2091c.jpgFairfield, ME — James D. Julia’s mid-winter auction launched the 2018 auction season in the most auspicious way possible, with bidders competing for the spectacular lots on offer. After the hammer finally fell silent, 48 lots made $10K or above. In addition, 9 lots realized $25K or more, and 10 lots broke the $50K mark!

James D. Julia's Fine Art, Asian & Antiques auctions enjoy a well-deserved reputation of offering only the finest selections of carefully curated paintings, and this auction did not disappoint on any level. The top lot in this event, Fernando Botero’s “A Lawyer,” made it legal at $150,750 on a $125,000-175,000 estimate. This masterpiece features a portly, pensive looking man carrying a book and is signed “Botero 98.” It appears in Marc Fumaroli’s Botero Drawings, 1999. “Happy New Year,” a painting attributed to Frenchman Paul Emile Chabas, realized $24,200 - over six times its low estimate. This joyful work comes alive with two finely dressed, cherubic children and bouquets of peony flowers. Works by Haley Lever were well represented in this sale, with his “Fishing Boats - Sunrise” from 1904 reeling in $60,500. This handsome, signed painting is titled on a Clayton-Liberatore Art Gallery label. And Morris Graves’ “War Maddened Bird Following St. Elmo’s Fire” tempera on paper soared to $81,675, more than four times its low estimate. 

Enthusiasts battled over this sale’s fine selections of exceptional powder horns from important collections. A group of 13 Revolutionary War-era powder horns, carved by the “Folky Artist,” sold for $27,225. This group represents 13 of about 30 known horns carved by this artist whose name has been lost to history. He is thought to be from the south, as southern icons, such as palmetto trees, long leaf pine sprouts, and a Spanish mission, are among the subjects engraved on his horns. A French and Indian War Pennsylvania map horn changed hands at $58,080 - almost four times its low estimate. This detailed example is illustrated starting in Philadelphia and moves north along the Allegheny and its forks depicted as “Monagahny” and Ohio to Lancaster, Carlisle, Shippensburgh, Fort Louden, Fort Lettelton, Fort Stony Creek, Fort Bedford, and Fort Ledgner, and features a great drawing of Fort Pitt flying a British flag on a pole. And a Charleston, SC map horn realized a whopping $78,650 on its $8,000-12,000 estimate. This museum quality artifact is carved with exquisite attention and shows a view of Charleston and its rivers branching into the “Congarees,” “Saux Tee,” “Keeowee,” and others. 

This remarkable sale also made history with its once-in-a-lifetime offerings of antique archival materials, ephemera, and items associated with important people, places, and things. Four massive hand drawn and painted planning maps used by Morton L. Deyo, a World War II hero who commanded naval gunfire support at Utah Beach in the Normandy invasion - amongst other notable accomplishments - sold for $7,620. A “Barbary Pirate” flintlock pistol from the Stephen Decatur estate shot to $18,150 on its $1,000-2,000 estimate. Decatur led successful naval battles in both Barbary Wars, North Africa, the French Quasi War, and the War of 1812; family legend holds this pistol was a souvenir from the Barbary Coast wars. A solid gold Tiffany presentation snuff box presented by the citizens of Buffalo to Lt. John Worden made $48,400. Worden was the hero of the Victory of the Monitor Over the Merrimac. This handsomely decorated box is engraved with the battle scene between the U.S. Navy Ironclad “Monitor” and the Confederate Navy Ironclad “C.S.S. Virginia” (Merrimac), as well as other naval themes. Our catalogers noted that this is one of the most important American Civil War U.S. Navy artifacts to be presented for public auction. And a wonderful time capsule text, “Manuscript Rules And Regulations of USS Congress And USS Constitution, 1817-1821” cruised to $62,920 on its $15,000-25,000 estimate. 

Enthusiasts also saluted the fine offerings of flags on offer through this sale. An iconic 12-star Confederate 1st National Flag from the renowned Boleslaw And Marie-Louise Mastai collection made $76,230. This remarkable rarity was pictured on cover of the 1973 text “The Stars and the Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History From the Birth of the Republic to the Present” by Mastai. And a Confederate Battle flag made $70,180. This incredibly rare example closely follows the pattern of ANV (Army of Northern Virginia) battle flags and is totally hand sewn. 

Eye-catching Asian treasures gave this sale a touch of international intrigue. A Chinese silk embroidered robe sold for $7,260 on an $800-1,200 estimate. This early 20th century blue silk example is decorated with roundels of various figures within a landscape; its collar and seams are accented with ruyi and fastened with gilded buttons. And a Satsuma pottery vase by Yabu Meizan almost doubled its high estimate, realizing $11,495. This fine Meiji period beaker shaped vessel is exquisitely painted with a continuous waterfront landscape around the lower half and a procession of figures around the top. 

Fine antiques from a wide array of specialty categories tempted collectors throughout this two day event. A cast iron “The Yankee Schoolmaster” (also known as “The Alphabet Man”) made $25,410. This toy was designed as an early educational vehicle to teach children the alphabet or various words; only a handful of these elaborately constructed rarities survived over the past 100+ years. A pair of massive, engraved walrus tusks signed by artist Nathaniel Finney blew away their $6,000-8,000 estimate to sell for $91,960. These c.1870 tusks are illustrated with vignettes of popular actors who worked in San Francisco during the 1860s-1870s, and include the founding members of the California Troup of Actors associated with the California Theatre. An outstanding solid gold Russian hinged box decorated with a micro mosaic top closed the deal at $50,820 on its $4,000-6,000 estimate. Its 2" x 3" scene shows a man on a horse crossing a river with others following, while women are seen on foreground with soldiers. And an important carved and polychrome painted tobacconist figure of Native American man, attributed to Thomas Brooks, was on fire... eventually realizing $26,015. This truly outstanding example has provenance to Danbury, Connecticut by descent to its current owner and was featured on a 1/2 page in color in National Geographic Magazine, September 1931, vol. LX, number three, illustration VII.

Image: Historic Lot Of Four Planning Maps Used By Admiral Morton L. Deyo Abo (a, b, c, & d), $7,260

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the nation's leading auction houses, will open its newest location in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia this spring. In September of 2017, the auction firm announced its expansion into Atlanta after hiring Director of Business Development Mary Calhoun. Prior to this announcement Michael Shapiro (former Director of the High Museum of Art) had joined the firm in April 2017 as Senior Advisor, Museums and Private Collections. 

In May 2018, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will open at 668 Miami Circle in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. The facility will accommodate local auctions as well as full-service resources for appraising property and participating in global auctions through the firm¹s Chicago headquarters. The first auction to be conducted in Atlanta is scheduled for August 2018. Consignments are currently being accepted across all categories, which include fine art, fine jewelry, modern design, books and manuscripts, furniture, decorative arts and more.

"We plan on making Atlanta a major auction center," said Leslie Hindman, founder and CEO of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. "Our focus has always been offering exceptional service and access to the global art market at a local level. The new location will not only be a resource for Atlanta but become a hub for the entire Southeast."

Lelia Williamson has also joined Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Atlanta team as Consignment Manager. Before starting with the firm, Williamson worked at both Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Galleries in Atlanta and Rago Arts and Auction Center in New Jersey. She was Manager of the Department of American Paintings at Hirschl & Adler and spent time as a Curatorial Assistant at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. She received her MA from Sotheby¹s Institute of Art in New York, specializing in American Fine and Decorative Arts.

"I'm thrilled to join Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in my native Atlanta," said Lelia Williamson. "The South is filled with extraordinary collectors and institutions, and we look forward to establishing the local expertise and resources needed to serve this thriving market." 

The new Buckhead location will be open Monday through Friday during business hours and on occasional weekends for auction previews. Appraisal appointments are available for all categories and can be scheduled at any time. For more information, please contact Mary Calhoun at (404) 800-0192.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is a globally recognized brand with eight national offices and over 60 auctions conducted annually for over a dozen collecting categories. They work with buyers and sellers across the globe, connecting with millions of collectors through each auction conducted.

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is among the leading fine art auction houses of the world and one of the largest in the country. As a globally recognized brand, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, modern design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis but connects with millions of collectors worldwide through online resources and global listings. The firm is also a founding partner of Bidsquare, a live auction platform formed by six leading auction houses, and owns a proprietary online bidding platform, LHLive, as well as LHExchange, an e-commerce site specializing in high-end designer furniture and decorative arts. Visit www.lesliehindman.com for more information.

1517421670148.jpgWashington, DC—For more than 40 years, Sally Mann (b. 1951) has made experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs that explore the overarching themes of existence: memory, desire, death, the bonds of family, and nature's magisterial indifference to human endeavor. What unites this broad body of work—figure studies, landscapes, and architectural views—is that it is all bred of a place, the American South. Using her deep love of her homeland and her knowledge of its historically fraught heritage, Mann asks powerful, provocative questions—about history, identity, race, and religion—that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, the first major survey of this celebrated artist to travel internationally, investigates how Mann's relationship with her native land—a place rich in literary and artistic traditions but troubled by history—has shaped her work. The exhibition brings together 115 photographs, many exhibited for the first time. On view in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from March 4 through May 28, 2018, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, presenting an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art, and a short film highlighting her technical process.

"In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South's past on its present," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann's photographs. We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades. "

Exhibition Support

The exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the Trellis Fund. Additional support is provided by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation.

Exhibition Organization and Curators

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

The exhibition is curated by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, and Sarah Kennel, The Byrne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum.

Exhibition Tour

*National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 4-May 28, 2018 *Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, June 30-September 23, 2018
*The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, November 20, 2018-February 10, 2019
*Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 3-May 27, 2019
*Jeu de Paume, Paris, June 17 -September 22, 2019
*High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 19, 2019 -January 12, 2020

Exhibition Highlights

The seeds for Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings were planted in 2014, when National Gallery of Art curators undertook a review of photographs from the Corcoran Gallery of Art after its collections were placed under the stewardship of the National Gallery. Among the Corcor­an's works were 25 photographs by Sally Mann, made from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. With the addition of these works, plus several more acquired through purchase, the National Gallery became one of the largest public repositories of Mann's photographs in the country. The curators' interest in mounting an exhibition of Mann's art deepened when they realized that despite her immense talent and prominence, the full range of Mann's work had not yet received sufficient and widespread scholarly and critical atten­tion.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings is organized into five sections—Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. The exhibition opens with works from the 1980s, when Mann began to photograph her three children at the family's remote summer cabin on the Maury River near Lexington, Virginia. Taken with an 8 x 10 inch view camera, the family picturesrefute the stereotypes of childhood, offering instead unsettling visions of its complexity. Rooted in the experience of a particular natural environment—the arcadian woodlands, rocky cliffs, and languid rivers—these works convey the inextricable link between the family and their land, and the sanctuary and freedom that it provided them.

The exhibition continues in The Land with photographs of the swamplands, fields, and ruined estates Mann encountered as she traveled across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s. Hoping to capture what she called the "radical light of the American South," Mann made pictures in Virginia that glow with a tremulous light, while those made in Georgia and Mississippi are more blasted and bleak. In these photographs, Mann was also experimenting with antique lenses and the 19th-century collodion wet plate process and printing in a much larger size (30 x 38 and 40 x 50 inches). The resulting photographic effects, including light flares, vignetting, blurs, streaks and scratches, serve as metaphors for the South as a site of memory, defeat, ruin, and rebirth. Mann then used these same techniques for her photographs of Civil War battlefields in the exhibition's third section, Last Measure. These brooding and elusive pictures evoke the land as history's graveyard, silently absorbing the blood and bones of the many thousands who perished in battles such as Antietam, Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Spotsylvania, and the Wilderness.

The fourth section, Abide with Me, merges four series of photographs to explore how race and history shaped the landscape of Virginia as well as Mann's own childhood and adolescence. Expanding her understanding of the land as not only a vessel for memory but also a story of struggle and survival, Mann made a series of starkly beautiful tintypes between 2006 and 2015 in the Great Dismal Swamp—home to many fugitive slaves in the years before the Civil War—and along nearby rivers in southeastern Virginia where Nat Turner led a rebellion of enslaved people on August 21, 1831. Here, Mann's use of the tintype process—essentially a collodion negative on a sheet of darkened tin—yields a rich, liquid-like surface with deep blacks that mirror the bracken swamp and rivers. Merging her techniques with metaphoric possibilities, she conveyed the region's dual history as the site of slavery and death but also freedom and sanctuary. Mann also photographed numerous 19th-century African American churches near her home in Lexington. Founded in the decades immediately after the Civil War when African Americans in Virginia could worship without the presence of a white minister for the first time, these humble but richly evocative churches seem alive with the spirit that inspired their creation and the memories of those who prayed there.

Also included in Abide with Me are photographs of Virginia "Gee-Gee" Carter, the African American woman who worked for Mann's family for 50 years. A defining and beloved presence in Mann's life, Carter was also the person who taught Mann the profoundly complicated and charged nature of race relations in the South. The final component of this section is a group of pictures of African American men rendered in large prints (50 x 40 inches) made from collodion negatives. Representing Mann's desire to reach across "the seemingly untraversable chasm of race in the American South," these beautiful but provocative photographs examine an "abstract gesture heated up in the crucible of our association," as Bill T. Jones, who in part inspired the series, once said.

The final section of the exhibition, What Remains, explores themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family. Her enduring fascination with decay and the body's vulnerability to the ravages of time is evident in a series of spectral portraits of her children's faces and intimate photographs detailing the changing body of her husband Larry, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The exhibition closes with several riveting self-portraits Mann made in the wake of a grave riding accident. Here, her links to southern literature and her preoccupation with decay are in full evidence: the pitted, scratched, ravaged, and cloudy surfaces of the ambrotypes function as analogues for the body's corrosion and death. The impression of the series as a whole is of an artist confronting her own mortality with composure and conviction.

Sally Mann

Born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, Sally Mann continues to live and work in Rockbridge County. Mann developed her first roll of film in 1969 and began to work as a professional photographer in 1972. She attended Bennington College, Vermont, and graduated in 1974 with a BA in literature from Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia where she earned an MA in creative writing the following year. She has exhibited widely and published her photographs in the books Second Sight: The Photographs of Sally Mann (1983), Sweet Silent Thought: Platinum Prints by Sally Mann (1987), At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), Mother Land: Recent Landscapes of Georgia and Virginia (1997), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), Sally Mann: Photographs and Poetry (2005), Proud Flesh (2009), Sally Mann: The Flesh and the Spirit (2010), and Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington (2016). Mann's best selling memoir, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (2015), was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has received numerous honors as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2011 Mann delivered the prestigious William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University.

Catalog and Related Programs

Published by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, in association with Abrams, this richly illustrated monograph constitutes an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art through its five sections: Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. Plate sections are enriched by the inclusion of quotations by Mann herself and by her most beloved authors. Essays by curators Sarah Greenough and Sarah Kennel analyze Mann's photographic development in concert with her literary interests and Mann's family photographs, respectively. In their valuable contributions, Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer and recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism; Malcolm Daniel, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Drew Gilpin Faust, president and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University, explore literary and photographic responses to racism in the South; Mann's debt to 19th-century photographers and techniques; and the landscape as repository of cultural and personal memory. Featuring 230 color illustrations, the 332-page catalog is available in hardcover at shop.nga.gov, or by calling (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; faxing (202) 789-3047; or emailing mailorder@nga.gov.

Lecture
Introduction to the Exhibition
March 4 at 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

Public Symposium
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
April 14 at 10:30 a.m.
East Building Auditorium
Illustrated lectures by noted scholars
Made possible by the James D. and Kathryn K. Steele Fund for Photography.

Documentary Film
An eight-minute documentary demonstrating Mann's artistic process is screened in the exhibition.

Image: Sally Mann, Oak Hill Baptist 01:01, 2008-2016, gelatin silver print, collection of the artist, image © Sally Mann

 

PaddingtonCC.jpgAmherst, MA—Sixty years ago, the story of a bear from Darkest Peru found a place in children's literary history when William Collins published A Bear Called Paddington. This coming April, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is proud to be the first American museum to feature the beloved bear in Paddington Comes to America. This exhibition is on view from April 14th through October 7th and is generously supported by HarperCollins Children's Books and YOTTOY Productions. 

On Christmas Eve in 1956, Michael Bond spotted a lonely bear in a London shop. He took it home as a present for his wife and they named it Paddington, after the nearby railway station. Michael, then working as a BBC cameraman, began writing a story about the bear. Bond recalled, "After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn't written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind of things I liked reading about when I was young." A Bear Called Paddington was first published in 1958. 

Bond continued writing and 15 Paddington novels, numerous picture books, and many compilations and gift editions have been published since. Today, more than 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide and they have been translated into 40 different languages, including Latin. For the last 37 years of his life, Bond lived in London, not far from Paddington Station where it all began. He continued to write until shortly before his death in June 2017 at age 91.

Paddington Comes to America brings together copies of notes from one of Bond's notebooks, his typewriter, first edition books, memorabilia, and 70 original illustrations by six artists, including a black-and-white line drawing by Peggy Fortnum, the first artist to create a visual image of Paddington. Eager for Paddington to be convincing, Fortnum visited the London Zoo to sketch and photograph bears. She described her challenges: "The line has to be expressive. I do lots of drawings. Humorous drawing is more difficult than any other kind of drawing." Fortnum's charming illustrations, matching the warmth of Bond's story, made the idea of a talking bear from Peru seem perfectly reasonable. Bond said of Fortnum: "She thought very highly of Paddington, as I did of her. It was a happy combination."

In the seventies and eighties, several illustrators worked on various Paddington projects. In 1972, Bond wrote the first in a series of books for younger readers. These picture books required a more detailed illustrative style than the novels and Fred Banbery was hired as the artist. Banbery illustrated six Paddington picture books. Museum visitors can view his watercolors from Paddington at the Seaside in the exhibition.  

In 1975, illustrator and animator Ivor Wood designed the puppet for the original Paddington television series. Wood also developed a drawn cartoon strip of Paddington that the London Evening News published in the late 1970s. Wood's drawings appeared on a number of products that were licensed around the same time, including a successful stationery line. His six illustrations on view show his penchant for bright colors and bold outlines.   

In the 1980s David McKee, who was already well known for writing and illustrating his own books, including King Rollo, Elmer, and Mr. Benn, was hired as the new artist for Paddington. Seven of McKee's paintings from Paddington at the Zoo are showcased in the exhibition. Barry Macey, who was an in-house artist with Paddington & Co., Ltd., created the artwork for much of the older products and some of the prints. His illustrations from Paddington in the Hot Seat, Paddington Passes Through, and Paddington Takes a Cut are on display. 

Paddington Comes to America also features the work of New England artist R. W. Alley. In 1997 Alley was commissioned to illustrate a new series of Paddington picture books by HarperCollins for an American audience. His version of Paddington worked so well that, two decades later, Alley continues to illustrate the Paddington books. He worked closely with Bond to develop the visual look of each story. Alley notes the author's openness to change: Bond insisted the first book be re-illustrated to reflect a major renovation at Paddington Station. And although Paddington never ages, he is always relevant for the time. Alley's art from more than 20 Paddington picture books is on exhibit, along with some of his preliminary sketches and dummy books. 

Paddington's status as a cultural icon does not go unnoticed in the exhibition. On view are copies of stills from the 1970s stop-motion television series as well as images from the two recent blockbuster Paddington movies. A display of limited-edition plush bears includes a Gabrielle bear. Gabrielle was the first company to create a Paddington bear and was responsible for giving Paddington his Wellington boots, to help him stand up. 

Surely one of the highlights for guests to Paddington Comes to America is a recreated double-decker bus. Guests are invited to board the "hop on/hop off" bus, which also doubles as a reading area. Young visitors will receive special Paddington London Bus Passes and will be encouraged to learn more about the famous sites in London featured around the gallery, having their passes stamped at each location.  

Programming:  

Members Reception: Paddington Comes to America

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 5:00 pm Reception; 6:15 pm Paddington Bear at 60, with Paddington Bear Illustrator R. W. Alley. Members RSVP by April 16 to Jenny Darling Stasinos at membership@carlemuseum.org.

Gallery Talk with R. W. Alley and Ellen Keiter

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 1:00pm. Free with Museum Admission. 

Join Artist R. W. Alley and Chief Curator Ellen Keiter for a gallery talk in the special exhibition Paddington Comes to America, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the iconic Paddington Bear.

Special Storytime: R. W. Alley**

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 2:00 pm. Free with Museum admission. 

R. W. Alley has illustrated over one hundred books for children and, for the past twenty years, has illustrated Michael Bond's Paddington books in all their formats. Join us for a special story time and drawing demonstration with Alley as he reads one of the charming Paddington picture books. 

**Book signing to follow program. Can't make it to the event? You may reserve signed books online or contact The Carle Bookshop at shop@carlemuseum.org.

About The Carle

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at www.carlemuseum.org.

Image: R. W. Alley, Illustration for A Bear Called Paddington, HarperCollins, 2007. Courtesy of the artist. © R. W. Alley 2018.

Rare Books Uncovered Paperback.jpgFew collectors are as passionate or as dogged in the pursuit of their quarry as collectors of rare books. In fact, book collecting is the only pastime that has a clinically diagnosable illness—bibliomania—to describe its more obsessive hobbyists. The focus of their desire is seemingly limitless: centuries’ worth of rare and unique tomes, manuscripts, and historical documents, each with unique stories and histories. In Rare Books Uncovered, Rebecca Rego Barry recounts some of these remarkable discoveries from the world of book collecting. 

Barry’s passion for books started as a teenager, haunting library book sales and tiny independent bookshops. A voracious reader, she volunteered at her local public library in New Jersey, interned at Random House during college, and worked for Simon & Schuster after graduation. Despite her bibliophilic tendencies, Barry never regarded herself as a collector until she came across a copy of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at a church book sale. Although familiar with Miller’s work, “it never occurred to me to check whether the copy was a first edition or not,” Barry says. Upon closer examination a few months later, a blue card flitted out of book. It was, she came to realize, a press pass issued in 1931 to renowned journalist William Shirer from the Chicago Tribune. Further research and detective work, including tracking down Shirer’s family members, revealed that Shirer and Miller were acquaintances and colleagues in the 1950s. Barry believes the book to be Shirer’s copy (a first edition) of Miller’s masterpiece, into which he used an old press pass as a bookmark—a real treasure, found for $1. 

Barry soon realized she’d “rather be working with ‘old’ books instead of new ones.” She returned to graduate school, earning a master’s degree in book history at Drew University, and then went to work in the university library’s conservation department, where books in need of repair go to get fixed. “I loved working with old books in a hands-on way,” Barry says. She began working in the university’s archives as well, gaining an appreciation for manuscripts and historical documents. 

Today, Barry is the editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine, and hearing so many extraordinary tales of treasures found—and, alas, of those that got away—fueled and informed the writing of Rare Books Uncovered. Bibliophiles relish such tales. In this new paperback edition of Rare Books Uncovered, there are 56 individual stories from collectors, dealers, librarians, and others, each entertaining, educational, and inspirational. There’s the Texas family whose discovery of 300+ vintage comics in a basement closet netted them $3.5 million. And the Salt Lake City bookseller who volunteered for a local fundraiser and came across a 500-year-old copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle. And the collector who, when called by a friend to go dumpster diving, turned up a valuable piece of New York City history. These believe-it-or-not “barn finds” will delight casual collectors and hardcore bibliomaniacs alike.

Great books are out there—in Philadelphia flea markets, California swap meets, and English country homes—and discovering one, whether by chance or single-minded pursuit is a pleasure worth savoring and sharing. Just like every angler with a fantastic fish tale to share, every book collector has at least one great “find” to reveal. Rare Books Uncovered celebrates the scouts, the books, and the thrill of the hunt. 

About the Author

Rebecca Rego Barry is the editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine, a quarterly for book & fine art collectors, dealers, curators, and librarians. She has also written about books and history for various publications, including The Guardian, Slate, JSTOR Daily, LitHub, The Millions, Barnes & Noble Review, The Awl, and The Economist.

Praise for Rare Books Uncovered

“Bibliophiles rejoice! This book about rare book finds is a great find.” —Maine Antique Digest

“…a welcome gift for a passionate reader or collector.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

“…a lovely collection of stories … a perfect primer for anyone interested in book collecting.” —Library Journal, starred review

Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places

Pub date: February 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7603-6157-3

280 pages with 23 color photos

USD: $19.99, GBP No VAT: £12.99, GBP VAT: £12.99, CAN: $25.9

For more information, to request a review copy of the book or an interview contact: Steve Roth | 612-344-8156 | steve.roth@quarto.com 

Voyageur Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group

1510845370992.jpgWashington, DC—One of the most innovative Italian books of the early baroque period, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia, published in 1612, illustrates the experiences of Saint Francis and the buildings of the Franciscan community at La Verna. Drawing from the Gallery's rich holdings of works with Franciscan imagery, Heavenly Earth: Images of Saint Francis at La Verna contextualizes this publication alongside some 30 traditional representations from the late 15th through the mid-18th century. Heavenly Earth will be on view on the ground floor of the West Building from February 25 through July 8, 2018.

"We are very fortunate to have two copies of the first edition of the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "This exhibition offers a special opportunity to share outstanding prints depicting Franciscan themes from the permanent collection as well as from the Kirk Edward Long Collection."

In September 1224, in the wilderness of La Verna, a mountain in the Casentino Valley in Tuscany, Francis of Assisi began a 40-day fast and contemplation of Christ's Passion, during which he prayed to share in Christ's suffering. The legendary answer was a fiery, six-winged seraph enfolding the figure of a man on a cross. When the seraph departed, Francis's body was imprinted with the crucifixion wounds of Christ, which the friar bore for the remaining two years of his life. Francis's mystical union and unprecedented stigmatization on La Verna was a critical event in Western spirituality and proved to be the effective birth of modern monasticism. La Verna is an active monastery today and is the second most holy site for the Franciscan Order, after Assisi.

Exhibition Organization and Support

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Exhibition Highlights

On view in the exhibition will be two first-edition copies of the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia, acquired by the Gallery in 2012 and 2013. In 1608, Brother Lino Moroni invited the head of the Florentine Accademia del Disegno and gifted draftsman and painter Jacopo Ligozzi to illustrate not just Francis's experiences on the mountain but also the area's topography and the buildings of the Franciscan community established there. The resulting work, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia (1612), combined meticulous observation and unique vantage points in a set of 22 illustrations, which were then engraved by Raffaello Schiaminossi and Domenico Falcini. Five of the engravings include overslips—paper tabs showing the contemporary topography that, when lifted, reveal an earlier view of the landscape.

Other highlights in the exhibition include early works such as the refined miniature leaf Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata (1470s) by Cosmè Tura as well as anonymous woodcuts, which demonstrate the variety of early artistic interpretations of the stigmatization. Later prints after paintings by Federico Barocci and Peter Paul Rubens incorporate specific visual details of the event based on accounts published in I Fioretti di San Francesco and its appended Considerazione, translated into Italian in 1477. Although the majority of works feature Saint Francis receiving the stigmata at La Verna, the exhibition also includes a range of Franciscan iconographic themes popular in the Counter-Reformation, such as the saint's rapt prayers in the wilderness, his devotion to the Madonna and child, and the Pardon of Assisi.

Exhibition Curator

The exhibition is curated by Ginger Hammer, assistant curator, department of old master prints, National Gallery of Art.

Image: Cosmè Tura, Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, 1470s miniature on vellum National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection

 

344.jpg.jpgFalls Church, VA - On Thursday, Feb. 22, Quinn’s Auction Galleries will pay tribute to Black History Month with a two-part auction that incorporates historical material, early photographs and memorabilia from its associated company, Waverly Rare Books. 

The seamless, consecutive sessions will start at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time with a boutique selection of 65 portraits and paintings by Harlem Spiral Collective artist Merton D. Simpson (1928-1913) and continues with the Johnson Family Collection of Black Americana and Ephemera. All forms of bidding will be available for the entire auction, including absentee and live via the Internet.

The opening portion of the sale, titled “Faces of Merton Simpson,” focuses on images of celebrated Black Americans and other celebrities painted by Simpson, an acclaimed Abstract Expressionist, after he joined the Spiral group in the mid 1960s. Other members of the Spiral arts alliance included Romare Bearden and Hale Woodruff.

Among those depicted in Simpson’s portraits, collages and studies are Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Diana Ross, Maya Angelou, Leontyne Price, Diahann Carroll, Marian Anderson and many other African-American entertainers and leaders of the struggle for racial equality. Many of the portraits are very reasonably estimated at $200-$400. Additionally, the sale features several desirable abstract paintings by Simpson.

The collection amassed by the Johnson family of New Jersey spans three centuries of Black American history and includes a vast array of toys, dolls, board games and other collectibles, as well as important documents, books, photographs, advertising and other ephemera. 

“The Johnson Collection provides a panoramic overview of both the severe challenges and great triumphs Black Americans have experienced in their rise from slavery to the White House,” said Quinn’s Executive Vice President Matthew Quinn. “It is sometimes difficult to view our past through a lens like this, but it is more important that we never forget.”

Two cast-iron mechanical banks reflect the negative stereotypes perpetrated against Black Americans during their long struggle for freedom. One depicts a man, the other, a woman in a yellow dress known as “Dinah.” The Dinah bank was patented in England in 1911 by the John Harper Co., and retains its original paint. Estimate: $200-$300

A toy highlight is the Heubach Koppelsdorf bisque baby doll in a striped dress, with beautifully molded features. It stands 10½ inches high and is estimated at $100-$200.

There are many ceramic items, from Weller’s figural tablewares to cookie jars and a fine Limoges pitcher. A pair of tobacco humidors depicting a black man and woman, both with removable hat lids, will be offered with a $40-$60 estimate.

The Johnson collection is tremendously diverse, covering numerous categories including clocks, textiles, magazines, sheet music, boxing mementos, Civil War abolitionist postal covers, books, postcards, trade cards, and other ephemera.

A Green River Whiskey tin advertising sign depicts the distillery’s familiar man and horse imagery with the logo “She was bred in old Kentucky.” Copyrighted in 1899, the sign is accompanied by two (empty) Green River pint bottles. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000

Three lots contain cruel reminders of slavery in the form of wrist, neck and hand shackles. Lot 345 consists of two sets of shackles, one with a padlock indicating an issue date of 1856-7; the other bearing an anchor-and-sun logo. The pair is estimated at $200-$300. Also, there are five historically important scrapbooks that were maintained from 1876 to 1892 by former slave David F. Nelson. One of the scrapbooks contains numerous articles about Nelson’s escape from slavery, other runaway slaves, and related subjects. Its estimate is $120-$240.

Quinn’s Feb. 22 auction will commence at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; email catherine.payling@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com. View the catalogue and bid absentee or live via the Internet at https://www.LiveAuctioneers.com or https://www.Invaluable.com.

Image: One of five scrapbooks maintained from 1876-1892 by former slave David F. Nelson, contains numerous articles about his escape from slavery, other runaway slaves, related subjects. Est. $120-$240 (Lot 344: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/59965802_5-scrapbooks-maintained-by-former-slave-1876-1892

 

mccpnhjmemdcjhog copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on Thursday, March 8, featuring an extensive selection of early Spanish books on a variety of subjects, as well as important Medieval astronomical treatises dating to a period when studying the stars was as mythical as it was scientific.

One of the many “stellar” highlights is the first illustrated edition of Poeticon Astronomicon, 1482, by Caius Julius Hyginus, containing the earliest printed depictions of the constellations. The work boasts 47 woodcuts of zodiac figures and allegorical depictions of planets, and relays starry myths dating to the first century AD; it is valued at $15,000 to $20,000. Also available is the first illustrated edition of the most popular European textbook of astronomy from the thirteenth century to the early modern era, Johannes Sacrobosco’s Sphaera mundi, 1478, with 11 woodcut astronomical diagrams, including the phases of lunar and solar eclipses. This edition was also the first to include the tract on planetary theory attributed to Gerard of Cremona, and carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.           

The Medieval study of astronomy extended into the medical realm with extensive tracts on the affect of stars on the body. Examples in this auction include De computatione dierum criticarum, 1496, by Julián Gutiérrez, uses the stars to determine the critical days affecting the progression of an illness ($8,000 to $12,000). Also available in an extremely unusual Spanish tome of astrological veterinary medicine, specifically relating to horses, Pedro García Conde’s Verdadera Albeytería, 1734, relaying the influence of the stars on a horse’s physiognomy ($400 to $600).

Printed circa 1496-97, Arte de Ajedres by Luis de Lucena is the earliest surviving manual of chess, introducing a new mode of play still in use today. With 161 woodcut diagrams of board set-ups and discussion in Spanish of 11 openings and 150 problems, the scarce tome is valued at $10,000 to $15,000.

Two seventeenth-century French erotic dialogues make a rare auction appearance. L’Ecole des Filles, 1676, the first work of pornographic fiction in French, is attributed to Michel Millot and Jean L’Ange, both of whom were punished after the publication ($8,000 to $12,000). An early edition of Aloisiae Sigeae Toletanae Satyra Sotadica de Arcanis Amoris et Veneris by Nicolas Chorier, previously in the collection of notorious eroticist Gershon Legman, contains six dialogues concerning a sexual initiation; called “the most outspoken erotic work of the seventeenth century,” it carries an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

Also in the auction is the first book devoted to the lore and nature of cats, François-Augustin Paradis de Moncrif’s Les Chats, 1727, bound together with the rarely-seen Les Rats, 1737, by Claude-Guillaume Bourdon de Sigrais, the first published book about rats. Amusingly, the city of publication for the rat tome is listed as “Ratopolis”; this sammelband carries an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000.

Manuscripts are led by an early sixteenth-century Flemish illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, with six full-page borders filled with flowers, birds, animals and insects in colors on a gold leaf background, with an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. Also available is Pedro de Gracia Dei’s Blasón General y Nobleza del Universo, a circa 1500 copy of a substantial portion of his 1489 Coria original edition of the same name. The Spanish manuscript contains 41 drawings in color based on the printed version, concerning heraldry, planets, nobility and the like ($3,000 to $4,000).

The travel section contains scarce works on missionary journeys to the East, particularly accounts of ill-fated ventures in Japan such as the first edition of a history and martyrology of a Christian mission to the region, José Sicardo’s 1698 Christiandad del Japón ($8,000 to $12,000).

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 109:  Caius Julius Hyginus, Poeticon Astronomicon, first illustrated edition, with 47 half-page woodcuts, Venice, 1482. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

Wolfe archive.jpgBoston, MA—Skinner, Inc. Significant and wide-ranging participation by museums interested in adding to their public collections led the Skinner February 9th auction of the Collection of Avis and Eugene Robinson. More than twenty-six cultural and educational institutions, in this country and abroad, vied to bid on items from the collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs chronicling the full scope of African American history from enslavement to emancipation, from Jim Crow to Civil Rights to the present day.  In all, the collection formed a rich mosaic portraying the complex, often painful, often triumphant history of a people.

The auction’s top lot, selling for $12,300 in the room, was an archive of 18th -20th century documents and photographs from Rhode Island’s DeWolf family, the states most prominent family involved in the transatlantic slave trade.  A framed “$100 Reward for Isaac Churcher,” went for $7380, while an 1833 broadside for the “Public Sale of Negroes” sold for $2583.

Photography of all types was well represented. A tintype of an African American Confederate soldier sold for $9225, while another of a soldier in an infantry uniform went for $5535. The auction catalog cover lot, a tintype of a seated young woman reading a book sold for $6765. Twentieth-century images included two press photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that sold for $4613. Selling for $738 was a lot of sixteen press photos of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers.

Other top lots include a framed copy of Frederick Douglass’s The North Star newspaper that sold for $10,455. A braided leather mistress whip made $11,685, while a pair of Middle Passage bilboes went for $1722. A small triangular painting of figures in a bus by folk artist Mose Tolliver (American 1916-2006) sold for $6150, eking out a record for the artist. Finally, an Antar Dayal campaign poster of Barack Obama in 2008 with the motto, “Yes we can.” sold for $2583.

Image: DeWolf Archive, 18th to 20th century, sold for: $12,300; https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/3075B/lots/34

Ruysch.jpgDaniel Crouch Rare Books will exhibit at the 31st edition of TEFAF Maastricht, with a collection of maps, books and scientific instruments that emphasize the links between cartography, navigation and astronomy during the Age of Discovery.

This March Daniel Crouch Rare Books will explore the mapping of heaven and earth in the Age of Discovery. Exploration in this period did not simply expand European territorial knowledge, but in turn spurred improvements in scientific instruments and in astronomical observation.

The collection of six Ptolemy atlases provide a perfect example: although they are groundbreaking examples of cartography, containing the first available printed maps of America and Japan, they are based on astronomical calculations made by an ancient Greek cartographer. 

The calculations needed for cartography produced both practical and fantastic results. Day to day navigation is represented by the sextant used by the navigator George Vancouver (£75,000), whose name lives on in the city in Canada. Vancouver accompanied Captain James Cook on his second and third voyages of Pacific exploration, and was one of the men who recovered Cook’s body after he was killed in a confrontation with locals in Hawaii.

At the opposite end of the scale is an extraordinary, and possibly unique instrument named the ‘Coelometer’ by its inventor (£100,000), which can be used for astronomical calculations from the time of sunset anywhere in the world to finding longitude by observing the moon. 

The improvement of scientific instruments spurred the production of atlases of the skies as well as the earth. The exhibition contains an example of the only celestial atlas published during the Dutch Golden Age, by Andreas Cellarius (£350,000).

And while at the moment it is mainly territorial controversies that occupy our attention, the collection provides a reminder of how contentious the heavens can be. A copy of John Senex’s groundbreaking star atlas (£15,000) contains one of the most controversial maps of the century, a star chart. The data used for the chart was published without permission from the astronomer, Nicholas Flamsteed, who responded by buying every copy of the book he could find and burning them.

ImageJohann Ruysch’s fan-shaped world map from the third Rome Ptolemy, 1507.

Auction Guide