Abraham Lincoln’s statue sits at the corner of Ninth and Main streets in downtown Rapid City. Image courtesy of the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hail to the Chiefs: Rapid City’s presidents display nearly complete

Abraham Lincoln’s statue sits at the corner of Ninth and Main streets in downtown Rapid City. Image courtesy of the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Abraham Lincoln’s statue sits at the corner of Ninth and Main streets in downtown Rapid City. Image courtesy of the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A Rapid City foundation is close to its goal of putting up statues of every United States president but is a little short of money.

The City of Presidents Foundation started putting up bronze statues of U.S. presidents on downtown Rapid City street corners in 2000.

After the George W. Bush statue is installed in a few months, only President Barack Obama will be missing.

Foundation vice president Dallerie Davis told the Rapid City Journal that the foundation needs to raise $70,000 to cover the cost of all work done to date.

Every year, four artists research a president and try to create a bronze figure that captures the essence of the president and his place in history.

Each statue costs about $50,000. Forty sponsors in four states have donated since 2000.

___

Information from: Rapid City Journal,

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-22-11 0521EST

 

Patek Philippe 18K yellow gold Ellipse men’s wristwatch. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Strong American, European landscape artists at Michaan’s, March 6

Patek Philippe 18K yellow gold Ellipse men’s wristwatch. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Patek Philippe 18K yellow gold Ellipse men’s wristwatch. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s March Estate Auction will be offering a wide range of property from estates, private collections and institutions throughout the United States. LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding for the March 6 auction, which begins at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Jewelry opens the sale with natural jadeite jade pendants and bracelets as well as various multi-gemstone pieces. A selection of both women’s and men’s fine wristwatches will also be available. The marquee item is lot 237, an exceptional Patek Philippe 18k yellow gold Ellipse men’s wristwatch with an oval, blue dial and applied gold baton hour markers and hands and a movement containing 18 jewels (estimate: $4,000-$6,000).

Fine art highlights include sculptures, photographs and graphics with strong examples of American and European landscapes. One such landscape painting is lot 733, Tomales Point by artist Ray Strong, circa 1937 (estimate: $3,500-$5,500).

Asian Art will be showcasing Chinese porcelains, jade and ivory carvings, paintings and furniture as well as Japanese and Southeast Asian works of art such as Vietnamese porcelains from Hoi-An Hoard.

Lot 367, a painted ivory figural group, is a beautiful example of detailed Chinese craftsmanship that depicts a celestial being with a child upon jagged rockwork with lush flowering plants. This 10 1/2-inch-high figural group has a $900-$1,300 estimate.

 

Strong had been a landscape painter, muralist and poet since he was just 8 years old. His landscapes are among the best representations of the California coast and Oregon. As a founding member of the Oak Group, Strong influenced an entire generation of painters in Santa Barbara County.

The Furniture and Decorative Arts section of this sale offers silver, rugs and carpets, glassware, porcelains, figurines and American and European furniture. Lot 433 is a Sheffield-plate covered tureen, which should also be of great interest to bidders (estimate: $300-$400).

For details contact Michaan’s Auctions at www.michaans.com or call 800-380-9822.

 

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


Sheffield-plate covered tureen, height 13 inches, length 16 inches. Estimate: $300-$400. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Sheffield-plate covered tureen, height 13 inches, length 16 inches. Estimate: $300-$400. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Painted ivory group, height 10 1/2 inches. Estimate: $900-$1,300. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Painted ivory group, height 10 1/2 inches. Estimate: $900-$1,300. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Ray Strong (American, 1905 - 2006) ‘Tomales Point,’ oil on board, circa 1937, 18 x 24 inches. Estimate: $3,500-$5,500. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

Ray Strong (American, 1905 – 2006) ‘Tomales Point,’ oil on board, circa 1937, 18 x 24 inches. Estimate: $3,500-$5,500. Image courtesy of Michaan’s Auctions.

The newly issued Ronald Reagan "Forever" stamp commemorating the late President's centennial year. Image courtesy of The United States Postal Service.

U.S. postage stamp honors Reagan’s 100th birthday

The newly issued Ronald Reagan "Forever" stamp commemorating the late President's centennial year. Image courtesy of The United States Postal Service.

The newly issued Ronald Reagan "Forever" stamp commemorating the late President’s centennial year. Image courtesy of The United States Postal Service.

SIMI VALLEY, CA — Considered one of the most influential presidents of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan, America’s 40th president, has been honored with the issuance of a commemorative Forever Stamp in celebration of the centennial year of his birth.

“Ronald Wilson Reagan was one of a kind,” said James C. Miller, III, member, Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service. “And it is right that we celebrate his life and legacy with constant reminders attached to millions of letters arriving at homes all across America.”

The Feb. 10, 2011 stamp-launch ceremony, which was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, is one of many Reagan centennial events planned to take place across the nation in 2011.

The stamp art by Bart Forbes of Plano, Texas, was created in oil wash on board. It is based on a photograph of Reagan taken in 1985, during his second term as president, at his beloved Rancho del Cielo (Ranch in the Sky), near Santa Barbara, California.

Distinguished by his charisma and oratorical skills, Reagan was an accomplished Hollywood actor who appeared in more than 50 films before becoming a prominent political leader. He often is credited with bolstering the conservative movement in America, moving it from the margins to the mainstream of politics and government.

When Reagan left office in January 1989, he and former First Lady Nancy Reagan returned to California. Later that year, Communist East Germany opened its borders — including the Berlin Wall — to the West. This momentous event occurred less than two and a half years after Reagan’s famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate, in which he boldly challenged his counterpart in the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to “tear down this wall!”

Joining Miller to dedicate the Ronald Reagan commemorative Forever Stamp were Mickey D. Barnett, member, Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service; Robert Tuttle, former ambassador to the Court of St. James’s and member, Board of Trustees, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation; and Joanne Drake, chief administrative officer, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:

Customers may obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They should purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24; then affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:


Ronald Reagan Stamp

Postmaster

2551 N. Galena Ave.

Simi Valley, CA 93065-9998


After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by April 11, 2011.


How to Order First-Day Covers:

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:


Information Fulfillment

Dept. 6270

U.S. Postal Service

P.O. Box 219014

Kansas City, MO 64121-9014


Visit the US Postal Service website at www.usps.gov.

#   #   #


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The newly issued Ronald Reagan "Forever" stamp commemorating the late President's centennial year. Image courtesy of The United States Postal Service.

The newly issued Ronald Reagan "Forever" stamp commemorating the late President’s centennial year. Image courtesy of The United States Postal Service.

An authorized dealer sign for Airstream travel trailers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Kimball M. Sterling Inc., Auctioneer and Appraiser.

It could be the end of the trail for financially strapped RV hall of fame

An authorized dealer sign for Airstream travel trailers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Kimball M. Sterling Inc., Auctioneer and Appraiser.

An authorized dealer sign for Airstream travel trailers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Kimball M. Sterling Inc., Auctioneer and Appraiser.

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) – The recreation vehicle hall of fame is facing financial problems.

The Elkhart Truth reports the RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum is facing a severe financial shortfall that may force it to close. Hall executive director Tom McNulty told the newspaper the hall has financial problems, but officials believe they have some solutions.

Thor Motor Coach president Bill Fenech says that hall officials must present a solid, logical business plan if it wants the RV industry to help. He says an emotional appeal or a plan with “pie in the sky numbers” will not persuade RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers to give financial backing.

___

Information from: The Elkhart Truth, http://www.etruth.com

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-02-21-11 0401EST

 

Online feature puts visitors behind ‘The President’s Desk’

President Barack Obama seated behind the original Resolute Desk. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

President Barack Obama seated behind the original Resolute Desk. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Virtual president’s desk enlivens Kennedy’s desk

 

BOSTON (AP) – As a little girl, Caroline Kennedy hung out at her father’s desk while he worked in the country’s most famous office. Now the library she works with to preserve her father’s memory is introducing a way anyone can sit – virtually – at John F. Kennedy’s desk and learn more about his life and administration.

The Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston has unveiled a new online feature, The President’s Desk.

The interactive desktop has numerous objects Web visitors can click – a telephone, a campaign button, a secret recording button – and get video, audio and text from JFK’s era, she said.

“I hope users will feel they are sitting at the president’s desk themselves and will be excited to bring history to life in this dynamic setting,” said Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “My parents shared a love of history, and I know they would have enjoyed this exhibit themselves.”

The online feature was introduced in front of a replica of the desk.

The original desk was made from the timbers of the British ship the HMS Resolute and was given to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1878. Still used by President Barack Obama, the original desk was in the White House broadcast room until JFK’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, discovered it and had it installed in the Oval Office in February 1961.

The virtual version has seven clickable objects, each of which holds various layers of information.

Clicking the telephone, for instance, pulls up a list of recorded conversations, and a user can listen to the president talk to his brothers Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy.

The campaign button reveals a picture of his campaign headquarters and video from his run for office.

Hitting the secret recording button gives access to transcripts and sound from high-level discussions on the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam.

Other objects hold information about Kennedy’s family, his military service and his love of the sea.

The President’s Desk can be found at JFKLibrary.org.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-02-21-11 1001EST

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


President Barack Obama seated behind the original Resolute Desk. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

President Barack Obama seated behind the original Resolute Desk. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Caroline Kennedy visits her father in the Oval Office. Image courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.

Caroline Kennedy visits her father in the Oval Office. Image courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.

This forensic recreation of George Washington at age 45 is on display at the ‘Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon’ exhibit. Researchers studied Washington's waistcoat and breeches on loan from the Smithsonian to determine proportions. Hair color is based on samples in the collection of Mount Vernon. Image by RadioFan. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

‘Real George Washington’ sets up camp in Valley Forge-like St. Paul

This forensic recreation of George Washington at age 45 is on display at the ‘Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon’ exhibit. Researchers studied Washington's waistcoat and breeches on loan from the Smithsonian to determine proportions. Hair color is based on samples in the collection of Mount Vernon. Image by RadioFan. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

This forensic recreation of George Washington at age 45 is on display at the ‘Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon’ exhibit. Researchers studied Washington’s waistcoat and breeches on loan from the Smithsonian to determine proportions. Hair color is based on samples in the collection of Mount Vernon. Image by RadioFan. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A day after a fierce winter storm swept through the region, “Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon” opens at the Minnesota History Center.

The exhibit includes a 1798 portrait of the nation’s first president, a film and a timeline with detailed information about his life.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says it will include 100 objects from Washington’s home, including his dentures, Bible, dishes and weapons.

The history center is also hosting a family day on Feb. 27 in conjunction with the Washington exhibit. Visitors will enjoy reduced admission fees, games, actors in historical costume and music.

Founded in 1849, the nonprofit historical center is aims to teach about Minnesota’s past using exhibits, collections, books, educational programs and more.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WS-02-21-11 0500EST

 

Unarmored high-ranking officer, earthenware, Qin dynasty, 221-206 B.C., excavated in 1980 at Terracotta Army Pit No. 1, Lintong, Shaanxi province, Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army Museum, 002743. Image courtesy of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

‘Terracotta Army’ statues among China’s treasures stopping in Montreal

Unarmored high-ranking officer, earthenware, Qin dynasty, 221-206 B.C., excavated in 1980 at Terracotta Army Pit No. 1, Lintong, Shaanxi province, Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army Museum, 002743. Image courtesy of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Unarmored high-ranking officer, earthenware, Qin dynasty, 221-206 B.C., excavated in 1980 at Terracotta Army Pit No. 1, Lintong, Shaanxi province, Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army Museum, 002743. Image courtesy of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

MONTREAL – “The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army,” a major exhibition of archaeological works that takes visitors on a faraway journey covering 1,000 years of Chinese history, is the starring attraction at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts through June 26, 2011.

The discovery of artifacts from the Emperor Ying Zheng’s tomb complex revealed priceless treasures. It is considered to be the last great archaeological discovery of the 20th century after King Tut’s tomb. The site was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1987.

Two hundred forty works, including many that have only recently been excavated, will be presented. In addition to outlining the life of Emperor Ying Zheng (259-210 B.C.), the exhibition will shed light on the creation of a new cultural and geopolitical cohesion that would have a profound effect on China for centuries to come. This exhibition represents a rare opportunity to view a group of stunning, diverse archaeological objects that will not leave China again for a long time.

Dating from 2,200 years ago, 10 larger-than-life terracotta sculptures will be the star attraction of this exhibition. Two high-ranking officers, four soldiers, a civic official, an acrobat and two horses are among the works found in various pits containing 2,000 statues, every one of them unique. Rare bronze sculptures, including a goose unearthed in 2000 from what is considered the site of the sovereign’s water garden, other never-before-exhibited relics and many funerary figurines, ornaments in jade and gold, swords, coins and adornments, architectural elements and military accoutrements from the imperial tombs of the Emperors Gaozu and Jing of the Han Dynasty trace the history of close to 10 centuries of funeral rites.

Investigation of the site, situated in the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi, near the colossal mausoleum – the largest in the world – of Qin Sihuangdi (Emperor Ying Zheng), will continue for many years, as it makes up only a tiny part of that country’s biggest burial complex.

The first archaeological-site museum in China, as well as the biggest to date, has been built over the Emperor Qin’s mausoleum. Excavations continue, with archaeologists now using new conservation techniques to preserve the fragile colors on the painted warriors. It is estimated that nearly 8,000 of these terracotta statues exist, and many remain to be unearthed. Arranged in astounding military formation, they are often called the “eighth wonder of the world.”

The succeeding dynasties, periods of political and social transition marked variably by war or peace and profound societal changes – the history of ancient China will unfold before visitors through a chronological presentation divided into three sections.

The Rise of Qin (9th century – 221 B.C.)

The first section of the exhibition begins in the ninth century B.C., when the Ying family was part of a small noble clan that served the royal court of the Zhou. In reward for its military valor and defense of the family in power, the Ying family was given land and its head received the title of Duke of Qin. The exhibition includes a bronze bell that belonged to the Qin Duke Wu that attests to the gift of an estate to Duke Xiang, an ancestor of the First Emperor. Recently excavated figures, as well as the most ancient terracotta soldiers ever to have been discovered in the country, appear in this section. One of the treasures of the exhibition, which has never before been presented outside China, is a wall painting from the imperial burial site. Documented as being the First Emperor’s favorite color, black predominates in the multicolored paintings on clay.

The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China (221 – 206 B.C.)

The exhibition’s second section deals with the life and legacy of the famous First Emperor and the inception of his terracotta army. In 246 B.C., Ying Zheng, then only 13 years old, acceded to the throne of the state of Qin. After having conquered the last independent state and put an end to 500 years of war and intergovernmental strife, Ying Zheng became king of the whole of China in 221 B.C. On the strength of this unprecedented achievement, and in the desire to indicate his power and standing, he declared himself Qin Sihuangdi, “First August Emperor of the Qin,” in the hope that the Ying family would continue to reign for thousands of generations. Ranked among China’s national treasures, the objects shown in this section are, for the most part, the product of the most recent archaeological discoveries made in the Emperor’s mausoleum. Of particular note are a set of armor and a helmet made of stone plates, as well as a life-size bronze goose.

The Harmonious Era of the Han (206 B.C. – A.D. 220)

The third section examines the political and social changes that marked the rise of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) after the sudden death of Ying Zheng in 210 B.C. The Han emperors maintained the First Emperor’s administrative policies, as well as the burial practices of his era. They also buried terracotta figures for the purpose of caring for their needs in the afterlife, but their size never equaled that of the sculptures created under the Qin. Smaller and arranged in groups, the statuettes created at the beginning of the Han dynasty were inspired by different themes more representative of everyday life. Presented in this part of the exhibition is a large selection of terracotta objects, unearthed from the tombs of the emperors Gaozu and Jing of the Han dynasty, including beautifully painted terracotta women and soldiers, as well as an assortment of farm animals that evoke the relatively peaceful life of this period, during which traditions that still live on in China today were established.

Ying Zheng, who succeeded in uniting seven warring kingdoms into a single nation, of which he was the sole monarch for 37 years, remains a controversial figure in the history of China. If his autocratic rule was characterized by tyranny and slaughter, his achievements were many: the establishment of a strong central government; codification of laws; standardization of currency, weights and measures, establishing a national road and canal system, and the Great Wall of China, which was designed to thwart invaders from the north. Not only did he lend his name to this vast country, he created a bureaucratic system that endured to the dawn of the 20th century. However, the terracotta warriors are the most tangible proof of his legacy. During his reign, 700,000 workers spent close to 40 years erecting a gigantic mausoleum to hold 8,000 large terracotta warriors and other remarkable sculptures. It is supposed that building began as a result of a series of assassination attempts, as the complex and its guardsmen were meant to protect Ying Zheng in the afterlife. Recent archaeological studies have shown that this necropolis, at 35 square miles, is much larger than originally thought, comprising a complete underground palace that even boasts imperial botanical gardens. After a few decades of excavations, it is now known that the terracotta warriors make up only a minuscule part of this huge site. Over 180 pits, including those containing the buried army, are arranged on both sides of the double-walled enclosure within which the burial mound is located. A total of more than 500 archaeological remains, such as graves, walls and gates, have been discovered since the 1970s.

For details visit the museum’s website at www.mmfa.qc.ca/en/index.html

 

 

Pablo Picasso. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts hosts Picasso works through May 15

Pablo Picasso. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pablo Picasso. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A traveling exhibition of essential works from Pablo Picasso’s personal collection is making its East Coast debut.

“Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris” opened Saturday at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is scheduled to run through May 15.

The exhibition includes 176 of the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures and etchings, and serves as a retrospective covering each notable artistic period of his eight-decade career.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that as of early Saturday, the museum had presold about 35,000 tickets.

The touring exhibit was made possible because the Paris museum is undergoing renovations that won’t be complete until 2012. Richmond is the second of the exhibit’s three U.S. showings and the only East Coast stop.

___

Online:

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,

http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/Picasso/

___

Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

http://www.timesdispatch.com

Copyright 2011 Al rights reserved. Associated Press. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-ES-02-19-11 1607EST

 

Gov. Schwarzenegger at the California capitol building in December 2008. Image by Nate Mandos. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Schwarzenegger gives thumbs up to muscular statue bound for Austria

Gov. Schwarzenegger at the California capitol building in December 2008. Image by Nate Mandos. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Gov. Schwarzenegger at the California capitol building in December 2008. Image by Nate Mandos. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) – A 9-foot-tall statue depicting Arnold Schwarzenegger at the height of his bodybuilding career has received a final critique by the former Mr. Universe before being sent for bronzing.

The former California governor who recently announced his return to acting visited northern Idaho last week to suggest a few modifications to the clay sculpture. It’s destined to stand in a rippling, full-flex pose outside his childhood home, which is now a museum in Thal, Austria.

Schwarzenegger first commissioned Lewiston artist Ralph Crawford in the 1970s to create a small bronze that became a trophy for a fitness event. Other commissions followed, including the most recent.

“(Crawford) has been known in the physique world as a Rodin,” said Schwarzenegger, referring to famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin. “Everything is very dramatic.”

Schwarzenegger noted Crawford’s passion and his ability to sculpt accurate proportions when it comes to veins, muscle separation and head position.

He also said he appreciates Crawford’s method, taking months to create a sculpture.

“It’s the old-fashioned way you work,” he told the Lewiston Tribune. “Work like hell. That’s part of the charm. There’s not a magic studio.”

He said he chose a bodybuilding pose because that’s what launched his career in the United States.

“It was the bodybuilding that got me to America, that got me into movies, that got me the governorship,” he said. “That’s where I learned about reaching out and helping other people.”

Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in the village of Thal, just outside Graz, where he began his bodybuilding career. He emigrated to the United States in 1968 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1984 but has retained his Austrian citizenship.

He said his childhood home where the statue will stand is a two-story building that has been restored to what it was like when he was a boy. That means it has no running water, electric wiring runs on the outside of walls, and an outhouse and primitive gym are outside.

Crawford, 77, said he has already started work on a new sculpture of Schwarzenegger depicting him during his time as governor.

While visiting Crawford, Schwarzenegger toured the artist’s home, admiring other bronzes Crawford had created of American Indians and signing autographs for Crawford’s children and grandchildren.

Copyright 2011 Al rights reserved. Associated Press. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

AP-CS-02-17-11 1408EST

Letters reveal that donor of Pollock’s ‘Mural’ didn’t want it sold

The donor of a famed Jackson Pollock painting that some state lawmakers are trying to sell asked for the piece back in 1963 after hearing rumors the University of Iowa was considering auctioning it off, according to letters she sent to the school.

Peggy Guggenheim, who died in 1979, gave the masterpiece titled Mural to the university in 1951, school officials said. The 8-by-20-foot Mural now serves as the centerpiece of the university’s art collection, but some legislators are considering a proposal to sell it and use the proceeds to fund art scholarships.

Pollock was an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He died in 1956 at the age of 44. The painting was valued in 2008 at $140 million.

In a May 1963 letter to then-university president Virgil Hancher, Guggenheim said she’d heard the university was planning to send the painting to London auction house Sotheby’s.

“If this is true, it is extremely unpleasant for me that you should sell my gift, when there are so many museums in the world who would be delighted to own this wonderful painting,” she wrote. “If you no longer wish to have this mural in your university, I must ask you to return it to me.”

That and other letters were posted on the Internet. The university confirmed their authenticity in stories published Saturday in the Des Moines Register and Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Hancher assured Guggenheim that there were no plans to sell the painting and that the university was raising money to expand its art gallery. But he also consulted with a law professor about whether Guggenheim would be able to reclaim the painting

A bill from state Rep. Scott Raecker, R-Urbandale, calls for the sale of the painting to provide scholarships to undergraduate art majors.

University president Sally Mason has urged lawmakers to reject the proposed sale. She said scholarly works given to the school for caretaking cannot be replaced, and Iowa “will suffer a far greater long-term loss in the state’s image and quality of life than any immediate proceeds gained.”

The American Association of Museum’s accreditation commission sent a letter Saturday to state lawmakers condemning the sale. Commission chairwoman Bonnie Styles wrote that the sale could jeopardize the University of Iowa Museum of Art’s accreditation. Without that accreditation, the museum could fall out of favor with donors and the public, she wrote.

A campus rally against the bill is scheduled for Thursday.

Copyright 2011 Al rights reserved. Associated Press. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-02-19-11 1934EST