Art Institute of Chicago offers its first mobile app

CHICAGO (AP) – The Art Institute of Chicago is releasing its first mobile app, created to showcase its famous permanent collection of French Impressionist and Postimpressionist paintings.

The Art Institute holds one of the most important collections of 19th-century French art in the world. The museum is now making the images – and accompanying audio and visual learning tools _ available globally through a partnership with Toura, a leading mobile application platform provider.

The Art Institute’s French Impressionism App is available across multiple mobile platforms, including iPhone/iPod Touch, Android and an HD version available for the iPad.

Its initial price – for only two weeks – will be $1.99.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-09-30-10 0704EDT

Circa-1960 movie studio publicity photo of Tony Curtis with then-wife Janet Leigh.

Actor, artist Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas-area home

Circa-1960 movie studio publicity photo of Tony Curtis with then-wife Janet Leigh.

Circa-1960 movie studio publicity photo of Tony Curtis with then-wife Janet Leigh.

HENDERSON, Nev. — Tony Curtis shaped himself from a 1950s movie heartthrob into a respected actor, showing a determined streak that served him well in such films as “Sweet Smell of Success,” “The Defiant Ones” and “Some Like It Hot.”

The Oscar-nominated actor died Wednesday evening of cardiac arrest at home in the Las Vegas-area city of Henderson, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said Thursday. He was 85.

“He died peacefully here, surrounded by those who love him and have been caring for him,” his wife, Jill Curtis, told The Associated Press outside their home. “All Tony ever wanted to be was a movie star. He didn’t want to be the most dramatic actor. He wanted to be a movie star, ever since he was a little kid.”

Curtis began acting in frivolous movies that exploited his handsome physique and appealing personality then steadily moved to more substantial roles, starting in 1957 in the harrowing show business tale, “Sweet Smell of Success.”

In 1958, “The Defiant Ones” brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist who escaped from prison handcuffed to a black man played by Sidney Poitier.

The following year, Curtis donned women’s clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot.”

“He was a fine actor … I shall miss him,” said British actor Roger Moore, who starred alongside Curtis in TV’s “The Persuaders.”

“He was great fun to work with, a great sense of humor and wonderful ad libs,” Moore told Sky News. “We had the best of times.”

Curtis’ first wife was actress Janet Leigh of “Psycho” fame; actress Jamie Lee Curtis is their daughter.

“My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages,” Jamie Lee Curtis said in a statement. “He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world.”

Curtis struggled against drug and alcohol abuse as starring roles became fewer then bounced back in film and television as a character actor.

His brash optimism returned, and he allowed his once-shiny black hair to turn silver.

Again he came back after even those opportunities began to wane, reinventing himself as a writer and painter whose canvasses sold for as much as $20,000.

“I’m not ready to settle down like an elderly Jewish gentleman, sitting on a bench and leaning on a cane,” he said at 60. “I’ve got a helluva lot of living to do.”

Actress and activist Marlo Thomas said she was saddened that Curtis’ death so closely followed the Sept. 22 death in Berkeley, Calif., of Eddie Fisher, a superstar singer of the 1950s.

“Tony Curtis and Eddie Fisher in the same week. It’s very sad,” said Thomas, who starred in the late-1960s sitcom “That Girl” and won Emmy, Golden Globe, Grammy and Peabody awards.

“He was funny, so very funny, very talented and a great spirit,” Thomas said of Curtis. “I found him to be a darling guy.”

Curtis perfected his craft in forgettable films such as “Francis,” “I Was a Shoplifter,” “No Room for the Groom” and “Son of Ali Baba.”

He first attracted critical notice as Sidney Falco, a press agent seeking favor with a sadistic columnist, played by Burt Lancaster, in the 1957 classic “Sweet Smell of Success.”

In her book “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” film critic Pauline Kael wrote that in the film, “Curtis grew up into an actor and gave the best performance of his career.”

Other prestigious films followed: Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus,” “The Vikings,” “Kings Go Forth,” “Operation Petticoat” and “Some Like It Hot.” He also found time to do a voice acting gig as his prehistoric lookalike, Stony Curtis, in an episode of “The Flintstones.”

“The Defiant Ones” remained his only Oscar-nominated role.

“I think it has nothing to do with good performances or bad performances,” he told The Washington Post in 2002. “After the number of movies I made where I thought there should be some acknowledgment, there was nothing from the Academy.

“My happiness and privilege is that my audience around the world is supportive of me, so I don’t need the Academy.”

In 2000, an American Film Institute survey of the funniest films in history ranked “Some Like It Hot” at No. 1. Curtis — famously imitating Cary Grant’s accent — and Jack Lemmon play jazz musicians who dress up as women to escape retribution after witnessing a gangland massacre.

Monroe was their co-star, and Curtis and Lemmon were repeatedly kept waiting as Monroe lingered in her dressing room out of fear and insecurity. Curtis fumed over her unprofessionalism.

When someone once remarked that it must be thrilling to kiss Monroe in the film’s love scenes, the actor snapped, “It’s like kissing Hitler.” In later years, his opinion of Monroe softened, and in interviews he praised her unique talent.

In 2002, Curtis toured in “Some Like It Hot” — a revised and retitled version of the 1972 Broadway musical “Sugar,” which was based on the film. In the touring show, the actor graduated to the role of Osgood Fielding III, the part played in the movie by Joe E. Brown.

After his star faded in the late 1960s, Curtis shifted to lesser roles. With jobs harder to find, he fell into drug and alcohol addiction.

“From 22 to about 37, I was lucky,” Curtis told Interview magazine in the 1980s. “But by the middle ’60s, I wasn’t getting the kind of parts I wanted, and it kind of soured me. … But I had to go through the drug inundation before I was able to come to grips with it and realize that it had nothing to do with me, that people weren’t picking on me.”

He recovered in the early ’80s after a 30-day treatment at the Betty Ford Center.

“Mine was a textbook case,” he said in a 1985 interview. “My life had become unmanageable because of booze and dope. Work became a strain and a struggle. Because I didn’t want to face the challenge, I simply made myself unavailable.”

One role during that era of struggle did bring him an Emmy nomination: his portrayal of David O. Selznick in the TV movie “The Scarlett O’Hara War,” in 1980.

He remained vigorous following heart bypass surgery in 1994, although his health had declined in recent years.

“Definitely, I still watch his movies,” said Roxanne Shannon, a neighbor of Curtis in the suburban golf course development about 11 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. “What a handsome man, oh my God, and a great actor.”

Jill Curtis, his sixth wife, said Curtis had been hospitalized several times in recent weeks for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung problems she blamed on smoking 30 years ago. She said he recently returned home, where died in his sleep.

“His heart survived things that Tony would always say would kill an ordinary man,” she said. “This time, his heart was ready to go and ready to be at peace.”

Curtis took a fatherly pride in daughter Jamie’s success. They were estranged for a long period, then reconciled. “I understand him better now,” she said, “perhaps not as a father but as a man.”

He also had five other children. Daughters Kelly, also with Leigh, and Allegra, with second wife Christine Kaufmann, also became actresses. His other wives were Leslie Allen, Andrea Savio, Lisa Deutsch and Jill VandenBerg, whom he married in 1998.

Jill Curtis, 40, operates Shiloh Horse Rescue, a nonprofit refuge for abused and neglected horses. She said she planned to make arrangements for a public memorial.

Tony Curtis married Janet Leigh in 1951, when they were both rising young stars. They divorced in 1963.

“Tony and I had a wonderful time together; it was an exciting, glamorous period in Hollywood,” Leigh, who died in 2004, once said. “A lot of great things happened, most of all, two beautiful children.”

Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx in 1925, the son of Hungarian Jews who had emigrated to the United States after World War I. His father, Manny Schwartz, had yearned to be an actor, but work was hard to find with his heavy accent. He settled for tailoring jobs, moving the family repeatedly as he sought work.

“I was always the new kid on the block, so I got beat up by the other kids,” Curtis recalled in 1959. “I had to figure a way to avoid getting my nose broken. So I became the crazy new kid on the block.”

His sidewalk histrionics helped avoid beatings and led to acting in plays at a settlement house. He also grew to love movies. “My whole culture as a boy was movies,” he said. “For 11 cents, you could sit in the front row of a theater for 10 hours, which I did constantly.”

After serving in the Pacific during World War II and being wounded at Guam, he returned to New York and studied acting under the G.I. Bill. He appeared in summer stock theater and on the Borscht Circuit in the Catskills. Then an agent lined up an audition with a Universal-International talent scout. In 1948, at 23, he signed a seven-year contract with the studio, starting at $100 a week.

Bernie Schwartz sounded too Jewish for a movie actor, so the studio gave him a new name: Anthony Curtis, taken from his favorite novel, “Anthony Adverse,” and the Anglicized name of a favorite uncle. After his eighth film, he became Tony Curtis.

The studio helped smooth the rough edges off the ambitious young actor. The last to go was his street-tinged Bronx accent, which had become a Hollywood joke.

Curtis pursued another career as an artist, creating Matisse-like still lifes with astonishing speed. “I’m a recovering alcoholic,” he said in 1990 as he concluded a painting in 40 minutes in the garden of the Bel-Air Hotel. “Painting has given me such a great pleasure in life, helped me to recover.”

He also turned to writing, producing a 1977 novel, “Kid Cody and Julie Sparrow.” In 1993, he wrote “Tony Curtis: The Autobiography.”

Associated Press Writers Bob Thomas in Los Angeles, Oskar Garcia in Henderson, Nev., and AP video producer Nicole Evatt in New York contributed to this report.

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


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Click here to view a clip from the 1971 film The Persuaders, starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore

Architect for the first BMW Guggenheim Lab © Atelier Bow-Wow

Guggenheim Foundation and BMW Group announce new global initiative

Architect for the first BMW Guggenheim Lab © Atelier Bow-Wow

Architect for the first BMW Guggenheim Lab © Atelier Bow-Wow

NEW YORK – Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, and Frank-Peter Arndt, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, today announced a long-term collaboration that will span six years of program activities, engage people in major cities around the globe, and inspire the creation of forward-looking concepts and designs for urban life. The initiative will engage a new generation of leaders in architecture, art, science, design, technology, and education, who will address the challenges of the cities of tomorrow by examining the realities of the cities of today.

An innovative movable structure that travels from city to city, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will bring together ambitious thinkers from around the globe and will be a public place for sharing ideas and practical solutions to major issues affecting urban life. There will be three different BMW Guggenheim Labs, each with its own architect, graphic designer, and theme and each traveling to three major cities worldwide. The BMW Guggenheim Labs will travel in separate, consecutive two-year cycles, for a total project period of six years.

Site-specific events and educational programs related to the cycle’s theme will include workshops, public discussions, performances, and formal and informal gatherings, which will tie the BMW Guggenheim Lab into the everyday fabric of the city. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will also present the responses of a multidisciplinary team of professionals assembled to study the theme.

The first BMW Guggenheim Lab will be installed in North America in late summer 2011 and will present programming into the fall of 2011, before moving on to the next two cities on its global tour, in Europe and Asia, respectively. At the conclusion of each three-city cycle, a special exhibition will be presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, exploring important issues that were raised, addressed, and presented at the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s different venues.

The theme for the inaugural BMW Guggenheim Lab will be Confronting Comfort: The City and You—how urban environments can be made more responsive to people’s needs, how people can feel at ease in an urban environment, and how to find a balance between notions of modern comfort and the urgent need for environmental responsibility and sustainability.

“Our collaboration with BMW brings together three kinds of expertise—an international museum, international design firms, and emerging talents from a number of different fields—for a research-and-development project with almost limitless potential,” stated Richard Armstrong. “We cannot predict, and do not want to predict, the outcomes of this open-ended experiment. We do know that it may change every city and community it touches, and point the way toward new possibilities for the urban environment worldwide. We are grateful to BMW for their collaboration on this adventurous project and greatly respect the company’s long-standing commitment to design, architecture, and the arts.”

“For almost 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in many international cultural cooperations. To us, sustainable commitment in the cultural sector is being aware of our social responsibility whilst preserving absolute creative freedom for our partners,” stated Frank-Peter Arndt. “As a company, we are extremely interested in an open-minded and productive dialogue with numerous representatives from art and science. For this reason, we also regard the joint initiative of the BMW Guggenheim Lab as an exciting global platform.”

Dr. Uwe Ellinghaus, Director Brand Management BMW, stated, “With the BMW Guggenheim Lab, BMW is significantly broadening its international cultural commitment. We are very proud to cooperate over a longer period of time with a renowned institution such as the Guggenheim. With the knowledge that the challenges of the future can only be tackled together, we look forward to the open, multidisciplinary exchange this project makes possible worldwide.”

Launching the BMW Guggenheim Lab

The pioneering Tokyo-based architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow has been commissioned to design the first BMW Guggenheim Lab, and the Seoul-based firm of Sulki & Min has been announced as the designer of its graphic identity. The firms were selected for their intelligent designs, and for their ability to tackle complex issues with wit and an open mind.

The 5,000-square-foot structure will open at its North American venue in late summer 2011 and host a rich roster of public programming through the fall of 2011. Following this inaugural presentation, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will be dismantled in preparation for installation at the next city on its itinerary.

“Our thinking has always been informed by a sense of wonder at the sometimes surprising ways in which people create spaces that work for them, even within urban situations that look unpromising,” stated Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow. “We are grateful, and extremely excited, to have been chosen to participate in the BMW Guggenheim Lab to carry forward these urban investigations into comfort, a theme that is so integral to our own ideas and concerns.”

According to Sulki Choi and Min Choi of Sulki & Min, “We thank the BMW Guggenheim Lab for giving us one of the most productive challenges we have yet encountered as graphic designers. The purpose of the BMW Guggenheim Lab is clear and singular. The expressions of the purpose over the next six years will be multiple and in almost constant flux. Our goal is to give this project a graphic identity that is strong, responsive, and playful.”

In each city, the programs, events, and ideas for the BMW Guggenheim Lab will be developed collaboratively by a different four-member, multidisciplinary BMW Guggenheim Lab Team of early- to mid-career professionals who have been identified as emerging leaders in their fields. The BMW Guggenheim Lab Team members will be nominated by a distinguished Advisory Committee, composed of internationally renowned experts from the creative, academic, and scientific fields, and will work closely with Guggenheim staff to develop the program.

Further details about the project, including the unveiling of the BMW Guggenheim Lab design, the announcement of the cities on the tour, the identification of Advisory Committee and BMW Guggenheim Lab Team members, and programming information will be revealed over the next several months.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is curated by David van der Leer, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Maria Nicanor, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

David van der Leer stated, “It is more and more essential for museums to bring their architecture and design programming out of the confines of the gallery’s white box and into the realities of everyday urban life. The BMW Guggenheim Lab allows us to zoom out from the design fields to a more expansive, post-disciplinary view of the city, and then back in again on the problems, challenges, and chances offered by urban landscapes around the world.”

Maria Nicanor stated, “The BMW Guggenheim Lab is an invaluable opportunity to bring together local communities with international experts and young talents from a wide variety of fields in order to redefine how we want to live in urban environments today and tomorrow. By establishing a close connection with the neighborhoods it temporarily inhabits, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will become an open place for experimentation and change; for questions and ideas to flourish; for dialogue, and, we hope, for action.”

About Atelier Bow-Wow

Atelier Bow-Wow, architect for the inaugural BMW Guggenheim Lab, was established in Tokyo in 1992 by the husband-and-wife team of Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima. Best known for its surprising, idiosyncratic, yet highly usable residential projects in dense urban environments, the firm has developed its practice based on a profound and unprejudiced study of existing cultural, economic, and environmental conditions—a study that led it to propose the term “pet architecture” for the multitude of odd, ungainly, but functional little buildings wedged into tiny sites around Tokyo. Atelier Bow-Wow has also acquired an enthusiastic following through its innovative projects at exhibitions, including the 2010 Venice Biennale (as an official representative of Japan) and the São Paulo Bienal, and at venues such as the Hayward in London, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, The Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles, the Japan Society in New York, and the OK Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich in Linz, Austria. More information about Atelier Bow-Wow can be found at

About Sulki & Min

Sulki & Min, graphic designer for the inaugural BMW Guggenheim Lab, is a partnership established in Seoul by Sulki Choi and Min Choi, who met as MFA students at Yale University in 2001. From 2003 until 2005 they were based at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where they participated in a research project for the cultural identity of the city of Leuven, Belgium; designed the academy’s various publications and promotional materials; and, with Tamara Maletic and Dan Michaelson, designed the exhibition Welcome to Fusedspace Database at Stroom Den Haag. Their first solo exhibition, Sulki & Min: Factory 060421-060513, was presented at Gallery Factory, Seoul, in 2006, and received the 2006 Art Award of the Year from the Arts Council Korea. Their second solo exhibition, Sulki & Min: Kimjinhye 080402-080414, was held at Kimjinhye Gallery, Seoul, in 2008. More information about Sulki & Min can be found at

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, and to collecting, conserving, and studying the art of our time. The Foundation realizes this mission through exceptional exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications, and strives to engage and educate an increasingly diverse international audience through its unique network of museums and cultural partnerships. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and provides programming and management for two museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by architect Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open in 2013. More information about the Foundation can be found at

About BMW’s Cultural Commitment

BMW’s cultural program is involved in more than 100 projects worldwide and has been a key element of corporate communications for almost 40 years. This cultural engagement focuses on contemporary and modern art as well as classical music, jazz, architecture, and design. The BMW Group has also been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last six years. In 1972 three large-scale paintings by Gerhard Richter were created specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then artists ranging from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Demand, and Jeff Koons have collaborated with BMW. Moreover, the company has commissioned renowned architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid, and Coop Himmelblau for the construction of its central buildings and plants. The company guarantees absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in—as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business. More information about BMW’s cultural commitment can be found at

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Graphic Designer for the first BMW Guggenheim Lab © Sulki & Min

Graphic Designer for the first BMW Guggenheim Lab © Sulki & Min

© 2010 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

© 2010 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

© 2010 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

© 2010 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Image courtesy of 66 Bowl, Oklahoma City.

Auction today for items from Route 66 icon in Oklahoma

Image courtesy of 66 Bowl, Oklahoma City.

Image courtesy of 66 Bowl, Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – For generations of people living in Oklahoma City, or those just passing through on old U.S. Highway 66, the neon sign outside 66 Bowl has served as a landmark.

The sign – designed to look like a bowling ball hitting a bowling pin – harkened back to the heyday of The Mother Road in the 1950s and 1960s, when it wasn’t at all uncommon for weary travelers who had stopped for the night to join locals in bowling a few frames.

It’s one of the most photographed signs on Route 66, anywhere,” said the bowling alley’s longtime proprietor, 78-year-old Jim Haynes. “It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. There’s always someone out there taking pictures of it.”

Now the sign, and everything else at 66 Bowl, is for sale. Haynes sold the building decorated with memorabilia from the famous highway for $1.4 million earlier this month and an auction of its contents is set for Friday. The building soon will become an Indian grocery store and restaurant.

I can assure you that there will be some people there who will be most interested in obtaining that commercial archaeology,” said Michael Wallis, a prominent Route 66 historian from Tulsa who served as the voice of the sheriff of the mythical old highway town of Radiator Springs in the animated movie Cars.

I call the signs and the signage the language of the highway,” Wallis said. “That’s truly how the highway speaks. It’s those signs, those bands of bright, candy-colored neon and sometimes zany graphics, that help lure people into the establishment.”

The bowling facility opened in March 1959. Haynes and his wife, Peggy, bought 66 Bowl in 1978 from its original owner, Educators Investment Corp., and have run it ever since. The facility has hosted countless parties, tournaments and concerts, including one last year featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson of Oklahoma City.

Two years after 66 Bowl opened, Jackson and Wendell Goodman had their first date there after she asked him out. Eight months later, they married.

I’m still married to her 49 years later,” Goodman said. “We have a lot of fond memories of that place.”

Last year, Haynes helped celebrate 66 Bowl’s 50th anniversary. Now, he says, he needs to raise money to pay a debt. He said he couldn’t find a buyer interested in keeping it as a bowling alley.

It was just one of those things,” Haynes said. “I can’t blame anybody. I’m unhappy about it because I had a lot of loyal bowlers and loyal employees. But that’s life.”

According to Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office records, Spices of Indian LLC bought the 25,636-square-foot building and the sale closed earlier this month. Local real estate agent Indu Singh, who helped broker the sale, said the building’s new owner hopes to open a Spices of India store there by the end of the year.

While the loss of a Route 66 icon is disappointing, Wallis said, he said restoration efforts along the highway will continue.

We need the old and the new,” he said. “We need to be able to live with change. What we have to do is make sure we don’t lose our best examples from those various incarnations of Route 66. We can’t save it all but we’ve got to save some.”

The sign being sold isn’t the original, Haynes said. Not long after he bought 66 Bowl _ he can’t recall the year but thinks it was in the early 1980s – a fierce storm toppled that sign, he said. He said teary-eyed bowlers persuaded him to “replace it just like it was.”

When it’s working right, it’s pretty neat,” he said. “The ball goes around the sign electronically and it hits the pins.”

Louis Dakil, whose auction company will conduct the 66 Bowl sale, said bowling alleys across the nation are aware of the event and he expects the bowling equipment should sell. He’s as curious as anyone about how much the sign _ still operational although badly in need of a paint job _ will fetch at the auction. Haynes said the minimum acceptable bid will be $50,000.

The auction will be “very unique because of the nostalgia and collectability, just being a part of Route 66,” Dakil said. “It’s nice to be a part of history, although it is sad in a way.”


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The famous neon sign of an old U.S. Highway 66 landmark has been sold at auction for much less than the owner had wanted.

The sign at the 66 Bowl sold for $3,900 Friday to business partners Chuck Clowers and Cameron Eagle, who run Junk Yard Daddies, a restoration business. The owner of 66 Bowl, Jim Haynes, said he had hoped to get as much as $50,000 for the sign, which is designed to look like a bowling ball hitting a bowling pin.

The 78-year-old Haynes says an investment that went bad forced him to sell the building for $1.4 million earlier this month. The building’s new owners plan to turn it into an Indian grocery store and restaurant.

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

AP-WS-09-30-10 0300EDT


Circa-1753 Italian violin, Lorenzo & Tommaso Carcassi, Florence, estimate $65,000-$80,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Fine musical instruments tuning up for Oct. 10 auction at Skinner

Circa-1753 Italian violin, Lorenzo & Tommaso Carcassi, Florence, estimate $65,000-$80,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Circa-1753 Italian violin, Lorenzo & Tommaso Carcassi, Florence, estimate $65,000-$80,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

BOSTON – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of fine musical instruments on Oct. 10, 2010 at its Boston gallery. Along with fine examples of Italian violins, bows and guitars, the auction features a varied collection of raw materials in maple, spruce, ebony and pernambuco as well as more than 100 lots of violin memorabilia, including signed and unsigned photos and cabinet cards from string players. Internet live bidding will be provided by

Featured are three examples from the most collectible period for American electric guitars, including a 1957 Gibson Les Paul “Goldtop” with “pre-PAF” humbucking pickups. Certified 100% original with all parts undisturbed for 50 years, its condition and sound are outstanding (lot 16, est. $60,000-$80,000).

Also up for bid is a 1958 Fender Stratocaster, also 100% original, with its matching Fender Deluxe “tweed” amplifier (lot 32, est. $12,000-$18,000). A Fender Stratocaster from 1963 in the Olympic White custom finish with a rosewood fingerboard is another sale highlight (lot 9, est. $12,000-$18,000). Detailed photos and condition reports for these guitars are available online or by request.

Other featured fretted instruments include mandolins from Gibson, Lyon & Healy, Vega and Martin and Guitars from Martin, Rickenbacker, and independent maker Bill Comins. Additionally, a very rare Gibson PT-6 banjo, circa 1928 with gold-plated hardware and a flat-head rim is being offered (lot 17, est. $8,000-$12,000).

Lot 16A (est. $4,000-$6,000) is a very rare offering of original design templates used in the production of some of Gibson’s most famous electric guitars. These were the actual templates used for guitars like the 1959 Les Paul, the Firebird, SG, Super 400, ES 335, and many others. A full inventory is available by request or online.

Classical Italian violins offered include a circa-1760 Gennaro Gagliano (lot 40, $70,000-100,000) and circa-1753 Lorenzo and Tommaso Carcassi of Florence (lot 49, est. $65,000-80,000). Modern Italian violins include examples by Gaetano Pollastri, Enrico Marchetti, Vincenzo Sannino, Giovanni Cavani, Giuseppe Pedrazzini, Luigi Galimberti, and Celestino Farotto. There is also a good selection of bows by French makers including Voirin, Martin, Henry, Fetique and Bazin, along with many good examples by Hill, Nurnberger, Pfretzschner, and Grunke.

Also featured are more than 300 items of raw materials for violin and bow making from the shop of Myers-Halvarson, of Nashville, Michigan. Anders Halvarson worked for William Lewis & Son in the mid-twenties, and later founded his own shop, obtaining choice logs of ebony and pernambuco wood for bow making, along with a large supply of first rate tonewood from Germany and Czechoslovakia dated 1910 through 1950. These materials all represent a quality that is extremely difficult to obtain today.

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call 508-970-3000.

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


Circa-1760 Italian violin, Gennaro Gagliano, Naples, estimate $70,000-$100,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Circa-1760 Italian violin, Gennaro Gagliano, Naples, estimate $70,000-$100,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Gibson style PT-6 banjo, circa 1928, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Gibson style PT-6 banjo, circa 1928, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop guitar, $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop guitar, $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.