Czech sculptor David Cerny's 'London Booster,' a classic Routemaster London bus fitted with hydraulic 'press-up' arms, made to market the Czech participation in the London 2012 Olympics. Image courtesy the Czech Embassy, London.

London Eye: July 2012

Czech sculptor David Cerny's 'London Booster,' a classic Routemaster London bus fitted with hydraulic 'press-up' arms, made to market the Czech participation in the London 2012 Olympics. Image courtesy the Czech Embassy, London.

Czech sculptor David Cerny’s ‘London Booster,’ a classic Routemaster London bus fitted with hydraulic ‘press-up’ arms, made to market the Czech participation in the London 2012 Olympics. Image courtesy the Czech Embassy, London.

“Streets full of water, please advise.” Oscar Wilde’s famous telegram from Venice could have been sent from London by any of the thousands of visitors arriving for the Olympic Games, such has been the unprecedented amount of rainfall in the UK in what has been euphemistically described as the ‘summer’ of 2012.

It was not, however, the British weather that prompted U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to conclude that London was not ready to host the Games, an utterance that will have done little to endear him to the British. Fortunately for Romney, his diplomatic blunder was quickly overshadowed by more diverting incidents such as the moment when a hand-bell being rung in the build-up to the Games by accident-prone UK Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt flew off its handle and narrowly missed injuring a passerby. That is what is known as “a clanger.”

And then there was the Olympic opening ceremony, directed by British film director Danny Boyle, whose theatrical extravaganza marked a welcome change from the tradition adopted by most previous host countries of getting countless thousands of synchronized performers to create shapes that can only be seen from outer space.

But the Olympics also coaxed some amusing cultural innovations from visiting nations, such as the “London Booster” created by Czech sculptor David Cerny to mark the Czech Republic’s participation in the XXX Olympiad. This was a red ‘Routemaster’ London bus which had been fitted with a pair of hydraulic arms that allows it to perform push-ups.

And so to the art market. It would be easy to assume that the gloomy weather would have dealt a killer blow to the UK’s summer art fairs, but the post-event reports paint an altogether more positive picture. Malletts, one of London’s oldest and most respected furniture dealerships, claim to have enjoyed their best Masterpiece Fair this year, which was held between June 28 and July 4.

“This has been our most successful fair of the 21st century”, said Giles Hutchinson Smith, chief executive of Mallett, which recently moved into new premises in a former bishop’s palace in Mayfair. That ecclesiastical connection proved appropriate, for among the more significant items sold by Mallett at the Masterpiece fair was an important Carlton House desk

 From left to right: This important Carlton House desk, commissioned by the Duke of Clarence, who later became William IV, was sold by London dealers Mallett for an undisclosed sum at the recent Masterpiece Fair in London. Image courtesy of Mallett. A rare, recently discovered set of 10 Regency mahogany chairs, circa 1820, decorated with hunting scenes, which was sold by London dealers Mallett at the Masterpiece Fair. Image courtesy of Mallett. This rare late 18th-century bronze figure of a shepherd, in the manner of the English sculptor John Cheere, fetched a six-figure sum when it was offered on the stand of London fine furniture dealers Mallett at the Masterpiece Fair. Image courtesy of Mallett.

From left to right: This important Carlton House desk, commissioned by the Duke of Clarence, who later became William IV, was sold by London dealers Mallett for an undisclosed sum at the recent Masterpiece Fair in London. Image courtesy of Mallett. A rare, recently discovered set of 10 Regency mahogany chairs, circa 1820, decorated with hunting scenes, which was sold by London dealers Mallett at the Masterpiece Fair. Image courtesy of Mallett. This rare late 18th-century bronze figure of a shepherd, in the manner of the English sculptor John Cheere, fetched a six-figure sum when it was offered on the stand of London fine furniture dealers Mallett at the Masterpiece Fair. Image courtesy of Mallett.

commissioned by the Duke of Clarence, who later became William IV. Mallett informs us that the rare mahogany and satinwood table was presented by the Duke to his chaplain, the Rev. William Ellis, in 1797, “probably as a gift to the clergyman for having discreetly baptized the 10 illegitimate children he had had by his mistress, the Irish actress Dorothea Jordan.”

Mallett also found buyers at the fair for a rare and recently discovered set of 10 Regency mahogany dining chairs, circa 1820, attributed to the notable firm of Gillow’s of Lancaster and decorated with hunting scenes by John Nost Satorius, while a rare late 18thcentury bronze figure of a shepherd, in the manner of the English sculptor John Cheere, also fetched a six-figure sum.

The UK is currently hosting thousands of visitors from around the world who have flown in for the Olympic Games, but one wonders how many of them will venture beyond the capital into the English countryside. American guests heading towards the West Country may be interested to make a short detour to the American Museum in Britain, located in the historic spa town of Bath. This month the museum is hosting an exhibition of photographs from the collection of textile designer Christopher Hyland. The exhibition, entitled “By Way of These Eyes,” features work by many of America’s most celebrated photographers, including Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts and Sally Mann. Hyland believes his collection “represents in general the robust and dynamic spirit of American optimism in the 20th century” and thus, appropriately for Olympic year, iconic sporting images abound.

From left to right: David Deal (b. 1970), 'Ball in Hands — Springfield, Illinois,' 2000, Silver gelatin print, included in the exhibition 'By Way of These Eyes,' featuring works from the Christopher Hyland photography collection at the American Museum in Bath until Oct. 28. © David Deal. Image courtesy American Museum in Britain.  Christopher Hyland (b.1947), 'Composition II, Transformation' series, 2009, Giclée print. In the exhibition 'By Way of These Eyes' at the American Museum in Bath. © Christopher Hyland. Image courtesy American Museum in Britain.

From left to right: David Deal (b. 1970), ‘Ball in Hands — Springfield, Illinois,’ 2000, Silver gelatin print, included in the exhibition ‘By Way of These Eyes,’ featuring works from the Christopher Hyland photography collection at the American Museum in Bath until Oct. 28. © David Deal. Image courtesy American Museum in Britain. Christopher Hyland (b.1947), ‘Composition II, Transformation’ series, 2009, Giclée print. In the exhibition ‘By Way of These Eyes’ at the American Museum in Bath. © Christopher Hyland. Image courtesy American Museum in Britain.

Hyland has also included some rather more idiosyncratic images of his own making, including some studies of tattooed men.

The British are generally well-practised at making the best of bad weather but this year has really tested the nation’s patience. The almost incessant rain dealt a severe blow to one aspect of British visual culture that traditionally comes into its own during the summer months — the outdoor sculpture display. While many of the permanent sculpture parks pressed ahead with their annual summer season, one or two of the temporary summer sculpture exhibitions had to be canceled, including the Littlecote House Sculpture Show in Hungerford, Berkshire.

Happily, the exhibition curated by British sculptor David Worthington, who is vice president of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, at the famous Chelsea Physic Garden went ahead. Twenty artists have contributed works to the show, which is entitled “Pertaining to Things Natural” and which continues until Oct. 31. Anyone who has visited the Chelsea Physic Garden will know what an intellectually and aesthetically stimulating environment it is.

From left to right: London's famous Chelsea Physic Garden, which currently hosts an outdoor sculpture display entitled 'Pertaining to Things Natural,' curated by British sculptor David Worthington, until Oct. 31. Image © Charlie Hopkinson and courtesy Chelsea Physic Garden, Eden Project, and Art-Happens. British sculptor Peter Randall-Page has contributed this work in golden limestone, entitled 'Parting Company II,' 1996, to the outdoor sculpture display 'Pertaining to Things Natural' at Chelsea Physic Garden. Image courtesy Chelsea Physic Garden, Eden Project, and Art-Happens.

From left to right: London’s famous Chelsea Physic Garden, which currently hosts an outdoor sculpture display entitled ‘Pertaining to Things Natural,’ curated by British sculptor David Worthington, until Oct. 31. Image © Charlie Hopkinson and courtesy Chelsea Physic Garden, Eden Project, and Art-Happens. British sculptor Peter Randall-Page has contributed this work in golden limestone, entitled ‘Parting Company II,’ 1996, to the outdoor sculpture display ‘Pertaining to Things Natural’ at Chelsea Physic Garden. Image courtesy Chelsea Physic Garden, Eden Project, and Art-Happens.

One is always sure to come across some weird plant or species never previously encountered. It is to Worthington’s credit that he has enhanced that aspect of the garden by locating the sculptures in creative relationship to the indigenous flora. The range of works on display provides yet further testament to the imagination and skill of British artists who make “real” sculpture as opposed to getting a fabricator to manufacture large-scale toys. It is always pleasing to find work by Peter Randall-Page, who has an extraordinary instinct for working with stone, but also to see work by less familiar names such as the delicate creation by Jo Coupe which adds a touch of whimsical magic to the Chelsea show.
From left to right: Jo Coupe, 'To Airy Thinness Beat,' 2007, Gold leaf, Climbing Rose, included in the outdoor sculpture display at Chelsea Physic Garden until Oct. 31. Image courtesy Chelsea Physic Garden, Eden Project, and Art-Happens.  Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is among the international artists whose work is helping launch 'Tate Tanks,' the vast subterranean spaces converted by Tate Modern to show performance art, dance, video and other multimedia works. Image courtesy Tate.

From left to right: Jo Coupe, ‘To Airy Thinness Beat,’ 2007, Gold leaf, Climbing Rose, included in the outdoor sculpture display at Chelsea Physic Garden until Oct. 31. Image courtesy Chelsea Physic Garden, Eden Project, and Art-Happens. Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is among the international artists whose work is helping launch ‘Tate Tanks,’ the vast subterranean spaces converted by Tate Modern to show performance art, dance, video and other multimedia works. Image courtesy Tate.

In contrast to the Chelsea Physic Garden’s bucolic attractions, the “Tate Tanks” — the cavernous former gas tanks beneath Tate Modern’s Bankside gallery — have finally opened to much media ballyhoo. The conversion of these vast subterranean spaces says much about the transformation that has taken place in the making and reception of art in recent years, from the contemplative viewing of a painting or sculpture to the “event-driven,” performative practices that now preoccupy curators at galleries like Tate.

Already, specially commissioned film and multimedia “performances” have been staged in the new spaces, including recent work by Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim and Belgian artist Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, while recent Tate acquisitions such as the music and light installation Light Music (1975) by Lis Rhodes

From left to right: The music and light installation 'Light Music' (1975) by Lis Rhodes, which will be among recent Tate acquisitions that will go on display at 'Tate Tanks', Tate Modern's new exhibition spaces. Image courtesy Tate. Suzanne Lacy's 'The Crystal Quilt' (1985-87), a recent acquisition by Tate, which will be shown at the recently opened 'Tate Tanks' exhibition spaces at the Bankside gallery. Image courtesy Tate.  A late Victorian pine witness box complete with bible rest and brass rail that beat an estimate of £150-250 to bring £460 ($710) at Hartley's sale in Ilkley, Yorkshire in July.

From left to right: The music and light installation ‘Light Music’ (1975) by Lis Rhodes, which will be among recent Tate acquisitions that will go on display at ‘Tate Tanks’, Tate Modern’s new exhibition spaces. Image courtesy Tate. Suzanne Lacy’s ‘The Crystal Quilt’ (1985-87), a recent acquisition by Tate, which will be shown at the recently opened ‘Tate Tanks’ exhibition spaces at the Bankside gallery. Image courtesy Tate. A late Victorian pine witness box complete with bible rest and brass rail that beat an estimate of £150-250 to bring £460 ($710) at Hartley’s sale in Ilkley, Yorkshire in July.

and Suzanne Lacy’s The Crystal Quilt (1985-87) will soon also find a home there.

Finally, from the rarefied world of contemporary art to the down-to-earth but no less fascinating realm of provincial auctions, this month threw up one particularly intriguing object that would surely have presented a challenge to the most experienced appraiser. Coming under the hammer at Hartley’s saleroom in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley this month was a Victorian pine witness box. The anonymous maker of this handsome object had seen fit to decorate it with an egg and dart moulded cornice, a bible rest and a brass rail. It had been removed from the Magistrates Court in the Yorkshire town of Bingley, but originally did service in Bradford Crown Court. Who knows how many malefactors had hung their heads in shame within its confined space over the past century?

Bidders may have been pondering those historical considerations as they wrestled it beyond the estimate of £150-250 to a hammer price of £460 ($710). One can almost hear the court clerk’s words echoing down the panelled corridors: “Call Mr. Mitt Romney!”

 

This 9 1/2-inch high figural tobacco jar sold at auction for $144 in May 2012 at an Aspire online auction. She is showing her ankles, a naughty thing to do in Victorian times. The jar was made by Conta & Bohme of Germany. Photo credit: Aspire Auctions, Cleveland, Ohio.

Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of July 30, 2012

This 9 1/2-inch high figural tobacco jar sold at auction for $144 in May 2012 at an Aspire online auction. She is showing her ankles, a naughty thing to do in Victorian times. The jar was made by Conta & Bohme of Germany. Photo credit: Aspire Auctions, Cleveland, Ohio.

This 9 1/2-inch high figural tobacco jar sold at auction for $144 in May 2012 at an Aspire online auction. She is showing her ankles, a naughty thing to do in Victorian times. The jar was made by Conta & Bohme of Germany. Photo credit: Aspire Auctions, Cleveland, Ohio.

Why would a tobacco jar from the 19th century be shaped like a lady in a long, full dress? Tobacco jars were made in many unexpected shapes, and there are many figural tobacco-jar collectors today. Most jars were made from 1850 to 1900 in Bohemia and nearby countries. They were made of majolica, bisque, pottery, wood, even bronze. Most common today are “heads.” Life-like heads of men, women, children, ethnic groups, animals and even a rare fish were made. “Full figurals” were made that looked like 19th-century ladies, historic figures, peasants, sailors and animals in suits or dresses. There was humor seen in many of the jars, some very subtle. The lady in a full skirt looks demure and proper, but her ankles are showing below the hem of her skirt. She is flirting. In those days, an ankle was considered erotic. Today, it takes more than a lifted skirt; girls wear ankle bracelets or tattoos to show off a pretty ankle. Figural jars cost hundreds of dollars today.

Q: I have a pair of heavy bookends with figures of a Chinese boy and girl. The boy is standing on a couple of books and looking over the top of another book. The girl is sitting on two books and reading a book. One bookend says “Fashioned by Ronson” and the other is labeled “Ronson All Metal Art Wares.” It also says “Royal Old Gold.” The figures are gold, and the books are black with gold edges. Can you tell me something about them and what they are worth?

A: Ronson was founded in New York by Louis V. Aronson in 1886. The company moved to New Jersey in 1887. Ronson is best known for its cigar and cigarette lighters, but it also made ashtrays, bookends, busts, desk sets, fraternal and religious items, lamps, medals, picture frames, toys, and many other things. Your bookends were made in the 1930s. Similar bookends were made with Dutch children. Zippo Manufacturing Co. bought most of the Ronson assets in 2010. Value of your set: $125.

Q: I have several pieces of my mother’s Guardian Ware cookware, including three triangle pots with lids and a large roaster pan with a lid. What are the pieces worth?

A: Guardian Ware, also called Guardian Service cookware, was made by Century Metalcraft Corp. of Los Angeles from the 1930s until 1956, when the factory burned down. Pieces were sold at in-home parties the way Tupperware was later sold. Guardian Ware was made of heavy-duty hammered aluminum. Before World War II, the ware’s high-domed lids were metal. Because of metal shortages during the war, the company started making oven-proof glass lids. Your triangle pots were designed to be used as a set on a trivet that sat on a burner. That way, three different vegetables could be cooked at the same time. Guardian Ware is a popular collectible today. Pieces sell online for $5 to $150. Sets can sell for several hundred dollars.

Q: My in-laws left an Abraham Lincoln picture to us, and we’re wondering what it’s worth. It’s mounted in a carved oval wooden frame. The president is on the right sitting in a chair facing left and holding an open book in his lap. Mrs. Lincoln is in a chair on the left and is facing right holding a closed book in her left hand. The Lincolns’ oldest son, Robert, is standing behind his mother’s chair. Their youngest son, Tad, is standing close to his father. A portrait of son Willie, who died in 1862, is hanging on the wall behind the president. There’s a small typed memo on the back of the picture. It says: “Eng’d by A. Robin, NY, Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1869 by G.W. Massee in the Clerks office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.” What is the picture worth, and how can I sell it? Should we reframe it?

A: What you own is a print made from an engraving. After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, the public clamored for Lincoln memorial souvenirs. Augustus Robin, a New York engraver, used a Matthew Brady photograph of Lincoln and Tad as a model to create a steel engraving of the family. The engraving was used by G.W. Massee, a Philadelphia printer, to make copies that could be sold to the public. You own one of Massee’s prints. Many were probably made, but it’s not likely that many have survived for 150 years. The frame may be original, so don’t reframe it. If you want to sell it, you can try online. It might sell for about $100.

Tip: To clean old paper, try talcum powder. Take a soft brush or powder puff, sprinkle on the powder, leave for an hour, and brush it off.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

 

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Little Cub Scout book, by Mabel Watts, illustrated by William Timmins, Rand McNally Elf Book, 1964, $20.
  • Dole “Banana Man” doll, inflatable plastic, long legs, red sneakers, white gloves, product premium, sealed, original bag, 8 x 8 inches, $65.
  • Beswick Beatrix Potter figurine, Goody Tiptoes, squirrel holding basket of yellow nuts, marked, 1974-85, 3 1/2 inches, $75.
  • Old Dutch Cleanser hooked rug, store promotion, woman holding stick, yellow ground, half circle, 1930s, 17 1/2 x 29 inches, $95.
  • Glass luncheon plates, Hobnail pattern, blue opalescent, Fenton Art Glass Co., 6 inches, set of six, $115.
  • Italian Family Cooking cookbook, by Edward Giobbi, illustrated, first edition, 1971, 252 pages, $145.
  • Twiggy doll, shaggy blond hair, black lashes, pink lips, open mouth, Twigster dress, orange and yellow, checked knit top, striped bottom, scarf, Mattel, 1967, 11 1/2 inches, $165.
  • Tiffany & Co. ring box, figural apple, sterling silver, gilt interior, signed, 1960s, 2 1/4 x 1 1/3 inches, $200.
  • Faux bamboo corner shelf, four shelves, mottled, spindle gallery, scalloped edges, circa 1900, 51 x 23 x 19 inches, $210.
  • Darky and Cabin mechanical bank, cast iron, figure stands in doorway, slot on roof, J. & E. Stevens, 1880s, 3 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches, $1,295.

Order the set: “Buyers’ Guide to 20th Century Costume Jewelry,” Part One and Part Two. Both for our special price of $34.95. These special reports help you identify the most popular makers and designers of costume jewelry. Spot mid-century costume jewelry, Mexican silver jewelry and European and North American pieces. Learn who Hobe and Sigi are and how to recognize a rare piece of Bakelite. Accurate, comprehensive and valuable whether you’re a serious collector or just a beginner. Available only from Kovels. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or send $34.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2012 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


This 9 1/2-inch high figural tobacco jar sold at auction for $144 in May 2012 at an Aspire online auction. She is showing her ankles, a naughty thing to do in Victorian times. The jar was made by Conta & Bohme of Germany. Photo credit: Aspire Auctions, Cleveland, Ohio.

This 9 1/2-inch high figural tobacco jar sold at auction for $144 in May 2012 at an Aspire online auction. She is showing her ankles, a naughty thing to do in Victorian times. The jar was made by Conta & Bohme of Germany. Photo credit: Aspire Auctions, Cleveland, Ohio.

This important, circa-1880 Royal Vienna-style porcelain vase features two historical scenes painted by W. Schiendler. Image courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques.

Dealer spaces sell out for Baltimore Summer Antiques Show

This important, circa-1880 Royal Vienna-style porcelain vase features two historical scenes painted by W. Schiendler. Image courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques.

This important, circa-1880 Royal Vienna-style porcelain vase features two historical scenes painted by W. Schiendler. Image courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques.

BALTIMORE – Now celebrating its 32nd year, the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show will make its annual return to the Baltimore Convention Center August 23-26. The sold-out show will present the spectacular collections of more than 575 international exhibitors and will include a 90-dealer antiquarian book fair, making it Maryland’s largest antiques event and the largest indoor antiques show in the country.

“This year marks a milestone of record-breaking dealer participation,” said Scott Diament, president and CEO of the Palm Beach Show Group. “We have completely sold all of the space in the Baltimore Convention Center and anticipate a 20 to 30 percent boost in attendance due to the overwhelming interest in our show and the fine art, antiques, and jewelry industries.”

The significance of the four-day show is a direct reflection of continued success that show participants and the city of Baltimore encompass year after year. In June, The Baltimore Business Journal awarded The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show the number one ranking at the top of the list for “Conventions with the Highest Economic Impact in Baltimore in 2011.” The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show’s estimated economic impact was over $15 million last year and 2012’s show is projected to surpass those numbers.

Fine art, antique and jewelry aficionados travel from all corners of the globe to explore the show’s exquisite array of rare treasures from the last several thousand years, including furniture, American and European silver, major works of art, Asian antiquities, porcelain, rare manuscripts and books, Americana, antique and estate jewelry, glass, textiles, and more.

This year, guests at the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show can participate in complimentary show tours led by Miller Gaffney, star of the new PBS hit series Market Warriors. Other perks include the annual educational lecture series that will feature presentations on a wide array of topics by respected dealers and industry experts such as Dr. Robert Mintz, Chief Curator and the Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at The Walters Art Museum whose lecture this year will be focused on Ancient Chinese Lacquers. These lectures are free to the public and all show attendees.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


This important, circa-1880 Royal Vienna-style porcelain vase features two historical scenes painted by W. Schiendler. Image courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques.

This important, circa-1880 Royal Vienna-style porcelain vase features two historical scenes painted by W. Schiendler. Image courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques.

Seaman Schepps emerald, South Sea pearls and diamond brooch. Image courtesy of Hayes Worthington Fine & Estate Jewelry.

Seaman Schepps emerald, South Sea pearls and diamond brooch. Image courtesy of Hayes Worthington Fine & Estate Jewelry.

'Balmoral Castle,' British school, circa 1860, oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Jay Chatellier Fine Art, LLC.

‘Balmoral Castle,’ British school, circa 1860, oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Jay Chatellier Fine Art, LLC.

BMW Guggenheim Lab, where a six-week series of programs was held recently to explore practical ways people can shape their cities. Image courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab.

BMW Guggenheim urban-life lab completes Berlin run

BMW Guggenheim Lab, where a six-week series of programs was held recently to explore practical ways people can shape their cities. Image courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab.

BMW Guggenheim Lab, where a six-week series of programs was held recently to explore practical ways people can shape their cities. Image courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab.

BERLIN – The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin has concluded its six weeks of programs exploring issues of urban life, with a focus on the importance of “doing and making” to activate change. The lab, which operated from June 15 to July 29, was located in Prenzlauer Berg in the Pfefferberg complex. Berlin was the second stop of the project’s six-year, nine-city global tour, attracting 27,144 visitors over 33 days. A range of free, participatory programs—including 97 talks, 101 workshops, 14 screenings, 5 special events and 27 city-wide explorations—offered practical ways to empower residents with tools and ideas for shaping their urban environments.

The lab’s wide-ranging programs were developed by Berlin lab team members José Gómez-Márquez, Carlo Ratti, Corinne Rose, and Rachel Smith, together with Guggenheim curator Maria Nicanor, around the theme of Confronting Comfort. Programs included prototyping workshops organized by Gómez-Márquez, a showcase of city transformation projects led by Smith, talks about psychology and cities as well as a panel discussion on the controversial Berlin land policy known as the Liegenschaftspolitik organized by Rose, and discussions about the importance of temporary architecture led by Ratti.

In addition, the Berlin lab jump-started three city projects that will continue to develop after the Lab’s departure from Berlin: an interactive biking map of Berlin; a mobile workshop and online map researching publicly owned lots in Berlin to solicit resident feedback on future uses; and a neighborhood garden project.

Findings from the Berlin lab are currently being analyzed, and will be available this fall.

“Berlin has a deeply rooted system of citizen participation that has had a profound effect on every aspect of the BMW Guggenheim Lab,” said Maria Nicanor, Curator. “We have had the opportunity not only to discuss some of the key urban topics for Berlin but also to work with local groups to advance a variety of practical projects that we hope will benefit Berliners in the months and years to come.”

“It has been immensely rewarding to have worked and spoken with Berliners of all viewpoints and backgrounds, and to explore their ideas for addressing the challenges cities face today,” said the Berlin lab team in a joint statement. “Their participation has been an asset to our work and to all of the programs at the Lab, which could not have happened without their help.”

The BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel next to Mumbai. At the conclusion of the Lab’s first three-city cycle, a special exhibition will be presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, exploring issues that were raised, addressed, and presented at the project’s venues in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab continues to provide a global, online forum for the exchange of ideas at bmwguggenheimlab.org, the project’s blog, Lab | Log, and its dedicated social communities on Twitter (@BMWGuggLab and #BGLab), Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Foursquare.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin was presented in cooperation with ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory.

About the BMW Guggenheim Lab:

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a joint initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the BMW Group. Housed in a mobile structure designed by Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow, the BMW Guggenheim Lab launched in the summer of 2011 in New York. Over six years, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to a total of nine cities around the world in three successive two-year cycles, each with its own theme and structure. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to Mumbai in winter 2012–13. Details about the Mumbai stop, as well as the second cycle of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, will be announced this fall. The BMW Guggenheim Lab is curated by David van der Leer and Maria Nicanor of the Guggenheim Museum.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


BMW Guggenheim Lab, where a six-week series of programs was held recently to explore practical ways people can shape their cities. Image courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab.

BMW Guggenheim Lab, where a six-week series of programs was held recently to explore practical ways people can shape their cities. Image courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab.

Former FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman (left), who founded the FBI's Art Crime Team, was interviewed for CNBC's 'Ripping Off the Rich,' which will air on July 30, 2012. Image courtesy of CNBC.

‘Ripping Off the Rich’ airs tonight on CNBC

Former FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman (left), who founded the FBI's Art Crime Team, was interviewed for CNBC's 'Ripping Off the Rich,' which will air on July 30, 2012. Image courtesy of CNBC.

Former FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman (left), who founded the FBI’s Art Crime Team, was interviewed for CNBC’s ‘Ripping Off the Rich,’ which will air on July 30, 2012. Image courtesy of CNBC.

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. – As more wealthy Americans move to alternative investment strategies, the FBI says the theft of high profile art and jewelry has become a booming criminal enterprise. The problem will be the subject of a CNBC program, ‘Ripping Off the Rich,’ that will be broadcast tonight at 8 p.m. EDT.

The FBI conservatively estimates the losses to be $6 billion annually. Thousands of items ranging from a $300 million Rembrandt painting to Elvis Presley’s high school class ring are missing and are chronicled in the FBI’s national database.

The FBI says there’s clearly a high black-market demand for some of the nation’s most valuable national treasures. CNBC’s ‘Investigations Inc.’ tracks down who’s stealing them, who’s hunting them down and interviews the victims who lost multimillion-dollar collections.

As a growing number of the world’s wealthiest are looking for safe ways to maintain their millions, many are turning to “investments of passion”—famous artwork, rare collectibles and even wine. But the insatiable demand for the rare has also created a booming criminal enterprise with losses estimated up to $6 billion every year.

CNBC’s ‘Investigations Inc.’ and Scott Wapner will take viewers inside a multibillion-dollar underground market. Thousands of items are part of an ever-expanding database of stolen history. Even the most educated connoisseurs can be duped, and collectors often have no idea they’ve been conned. Discover who’s stealing from them, who’s buying and how investors can protect themselves from thieves ripping off the rich.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Former FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman (left), who founded the FBI's Art Crime Team, was interviewed for CNBC's 'Ripping Off the Rich,' which will air on July 30, 2012. Image courtesy of CNBC.

Former FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman (left), who founded the FBI’s Art Crime Team, was interviewed for CNBC’s ‘Ripping Off the Rich,’ which will air on July 30, 2012. Image courtesy of CNBC.

The lovely Adrienne seated in 'What if we had never happened.' Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Diary of an artist-in-residence: Report from Verbier #9

The lovely Adrienne seated in 'What if we had never happened.' Photo by Jonathan Wright.

The lovely Adrienne seated in ‘What if we had never happened.’ Photo by Jonathan Wright.

VERBIER, Switzerland – The morning is a beautiful one, perfect for the Vernissage. I stare out of my hotel window from my bed slightly wary of moving, as I cannot be sure how much damage I have done to myself on the previous day moving the four tonnes of stone around my piece. I begin to move slowly as the lure of a roasting-hot shower followed by a super-strong coffee forces me overcome my fear. All seems well, however, and I make it to the bathroom with no ill effects.

The aroma of coffee permeates the room, and I allow myself to daydream about the coming day. We are to go up the mountain at 10:30 this morning, loaded with a packed lunch and tokens for free wine and ‘raclette’ provided for the farmers and their ‘fighting’ cows. The artists and their audience will be mingling with the crowds who have come to enjoy the traditional spectacle of the cows herding onto the mountain pasture. One wonders how the locals will take to Sabine and Alou’s performance scheduled for 12 o’clock.

The Swiss raclette is a strange thing. It involves a lot of queueing and the delivery of a tiny amount of melted cheese onto a new potato, with, if you are very lucky, a bit of melted cheese rind thrown in. After two mouthfuls it is gone, and you must queue again. The Swiss love their traditions and preserve them with alacrity. I, for one, am not sure that this ritualized method of eating is worth preserving. The farmers seem to love it, though, and use the queueing system as a social network, their conversation never slowing. It is the wine that really holds sway. They love their wine, and there is a large quantity being consumed in the powerful lunchtime sun.

Sabine and Alou stride out into the pasture, having positioned four bright orange mats to define a square performance area, Sabine holds a megaphone. The farmers lined up on the fence look on, intrigued. Sabine begins to talk through the megaphone as Alou begins to move around the mats. He moves in an incredible way. He is part animal, part marionette. Indeed, it is such a shock that the entire crowd’s attention focuses on him, and their conversation is halted at last. At the performance’s end, Sabine is perched on Alou’s back as he kneels on the ground. The applause is generous, even amongst the farmers. The crowd drifts away toward the rest of the sculpture park to view the other works, the sun now high in the sky.

There is an unparalleled thrill in watching people approach one’s artwork. I love to see people react and investigate. They tip their head to get a better look, or crouch down. Some are brave enough to touch the aluminium and give it a gentle stroke. This is what art is about for me; it is nothing without an audience. Watching people ‘looking’ is wonderful thing. We don’t often work at looking, but when we do, the rewards are enormous. The lovely Adrienne, a mature lady who speaks immaculate English, strides up to my work and positions herself inside it. She understands it immediately and stays to reflect for a while. She is an ideal audience, open and inquisitive.

We make our way along the path that bisects the sculpture park and watch as people admire Josette’s fabulous boat piece, a work that seems about to cast off and float away down the valley, despite its being cast from five tonnes of cement. Julien’s inverted aquarium with writhing cement fish overhangs the path and has a small gang of children clambering up the slope. They try to touch the fish, but they are out of reach. The last big obstacle is to climb up to Onyedika’s piece, which is in a derelict cable car building some 200 feet above the path. The heat makes this difficult, but it is well worth the effort. He has fabricated a large dome-like structure with quasi-stained glass windows in it. They cast a colored light onto the walls and floor below, while his wooden ‘double nymph’ piece diagonally cuts across the space like a lurching hyphen.

As we make our way back to the cable car, we find that Elly Cho’s video work installed in one of the cable cars has freed from its supports and is parked in the entrance to the lift. This is our cue to return to the town, where the party will start to mark the culmination of the residency.

Amazingly, we have been on the mountain for six hours, and my neck, face and forearms bear witness to this, as they are already bright red. I really don’t care, as I reflect on a fantastic day.

The Hotel Nevai is the venue for the speeches and the drinking. We have not been out on the town at all during our stay and I feel the need to let my hair down. A final dance performance by Alou and the speeches by Kiki frees us to indulge in some large glasses of wine.

The conversation is good, and I talk to many interesting people. The feedback is very positive, and as the evening approaches, we move down to the local nightclub. Everything after this is a blur. I am sure that I did have a good time — at least that is what everyone told me.

So the residency is over, and I have to return home. There will be a strange period of adjustment as I readjust and return to my more-normal routines.

This is ironically where the next period of hard work starts, I now must market the work, get it publicized and try to show it to as many people as possible. If I want to get another opportunity like this one, I need to advertise myself.

I wonder if they would have me back next year? Perhaps I should propose another work for the park… one that they cannot resist…..after all, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


The lovely Adrienne seated in 'What if we had never happened.' Photo by Jonathan Wright.

The lovely Adrienne seated in ‘What if we had never happened.’ Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Josette's beautiful boat piece. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Josette’s beautiful boat piece. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Julien's mountain aquarium. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Julien’s mountain aquarium. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Onyedika's 'monastery' on the hill. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Onyedika’s ‘monastery’ on the hill. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Sabine and Alou captivate their audience. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

Sabine and Alou captivate their audience. Photo by Jonathan Wright.

 

Grays General Store (1788) in Adamsville, R.I., is billed as the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Gray’s general store in Rhode Island closes after 224 years

Grays General Store (1788) in Adamsville, R.I., is billed as the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Grays General Store (1788) in Adamsville, R.I., is billed as the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. (AP) – Gray’s Store in Adamsville village brought in customers for years with its old-fashioned marble soda fountain, cigar and tobacco cases, and Rhode Island johnnycakes.

The 224-year-old business may be the oldest operating general store in America, although others have staked similar claims. The Rhode Island store near the Massachusetts line opened in 1788. Now owners say this year is its last.

Gray’s closed Sunday afternoon.

Owner Jonah Waite inherited the shop after his father died of cancer last month. He said Saturday it was a hard decision to close the store and leave behind all the history, but the shop’s finances aren’t sustainable and a supermarket down the street has siphoned away business.

Waite, 21, who will be a senior at the University of Hartford in Connecticut in the fall, also is consumed with pursuing a career in sports journalism.

“Obviously, I understand the historical aspect of it, and I would really love to keep it the way it is, but it doesn’t seem to me that that’s the most feasible option,” Waite said. “With the economy … the place has lost its attraction, lost its luster.”

Waite said he’s not sure yet if he will keep the property or try to sell it.

The shop featured general store standards like penny candy and a small selection of groceries, as well as antiques and collectible knickknacks. It’s been in Waite’s family for seven generations, since 1879, and comprises the front part of the family’s home.

He said his father, Grayton Waite, who was 59 when he died June 11, enjoyed selling cigars and candy. His great grandfather owned the store in the early 1900s and ran a gristmill to make his own corn meal that he sold in the store.

In 2007, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and then-Gov. Donald Carcieri issued proclamations naming Gray’s as the oldest continuously run general store in the country.

More customers than usual have been gathering at Gray’s in recent days to say farewell and share memories, Waite said.

Bob Wordell, a mechanic down the street, remembers gathering at the store in the summer with his friends when he was a child years ago.

“We’d eat freeze pops on the front steps,” Wordell told The Providence Journal. “I think they cost a nickel.”

Waite said it’s been hard dealing with the store and coping with his father’s death at such a young age. But he believes his father would support what he’s doing. He said his father intended to sell the property after he got sick to pay medical bills and retire.

“He’s trusting that I’ll do the right thing and what’s best for me,” Waite said.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-28-12 2158GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Grays General Store (1788) in Adamsville, R.I., is billed as the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Grays General Store (1788) in Adamsville, R.I., is billed as the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

Beat goes on as England’s Fort Nelson revives tatoo

Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

FAREHAM, England, The parade ground of historic Fort Nelson will play host to a spectacular military tattoo in support of armed forces charities on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The tattoo, a traditional outdoor military exercise given by troops as entertainment, will be staged within the grounds of the Victorian fort just outside Portsmouth and will include arena displays by military and civilian bands and display teams. In addition to the arena displays, there will be static displays from the armed forces and a trade stand area.

The tattoo was a major event in the Hampshire calendar for many years. Now, following a multimillion-pound redevelopment of the Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson, the tattoo returns with a bang this year

There will be two performances of the Fort Nelson Tattoo: a matinee at 14:30 hrs (2:30 p.m.) and evening show at 19:30 hrs (7:30 p.m.). Gates will open two hours before each performance, and the trade stand area will be open before each performance and during each interval.

Over 3,000 visitors are expected to attend the tattoo over the course of the day.

For details, contact Roger Sheppard at 0208 1445832 or e-mail roger.sheppard@eventoundation.co.uk


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

Image courtesy of Fort Nelson Tattoo.

Roy Rogers with Dale Evans. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and the Written Word Autographs.

Roy Rogers museum, festival opens in Portsmouth, Ohio

Roy Rogers with Dale Evans. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and the Written Word Autographs.

Roy Rogers with Dale Evans. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and the Written Word Autographs.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) – Happy Trails! The southern Ohio city of Portsmouth celebrates hometown hero Roy Rogers in an annual festival this week that also features a new museum’s opening.

A ribbon cutting will be held Wednesday for the Roy Rogers Memory’s museum that’s intended to be a year-round attraction. Organizers will have movie posters, autographed photos, a cowboy hat and other items on display. A larger museum in Branson, Mo., closed a few years ago after declining attendance.

The late Rogers was born in Cincinnati as Leonard Franklin Slye. He starred in movie westerns, including “King of the Cowboys.” He also teamed with his late wife Dale Evans in a popular 1950s TV series.

The festival marks the 100th anniversary of Evans’ birth year.

The four-day festival features singers, memorabilia and other entertainment.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-29-12 1344GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Roy Rogers with Dale Evans. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and the Written Word Autographs.

Roy Rogers with Dale Evans. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com and the Written Word Autographs.

In Memoriam: British antiques expert, TV appraiser David Barby, 63

COVENTRY, England (ACNI) – The BBC and other British media are reporting that English antiques expert David Barby FRICS has died at the age of 63. Barby suffered a stroke on July 13 and succumbed a week later, on July 25, in a hospital in Coventry, England. Barby was known for his appearances on the British television shows Bargain Hunt and Flog It.

Born in Rugby, Warwickshire, Barby became interested in antiques at the age of 12. Subsequently, he left school to join the profession. At 21, he qualified as a member of the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers, which later merged into the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Barby then worked for a local firm in Rugby, before leaving for London in 1974. Headhunted by Royal Leamington Spa-based auction house Locke and England, he again relocated in 1978 to join his new employer as manager and valuer. He eventually became a partner, retiring from the business in 2002.

Barby independently owned a valuation business called David J Barby and Associates. He worked there until the time of his illness.

Barby was known for his charitable work and had raised money for the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital, amongst other nonprofits.

Barby appeared in the first episode of Flog It in 2002 as the auctioneer but was soon also deployed as an expert. He later appeared in a similar role on Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, where he became known by the nickname “The Master.”

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Copyright 2012 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.