Tenn. Supreme Court will not hear case on Fisk art

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee’s Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that a New Mexico museum has no rights to an art collection at Fisk University in Nashville.

The financially struggling university had asked the Davidson County Chancery Court for permission to sell two of the works from its Stieglitz collection – Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1927 oil painting “Radiator Building – Night, New York,” and Marsden Hartley’s “Painting No. 3.”

The 101 works in the collection were donated to Fisk by O’Keeffe, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, N.M., had sued the school. It claimed Fisk was violating the terms of the bequest, which required the works be displayed together, and asked that the artwork to be turned over to the O’Keeffe estate, which it represents.

Fisk later proposed a $30 million arrangement to share the collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. – a plan the O’Keeffe Museum also opposed.

Tennessee’s Court of Appeals ruled in July the O’Keeffe Museum has no standing in court, because any right the painter might have had to the collection ended with her death. Spokesman Ryan Stark on Tuesday said the museum had no comment on the case.

It is now up to the Chancery Court to decide whether Fisk can sell any of the work.

“We’re aware we still have a long way to go, but we’re looking at it as good news,” Fisk spokesman Ken West said on Tuesday.

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, in a statement, cautioned that Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court does not mean the school has a right to sell any of the artwork.

The attorney general’s office earlier received permission to intervene in the case and represent the people of Tennessee’s wishes to keep the collection in the state.

Cooper said on Tuesday the appeals court opinion held that Fisk could only modify the conditions placed on the gift under “extremely limited circumstances.”

“Given Fisk’s recent reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools … the university can no longer argue that the sale of the Collection is necessary to its financial survival,” Cooper wrote.

Fisk was on the verge of running out of operating money when it filed a motion for relief from the conditions of the bequest in 2007. Fisk attorney John Branham said last year the collection had been appraised at about $75 million.

___

On the Net:

Fisk University: http://www.fisk.edu

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: http://www.okeeffemuseum.org

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: http://www.crystalbridges.org

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-23-10 1709EST


Heavy original gold damascene adorns this Qajar dynasty Indo-Persian khula khud battle helmet, which is pre-1850. The Qajars ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925. The well-preserved helmet has a $2,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

Professional Appraisers & Liquidators loaded for huge Winter Sale, Feb. 27

Heavy original gold damascene adorns this Qajar dynasty Indo-Persian khula khud battle helmet, which is pre-1850. The Qajars ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925. The well-preserved helmet has a $2,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

Heavy original gold damascene adorns this Qajar dynasty Indo-Persian khula khud battle helmet, which is pre-1850. The Qajars ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925. The well-preserved helmet has a $2,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. – Rare items, including a 19th-century Indo-Persian battle helmet, a punched tin pie safe made exclusively for General Foods and a sterling silver veilleuse-theiere teapot will cross the auction block Feb. 27 beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern. These items as well as many other fine antiques, art and collectibles will be auctioned at Professional Appraisers and Liquidator’s first sale of the year. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

The huge winter season antique auction will be conducted by Charles Fudge of Professional Appraisers & Liquidators at the firm’s U.S. Highway 19 gallery. Highlights of the auction will be more than 75 lots of 19th- and 20th-century American and European Art, as well as more than 100 lots of antique furniture to include Victorian, period, primitive, with a sprinkling of Mid-Century Modern. As always, estate jewelry will also be a main feature, with more than 100 lots of gold and diamond jewelry, including many fine Art Deco pieces. Other items of interest are an early 19th-century sampler, lamps including hanging oil lamps and table lamps by Sale Brothers and Bradley & Hubbard.

Furniture highlights include a Federal period two-part corner cupboard believed to be of Pennsylvanian origin. Also attributed to Pennsylvania is a butternut jelly cupboard with locking doors and drawers. Of Southern origin is a walnut sugar chest from the early 1800s with a fishtail-hinged lid and dovetailed case and a 19th-century oak harvest table with breadboard ends. Mid Century Modern furniture will include chairs designed by Ray and Charles Eames and manufactured by Herman Miller and a complete dining room suite by Bernhardt.

Auctioneer Fudge said, “Of all the furniture, the piece I am most excited about is the, possibly one-of-a-kind, punched tin pie safe made exclusively for General Foods Co., with the corporation’s logo of ‘G.F. Co’ molded into the tin panels on each side.”

Another item considered rare is an Indo-Persian battle helmet dating to pre-1850, which has its gorgeous damascene or gold inlay decorations still very much intact. Helmets like this are hard to find, especially with the gold intact. “This is near museum quality, and since there has been an increase in collectors of Indo-Persian battle armor, we expect strong bidding on this item,” said Fudge.

Fine art includes paintings, etchings, prints and statues. Paintings by American listed artists include Arrival of Spring by Andrew Thomas Schwartz, a landscape by Ernest Parton, a coastal landscape titled Turn of the Tide by Charles B. Vickery, an oil on canvas entitled Ancient Quarter by Frank A. Brown, a landscape by Peter Edward Rudell and an Alaskan scene by Leonard Moore Davis, noted landscape painter, muralist and illustrator with a specialty in Alaskan scenes dating back to the 19th century.

European art enthusiasts will enjoy a 19th-century painting depicting boats on a lake at sunset by British artist James Francis Danby, a watercolor entitled Floral Arrangement by Russian artist, Boris Vassiloff, and two 19th-century oil on panel paintings by Italian Gaetano Mormile, whose works were included in Sotheby’s Old Master and 19th-century European Art Auction. Also of note, is the oil on canvas painting, Standing Nude by Hungarian American portrait artist Pal Fried. Fried is noted for having painted celebrities such as Will Rogers, Marilyn Monroe and the Gabor sisters. In addition to bronze statues by listed artists Madeline LeFabre and Eugene Antoine Aizelin, both French, are cold painted Vienna bronzes by Franz Bergman, which include lizards and an outstanding cobra. Ivory statues include a polychrome ivory woodsman and Oriental lady.

Among the American art pottery will be Roseville including a scarce pink Snowberry vase. However, the highlight of the pottery category is sure to be the Weller jardiniere and pedestal in the Baldin (Apple) pattern, an item can be quite difficult to find.

Sterling silver will cross the block as well, coming from famous silversmiths such as 18th-century George Schofield in the form of a Georgian gadrooned sauce boat bearing a 1789 mark, and 19th- century Holland Aldwinckle & Slater’s glorious repousse two-handled centerpiece bowl, which is one of the finest the auctioneer has seen. Most unusual is the Gustave Keller 950 fine French silver Arts and Crafts version of a veilleuse-theiere, complete with tea strainer in the spout of the individual teapot. The word “veilleuse-theiere” loosely translates to a nightlight teapot. According to An Illustrated Dictionary of Silverware by Harold Newman, 1987″ they were originally made to be used at the bedside to keep food warm for a invalid or an infant, the veileuse was similarly used in the bedroom for keeping warm a beverage for one person.

Collectibles include Hummel, Goebel, Lladro, Royal Doulton and Swarovski figurines. Art glass, brilliant period cut glass, porcelain, clocks, rugs and many other interesting antiques will also be represented in Saturday’s sale.

“We expect a nice in-house crowd, coupled with Internet bidders,” said Fudge. “When you have outstanding, fresh-to-market antiques and collectibles, people will buy no matter what the economy. If the economy is weak, people look harder for a good buy, and let’s face it; we have some unique items in this auction that collectors may never see again. They’ll want to seize the moment.”

For details call 800-542-3877.

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 Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


A rare Southern original, this sugar chest/cellaret on stand dates to 1820-1840. It is walnut with secondary pine. With replaced hardware its estimate is $2,500-$4,500. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

A rare Southern original, this sugar chest/cellaret on stand dates to 1820-1840. It is walnut with secondary pine. With replaced hardware its estimate is $2,500-$4,500. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.


A diamond pendant necklace and matching pierced earrings comprise this stunning Art Deco set in 18K white gold. The estimate is $3,000-$5,000. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

A diamond pendant necklace and matching pierced earrings comprise this stunning Art Deco set in 18K white gold. The estimate is $3,000-$5,000. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.


Nymphs dancing on the shore are the subjects of this oil on canvas by Andrew Thomas Schwartz (American, 1867-1942). ‘Arrival of Spring,’ 24 1/4 inches by 47 3/4 inches, has a $3,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

Nymphs dancing on the shore are the subjects of this oil on canvas by Andrew Thomas Schwartz (American, 1867-1942). ‘Arrival of Spring,’ 24 1/4 inches by 47 3/4 inches, has a $3,000-$4,000 estimate. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.


This signed Bernhardt dining room set with bird’s-eye -maple finish has 11 pieces including a lighted china cabinet and buffet. With a retail value in excess of $8,000, the auction estimate is $2,000-$3,000. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

This signed Bernhardt dining room set with bird’s-eye -maple finish has 11 pieces including a lighted china cabinet and buffet. With a retail value in excess of $8,000, the auction estimate is $2,000-$3,000. Image courtesy Professional Appraisers & Liquidators LLC.

This rare 10-inch cast-iron figure of the deity Guan Yin is from the early Ming Dynasty. It has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

Asian antiques in spotlight at Wichita Auction Gallery Feb. 28

This rare 10-inch cast-iron figure of the deity Guan Yin is from the early Ming Dynasty. It has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

This rare 10-inch cast-iron figure of the deity Guan Yin is from the early Ming Dynasty. It has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

WICHITA, Kan. – A private U.S. collector has provided some of the finest items at Wichita Auction Gallery’s sale Feb. 28. Included is a Yaun/early Ming dynasty cast-iron figure of the deity Guan Yin. The rare and well-cast figure is 10 inches tall and is expected to sell for $6,000-$10,000.

LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

A pair of Famille Rose candlesticks with seal marks of the Qianlong period (1711-1799) feature finely painted lotus blooms on dense scrolling leafy stems on a rich lemon-yellow ground. Each of the 9 3/4-inch sticks has a six-character mark at the base. They are estimated at $10,000-$12,000.

A Qianlong mark is also found on a small Famille Rose bowl, which has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate. The bowl, 6 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches high, is decorated with phoenixes among formal lotus blooms on a rich yellow ground on the exterior and blue ground on the interior.

Estimated at $3,000-$4,000 is a pair of thinly potted Famille Verte month cups with a Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1662-1722).

Leading off the auction, which starts at 9 a.m. Central, is a signed Alexandre Colin (Paris, 1798-1875) oil on canvas portrait of a soldier. The 23 1/4- by 19 1/4-inch painting has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.

From the same collection comes a 19th-century French gilt candelabra, 18 1/2 inches tall, which has a $300-$400 estimate.

For details call 316-269-1111.

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 Wichita Auction Gallery’s complete catalog.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Bidding is expected to reach $300-$400 for this French gilt candelabra, which dates to the first quarter of the 19th century. It is 18 1/2 inches tall. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

Bidding is expected to reach $300-$400 for this French gilt candelabra, which dates to the first quarter of the 19th century. It is 18 1/2 inches tall. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.


Alexandre Colin (Paris, 1798-1875) signed this oil on canvas portrait on the lower right. The 23 1/4- by 19 1/4-inch oil painting has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

Alexandre Colin (Paris, 1798-1875) signed this oil on canvas portrait on the lower right. The 23 1/4- by 19 1/4-inch oil painting has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.


A Qinglong mark is found on this Famille Rose bowl with yellow ground. The bowl is 6 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches high. It has a $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

A Qinglong mark is found on this Famille Rose bowl with yellow ground. The bowl is 6 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches high. It has a $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.


Each of these Famille Rose candlesticks is finely painted with large lotus blooms on dense scrolling leafy stems on a rich lemon-yellow ground. The 9 3/4-inch sticks have a $10,000-$12,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

Each of these Famille Rose candlesticks is finely painted with large lotus blooms on dense scrolling leafy stems on a rich lemon-yellow ground. The 9 3/4-inch sticks have a $10,000-$12,000 estimate. Image courtesy Wichita Auction Gallery.

Tex Avery had departed Warner Bros. 11 years earlier, but his influence was still present in this 1952 one sheet that featured his signature character, Bugs Bunny. Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries and Live Auctioneers Archive.

‘Eh, what’s up doc?’ Bugs Bunny creator Tex Avery still influential

Tex Avery had departed Warner Bros. 11 years earlier, but his influence was still present in this 1952 one sheet that featured his signature character, Bugs Bunny. Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

Tex Avery had departed Warner Bros. 11 years earlier, but his influence was still present in this 1952 one sheet that featured his signature character, Bugs Bunny. Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

DALLAS (AP) – Tex Avery’s cartoons were funny 70 years ago, and they’re still funny today.

Avery created the wisecracking Bugs Bunny and awarded him the signature, “Eh, what’s up, doc?”

He first heard the line at North Dallas High, where he graduated with the Class of 1926. Standing in the cavernous hallways, one can almost hear Roaring ’20s teenagers passing one another during class changes. “Hiya, doc.” “What’s new, doc?” “What’s up, doc?”

Avery, who died of lung cancer in 1980, once told an interviewer that Daffy Duck was born on White Rock Lake in East Dallas, where he and his friends hunted ducks.

Avery’s animated films – that’s what academics call cartoons – are enjoying a renaissance at his alma mater this month. In a narrow, whitewashed hallway between the cafeteria and a computer lab, students are painting color-drenched murals depicting the Avery characters Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, sad-eyed Droopy the dog, and the rest.

“I grew up watching them on Cartoon Network,” said Jesus Martinez, one of the student muralists.

“I like the ones with Foghorn Leghorn and Droopy,” said Noland Sowels, a 17-year-old senior.

Even though Avery created his best cartoons in the 1930s and ’40s, they still appeal to young people today. The reason, probably, is because the stories are fast-paced and infused with satire, irony, sex and violence. Above all, they’re funny.

These cartoons started out among the “short subjects” preceding a feature film at theaters. In the late ’40s, many were resurrected for television. Today, they live in DVD collections and on cable channels.

Walt Disney was the cartoon king of Avery’s era. Think of Mickey Mouse and Goofy or Jiminy Cricket and Snow White. Disney characters were sweet, earnest and without rough edges. Avery and his crew decided to go the other way, creating edgy characters such as Red Hot Riding Hood and the wolf who lusted after her.

“I think he brought Texas attitude to his work,” said Robert Musburger, professor emeritus at the University of Houston and a noted animation historian. “His characters had a certain cockiness get out of my way because I’m always right. Bugs was the epitome of that character.”

And it all started in Dallas.

The student artists are competing in a contest to paint the best mural of Avery’s characters. Winners will be declared later this month. Teachers say incidents of illegal graffiti have decreased recently, because students can use the cartoon contest as an outlet. But the North Dallas teachers who created the mural contest set a bigger goal.

“We want our students to know that great people went to school here, and that there are great people here today,” said Gordon Markley, a business teacher who came up with the idea of using Avery to make that point.

Avery left Dallas after high school and briefly attended an art school in Chicago. But he chafed under the discipline of structured classes. He returned to Dallas and worked odd jobs for several months before moving to Los Angeles.

Tex Avery rendered this artwork for the North Dallas High School yearbook when he was a student there in the ’20s. Avery had penned some cartoons in high school for the yearbook and school newspaper, but they weren’t very good. His attempts to sell a cartoon strip to California newspapers went nowhere.

After a while, he landed a job with Walter Lantz studios, which years later produced the Woody Woodpecker cartoons. But he and Lantz fell out over money, and Avery moved on to Warner Bros. studios, where he worked from 1935 to 1941. As a director, he was responsible for bringing together the whole cartoon the story, the music, the writing and the animation.

Chuck Jones, a fellow director who created the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote series, called Avery “a genius” and credited him with moving cartoons from realism to surrealism, meaning that Bugs could do things like moving a hole in the ground from one place to another so Elmer Fudd could fall into it.

Anything could happen in a Tex Avery cartoon.

“Tex took things to another level,” said Jerry Beck, an animation historian in Los Angeles (cartoonbrew.com). “He is right up there with the greats of comedy like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. And as a director, he is way up there, too.”

Avery was as introspective as he was zany. Later in life, he lamented spending too much time at work and neglecting his wife and two children, one of whom died of a drug overdose in 1972. He later divorced and lived alone in a small apartment. He died in Los Angeles at age 72.

Avery created enduring images that cause people to exclaim, “Oh yeah, I remember that!”

Late in his career, he directed television commercials. One of the most successful was for Raid, the insecticide. A cartoon cockroach’s eyes get wide, he screams “RAID!” and lands dead on his back.

Animation historians credit Avery with inventing the extreme “take” and “double take” that became commonplace in cartoons.

The best example is Wolfie, the amorous rogue who appears in a series of cartoons that lay waste to the Little Red Riding Hood children’s story.

When the wolf first spots the sexy Red Hot Riding Hood, his eyes bug out of his head, and his body becomes horizontally erect in a metaphor that adults understand. It’s called a “take.”

“Tex loved the wild takes,” Beck said. “Every part of a character’s body would fly apart and come back together.”

The Mask, a 1994 Jim Carrey movie that incorporated animation and live action, paid homage to several “Averyisms.” In one scene, the cartoon version of Carrey’s character spots Cameron Diaz in a nightclub. His eyes pop out, his jaw literally drops to the floor, and his tongue unrolls like a fire hose.

The 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? features a cartoon character named Jessica Rabbit, a sexpot with more curves than a mountain road. Red Hot Riding Hood was the inspiration for Jessica, according to animation historians.

In some cases, Avery acknowledged that he had gone too far in creating scabrous characters with sketchy morals and values.

Take the misanthropic Screwy Squirrel, who starred in five Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoons that Avery directed between 1944 and 1946.

The first Screwy Squirrel cartoon opens with cute, cuddly Sammy Squirrel merrily dancing through a pastoral forest setting. Sammy is childlike, with a sweet voice clearly a parody of a Disney character.

Before long, Sammy runs into rough-and-tumble Screwy.

“What kind of a cartoon is this going to be, anyway?” Screwy asks Sammy.

“The story is all about me and my cute little furry friends in the forest,” Sammy answers.

A disgusted Screwy takes Sammy behind a tree, beats him senseless and then takes over the cartoon. For the next seven minutes, Screwy inflicts torment on a not-too-bright dog named Meathead.

“Tex Avery had no patience for the earnest world of the saccharine sweet,” said Kirsten Thompson, an animation historian at Wayne State University in Detroit.

“He wanted to mock it and spoof it.”

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-22-10 1446EST

 

New Orleans contemporary art show postponed until 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The nation’s economic downturn has delayed the return of a citywide art exhibit originally planned to start in November.

Producer Dan Cameron says “2009 was really bad for fund-raising and 2010 didn’t look much better.” So the second Prospect New Orleans show will begin in November 2011 rather than November of this year.

In November, he had said he was scaling back the city’s foray into international contemporary art shows, called Prospect New Orleans.

Prospect.1, which was modeled on international art biennials, was the largest contemporary art exhibit in U.S. history. It also ran overbudget. Cameron says he thinks an extra year of fund-raising will let the second exhibit begin on a firm financial footing.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-23-10 0501EST

 

 

Signed and numbered, this lithograph by Pablo O’Higgins will sell at a Wiederseim Associates auction Feb. 27. The print, which measures 22 by 16 inches, has a $50-$100 estimate. Image coutesy Wiederseim Associates.

Pablo O’Higgins finally gets art show in his home state, Utah

Signed and numbered, this lithograph by Pablo O’Higgins will sell at a Wiederseim Associates auction Feb. 27. The print, which measures 22 by 16 inches, has a $50-$100 estimate. Image coutesy Wiederseim Associates.

Signed and numbered, this lithograph by Pablo O’Higgins will sell at a Wiederseim Associates auction Feb. 27. The print, which measures 22 by 16 inches, has a $50-$100 estimate. Image coutesy Wiederseim Associates.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – An artist who turned his back on Utah at age 20 and forged a colorful career in Mexico – including a stint with famed muralist Diego Rivera – is getting a posthumous show in his native state.

Twenty-eight works by Pablo O’Higgins are now on exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah.

It’s believed to be one of the only solo exhibits ever of O’Higgins’ work in the United States.

Born in 1904 in Salt Lake City as Paul Higgins, he moved to Mexico City in 1924 and according to museum officials, briefly worked as Rivera’s assistant and later changed his name. His art career took off over the ensuing decades, including well-known depictions of Mexico’s working class.

He died in 1983. Most of the works on display at the museum are on loan from private collections in Salt Lake City.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-22-10 1339EST

 

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ADDITIONAL LOT OF NOTE


This untitled painting by Pablo O'Higgins was in a private collection in New Jersey.  The 7 1/2- by 9 1/2-inch oil on canvas painting sold for $1,500 in 2007. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

This untitled painting by Pablo O’Higgins was in a private collection in New Jersey. The 7 1/2- by 9 1/2-inch oil on canvas painting sold for $1,500 in 2007. Image courtesy Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

Herman Miller introduced the ergonomic Aeron chair, designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stempf, in 1994. Image courtesy The Henry Ford.

Henry Ford Museum showcases inspired designs from Herman Miller

Herman Miller introduced the ergonomic Aeron chair, designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stempf, in 1994. Image courtesy The Henry Ford.

Herman Miller introduced the ergonomic Aeron chair, designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stempf, in 1994. Image courtesy The Henry Ford.

DEARBORN, Mich. – Discover the minds and methods behind one of the world’s foremost modern design companies with Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller, on display through April 25 at the Henry Ford Museum. Organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, this traveling exhibit draws upon The Henry Ford’s extensive Herman Miller design collection, most of which has never been viewed by the public.

Featuring drawings, models, prototypes, photographs, oral histories and original designed objects, Good Design showcases the creation and evolution of several masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries by such designers as Gilbert Rohde, Ray and Charles Eames, George Nelson, Alexander Girard, Robert Propst, Steve Frykholm, Don Chadwick, Bill Stempf and others.

Visitors to Henry Ford Museum get an exclusive first glimpse of diverse materials from the design archive of legendary designer and co-creator of the Aeron chair, Bill Stumpf. This impressive collection, featuring prototype chairs, archival sketches and conceptual drawings, was just acquired by The Henry Ford and has never been on public display.

Good Design offers four distinct displays for visitors to obtain a greater understanding of the role of design in today’s world. Through items from The Henry Ford’s collections, such as the Aeron chair, elements from the Action Office Series and the Eames molded plywood lounge chair, each display highlights case studies that identified and met specific needs:

  • Good Design EXPLORES, investigating ergonomics to create healthier seating;
  • Good Design INQUIRES, supporting new kinds of work in the white-collar sector;
  • Good Design ENGAGES, effectively communicating a message through graphic design;
  • Good Design ENDURES, showcasing mid-century design classics to furnish a new type of living space.

The Henry Ford also offers the Inspired Design Lecture Series on Feb. 25, March 25 and April 22.

Henry Ford Museum is open seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and $11 for youth; members and children under five are free.

For details call (313) 982-6001 or visit www.TheHenryFord.org.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


George Nelson designed the Marshmallow Sofa for Herman Miller in 1956. Image courtesy The Henry Ford.

George Nelson designed the Marshmallow Sofa for Herman Miller in 1956. Image courtesy The Henry Ford.

A muddy creek runs through the eroded badlands knows as the Bisti Wilderness in northwest New Mexico. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Bisti Beast confirmed as new species of Tyrannosaur

A muddy creek runs through the eroded badlands knows as the Bisti Wilderness in northwest New Mexico. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

A muddy creek runs through the eroded badlands knows as the Bisti Wilderness in northwest New Mexico. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – The discovery of dinosaur bones in the Bisti Wilderness area in 1998 was a significant find for paleontologists who uncovered what became dubbed the “Bisti Beast.”

But 12 year later, the scientific community isn’t just looking at more dinosaur bones in a museum. Rather, a new species of Tyrannosaur.

The discovery took more than a decade to validate, but paleontologists applaud the find and praise the discovery as another breakthrough in evolutionary science.

The Bisti Beast now has an official name: Bistahieversor sealeyi (pronounced bistah-he-ee-versor see-lee-eye). The skull is more than 1 meter long and the entire dinosaur stood more than 30 meters tall.

“Anytime they find a new species, it opens up a new realm for working with evolution,” said Sherrie Landon, paleontologist coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management Farmington Field Office.

The Bisti Wilderness is plush with other dinosaur, small mammal and reptile fossils, but federal regulations prevent most digs in the area.

“The only way anything’s going to be discovered is if it’s exposed naturally by wind and rain,” said Bill Papich, spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management.

Only walking and hiking are permitted in federally designated wilderness areas, Papich said. Bicycling and other outdoor activities are prohibited, including excavations.

But researchers obtained a special permit to do the dig in the 1990s.

The Bisti Beast roamed the wilderness area 74 million years ago, said Thomas Williamson, curator of paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, where the Tyrannosaur is on display. Scientists believe New Mexico was a tropical forest situated on the edge of an inland sea during the late Cretaceus period, during the time the Bisti Beast roamed the area.

The dinosaur’s closest relative is the Tyrannosaurus Rex, but a shorter snout, among other features, sets the two apart.

“This find helps clarify some of the evolutionary history of Tyrannosaurus,” Williamson said.

The Bisti Beast was one of many varieties of Tyrannosaurus living in western North America 74 million years ago, Williamson said. But 8 million years later, only the Tyrannosaurus Rex remained.

“We don’t know why that is,” Williamson said.

Researchers think the discovery of the Bisti Beast will help bridge the gaps in determining the transition from many species of Tyrannosaurus to just one in an 8-million-year time frame.

“This is a very significant discovery,” said Thomas Carr, assistant professor of biology at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.

Carr was one of the researchers instrumental in determining that the Bisti Beast was a new species.

The discovery could provide researchers the links between a time when many varieties of Tyrannosaurus roamed and only the Tyrannosaurus Rex remained.

“It fits in the family tree right in between two big changes,” Carr said.

To determine a new species can take many years, Landon said. The skeletal remains are examined, then the findings undergo extensive peer review from other paleontologists.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for scientists to have that happen,” Landon said.

Scientists believe the Bisti Wilderness may hold countless other species of dinosaurs, reptiles and mammals.

Mammals previously found in the area are critical to the fossil record because they are some of the earliest known species.

“It’s really a big deal in the scientific world,” Landon said.

___

Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-21-10 1454EST

A photographic image from the book ‘Mother and Child’ shows Tasha Tudor dressing a youngster. Image courtesy Bloomsbury and Live Auctioneers Archive.

Storybook world of Tasha Tudor takes a bad turn

A photographic image from the book ‘Mother and Child’ shows Tasha Tudor dressing a youngster. Image courtesy Bloomsbury and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

A photographic image from the book ‘Mother and Child’ shows Tasha Tudor dressing a youngster. Image courtesy Bloomsbury and LiveAuctioneers Archive.

MARLBORO, Vt. (AP) – When author Tasha Tudor’s ashes were finally buried, it wasn’t in one place. Her bickering survivors couldn’t agree on when, where and how, so a judge ordered her cremated remains divided in half.

On Oct. 17, sons Seth Tudor and Thomas Tudor and daughters Bethany Tudor and Efner Tudor Holmes buried some under a rosebush she loved in her garden and the rest on Seth’s neighboring property, where her precious Pembroke Welsh corgi dogs were already buried.

“(Seth) got the ashes, we went outside and he gave us half the ashes and he went down to his property and scattered or buried the ashes there and we scattered ours,” said Thomas Tudor, 64.

Call it the war of the Tudors: Almost two years after the famed children’s book author and illustrator died at 92, a battle over her $2 million estate rages on – pitting sibling against sibling, blasting through her assets with Probate Court litigation and sullying the eccentric artist’s name.

At issue: family grievances old and new, including whether Tudor was unduly influenced when she rewrote her will to give nearly everything to Seth Tudor, 67, her older son.

Beginning with Pumpkin Moonshine in 1938, Tudor earned fame for the delicately drawn images and watercolors illustrating Little Women, The Secret Garden and dozens of other children’s books and for her own Corgiville Fair and The Great Corgiville Kidnapping.

Her works celebrated holidays, family and her love for children, a back-to-basics lifestyle and the sturdy little dogs she loved so much.

Tudor, who was fond of saying she wished she’d been born in 1830, lived much of her life as if she had been.

A calico-clad throwback, she went barefoot, spun flax into linen for her own clothing, raised Nubian goats for their milk and lived in a replica of a late 18th-century New England farmhouse.

Born to Boston Brahmins, Tudor quit school after eighth grade, married twice and raised her children, part of the time as a single mother. Royalties from her illustrated edition of Mother Goose helped her buy a rambling, 17-room Webster, N.H. farmhouse, where the family lived with no television, no radio and – for years – no electricity.

“I remember strongly disliking the solitude and being different from other people, wanting to play with neighborhood children,” said Thomas Tudor, now a U.S. Air force lawyer living in Fairfax Station, Va.

“I didn’t like wearing homespun clothes or getting my hair cut by my father. But we certainly communed with nature. We’d go down to the river and float cakes down on little rafts at nighttime, with candles burning on them.”

All four children went to boarding schools; Tudor didn’t trust public schools.

Tudor lived in a fantasy world, said Holmes, 61, who broke off communications with her mother in 1996.

“It’s fine when you’re a child and you have the doll parties and her marionette shows and all the wonderful fantasy things she did. My friends envied me,” said Holmes, who lives in Contoocook, N.H. “But when you grow up and you have a parent who absolutely refuses to talk to you about real-life issues, it’s a problem.”

Family and simplicity were at the heart of the Tudor name. Fans all over the world – especially in Japan and Korea – bought her books and later visited her Web site; the ardent ones took $165-per-person tours of her Vermont homestead, which her sons built by hand in the 1970s.

But the estate fight has torn at the homespun fabric of her image since her June 18, 2008, death from complications of a stroke.

Tudor’s 2001 will asked that she be buried with her predeceased dogs and the ashes of her pet rooster Chickahominy, should he die before her. It left the bulk of her estate to Seth Tudor, of Marlboro, and his son, Winslow Tudor; it left $1,000 each to the two daughters and only an antique highboy to Thomas Tudor – because of their “estrangement” from her.

Her collection of 19th-century clothing went to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Officials there declined comment for this article; Seth Tudor’s lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Thomas Tudor is challenging the validity of the will, saying his brother wielded undue influence over their mother, causing her to cut them out of an earlier version. In Probate Court filings, Seth Tudor denies it.

Now, attorneys for the brothers are wrangling about the extent of Tudor’s assets, fighting over even the smallest details, including who was responsible for a $140 snowplowing bill for the narrow, unpaved road that leads to the Tudor compound, where Seth Tudor and his family still live.

Meanwhile, Bethany Tudor, who says her mother promised her the royalties to her books once she died, wonders whether she’ll ever see anything. She lives alone in a mobile home in neighboring Brattleboro, relying on food stamps to get by as she awaits word on whether she qualifies for low-income housing.

She’d been estranged from her mother since 2000, when she sold an unpublished Tudor book called Hitty’s Almanac, which her mother had given her when she was 16. Bethany Tudor, who has one daughter, calls her mother a two-faced eccentric who ignored advice to put her assets into a four-way trust for her heirs.

“Of course I’m angry at her,” Bethany Tudor said. “But what can I do? No sense in making yourself sick over it. I don’t even think about it anymore, it’s so outrageous. A kind, loving mother wouldn’t let that happen.”

Thomas Tudor, who has five children, says he was anything but estranged, keeping in close touch with his mother until her death. He accuses his brother of hatching a plan 10 years ago to disinherit him.

Next, the court will schedule a deposition for the author’s friend Amelia Stauffer, of Ada, Ohio, who lawyers believe might shed light on her intent in writing the will. As it stands now, the case is headed for trial.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-CS-02-22-10 0640EST

This example of Action Comics No. 1 featuring the first appearance of Superman sold for $1 million in a private transaction brokered by ComicConnect.com on Feb. 22, 2010. Image courtesy ComicConnect.com.

Comic book featuring Superman’s debut sells for $1M

This example of Action Comics No. 1 featuring the first appearance of Superman sold for $1 million in a private transaction brokered by ComicConnect.com on Feb. 22, 2010. Image courtesy ComicConnect.com.

This example of Action Comics No. 1 featuring the first appearance of Superman sold for $1 million in a private transaction brokered by ComicConnect.com on Feb. 22, 2010. Image courtesy ComicConnect.com.

NEW YORK (AP) – A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book.

A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold from a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.

The transaction was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com. Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale.

Fishler said it transpired minutes after the issue was put on sale at around 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. He said that the seller was a “well known individual” in New York with a pedigree collection, and that the buyer was a known customer who previously bought an Action Comics No. 1 of lesser grade.

“It’s considered by most people as the most important book,” said John Dolmayan, a comic book enthusiast and dealer best known as the drummer for System of a Down. “It kind of ushered in the age of the superheroes.”

Dolmayan, who owns Torpedo Comics, last year paid $317,000 for an Action Comics No. 1 issue for a client. Others have sold for more than $400,000, he said, but this copy fetched a much higher price because it’s in better condition. It’s rated an “8.0 grade,” or “very fine.”

Dolmayan said he didn’t buy this copy but he wishes he could have.

“The fact that this book is completely un-restored and still has an 8.0 grade, it’s kind of like a diamond or a precious stone. It’s very rare,” he said.

There are only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence, and only a handful have been rated so highly. It’s rarer still for those copies to be made available for sale.

“The opportunity to buy an unrestored, high-grade Action One comes along once every two decades,” Fishler said. “It’s certainly a milestone.”

The sticker shock was astounding to Fishler, nevertheless.

“It is still a little stunning to see ‘a comic book’ and ‘$1 million’ in the same sentence,” Fishler said. “There’s only one time a collectible hits the $1 million threshold.”

———

AP Music Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.