims for works of art in Princeton's collection. "I am delighted to be joining a museum of the caliber of NOMA," Taylor said. "To follow John's legacy and write the next chapter of the Museum's history is a remarkable opportunity." Taylor is the former director of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College. During her twelve-year tenure at Wellesley, she oversaw the construction of an award-winning museum facility designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. She holds art history degrees from Vassar College and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Bullard's retirement from NOMA has been planned for nearly a year. In September 2009, the Museum Board formed a search committee and in October enlisted the services of Laurie Nash of Russell Reynolds Associates. Taylor was selected from a large field of applicants. "Susan Taylor was selected from a field of strong candidates thanks to Laurie Nash of Russell Reynolds Associates," said Donna Rosen, trustee and member of NOMA's Search Committee. "I spoke to many museum directors around the country about Susan. Words that came up most often while describing her were 'imaginative, encyclopedic knowledge of the history of art, high standards, seizes opportunities, visionary, intelligent and of our time.' In fact, through the search process, all of these accolades were revealed." "NOMA is a true jewel in New Orleans' cultural crown and building on the great job John Bullard has done is a daunting task," said Stephen Hansel, president of NOMA's Board of Directors and Chairman of the Search Committee. "Susan Taylor was our Search Committee's overwhelming first choice because of her broad experience, charm, contacts and managerial expertise. We are confident that she will lead NOMA to even greater heights."