New York court rules against buyer of Star Trek memorabilia

NEW YORK (AP) – A Star Trek fan isn’t entitled to millions of dollars in damages for buying memorabilia that he says wasn’t as out-of-this-world as it seemed, a court said Tuesday.

Ted Moustakis wasn’t promised he was getting a one-of-a-kind plum when he paid $11,400 for a uniform for Star Trek: The Next Generation character Data at a 2006 auction, an appeals court said.

The court also said Moustakis is due at most a refund for two other purchases he says were fakes: a $6,000 poker visor supposedly worn by Data and a $6,600 table from the show’s set.

Auction house Christie’s and CBS Consumer Products, which oversees Star Trek merchandise, praised the ruling. Moustakis’ lawyer didn’t immediately return a telephone call.

The longtime Trekkie from Towaco, N.J., has said he was thrilled to get the items until he showed the visor to the actor who played the android Data, Brent Spiner, at a 2007 fan convention.

Spiner told him the visor wasn’t genuine, according to Moustakis’ lawsuit. Moustakis said he later found the table also was inauthentic, and the uniform was one of several made for the program. Christie’s had led him to believe it was unique, he said.

The state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division said the auction catalog didn’t represent the costume as one-of-a-kind, and even if the other items weren’t as advertised, Moustakis isn’t entitled to “the massive recovery he now demands” in his $7 million lawsuit.

Christie’s has said it stood behind the authenticity of the auction, tied to the hit show’s 40th anniversary.

“The sale was and remains a fantastic highlight in the memorabilia market,” Christie’s lawyer Sandra L. Cobden said Tuesday.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-ES-12-22-09 1918EST

 

 

 

Retiring curator Dennis Medina stands by a portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photo by Tom Dorsey, Salina Journal.

Eisenhower museum curator still likes ‘Ike’ after 41 years

Retiring curator Dennis Medina stands by a portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photo by Tom Dorsey, Salina Journal.

Retiring curator Dennis Medina stands by a portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photo by Tom Dorsey, Salina Journal.

SALINA, Kan. (AP) – Four decades ago, Dennis Medina’s knowledge of Dwight Eisenhower comprised watching his 1953 inaugural festivities on television and reading newspaper stories about his presidential visits to Colorado, where Medina lived at the time. That was it.

Medina will retire next month as the curator of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum knowing much more about the 34th president.

“I had to do a lot of reading,” said Medina, who started work at the Abilene facility in 1969.

Before that, he was the exhibits director for the Colorado State Historical Society and wasn’t looking for a job, particularly one in Kansas.

“I wasn’t really interested,” Medina said. “That year, the governor cut the budget and I had a lot of projects that got shelved.”

Suddenly, a job change seemed more appealing.

“I met my former boss (of the Eisenhower Library) at that time at a museum meeting. He offered me a job, and I turned it down.”

Medina called back later and asked if the museum job was still open. It was.

“I was only going to stay five years,” he said of the Abilene posting. “And here we are, 41 years later.”

Medina’s dream job was to work at the White House, but that’s all it was: a dream.

“It never materialized,” he said.

Five years turned to 41 as the Eisenhower facility and the Abilene community hooked him.

“I loved the collection, the exhibit work,” Medina said of his reasons for staying as long as he has. “The Eisenhower family has been good to me over the years. And the local people. They are all very friendly, very interested in what’s going on at the museum. They’re great supporters of our public programs.”

Medina said he chose his profession because of his fascination with objects.

“I get to hold history in my hands,” he said. “You get to view it. We get to hold it.”

Besides handling – with protective gloves – the museum’s holdings, Medina over the years has come face to face with countless national and foreign dignitaries, which he said are among the most memorable of his experiences.

“Meeting some of the people who were very important in American politics and the military, having that ability to take them on a tour of the Eisenhower legacy,” he said.

Moving from a state job to one administered by the National Archives and Records Administration wasn’t that different, once he familiarized himself with the subject.

“There, you’re dealing with a broader range of history,” he said. “Here, we’re dealing with one individual.”

But that didn’t stop Medina from expanding the collection.

“We’re fortunate that Eisenhower was a complex individual. He had lots of careers. He was a military man, an artist, sportsman, educator – he was president of Columbia University. All those careers.”

The collection also includes items from the Eisenhower era.

Although Medina jokingly describes himself as the “head duster,” his job is more involved than caring for a here-it-is-come-see-it static display.

The collection doubled during Medina’s tenure, and he’s directed educational outreach programs.

“We have over 26 million pages of manuscripts, we have close to 77,000 artifacts associated with the Eisenhower legacy,” he said.

The collection is not complete, and may never be.

“There are a few diaries written by Eisenhower that are still out there,” he said. “Also, papers from associates, cabinet members, we don’t have.”

Some gifts Eisenhower received during his presidency also are in the wind.

A law passed in 1963 requires that all presidential gifts become property of the government. Presidents can buy them at the appraised market value, but during Eisenhower’s day, gifts from foreign leaders, countries and constituents were his to keep. Or give away, as he did with a painting of the White House by American impressionist Guy Wiggins.

“That was given to one of the staff members in the administration,” Medina said. “He was told to keep something from the office, and he selected that painting.”

Medina and his staff are in negotiations with the man’s estate to acquire the work.

Some artifacts have been retained by the Eisenhower family, and some the Eisenhowers disposed of. The Eisenhowers gave away “quite a few” items from their Gettysburg, Pa., farm, Medina said. “Like Persian rugs. We’re not sure what happened to all of those.”

Medina never met the president, but he had a working relationship with his wife, Mamie Eisenhower.

“She was very generous to the museum. She gave us lots of personal things,” he said. “She had a deep interest in the museum. She came here once a year, sometimes twice a year.”

Medina said he would have liked to have met President Eisenhower, who died March 28, 1969.

“I started the day he died.”

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-CS-12-21-09 1159EST

 

Local media name Baterbys best art gallery in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Baterbys Art Auction Gallery has been named Best Art Galley for 2009 by Orlando Style Magazine and SneakySunday.com, a Web site dedicated to the arts and entertainment.

For Orlando Style Magazine, Baterbys placed first in a Readers’ Choice Award poll. SneakySunday.com’s choice was based on visitor comments and editorial opinion.

Baterbys conducts quarterly auctions that feature world-class artwork executed by 20th-century masters and post-Impressionists. LiveAuctioneers.com provides Internet live bidding for Baterbys’ auctions. The gallery, at 9101 International Drive (Unit 1008) in Orlando, is open daily.

Baterbys has more than 30 years of experience in the art world and auctioneering. Its main concentration is in rare graphic works. Auctions regularly feature works by 20th-century masters such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Pierre Bonnard and others, as well as contemporary artists like Peter Max, LeRoy Neiman, Gary Benfield and Nicola Simbari.

Baterbys offers a lifetime money-back guarantee of authenticity for each work of art it sells, plus a lifetime exchange policy.

The firm holds memberships in several professional associations, including the National Auctioneers Association, Florida Auctioneers Association, International Fine Art Appraisers, Palm Beach Appraisers Association, Certified Appraisers Guild of America, Better Business Bureau and local chambers of commerce.

As well as being members, the firm also holds significant designations and credentials within these professional organizations, such as Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) and Graduate Personal Property Appraiser (GPPA).

Baterbys’ charity partners are the vital link between its business and the community. The quarterly live auctions benefit nonprofit organizations that provide developmental and holistic programs for children with life-threatening illnesses. Baterbys has raised funds for groups like Threshhold Center for Autism, Give Kids the World, Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, and UCP of Central Florida.

Baterbys Art Auction Gallery produces Quarterly Art Review books that also serve as catalogs. They are a complete reference to all the artists Baterbys sells. The catalogs, suitable for coffee table display, feature artist biographies, discussions of the artwork and full museum descriptions of all the items. The cost per book is $49.99, less with a subscription.

Baterbys accepts high-quality consignments, whether it’s a single work or an entire collection. Contact Baterbys at 866-537-0265 or e-mail press@baterbys.com. To learn more about Baterbys Art Auction Gallery and its calendar of upcoming auction events, log on to www.Baterbys.com.

 

 

 

 

 

This Ed Wiener gold pendant brooch is studded with 16 gemstones. It carries a $4,500-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Unusual designer brooch one of many gems at Michaan’s, Jan. 3

This Ed Wiener gold pendant brooch is studded with 16 gemstones. It carries a $4,500-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

This Ed Wiener gold pendant brooch is studded with 16 gemstones. It carries a $4,500-$6,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

ALAMEDA, Calif. – An Ed Wiener gold pendant brooch adorned with gemstones is one of the most unusual and colorful pieces in Michaan’s Auctions monthly estates auction on Jan. 3 beginning at noon Pacific. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

A native New Yorker, Wiener began his career in artists’ circles in post-Bauhaus Provincetown, Mass., and Greenwich Village, in the early days of the Abstract Expressionist movement of the late 1940s. The two movements were joined in his jewelry designs.

Wiener was largely self-taught and learned to make jewelry with common tools most often used by plumbers and carpenters.

The New York Times reported that Wiener worked largely in silver until the late 1950s when he branched out into new settings in gold and precious jewels, moving, as one critic put it, from craft into art. Over the years he had studios on 53rd Street and on Fifth Avenue and continued to work at his Fifth Avenue gallery, by appointment, until his death in July 1991 at the age of 73.

Among his clients were Louise Nevelson, the sculptor, and Martha Graham, the dancer.

“His jewelry of the period has unusual clarity in contrast to the baroque exuberance and surrealistic fantasy of some of his contemporaries,” wrote Dr. Milton W. Brown, an art historian.

The Wiener brooch in Michaan’s auction is 18K yellow gold and features seven rectangular-cut tourmalines, four rectangular-cut garnets, one rectangular citrine, one cushion-cut peridot, two emerald-cut amethysts and one emerald-cut blue topaz. It measures 1.88 inches by 1.76 inches. The estimate is $4,500-$6,000.

A sampling of the fine art in sale is a lithograph titled Head of a Man by Nathan Oliveira (American, b. 1928. It is signed and dated: “N Oliveira 57” and numbered “1/10.” The estimate is $450-$650. An oil on canvas still life by Emile Siervert Weinberg (California, 1882-1958) of a large metal bowl and two pieces of fruit has a $500-$700 estimate.

Coins will include a lot of three U.S. Morgan silver dollars: 1895S-O, 1892-S XF, and 1893-P (estimate: $600-$900).

Heading the toys is a scarce Hubley American airplane. The cast-iron aircraft is 24 inches long and carries a $1,000-$1,500 estimate.

A Pablo Picasso Madoura Edition art pottery pitcher, 11 5/8 inches high, has a $4,000-$5,000 estimate. It is numbered “40/500” and dated “9.1.69.”

Ceramics include a 10-piece set of light blue Wedgwood jasperware miniatures. The coffeepot, rhw largest piece, stands less than 3 inches high. The grouping has a $200-$300 estimate.

Chinese antiques include a 19th-century finely carved soapstone mountain scene with three scholars standing on a bridge. The mushroom-shaped mountain (estimate: $400-$600) is only 4 1/2 inches high.

Furniture includes a Classical Revival flame mahogany drop-leaf pedestal table with lion paw feet (estimate: $1,000-$1,500). It measures 30 inches high by 40 inches wide by 53 1/2 inches long, fully extended.

For details phone 510-740-0220.

To view the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

 

Click here to view Michaan Auction’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Hubley’s America toy airplane featured an open cockpit with pilot and copilot figures. The cast-iron toy has a $1,000-$1,500 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Hubley’s America toy airplane featured an open cockpit with pilot and copilot figures. The cast-iron toy has a $1,000-$1,500 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Numbered ‘40/500,’ the Picasso Madoura Edition art pottery pitcher is expected to sell for $4,000-$5,000. It is 11 5/8 inches high. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Numbered ‘40/500,’ the Picasso Madoura Edition art pottery pitcher is expected to sell for $4,000-$5,000. It is 11 5/8 inches high. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

From a New York collector comes a pair of Chinese cloisonné dishes, Qing Dynasty, circa 1700. The dishes are 5 3/4 inches in diameter and have a $2,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

From a New York collector comes a pair of Chinese cloisonné dishes, Qing Dynasty, circa 1700. The dishes are 5 3/4 inches in diameter and have a $2,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Classical Revival flame mahogany drop-leaf pedestal table (estimate: $1,000-$1,500). Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Classical Revival flame mahogany drop-leaf pedestal table (estimate: $1,000-$1,500). Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

This oil on canvas by Austrian artist Hans Zatzka (1859-1945) titled Symphony of the Water Nymphs, sold for $44,400 on Dec. 8 at Jackson’s. Image courtesy Jackson's International Auctioneers.

Jackson’s plows through $2 million auction during blizzard

This oil on canvas by Austrian artist Hans Zatzka (1859-1945) titled Symphony of the Water Nymphs, sold for $44,400 on Dec. 8 at Jackson’s. Image courtesy Jackson's International Auctioneers.

This oil on canvas by Austrian artist Hans Zatzka (1859-1945) titled Symphony of the Water Nymphs, sold for $44,400 on Dec. 8 at Jackson’s. Image courtesy Jackson’s International Auctioneers.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – If Jackson’s International Auctioneers were searching for a new motto, they might aptly choose the following: “Neither record snow, blowing winds nor frigid temperatures will prevent us from having a successful auction.” Indeed such was the case Dec. 8 and 9 at Jackson’s, which witnessed a supercharged auction amid a record 14-inch snowfall combined with wind gusts of 50 miles an hour and temperatures plunging below zero.

It was perhaps the unique mix of material (Chinese, Russian and Picassos) that in turn created the perfect storm of bidders who helped raise prices and disolve any thoughts of a less than stellar auction. Gross sales totaled more than $2 million.

“I have to hand it to my staff” said Jackson’s President and CEO James Jackson. “As our client services director Jessi Brogan said the day before the storm, ‘We’d all better prepare to get here and launch this thing because people in Moscow, Peking, London, Paris and Rome don’t know anything about this storm and further still could care less.’” Jackson continued, “Just to be on the safe side we hired a snow plow truck to pick up employees and deliver them to the gallery despite the fact that every school, airport, store and factory within a 300 mile radius was shut down. None of us expected many people, if any, to actually show up but indeed there were over two dozen die-hard auction-goers who somehow made it to our gallery including two from China, one from Chicago, two from New York, one from Kansas City, and another from Dallas as well as one from Minneapolis.”

The auction began with more than 600 bidders having preregistered, which produced a steady sales pace throughout each session. Phone lines were busy with stranded bidders calling in to arrange phone bidding or leave bids, and LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

The sale opened with a variety of European art including lot no. 1, a lovely oil on canvas portrait of a young woman by British artist William Clarke Wontner (1857-1930) that sold for $45,600. That was followed by an alluring oil on canvas by Austrian artist Hans Zatzka (1859-1945) titled Symphony of the Water Nymphs which drew wide interest including 15 phone lines. Estimated at $12,000-$18,000, it finished at $44,400, selling to a New York buyer. A charming oil on canvas by French artist Henri Schlesinger (1814-1893) titled A Ride in the Park brought $26,400, which was a good bit over the high estimate. Perhaps the biggest surprise in European paintings was the 29- by 44-inch oil on canvas unsigned Venetian scene attributed to British artist John Joseph Hughes (1820-1909). Estimated at $1,000-$2,000, the painting ended up selling to a buyer from Florida for $26,400. Other European works of note included a 13th-century Limoges enamel corpus Christi mounted to a later copper gilt cross which sold for $15,600. A lovely bronze figure of a water nymph by Italian sculpture Luca Madarassi (1848-1919) sold for $10,200.00 against an estimate of $3,000-$5,000. And a pair of 13- by 18-inch oil on canvas Paris street scenes by French artist Antoine Blanchard (1910-1988) sold for $15,600.

Next up was a small but diverse group of Russian items with the highlight being a beautiful bronze by Evgeny Lansere (1848-1886) titled Zaporozhets after the Battle. It finished at more than twice the high estimates coming in at $33,600. A few other Russian works of note included a small (9 by 12 inches) landscape by Mikhail Klodt (1832-1902) that sold for $13,200. A Russian snow scene by Dmitri Nalbandian (1906-1993) did $12,000, and a folding iconostasis finished at $9,600. A 13-inch bronze of an armless female torso by Moissey Kogan (1879-1942) also sold for $9,600 and an 8-inch-diameter steel plate commemorating the coronation of Czar Alexander III sold for $3,600.

The highlight of a group of modern works on paper from a Las Vegas, Nev., collection was a 1962 linocut print by Picasso titled Tete de Femme, which that measured 25 inches by 20 inches. Estimated at $40,000-$60,000, the print drew wide interest finishing at $81,600. Other Picasso linocuts inculded Jacqueline Lisante, 1964, measuring 25 inches by 20 inches, $60,000; Femme au Chapeau, 1962, in colors, measuring 13 inches by 10 inches, $45,600, and Picador et Taureau, 1959, finished at $36,000.

Other modern prints worthy of mention include Marc Chagall’s color lithograph titled Chloes Judgment,1960, from Daphins and Chloe, measuring 16 inches by 25 inches, which sold to a buyer in New York for $21,600. Another Chagall color lithograph, Le Bouquet Rose, 1980, sold for $20,400, which was followed by Les Lilas, also a color lithograph by Chagall, sold for $18,000.

The second session opened with American art including a fresh to the market snow scene by Ernest Lawson (1873-1939). The 18- by 24-inch oil on canvas sold for $45,600. That was followed by a still-life by Iowa artist Marvin Cone (1891-1964), which sold above the high estimate bringing $31,200. A typical Normandy river landscape by American artist George Ames Aldrich (1872-1941) sold for $11,400. A group of three small oil sketches by Chicago artist Walter Krawiec, each measuring 11 inches by 14 inches, totaled $9,000 against an estimate of $1,500-$2,500. An oil on Masonite pinup girl by American artist William Metcalf brought $8,400, and Thomas Hart Benton’s lithograph Frankie and Johnnie sold for $7,200. An interesting bust of titled The Head of David-after Michelangelo, by American artist Richmond Barthe (1901-1989) did well selling for $6,600 against an estimate of $1,000-$2,000, and a 12- by 20-inch oil by Arthur Parton (1842-1914) depicting raging rapids sold for $5,280.

Next were American and European glassware, porcelain and decorative arts. The first lot, a Tiffany Pomegranate lamp sold for $16,800. That was followed by a pot metal figural lamp modeled after a work by Oscar Bach and containing a Steuben globe shade. It sold for $4,800. A 5-inch miniature Daum Nancy snow scene vase sold for $2,000, and a Legras Indiana cameo vase did $3,120. A 16-inch KPM plaque depicting the male saint Rodriguez after the painting by Murillo sold for $6,000, a 6- by 5-inch oval KPM plaque of a Greek girl sold for $4,000. A lovely pair of Meissen cupid figurines made slightly over $5,000, and a Meissen figural grouping of musicians did $4,800. A large Zsolnay vase titled Allegory of the Flood modeled by Lajos Mack and measuring 25 inches drew wide interest, selling to a buyer from New York for $10,800.

Decorative arts and furnishings saw a good amount of action as well with a French Empire period bronze figural clock tripling the high estimate bringing $18,000. A pair of elephant tusks deacessioned from an Iowa museum also sold for $18,000. A Louis XVI-style mahogany and ormolu mounted curved glass vitrine sold to a buyer from Los Angeles for $22,800 followed by a similarly decorated gilt bronze and vernis mounted side cabinet that sold $18,000 against an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.

By far the most super charged bidding was in the Oriental or Chinese section with most every lot receiving active bids from the floor, phone, Internet and absentee bid department. The highlight of Chinese art was a carved jade water basin cataloged as 19th century with a question mark. The 3-inch-deep, 21-inch-long and 11-inch-wide carved stone basin carried an estimate of only $1,500-$2,000, but ended up selling $55,200 to a phone bidder from China. That was followed by a 16-inch carved jade urn also cataloged as 19th century and with later regain seal of Qianlong. Estimated at $600-$900 it too sold to the phone for $14,400.00. Next to sell was a Chinese export ceramic fishbowl measuring 18 inches in height, and although with a hairline crack in the base, still sold for $18,000 against an estimate of $800-$1,200. A pair of Chinese cloisonné vases with floral designs, each circa 1900 and about 12 inches in height, sold for $8,400. A gouache on card painting by well-known Indian artist Jamini Roy (1887-1972) sold for $16,800. A pair of Chinese carved ivory puzzle or mystery balls that sold to a collector from Boston for $10,000.

For complete auction results with illustrations or information on how to consign items visit Jackson’s website at www.jacksonsauction.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The bronze grouping, Zaporezhets after the Battle, by Russian sculpture Evgeny Lansere (1848-1886) sold to a buyer from Moscow for $33,600 at Jackson’s. Image courtesy Jackson's International Auctioneers.

The bronze grouping, Zaporezhets after the Battle, by Russian sculpture Evgeny Lansere (1848-1886) sold to a buyer from Moscow for $33,600 at Jackson’s. Image courtesy Jackson’s International Auctioneers.


A linocut print by Pablo Picasso titled Tete de Femme (Bloch 1063), sold for $81,600. Image courtesy Jackson's International Auctioneers.

A linocut print by Pablo Picasso titled Tete de Femme (Bloch 1063), sold for $81,600. Image courtesy Jackson’s International Auctioneers.


Although unsigned, this French Empire figural bronze clock still made $18,000.00 at Jackson’s Dec. 8 sale. Image courtesy Jackson's International Auctioneers.

Although unsigned, this French Empire figural bronze clock still made $18,000.00 at Jackson’s Dec. 8 sale. Image courtesy Jackson’s International Auctioneers.


A Chinese buyer purchased this 19th-century Chinese carved jade water basin for $55,200. Image courtesy Jackson's International Auctioneers.

A Chinese buyer purchased this 19th-century Chinese carved jade water basin for $55,200. Image courtesy Jackson’s International Auctioneers.

Andy Warhol painted this portrait of Barbie in 1985. It is synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas. Image courtesy of Mattel Inc. and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Children’s Museum celebrates Barbie’s 50th anniversary

Andy Warhol painted this portrait of Barbie in 1985. It is synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas. Image courtesy of Mattel Inc. and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Andy Warhol painted this portrait of Barbie in 1985. It is synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas. Image courtesy of Mattel Inc. and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An Andy Warhol painting of Barbie and interactive fashion shows are the highlights of a new exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to commemorate the iconic doll’s 50th anniversary.

“Barbie: The Fashion Experience”’ opened Saturday at the museum, which will be its only stop. Sarah Cole, the museum’s special and temporary exhibits manager, said she worked with toy maker Mattel to put together the exhibit.

“Our Barbie collection was good,” Cole said, “but not as strong as Mattel’s.”

Barbie was introduced to the world at the 1959 New York Toy Fair. Creator Ruth Handler said the doll, based on the German Bild Lilli dolls, represented that women had choices.

The exhibit features a photo timeline of Barbie, life-size Barbie mannequins and a design center where children can create their own fashions using dress forms, computer games and light tables.

Workshops on T-shirt designing, special runway shows and fashion shows also are offered, and visitors can watch Barbie commercials from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

But a highlight might be the chance to strut down a Barbie catwalk after getting made up.

Makeup artist Misty Al-eryani, founder of FierceLooks, has three looks for children to apply from hygienic single-use trays.

Al-eryani said she created the looks after thinking about her four daughters and other children, and how they would interact with the doll.

“I wanted them to feel as if they were Barbie’s best friends or Barbie’s little sister,” she said.

Warhol’s 1985 Barbie painting is also part of the display. It is the first time the work has been displayed outside California.

The exhibit runs through February 2011.

___

Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-12-20-09 1401EST


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Mattel introduced Barbie, the teenage fashion model doll, in 1959. Image courtesy of Mattel Inc. and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Mattel introduced Barbie, the teenage fashion model doll, in 1959. Image courtesy of Mattel Inc. and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

The famous bust of Queen Nefertiti was was recently moved back to Berlin's Neues Museum from the adjacent museum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Egypt antiquities chief to demand return of Nefertiti bust

The famous bust of Queen Nefertiti was was recently moved back to Berlin's Neues Museum from the adjacent museum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The famous bust of Queen Nefertiti was was recently moved back to Berlin’s Neues Museum from the adjacent museum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s antiquities chief said Sunday he will formally demand the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti from a Berlin museum after confirming it was sneaked out of Cairo through fraudulent documents.

Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, has been aggressively campaigning to reclaim treasures that he says were stolen from Egypt and purchased by some of the world’s leading museums.

Hawass’ campaign yielded a huge success this week with the return of painted wall fragments from a 3,200-year-old tomb from the Louvre in Paris. Hawass had cut ties with the French museum and suspended its excavation in southern Cairo to pressure it to return the artifacts.

Highlighting the importance of the efforts, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak traveled to Paris to oversee the handover of the fragments, which arrived in Cairo Tuesday.

The limestone bust of Nefertiti, wife of famed monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenaton, topped the list Hawass has drawn for high-profile items he wants back.

Since the bust was displayed in Germany in 1924, Egypt has been demanding its return. German authorities have declined, saying the bust is too fragile to move.

A statement from Hawass’ office said Friederike Seyfried, the director of Berlin’s Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, presented documents held by the museum proving the bust was sneaked out of Egypt illegally.

“The national committee to reclaim antiquities will hold an emergency meeting … to examine official steps to demand the final return of the Nefertiti bust from Berlin to Egypt,” the statement said.

The documents include a protocol signed by the German excavator of the bust and the Egyptian Antiquities Service headed by Gustave Lefevre in 1913, a year after the statue was unearthed in Amarna in southern Egypt.

In the documents, the object was listed as a painted plaster bust of a princess. But in the diary of the German excavator Ludwig Borchardt, he clearly refers to it as the head of Nefertiti – whose name means the beautiful one has come.

“This proves that Borchardt wrote this description so that his country can get the statue,” Hawass’ statement said. “These materials confirm Egypt’s contention that (he) did act unethically with intent to deceive.”

The existence of these documents was known to archaeologists. It was not clear why the museum decided to hand them over to Egypt now.

Hawass’ statement quoted the director of the museum as saying the authority to approve the return of the bust to Egypt lies with the Prussian Cultural Heritage and the German culture minister. Seyfried will act as a liaison, the statement said.

Nefertiti is the 14th century B.C. wife of Akhenaton, who initiated a new monotheistic religion that involved the worship of the sun. Her bust was recently moved back to Berlin’s Neues Museum from the adjacent Atles Museum, part of a cluster of five art halls that make up one of Berlin’s most familiar landmarks.

Thousands of antiquities were spirited out of the country during Egypt’s colonial period and afterward by archaeologists, adventurers and thieves.

Hawass’s list of most cherished treasures includes another piece held by the Louvre, the painted ceiling of the Dendera temple showing the Zodiac.

He has also asked for the return of the bust of Achhaf, the builder of the Chephren Pyramid, from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a statue of the Hemiunu, the nephew of Pharaoh Khufu from Germany’s Roemer-Pelizaeu museum.

He says he has recovered 5,000 artifacts since becoming antiquities head in 2002.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-ES-12-20-09 1645EST

Recovered Auschwitz sign to be restored

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Polish police have recovered the infamous Nazi sign stolen from the former Auschwitz death camp cut into three pieces, and said Monday it appeared to have been taken by common criminals seeking profit.

Five men were arrested late Sunday after the damaged “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Sets You Free”) sign was found near one of their homes in a snowy forest outside Czernikowo, a village near the northern Polish city of Torun, on the other side of the country from the memorial site.

The brazen pre-dawn Friday theft of one of the Holocaust’s most chilling symbols sparked outrage from around the world. Polish leaders launched an intensive search for the 5-meter (16-foot) sign that spanned the main gate of the camp in southern Poland where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed during World War II.

The men’s arrest late Sunday came after more than 100 tips, said Andrzej Rokita, the chief police investigator in the case.

Police said it was too soon to say what the motive for the theft was, but they are investigating whether the Nazi memorabilia market may have played a part. The suspects do not have known neo-Nazi or other far-right links, Rokita said.

“Robbery and material gain are considered one of the main possible motives, but whether that was done on someone’s order will be determined in the process of the investigation,” added deputy investigator Marek Wozniczka.

“They are ordinary thieves,” Rokita said.

The suspects have not been identified publicly, but Rokita said they were between the ages of 20 and 39 and that their past offenses were “either against property or against health and life,” implying that at least one of them has a record for violent crime.

Four of the five men are believed to have carried out the theft, removing the 65- to 90-pound steel sign from above the Auschwitz gate in the town of Oswiecim, about 30 miles west of Krakow.

“It seems they cut the sign up already in Oswiecim, to make transport easier,” Rokita said at a news conference in Krakow. It was “hidden in the woods near the home of one of them.”

Wozniczka said the suspects will all be charged with theft of an object of special cultural value and could face up to 10 years in prison. He said other charges could possibly be added during the investigation.

Museum authorities welcomed the news with relief despite the damage. Spokesman Pawel Sawicki said authorities hope to restore it to its place as soon as it can be repaired and was working to develop a new security plan.

Security guards patrol the 940-acre (200-hectare) site around the clock, but due to its vast size they only pass by any one area at intervals.

An exact replica of the sign, produced when the original underwent restoration work years ago, was quickly hung in its place Friday.

In a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press, Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, welcomed the sign’s swift recovery.

“Whatever the motivation, it takes warped minds to steal the defining symbol of the Holocaust from the world’s most renowned killing field,” he said.

After occupying Poland in 1939, the Nazis established the Auschwitz I camp, which initially housed German political prisoners and non-Jewish Polish prisoners. The sign was made in 1940. Two years later, hundreds of thousands of Jews began arriving by cattle trains to the wooden barracks of nearby Birkenau, also called Auschwitz II.

More than 1 million people, mostly Jews, but also Gypsies, Poles and others, died in the gas chambers or from starvation and disease while performing forced labor. The camp was liberated by the Soviet army on Jan. 27, 1945.

The grim slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” was so counter to the actual function of the camp that it has been etched into history. The phrase appeared at the entrances of other Nazi camps, including Dachau and Sachsenhausen, but the long curving sign at Auschwitz was the best known.

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Associated Press Writer Monika Scislowska contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-ES-12-21-09 0726EST

 

 

French Renaissance Revival Château server, circa 1890, estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

Austin Auction Gallery to present 25th annual New Year Gala, Jan. 3

French Renaissance Revival Château server, circa 1890, estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

French Renaissance Revival Château server, circa 1890, estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Auction Gallery will host its 25th annual New Year Gala and Auction on Jan. 3. The event kicks off at noon with a fabulous luncheon catered by O’Joi-Ous Occasion. The spectacular auction, which will start promptly at 2 p.m. Central, will offer more than 400 lots of antiques and fine art from around the world as well as high-end designer items, decorative arts and a small selection of fine jewelry. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

Highlighting the antique furniture is a signed French Vernis Martin-style cylinder desk with a finely painted Classical scene by “A. Coudert” (Armand Coudert, France, 19th-20th century) estimated to bring $3,000 to $5000. A profusely carved French Renaissance Revival Château server, circa 1890, crosses the block with an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.

The auction also features a large selection of British Colonial, English, and American antiques as well as custom designed modern furniture. Architectural elementss include French etched glass doors, antique garden pieces and a monumental Mughal arabesque carved teakwood wall from India, circa 1800. A collection of Black Forest carved furniture and decorative items will be offered including a pair of large trophy plaques and an excellent Black Forest cuckoo shelf clock.

The decorative arts category is loaded with sterling silver, Waterford crystal, a selection of banquet service articles, lamps, mirrors, bronze figures with a life-size pair of lions, circa 1930, which has an estimate if $1,500-$2,000.

A diverse selection of fine art is led by a collection of American School folk paintings, including two wintery snow scenes by Walter Parkes (American, 1909- ). A colored pencil drawing by Marie Laurencin (French 1883-1956) is expected to make $3,000-$5,000. Also in the mix are several Modernist pieces including The Doors, dated 1952, by El Shiro Ikegawa (Japanese/ California, 1933- 2009).

Antique and semiantique rugs to be offered include Caucasian pieces as well as a large, signed Persian Mashad, circa 1890, with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

A handful of fine jewelry completes this eclectic mix. Gold and diamond pieces include a custom pearl, diamond, and ruby 18K gold dragon form necklace (estimate $4,000-$5,000).

Everyone is invited to join Austin Auction Gallery for a special champagne preview scheduled for Jan. 2, from noon to 5 p.m. Central. Doors open the day of the auction at noon.

Visit www.austinauction.com or phone 512-258-5479 for more information.

To view the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Click here to view Austin Auction Gallery’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


A collection of Black Forest carved pieces include a pair of large trophy plaques and a fine cuckoo shelf clock. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

A collection of Black Forest carved pieces include a pair of large trophy plaques and a fine cuckoo shelf clock. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.


Two winter scenes by folk art painter Walter Parkes will be included in the auction. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

Two winter scenes by folk art painter Walter Parkes will be included in the auction. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.


The estimate for this late 1800s Persian Mashad rug is $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

The estimate for this late 1800s Persian Mashad rug is $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.


This custom pearl, diamond and ruby necklace in 18K gold and dragon motif is estimated at $4,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

This custom pearl, diamond and ruby necklace in 18K gold and dragon motif is estimated at $4,000-$5,000. Image courtesy of Austin Auction Gallery.

LiveAuctioneers.com notes dramatic rise in site traffic, buyers, auction clients

NEW YORK – The preliminary 2009 performance statistics for LiveAuctioneers.com have been verified, confirming strong results across the board for the Manhattan-based company that provides Internet live-bidding services to nearly 900 auction-house clients.

During the calendar year 2009 (Jan. 1 to date), LiveAuctioneers saw a 90.1% increase in the number of site visits as compared to 2008. Similarly, the number of absolute unique visitors rose by 82.4% over the prior year. On the new-client side, 119 auction houses joined LiveAuctioneers’ roster in 2009.

LiveAuctioneers’ growth in international markets this year has surpassed all expectations, with China topping the list of nations joining the Internet live-auction bandwagon. Compared to 2008, there was a 245% increase in the number of people logging on and registering at LiveAuctioneers.com through Chinese ISPs. “China has become a major force in the world economy, and it will only continue to strengthen its position through e-commerce,” said LiveAuctioneers CEO Julian R. Ellison.”

Other nations followed a similar pattern. Their increases in LiveAuctioneers usage as compared to 2008 included: Netherlands 145%, Germany 113.5%, United Kingdom 111.5%, Italy 99.9% and Australia 95%. North American results indicated an 89.8% increase in Canadian use of LiveAuctioneers over the comparable period of 2008 and 79.2% in the United States. In terms of overall participation to date in 2009, there have been 533,714 bidder signups for catalog sales run through LiveAuctioneers.

“These are very potent statistics, especially when considering the choppy economic waters we’ve all had to navigate over the past year,” Ellison said. “Our auction-house clients have told us that LiveAuctioneers continues to deliver quality buyers and a consistently high level of quality underbidders, which points squarely to the volume of traffic running through our platform. Traffic, together with customer service and technological innovation, is the cornerstone of LiveAuctioneers’ success.”

Ellison noted that LiveAuctioneers’ policy of non-exclusivity, which allows auction-house clients the freedom to publicize and promote their catalogs however and wherever they wish, has helped LiveAuctioneers retain its long-held leadership position within the Internet live-bidding sector. “We believe it makes no sense – especially in such a competitive marketplace – for Internet live-bidding services to force auctioneers into signing contracts that place severe restrictions on how they may market their sales. Auction houses should be given a helping hand, not a list of things they can’t do for fear of being punished,” he said.

The past year has also marked an era of new technological advancements and marketing innovations for LiveAuctioneers. Highlights included:

· The launch of a custom-designed real-time bidding platform and applet compatible with all operating systems, including Mac. The platform can be customized and uniquely branded for specific auction houses.

· The introduction of a bonus feature for Platinum Plus customers whereby LiveAuctioneers’ popular audio/video feature is added for only $1 per auction day.

· The July debut of a revolutionary, custom-designed, downloadable iPhone application (“app”) available through Apple’s iTunes Store. The new “app” was the first of its kind within the auction industry to enables absentee bidding at any LiveAuctioneers-supported sale through mobile devices. Less than a month later, LiveAuctioneers App Technologies launched a similar product for all current Blackberry devices.

· The debut in late November of a boutique publicity and public relations agency, LiveAuctioneers PR Services. The in-house agency’s one and only specialty is promoting auctions, antique shows and other antiques-related events through customized promotional campaigns.

Ellison said the new PR firm is off to a running start. “We already had some of the arts sector’s best PR people on our staff, so it made sense to create a new offshoot to LiveAuctioneers that assists auctioneers in promoting their sales through custom-crafted publicity campaigns.”

Ellison said that LiveAuctioneers’ nine-year history of technological achievements is a source of pride to him but tipped that “the most exciting innovation ever to emerge from [LiveAuctioneers’] Research & Development department has yet to be unveiled.” He said that in January LiveAuctioneers will issue “a surprise announcement that will forever change the way bidders interact with auction houses on a global basis, so stay tuned.”

Visit LiveAuctioneers online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

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Media contact: pr@liveauctioneers.com