December 2017 Archives

directories.jpgPBA Galleries saw strong prices realized in their December 14th sale of Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Cartography. A number of lots sold for well over the presale high estimate and many lots saw spirited bidding, including an album of Albertypes from photographs taken by William Henry Jackson of Yellowstone, 14 annual editions of a Chinese telephone directory for San Francisco and Oakland, and books by the noted English scholar and explorer, Richard F. Burton.

A fascinating and rare album of 63 Albertypes of Yellowstone sold for $12,000. The photographs by William Henry Jackson were taken on the 1871 Hayden Geological Survey during which the Yellowstone region was explored. These were some of the first photographic views of the area and were instrumental in its establishment as the first U. S. national park. The scarcity of these albums was caused by a fire in the studio of the photographer and engraver Edward Bierstadt in early 1875 that destroyed most of the Albertypes he had printed, as well as virtually all of Jackson’s original glass negatives.

William Henry Jackson was in the early stages of his very long career as a photographer when he joined Ferdinand V. Hayden of the U.S. Geological Survey on an expedition to investigate the marvels of what is now the Yellowstone National Park. Jackson took hundreds of photographs of the towering mountains, the breathtaking canyons, the bubbling hot springs, and the steamy geysers, as well as the surrounding country, towns and forts on the way to the Yellowstone, creating glass plate negatives using the painstaking wet-collodion process, his studio borne by a mule. His photographs verified the amazing natural wonders to a fascinated nation, and led to the creation in early 1872 of the first national park out of “a tract of land fifty by sixty-five miles” at the Yellowstone. Hayden, leader of the expedition to the Yellowstone, was a promoter as well as a scientist, and saw Jackson’s photographs as a prime means to publicize the new park as well as help procure funding for future government surveys.

Fourteen consecutive annual editions of a Chinese Telephone Directory for San Francisco and Oakland sold for $2,040, well above the presale estimate.  Covering the years 1931-1944, the directories are in Chinese throughout, except for the wrappers which are printed in English. Individual issues of this directory are scarce, and the consecutive fourteen-year run exceeded any holdings listed in OCLC

Lots by the English scholar and explorer, Richard F. Burton, also did well in the sale.  A first edition of Burton’s account of his trip into the interior of Africa, The Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration sold for $5,700 nearly twice the presale high estimate. Published in 1860, the two volumes contain 12 “chromoxylograph” color plates, a folding engraved map with slight hand-coloring and woodcuts throughout. This journey in search of the source of the Nile River with John Hanning Speke is as famous for the acrimonious relationship between the two explorers as for the geographical knowledge gained.

The original publication of Burton’s exploration of Central Africa in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society also did well, selling for $2,400. Nearly the entire journal is devoted to Burton’s narrative of the trip and includes a folding engraved map.  Since Burton was yet to have his disagreements with John Hanning Speke this account is less acrimonious than the book publication published the following year.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

About PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries is a San Francisco-based auction house rooted in nearly 60 years of service to the collectors’ community. Auctions are held every-other week in a variety of specialties and genres, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, Americana, and related materials. For information regarding bidding or consignment, please call 415.989.2665 or email pba@pbagalleries.com. PBA Galleries is located at 1233 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.

Heritage Auctions Launches New Mobile App

Dallas, Texas - Collectors may browse and bid in hundreds of auctions and access more than 4 million prices realized from the convenience of their smartphone with the debut of the Heritage Auctions Mobile App.

The new, free smartphone application offers Face ID and Touch ID sign-in, free appraisals using your device’s camera, instant lot tracking and one-touch mobile bidding. The app is now available for both Android and iOS smartphones.

“This app was designed to be streamlined,” said Jim Halperin, Co-founder of Heritage Auctions. “Our pledge to continually invest in new technology aligns our clients’ interests with our interests and provides the first class experience.”

Among the new app’s features:

·         Access to values of previously sold lots spanning 40 different categories of fine art and collectibles

·         Free appraisals using your device’s camera

·         A Currency Converter to calculate foreign exchange rates

·         Instant notifications when outbid

·         An exceptional, clean design

·         Barcode search function for professionally graded comic books and coins from the hobby’s largest grading services: NGC, CGC and soon PCGS

·         High-resolution images of every lot on offer or in auction archives

·         Expert Value Guides spanning dozens of collecting categories

Visit HA.com/App today or download the Heritage Auctions Mobile App via App Stores for Android or iOS.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

131-DISCH.jpegThe Grolier Club looks back to the future in an exhibition of science fiction and the fantastic from the collection of author and antiquarian bookseller Henry Wessells.  

A Conversation larger than the Universe represents the Grolier’s first-ever presentation of speculative fiction, in a highly personal selection of 70 books (many signed or inscribed by their authors), magazines, manuscripts, letters, and works of art, dating from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, on view in the second floor gallery from January 25 to March 10, 2018.  From Gothic romances to classic fantasies to cyberpunk and frightening dystopian fiction, the works map out a universe of hopes, dreams - and nightmares. 

The exhibition A Conversation larger than the Universe traces the origins of science fiction to the eighteenth-century Gothic, with Thomas Leland’s Longsword (1762).  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) grew from this Gothic tradition but she accomplished something new with her tale of the creation of a fully autonomous and intelligent artificial human being: the first science fiction story.  On view is a copy of the first American printing of Frankenstein from 1833.  Mary Shelley also wrote the first secular apocalypse, The Last Man (1826), in which a terrible plague destroys all humanity.  Other landmark works from the nineteenth century on view include After London (1885) by Richard Jefferies and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) by H.G. Wells, a tale of animals transformed into human beings which eminent American author Gene Wolfe has called “the ultimate science fiction novel.”              

The heyday of pulp fiction in the 1930s is evoked by book and magazine appearances of Doc Savage.  Also on view is Katharine Burdekin’s frightening novel, Swastika Night, published by Victor Gollancz in the summer of 1937, imagining a world seven hundred years after a Nazi victory, where women are reduced to the status of breeding animals and history and literature have been exterminated.

In the 1960s, science fiction was at the center of the counterculture.  In San Francisco, Chester Anderson used $300 from his advance for a novel, The Butterfly Kid, to become printer to the Diggers and the summer of love.  The New Wave brought literary innovation to science fiction and included American and British authors such as J. G. Ballard, Thomas M. Disch, and Samuel R. Delany.  Disch and Ballard were contributors to the satirical ’zine Ronald Reagan The Magazine of Poetry, published in London in 1968.

William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer sent shock waves through science fiction.  Gibson invented the word cyberspace on his portable typewriter in the early 1980s, yet the author did not go online until 1996.  His first response to the experience is on view in the exhibition.

The Grolier Club has always fostered and documented the book arts, and this show includes examples of  fantastic literature in books from celebrated fine presses: William Morris and his Kelmscott Press provide the archetype of the map in fantasy literature, with The Sundering Flood (1897); and the beautiful Doves Press Hamlet (1909) is a ghost story that points to the resonance of Shakespeare in science fiction as in all forms of literary activity.

The exhibition also charts how women authors have been at the heart of science fiction and the fantastic since the earliest stages, with works by Mary Shelley and Katharine Burdekin, as well as Sara Coleridge, author of the first fairy-tale novel, Phantasmion (1837), Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and Alice Sheldon, who wrote brilliant stories under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr., in the 1960s and 1970s.  Closer to the present are works by Karen Joy Fowler, Wendy Walker, Eileen Gunn, Kelly Link, Greer Gilman, and Susanna Clarke.

Other topics include the influence of the First World War on science fiction and the fantastic, Imaginary Voyages, Dystopia, Literary Innovation, Humor, Rock ’n’ Roll, Bibliography and Scholarship in the field, and what’s happening in science fiction and the fantastic right now.

Notable authors whose works are also on view include Richard F. Burton, translator of the Arabian Nights; Lord Dunsany; H. P. Lovecraft’s first book, The Shunned House (1928); Philip K. Dick; Brian Aldiss;  James Blish; Jean Rhys; John Crowley; Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Peter Straub; and pioneering scholars E. F. Bleiler and John Clute.  The exhibition concludes with Christopher Brown‘s Tropic of Kansas, a gripping novel of political change in a dystopian alternate America (published July 2017).

An illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition, A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017, with a descriptive checklist of the materials on view, published by The Grolier Club, will be available in January 2018. 

PLEASE NOTE—RENOVATION UPDATE

The current exhibition in the first floor gallery is Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920, on view through February 4, 2018. 

It is the final presentation in the Grolier Club’s main floor exhibition hall while the space undergoes a complete renovation - the first in thirty years.

However, a full schedule of exhibitions will continue in the second floor gallery during the renovation process.  Following A Conversation larger than the Universe is the Spring exhibition Westward the Course of Empire, opening March 21, 2018.

The first floor exhibition hall will close at the beginning of February 2018 for approximately nine months.  The scope of the renovation will include the latest innovations and conservation specifications for display cases, lighting, ventilation, and sound systems.  The project will enhance the auditorium function of the exhibition hall for educational events and greatly expand storage for the rare book collection on the upper balcony.  Designed by Ann Beha Architects of Boston, the newly renovated exhibition hall is scheduled to reopen in December 2018.  

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB

47 East 60th Street  

New York, NY 10022  

212-838-6690 

www.grolierclub.org  

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm

Admission: Exhibitions are open to the public free of charge

Denver, PA — Effective December 14th, 2017, Dan Morphy of Morphy Auctions, proudly announced that he has successfully merged with the renowned international auction company of James D. Julia, Inc., which will become a division of Morphy Auctions. 

Morphy Auctions and James D. Julia, Inc. share a common purpose of delighting collectors worldwide with aligned missions and unparalleled customer service standards. Joining forces creates a synergistic team of passionate staff members to better serve our customers and strengthen the antiques and collectibles industry.

Both companies take pride in having the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the industry. One of the biggest advantages to this merger is blending both teams of leading experts to enhance processes, descriptions, and valuations.

Morphy Auctions realized annual sales of $35 million dollars within the last year. Within this same time, Julia’s generated $43 million dollars in annual sales; for a combined gross of $78 million dollars.  With this combined total of potential annual sales, Morphy Auctions is poised to become the one of the largest antique auction houses in North America. 

President and founder of James D. Julia, Inc., Jim Julia, has been involved in the auction business for nearly 50 years.  He began as a small country auctioneer in Maine but grew the company to an internationally renowned business, which currently consists of 3 divisions; Rare Firearms, Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry, and Fine Arts, Asian & Antiques. 

Morphy Auctions has experienced tremendous growth over the years. The combination of the highly experienced and much acclaimed Julia team together with the outstanding auction team that Morphy has already formed, will make Morphy Auctions the ultimate place to go for rare firearms and important lamp & glass; as well as, toys, dolls, advertising, coin-op, automobilia and petroliana, and all forms of decorative arts.  

Dan Morphy, Founder and President of Morphy Auction Company stated, “I have literally spent all my life watching and learning from Jim. With nearly 50 years in the industry, Jim has an undisputed reputation and I admire and will emulate his business approach towards his clients and employees. It is an honor and privilege to have this new association with someone I have considered to be a mentor and leader in the industry.  

Over the years, Jim Julia crafted an extraordinary team and unique auction company as a result of his philosophy, business acumen and direct, honest approach with his clients whether they be buyers or sellers.  I have always tried to incorporate the same approach. In merging with Julia’s extraordinary team, I intend to make the transition as seamless as possible. The bottom-line is that I not only want to merge Jim Julia’s company and his people but I want to expand the philosophy of our business to include much of what created extraordinary success for Jim.  

Jim Julia, Founder and President of James D. Julia, Inc., shared, “I had never considered not being in the auction business and I have, for many years, contended that I, like my father (who passed away at nearly 90 years old this past year), would continue to auction well into my 80’s, provided my health allowed it.  The limitation in my mind had always been my personal health.  But in November of 2016, my wife received a devastating diagnosis of incurable brain cancer.  I immediately realized that as much as I loved the people, the antiques, and the excitement of the auction; there was nothing more important in this world to me than my wife, and I elected to devote my time to my wife, Sandy.  From November of 2016 until today, my auction company never skipped a beat and has been extremely successful under the leadership of my good friend and CEO, Mark Ford, who continued to lead, improve, and expand our company.

A short while ago, Dan Morphy called to speak with me and asked if I would consider selling the company or doing some sort of joint venture.  I explained to him that there were 3 things that were incredibly important to me; first, of course, was what was in the best interest of me and my wife, secondly, my obligation to my incredibly loyal and dedicated team of employees, and thirdly, wanting to do what would best serve all of the wonderful consignors and buyers that the company had developed over the years.  The ensuing conversations with Dan, and ultimately the deal we were able to put together, allowed me to cover all three of these factors.  The employee concern was a highly important one, and with Dan’s likeminded philosophy and practice with his current team; it instilled tremendous confidence in my people as they made their new career commitment to Morphy Auctions.  As I said, I also had a concern for all the wonderful consignors and buyers that have followed my company for these many years, and I really wanted to see the core philosophy of my business continue and provide my valued customers with a similar special opportunity as they had experienced with Julia’s.  Dan’s approach to adopting many of the key components of my business philosophy gave me a great sense of assurance, confidence and satisfaction in regards to the fact that my customers now and into the future will continue to have a wonderful auction experience as they have for many years with Julia’s.   

I have always admired Dan, his youth, his energy, his tremendous drive and his success.  I knew and did business with Dan before he became an auctioneer and watched him as he entered the auction business and the subsequent dramatic growth he experienced.  Dan is a superb leader and this was very clear and obvious during our negotiations about the melding of the two companies. 

In transitioning my company to Morphy’s, I will miss the wonderful friends I have developed with consignors and buyers throughout my auctions.  I will miss the incredible camaraderie of my auction team and the thrilling and exciting experience of the actual auction.  Most importantly, I will miss the satisfaction I received from a job well done.  I must also say, selling my company to Dan is a great relief.  It now has removed all of my responsibilities in regards to auctions and overseeing the management of a valued team.  Now Sandy and I can focus completely on each other.  I will transition to Morphy Auctions as a consultant for Dan and the team. Under the circumstances, I could not imagine a better conclusion for my business and for Sandy”.

Both the Morphy Auction Team and the Julia Auction Team will be represented once again at the 2018 Las Vegas Arms Show, January 19th - 21st, 2018.  

“We encourage anyone attending the show to stop by the booths and meet our newly blended and expanded Firearms Auction Team”, Dan Morphy concluded.

Julia’s currently has scheduled a Fine Arts, Asian & Antiques auction in February of 2018 and their spring Firearms Auction which will take place in March.  To facilitate a seamless transition, the Julia team will manage and conduct both sales in Fairfield, Maine, as they have in the past. Morphy Auctions will hold all future auctions and accept consignments in their Pennsylvania and Nevada locations.

othmanu1.jpgNew York - This morning at Sotheby’s New York, the auctioneer for today’s Important Judaica sale announced that The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York has acquired privately for an undisclosed amount a Magnificent Illuminated Hebrew Bible from Spain, which had previously been scheduled for the auction. Hailing from the renowned collection of Jaqui E. Safra, the illuminated Bible was produced in Castile during the first half of the 14th century and stands as a remarkable testament to the cross-cultural influences in the Golden Age of medieval Spain.

Jaqui E. Safra commented: “The Bible could not have found a better home than at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I am absolutely thrilled.” 

Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art said: “We are thrilled to add this treasure of Jewish artistic heritage to The Met’s growing collection of important Judaica, where it will join recent acquisitions such as a 15th-century handwritten copy of the Mishneh Torah, and a Torah crown and pair of finials of 18th-century Italian silver.” 

Melanie Holcomb, Curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, added: “The Jewish communities of medieval Spain set a high standard for the arts. This beautiful and rare Bible celebrates the sacred Hebrew text, and remarkably embraces both Christian and Islamic aesthetic sensibilities. It will completely transform our display of the art of medieval Spain at the Cloisters, importantly reminding us that this was a vibrant, heterogeneous society.” 

THE HISTORY OF CASTILIAN HEBREW BIBLES

This distinguished illuminated Hebrew Bible is an exceptionally important exemplar of medieval book arts and literary culture. The tradition of Hebrew Bible production which flourished in Castile beginning in the 1230s, began to decline due to the deteriorating political and economic situation of Spanish Jewry, persecutions connected with the Black Plague of 1348-1349, and the anti-Jewish riots of 1391. Thus, only three illuminated Hebrew Bibles from 14th-century Castile have survived, making the present manuscript incredibly unique. The high quality of its parchment, the generous quantity of its carpet pages, and the lavishness of their design, as well as the formal repertoire of the micrographic decoration, make this volume an exceptional witness to the glorious tradition of medieval Hebrew manuscript illumination. 

The tradition of illuminated Hebrew Bibles first began to flourish during the reign of Ferdinand III (1217-1252) and continued until the expulsions of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1496-1497. While the production of these Bibles can be ascribed to different artistic schools located in Castile, Navarre, Catalonia and Portugal, the present manuscript’s lavish decoration, both painted and micrographic (an embellishment whereby a specialized scribe fashions minute script into ornamental patterns) suggest that it was produced in Castile during the first half of the 14th-century.

When the first embellished Hebrew Bibles began to appear in Castile during the early 13th-century, their patterns of decoration were based almost exclusively on an Islamic artistic repertoire, as seen in the present volume with its geometrically planned micrographic carpet pages at the end of the codex and micrographic frames with interlaced designs placed around significant biblical texts. Some of these patterns share commonalities in format and composition with illuminations in Qur’ans, as well as tooled patterns in book bindings that were produced in Spain by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian craftsmen into the 16th-century. It was only gradually — during the 14th-century — that the adornment of Hebrew Bibles in Spain began to reflect some of the motifs common in Gothic art, which was dominant in Iberian Christian culture of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. The Bible’s decoration notably reflects these artistic interactions among the three coexisting religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, a phenomenon referred to as convivencia

 

29-Bemelmans copy.jpgNew York—The grand finale of Swann Galleries’ 2017 roster was a successful auction of Illustration Art on December 5. Highlights of the sale ranged from large-scale oil paintings to sentimental children’s characters to wry political commentary, with works dating from the middle of the nineteenth century to early 2017. The auction was the department’s most successful to date, exceeding its high estimate and twice breaking its own record for the most expensive artwork sold.

            The runaway top lot was a spectacular set design for the musical Manhattan Mary by the studio of William Oden Waller. The highly-detailed gouache with gold highlights, which served as the cover for the fall issue of the house’s newsletter, barreled past its high estimate of $6,000, finally selling amid applause from the floor for $77,500. It was the highest price achieved by the department since its inception six years ago, an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that it had just been reset two hours before, with a watercolor by Ludwig Bemelmans, at $75,000. Featuring Madeline, Miss Clavel, and all the girls at the table, the instantly recognizable image served as the rear cover illustration for Madeline’s Christmas, 1956.        

Another vibrant work by Bemelmans was Verandah Grill on the Queen Mary, a painting in gouache, watercolor and oil capturing the glamour of dining on the high seas. Bemelmans included his own hands in the image, drawing the gentleman seen in the center of the composition ($20,000).

            Institutions were particularly active in the sale, winning nearly half of the top twenty lots. Christine von der Linn, Senior Specialist for Illustration Art at Swann Galleries, attributed this trend to “the acknowledgement that works of art intended for publication, whether through advertisements or children’s books, have shaped our cultural heritage.” Of special note was the University Libraries at Saint Louis University’s purchase of Florence Pretz Smalley’s archive of material relating to the Billiken, a creature of her invention and the mascot of the university.

            The first watercolor to appear at auction from Jerry Pinkney’s popular Further Tales of Uncle Remus, 1990, was also an auction record for a work by the artist. The painting, appearing as a double spread in the book, shows Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear sitting together. It was purchased by an institution for $27,500. A Great Gallumphing Galoot!, a unique creature by Dr. Seuss, drawn on the front endpaper of Dr. Seuss’s ABC, 1963, sold to a collector $21,250, while a pencil sketch and finished watercolor for Maurice Sendak’s Bears Around the World, 1981, together reached $28,750.

            Georges Lepape’s ethereal watercolor portrait of Madame Condé Nast in a Fortuny gown against a dark sky with gold highlights, Après la Tempête, served as the cover of Vogue at the end of World War One. Lepape inscribed the work to its subject, contributing to its sale price of $32,000.

            Each of the six lots by Edward Gorey offered in the sale performed well, exceeding the high estimate for the run by more than $10,000. The highlights were a group of ten illustrations for The Monster Den, 1966, and Avoiding Christmas, a watercolor for a 1987 article in The New York Times ($11,250 and $10,313, respectively).

            Von der Linn said of the sale, “We’re seeing the market grow stronger and healthier each year as narrative art is increasingly chosen to reflect our cultural history because of its inherent power to provoke nostalgia and emotion in an emphatic way. Because we saw the most enthusiastic inquiries and bidding on lots displaying iconic characters or imagery, future auctions of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will include more genre-specific sections and focused categories.”

            The next auction of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will be on June 5, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Image: Lot 29: Ludwig Bemelmans, And we’re back—all twelve no less—Happy New Year and togetherness!, ink and watercolor, for Madeline’s Christmas, 1956. Sold December 14, 2017 for $75,000. (Pre-sale estimate $30,000 to $40,000)

 

250x400_Tolkien-Father-Christmas.pngOxford, England - Handwritten illustrated letters from Father Christmas written by the author JRR Tolkien to his four children give a touching insight into Tolkien’s personal family life.  The illustrated letters are to go on show at a major new exhibition opening at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries in 2018. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will explore the full breadth of Tolkien’s unique literary imagination from his creation of Middle-earth, the imagined world where The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and his other works are set, to his life and work as an artist, poet, medievalist and scholar of languages.

When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was, and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Father Christmas, starting a tradition that would continue for the next twenty-three years. Every Christmas Eve, from 1920 to 1943 when his youngest child Priscilla was fourteen, Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful illustrations.

Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Libraries and curator of the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition said:

‘The Father Christmas letters are some of my favourite items in the exhibition. The letters were delivered by the postman, who’d been persuaded by Tolkien to deliver them with the rest of the post, or arrived on the hearth with specially made stamps from the North Pole, marked with the cost of postage ‘2 kisses’. They contained news from the North Pole where Father Christmas lived with his ‘helper’ the North Polar Bear, who often got into trouble and caused twice as much work for Father Christmas. As the Tolkien children grew older, the letters from Father Christmas grew longer and the tales became darker and more thrilling.’

In an exciting letter from 1932 goblins make an appearance, living in the caves underneath the North Pole and stealing the childrens’ presents from Father Christmas’ cellars. Some of the Father Christmas letters were written when Tolkien was engaged in writing one of his most famous works, ‘The Hobbit’. The goblins and wargs in that story began to spill over into Father Christmas’s letters. Elves, called Red Gnomes, also appear, coming to Father Christmas’s aid in his battles with the goblins.

The Father Christmas letters will be on display alongside the largest array of original Tolkien materials from the UK and the USA to go on show since the 1950s. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will feature manuscripts, artwork, maps, letters and artefacts from the Bodleian’s extensive Tolkien Archive, the Tolkien Collection at Marquette University in the USA and from private collections.

The exhibition will examine the scholarly, literary, creative and domestic worlds that influenced Tolkien as an author and artist, delighting both Tolkien fans as well as scholars, families and visitors of all ages. Tolkien may be best known today as the author of The Lord of the Rings but during his lifetime he was chiefly known as a scholar of Old and Middle English and a philologist intimately concerned with the creation of language. He was also a devoted husband and father of four children for whom he created stories for pleasure. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated book, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth to be published by Bodleian Library Publishing on 25 May 2018.

The complete collection of Tolkien’s Father Christmas letters have been published by Harper Collins, Letters from Father Christmas. The book and Christmas cards featuring Tolkien’s Father Christmas illustrations are available from the Bodleian Libraries shops: https://www.bodleianshop.co.uk

Image: First drawing from Father Christmas, 1920. When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Father Christmas, starting a tradition that would continue for the next twenty-three years. Every Christmas Eve Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful drawings. © The Tolkien Estate Ltd 1976

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce the next participants in our Artist-in-Residence program: Printmaker and papermaker Megan Burchett and printmaker and fiber artist Maddie Zerkel. 

Project summary and artist bios: 

Megan Burchett and Maddie Zerkel will collaborate on Air Tight, a monumental sculptural book that incorporates papermaking, printmaking and weaving. This book will be comprised of three-dimensional paper forms and printed, woven, and embedded sheets of handmade paper. The scale of the project will align the piece with sculpture as much as it does with a book —about two by four feet on the ground, and three feet tall. Air Tight references a compressed sample of some kind— a geologic block that’s been unearthed, making visible years of buried history. 

Megan Burchett incorporates printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and textile processes into her practice. Her work examines creative labor and its relationship to danger, survival, and healing. Megan received a BFA in Printmaking from Cornell University in 2008 and MFA in Printmaking & Book Arts from the University of Georgia in 2017. She has worked in several print shops on the east coast including Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Asheville Bookworks, and Supergraphic in Durham, NC. 

Maddie Zerkel is an artist from and currently residing in Athens, Georgia. Her work includes printmaking, weaving, and dyeing processes, but she is excited about utilizing and manipulating unconventional materials. She plays with the relationship between common household objects and the body, often examining concepts like dimensionality and functionality. Maddie received her BFA in Fabric Design from the University of Georgia in 2015. 

The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is designed to support selected artists by providing financial and community resources, space, and equipment to assist in the creation and promotion of their work. Residencies may be from two weeks to three months in duration. Studios and equipment are available to facilitate work in papermaking, printing and bookbinding. Artists-in-Residence also receive a stipend of $2000 to be used at the artist’s discretion for supplies, travel and/or living expenses. Participation in the program is based on the artistic merit of proposed projects as well as the degree to which artists further MCBA's artistic mission: to lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form. 

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org

 

vcsPRAsset_531423_106591_c1c6d5a4-a891-47e6-bca9-f321f053b643_0.jpgLos Angeles, CA - “Remembering Disneyland,” a highly-anticipated public auction of over 800 rare and original items chronicling the history of Disneyland took  place on Saturday,  December 16th at Van  Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks,  California. Highlight results have been announced.

Highlights of the auction include a rare original 1954 Disneyland Prospectus which sold for $10,600; an original Main St. Keystone Cop costume which sold for $6,900; an original Elephant Maquette from The Jungle Cruise which sold for $12,075; the Guy Williams “Zorro” worn costume which sold for $28,750;  a rare Rainbow Caverns Attraction poster which sold for $16,100; A “Tower of Terror” Room Key Cabinet which sold for $12,650; a “Tower of Terror” Lobby Television Prop which sold for $13,800 and a Disneyland  Vinylmation Display which sold for $13,800. More results will be posted to the website.

“There was something for everyone in this auction. It was also very special because most of the items in it came from people that actually worked at the park, or had a hand in creating it,” said Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder of Van Eaton Galleries. “Next year we will be hosting several more Disney related auctions offering rare and unique items from the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

For over 60 years, Walt Disney’s Disneyland has influenced popular culture and built generations of loyal enthusiasts across the globe. Fans and collectors of Disney memorabilia have made everything from simple toys to actual props and artwork from the parks among the hottest collectibles in the world to date.  

A link to the online auction catalog from the auction can still be seen here: https://vegalleries.com/rememberingdisneyland

For more information on Van Eaton Galleries go to www.vegalleries.com

New York, NY -- Highlighting Doyle's auction of Photographs on December 14, 2017 was an Ansel Adams Museum Set that achieved $1.2 million. Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was the preeminent 20th century photographer of Western landscape, and a founder of the influential Group f.64, which included such luminaries as Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham. Prepared several years before Adams’s death, this Museum Set of seventy-five images is among the most comprehensive known to exist. Such sets more typically consist of between twenty-five and fifty images.

This was the first time a set has been offered with the permission of The Ansel Adams Gallery and the artist’s grandson, Matthew Adams. Legal restrictions generally prevent sales of Museum Sets. See the press release of November 28, 2017 from Mr. Adams at The Ansel Adams Gallery. Read below or click here. 

As Mr. Adams notes: “It is clear that the prints in this specific set are no longer subject to the legal restrictions that Ansel made” and “the terms of the agreement with Ansel have been met and it is for the College of New Rochelle to determine its disposition.” He adds “We believe this is an exception, and that, by contract, other Museum Sets must remain intact and intended for public display”; this is therefore likely to be a unique opportunity to purchase prints from a Museum Set.

The Museum Sets contain as their nucleus ten of the most famous Adams images, including Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941 (est. $30,000-40,000); Mt. Williamson from Manzanar (est. $20,000-30,000); Aspens, Northern New Mexico (est. $12,000-18,000); Winter Sunrise, the Sierra Nevada (est. $15,000-25,000); Monolith, the Face of Half Dome (est. $15,000-25,000); Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite (est. $25,000-35,000); Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley (est. $15,000-25,000); Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain (est. $7,000-10,000); The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park (est. $30,000-50,000) and Frozen Lake and Cliffs, the Sierra Nevada (est. $20,000-30,000). There were a further sixty possible prints that could be purchased as part of a set. Those few who purchased all seventy received an five additional prints, the majestic 1940 Surf Sequence (est. $40,000-60,000).

Spanning Adams’ entire career, this offering includes all the artist’s best-known work, in prints of scrupulous quality prepared in Adams’ workshop under his direct supervision and signed by him. The Museum Set, acquired by a private collector from Adams in the 1980s, was donated to The College of New Rochelle in 2012, and was offered for sale on their behalf.

The Ansel Adams Museum Set comprised lots 127 through 198 in the Photographs auction on December 14.

 

Beverly Hills, CA - A painting by one of the most famous Walt Disney Studios artists of all time helped Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 9-10 Animation Art Auction in Beverly Hills, California clear more than $1.5 million, making it one of the most successful auctions ever for the department. The extraordinary return was the department’s seventh straight auction that totaled at least $1 million, and pushed its total for the year to nearly $3.7 million, establishing a new record for sales in a single year for the department.

“The animation art department has enjoyed its best year yet,” Heritage Auctions Director of Animation Jim Lentz said, “and this auction marked the perfect way to cap off the year. We were able to offer an incredible array of lots that brought out the most serious collectors of Walt Disney art and animation art in general.”

More than a dozen bidders pursued a Carl Barks "Family Portrait" Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks Painting #73-15 with Handwritten Letter (Walt Disney, 1973) until it finally hammered at $68,712.50. The entire Duck family “posed” for the legendary Disney artist, with Donald Duck surrounded by Uncle Scrooge McDuck (a Barks creation), Grandma Duck, Daisy Duck, Gladstone Gander, and in front, Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Another lot in high demand was Mary Blair It's a Small World Disneyland Painting (Walt Disney, 1964), which fetched $27,485. This exact piece was held by Disney and shown on the Wonderful World of Color episode called Disneyland Around the Seasons, which can be found on YouTube. Blair, for whom Disney had enormous respect, was inducted in 1991 as a Disney Legend.

Fifteen bidders made a play for A Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown and Christmas Tree Production Cel (Bill Melendez, 1965) until it more than quadrupled its pre-auction estimate, crossing the block at $21,510. The image shows Charlie Brown as he picked out his famously tiny Christmas tree, remarking to Linus, “I don't care, we'll decorate it and it will be just right for our play... besides I think it needs me!"

The first theatrical cartoon that showcased Mickey Mouse in full color, "The Band Concert" Good Housekeeping Illustrations by Tom Wood (Walt Disney, 1935) is another that prompted multiple bids before realizing $20,315. Ranked No. 3 in Jerry Beck’s 50 Greatest Cartoons, the short that produced these illustrations was released Feb. 23, 1935 and included just one speaking character: Donald Duck. This is the original hand-painted Good Housekeeping Disney page for this short, featured in the January, 1935 issue, a full month before the historic cartoon was released.

Two lots prompted competitive bidding before drawing the same price when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag with Apple and Snow White Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937) and Sleeping Beauty Eyvind Earle Master Hand-Painted Production Background with Production Cel Setup (Walt Disney, 1959) brought $19,120.

Animation drawings remained strong, thanks in large part to items like Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1928), which realized $7,468.75.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         Peter Pan Peter and Tiger Lilly Production Cel and Master Production Background (Walt Disney, 1953): $15,535

·         Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs "Silly Song" Production Cel Setup with Master Production Background (Walt Disney, 1937): $13,145

·         The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Headless Horseman Concept Painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1949): $13,145

·         Kem Weber Designed Disney Animation Desk and Eric Larson Pencil Tray (Walt Disney, 1939-40): $13,145

·         Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937): $13,145

·         Elmer's Candid Camera Elmer Fudd and Happy Rabbit Production Cel Set of 2 (Warner Brothers, 1940): $11,950

·         Mickey Mouse Early Publicity Artwork Signed by Walt Disney (Walt Disney, c. early 1930s): $11,950

·         Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Character Design Concept Art Group of 4 (Walt Disney, 1977): $11,651.25

·         Doctor Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Grinch and Max Production/Presentation Cel Setup (MGM, 1966): $10,755

·         South Park "The Spirit of Christmas" Hand-Cut Animation Scene (Celluloid Productions, 1992): $8,962.50

·         DC and Marvel Underoos Illustration by Alex Toth (DC/Marvel/Fruit of the Loom, c. 1977-81): $6,572.50

·         Sesame Street Magazine #135 Bert, Grover and Oscar Original Illustration (The Parenting Group, 1980): $2,390

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

moore_reclining-figures_600.jpgSan Marino, CA — The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today that it has acquired a major collection of graphic art by Henry Moore (1898-1986), the most prominent British sculptor of the 20th-century. A gift of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, the collection contains about 330 works on paper that represent the full range of Moore’s graphic work and instantly place The Huntington among the largest Moore repositories in North America. Limited-edition etchings and lithographs comprise the greatest part of the collection, and these intricate, often delicate works explore the same universal themes found in Moore’s monumental sculptures, which are enjoyed by millions in sculpture gardens and museums around the world. The gift also includes three drawings by Moore—one a solidly modeled figure of a woman holding a book, another a biomorphic form that is possibly a study for a sculpture, and the third a sheet of varied studies revealing the artist’s process as he works through a series of ideas.

The collection will form the basis of an exhibition at The Huntington next summer. “Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore,” will be on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art’s Susan and Stephen Chandler Wing from June 16 through Oct. 1, 2018.

Berman Foundation president Nancy Berman (a member of The Huntington’s Board of Overseers and chair of its Art Collectors’ Council), along with her husband, Alan Bloch, and the Berman Foundation, have contributed to The Huntington’s art collections in several ways over the past decade. They donated a series of tapestries by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) that are on display in Rothenberg Hall, made the promised gift of a bronze Sounding Sculpture by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), which stands to the north of the American art galleries, and were instrumental in securing the long-term loan of Calder’s Jerusalem Stabile for a stroll garden at The Huntington. In 2016, they donated a large-scale Moore lithograph. “Nancy tends to lift The Huntington to new levels, and into new areas, time and again,” said Catherine Hess, interim director of the Art Collections at The Huntington. “With this major gift—a selective, well-rounded group of graphic works by one of the greatest artists of the last century—she again exercised her keen understanding of The Huntington and its goals—in this case, our aim to grow our collection of 20th-century British art. Nancy’s contributions always have a special power to move the institution forward.”

The Berman Foundation was founded by Nancy Berman’s parents, devoted collectors who often built friendships with the artists they admired, including Henry Moore. “We’ve long known we’d eventually like to give this group of prints that my parents so carefully assembled to a museum where they were likely to make the biggest difference, and be most useful to a range of visitors and scholars,” said Berman. “Once we were ready to make the gift, The Huntington was the obvious choice. As one of the world’s major institutions for the study of British art and culture, with a substantial body of secondary sources on Henry Moore, the addition of this primary material places The Huntington at the forefront of Moore scholarship in the U.S.”

The prints will complement The Huntington’s strong core collection of early 20th-century British works on paper, which includes drawings by Eileen Agar, Edward Burra, and William Roberts, among others, and dramatically strengthens its collection of British modernist graphic art. Modern British paintings first began joining the collection over the last two years, with an example each by David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, and Duncan Grant.

"Moore’s massive bronze sculptures are already well represented in the Los Angeles-area, in collections including those at the Getty, LACMA, the Norton Simon Museum, and UCLA,” said Hess. “With the Berman gift to The Huntington, the region now has a significant body of his graphic art, providing opportunities for deeper contextualization of the artist’s oeuvre and creative process.”

“Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore”

The Huntington will present a broad range of Moore’s graphic work from the Berman gift in “Spirit and Essence, Line and Form” (June 16- Oct. 1, 2018). With approximately 25 works on paper, the exhibition will examine Moore’s graphic work in terms of theme and style, from his explorations of the psyche through the abstracted human figure seen in such examples as Reclining Figure Cave (1979), to musings on the power of creativity in his series on The Artist’s Hand (1979), to studies of architectural forms and found objects with his powerful Stonehenge (1973) and Elephant Skull (1969) portfolios.

“Though he was the most prominent British sculptor of his time,” said Melinda McCurdy, associate curator for British art at The Huntington and curator of the exhibition, “Moore was also a prolific graphic artist, producing powerful drawings as well as hundreds of prints that explore the same themes found in his sculpture - the roots of creation, the body, life, and death. Like his sculpture, his prints examine these primal themes through the language of abstraction, where line and form are imbued with meaning.”

Much like his sculptures, Moore’s prints often express his reactions to the changing political and social climate of his time, as well as his personal life, from the threat of war and nuclear annihilation to the birth of his child. Prints such as Mother and Child (1973) not only express the universal themes of fertility and creation, but also can be read as tender explorations of a topic that became of paramount interest to the artist after his daughter’s birth.

“Spirit and Essence, Line and Form” will introduce visitors to the newly acquired collection and the broad stylistic and thematic range of Moore’s graphic work, revealing his technical interest in the interrelationship of shape and mass and the intersections among different forms, while at the same time showcasing the sheer beauty and power of his imagery.

McCurdy added, “by presenting the exhibition in the American art galleries, we also hope to inspire interesting connections between British and American modernism.” Modernist works in the American art collection include those by Tony Smith (a sculpture For W.A. (1969) and painting Untitled (1960) as well as Sam Francis’s Free Floating Clouds (1980).

Image: Henry Moore, Five Reclining Figures, 1979, lithograph, 19 × 25 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017 / henry-moore.org

Vice & Virtue Exhibition 1.jpg copy.jpgNew Orleans, LA — In honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial, M.S. Rau Antiques is pleased to present Vice & Virtue: An Exhibition of Sex, Saints & Sin. The new show, which will explore the universal and timeless struggle between virtue and vice, is free and open to the public beginning April 7 to June 9, 2018 and promises to delight, shock, and tempt the visitor.  There will be a private preview kick-off party at the century-old landmark business on Friday, April 6, 2018.

To celebrate the city’s 300th years, curator Rebecca Rau has put together a unique exhibit that exemplifies the rich history, diversity, cultural traditions and resilience of the city.  Vice & Virtue will feature fine art and rare objects from across history, from torture masks to Brueghel masterpieces.

The new exhibit, which features over 50 pieces of art, antiques, art and historical items valued at over $15 million, will give a nod to New Orleans’ Catholic heritage and its infamous culture of celebration, indulgence and excess and include depictions of the pious and pure, alongside voyeurs, seductresses, and misbehaving cardinals.

“Since the beginning New Orleans has been filled with piety and decadence; it is a city that thrives on extremes,” explained Rau, a fourth-generation antiques dealer.  “It is this dichotomy of differences that make this city all that it is, from the magnificent churches to the rowdiness of Mardi Gras, it is a place that both inspires and amazes.”

ABOUT WILLIAM RAU AND M.S. RAU ANTIQUES

Considered one of the world’s foremost experts on 18th- and 19th-century antiques and fine art, William Rau is President, CEO and third-generation owner of M.S. Rau Antiques of New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 105 years old, M.S. Rau Antiques is one of the largest premier fine arts and antique galleries in the world. William Rau’s extensive knowledge of the international art market has not only allowed him to help clients cultivate museum quality collections, but it has also afforded him the opportunity to amass the remarkable and important works in this comprehensive exhibition. 

Los Angeles — The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today the donations of two groups of photographs from collectors Leslie and Judith Schreyer and Michael and Jane Wilson. The gifts include works by artists not previously in the Museum’s collection, as well as photographs that enhance the Museum’s existing holdings.

“These generous gifts complement and strengthen our holdings of important photographers from Los Angeles, New York, Europe and Asia,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Both Les and Judy and Michael and Jane are longtime and enthusiastic supporters of the Museum and our photographs department. Their donations will provide a rich trove of images from which we will be able to organize future exhibitions.”

Adds Virginia Heckert, curator and department head for the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs, “We are thrilled to receive these new gifts from the Schreyers and the Wilsons. Together this group of donations introduce the work of 15 new photographers into the collection and expand our ability to demonstrate the myriad ways in which photographs document the world of the past and the present.” 

The donation from Leslie and Judith Schreyer is their largest gift to the Getty to date, and includes 50 photographs by 39 artists with a wide range of styles and subject matter. Among the best-known photographers in the group are Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971), Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984), and photographers who have belonged to the groundbreaking Magnum agency, such as W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978), Bruce Davidson (American, born 1933), and Josef Koudelka (Czech, born 1938). The donation also includes works by photographers associated with Los Angeles, including Matthew Brandt (American, born 1982), Jo Ann Callis (American, born 1940), Judy Fiskin (American, born 1945) and Graciela Iturbide (Mexican, born 1942), as well as Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009), Arthur Leipzig (American, 1918-2014), Leon Levinstein (American, 1913-1988), Jerome Liebling (American, 1924-2011), and David Vestal (American, 1924-2013), all of whom were members of the New York Photo League, an area that is underrepresented in the Getty Museum’s collection.

The Schreyers’ donations vary in subject matter and composition, ranging from formal portraits, architectural studies, and landscape photographs to experiments in light and process. Highlights include Imogen Cunningham’s (American, 1883-1976) study of a tulip tree, an abstract study of peeling paint by Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991), and a variant image of a seated man taken during Paul Strand’s (American, 1890-1976) 1932 trip to Mexico.

Michael and Jane Wilson, founding members of the Getty Museum Photographs Council, have regularly donated the work of important photographers to the museum’s permanent collection. This most recent gift includes 71 photographs by nine artists that strengthen the museum’s holdings of European, American, and Asian photographers active in the last quarter of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century. Six of the artists will be new to the museum’s collection: Darren Almond (English, born 1971), Robbert Flick (Dutch, born 1938), Leland Rice (American, born 1940), Paul Shambroom (American, born 1956), Jem Southam (British, born 1950) and Seung Woo Bak (Korean, born 1973), while works by Wang Jingsong (Chinese, born 1963), Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao (Taiwanese, born 1977), and Hans-Christian Schink (German, born 1961) strengthen existing holdings.

The Wilsons’ donation includes selections from several serial bodies of work, most notably elegiac landscapes of the British countryside and Normandy coastline by Jem Southam and hour-long exposures of landscapes in the Northern and Southern hemispheres by Hans-Christian Schink. Others touch upon topical political issues, such as Paul Shambroom’s examination of the dynamics of political power in city council and community meetings across the United States and Seung Woo Back’s commentary on modes of surveillance in North Korea.

Lot 213 Disneyland Main Street Brownlines copy.jpgLos Angeles, California - “Remembering Disneyland,” a highly-anticipated public auction of over 800 rare and original items chronicling the history of Disneyland will take place on Saturday,  December 16th at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks,  California beginning at 11:00 a.m. PST.  Van Eaton Galleries is located at 13613 Ventura Blvd. With memorabilia pre-dating the opening of the park, to expansions into Florida, Tokyo, and Europe and beyond, the auction is an unprecedented glimpse into the world-wide phenomenon known as Disneyland. There are over 800 items to hit the auction block with bidders from around the globe already registered to take part.

Highlights include several original concept drawings and paintings for Sleeping Beauty Castle (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000);  a 1954 Disneyland Original Prospectus (Estimate $1,000-$2,000), A  Disneyland 45 Year Serve Award statue featuring Walt Disney (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); Disneyland Press Preview tickets (Estimate  $3,000-$5,000); a Main Street U.S.A. Keystone Cop original costume (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); the Santa Fe Railroad Drumhead  (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); an original Disneyland Railroad park poster (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a set of rare Main Street  Disneyland Brownline Construction drawings (Estimate: Various $500-$800); a “Beauty & The Beast” store display Bust signed  by the stars of the show (Estimate:$600-$800);  a Disneyland Main Gate 35th Anniversary Sign(Estimate:$400-$600); Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Décor (Estimate:$400-$600);  original “America on Parade” film (Estimate: $200-$400); an original Adventureland poster (Estimate:$400-$600); a Jungle Cruise  Elephant Maquette (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000);  Jungle Cruise original concept drawings (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000); an original Disneyland signed check (Estimate: $600-$800);  Vintage Cast Member  pants from Frontierland (Estimate: $600-$800);  “Y’All  Come Back” original park sign (Estimate: $3,000-$4,000); “Haunted Mansion Foil Poster (Estimate: $800-$1,000); an original table from “Club 33” (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000); Walt Disney World Railroad Logo Test (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a Walt Disney World Background Philosophy book (Estimate: $200-$400) and hundreds of other items never before offered at auction.      

Other highlights include a collection of “Golden Horseshoe” memorabilia from 25-year performer Fulton Burley’s estate and original Disneyland Railroad items including an actual wheel from a Disneyland train (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); original props and signage from the recently closed “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” (varying estimates); an original sign from the “Country Bear Jamboree” attraction (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); Original Metal Cast Member ID Badge (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500), a set of Original Paintings by Artist Neil Boyle (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), a rare Disneyland 45-Year Service Award (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000), a Disneyland Opening Day Press Preview Ticket (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), and a Complete Set of Furniture from a Grand Californian Hotel Room (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000)

“There is something for everyone in this auction. It’s also very special because most of the items in it come from people that actually worked at the park, or had a hand in creating it,” said Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder of Van Eaton Galleries.

The massive collection also includes memorabilia from Walt Disney World, EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. From signage, vintage souvenirs, original artwork, records, documents, magazines, costumes and other items from the earliest days of the park, bidders from around the globe will find a wide range of items to enjoy.

For over 60 years, Walt Disney’s Disneyland has influenced popular culture and built generations of loyal enthusiasts across the globe. Fans and collectors of Disney memorabilia have made everything from simple toys to actual props and artwork from the parks among the hottest collectibles in the world to date.  

A link to the online auction catalog here: https://vegalleries.com/rememberingdisneyland 

REMEMBERING DISNEYLAND EXHIBITION AND AUCTION LOCATION

Van Eaton Galleries                                                                                                       

13613 Ventura Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California 91423

(818) 788-2357

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION:

December 16th, 2017 starting at  11 a.m. PST

At Van Eaton Galleries 13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423 

Register at www.vegalleries.com/disneylandauction

Online at www.vegalleries.com/bidnow 

ABOUT VAN EATON GALLERIES

Van Eaton Galleries is one of the world’s premier original animation art and collectibles galleries. The Gallery is located in Sherman Oaks, California and specializes in unique original animation artwork. Established in 1994, the gallery offers distinct collections from the world of animation and special exhibits and events for collectors, fans and guests from around the globe. The gallery’s regular operating hours for the public are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.  Van Eaton Galleries has offered such collections as The Story of Disneyland, Collecting Disney, and Walt Disney’s Disneyland, as well as original animation artwork from Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Hanna-Barbera, Don Bluth and many other studios. For more information, please visit www.vegalleries.com.

Image: Courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries

 

Gehrig copy.jpgDallas, Texas - The most decorated franchise in baseball history continued its winning ways in Heritage Auctions’ “Yankee Legends” auction, emphatically closing out annual auction sales in excess of $60 million for the sports collectibles category of the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer.

Key Yankees documents broke the bank in the Dec. 10 auction, with Lou Gehrig’s 1931 Yankees contract commanding $216,000 and Derek Jeter’s 1992 scouting report—the earliest article of Yankees ephemera relating to the sure-fire member of the 2020 Hall of Fame class—finding a new owner at $102,000.

Autographed baseballs, the hobby’s bedrock foundation, set exciting new auction prices - a welcome indicator of the market’s enduring strength. Five signed spheres soared past the $100,000 mark in spirited online bidding, most notably a $228,000 result for a 1915 Eddie Plank single signed baseball, second only to Heritage’s mark of $388,375 for a PSA/DNA Mint+ 9.5 Babe Ruth single sold in 2012. Fellow Dead Ball Era legend “Shoeless Joe” Jackson followed close behind on a multi-signed sphere that commanded more than $171,000.

“This has been the busiest period in our history,” Chris Ivy, director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions said of the months spent in preparation for this special three-auction sequence. “It’s gratifying to see all that hard work pay off. To see confirmation that the market can absorb this high volume of elite material.”

Mickey Mantle game used material also registered multiple six-figure results in this high-octane event, with a 1951 rookie model garnering $168,000, his 1960 World Series gamer drawing $108,000, and his 1965 Game Used Fielder’s Glove bringing $144,000. 

Other notable results include: 

·         $120,000: 1926 New York Yankees Team-Signed Baseball from The Lou Gehrig Collection, the finest example known

·         $120,000: 1927 New York Yankees Team-Signed Baseball

·         $108,000: 1946-47 Babe Ruth Single-Signed Baseball, PSA/DNA NM-MT+ 8.5

·         $96,000: 1960's Jackie Robinson Single Signed Baseball, PSA/DNA Mint 9

 ·         $72,000: 1951 Joe DiMaggio All-Star Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10

·         $50,400: Late 1950's Yogi Berra Game Used & Signed Catcher's Mitt, PSA/DNA Authentic

·         $43,200: 2014 Derek Jeter Final Career Home Run (260) & Career Hits 3,452 to 3,255 Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.5 

·         $38,400: 1915 Eddie Collins Single Signed Baseball to Hall of Fame Umpire Tommy Connolly

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

ph_garciamarquezg_38_7_011_300dpi_web.jpgAustin, Texas — More than 27,000 images from Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s archive are now online. A significant portion of the archive is accessible, including materials from all of García Márquez’s works of fiction, 22 personal scrapbooks and notebooks, a memoir, screenplays, photographs and ephemera.

View at http://hrc.utexas.edu/ggmdigital.

Leer en Español. 

“Anyone with access to the internet can have an in-depth look at García Márquez’s archive,” said Jullianne Ballou, Ransom Center project librarian. “Spanning more than a half century, the contents reflect García Márquez’s energy and discipline and reveal an intimate view of his work, family, friendships and politics.”

Since the archive opened for research in 2015, it has become one of the Harry Ransom Center’s most frequently circulated collections.

This digitization and access project, “Sharing ‘Gabo’ with the World: Building the Gabriel García Márquez Online Archive from His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center,” was supported by a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

There are few opportunities for researchers to access digitized archives of contemporary authors, much less those of one of the most significant authors of the 20th century.

“My mother, my brother and I were always committed to having my father’s archive reach the broadest possible audience,” said Rodrigo García, one of the author’s sons. “This project makes my father’s work more widely accessible to a global community of students and scholars.”

The project, which includes text-searchable English- and Spanish-language materials, took 18 months and involved the efforts of librarians, archivists, students, technology staff members and conservators. The university’s Benson Latin American Collection provided guidance on how best to describe García Márquez materials in Spanish.

While accessing the online archive, scholars, fans, educators and students can choose to use the Mirador image viewer, which facilitates side-by-side comparisons of García Márquez’s evolving literary works. This capability is made possible by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF); with the implementation of IIIF, all images from the online archive are accessible to an international network of IIIF-enabled digital image collections.

“This project is significant, fostering new methods of use and scholarship of archival materials,” said Liz Gushee, head of Digital Collections Services at the Ransom Center. “It provides rights-holder-approved online access to copyright-protected archival materials, opportunities for comparative research and interoperability with other IIIF-compatible online collections. The support from García Márquez’s family made this important project possible.”

The online archive is available through the Ransom Center’s digital collections portal, which makes accessible more than 80,000 images from the Ransom Center’s holdings. 

The Ransom Center appreciates the support of CLIR, an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions and communities of higher learning.

Image: Unidentified photographer. Gabriel García Márquez with Emma Castro, 1957. Courtesy Harry Ransom Center.

 

Ithaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

The December 17, 2017 sale at Worth Auctions features a broad range of fine art and antiques from multiple estates and collections nationwide.             

Featured in this sale are a number of rare early works by the important New York School artist Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017), who worked and exhibited alongside the likes of de Kooning, Nevelson, and Baziotes during the heydey of Abstract Expressionism. In 1968, Grippi established the art department at Ithaca College, where he taught until 1991. In 2011, he was honored with a solo retrospective at Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art, marking the last time until now that a substantial body of his work has been on public view in his hometown. The sale showcases several large canvases dated between 1954 and 1957 exemplifying his innovative "figurative expressionist" style; one of these was exhibited at the Smithsonian and another at the Corcoran. Also offered are a variety of works on paper, including a series of preparatory sketches, collages, and a scarce artist's proof of his intaglio print "Mind" from the important portfolio "Twenty-One Etchings and Poems" (1958), which also paired the work of Franz Kline and Frank O'Hara.                        

Other noteworthy works on paper in this sale are original graphics by Bonnard, Kollwitz, Rembrandt, and other Old and Modern Masters from a prominent Manhattan collection.

Several sought-after pieces of vintage photographic equipment fresh from a local living estate will be offered, including three cased lenses and a camera body by Leica. 

This sale also includes a number of interesting large-scale glass pieces, including a "Mega" vase by contemporary glass artist Tony Serviente, a door with an ornate stained glass window, and an antique Tiffany-style hanging lamp shade with an unusual three-dimensional fruit motif.     

Another lot worthy of special mention is a carefully preserved and fully transcribed archive of Civil War letters by John Straight of the 85th and 112th New York Regiments. Datelines include Washington, Baltimore, and Raleigh, and one missive includes a hand-drawn map depicting the Battle of Seven Pines, the culmination of McClellan's offensive up the Virginia Peninsula in the summer of 1862.

Further complementary material will be offered in future sessions throughout the fall and winter of 2017.  

Worth Auctions is a public auction service specializing in estate work and collections.  The company conducts fully cataloged auctions with global bidding activity over three platforms. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of items, from pencils to airplanes. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-330-0358 or email mail@worthauctions.com.

 

Getty Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Los Angeles - Twenty years ago this month, visitors streamed to a Brentwood mountaintop to see the brand new Getty Center, featuring breathtaking vistas, sky-lit galleries, dramatic modernist architecture by Richard Meier, and the always-changing Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin.

The iconic Getty Center was the result of 15 years of research, planning, design and construction.  After purchasing the hilltop site in the Sepulveda Pass in 1982, the Getty invited 33 architects to submit qualifications.  In 1984, Richard Meier was selected as the architect. Construction began in 1989 - and was briefly halted by the Northridge earthquake in 1994. In December of 1997, the Getty Center opened to the public, with initial demand for visits so strong that advance parking reservations were required for the first few years. 

Since then, more than 20 million visitors from all over the world have come to the hilltop campus, where admission is free (and no reservations are necessary). More than 160,000 K-12 students visit each year, including more than 130,000 from Title One schools, whose transportation is subsidized by the Getty.  

“The Getty Center was envisioned as a destination where people could come for inspiration and contemplation,” said Getty President and CEO James Cuno.  “That vision came true, and we’re honored to host visitors from across the globe, as well as our neighbors here at home. But by coming together in one location, the Getty programs were also transformed, becoming infinitely greater than the sum of their parts.”

Working together from their hilltop campus in Los Angeles over the last 20 years, the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Getty Research Institute have helped conserve, study and present Old Master panel paintings in Europe, ancient mosaics in the Middle East, icons from the Sinai Desert, cave temples in the Gobi Desert, contemporary video art in Latin America, modern architecture in India - and much more.

“In the 20 years since the Getty Center opened, the Getty has begun to fulfill its potential as the world's largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts,” said Maria Hummer-Tuttle, chair of the Getty Board of Trustees. “We are able to look around the world and see the benefits of our research and work on every continent.”

One example is Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, underway now, an unprecedented international collaboration of more than 70 visual and performing arts organizations.  An exploration of Latin American and Latino art, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA comprises more than 80 exhibitions and events, creating new scholarship in an area that has not received sufficient study.

“As we celebrate this 20th anniversary, we continue to look for ways to have an impact in the world,” said Cuno, “to do what can’t be done by others, what only the Getty could do.”

Throughout the next few months, the Getty Center will host a number of events in honor of the anniversary, including an exhibition of photographs by acclaimed photographer Robert Polidori (Canadian-American, born 1961), known for his images of architecture and human habitats, who created a series of images of the Getty Center shortly before its opening in 1997. Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, December 12, 2017-May 6, 2018, features captivating behind-the-scenes views of the building and the new galleries as objects from J. Paul Getty’s painting, sculpture, and decorative arts collections were being installed in the museum.

Getty Publications is producing a special edition commemorative volume, The Getty Center at 20, which will be on sale in the Museum Store beginning in January, at a special price of $5. The book features striking photographs of the Getty Center, and documents the work of the Getty’s programs around the world over the last 20 years.

From January through March, Sounds of LA, the Getty’s annual concert series exploring the city's varied musical geography, will feature some local favorites curating programs honoring master musicians who’ve played at the Getty over the years.  Mariachi Los Camperos, Cuba LA, and Mythili Prakash have created concerts paying homage to the legacies of Natividad “Nati” Cano, Francisco Aguabella and Lakshmi Shankar.

In February and March, Jim Cuno will present a special series of the Art and Ideas podcast focusing on the anniversary, featuring interviews with Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, architect Richard Meier, and Stephen Rountree, who served as the director of the Getty’s building program.

J. Paul Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts leads a panel of senior curators from the Museum to look at some significant recent acquisitions to the collection.  Hear the intriguing behind-the-scenes stories behind some of these acquisitions on February 13.

On March 10, the community is invited to join an unforgettable birthday bash in an engaging and immersive Family Festival featuring dance, music, Getty Center-inspired crafts, and birthday games (Getty style).

“We invite visitors to join us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Getty Center and the Getty’s work preserving cultural heritage at home and around the world,” said James Cuno. 

For more information visit getty.edu/360.

Rediscovery of Lost Antarctic Chronicle

Cover 2 copy.jpgOne man’s fascinating record of four winters in the Antarctic during the 1920s has been rediscovered.

Bernard Quaritch Ltd have today published the first English translation of this compelling story. In Four Antarctic Years in the South Orkney Islands the Argentine José Manuel Moneta chronicles in captivating detail and evocative photographs the many and varied aspects of life on a Southern Ocean island which few visit even today. In 1920s Antarctica seals and penguins provide much of the food; coal and paraffin are used for heating and lighting, and electricity is a new introduction. A relief ship comes just once a year.

José Manuel Moneta’s account of the South Orkney Islands was originally written in Spanish and published in twelve editions from 1939 to 1963. This is the first English translation of what is still the only autobiographic account of the South Orkney Islands. For this edition, R.K. Headland has added copious supplementary material ranging from maps and notes to a bibliography and an index.

At the launch R.K. Headland said: “José Manuel Moneta’s book is an exceptional record of the period of Antarctic history when it was changing from the exploration of unknown regions to securing long accurate records of climatic phenomena. Such detailed records from remote polar regions are sparse and valuable as current changes become increasingly significant.  The style of life, almost a century ago, with the adoption of the very new technology of radio communication, is comprehensively described by a young man while he gained almost five years of Antarctic experience.

José Manuel Moneta’s descriptions of facilities and work on base provide fascinating details of living in such an isolated, and frozen archipelago. These appear in no comparable publications.  Cooperation with his family while editing the book is greatly appreciated, especially for the original photographs they have made available.  The book did well in Argentina and its presentation in English contributes vastly to knowledge of the remote South Orkney Islands.”

Four Antarctic Years in the South Orkney Islands: an Annotated Translation of ‘Cuatro Años en las Orcadas del Sur’ by José Manuel Moneta can be purchased online at www.quaritch.com.

ISBN: 978-0-9955192-0-6         Price: £50        Pages: 440.            Binding: Paperback.

 

lggkcjacihpldmnf.jpgNew York—Maps were so plentiful at Swann Galleries’ December 5 auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books that one could be forgiven for getting lost. Many buyers chose to bid in person, contributing to a strong sell-through rate of 84%.

The highlight of the sale was Richard Hakluyt’s 1587 map of the New World, Novus Orbis—the first to use the designations “Virginea” and “Nuevo Mexico.” It was one of a selection of duplicates from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Collection, originating in the William C. Wooldridge Map Collection, which was generously donated by the Virginia Cartographical Society in 2017. All proceeds from the sale of these lots will be used to support this important acquisition and the collections at Colonial Williamsburg. In its first appearance at auction since 1917, the Hakluyt map brought $80,000.

Maps represented more than half of the auction’s offerings. A masterwork of sixteenth-century Venetian cartography, Bolognino Zaltieri’s 1566 rendering of North America in the Lafreri style depicted the mythical northwest Strait of Anian, dividing the continents of Asia and North America; it sold for $47,500. Maps by Martin Waldseemüller performed well, with the captivating woodcut Tabula Terre Nove, 1513—the first map of the Americas to appear in an atlas—selling to a collector for $27,500. A hand-colored map of the same year brought $18,750. John Smith’s 1616 map of New England, called the “foundation map” of the region, realized $35,000.

Not everything in the sale concerned cartography. A fine book of detailed watercolors of birds by John Gerrard Keulemans reached $6,500, above a high estimate of $2,500. Similarly, the ink-and-watercolor sketch Golden Eagle and Ptarmigan by Louis Agassiz Fuertes flew past its $3,000 high estimate to sell for $12,500 to a collector.

Caleb Kiffer, Maps & Atlases Specialist at Swann Galleries, said he was “very pleased” with the sale. “Swann continues to cruise the top of the auction market to buy and sell exceptionally scarce high-profile items, as well as holding strong with mid-range material. Across the board, the map-collecting community is out in force and the results of this sale are evidence that Swann is an important part of keeping that interest and energy alive.”

The next auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries will be on June 7, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments. 

Image: Lot 77: Richard Hakluyt, Novus Orbis, engraved folding map, showing first printed use of “Virginia,” Paris, 1587. Sold December 5, 2017 for $80,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $40,000 to $60,000)

blobid78_1511278521071 copy.jpgLos Angeles - Bonhams will offer a noteworthy selection of photographs from the collection of film industry executive Bruce Berman on December 14 and 15 in its saleroom in Los Angeles. The sale, titled The Producer’s Pix: Photographs from the Bruce Berman Collection, features works by blue-chip artists as well as emerging talent that have been carefully curated by Berman. The photographs capture views of America that are in danger of vanishing.

“This sale offers all collectors—whether new or more seasoned—a unique opportunity to acquire something extraordinary and affordable from Berman’s legendary collection of photographs,” said Laura Paterson, Head of Photographs.

Of the collection, Berman said he was drawn to images of structures, buildings, and places on the verge of disappearing. “I think that images of these places can be beautiful. It memorializes something that’s not always going to be around,” he said. 

Mostly in color, and largely consisting of landscapes, architectural studies, and portraiture, the collection includes works by well-known names like Manuel Alvarez Bravo, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Dorothea Lange, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, as well as a host of works by highly talented, emerging artists. Despite the wide variety of contributors, the focus remains on a gritty as well as vibrant look at America. Attractively estimated to make collecting accessible to a new generation of photography lovers, Berman hopes to pass on his love for the art form and inspire people to start their own collections.

Berman is CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures and has overseen more than 100 Hollywood movies, from the Ocean’s series and The Matrix trilogy, to children’s hits such as The LEGO Movie and Happy Feet. Having nurtured a passion for photography from his youth, Berman soon began his own collection by buying at galleries and auctions. During the course of his collecting, he also worked with emerging artists by directly commissioning works from them.

Looking forward to a new phase of his collector’s journey, Berman says he no longer feels sad when he sells or donates his work. The long-time collector said, “As I get older, I don’t feel the compulsion to hold onto photographs that just sit in storage. I love gifting to museums and sharing the opportunity for people to see them.”

The collection will preview to the public at Bonhams Los Angeles December 9-14 with the sale to be held on December 14 at 6:00 p.m. PST and December 15 at 10:00 a.m. PST.

An interview with Bruce can be read here: https://www.bonhams.com/magazine/24757/ and the full catalog is available at http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24783/

Image: William Christenberry, Red Trailer, Livingston, Alabama, 1976 (estimate: $2,500-3,500)

 

Chicago—From January 27-May 28, 2018, the Art Institute of Chicago will present a collection of manuscript illuminations spanning four hundred years of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance from countries across Western Europe. These exquisite illuminations, although often tiny in scale, present a fascinating microcosm of medieval Europe, offering visitors a direct look into daily life and art from the period. Long-time Chicagoan Sandra Hindman, a noted medieval manuscript scholar and the founder of Les Enluminures, assembled this remarkable and broad-ranging collection throughout her career and has generously given approximately one third of the exhibited miniatures to the Art Institute. This special exhibition celebrates Hindman’s recent gift while also documenting her own journey in the field of medieval books.

Following on the heels of the Art Institute’s newly renovated and reimagined Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Arms, and Armor earlier this year, this gift exemplifies a renewed commitment to the ongoing study and presentation of Medieval and Renaissance art in the museum. Exhibition co-curator Victoria Sancho Lobis, Prince Trust Curator of Prints & Drawings, notes the significance of these additions to the Art Institute’s permanent collection: “Sandra Hindman's gifts of manuscript illuminations make a dramatic impact on our holdings in this field, and we are especially delighted that all of the works from Sandra's collection will remain on long-term loan for consultation in the study room of the Department of Prints and Drawings.”

Exhibition co-curator Martha Wolff, Eleanor Wood Prince Curator of European Painting and Sculpture Before 1750, states, “The wonderful miniatures in this collection offer visitors an exciting range of materials through which they can explore art and life from the austere and elegant spirituality of the Romanesque period to a new engagement with the natural world in the early Renaissance.” Exhibited in and among the Art Institute’s permanent collection to contextualize with paintings and sculptures of the period, the illuminations on display demonstrate a diverse range of subject matter and use, offering a variety of ways for visitors to experience and appreciate these exceptional medieval works. 

The Medieval Word at Our Fingertips: Manuscript Illuminations from the Collection of Sandra Hindman. January 27, 2018-May 28, 2018.  

 

blobid16_1512610888653.jpgNew York — The only known copy of Emperor Hirohito’s monologue was the top lot in the Voices of the 20th Century auction at Bonhams New York, achieving $275,000. Highlights from across two sales on December 6 included Billie Jean King’s racquet from the epic “Battle of the Sexes” match (price realized: $125,000), a Wozniak blue box offered at auction for the first time in the History of Science and Technology sale, (price realized: $125,000) and an Apple 1 computer (price realized: $372,500.)

History of Science and Technology 

Adam Stackhouse, Senior Specialist, Books and Manuscripts said “we’re particularly pleased with the results achieved for the blue box, which was the first to ever be offered at auction and instrumental in the formation of Apple Inc. There was also significant interest in some early microcomputers offered in the sale, which resulted in a record price for the Intel Intellec-8.” 

Top lots from the sale were a new-to-auction blue box by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, which soared above pre-sale estimates with bidding activity over the phones and online, and the revolutionary Apple 1 computer, which was the first pre-assembled personal computer to come to market. In an auction that saw nine of its top ten lots beat their estimates, early computing memorabilia did particularly well. The Intel Intellec-8 microcomputer set a record when it went for nine times its estimate to realize $13,750 and an Altair 8800 sold for 8 times its estimate to achieve $8,125. 

Voices of the 20th Century 

“We are honored to handle the sale of Emperor Hirohito’s historically significant monologue, which nearly tripled its pre-sale estimate in our sale today,” said Ian Ehling, Director, Books & Manuscripts. “There was also a great result for Billie Jean King’s tennis racquet from the monumental “Battle of the Sexes,” match, in addition to incredible prices for first editions by Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and manuscript pages by Ayn Rand.”

The top lot of the sale, the Emperor's Monologue known as Dokuhakuroku, is an important document transcribed word-for-word by senior diplomat Hidenari Terasaki, from March 18 to April 8 in 1946 at the request of General Douglas MacArthur. Its 173 pages cover events from the Japanese assassination of Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin (1928) to the Emperor's famous Surrender Broadcast recorded on August 14, 1945.

See additional information on the manuscript: https://www.bonhams.com/magazine/24762/ 

Billie Jean King’s racquet from the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs achieved $125,000, of which a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Women’s Sports Foundation. King’s inspiring victory in straight sets during the exhibition match was a significant event in the movement for greater recognition and respect for women’s tennis and beyond. 

The sale had all its top ten lots achieve prices above their low estimates, with notable results for Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (price realized: $81,250), Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (price realized: $62,500) as well as two separate working manuscript pages of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (prices realized: $56,250 for lot 1058 and $52,500 for lot 1059.)

Image: Hirohito, Emperor Showa, 1901-1989, Autograph Manuscript in Japanese, Showa Tenno Dokuhakuroku 昭和天皇独白録 "The Emperor's Monologue," transcribed by Terasaki Hidenari. Price realized: $275,000

othmanu.jpgNew York—Sotheby’s New York sale of Important Judaica on 20 December will offer one of the finest decorated Hebrew Bibles from Spain to ever come to auction. Produced in Castile during the first half of the 14th century, this distinguished illuminated manuscript is a remarkable testament to the cross-cultural influences in the Golden Age of medieval Spain. Hailing from the renowned collection of J.E. Safra, the Bible will be offered this December with a pre-sale estimate of $3.5/5 million. 

As the earliest-known complete illuminated Hebrew Bible from Spain to ever appear at auction, the Bible is superlative in a number of ways. It is one of only six complete, decorated Hebrew Bibles in private hands. Of those examples, only three have come to auction in the past century. 

THE HISTORY OF CASTILIAN HEBREW BIBLES 

This distinguished illuminated Hebrew Bible is an exceptionally important exemplar of medieval book arts and literary culture. The tradition of Hebrew Bible production which flourished in Castile beginning in the 1230s, began to decline due to the deteriorating political and economic situation of Spanish Jewry, persecutions connected with the Black Plague of 1348-1349, and the anti-Jewish riots of 1391. Thus, only three illuminated Hebrew Bibles from 14th-century Castile have survived, making the present manuscript incredibly unique. The high quality of its parchment, the generous quantity of its carpet pages, and the lavishness of their design, as well as the formal repertoire of the micrographic decoration, make this volume an exceptional witness to the glorious tradition of medieval Hebrew manuscript illumination. 

The tradition of illuminated Hebrew Bibles first began to flourish during the reign of Ferdinand III (1217-1252) and continued until the expulsions of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1496-1497. While the production of these Bibles can be ascribed to different artistic schools located in Castile, Navarre, Catalonia and Portugal, the present manuscript’s lavish decoration, both painted and micrographic (an embellishment whereby a specialized scribe fashions minute script into ornamental patterns) suggest that it was produced in Castile during the first half of the 14th-century. 

When the first embellished Hebrew Bibles began to appear in Castile during the early 13th-century, their patterns of decoration were based almost exclusively on an Islamic artistic repertoire, as seen in the present volume with its geometrically planned micrographic carpet pages at the end of the codex and micrographic frames with interlaced designs placed around significant biblical texts. Some of these patterns share commonalities in format and composition with illuminations in Qur’ans, as well as tooled patterns in book bindings that were produced in Spain by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian craftsmen into the 16th-century. It was only gradually-during the 14th-century- that the adornment of Hebrew Bibles in Spain began to reflect some of the motifs common in Gothic art, which was dominant in Iberian Christian culture of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. The Bible’s decoration notably reflects these artistic interactions among the three coexisting religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, a phenomenon referred to as convivencia.

Schembart f.43v copy.jpgNew York—Les Enluminures announces the exhibition, “Talking at the Court, on the Street, in the Bedroom: Vernacular Manuscripts of the Middle Ages.” February 23rd to March 16th, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. Opening and Reception: Thursday, February 22nd, 6 pm to 8 pm. 

The thirty-six manuscripts included in this exhibition provide viewers unique access to the authentic, spontaneous vision of people in medieval France, Italy, Germany, the Low Countries, and Britain. As award-winning author Christopher de Hamel writes in the introduction, “There is one way in which manuscripts are different from all other works of art: they can talk … Shared language is the basis of all communication, and manuscripts can actually speak to us.”

Of course, Latin was the language of those who aspired to literacy, and it was the language of the Church. Most people today think of the Middle Ages as a time when cloistered monks wrote and read only in now-obscure languages. But, what many do not realize is that by the thirteenth and fourteenth century (and certainly well before Columbus discovered America in 1492), numerous books became available in the everyday languages spoken “at the court, on the street, and in the bedroom.” This exhibition focuses on just such manuscripts, and we find that they were written for all sorts of people at diverse levels of society, not only the privileged aristocracy, but doctors, artisans, townspeople, women, the clergy, and the lay devout. 

For example, giving advice to widows, a translator puts Saint Jerome’s famous letters into French in a unique copy probably for a high-born woman. She is pictured in the book. Toiling in the Italian metal industry in towns, metalworkers can follow instructions on minting gold and silver coins in their own language. The manuscript is on paper in simple, yet readable script. Fancifully dressed carnival revelers cavort through the streets of medieval Nuremberg throwing fireworks amidst floats and even an occasional elephant. The German text celebrates the sponsoring families of the event. The Founder and President of Les Enluminures (and medievalist), Sandra Hindman reminisces “I have worked on vernacular manuscripts all my life and they are closest to my heart. Like the experience of reading a good book today, vernacular manuscripts offer an adventure into an unknown world that brings to life people, places, and events of long ago.” 

Come join us in experiencing the Middle Ages through our manuscripts. 

LES ENLUMINURES 

23 East 73rd  Street, 7th foor Penthouse 

New York, New York 10021 

Tel. 212 717 7273 

Catalogue: “Shared Language: Vernacular Manuscripts of the Middle Ages” by Laura Light, introduction Christopher de Hamel. Available for purchase as of February 15: $35. 

Image: Carnival reveler, holding a firework, with an elephant in the margin. Schembart (“hiding beard”) Carnival Book. In German, illuminated manuscript on paper. Germany (Nuremberg), c. 1540-1550. 64 pen and ink with watercolor drawings, 22 additional pen and ink drawings. 

 

Smart-Guard.jpegPalm Beach, FL—Fine art dealers and collectors who are tired of the worry and hassle of shipping their treasured pieces using bubble-wrap, packing tape and Styrofoam will be relieved to know there’s a better, safer, cheaper (and greener) way. Smart-Guard is a sturdy, re-usable fine art packing system that just hit the market, having secured a patent and registered trademark.

Users place their artwork between two protective panels, which are then secured using hook-and-loop closures around the perimeter. That is placed into an appropriately sized vacuum bag, into which a desiccant pouch is placed. The bag is sealed using a zipper pull, and air is removed from the Smart-Guard system using a vacuum pump (or vacuum cleaner). After that, just box and ship.

To view a brief YouTube video clip about Smart-Guard, please visit https://youtu.be/Lv65Tr2Opzw.

Smart-Guard is the brainchild of John Prayias, who invented the product quite by accident and with no background in the fine art world. His late wife, Adele, was the owner of Adele Prayias Fine Art and her years of shipping art for her business and personal use between Florida, New York and Connecticut inspired John to see the need for simple, safe and economical packaging.

“I was in the restaurant business, but every Tuesday I drove my wife from Greenwich to New York City, to go to auction galleries and art galleries to buy for her business,” Mr. Prayias said. “As we became more and more involved in the art world, we found ourselves shipping fine art from time to time, as well as receiving art from other dealers. And let me tell you, it was a pain.”

Not only was it a time-consuming and laborious chore - wrestling with the bubble wrap, paper and tape - but then came the worry that the artwork would arrive in one piece. Years passed - and so did Mrs. Prayias - but it took the shock of a cost estimate to ship the couple’s sizable art collection from New York to Florida that led to John’s epiphany and the birth of Smart-Guard.

“The price the mover gave me was so outrageous, I decided to crate three of the more valuable pieces and pack the rest myself, using bubble wrap and tape,” John said. “It took three days and three people to pack the art. Then, when the art arrived at my new home in Palm Beach, it took another three days to unpack it. After it was all over, I was left with a big mountain of garbage.”

He hung as many paintings as he could in his two-bedroom apartment and decided to put the rest into storage. But he quickly learned that art storage was expensive, too, so he opted to place all the paintings into temporary storage. Then one day he noticed all the overhead sprinklers in the storage facility. “That’s great in case of a fire, not so great for the fine art if they go off,” he said.

The whole experience led John to experiment with different methods of quickly, securely and safely packing, shipping and storing fine art. The result was Smart-Guard. “Now, every artwork, no matter how valuable, can be crated and stored safely, at a fraction of the cost. It’s quick and easy, with no mess or waste, and the artwork is protected from sprinklers, bumps, dirt and more.”

High-end art galleries are already using Smart-Guard to wrap fine art for their customers. One customer recently transported a Picasso worth millions from his restorer using Smart-Guard. Mr. Prayias, in developing the product, wrapped an artwork using the Smart-Guard system and put it in his bathtub, filled with water and secured in place with bricks, for days. It stayed perfectly dry.

Practically speaking, the purchase of a Smart-Guard system pays for itself over time. It’s sturdy, it’s reusable, and it’s far better for the environment than Styrofoam packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap that can’t even be recycled in many communities and remains in the landfill, intact, for decades or even centuries. And the time saved in packing and unpacking art is immeasurable.

Smart-Guard is currently available in two sizes, with panels of 26 inches by 30 inches and 32 inches by 36 inches. A third size is on the way; it will be the largest size permissible via UPS before being considered “freight”. Panels, dessicant bags and vacuum bags can be purchased separately or in package price deals. The Smart-Guard vacuum pump has a price tag of $29.95. 

The panels are made from an impact-resistant, double-layer rigid corrugated material with foam layering that protects artwork. The heavy duty Velcro tabs enclose and secure artwork between the panels. The industrial strength sealed outer bag protects the artwork from dust and moisture. 

The moisture-absorbent desiccant pouch guards the artwork against moisture and humidity damage during transport or long-term storage. Information about contents and instructions can be easily applied to the package with the adhesive-backed content labels included with each order. For buy-American fans, all Smart-Guard systems are made and assembled in the United States.

To recap, Smart-Guard is a reusable system that eliminates the need to buy disposable art packaging materials, saving money and saving the environment every time it is used.  Smart-Guard offers modern protection from water, dampness, temporary flooding, mold and mildew and impact damage.  It protects a person’s investment in fine art and gives them peace of mind.

To learn more about Smart-Guard, or to make a purchase, please visit www.artshippingbox.com.

1348.jpgYork, PA - Hake’s Americana wrapped its 50th-anniversary year with a November 14-16 auction that set multiple company and auction-industry records as it crossed the finish line at $1,754,464. All prices quoted are inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium. 

“It was a sale for the history books,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “First and foremost, it was the highest-grossing individual sale of our half-century in business, and it also capped our most successful year ever, in terms of the grand total for all sales conducted within a twelve-month period. There was a very strong bidder turnout, and virtually every category met or exceeded expectations, from antique political items all the way through to original comic art from modern-day artists. Many significant records were set for individual items and categories.”

The centerpiece of the sale, the 100% AFA-graded Russell Branton Star Wars collection, produced one of the event’s top lots: a Kenner Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi double-telescoping action figure. Presented on its original blister card, the coveted 1978 figure sold within its estimate range for $76,700.

From the same collection, the highest-graded example of a 1978 “Yellow Hair” Star Wars Luke Skywalker figure was hotly pursued to $50,622 against a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000. Its astonishing price set a new record for any Luke Skywalker figure. Another highlight was the Anakin Skywalker prototype figure from the 1985 toy line for the film Star Wars: The Power of the Force. It garnered 17 bids before settling at $34,981 against an estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

Always one of Hake’s strong suits, political and campaign memorabilia was unstoppable. The category was led by an extraordinary rarity: a 1920 “Americanize America Vote For Cox And Roosevelt” jugate button. One of only four high-grade examples known and possibly the best of any in existence, it landed just shy of its high estimate, at $47,279.

“The Cox-Roosevelt jugate was an outstanding performer. It not only achieved a record auction price for a button of its specific type but also for any sort of button, political or otherwise,” said Winter. 

Even in light of the prices indicated so far in this report, there was yet another category whose top seller eclipsed all others: vintage comic books. A CGC-graded 7.5 VF issue of Marvel’s Amazing Fantasy #15 had been entered in the auction with expectations of reaching $100,000 or more. Published in August 1962, the sought-after issue introduces The Amazing Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and is the first to show him on the cover. Sixteen aggressive bids propelled the Silver Age classic to $140,760, a world record auction price for the title in its enviably high grade.

Another ephemera lot deserving special mention was the December 1953 issue of Playboy #1 featuring Marilyn Monroe on the cover and inside as the publication’s first-ever centerfold. CGC-graded 8.5, it sold for $29,205.

Original comic art was in demand across several sub-genres. Charles Schulz’s art for a 1957 Peanuts daily newspaper strip was bid to $25,441 against an estimate of $10,000-$20,000; while John Byrne’s 1986 cover art for the Fantastic Four #289 comic book finished well within its estimate range at $24,727. Also created as cover art, Daniel Clowes’ edgy work for Dark Horse Comics’ Urban Legends #1 (June 1993) was on target at $19,800. 

The enduring interest in Negro Leagues baseball memorabilia was evident during the sale, as well. A real-photo postcard of the 1930 Homestead Grays, with a lineup that included four Hall of Famers, drove in $17,523 against an estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

“We could not have been more pleased with the results of our third auction of 2017. The excitement and high prices it generated told us in no uncertain terms that the state of the market for high-quality, impeccably provenanced vintage collectibles is stronger than ever,” said Winter. “We can’t wait to see what the next 50 years will be like for the memorabilia hobby and for our business.”

Contact Hake’s Americana by calling 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600 or emailing hakes@hakes.com. Online: www.hakes.com

Image: Amazing Fantasy #15, Marvel, August 1962, CGC 7.5, first appearance of The Amazing Spider-Man, $140,760. Image provided by Hake’s Americana

Boston, MA—How does a show about the past evolve for the future? With an innovative production tour and new-look episodes! ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, PBS's most-watched ongoing series, releases the 2018 production tour with first-time stops exclusively at distinctive, historic locations across the country.

"This past fall while filming at a Gilded Age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, I saw immediately that capturing hidden treasures and guest stories against backgrounds rich with history brought a new depth to our show," said ROADSHOW executive producer Marsha Bemko. "Holding events at these locations allows our cameras to go outdoors, capturing vivid settings and a peek into places that are treasures in their own right. It was a natural next step to create our entire tour with stops at these types of stunning locations."

City locations and dates are announced below, historic venues in each city will be revealed closer to each event date.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW 2018 Summer Tour Dates:

       April 12                Sarasota, Florida

       April 21                Tulsa, Oklahoma

       May 22                 Louisville, Kentucky

       May 29                 San Diego, California

       June 14                Rochester, Michigan

Admission to ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is free, but tickets are required and must be obtained in advance. Fans can apply for a chance to receive one pair of free tickets per household. The 2018 Tour ticket application process opens Monday, December 4 at 3pm ET. To enter the drawing for free tickets to a 2018 ROADSHOW event and to see complete application rules, go to pbs.org/roadshowtickets. For more information you may also call toll-free 888-762-3749.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 11:59 PM PT. 

At each appraisal event, approximately 3,000 ticketed guests will receive free valuations of their antiques and collectibles from experts from the country's leading auction houses and independent dealers. Each guest is invited to bring two items for appraisal. To see FAQs about ANTIQUES ROADSHOW events, go to: pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tickets/faq.

From each of the 2018 events, three episodes of ROADSHOW per city will be created for inclusion in the 15-time Emmy® Award nominated production's 23rd broadcast season, to air in 2019.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, produced by WGBH Boston, is seen by an average of 8 million viewers each week, airing Mondays at 8/7c PM on PBS.

DCRB Stand at WAS 2018.jpegDaniel Crouch Rare Books will bring maps of three of the most exciting cities in the world to the Winter Antique Show, which runs from 19 - 28 January in New York’s Park Avenue Armory.

Visitors to the Winter Antiques show will be awestruck by the unmissable display of George and Walter Bromley’s ‘Atlas of the City of New York - Borough of Manhattan’ from 1908: a strikingly pink 25’ (yes, 25’!) wide fire insurance map in 38 individually framed sheets (pictured).

The map is not only a fascinating and important document from the end of ‘the gilded age’, but also demonstrates how maps can be displayed in interior spaces to make bold and arresting design statements. The map includes outlines of buildings, street names, sidewalk widths, number of stories, basements and natural features such as rivers. It also shows the composition of buildings by listing materials such as brick, stone, iron and wood in their descriptions. Daniel Crouch Rare Books explains the importance these maps have as invaluable resources for historical research, genealogy, planning, conservation and demography ($250,000).

Visitors will also be delighted by Bernard Ratzer’s 1776 ‘Plan of New York’, showing the southern end of Manhattan island. There were about 25,000 people living in the city at this time and you can see the countryside shown in the surrounding marshy areas of New Jersey and parts of (present day) Brooklyn along the East River. The map is a significant improvement of Ratzer’s own 1769 plan, which the gallery will also display at the fair. Notable for its accuracy, his later map gives street names, roads, buildings and the names of chief property owners (the maps are priced at $275,000 and $50,000 respectively). 

Back across the Atlantic, another fire insurance map on the gallery’s stand is Richard Horwood’s spectacular 1799 map of London. This is the largest printed map in Georgian Britain and charts the entire city of London, Westminster and Borough of Southwark. It was produced for use as an aid for the Phoenix Fire Office, an English fire insurance company for whom it is understood Horwood worked. The plan, nearly ten years in the making, demonstrates incredible levels of detail, showing the parts of the city that had yet to be developed and notably includes house numbers, which had only started being used in 1735 ($55,000).

The Paris offering is Michel-Étienne Turgot’s ‘Plan de Paris’ (1739) depicting a birds-eye-view of the French city during the reign of Louis XV. Turgot was the Mayor of Paris from 1690-1751 and aimed to promote the city’s reputation through the creation of a comprehensive city plan. It took two years to complete, and once published, prints were offered to the King and other important officials ($27,000). 

Ithaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a second session of selections from a substantial private library that belonged to a leader in the Knights of Malta fraternal order. A varied array of desirable antique and vintage children's books will also be offered, along with a fine private collection of early off-prints and articles.            

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1663 printing of Bohart's "Hierozoicon Sive Bipertitum Opus de Animalibu," with engraved plates, Godwyn's "Moses and Aaron," produced c1650, and the 1760 printing of Hutchinson's "The History of the Colony of Massachusett's Bay." Author-signed works in this auction include names such as H. A. Rey, Shel Silverstein, Saul Bellow, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to Native American Indians, cinema, books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, Russia, the American West, archaeological excavations, Quakers, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                         

Several pleasing collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is our second session from a singular private collection that was owned by a high-ranking member of the Knights of St. John of Malta, also known as the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem or the Order of Hospitallers, and linked to the Masonic fraternal order. In addition to titles specifically relating to the Knights of Malta, books in the collection relate to other fraternal movements, Russia, mysticism, New Thought, communism, race, eugenics, Jewish history, conspiracy theories and more. Another collection presents vintage and antique children's books including author-signed copies, Victorian chromolithographs, modern classics, illustrated, Victorian gilt bindings, Christmas-themed, and more.    

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings. Of particular note is an impressive collection of antique pamphlets and articles dating back to the early 1800's and covering areas such as Americana, American colleges, medical history, travel, Puerto Rico, the Mexican War, missionaries, the American West and others. Another collection includes stamps, first-day covers and other ephemera relating to suffrage and female leaders in history, including African-American women. Other ephemera lots include items such as an English manuscript note dated c1570.   

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of collectible, signed, and first edition books. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.

 

Washington, DC—At its October 2017 Board of Trustees meeting, the National Gallery of Art acquired works including a rare early painting by Morris Louis (1912-1962), two complete bound volumes by Giovanni Francesco Costa  (1711-1773), a 1928 drawing by Stuart Davis (1892-1964), and a handcrafted album by ringl + pit (active 1930-1933).

"We are delighted with the acquisition of these important works by Morris Louis, Giovanni Francesco Costa, Stuart Davis, and ringl + pit, among others," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are grateful as well to our many donors whose generosity continues to strengthen the Gallery's collection."

Paintings

Morris Louis's Sub-Marine (1948) is one of his few existing early paintings. After developing his signature technique of staining in 1953, Louis destroyed much of his previous work, which makes Sub-Marine an important document in the career of an artist who went on to become one of the most lyrical artists of the so-called Washington Color School. The whiplash lines and washed colors show the influence of Arshile Gorky, while the biomorphic shapes recall Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. The yellow forms flowing in rhyming fashion foreshadow the parallel bands and rivulets of his mature work. The painting joins six others by Louis in the Gallery's collection, including an even earlier work, Country House (1938), from the Corcoran Collection. Sub-Marine was purchased with funds from the Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Fund.

The Gallery has also acquired important paintings by Juan Gris (1887-1927) and Pierre Soulages (born 1919). Given to the Gallery by Dian Woodner for the Woodner Collection, Gris's Glass and Checkerboard (1917) is a daring still life in which only a checkerboard and glass can be discerned. Other objects are incorporated into an intense play of abstract pattern, repetition, and texture. Gris's characteristic manipulation of light, shadow, and silhouette adds mystery to this painting, the modest size of which belies its power and complexity. Soulages, a master of French postwar abstraction, has limited himself in recent decades to black paint applied with rakes and other tools. A gift from Pierre and Colette Soulages, Peinture 326 x 181 cm, 14 mars 2009 (2009) consists of four panels reaching over ten feet high. Through the careful manipulation of these four surfaces, each treated differently, Soulages demonstrates that the true medium of his so-called "outre-noir" (beyond black) paintings is light.

Prints and Drawings

Giovanni Francesco Costa's Le Delizie del fiume Brenta nei palazzi e casini situati sopra le sponde dalla sua sboccatura nella laguna di Venezia infino alla città di Padova (The Delights of the Brenta River, in the Palaces and Villas Along the Banks, from Its Mouth in the Lagoon of Venice to the City of Padua) (1750/1756) is one of the most ambitious and rare print projects from 18th-century Venice. In 1747 Costa etched a series of views along the Brenta canal between Padua and the lagoon, a favorite location for the rural residences of Venice's principal families. Inspired by the etchings of Canaletto created a few years earlier, the plates are extraordinary in the variety of their composition, the sensitivity of their drawing, and the evocation of a luminous atmosphere. The views proceed from east to west, each featuring an aristocratic structure, and together form a continuous trip up the canal. The series culminates not just 18th-century Venetian projects of the kind, extending their range to terra firma and vastly expanding their number, but the tradition of vicarious travel around actual places through printed series that goes back to 17th-century Holland. These volumes join the Gallery's holdings of 18th-century Venetian prints, drawings, and illustrated books, among which is the most complete collection in existence of Costa's rare architectural fantasies and a unique series of anamorphic etchings, all acquired over the previous six years. These volumes were purchased with funds from the New Century Fund, O'Neal Fund, and Garbaty Fund.

Torso and Head of Two Figures (1928) by Stuart Davis, one of the most original of the American modernists, resembles a stripped-down design for a machine. Done in black ink and graphite, the drawing exemplifies the tension between abstraction and realism that invigorates much of Davis's art. It also represents a study in contrasts between black and white, solid and void, organic and inorganic, and surface and depth. The drawing's mechanical underpinnings and its emphasis on geometric forms evokes not only the works of Russian constructivist El Lissitzky but also those of Louis Lozowick, an American artist born in Ukraine, whose Machine Ornament drawings (1923-1930) bear a striking resemblance to Torso and Head. The Davis drawing was purchased through the Pepita Milmore Memorial Fund and Clark Fund and is presently on view in Machine Art Modernism, an installation of drawings, photographs, and prints on the ground floor of the East Building through mid-May 2018.

Sculpture

The Adoration of the Shepherds (1530s), a bronze plaquette, is among the most successful religious narrative compositions by Valerio Belli (1468-1546), a gifted sculptor of rock crystals and medals as well as plaquettes. In a characteristically monumental composition on a miniature scale, in Adoration he has infused his figures with classical grace—slender angels hovering with olive branches and a crown, shepherds assembling with gifts, and the Virgin kneeling in rapture before her newborn son, who reaches out toward her. In front of a majestic structure with a Roman arcade, the figures reflect both Belli's studies of ancient reliefs and his immersion in the culture of Renaissance Rome, especially the school of Raphael. The composition shows the influence of an engraving of the same subject from the circle of Giulio Bonasone after Raphael, and it builds on another Adoration of the Shepherds by Belli, carved for the crystal casket (1530-1532) he made for the Medici pope Clement VII. While the Gallery owns a version of the latter plaquette as well, the workmanship of this new acquisition particularly demonstrates Belli's genius for expressive modeling in miniature. This plaquette was given to the Gallery by Michael Riddick as a gift of the Riddick Family in memory of Eleonora Luciano.

In October the Gallery also acquired works of modern sculpture by Alex Katz (born 1927), Alexander Calder (1898-1976), and Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975). Katz, renowned painter of pop-inflected portraits, has been treading the line between painting and sculpture with painted cutouts or silhouettes for decades. In Ada (Weathervane) (2016) Katz once again depicts Ada, his wife and muse, setting her painted head into motion as the image spins on a tall pole, alternately revealing front and back. This sculpture is a gift of Robert Lococo and the Artist.

Two brass wire sculptures by Alexander Calder, French Poodle (c. 1952) and Vogelgesang [Birdsong] (c. 1930), as well as a bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth were given to the Gallery by Elaine Kaufman as a gift of Richard and Elaine Kaufman. In Vogelgesang [Birdsong] Calder conjures what may be a quacking duck from a single piece of wire; in the later sculpture, French Poodle, multiple pieces of wire create a poodle with the ambition to be a lion. Calder was a master of manipulating wire, one of the first materials he used, as demonstrated by these works as well as two wire sculptures already in the Gallery's collection. Sculpture with Strings (date unknown) by Barbara Hepworth, one of the great British sculptors of the modern era, is the first work by the artist to enter the Gallery's collection. This bronze sculpture was cast in 1961 from a plaster model made in 1939, a time when she was incorporating voids into her work and spanning them with strings. The result is a lyrical fusion of constructivist geometry and surrealist biomorphism.

Photographs

Grete Stern and Ellen Auerbach were two pioneering women artists whose studio—ringl + pit, named after their childhood nicknames (ringl for Stern, pit for Auerbach)—focused on advertising, fashion, and portrait photography. With a playful yet powerful surrealist sensibility, ringl + pit often used mannequins and wigs to question the artifice involved in the construction of female identity. Their close relationship is vividly expressed in the remarkable bound album The Ringlpitis (1931), which Auerbach gaveto Stern as a birthday gift in 1931. A unique, handmade album, it is composed of photographs that the two artists made of each other along with drawings, pieces of fabric, and handwritten and typed texts that are often collaged to create playful and poetic narratives. It also includes an exceptional fold-out section that depicts a circus performance with images of Stern and Auerbach in masquerade. Precedents for such albums are 18th-century friendship albums and 19th-century collage photo albums, including the magnificent Cator Family Album (1866-1877) in the Gallery's collection. A one-of-a-kind work, The Ringlpitis is an important addition to the Gallery's collection of modern photography and an object that sheds light on the complexity of artists' relationships with one another and the role of women in the history of photography. This album was purchased with funds from the Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad Fund.

For 50 years, Robert Adams (born 1937) has made compelling, provocative, and highly influential photographs that explore some of the most profound questions of our time—our responsibility to the land we inherited and the moral dilemmas we face as we live with the contradictions of progress. Working in Colorado, California, and Oregon from the 1960s to the present, he has photographed a wide variety of subjects including suburban sprawl, strip malls, and highways; homes and stores; as well as the land itself—rivers and skies, the prairie and ocean—and the ravages we have inflicted on it. North edge of Denver, Colorado (1973-1974) addresses the construction of a new kind of American environment, one in which industry has transformed the landscape, producing great isolation and little sense of community. Given to the Gallery by Robert and Kerstin Adams, it will be included in the exhibition American Silence: The Photographs of Robert Adams, 1965-2015 in the fall of 2019.

Shooting from a helicopter, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky (born 1955) captured a striking aerial view of an open quarry near Barre, Vermont. Such a dramatic perspective reveals the astounding scale of the project, where stonecutters work precariously atop massive blocks of granite. Part of a larger series that examines both the geological and social history of the area, Burtynsky's Rock of Ages #7, Active Granite Section, Wells-Lamson Quarry, Barre, Vermont (1991) calls attention to the delicate balance between human ambition and the environment. An early example of what became Burtynsky's signature approach, this unexpectedly beautiful photograph subverts our understanding of the sublime in nature by asking us to contemplate how humans have reshaped the natural landscape.

The Joy of Giving Something, Inc. recently gave the Gallery 87 photographs by the American photographer Thomas Roma (born 1950) from his series Come Sunday (1991-1994). In the early 1990s while he was photographing the exterior of houses of worship in Brooklyn, Roma was invited inside to record the service itself, sparking a three-year project in which he photographed more than 150 services. His photographs, as Henry Louis Gates has noted, "capture the sublimity of the beliefs of the people who are most 'caught up in the whirling storms of life.'" A selection of these photographs will be shown in 2018.

Two photographs from c. 1950 by Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), acquired from the Saul Steinberg Foundation, are part of a series the artist dubbed "photoworks" begun in the late 1940s. In this series Steinberg playfully transformed everyday objects by drawing on or around them. He then had these site installations photographed in spare compositions by different photographers, intending them to represent ideas rather than function as sculptures. He published inset booklets of these photographs in the March and September 1950 issues of Flair magazine. These photographs are on view in the Saul Steinberg installation on the East Building Mezzanine through May 18, 2018.

 

Auction Guide