Darin Lawson becomes owner, president of Wickliff Auctioneers

Darin Lawson, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.
Darin Lawson, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.
Darin Lawson, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

CARMEL, Ind. – Darin Lawson is the new owner and president of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

An ownership buyout that began four years ago has culminated in a seamless transfer of all shares of company stock to Lawson, who for the past six years has been vice president and senior auctioneer.

Sue Wickliff, who founded the company in 1989, remains on the board as chair emeritus, and beginning in 2011, will be a full-time employee, continuing in the daily operations of the enterprise. Darin’s wife Angie, is auction administrator – managing inventory, consulting with clients and supporting seller settlement.

“Angie and I are pleased to continue the tradition of service for which Wickliff Auctioneers has become known,” said Lawson. “The words in our company logo, ‘expertise, quality and integrity,’ aren’t just a slogan for us, and we’re mindful of the foundation that was laid for this company based on that mantra. We are charged to continue to operate with the same attention to detail and quality upon which the company’s reputation has been created.”

Sue Wickliff has continued in certain roles with the company during the transition, including client consultations and working at the auctions.

“I am enthusiastic to return to the auction business in a full-time position,” said Sue Wickliff, “and continue to utilize the expertise I have gained in a vocation that has been my passion for many years.”

Lawson acknowledges that the current economic situation, combined with changing buyer tastes and demographics, has created some challenges along the way, but says that the company is meeting those challenges head-on. “This company has always been a leader in the auction community, and we’re always thinking of effective, new ideas and changes that will meet the needs of both buyers and sellers,” he said.

Lawson points to Wickliff’s recent first-ever, Friday evening auction of fine art, stating that the response was very positive, resulting in a large crowd at the gallery, including many new faces, and a record number of bidders-per-lot online registrations. “We’ll still have auctions on Saturdays, of course, but for certain specialty auctions, attracting as many buyers as possible and reducing their options for alternate activities are motivation for changing the Saturday model on occasion.”

The company’s international reputation is now more established, based on their increasing sales of items to bidders worldwide over the last two years. Lawson says antiques and art have been sold to buyers in such places as Russia, England, Spain, Taiwan, China, Canada, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

“We’re seeing more and more aggressive international bidding on certain items, particularly if the item is indigenous to that area,” he said, noting that a recent painting by an Italian artist had bidding from two, competing Italian bidders, one of whom eventually won the item.

Previously of Columbus, Ind., Lawson has been working with Wickliff since 1996, and relocated to Carmel, an Indianapolis suburb, in 2004. Lawson has a B.S. in journalism from Ball State University, and is a second-generation auctioneer who has been licensed since 1989. Prior to his full-time position at Wickliff, he conducted auctions for individuals, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies across the United States and in Europe. In addition to operations at Wickliff, Lawson consults with charitable organizations, and conducts live auctions for high-profile fund-raising events, primarily in central Indiana.

Wickliff Auctioneers specializes in the sale of fine art and fine jewelry at auction, conducting cataloged sessions that include decorative arts, period and period-style antiques, fine contemporary furnishings and more at their Carmel gallery, located at 12232 Hancock St.

Auction items can be previewed online well in advance of the auction events, and the entire catalog is broadcast live via www.liveauctioneers.com for remote, online bidding. More information about upcoming auctions and information on buying or selling at auction, is available by visiting www.wickliffauctioneers.com or by calling 317-844-7253.

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Sue Wickliff, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.
Sue Wickliff, image courtesy of Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers Inc.

Detroit Institute of Arts gets $440,000 in grants

DETROIT (AP) – The Detroit Institute of Arts is getting about $440,000 to help pay for improvements to its American Wing galleries and support a future exhibition of works by the American artist Frederic Edwin Church.

The museum says it recently was awarded $190,000 for repair and maintenance of the American Wing galleries from The Henry Luce Foundation. It also is getting $250,000 from the Terra Foundation for American Art for the Church exhibition.

Museum Director Graham W.J. Beal says in a statement that the grants come “during a difficult economic time.”

The Henry Luce Foundation grant mostly will be used to support replacement of the DIA’s perimeter heating system in the American Wing. The museum began work on the project in June and completed it earlier this month.

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Online: Detroit Institute of Arts: http://www.dia.org

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

AP-CS-10-27-10 0400EDT

 

Oregon Historical Society faces grim future

Logo of the Oregon Historical Society. Fair use of low-resolution image.
Logo of the Oregon Historical Society. Fair use of low-resolution image.
Logo of the Oregon Historical Society. Fair use of low-resolution image.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon is in danger of losing its history.

When Oregonians want to touch a covered wagon from the Oregon Trail, see an exquisite Native American basket or look at a photograph taken decades ago that puts them face to face with the state’s wild and woolly history, there’s one place to go: the Oregon Historical Society. But this 111-year-old caretaker of Oregon’s past might not have a future.

Executive Director George Vogt says the society will tear through its dwindling cash reserves by the end of 2011. That, he says, is why the society is asking Multnomah County residents to rescue it through a proposed five-year levy.

While no one interviewed disputes the society’s value to the state or the importance of documenting Oregon history for future generations, many question how the society has used its money – for example, the society has paid a lobbyist $77,000 since 2008 – when individuals, businesses, nonprofits and other state programs have to live with less.

Though it serves and covers the entire state, Vogt says the society is asking Multnomah County residents to pay for the levy because the society’s library and museum facility is downtown and most people who use it are Portlanders. If it passes, the levy will tax county residents a nickel per $1,000 of assessed valued. For a $200,000 home, that means $10 a year.

Vogt, who became director in late 2006, says the financial problems predate his tenure. But the tension, he says, is simple: The state has broken its commitment based on a 1979 Oregon statute to fund the society, whose website claims a 78 percent loss in state support.

“When I came here, we got lucky,” Vogt says, about funding levels after he arrived. “But who could predict the economy falling off the cliff? It’s been a confluence of accidents and best hopes and wishes of the board and our dogged determination to try to provide the state with the best we could give.”

While the statute doesn’t offer specific requirements of state support or caveats for a recession, an examination of state appropriations since the society’s founding in 1898 reveals the state has consistently funded the society. In the past 20 years, the society has averaged $510,109 a year in state appropriations, or about 14 percent of its current $3.7 million budget. This year, it received $492,000, about 13 percent of its budget.

Other figures and records indicate Gov. Ted Kulongoski has been an aggressive champion of the society, even during recessions. In the 2007-08 biennium, the society received $2.8 million, its largest state appropriation ever. In the 2009-10 biennium, it was awarded $625,000, a huge drop from the previous biennium but still the largest award from the state to any arts, culture or heritage program in the two recession-strapped years.

All told, the $3.4 million given to the society for those four years amounts to 27 percent of all state funding to arts, culture and heritage programs for that period. The figures don’t include separate donations from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the city of Portland.

Vogt argues the figures are deceptive. He says Oregon compares unfavorably with other states in terms of funding its heritage institution. Moreover, from 2003-06, the society received nothing from the state because of another recession, neutralizing the gains of subsequent years and forcing layoffs and budget cuts that have gutted staff and programs.

Financial documents provided by the society and other sources back up the claim that it is in crisis mode. The society’s $3.7 million budget is down from $7 million for 2005.

But many wonder why the society was reeling on the financial ropes in the first place.

Separate reviews of the society’s finances were conducted this year by the offices of Secretary of State Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Sam Adams, and the American Association of Museums conducted a re-accreditation assessment. The reports examined financial and other aspects of the institution. While the tone and specificity of the reviews varied, each had the same conclusion: The society needs to create long-term strategic and budgeting models that address changes in state funding.

The reviews by the city and state agencies likely won’t affect the society — they’re not audits — but the association’s review could have consequences. The association sets standards of good practices in the museum world, and because the society hasn’t developed “an adequate overall institutional plan that will help address the museum’s financial reality,” the association deferred the society’s re-accreditation until it solves the current crisis.

“The past decade has been a downward spiral of eliminating programs to the point where we’ve lost almost all of our intellectual capital,” says board member Jackie Peterson. “And we have to get it back.”

“The state doesn’t have funding,” says Chet Orloff, the society’s director from 1991-2001. “Where do you come up with it? That’s when you have to get creative.”

Brown’s review also noted that by 2015, the society will have a $2.6 million balloon mortgage payment due on its Gresham property, where it stores most of its collection. It’s not clear how the society will make that payment.

“It’s easy, retrospectively, to say we should have done this or that,” says Vogt, who will earn $164,800 this year and received a $16,000 bonus in 2008. “But, realistically, in 2003, the board felt that the zero funding from the state wouldn’t last. And that, in 2005, funding would come back. That didn’t happen.”

Vogt says that’s why the society has spent so much time chasing public-funding sources, including the proposed levy, and why the society hired its own lobbyist more than two years ago. Since September 2008, the society has used money from its budget to pay Mark Nelson $3,500 a month for each of the 22 months he lobbied for the society. Nelson, who previously campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry, is currently not working on the levy campaign or any other project for the society.

Still, hiring Nelson was an unusual step for a cash-strapped institution, especially since Oregon cultural institutions, including the society, already are represented by a lobbying group in Salem, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition.

To run the campaign for the proposed levy, the society formed a separate political action committee and hired political consultant Liz Kaufman to run it. The campaign is expected to cost a few hundred thousand dollars, Vogt says, and is being funded by contributions, like all political campaigns.

Vogt says it’s not clear what voters will do on Nov. 2. But if the levy is successful, Vogt believes Oregonians will be rewarded – the extra money will be used to expand core services, including service hours at a library that has been an invaluable resource to scholars and curious history lovers.

Should the levy fail, Vogt says, the society likely will begin a phased shutdown. Very few options are left, he says, even with $20 million in assets, including outright ownership of an entire block on the South Park Blocks.

“We can’t continue with business as usual beyond 2011,” Vogt says.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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

 

Michigan’s Meijer Gardens’ attendance, membership at new high

View of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo by William J. Hebert.
View of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo by William J. Hebert.
View of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo by William J. Hebert.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is reporting all-time high attendance and membership during the year of its 15th anniversary.

The Grand Rapids attraction said Wednesday that it attracted a record 643,031 visitors during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The park says its members membership base grew to a record 20,653 households.

The 132-acre Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park says the number of visitors is 17 percent higher than its previous best year of 2005. It says attendance previously has averaged about 500,000 visitors annually.

Meijer Gardens in May celebrated reaching the 6 million visitor mark. It previously had about 17,000 member households.

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Online: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: http://www.meijergardens.org

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

AP-CS-10-27-10 0001EDT

 

New Orleans luxury railcars likely to be sold

Observation room of the Abraham Lincoln Pullman car. Photograph owned and provided by Curtis Andrews. Licensed under the Creative commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.
Observation room of the Abraham Lincoln Pullman car. Photograph owned and provided by Curtis Andrews. Licensed under the Creative commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.
Observation room of the Abraham Lincoln Pullman car. Photograph owned and provided by Curtis Andrews. Licensed under the Creative commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The vintage Pullman cars that have emerged as a symbol of runaway spending at the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad appear to be headed for the auction block.

The Times-Picayune reports a decision to solicit bids for the three antique railcars could come as early as Thursday when a new slate of Public Belt commissioners appointed recently by Mayor Mitch Landrieu meets for the second time.

The board’s new finance committee, which convened for the first time Tuesday, will recommend that the full commission seek buyers for the cars, which were acquired and restored by former General Manager James Bridger.

Bridger, whose freewheeling spending habits were the focus of a scathing report by the state legislative auditor, resigned under pressure last month.

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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-10-27-10 1041EDT

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Exterior view of the first Pullman sleeping car, second half of 19th century. Photographer unknown.
Exterior view of the first Pullman sleeping car, second half of 19th century. Photographer unknown.
Pullman kitchen car "Sappho, " photo from Birmingham City Archives (Metro Cammell Collection Album 108 Folio 23).
Pullman kitchen car "Sappho," photo from Birmingham City Archives (Metro Cammell Collection Album 108 Folio 23).

FBI takes forged Wyeth painting from auction house

WILMINGTON, Delaware (AP) – The FBI says it has seized a forgery of Andrew Wyeth’s painting Snow Birds from a New York auction house.

The fake painting, seized in July, had been for sale at the unidentified auction house, and had been estimated to be worth between $300,000 and $500,000. However, before an auction took place, questions arose concerning its authenticity. An expert at the Andrew Wyeth office at the Brandywine River Museum identified it as a forgery.

The person selling the art agreed to forfeit his interest in the painting.

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

AP-CS-10-26-10 1552EDT

 

Premiere Props produces annual horror film auction Oct. 30

‘Psycho’ – From Chris Kattan's personal collection, an original Alfred Hitchcock ‘Psycho’ movie poster framed in a black wood and glass frame and individually numbered 60/219 (approx. 36 1/4 inches x 14 1/2 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.

‘Psycho’ – From Chris Kattan's personal collection, an original Alfred Hitchcock ‘Psycho’ movie poster framed in a black wood and glass frame and individually numbered 60/219 (approx. 36 1/4 inches x 14 1/2 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Psycho’ – From Chris Kattan’s personal collection, an original Alfred Hitchcock ‘Psycho’ movie poster framed in a black wood and glass frame and individually numbered 60/219 (approx. 36 1/4 inches x 14 1/2 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Premiere Props is showcasing over 500 never-before-seen Halloween and horror props with Fangoria Entertainment as part of Fangoria’s annual Horror Movie Prop and Costume Live Auction on Saturday, Oct. 30. The sale will be conducted at Premiere Props’ warehouse beginning at 11 a.m. Pacific. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.

Fangoria’s annual Horror Movie Prop and Costume Live Auction features iconic items from some of Hollywood’s scariest films. Horror fans will jump at the chance to own Freddy Krueger’s ripped and blood-stained sweater from Friday the 13th or an original paper mask seen onscreen in Michael Myers’ hospital room from Rob Zombie’s Halloween. Additional horror memorabilia includes Michael Myers’ bat from Halloween II, the wooden bat used by horror legend Eli Roth in Inglourious Basterds, a large wooden cross from Exorcist: The Beginning and screen-used props from Saw III, including severed limbs and autographed boots from star Shawnee Smith. Hero costumes and props from Summit Entertainment’s Red (based on the Marvel comic book) including hatchets, the Red manila folder, rubber knives, the hero detonator pen and costumes worn by stars Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Bruce Willis will be on the auction block. Other props and costumes available come from Hollywood’s new classics, such as Sleepy Hollow, Devil, Red Dragon, Resident Evil, Afterlife, Sorority Row, My Bloody Valentine and more.

To scare up the Halloween feeling, the Premiere Props warehouse will be decorated in full fright mode, with a shopping spree to Robinson Beautilities in Los Angles awarded to a fan attending in the best costume. Horror celebrities will stop by the Premiere Props warehouse throughout the auction for special Q&A sessions.

“The Internet’s biggest sites and influencers have all come together to support this annual auction,” said Dan Levin, executive vice president of marketing for Premiere Props.

The live auction takes place on Saturday, October 30, at Premiere Props’ warehouse, 128 Sierra St., El Segundo, CA 90245. There will be a preview from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific, before the auction starts at 11 a.m. Fangoria’s annual Horror Movie Prop and Costume Live Auction will be hosted by Leo Quinones from The Film Freak Movie Talk Show on KFWB NewsTalk 980AM Los Angeles and can be seen on Premiere Props’ three-camera live broadcast show online.

Fangoria’s annual Horror Movie Prop and Costume Live Auction will feature movie collectibles, props and costumes from the following:

  • Nightmare on Elm Street: Part 5: Freddy Krueger’s (Robert Englund) screen-worn, red and green half sweater, box framed in a metal six-side frame with three screen shots of Freddy and name plate.
  • Exorcist: The Beginning: Worn wooden cross-like design with painted stonses.
  • Saw III: Amanda’s (Shawnee Smith) black leather zip-up “Fahoes” boot, autographed by “Shawnee Smith Saw III” in black Sharpee.
  • Saw III: Bloody head wound piece used in Saw III framed with the Certificate of Authenticity, picture from the scene, SAW III logo, and Head Wound in a brown with glass box frame.
  • Saw III: Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) manila envelope given to Amanda during the Re-Birth scene, framed in a black metal with glass frame with a Certificate of Authenticity, screen shot, and film cell.
  • Saw III: Tim the Rackman’s (Mpho Koaho) screen-used, hero, prosthetic left leg with bone sticking out, framed in a black wood frame with the glass removed on the front, screen shot from the film, title plate, and Certificate of Authenticity.
  • Halloween II: Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) screen-used, hero, beat up metal baseball bat with dirty tape at the handle.
  • Halloween II: Laurie Strode’s (Scout Taylor-Compton) screen-used clear orange plastic with white plastic lid pill bottle and orange and white fake capsules inside.
  • Inglourious Basterds: Rusted silver metal ax with smooth thick wooden handle and thick blade with sharp edge.
  • Inglourious Basterds: Sgt. Donny Donowitz’s (Eli Roth) screen-used, hero, bloody, rubber and foam with wood insert, worn light brown wood “Hutton & Aldrich Co. Hard Knox, 100% Genuine Sugar Maple, Made In The USA Knoxville, TN” baseball bat broken in parts of the barrel with blood.
  • Piranha 3D: Sheriff Julie Forester’s (Elisabeth Shue) screen-worn, hero, bloody sheriff costume, includes shirt, tank, pants and wardrobe tag.
  • Piranha 3D: Matt Boyd’s (Richard Dreyfuss) screen-used, hero, slightly bloody, wood oar.
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife: Alice’s (Milla Jovovich) Hero, bloody silver-painted wooden dummy katana.
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife: Claire Redfield’s (Ali Larter) screen-worn, hero, dirty from production, black and green nylon, metal clip in the front, pocket in the back, “Blackhawk” tactical belt with attached gun holster with two leg straps with clips in the front.
  • Sleepy Hollow: Hessian Horseman’s (Christopher Walken) screen-used, hero, brown and black hard rubber right handed ax.
  • My Bloody Valentine: Murdered nurse’s screen worn, bloody and ripped white short sleeve “Landau” nurses uniform and white “The Body Company” nurses shoes.
  • Sorority Row: Mrs. Crenshaw’s (Carrie Fisher) screen-used, hero, brown wood cane with gold wood pigeon on the top.
  • Sorority Row: Ellie Morris’ (Rumer Willis) screen-used, hero, brown wood makeshift weapon.
  • Sorority Row: Bloody white, brown and red wool large “Blood-Soaked Ground Blanket” with tassels.
  • Devil: Black with white and red “Devil” logo on one side and red “M. Night Shyamalan” chair back.
  • Scary Movie 4: Cindy’s (Anna Faris) screen used, stainless steel scalpel.

Premiere Props is the leading marketing memorabilia company to market, authenticate, package, and distribute exclusive movie memorabilia. Since 2001, Premiere Props has represented over 300 movies. Premiere Props works with some of the largest motion picture studios and independent distributors in the world, such as Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax, MGM, The Weinstein Company, Sony Screen Gems, Lionsgate, TriStar, Spyglass Entertainment, Summit Entertainment, Alcon and many more.

Fangoria sliced its way onto the scene in 1979, becoming the only national publication devoted to the modern horror genre. Three decades later, Fangoria is still the number one authority on all things scary. Fangoria provides the best in horror entertainment and news coverage including the website, magazine, comic book division, convention circuit, and TV On-Demand Channel.

For details visit Premiere Props’ website: www.premiereprops.com or call 310-322-7767.

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.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


‘Dracula’ (1931) – From Chris Kattan's personal collection, photo of Count Dracula with an autograph of Bela Lugosi on an index card, framed and matted, (approx. 17 3/4 inches x 13 1/4 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Dracula’ (1931) – From Chris Kattan’s personal collection, photo of Count Dracula with an autograph of Bela Lugosi on an index card, framed and matted, (approx. 17 3/4 inches x 13 1/4 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Frankenstein’ (1931) – From Chris Kattan's personal collection, this is a photo of The Monster in ‘Frankenstein,’ with the autograph of Boris Karloff (The Monster) on a index card, framed and matted, (approx. 18 1/2 inches x 14 3/4 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Frankenstein’ (1931) – From Chris Kattan’s personal collection, this is a photo of The Monster in ‘Frankenstein,’ with the autograph of Boris Karloff (The Monster) on a index card, framed and matted, (approx. 18 1/2 inches x 14 3/4 inches). Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Batman’ – From Chris Kattan's personal collection this is a ‘Batman’ logo picture signed by the cast including Michael Keaton (Batman), (approx. 14 inches x 12 inches). Estimate: $800-$1,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Batman’ – From Chris Kattan’s personal collection this is a ‘Batman’ logo picture signed by the cast including Michael Keaton (Batman), (approx. 14 inches x 12 inches). Estimate: $800-$1,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Batman’ (1989) – This is Batman's (Michael Keaton) jumpsuit worn under armored costume, custom made  by ‘Phil Reynolds Costumes,’ ‘Name: Michael K. and Character: Batman’ is handwritten on the inside tag. Estimate: $800-$1,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.
‘Batman’ (1989) – This is Batman’s (Michael Keaton) jumpsuit worn under armored costume, custom made by ‘Phil Reynolds Costumes,’ ‘Name: Michael K. and Character: Batman’ is handwritten on the inside tag. Estimate: $800-$1,000. Photo copyright Premiere Props.