Gabby White and Ross Davenport, 2012 photos by Othello DeSouza-Hartley

Top British athletes model for portraiture classes

Gabby White and Ross Davenport, 2012 photos by Othello DeSouza-Hartley

Gabby White and Ross Davenport, 2012 photos by Othello DeSouza-Hartley

LONDON – Olympic swimmer Ross Davenport and badminton star Gabby White have modeled for young artists at the BP Portrait Award: Next Generation Summer Schools. These two top British athletes sat for drawing classes at the National Portrait Gallery this month.

BP Portrait Award: Next Generation Summer Schools aim to inspire young artists, ages 14-19. The two Summer Schools connected young people interested in portraiture with BP Portrait Award-winning artists. This is the third year of the project, which has engaged young people with painted portraiture through the BP Portrait Award exhibition. The project was part of the 12-week nationwide London 2012 Festival, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, providing a permanent artistic legacy.

Davenport and White were guest models on the first day of each Summer School, giving the participants the experience of drawing a top athlete from life. The life drawings were then developed into final painted portraits by the participants. In 2011, Paralympian Shelly Woods modeled for the drawing classes. Selected portraits of Woods by participants are part of a special display at the gallery linked to the BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition.

Young people from across London applied for places at the three-day Summer Schools.

Footage from a series of short Taster Sessions last month and artist interviews filmed by a crew of young people can be viewed on www.npg.org.uk/bpnextgeneration. On this project website young people can display and share their portraits via Flickr, go behind the scenes to hear about what it is like to be an artist selected for the BP Portrait Award and also vote in online portraiture polls. Nearly 300 painted portraits have been loaded on the online Flickr gallery so far, a showcase for young artists.

Among BP Portrait Award-winning artists who have lent their support to the initiative (with portraits in the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection) are Tai-Shan Schierenberg (who took part in last year’s Summer School and whose gallery portraits include Seamus Heaney), Ishbel Myerscough (Dame Helen Mirren), Ray Richardson (Lennox Lewis), Tomas Watson (John Fowles), Victoria Russell (Fiona Shaw).

Swimmer Ross Davenport (b 1984) competed in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in the London 2012 Olympic Games. He has represented the UK in three Olympic Games, three world championships and two Commonwealth Games. In the 2012 Commonwealth Games he won silver in the 4×100-meter freestyle and in 2006 he won gold in the 200-meter freestyle and 4×200-meter freestyle relay. In 2006, Davenport won the BBC East Midlands Sports Personality of the Year and in 2004 he was named Sportsman of the Year at Bath University.

Badminton player Gabby White is 2012 mixed and women’s doubles English national champion winner. In 2011 she won bronze in the European mixed team championships, and team bronze medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Now 21, White first represented England at the age of 12.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Gabby White and Ross Davenport, 2012 photos by Othello DeSouza-Hartley

Gabby White and Ross Davenport, 2012 photos by Othello DeSouza-Hartley

Palazzo Grassi in Venice. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Video as art form explored at Venice’s Palazzo Grassi

Palazzo Grassi in Venice. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Palazzo Grassi in Venice. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

VENICE, Italy (AFP) – Venetian canals transformed through a camera obscura, intimate snapshots of a prisoner’s life, and a hall of whispers are among the installations on show at a new exhibition, “Voices and images,” at Venice’s Palazzo Grassi.

Around 30 works by 27 international artists, borrowed from French billionaire Francois Pinault’s private collection, explore how the medium of video has been used to capture and challenge sensory expression and perception.

The hypnotic For Beginners videotape by contemporary American artist Bruce Nauman is among the highlights on show at the 18th century Palazzo Grassi museum, which the French collector bought and revamped in 2006.

The 70-year-old artist’s hands are captured on screen as they respond to verbal instructions on what positions his fingers must adopt. The video is just the latest in a series of his works which incorporate human body parts.

“As soon as we saw this work, we were hooked. The artist wanted to give it to a Californian museum. We fought to have it,” Pinault told French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti ahead of the exhibition’s opening on Thursday.

After months of wrangling, a deal was struck: the businessman was allowed to buy the work as long as a copy went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Alongside the talking hands, American artist Zoe Leonard captures the seductive beauty of the Serenissima’s waterways through a camera obscura.

A light streaming in from outside pierces a lens and flips the image of the grand canal outside the Palazzo Grassi onto its head, so that the waters cover the ceiling and boats pass upside-down as enchanted viewers loll on cushions.

The sense of peace contrasts sharply with Algerian-born artist Mohammed Bourouissa’s Temps mort installation, which collates images and sketches filmed by an inmate of a federal penitentiary in France on a mobile phone.

Bourouissa, who lives and works in Paris, asked the prisoner to film snapshots of inside – from chains to inmates gathered behind bars – to create a poor-quality video that evokes despair and violence in its banality.

In The Passion of Joan of Arc, Venezuelan artist Javier Tellez reworks the 1928 movie of the same name by getting mental health patients to rewrite the script to introduce the theme of madness and paranoid schizophrenia.

Tellez, who often works on questions of psychiatric illnesses, then has the patients become witnesses to the trials faced in mental health institutions.

In American artist Bill Viola’s 1995 project Hall of Whispers, the pallid faces of 10 people who have been gagged are displayed on a dark screen, with their eyes closed, while their protests and moans are clearly heard.

Exhibition’s curator Caroline Bourgeois said video has stopped being a stand-alone medium and has become integrated into other art forms.

While all of the works speak, they do not have a common message. Each visitor to the show takes away his or her own interpretation, she said.

“Video does not have a cinematic type of narration. It’s victory that it is no longer billeted in a category but has become sculptural in a certain fashion,” Bourgeois said.

“Voices of images” runs until Jan 13.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Palazzo Grassi in Venice. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Palazzo Grassi in Venice. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Monument Rocks in western Kansas. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Closing near for auction of Monument Rocks in Kans.

Monument Rocks in western Kansas. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Monument Rocks in western Kansas. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

ULYSSES, Kan. (AP) – A real estate auction to determine the new owner of a western Kansas ranch that contains the historically significant Monument Rocks chalk formations is ending.

The owners of the ranch announced in July that the land, along with 12,000 acres of mineral rights, was for sale.

Real estate broker Mark Faulkner of Ulysses, whose is overseeing the telephone auction, said Tuesday was the last day to submit bids. He said the high bidder is likely to be determined Thursday or Friday.

The Hays Daily News reports that as of Monday, Faulkner had received only one bid for $4 million, or $310 an acre.

The 13,000-acre Pyramid Ranch also includes fossil finds and two graves of U.S. Calvary soldiers. It was considered a territorial marker and spiritual site for Native Americans.

Monument Rocks, also known as the Chalk Pyramids, are located 4 miles east of U.S. 83, 25 miles south of Oakley, Kans. The rock outcroppings have attracted numerous visitors this summer.

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Information from: The Hays Daily News, http://www.hdnews.net

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

AP-WF-08-29-12 1353GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Monument Rocks in western Kansas. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Monument Rocks in western Kansas. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Interior view of Richard Neutra's Cyclorama Building showing the Gettysburg Cyclorama, painted by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

NPS study recommends razing Gettysburg landmark

Interior view of Richard Neutra's Cyclorama Building showing the Gettysburg Cyclorama, painted by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Interior view of Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Building showing the Gettysburg Cyclorama, painted by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A study by the National Park Service recommends tearing down the building at the Gettysburg National Military Park that used to hold the 377-foot painting depicting a pivotal moment in the Civil War battle.

The court-ordered study found the best course of action would be to demolish the Cyclorama building that has stood in the park for 50 years.

The park service has planned to tear down the building since 1999, but the architect Richard Neutra’s son and a preservation group opposed the decision. The court battle over the building has now lasted more than three times the length of the Civil War.

The building was constructed in 1962 to house Paul Philippoteaux’s 360-degree painting of Pickett’s Charge. The restored painting-in-the-round was moved to a new visitor’s center in 2008.

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

AP-WF-08-29-12 1107GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Interior view of Richard Neutra's Cyclorama Building showing the Gettysburg Cyclorama, painted by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Interior view of Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Building showing the Gettysburg Cyclorama, painted by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Gettysburg Cyclorama. Image courtesy of Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation.

Gettysburg Cyclorama. Image courtesy of Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation.

Serigraph of an Andy Warhol soup can painting. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RoGallery.

Campbell channels Andy Warhol for special soup cans

Serigraph of an Andy Warhol soup can painting. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RoGallery.

Serigraph of an Andy Warhol soup can painting. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RoGallery.

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) – Campbell Soup is tapping Andy Warhol for another 15 minutes of fame.

The world’s biggest soup maker plans to introduce special-edition cans of its condensed tomato soup bearing labels reminiscent of the pop artist’s paintings at Target stores starting Sunday. The 1.2 million cans will cost 75 cents each.

The Campbell Soup Co.’s embrace of Warhol’s iconic imagery is a switch from its initial reaction, when the company considered taking legal action before deciding to see how the paintings were received by the public.

“There’s some evidence to show there was a little bit of concern,” said Jonathon Thorn, an archivist for Campbell Soup. “But they decided to take a wait-and-see approach.”

By 1964, however, the company realized the paintings were becoming a phenomenon and embraced the depictions. Campbell’s marketing manager even sent Warhol a letter expressing admiration for his work.

“I have since learned that you like Tomato Soup,” William MacFarland wrote in the letter. “I am taking the liberty of having a couple cases of our Tomato Soup delivered to you.”

Later that same year, Campbell commissioned Warhol to do a painting of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup as a gift for its retiring board chairman, Oliver G. Willits; Warhol was paid $2,000 for the work. Campbell also invited the artist to visit its headquarters in Camden, N.J., although Thorn said there’s no indication a visit ever took place.

There was no contact after that until 1985, when the company commissioned Warhol to paint packages of its new dry soup mixes for advertisements. Warhol died about two years later.

In 1993, the company bought a Warhol painting of one of its tomato soup cans to hang in its boardroom of its headquarters. The company also has a licensing agreement with the Warhol estate to sell clothing, magnets and other gear, mostly overseas, bearing the artist’s renditions.

Campbell has sold Warhol-inspired cans on two other occasions, although on much smaller scales. In 2004, the company sold 75,000 four-packs of Warhol-inspired cans at Giant Eagle, a Pittsburgh-based supermarket operator. During the holiday season in 2006, the company sold 12,000 units at Barney’s in New York.

The latest promotion comes as Campbell looks to turn around its struggling soup business after years of declining sales; the company plans to introduce dozens of new products this year.

The cans to be sold at Target will come in four color schemes, with famed Warhol quote such as “In the future everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.”

The red-and-white Campbell label made its debut in 1898. Significant changes to the front of the can have been made only a handful of times since then.

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

AP-WF-08-29-12 1314GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Serigraph of an Andy Warhol soup can painting. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RoGallery.

Serigraph of an Andy Warhol soup can painting. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and RoGallery.

Historic Eldredge Public Library in Chatham, Mass., where books were stolen. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Cape Cod man indicted in theft of library books

Historic Eldredge Public Library in Chatham, Mass., where books were stolen. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Historic Eldredge Public Library in Chatham, Mass., where books were stolen. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) – A Barnstable man accused of stealing valuable books from several Cape Cod libraries has been indicted on several larceny charges.

Arthur Souza was indicted by a Barnstable Superior Court grant jury last week.

Investigators allege that the 52-year-old Souza stole library books and sold them to a Chatham antiques dealer, who then sold them on the auction website eBay. Some of the books sold for hundreds of dollars.

Police tell the Cape Cod Times that Souza stole books from libraries in Harwich, Brewster, Barnstable, Yarmouth and Chatham.

A librarian tipped off other libraries after she got a call from a man who spotted a book bearing the library’s markings on eBay.

He pleaded not guilty in district court. His Superior Court arraignment has not been scheduled.

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Information from: Cape Cod Times, http://www.capecodonline.com

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

AP-WF-08-28-12 1538GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Historic Eldredge Public Library in Chatham, Mass., where books were stolen. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Historic Eldredge Public Library in Chatham, Mass., where books were stolen. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Second folio edition of ‘Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies,’ 1632, the first printing, first issue in the rare Aspley imprint. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. PBA Galleries image.

PBA Galleries presents rare volumes at Sept. 13 auction

Second folio edition of ‘Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies,’ 1632, the first printing, first issue in the rare Aspley imprint. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. PBA Galleries image.

Second folio edition of ‘Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies,’ 1632, the first printing, first issue in the rare Aspley imprint. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. PBA Galleries image.

SAN FRANCISCO – PBA Galleries will present a premier offering of rare and important books and manuscript materials on Thursday, Sept. 13, beginning at 11 a.m. PDT. The San Francisco auction company considers it the greatest single gathering it has ever had at auction. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The sale of Rare Books & Manuscripts: The Property of Jane Hohfeld Galante & Other Owners is composed of 137 select lots from the 14th through 20th centuries, including landmarks of science, medicine, philosophy, literature and culture, ranging from a manuscript of the Opera of the fifth century neo-Platonist Dionysius Areopagite, to early letters from 20th century drug icon Timothy Leary, with William Shakespeare, Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, James Joyce, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Mann and many others represented.

Perhaps the most spectacular item in the auction, in terms of both rarity and visual impact, is William Bradford’s The Arctic Regions, Illustrated with Photographs Taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland, 1873, with 141 mounted original albumen photographs in a massive folio bound in elaborate gilt-tooled full morocco. An artist of the Hudson River School, Bradford gained the sponsorship of railroad magnate and financier Le Grand Lockwood to outfit an expedition to the frozen north, to make sketches as the basis for paintings, in addition to exploration. To assist in this endeavor he hired two professional photographers from Boston, John L. Dunmore and George Critcherson, who exposed hundreds of wet-plate collodion negatives under extremely harsh conditions. Once back in his studio, Bradford used the sketches and photographs to create many fine, finished paintings.

In 1871 and 1872 Bradford exhibited the paintings and sketches in England to great acclaim, and attracted the patronage of Queen Victoria. This prompted Bradford to plan publication of an album of photographs, and when Queen Victoria and other members of the royal family added their names as subscribers (at a cost of 25 guineas apiece), the “album” was transformed into a lavish publication, with a text combining sober scientific observation with romantic hyperbole. Three hundred copies were proposed (some sources say 350), although it is thought that significantly fewer were actually published. The result is a magnificent tome, one of the most spectacular photographically illustrated books, and the greatest of all illustrated books on the Arctic. It is expected to sell for between $140,000 and $180,000.

One of the great landmarks of English literature is also a key lot in the auction, the second folio edition of Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies, 1632, the first printing, first issue in the rare Aspley imprint. A consortium of booksellers sponsored the publication, with Aspley being one of the minor partners, hence he was allocated fewer copies than the main partners. The present copy, complete including the title page with Shakespeare’s portrait and the rare “Effigies” leaf, containing the first appearance in print of any work of John Milton’s, is finely bound by Riviere. The estimate is $200,000-$300,000.

Another rarity in the auction is the first edition in German of the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel, 1493, the most extensively illustrated of all 15th century books, presenting the history of the world from the creation to the time of publication. Published just six months after the first (Latin) edition, the marvelous work includes double-page maps of the World and Europe, numerous city views, events from the Bible, pictures of human monstrosities, portraits of kings, queens, saints and martyrs, and allegorical pictures of miracles. The estimate is $100,000-$150,000.

Other highlights in the auction include Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, two volumes, 1776, the first edition, in rare untrimmed state, estimate $100,000-$150,000; a 14th century Latin manuscript on vellum of the Opera of Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite, the fifth century Neo-Platonist, the cornerstone texts harmonizing Christianity with the Platonic Philosophy, $80,000-$120,000; Charles Darwin’s copy of Thomas Bewick’s A History of British Birds, 2 volumes, signed by him on each title page, dated 1840, the time when he was in the process of formulating his Theory of Evolution, $60,000-$90,000; Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig (“Death in Venice”), the true first edition, one of 100 copies, 1912, this being a unique copy reserved for the publisher with specially printed colophon and special binding, $25,000-$35,000; rare collection of love letters from a young Howard Hughes, written to silent film star Billie Dove, with whom he had a widely publicized affair in the early 1930s, $50,000-$80,000; Peter Apianus’ landmark world map, Tipus Orbis Universalis, 1520, the earliest obtainable map to name America, instrumental in solidifying that name for the New World, $30,000-$50,000; autograph manuscript leaf from the journal of Henry David Thoreau, with highly important content relating to his first book and his Transcendentalist philosophy, $25,000-$35,000; the Viridarium chymicum of Daniel Stolcius, 1624, the rarest and most richly illustrated emblem book of alchemy, with 103 copper-engraved plates, $25,000-$35,000; archive of correspondence from Timothy Leary to his childhood friend William Scanlon spanning his high school, college and West Point years, offering insight into the formative years of an influential figure of the 1960s, $15,000-$20,000; first editions in English of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, 1611 and circa 1615, the translation of George Chapman, in their combined issue, $30,000-$50,000; and Isaac Newton’s The Method of Fluxions and Infinite Series, a key work on calculus, a rare untrimmed large paper copy of the first edition, $40,000-$60,000.

The catalog is published on www.liveauctioneers.com. For more information on the items being offered, or on bidding in the auction, contact Shannon Kennedy at pba@pbagalleries.com.

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


Second folio edition of ‘Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies,’ 1632, the first printing, first issue in the rare Aspley imprint. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. PBA Galleries image.

Fourteenth century Latin manuscript on vellum of the ‘Opera’ of Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite, the fifth century Neo-Platonist. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000. PBA Galleries image.

Fourteenth century Latin manuscript on vellum of the ‘Opera’ of Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite, the fifth century Neo-Platonist. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000. PBA Galleries image.

Charles Darwin's copy of Thomas Bewick's ‘A History of British Birds,’ two volumes, signed by him on each title-page, dated 1840. Estimate: $60,000-$90,000. PBA Galleries image.

Charles Darwin’s copy of Thomas Bewick’s ‘A History of British Birds,’ two volumes, signed by him on each title-page, dated 1840. Estimate: $60,000-$90,000. PBA Galleries image.

Peter Apianus' landmark world map, ‘Tipus Orbis Universalis,’ 1520, the earliest obtainable map to name America. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. PBA Galleries image.

Peter Apianus’ landmark world map, ‘Tipus Orbis Universalis,’ 1520, the earliest obtainable map to name America. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. PBA Galleries image.

An image from William Bradford’s ‘The Arctic Regions, Illustrated with Photographs Taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland,’ 1873, which contains 141 mounted original albumen photographs in a massive folio. Estimate: $140,000-$180,000. PBA Galleries image.

An image from William Bradford’s ‘The Arctic Regions, Illustrated with Photographs Taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland,’ 1873, which contains 141 mounted original albumen photographs in a massive folio. Estimate: $140,000-$180,000. PBA Galleries image.

Adam Smith’s ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,’ two volumes, 1776, the first edition, in rare untrimmed state. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. PBA Galleries image.

Adam Smith’s ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,’ two volumes, 1776, the first edition, in rare untrimmed state. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. PBA Galleries image.

Harry Potter’s training broom from ' Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' (2001). Premiere Props image.

Premiere Props’ Sept. 15-16 sale: Elvis, Harry Potter and more

Harry Potter’s training broom from ' Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'  (2001). Premiere Props image.

Harry Potter’s training broom from ‘ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ (2001). Premiere Props image.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Premiere Props has announced details of its Sept. 15-16 Hollywood Extravaganza VII auction, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. This exciting event will contain more than 1,000 Hollywood costumes and props. Additionally, the sale will include numerous unpublished photos and several wardrobe items from Elvis Presley, with many of the wardrobe items coming directly being on display in the Mississippi Museum Hall of Fame.

The auction will also feature costumes and props from the “Underworld” franchise, including Death Dealer and Sonya’s costumes, crossbows and chains; Harry’s training broom and quaffle ball from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the WOPR computer from “Wargames,” the DeLorean test car from “Back to the Future,” the Samurai sword from “Shogun,” and several swords, helmets and costumes from “Ben Hur.”

There will also be several costumes from esteemed costume designer Frankie Steinz, including costumes that she made for Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, and Bill Cosby.

Items include:

· Elvis Presley – numerous wardrobe items and unreleased photos from Elvis’ life

· “Underworld” Franchise – Deal Dealers’ and Sonya’s costumes, crossbows and chains

· “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” – Harry’s training broom; quaffle ball and golden snitch

· “WarGames” – WOPR computer

· “Back to the Future” – DeLorean test car and Doc Brown’s shirt

· “Shogun” TV series – Samurai sword

· “Ben Hur” – numerous swords, spears, and helmets

· Sylvester Stallone’s personalized punching bag

· Robby the Robot life-size figure

· Michael Jackson signed memorabilia collection

“Hollywood Extravaganza VII offers collectors the opportunity to own props and memorabilia from iconic films including ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ ‘Back to the Future,’ and ‘Ben Hur,’ as well as items from both the King of Rock & Roll and the King of Pop,” said Dan Levin, Vice President of Premiere Props. “We thrive on being able to offer pop culture fans a wide range of items so everyone is able to own a little piece of entertainment history.”

Fans can start placing absentee bids now through the beginning of the sale through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. As the auction is taking place, bidders can participate in real time via the Internet, again through LiveAuctioneers.com.

The auction will begin on both days at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. For more information, call 310-322-PROP or tollfree 888-761-PROP.

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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


Life-size replica of Robby the Robot, the character first seen in the 1956 sci-fi classic 'Forbidden Planet.' Robot has soft rubber hands and removable prop laser pistol. Affixed to wooden base with name plate that says 'Robby.' Premiere Props image.

Life-size replica of Robby the Robot, the character first seen in the 1956 sci-fi classic ‘Forbidden Planet.’ Robot has soft rubber hands and removable prop laser pistol. Affixed to wooden base with name plate that says ‘Robby.’ Premiere Props image.

Christopher Lloyd’s screen-worn Doc Brown shirt from 'Back to the Future II' (1989). Shirt can be seen prominently during the visit to the 'antique' store where Marty McFly purchases the ‘Gray's Sports Almanac’ that ultimately changes the time continuum. Premiere Props image.

Christopher Lloyd’s screen-worn Doc Brown shirt from ‘Back to the Future II’ (1989). Shirt can be seen prominently during the visit to the ‘antique’ store where Marty McFly purchases the ‘Gray’s Sports Almanac’ that ultimately changes the time continuum. Premiere Props image.

Large, screen-used prop sword used in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' (2001), from the scene in which Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) plays a game of wizards chess. Approximately 44½ inches long. Premiere Props image.

Large, screen-used prop sword used in ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ (2001), from the scene in which Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) plays a game of wizards chess. Approximately 44½ inches long. Premiere Props image.

The Porta Magna at the Venetian Arsenale, site of the Biennale. Image by Paolo da Reggio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

World architects bring democratic designs to Biennale

 The Porta Magna at the Venetian Arsenale, site of the Biennale. Image by Paolo da Reggio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Porta Magna at the Venetian Arsenale, site of the Biennale. Image by Paolo da Reggio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

VENICE, Italy (AFP) – Architects from around the world have converged on Venice for the Biennale show, which opens on Wednesday, showcasing designs aimed at bringing urban designs more in touch with the general public.

The renovation of working-class areas, designs for times of economic crisis and the reconstruction of cities following natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis have taken center stage at the world’s largest architecture fair.

The designs housed in the spectacular Arsenale – an old naval shipyard and military base – and the nearby Giardini park on the lagoon include some by leading architects including Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Renzo Piano.

“The crux is to mend the fracture between architecture and civil society,” Biennale president Paolo Baratta said.

This year’s theme is “Common Ground” – intended as interaction between architects and the population as well as between designers themselves.

The exhibition has been designed by British architect David Chipperfield – most famous for his work on Museum Island in Berlin – and spreads out over 107,600 square feet with a total of 119 participants.

Among the most eye-catching projects is the installation by Japan’s Kazuyo Sejima for the reconstruction of Mijato-jima island, which was destroyed by the tsunami last year – a theme which is echoed by the Japanese pavilion.

Chile decked out its pavilion to look like the inside of a salt mine, importing 11 tons of salt from the Tarapaca mine especially for the show.

Russia went hi-tech with its pavilion, where visitors are handed an iPad to view an exhibition accessible only through barcodes that can be scanned.

Italy chose to celebrate its history of innovation with a show that goes back to the work of technology pioneer Adriano Olivetti in the postwar period.

The Greek pavilion meanwhile invites visitors to reflect on the transformation of public buildings and spaces during the economic crisis.

One of the novelties this year is the Mexican pavilion outside the 16th century deconsecrated church of San Lorenzo, which has been granted to Mexico as its cultural hub for the next nine years on condition that it pays for repairs.

The fair, which runs until Nov. 25, hosts a total of 55 countries taking part including several newcomers like Angola, Kosovo, Kuwait and Peru.

Among other renowned architects showcasing their designs are Jean Nouvel from France, Peter Eisenman from the United States and Ai Weiwei from China.

For weary visitors, the architecture collective Urban Think Tank has set up a replica of a typical Venezuela roadside shack with neon signs, pumping salsa music and unfinished walls that serves up genuine Latin American fare.

The curator of the official Venezuelan pavilion said she did not approve.

“It is an interesting idea but it distorts reality because it is a reductive vision,” Adreina Agusti told AFP, as she showed off an exhibition of social housing projects planned by the government of President Hugo Chavez.

The Urban Think Tank is also behind an exhibit on the theme of a “vertical favela” examining the squatting of the Torre de David in Caracas after it was abandoned by a bank, showing a community full of life and creativity.

Festival organizers on Wednesday also awarded a lifetime achievement award to Alvaro Siza Vieira, famous for works such as the Boa Nova Tea House and the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in his home town of Oporto in Portugal.

“Siza has upheld a consistent production of works at the highest level, yet without the slightest hint of the overt professionalism and promotion that has become part of the contemporary architect’s machinery,” Chipperfield said.

Chipperfield said he had encouraged his colleagues to collaborate on designs so as to show that architecture was not just about unique eye-catching projects but more about “something created in collaboration with every citizen.”

The British designer also paid homage to the host city saying: “The city shames us by its beauty, reminding us of the real possibilities of architecture, both as individual acts and as part of a greater vision.”


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


 The Porta Magna at the Venetian Arsenale, site of the Biennale. Image by Paolo da Reggio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Porta Magna at the Venetian Arsenale, site of the Biennale. Image by Paolo da Reggio. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. From the left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. NASA image. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Auctioneer hoping Neil Armstrong autographs soar

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. From the left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. NASA image. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. From the left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. NASA image. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A series of autographs of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, will go under the hammer this week with auctioneers wondering if the sky’s the limit for the prized signatures.

Interest is likely to be intense, following Armstrong’s death last weekend at age 82, according to the Los Angeles auction house behind the sale.

“Neil Armstrong was very generous to those who sought out his autograph because they were inspired by the Apollo 11 mission,” said Nate Sanders, owner of Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

“When he realized that some people just requested it in order to sell it … he became disillusioned with autograph seekers. He didn’t believe in charging for his autograph, so at this time he suddenly stopped signing altogether.

“The irony is that thousands of people who didn’t have the opportunity to request an autograph from Neil himself can only have one now by purchasing one,” he added.

In 1980, a signed photo by Armstrong would fetch only $8. Shortly before his death the same item would go for $1,300 – or up to $5,700 if it wasn’t inscribed to an individual.

“Now, with Armstrong’s passing, the autograph community is anxiously awaiting to see if his autograph value will again skyrocket, stay the same or depreciate,” said Sanders.

Three of the five signed Armstrong items are Apollo 11 crew photos.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Apollo 11 crew portrait. From the left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. NASA image. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. From the left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. NASA image. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.