The inconspicuous entrance to The Other Art Fair, one of London’s most adventurous contemporary art fairs. Image Auction Central News.

London Eye: April 2014

The inconspicuous entrance to The Other Art Fair, one of London’s most adventurous contemporary art fairs. Image Auction Central News.

The inconspicuous entrance to The Other Art Fair, one of London’s most adventurous contemporary art fairs. Image Auction Central News.

LONDON – You could have walked past the entrance to The Other Art Fair in the fashionable Marylebone district of London last week without noticing it, such is the unpretentious, low-budget approach to this still relatively new artist-led London art fair. The event is staged twice a year, once in the spring, and again in October at the Truman Brewery in East London to coincide with the bigger high-ticket Frieze Fair. Its real innovation is in giving the public an opportunity to buy affordable art from around £50 upwards direct from the artists. By all accounts it is a model that is working well, no doubt in large part due to its informal approach to location and design

Having passed the front desk, visitors descended a flight of concrete steps to arrive in the service basement of a municipal office block complete with exposed ductwork and emergency lighting. Even the reception desk had to compete with a backdrop of overflowing dumpsters and industrial detritus, none of which remotely ruffled the placid calm of the young woman graciously greeting visitors.

Skip the niceties, the reception desk of The Other Art Fair offers a funkier take on the conventional art fair model. Image Auction Central News.

Skip the niceties, the reception desk of The Other Art Fair offers a funkier take on the conventional art fair model. Image Auction Central News.

So accustomed have we become to the glitzy veneer of top-end art fairs like Frieze, the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Masterpiece Fair, Art Basel and the rest, all of which are focused on their core clientèle of ultra high net worth individuals, that the street-wise, Reservoir Dogs approach of The Other Art Fair comes across as a breath of fresh air. This is fair design that reinvents the grit and grime of a now largely forgotten avant garde approach to contemporary art: fresh and funky and full of vibrant energy.

Inside, we spoke to Georgia Parodi-Brown of pioneering online auction house Paddle 8, who talked with enthusiasm about the fair’s approach and the buzz in the air on the opening night. She was on the stand of London-based Art Below whose founder, Ben Moore, has partnered with Paddle 8 to auction artist-designed Star Wars Storm Trooper masks customized by the likes of Jake and Dinos Chapman and Matt Collishaw.

Georgia Parodi-Brown of Paddle 8 at The Other Art Fair in Marylebone in April. Image Auction Central News.

Georgia Parodi-Brown of Paddle 8 at The Other Art Fair in Marylebone in April. Image Auction Central News.

The so-called “Art Wars” initiative aims to raise funds to launch a search for Ben’s brother Tom, who has been missing for 10 years.

The best judges of an artist-led fair like this are surely the exhibiting artists themselves. Stand rentals are competitively priced at around £700, a mere fraction of what the fashionable fairs charge. Still, artists would not return if they failed to cover their costs. Those we spoke to were extremely positive. Rachel Ann Stevenson was upbeat at the interest expressed in her bronze sculptures.

British sculptor Rachel Ann Stevenson at The Other Art Fair in London in April. Image Auction Central News.

British sculptor Rachel Ann Stevenson at The Other Art Fair in London in April. Image Auction Central News.

Meanwhile, her small, taxidermied sleeping mice assemblages titled Little Lives Dream, were selling well at £300 a pop.
‘Little Lives Dream,’ a limited edition taxidermy work by Rachel Ann Stevenson, seen at The Other Art Fair in London in April. Image Auction Central News.

‘Little Lives Dream,’ a limited edition taxidermy work by Rachel Ann Stevenson, seen at The Other Art Fair in London in April. Image Auction Central News.

Also smiling was self-trained photographer Roy Tyson whose Roy’s People stand is now a regular presence at The Other Art Fair events. His quirky photographs comprising tiny model figures placed in real world environments were flying off the walls. “The Other Art Fair is always good for me,” said Roy. “Last October’s event at the Truman Brewery was mental. But this one’s been great too. I’ve sold loads.”

Photographic artist Roy Tyson whose Roy’s People stand was proving popular with visitors to The Other Art Fair in April. Image Auction Central News.

Photographic artist Roy Tyson whose Roy’s People stand was proving popular with visitors to The Other Art Fair in April. Image Auction Central News.

Unsurprisingly, these positive testimonials were greeted with a broad grin by the fair’s enterprising young founder-director Ryan Stanier, a graduate of Kingston University’s School of Business and Law.

Ryan Stanier, founder-director of The Other Art Fair at his Marylebone event in April. Image Auction Central News.

Ryan Stanier, founder-director of The Other Art Fair at his Marylebone event in April. Image Auction Central News.

“We’ve had a fantastic and encouraging response from artists and visitors alike,” said Stanier. “The challenge is finding the right venue to keep costs manageable but the atmosphere this time has been great, visitor numbers are up and sales have been very positive.”

A few days after The Other Art Fair closed, the venerable London Original Print Fair opened at the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly.

The final day of the London Original Print Fair was well attended at the Royal Academy on April 27. Image Auction Central News.

The final day of the London Original Print Fair was well attended at the Royal Academy on April 27. Image Auction Central News.

This is a rather more sedate affair but there was a clear sense on the final Sunday of a highly focused clientele with a specialist interest in this section of the market. Next year will be the fair’s 30th anniversary, an event that director, Helen Rosslyn is looking forward to with obvious relish.
Helen Rosslyn, director of the London Original Print Fair, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2015. Image courtesy the London Original Print Fair.

Helen Rosslyn, director of the London Original Print Fair, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2015. Image courtesy the London Original Print Fair.

“This is my 27th fair,” she told Auction Central News, “and once again we’ve had a very good response. The First World War centenary theme explored by some dealers has been particularly successful, with Gerrish, the Fine Art Society and Osborne Samuel all reporting an encouraging number of sales of works by war artists like Nash and C.R.W. Nevinson.”

Asked how the London Original Print Fair has managed to stay ahead, given the capital’s increasingly crowded fair circuit, Rosslyn observed that the LOPF’s strict specialism has always worked in its favor. “We may not get the same levels of visitors as some of the bigger fairs, but our buyer/sale rates are proportionally higher thanks to our core focus.”

The stand of fine art print dealers Gerrish, who were doing a solid trade in prints by World War I artists at the London Original Print Fair in April. Image Auction Central News.

The stand of fine art print dealers Gerrish, who were doing a solid trade in prints by World War I artists at the London Original Print Fair in April. Image Auction Central News.

This was borne out by Gordon Samuel, director of London Modern British dealers Osborne Samuel, who remarked, “We were delighted with the number of serious international collectors at this year’s London Original Print Fair and have made some significant sales and met a number of new clients. We’ve been delighted with sales across the board and have enjoyed meeting a number of curators from institutions who regard the fair as an important and necessary date in their arts diaries.”

This year the London Original Print Fair benefited further by coinciding with the Royal Academy’s exhibition of chiaroscuro woodblock prints from the collection of German contemporary artist Georg Baselitz, which reinforced the print theme. The Royal Academy was also helping celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late British postwar sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003), by displaying four of the artist’s large angular steel beast sculptures.

Steel beast sculptures by the late British artist Lynn Chadwick on the forecourt of the Royal Academy. This year is the centenary of Chadwick’s birth. Image Auction Central News.

Steel beast sculptures by the late British artist Lynn Chadwick on the forecourt of the Royal Academy. This year is the centenary of Chadwick’s birth. Image Auction Central News.

Chadwick was the winner of the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1956, but despite the presence of many of his highly individualistic works in prominent public locations, his oeuvre remains largely unrecognized by the general public. Perhaps the various exhibitions taking place around London this year will go some small way toward reinvigorating interest in his significant contribution to postwar British sculpture.

And finally, turning to the auction circuit, a brief note about a most unusual collection coming under the hammer of Canterbury Auction Galleries on June 12. The auction house has been instructed to disperse the contents of Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd, for 150 years one of the most prominent dealers in minerals, fossils and natural history curiosities.

Minerals and fossils from the Gregory, Bottley and Lloyd business, the contents of which will be dispersed by Canterbury Auction Galleries in June. Image Auction Central News.

Minerals and fossils from the Gregory, Bottley and Lloyd business, the contents of which will be dispersed by Canterbury Auction Galleries in June. Image Auction Central News.

Established in London in 1850 by James Reynolds Gregory, the firm was one of the longest surviving mineral specimen suppliers in the world. In 2008 the stock, original Victorian cabinets, display cases, books, specimens and geological antiques, were moved to Walmer in Kent. The auction follows the decision by owners Brian and Mary Lloyd to retire.

It will be fascinating to see how such a highly specialist and somewhat idiosyncratic collection is greeted by buyers in Canterbury on June 12.

The original interior of the Gregory, Bottley and Lloyd fossil and minerals business, the stock, fixtures and fittings of which will be dispersed by Canterbury Auction Galleries in June.

The original interior of the Gregory, Bottley and Lloyd fossil and minerals business, the stock, fixtures and fittings of which will be dispersed by Canterbury Auction Galleries in June.

Watch this space.

 

Wes Cowan with Michael DeFina (left), Cowan's Auctions' regional representative at the Cleveland office. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image.

Cowan’s Auctions to open Cleveland location June 2

Wes Cowan with Michael DeFina (left), Cowan's Auctions' regional representative at the Cleveland office. Cowan's Auctions Inc. image.

Wes Cowan with Michael DeFina (left), Cowan’s Auctions’ regional representative at the Cleveland office. Cowan’s Auctions Inc. image.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions Inc., a fixture in Cincinnati for nearly 20 years, is branching out to northeast Ohio. Wes Cowan, nationally known as a PBS Antiques Roadshow appraiser and star of PBS’ History Detectives, has announced his company will open a Cleveland office on June 2.

“We are thrilled to bring our expertise and love for the antiques we sell to the Cleveland area, and we are looking forward to bringing live auctions to the Cleveland area in the coming months,” said Cowan.

While Cowan intends to conduct two to three auctions per year in the Cleveland area starting after Labor Day, he said most of the items sourced in northern Ohio will be sold at their home base in Cincinnati to keep costs down.

“We’ve been looking at Cleveland for several years now as the site of a regional office. Over the last 10 years we’ve done a lot of business in Cleveland and surrounding northern Ohio cities, and it just made increasing sense to get some real boots on the ground in Ohio’s largest metropolitan area.” said Cowan.

“Cleveland has some fine autioneers but we believe we have more to offer, and that’s full service and the level of expertise others don’t have,” said Cowan.

Cowan’s Auctions has named Michael DeFina its regional representative. DeFina, previously the owner of DeFina Auctions in Cleveland, has owned and operated his own auction business in the Cleveland area for more than 30 years.

“I have known Michael for more than 20 years. When I saw that he wanted to get away from the nitty gritty of running an office, I got on the phone immediately and convinced Michael that he really didn’t want to retire completely. He’s such a quality person; he’s just the sort of person I want to do business with,” said Cowan, adding, “He’ll be the one making most of our house calls.”

Wes Cowan and his team of experts at Cowan’s Auctions visited the Cleveland area for an appraisal fair at the Western Reserve Historical Society on Saturday. Experts included their specialists in the fields of American history, fine jewelry and timepieces, Americana, paintings, prints, furniture, sculpture, glassware, porcelain, American Indian art and other related material.

Cowan’s announced two additional Cleveland employees, Katie Morley and Carrie Corrigan. Morley will be Cowan’s new representative for estates and trusts. She has served in various educational and advisory positions with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She is currently completing a Christie’s Education Program with a certificate in Art Business. Corrigan, a Parma, Ohio, native, will be the Cleveland office manager. Prior to joining Cowan’s she worked at the Kent State Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum and the Western Reserve Historical Society in various collections management positions.

The new Cleveland office will be located at 26801 Miles Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Wes Cowan Wes holds a B.A. and M.A. in anthropology from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. Before becoming an auctioneer Cowan taught at the Anthropology Department of Ohio State University and was curator of archaeology at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History.

Cowan’s auctions feature both live and online bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com, and typically attract over 1,000 bidders from all over the world. Cowan’s annual sales approach $20 million.

Contact Michael DeFina at Michael@cowans.com for any consignment inquiries or questions.


 

 

An exceptional example of the classic J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope bank. RSL Auction Co. image

Andy & Susan Moore bank collection leads RSL’s June 7 auction

An exceptional example of the classic J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope bank. RSL Auction Co. image

An exceptional example of the classic J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope bank. RSL Auction Co. image

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. – On Saturday, June 7th, RSL Auction Company will offer the premier still and mechanical bank collection of Andy Moore and Susan Moore, authors of the classic 1984 reference “The Penny Bank Book.” The auction of nearly 700 lots, which will take place at RSL’s recently inaugurated gallery in central New Jersey, will also feature the lifetime mechanical bank collections of Bill Robison and Rich Garthoeffner. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

“To still bank collectors, there is no more important book than the one that Andy and Susan Moore wrote. Its publication is what brought still banks to national prominence and got the hobby rolling in a big way,” said RSL partner Ray Haradin. “Collectors are going to be very excited about the prospect of bidding on book examples from this famous, long-held grouping of banks. There are three or four world-class examples of banks that haven’t been on the market in ages.”

Like so many early bank collectors, Andy Moore (1937-1986) made his living in the financial world. For 11 years, he served as president of Beverly Bank in Chicago. He and his wife, Susan, built their bank collection together over a 17-year period and displayed it with pride in their comfortable suburban home.

“In 1993, much of the Moore collection was sold, but the family retained the cream,” Haradin said. “That’s what we’ll be selling.”

The Moore portion of the sale numbers 130 banks – 50 mechanicals and 80 stills, most of which are actual examples shown in “The Penny Bank Book.” That includes the finest-known circa-1890 Transvaal Money Box, which was chosen for the book’s cover.

One of the top lots, a prized Circuit Rider bank, depicts a man – perhaps a traveling minister, as the name would suggest – on a horse. It is technically a semi-mechanical bank, Haradin explained, because it has a retainer that holds a coin in place until the horse is rocked forward and the deposit is made. Its presale estimate is $15,000-$25,000.

Within the Moore collection are examples of nine of 13 figural “safe” banks manufactured around 1895 by the Chicago company Harper. They include Little Red Riding Hood, Santa Claus, a carpenter, and the first version with Old Mother Hubbard on its façade that Haradin has ever seen.

The finest of three known examples of a Board of Trade still bank will be offered. Its stock market theme depicts a bull and bear fighting over a sack of money.

Of the mechanicals coming directly from the Moore collection, one of the best is a Bill E. Grin, made by J. & E. Stevens around 1910. There are also some rare examples of spelter banks, which continue to attract new enthusiasts at each successive RSL sale. A highlight among the spelters is an appealing bear with mallet and tin drum.

The June 7th sale will mark the second occasion on which RSL has represented Ohio collector Bill Robison at auction. “We had the privilege of selling Mr. Robison’s still bank collection six years ago. Now he has chosen to sell his collection of mechanicals, which includes some very rare and beautiful banks, as well as some color variations we’ve never seen before,” said RSL partner Leon Weiss. One of those rare variations is a Hen and Chick bank that features a brown hen on a red base.

Because Robison tended to buy in small regional auctions as opposed to larger, better-publicized sales, many of his banks will be “new” to the marketplace and to collectors, even those who are advanced. They’ve sat quietly on Robison’s display shelves for decades, some since the 1970s. “It’s a fresh collection, full of surprises,” Weiss noted. One of those fresh surprises is an exquisite 5-hole variation of the Hold the Fort bank.

A pedigreed entry from the Robison collection is the Uncle Sam bank that was first runner-up in a competition hosted by the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America in the late 1980s. By means of comparison, the winning bank that year belonged to Steven and Marilyn Steckbeck, leading lights of the hobby long known for their superior collection.

Much more awaits bidders at the June 7th auction, including the last of the Rich Garthoeffner mechanical bank collection. “As everyone in business knows, Rich Garthoeffner is a revered Americana, folk art and toy dealer from Pennsylvania, and he has never compromised on quality,” said Steven Weiss, the third partner in RSL Auctions. “The banks in his private collection are exceptional by anyone’s standards. An example would be the Stevens Girl Skipping Rope bank that Mr. Garthoeffner purchased in the early 1980s at Parke-Bernet in Manhattan. At the time, the price he paid for the bank set an auction record.”

Other gems in the Garthoeffner group include a Stevens bank known as Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat, with strong colors and a beautiful patina; and two near-mint buildings – a Magic Bank and a Novelty Bank.

Filling out the high-rent neighborhood is a very fine consignment from an architectural bank collector in New York City. “We’ve been selling selections from this consignor over the past two years. This time he has given us 30 outstanding architectural banks, including a superb Boston State House and a very rare painted Chicago Bank that has a flag embossed ‘Chicago’ overhead,” Steven said.

RSL’s Saturday, June 7, 2014 auction will take place at the company’s new gallery located off I-78 at 295 US Hwy 22 East, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889. Look for the “One Salem Square” sign. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.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


 

An exceptional example of the classic J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope bank. RSL Auction Co. image

An exceptional example of the classic J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope bank. RSL Auction Co. image

Andy and Susan's signature bank, the Transvaal Money Box, was pictured on the cover of their groundbreaking reference book titled 'The Penny Bank Book.' RSL Auction Co. image

Andy and Susan’s signature bank, the Transvaal Money Box, was pictured on the cover of their groundbreaking reference book titled ‘The Penny Bank Book.’ RSL Auction Co. image

An extremely rare and desirable semi-mechanical Circuit Rider is one of the most highly prized banks in the Moore Collection. RSL Auction Co. image

An extremely rare and desirable semi-mechanical Circuit Rider is one of the most highly prized banks in the Moore Collection. RSL Auction Co. image

Rarest of the rare, the Moore selection of Harper safes is second to none. RSL Auction Co. image

Rarest of the rare, the Moore selection of Harper safes is second to none. RSL Auction Co. image

One of the finest known examples of J. & E. Stevens’ Bill E. Grin bank. RSL Auction Co. image

One of the finest known examples of J. & E. Stevens’ Bill E. Grin bank. RSL Auction Co. image

An investment icon, this Board of Trade bank is the best of the three known examples. RSL Auction Co. image

An investment icon, this Board of Trade bank is the best of the three known examples. RSL Auction Co. image

One of the finest Uncle Sam banks in the land. RSL Auction Co. image

One of the finest Uncle Sam banks in the land. RSL Auction Co. image

A terrific selection of German spelter banks. RSL Auction Co. image

A terrific selection of German spelter banks. RSL Auction Co. image

The Bill Robison collection features very rare and desirable color variations. This orange-base Hen and Chick bank is a unique example. RSL Auction Co. image

The Bill Robison collection features very rare and desirable color variations. This orange-base Hen and Chick bank is a unique example. RSL Auction Co. image

An extremely fine example of the bank known as Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat. RSL Auction Co. image

An extremely fine example of the bank known as Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat. RSL Auction Co. image

Extremely rare short version of the Fortune Wheel. RSL Auction Co. image

Extremely rare short version of the Fortune Wheel. RSL Auction Co. image

A gorgeous example of the blue-blanketed Seated Bulldog, made by J & E. Stevens. RSL Auction Co. image

A gorgeous example of the blue-blanketed Seated Bulldog, made by J & E. Stevens. RSL Auction Co. image

The very rare Indiana Paddle Wheeler. RSL Auction Co. image

The very rare Indiana Paddle Wheeler. RSL Auction Co. image

East side gate at the old Michigan State Prison in Jackson. Image by Andrew Jameson.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

‘7 Block’ of Mich. prison to reopen this summer as museum

East side gate at the old Michigan State Prison in Jackson. Image by Andrew Jameson.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

East side gate at the old Michigan State Prison in Jackson. Image by Andrew Jameson.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – A portion of the former Southern Michigan Correctional Facility in the Jackson area is becoming a home for history.

The Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History is partnering with the Michigan Department of Corrections to create a prison museum within the 7 Block portion of the prison that closed in 2007, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported.

Corrections Director Dan Heyns formerly served as Jackson County sheriff and was a longtime member of the sheriff’s department before taking his current job with the prison system in 2011. He said the facility is a “rich and important part of the city of Jackson’s history.”

Heyns said in a statement that the Michigan Department of Corrections envisions “the 7 Block historical site preserved and utilized in a manner that best serves the Jackson community.” Other prison facilities are still open in the Jackson area.

The Southern Michigan Correctional Facility had operated in some capacity since the 1930s. After it closed it was used in 2009 for filming of the Robert De Niro and Edward Norton movie Stone. The 7 Block potion was including in the Jackson Journeys prison tours from 2011-13.

Ella Sharp Museum officials are seeking artifacts from former inmates, employees and anyone else affiliated with the prison to be featured as part of the museum. They want items including letters, journals, artwork and photos, as well as oral histories related to the facility.

Organizers hope to open the museum in Blackman Township by the end of June, the Ella Sharp Museum said. An admission cost hasn’t been determined.

___

Online:

http://www.ellasharpmuseum.org

___

Information from: Jackson Citizen Patriot, http://www.mlive.com/jackson

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-29-14 1412GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


East side gate at the old Michigan State Prison in Jackson. Image by Andrew Jameson.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

East side gate at the old Michigan State Prison in Jackson. Image by Andrew Jameson.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (© Disney).

Chicago museum extends Disney exhibit by 3 months

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (© Disney).

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (© Disney).

CHICAGO (AP) – The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is extending a popular exhibit of Walt Disney archives.

Anne Rashford is director of temporary exhibits at the museum. In a statement Monday, she says the exhibit is being extended for three months. It is now scheduled to end Aug. 3.

The exhibition, titled “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,” includes more than 300 artifacts from nine decades of Disney history. It features costumes, props and artwork from classic Disney animation, live-action films, theme parks and television shows.

Rashford says the exhibit offers a rare peek into Disney’s life and “the unforgettable entertainment he created.”

Attendees must purchase a separate ticket for the exhibit in addition to their museum admission.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-29-14 1259GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (© Disney).

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (© Disney).

Image architect Philip Johnson's Glass House enveloped in fog. Image by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Philip Johnson’s Glass House hosts ‘Veil,’ a poem in fog and glass

Image architect Philip Johnson's Glass House enveloped in fog. Image by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House enveloped in fog. Image by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

NEW CANAAN, Conn. (AP) – The Glass House, architect Philip Johnson’s iconic Modernist structure set in the woods here, has been wrapped in a poetic fog by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, a sort of Christo of mist.

Like the glass structure itself, Nakaya’s Veil installation plays on the transparent and opaque, the permanent and ephemeral.

“I’m making an invisible natural phenomenon visible,” explained the Tokyo-based artist. “Usually, you ignore all the dynamics in the air. People go around the world to view an eclipse so they can experience a natural phenomenon that usually can’t be seen. But you don’t have to go that far.”

Dense fog gushes forth from 600 specially designed nozzles around the Glass House for around 10 minutes at a time. Using meteorological studies of the site, Nakaya carefully timed and calibrated the nozzles to maximize the visual effects of wind, humidity and air pressure.

For about half an hour, the thick mist dances gently around and over the house, sometimes enveloping it completely. At times, the mist cascades into the wooded valley below, and at times it floats up toward the hillside above, making parts of the house and landscape briefly disappear while usually invisible atmospheric forces come into focus.

“Johnson’s interest in the balance of opposites is evident throughout the Glass House campus. With Nakaya’s temporary installation, we carry this sensibility to its endpoint while allowing the unique magic of the Glass House – the dream of transparency, an architecture that vanishes – to return again and again as the fog rises and falls,” said Glass House director Henry Urbach.

The installation, about an hour’s train ride north of New York City, is open to the public from May 1 to Nov. 30. It is part of a larger effort by Urbach, who was architecture curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art before taking the helm of the Glass House in 2012, to foster new interpretations of the historic site.

Other new initiatives include overnights in the Glass House; performances, readings and art exhibitions on the grounds; self-guided tours; and commissioned works, such as this one, that engage the house itself.

Johnson’s home in New Canaan, a village including almost 100 important Modernist structures, was a center of art and architecture, particularly during the `50s and `60s. Built in 1949, the Glass House was home to Johnson and his partner, art dealer David Whitney, until 2005.

Johnson was the first curator of the Museum of Modern Art’s architecture department, and a friend and associate of Alfred Barr, the founding director of MoMA. Cutting-edge artworks and architectural concepts were often debuted at the Glass House before being exhibited in Manhattan.

Veil is Nakaya’s first major work on the East Coast. From inside the silent sleekness of the Glass House, being enveloped by undulating fog feels at times like being inside a sort of three-dimensional time-lapse movie. From outside the house, or from the hillsides below or above the structure, the impact of the installation is completely different, and it’s ever flowing and changing depending on the weather.

“I look for the very best stage for the fog to perform. Then it’s at the mercy of the wind,” explained Nakaya, whose father, Ukichiro Nakaya, was a physicist credited with making the first artificial snowflakes. She started out painting clouds before experimenting with fog.

“I wanted only water, no chemicals, and a nozzle that could make extremely tiny droplets,” she said. After extensive research, she found a California cloud scientist, Thomas Mee, trying to produce fog to help protect crops from early frost. Although she said the chemical-free fog nozzle system proved too expensive for agricultural use, Nakaya has been using a version of it for decades to produce her fogscapes.

Her first fog installation was in 1970 at the Osaka World Expo, where she enveloped the Pepsi Pavilion in dense fog in collaboration with the avant-garde artists’ collaborative Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), founded by artist Robert Rauschenberg and Bell Labs engineer Billy Kluver.

Nakaya’s over 50 fog installations have appeared at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, emerged from fountains at the Grand Palais in Paris and cascaded from bridges around the world. She has collaborated with Rauschenberg and other artists on dramatic fog performances and stage sets. Her only previous fogscape in New York, in 1980, was much smaller, at Johnson’s apartment in lower Manhattan. She also showed a fog sculpture in Washington, D.C., 30 years ago, she said.

The 49-acre Glass House grounds, a National Trust Historic Site, also feature Modernist outdoor sculptures, a brick house (designed as a counterpoint to the glass one), two art galleries (one of which resembles a grass-covered nuclear bomb shelter), a small Modernist swimming pool, and a Greek-style Neo-Classical pavilion, made of cast concrete with a ceiling once gilded in gold, floating on a pond.

Shuttles to the grounds depart from the Glass House’s offices across from the New Canaan train station. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Guided and self-guided tours are available. The Glass House is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

___

Online:

The Glass House: www.theglasshouse.org

New Canaan Historical Society: www.nchistory.org

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-29-14 1403GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Image architect Philip Johnson's Glass House enveloped in fog. Image by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House enveloped in fog. Image by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This 156-troy-ounce gold nugget, known as the Mojave Nugget, was found by a prospector in the Southern California Desert using a metal detector. Image by Chris Ralph, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Spring brings metal detecting hobbyists in search of treasure

This 156-troy-ounce gold nugget, known as the Mojave Nugget, was found by a prospector in the Southern California Desert using a metal detector. Image by Chris Ralph, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This 156-troy-ounce gold nugget, known as the Mojave Nugget, was found by a prospector in the Southern California Desert using a metal detector. Image by Chris Ralph, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Curtis Sorge wasn’t ready to divulge the location of his find, because he’s looking to get back over there and see if he can find more buried treasure. Let’s leave it at a public park near a schoolyard.

On the last Sunday of March, Sorge, 42, went to this undisclosed Lincoln location with the gear he’d picked up recently at Midwest Diggers, Bruce Schwenke’s metal detector-specific store at 4120 La Salle St.

As a kid, Sorge said he’d had a brief fling with a metal detecting hobby, but it never got serious. But Sorge has hunted for treasure at garage sales for years. This year, he decided to get back in to detecting.

“I’ve always been fascinated with history,” Sorge told the Lincoln Journal Star. “This kind of makes it more fun.”

And today’s metal detectors dwarf the technology of the ones from Sorge’s childhood. They include displays that produce readings that tell diggers what material likely lies underground, and how deep. So you have a pretty good idea sometimes that the thing in the ground will be a nickel or a penny or a can. But you never know for sure until you dig, he said.

At the park, his detector started bleeping, signaling that something foreign was about 4 inches beneath the ground. He knelt down to dig a hole, and found something in the first clump of dirt he lifted – a heavily scuffed coin.

During a previous hunt, he came upon what turned out to be arcade tokens from a ShowBiz Pizza Place. He thought he’d found another of those, or maybe a quarter. But when he sifted the coin out of the dirt, he found that one side of the coin read “United States of America” and “1856.”

“Crazy find,” Sorge said.

The pre-Civil War penny – an unheard of find in a state founded 11 years after that coin was minted – has been the talk of the Midwest Historical Preservation Society, a recently formed Lincoln club consisting of 14 metal-detecting enthusiasts.

Founded by Schwenke, the club members meet at the store on the first Tuesday of each month to tell tales of their recent finds, plan future hunts and talk about their favorite locations.

Their ranks includes a pastor (Bob Lynn), a Nebraska State Patrol employee (Jason Halouska), the owner of Hungry Eye Tattoo (Sorge) and more.

“We have one member that’s 10 years old and one member that’s 74,” Schwenke said.

“I’ve always liked history and I liked finding stuff, and those two go hand in hand,” Halouska said.

Last year, he found a Civil War badge from a Union soldier who he learned was buried at Wyuka Cemetery. Each member has a favorite find or three, even one of the newest ones. Renae Oliver said she found a 1952 penny in her parents’ backyard.

“That’s just the plus,” Schwenke said. “That’s the excitement.”

For Schwenke, who’s been metal detecting for more than 30 years, the main appeal lies beyond a surprising or valuable find. On April 11, he and a few members took a look around College View Park, and Schwenke couldn’t stop remarking on the nice pre-snowstorm spring weather.

“Today’s a beautiful day,” he said. “Just eat it up.”

He posts videos on YouTube not only of the wheat pennies or, say, an antique lamp base he found but also of a softball-size mushroom he happened upon along the way.

“You really are paying attention to detail,” Schwenke said. “You’ve gotta love nature and we try really hard to leave it better than we found it.”

That’s part of the Society’s code of ethics. When they go detecting, the members ask permission to dig on private property, pick up litter, fill any holes they dig and close gates.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-27-14 1734GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


This 156-troy-ounce gold nugget, known as the Mojave Nugget, was found by a prospector in the Southern California Desert using a metal detector. Image by Chris Ralph, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This 156-troy-ounce gold nugget, known as the Mojave Nugget, was found by a prospector in the Southern California Desert using a metal detector. Image by Chris Ralph, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

A xiphactinus skeleton at the reopened North Dakota Heritage Center. Image courtesy of the North Dakota Heritage Center.

North Dakota Heritage Center reopening to public

A xiphactinus skeleton at the reopened North Dakota Heritage Center. Image courtesy of the North Dakota Heritage Center.

A xiphactinus skeleton at the reopened North Dakota Heritage Center. Image courtesy of the North Dakota Heritage Center.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s official history museum is reopening to the public after nearly two years of renovations.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple was touring the upgraded Heritage Center on Monday, and then the first two galleries of the three-gallery expansion were opening to the public.

The center on the state Capitol grounds in Bismarck has been closed since the fall of 2012 for a $51.7 million makeover.

The grand opening for the expanded and renovated center is scheduled for November, which is the 125th anniversary of North Dakota’s statehood.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-28-14 1429GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


A xiphactinus skeleton at the reopened North Dakota Heritage Center. Image courtesy of the North Dakota Heritage Center.

A xiphactinus skeleton at the reopened North Dakota Heritage Center. Image courtesy of the North Dakota Heritage Center.

Extremely fine 1864 gold 50-lire, struck in Torino under King Vittorio Emanuele II. Estimate £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Baldwin’s to sell historic European coin collection May 7

Extremely fine 1864 gold 50-lire, struck in Torino under King Vittorio Emanuele II. Estimate £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Extremely fine 1864 gold 50-lire, struck in Torino under King Vittorio Emanuele II. Estimate £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

LONDON – The latest offering from one of the world’s most prolific coin collectors, Åke Lindén, maps the social and numismatic history of modern Europe with coins of the highest rarity including a George I gold 100-drachmai, the rarest issue of modern Greece, and one of the finest examples of the 1868 20-lei gold pattern proof. Held as part of Baldwin’s three-day auction schedule, the European part of the collection will be sold on Wednesday, May, 7. Internet live bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.

“This extensive and impressive collection of European coinage is part of a calendar of auctions to be held throughout 2014, presenting Åke Lindén’s large-scale collection to the numismatic market. Following the success of his Russian coins, which sold through our New York auction earlier this year, in excess of US $1 million, we fully expect that the European collection will be as popular as its Russian counterpart,” said Dimitri Loulakakis, director of World Coins at A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd.

Swedish born Lindén found numismatic inspiration from a young age, encouraged by his widely traveled father who brought him coins from every country he visited. Possibly as a result of this, his numismatic interests were wide ranging and eventually he set about amassing his vast collection of every type coin since 1850, from every country in the world. Being the true collector that he was, Lindén would consider any coin that was missing from his collection, regardless of the condition. However, when it came to the very rarest items, he did not hesitate to acquire them in top condition at whatever the price.

An extremely fine 1864 gold 50-lire, struck in Torino under King Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most sought after pieces from the collection. With a mintage of only 103, it is by far the rarest one-year type coin of the Italian Kingdom series and is estimated to achieve £50,000-£60,000.

This coin was one of the last to be minted before the Kingdom of Italy joined an initiative to unify the countries of Europe under one currency standard, interchangeable across the nations, and called the Latin Monetary Union (LMU), a precursor to the Euro.

Under the reign of its first monarch, King Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy was one of the founding members of the LMU, along with France, Belgium and Switzerland. The standard evolved from the French franc system introduced by Napoleon, based on the gold 20-franc and the silver franc, bimetallism.

A new standard weight currency that could be freely exchanged between the four countries soon enticed other European nations, and in 1868, under the rule of George I, the Kingdom of Greece, along with Spain, entered into the LMU with the first Greek LMU coins minted in 1868. These new coins aligned with the weights of their European counterparts and were minted in France.

The rarest of all regular issue coins of modern Greece, the George I gold 100-drachmai, 1876, was minted in Paris, the same year his daughter, Marie, was born, and was part of the LMU initiative. With a mintage of only 76, the reverse bears the Order of the Saviour, below the royal arms, the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state. King George I gained territory for Greece throughout the 1870s and re-established her standing as a nation in pre-World War I Europe. A statement of his power, this propaganda coin glorifies the second and longest reigning monarch in modern Greek history, who ruled as king for 50 years until his assassination in March 1913. The coin is estimated to sell for £50,000-£60,000.

“The George I 100-drachmai is a testament to Lindén’s dedication to acquiring top quality rarities, it is as close to fleur-de-coin, a perfect coin, as one would ever wish to own. It is a magnificent specimen,” said Loulakakis.

While most of Europe was looking to unite under one currency, Romania fought for independence from Austria and Turkey, something they finally achieved in 1866, under the rule of Carol I.

The provinces, Maramures, Bucovina, Moldova, Crisana, Banat, Transilvania, Moldova, Walachia and Dobrogea, became the principality of Romania and the Leu of 100-bani minted in 1867, with the gold 20-lei added in 1868. Only 100 pieces of the gold pattern proof 20-lei, 1868 were minted, and in 1875 Carol I ceremonially deposited a quantity into the foundations of his summer house, Peleş Castle, a neo-classical palace he was building in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains. The remaining coins were distributed among his friends and dignitaries. This example in the Lindén collection is by far the finest known of the few surviving pieces and is estimated at £40,000-£50,000.

The political turbulence of the early 20th century, which culminated in the outbreak of World War I, brought instability and the imminent collapse of the LMU. Under the rule of Vittorio Emanuele III, himself an avid coin collector, Italy remained neutral to its neighbors. In 1901, still under the LMU, Italy produced the silver 5-lire 1901 prooflike coin in Rome, with a mintage of only 114. It was the first coin bearing Vittorio’s portrait to be produced during his reign and is one of the rarest coins of the Vittorio Emanuele III series. The example offered in the sale is one of the few top quality examples still in existence, and is estimated at £25,000-£30,000.

Another rarity in the sale from the Vittorio Emanuele III series is a unique 1908 bronze 10-centesimi, struck in Rome. From a mintage of three, this coin is the only example in private hands, the others are in state institutions. It is estimated at £12,000-£15,000.

During World War I Germany faced currency shortages due to an increase in people hoarding coins. At the time the German empire was unified under one coinage system, based on 100-pfennig to the mark, with lesser denominations struck in one form for the whole empire, and higher value denominations bearing the head and titles of the local rulers.

From the Kingdom of Saxony, the key coin of the entire “Kaiserreich” series, a silver proof 3-mark, 1917, was struck under Friedrich August III, King of Saxony. One of the last coins to be minted under Friedrich August III before he voluntarily abdicated the throne on Nov. 13, 1918. The fall of the German Empire, and the collapse of the traditional dynasties in 1918, ended this coinage system. With a mintage of just 100, this celebrated rarity bears the bust of Friedrich the Wise on the obverse, and on the reverse the imperial eagle. It is estimated at £30,000-£40,000.

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


Extremely fine 1864 gold 50-lire, struck in Torino under King Vittorio Emanuele II. Estimate £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Extremely fine 1864 gold 50-lire, struck in Torino under King Vittorio Emanuele II. Estimate £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

George I of Greece gold 100-drachmai, 1876. Estimate: £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

George I of Greece gold 100-drachmai, 1876. Estimate: £50,000-£60,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Italy silver 5-lire 1901 depicting Vittorio Emanuele III. Estimate: £25,000-£30,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Italy silver 5-lire 1901 depicting Vittorio Emanuele III. Estimate: £25,000-£30,000. A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. image.

Gallery Report: May 2014

Alexander Calder gouache, $78,200, Cottone Auctions

An original gouache painting by Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), titled Loops Filled In, sold for $78,200 at a Winter Fine Art & Antiques Auction held March 29 by Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, N.Y. Also, a color linocut on Arches paper by Pablo Picasso (Spanish/French, 1881-1973), titled Faunes et Chevre, also hit $78,200; a color etching and aquatint by Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983), titled Le Permissionaire, brought $40,000; and a Tiffany Studios Daffodil lamp, 25 inches tall, reached for $57,000. Prices include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Read more