Il mercato dell’arte in Italia: Design italiano da Nova Ars

Enzo Mari, piatto in ceramica, Firmato sotto la base, Prod. Danese, Milano, 1973, Bibiliografia: Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Enzo Mari, piatto in ceramica, Firmato sotto la base, Prod. Danese, Milano, 1973, Bibiliografia: Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Enzo Mari, piatto in ceramica, Firmato sotto la base, Prod. Danese, Milano, 1973, Bibiliografia: Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa, Courtesy Nova Ars.

ASTI, Italia – La casa d’aste specializzata in design Nova Ars, con sede ad Asti in Piemonte, tiene il 6 maggio una vendita tutta dedicata al design industriale italiano. Include un centinaio di lotti tra cui alcune icone del passato originali del periodo in cui sono state create di non facile reperibilità.

“Quando si parla di design industriale vintage i prezzi per uno stesso oggetto possono cambiare enormemente a seconda della serie e di alcuni dettagli di produzione”, spiega ad Auction Central News Ilario Scagliola, direttore di Nova Ars. “Noi cerchiamo di avere sempre l’esemplare dell’anno in cui l’oggetto è stato concepito o al massimo quello dell’anno successivo per mantenere l’originalità e i dettagli dell’epoca”.

Uno dei lotti più interessanti dell’asta è un servizio da tè in porcellana di Richard Ginori su disegno di Giò Ponti. È databile agli anni 20 perché presenta un cartiglio d’oro usato per pezzi molto importanti e di alto livello solo per pochi anni intorno al 1923-1928 (lotto 3, stima €1.200-1.500). Si tratta, quindi, di un servizio che risale all’inizio della collaborazione tra Giò Ponti e Richard Ginori in cui si vede il cambiamento e tutta la modernità apportata dal maestro milanese.

Ciò si nota confrontando, per esempio, lo stesso servizio da tè con il lotto successivo (lotto 3A, stima €1.800-2.000), un vaso Richard Ginori del 1880 circa che presenta ancora una decorazione floreale con putti, uccelli e serpenti. Una produzione del genere sarebbe potuta andare avanti anche negli anni 20 se Giò Ponti non avesse introdotto un’estetica moderna.

Entrambi i lotti provengono dalla Pittoria di doccia, che è stata una delle più prestigiose manifatture di porcellana in Europa, di proprietà di Ginori e poi di Richard Ginori dopo la fusione.

Tra gli elementi di illuminazione, l’asta include una serie di lampade dell’azienda muranese Mazzega disegnata da Carlo Nason nel 1969, designer che proviene da una delle famiglie di vetrai più antiche dell’isola di Murano ma che allo stesso tempo è sempre stato molto innovativo. Sono importanti per la loro particolarità e perché non sono facili da reperire (lotti 65, 66, 68, 69 e 72; il 68 è un centrotavola ma fa parte della stessa serie. Stime tra €300-500 e €1.300-1.500).

Enzo Mari, importante designer, artista e teorico del design, è rappresentato da due centritavola importanti, entrambi realizzati da Danese Milano. Il primo è in porcellana del 1973, realizzato a mano con lo scopo di far tornare l’artigianato nel design (lotto 84, stima €3.000-3.500). Erano pezzi costosi e di difficile esecuzione. L’altro è in plastica del 1968. È molto raro perché era molto difficile da eseguire tanto che la produzione fu interrotta. L’oggetto è stato riproposto da Alessi qualche anno fa e già quello di Alessi è un pezzo da collezione, quindi questo è ancora più prezioso e raro (lotto 59, stima €1.200-1.500).

Da segnalare, infine, la lampada di Toni Cordero, famoso per gli interni realizzati per le case dell’alta società e della moda, realizzata per Artemide nel 1990. È interessante per il tipo di esecuzione e i materiali utilizzati (lotto 92A, stima €2.500-3.000).

 


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


EEnzo Mari, piatto in ceramica, Firmato sotto la base, Prod. Danese, Milano, 1973, Bibiliografia: Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Enzo Mari, piatto in ceramica, Firmato sotto la base, Prod. Danese, Milano, 1973, Bibiliografia: Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Centrotavola in plastica modello Adal, Enzo Mari, Danese, 1968, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Centrotavola in plastica modello Adal, Enzo Mari, Danese, 1968, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Gio Ponti, Richard Ginori, Pittoria di Doccia, 1925 ca. Servizio da tè in porcellana composto da 6 piattini, 6 tazze, teiera, zuccheriera e lattiera. Timbro e cartiglio dorato su ogni pezzo. Courtesy Nova Ars
Gio Ponti, Richard Ginori, Pittoria di Doccia, 1925 ca. Servizio da tè in porcellana composto da 6 piattini, 6 tazze, teiera, zuccheriera e lattiera. Timbro e cartiglio dorato su ogni pezzo. Courtesy Nova Ars
Lampadario in vetro soffiato di Murano a semicerchi concentrici, 1969, Dimensioni: h 50cm, larghezza 60cm, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Lampadario in vetro soffiato di Murano a semicerchi concentrici, 1969, Dimensioni: h 50cm, larghezza 60cm, Courtesy Nova Ars.

Art Market Italy: Italian Design at Nova Ars

Enzo Mari, piatto in ceramica, Firmato sotto la base, Prod. Danese, Milano, 1973, Bibiliografia: Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Enzo Mari, pottery centerpiece, Danese Prod, 1973, Dimensions: 11.6 inches by 11.6 inches by 1.8 inches. Literature: ‘Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa editions, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Enzo Mari, pottery centerpiece, Danese Prod, 1973, Dimensions: 11.6 inches by 11.6 inches by 1.8 inches. Literature: ‘Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa editions, Courtesy Nova Ars.

ASTI, Italy – Nova Ars, an auction house based in Asti, Piedmont, and specialized in design, will hold a sale on May 6 dedicated entirely to Italian industrial design. It includes just over 100 lots, among which are some scarce icons of the past with original pieces from the period in which they were created.

“In the market of vintage industrial design, prices for the same object can change greatly depending on the series and on production details,” Nova Ars Director Ilario Scagliola said to Auction Central News. “We always try to have an exemplary of the object from the year in which it was conceived or at most one of the following year in order to maintain the originality and the details of the time.”

One of the most interesting lots of the auction is a Richard Ginori tea set in porcelain designed by Giò Ponti. It dates to the 1920s because it has a golden decoration that was used for important and high-level pieces only for a few years around 1923 to 1928 (lot 3, estimate €1,200-€1,500, $1,656-$2,070). It is, therefore, a service that dates back to the beginning of the collaboration between Giò Ponti and Richard Ginori in which one sees the change and the modernity brought by the Milanese master.

One can notice it also comparing, for example, the same tea service with the next piece at auction (lot 3A, estimate €1,800-€2,000), a Richard Ginori vase from 1880 that shows a floral decoration with cherubs, birds and snakes. A production like this would have gone ahead until the 1920s if Gio Ponti had not introduced a modern aesthetic.

Both lots are from Pittoria di doccia, one of the most prestigious porcelain factories in Europe, owned by Ginori and the by Richard Ginori after the merger.

Among the lighting elements, the auction includes a series of lamps realized by Murano company Mazzega and designed by Carlo Nason in 1969, a designer who comes from one of Murano’s oldest families of glassmakers, but at the same time has always been innovative. They are important for their peculiarity and because they are not easy to find (lots 65, 66, 68, 69 and 72). Lot 68, a centerpiece, is part of the same series. Estimates run between €300-$500 and €1,300-€1,500.

Enzo Mari, important designer, artist and design theorist, is represented by two important centerpieces, both realized by Danese Milano. The first one is in porcelain, from 1973, and it was made by hand to bring back the craftsmanship into design (lot 84, estimate €3,000-€3,500). These pieces were expensive and difficult to produce. The other one is made of plastic and it is from 1968. It is rare because production was interrupted. The object was re-proposed by Alessi few years ago and even the Alessi piece is already a collector’s item, so this is even more valuable and rare (lot 59, estimate €1,200-€1,500).

Of note, finally, the lamp by Toni Cordero, famous for its interiors realized for the houses of high society and fashion, which was designed for Artemide in 1990 and is interesting for the type of design and the materials used (lot 92A, estimate €2,500-€3,000).


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Enzo Mari, pottery centerpiece, Danese Prod, 1973, Dimensions: 11.6 inches by 11.6 inches by 1.8 inches. Literature: ‘Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa editions, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Enzo Mari, pottery centerpiece, Danese Prod, 1973, Dimensions: 11.6 inches by 11.6 inches by 1.8 inches. Literature: ‘Enzo Mari, Il lavoro al centro, Electa editions, Courtesy Nova Ars.
Plastic centerpiece, model Adal, Enzo Mari, Danese, 1968. Courtesy Nova Ars.
Plastic centerpiece, model Adal, Enzo Mari, Danese, 1968. Courtesy Nova Ars.
Giò Ponti, pottery china tea set: six cups, six small plates, teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug. Signed and golden scroll on each piece. Courtesy Nova Ars.
Giò Ponti, pottery china tea set: six cups, six small plates, teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug. Signed and golden scroll on each piece. Courtesy Nova Ars.
Carlo Nason, ceiling lamp, chromed metal, blown glass, Prod. Mazzega, 1969, Dimensions: 8 inches high by 9.44 inches wide. Courtesy Nova Ars.
Carlo Nason, ceiling lamp, chromed metal, blown glass, Prod. Mazzega, 1969, Dimensions: 8 inches high by 9.44 inches wide. Courtesy Nova Ars.

Spanish art fraud suspect fights US extradition

MADRID (AFP) – A Spaniard suspected of perpetrating one of the world’s biggest art frauds has been freed ahead of a legal fight over his extradition to the United States.

The National Court released Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz after he refused voluntary extradition over the $33 million (45 million euro), two-decade scam, court sources said Tuesday.

U.S. investigators say he was a leading figure in the sale of fake masterpieces by artists including Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, works that were actually done by a Chinese painter he had met on a Manhattan street corner.

Spanish officers arrested Bergantinos at a hotel in the southern city of Seville on Friday, acting on a U.S. detention request, a police spokesman said.

Bergantinos, aged in his mid-50s, was caught by surprise after checking in at the four-star NH Viapol hotel and had to undergo a medical check after apparently fainting following the arrest, police sources said.

He testified on Monday from Seville to Judge Fernando Andreu of the National Court in Madrid.

His brother Jesus Angel Bergantinos Diaz, 65, who was detained in the northwestern Spanish city of Lugo in connection with the scam, was taken to Madrid to appear in person before the same judge.

The two brothers refused to be voluntarily extradited and were ordered to surrender their passports and remain in Spain pending extradition hearings, court sources said.

The National Court will preside over the extradition proceedings, they said. Any extradition order must then be ratified by Spain’s cabinet.

The two brothers and the Chinese painter, Pei Shen Qian, 75, were also indicted over the forgeries on Monday by federal prosecutors in the United States. Qian is believed to have fled to China.

U.S. prosecutors said Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz would buy up canvases of old paintings at flea markets, and stain newer canvases with tea bags, which he gave to Qian to create what have been dubbed “the Fake Works.”

Among the bogus works were those purportedly by Rothko, Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Motherwell.

In September last year, Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz’ girlfriend, Mexican-U.S. art dealer Glafira Rosales, pleaded guilty before a U.S. federal judge to selling counterfeit paintings to two of New York’s top galleries.

Spanish police said Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz was aged 55. The U.S. authorities gave his age as 58.

 

 

Material Culture to auction noted folk art collection May 4

Exquisite 19th century French cast-iron fountain figure labeled 'Bertrand Forest LYON,' 48 inches high. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Material Culture image.

Exquisite 19th century French cast-iron fountain figure labeled 'Bertrand Forest LYON,' 48 inches high. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Material Culture image.

Exquisite 19th century French cast-iron fountain figure labeled ‘Bertrand Forest LYON,’ 48 inches high. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Material Culture image.

PHILA., Pa. – On May 4, Material Culture will present the Kristina Barbara Johnson Estate in a special auction dedicated to this eclectic collection of fine, folk and decorative art, antiques and collectibles from the United States and around the world. This estate auction is a testament to the wide-ranging collecting interests of the remarkable Ms. Johnson, and presents a comprehensive look at her artistic taste. The auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern, with Internet live bidding provided by Liveauctioneers.

Kristina Barbara Johnson was named one of America’s Top 100 Collectors in Art and Antiques from 1986 to 1996, and her truly notable collection comprises over 1,000 lots in this sale. She spent 40 years as a trustee of the American Folk Art Museum, curating several exhibitions and introducing a yearly lecture series. Her eye for folk and self-taught or outsider art was both intuitive and informed. Her daughter Jeniah describes the pieces in her mother’s collection as “items that will not only enhance, or even launch, a folk art collection, but will also lend depth, warmth and humanity to an abstract collection or lightness of being and historical relevance to a traditional academic collection.”

The variety of art and artifacts in the auction also represents a life lived as a “voyage of discovery,” in Jeniah’s words. “Like any good explorer,” Jeniah says, “she kept a watchful eye for the new, the unusual, the exotic, the beautiful and the alluring. … She discerned good and bad; and the good came into her home.” The breadth of art – sculpture, illustration art, photography, pop art, pottery, textiles, and couture in addition to painting and drawing – along with antiques, vintage mid-century collectibles and Americana are a testament to Johnson’s inexhaustible energy for collecting.

The auction opens with work by several notable self-taught artists. A human figure in river stone by Virginian carver Raymond Coins (1904-1994) starts the day. Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), a preacher, missionary, musician and poet who worked primarily in New Orleans, is represented in an oil, watercolor and ballpoint pen painting on paper that bears many of the hallmarks of her work. Text often appears in her paintings, and the figures here appear against a backdrop of cursive words. The seated woman to the left is likely a depiction of the artist, who frequently placed herself within her own work, identified by the all-white attire Sister Morgan wore in life.

An oil painting on board by Pennsylvanian self-taught artist Justin McCarthy (1892-1977) demonstrates both his bright, expressionistic colors and his love of fashion plates. Hat Fashions, dating to 1961, shows the head and shoulders of five women in varying styles of hats in a long, horizontal frame. A double-sided mixed media collage by Felipe Jesus Consalvos (1891-1960) bears provenance including the Fleisher-Ollman Gallery of Philadelphia. The piece, titled White Eagle, is a superb example of the artist’s usage of the cigar-band collage tradition of his Cuban heritage to achieve playful political satire.

Self-taught and folk sculpture at the auction includes a statue by Vernon Burwell (1916-1990), an artist from North Carolina. He worked in concrete, painting his human and animal figures brightly, as with this painted cement statue of a preacher, with an inscription that reads “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD / JESUS CARES.” Two other painted concrete statues of a hunter and his dog come to auction from American artist Henry Marques. The hunter, measuring 37 1/2 inches high, is signed “Henry/1942;” the dog, titled Caego, measures 15 1/2 inches high. With provenance through Robert Anderson of Upper Black Eddy, Pa., this duo of figures also appears in Animals in American Folk Art by Wendy Lavitt. Seven lots of sculpture by Cuban artist Saturnino Portuonda “Pucho” Odio (1928-1997) are led by his spectacular Black Angel. This carved statue of painted wood, signed and dated “10-08-82,” depicts an angel in what could be either flight or repose. Originally owned by Trinidadian actor Geoffrey Holder, this sculpture was exhibited at the Katonah Museum of Art, in the exhibition “Spirits: Selections from the Collection of Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade,” and appears in the catalog for the same.

Johnson curated or consulted for numerous shows at the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, and others, but was most proud of her exhibition of hooked rugs, “American Classics.” Her love for this medium can be seen in the selection of hooked rugs, comprising over 60 lots in the auction. Pictorial and abstract designs are both on offer, in an array of shapes and sizes. A particularly outstanding antique pictorial rug, inscribed “I LOVE MY MAN WITH A TENDER DEVOTOIN (sic)/BUT I CANNOT GO HIS KIN!,” shows a married couple surrounded by apparently unsympathetic in-laws. The piece, mounted on a stretcher, measures 32 by 53 inches, with provenance that includes Dorothy Schlesinger, of New York, and Olde Hope Antiques, of New Hope, Pa. Like many artifacts and art in Johnson’s collection, this rug appeared in several exhibitions and publications, including Labors of Love: America’s Textiles and Needlework, 1650-1930 (New York, 1987), by Judith Reiter Weissman and Wendy Lavitt, American Classics: Hooked Rugs from the Barbara Johnson Collection (Princeton, N.J., 1988), by Barbara Johnson and Wendy Lavitt, and Hooked Rugs: An American Folk Art (New York, 1992), by Lesley Linsley.

Other exceptional pieces of American folk art coming to auction from Johnson’s collection include a carved and painted panel of Washington at Mount Vernon. The reverse is incised with the words, “Carved by J.W. Montgomery Dalton, Pa,” likely Jacob W. Montgomery, born in 1867, verified by genealogical and first-hand accounts. The carving shows George and Martha Washington at a table, accompanied by an African-American house servant, a dog and a cat, and is a variant of the famous painting by Edward Savage (1761-1817), known widely by engravings. The carving measures 16 by 30 inches, with provenance through Freeman’s Auctions of Philadelphia. A delightful paint-decorated tole weather vane, showing a farmer digging a spade into the earth, dates to the late 19th century. This piece from Pennsylvania appears in several publications, including Folk Art in America (Exton, Pa., 1984), by Adele Earnest, A Gallery of American Weather Vanes and Whirligigs (New York, 1984), by Robert Bishop and Patricia Coblentz, and Folk Art: Imaginative Works from American Hands (Alexandria, Va., 1990).

As a young woman, Johnson was an artist’s agent in the advertising industry, representing Raymond Savignac (French, 1907-2002) and becoming acquainted with Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) in his early days of fashion illustration, and her taste for both pop art and her connections to these artists are also in evidence in the sale. An original line drawing by Warhol titled Happy, depicts two young girls laughing. Hand-colored and drawn with blotted ink, this delicate work on paper dates to circa 1954. Other pop art includes a selection of Savignac commercial posters, and a screenprint in color by Peter Phillips (English, b. 1939), titled Custom Print No. 1. Signed, dated and numbered 46/200 in pencil, the piece was part of 11 Pop Artists, Volume I (1965).

Other items are also the fruit of Johnson’s connection to Warhol, including several lots that were previously in Warhol’s collection. One such artifact is a fine Native American squash blossom necklace of silver and turquoise, signed “M.A.W.” and dating to the early 20th century. The most exceptional piece of jewelry in the auction, however, is a large gold pendant with two balancing monkeys that is possibly pre-Columbian, dating to A.D. 600-1600.

Johnson’s Asian art is led by nearly 70 lots of Japanese woodblock prints. Particularly notable are works by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), considered the last great master of the ukiyo-e tradition. A complete set of his famous series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road comprises 55 polychrome woodblock prints. Single prints are also available, as with Hiroshige’s instantly recognizable Evening Shower at Atake and the Great Bridge, number 52 in his series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. Other woodblock print artists represented in the sale include Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) and Katsukawa Shunko (1743-1812). Arguably the finest lot of Chinese art at the auction is a pair of jeweled gilt bronze foo dogs. In vessel form, these spectacular beasts measure 15 by 9 by 10 inches each, and are covered in a variety of jewels and stones.

Photography is highlighted in a silver gelatin emulsion photograph by Manuel Alverez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002), titled Ventana A Los Magueyes. Dating to 1976, this striking image of the leaves of maguey plants appearing to reach towards the window of a house, bears provenance that includes the Witkin Gallery of New York. Copies of this photograph appear in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Over 25 lots of original illustration art are led by a painting of ink and watercolor on paper by George Carlson (American, 1887-1962), a cover for Drawing Funnies.

Johnson’s remarkable collection of antiques offers many gems. One of many lots of silver is an exquisite tea set, which includes three sterling silver pieces made in circa 1814 by Gerardus Boyce of New York City, along with two sterling silver pieces and two silver-plated pieces made to match by Tiffany.

Among the selection of fine antique furniture, a handsome early 18th century pine cupboard from Hudson Valley, New York stands out. A pair of cast-iron whippets may well have been made by J.W. Fiske & Co., the leading American manufacturer of decorative cast-iron in the second half of the 19th century. Over 30 lots of French Jaspe pottery, many dating to the late 19th or early 20th century, include plates, bowls, teapots, jars, pitchers, creamers and jugs.

Also at auction is a vintage automobile owned by Johnson, a 1950 Pontiac Chieftain convertible. Other vintage items include a selection of hats and several bags by Louis Vuitton and Hermes. Johnson’s diverse enthusiasm can be seen in her collections of fish decoys, comprising 25 lots, whaling-era artifacts, canes, metal cars and airplanes, coins and more.

Nearly 100 lots of art and fixtures suitable for outdoor decorating come to auction from Johnson’s garden. The finest in garden sculpture is an exquisite 19th century French cast-iron fountain figure of a woman in Grecian clothing. Labeled “Bertrand Forest, LYON,” the statue measures 48 by 16 by 12 inches. A fine pair of Adams and Storrie, Philadelphia Victorian cast-iron urns remain in excellent condition. Also of interest is an artisan-made cast stone figure of a policeman. This large piece, measuring 69 inches high, comes with his own shelter in the style of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.

An exhibition party to celebrate Kristina Johnson and the legacy of her diverse collection will be held on Friday, May 2, from 7 to 11 p.m., with live music, a DJ, and refreshments. Material Culture’s new restaurant, Baba Olga’s Café & Supper Club, which serves lunch daily, will additionally be open for dinner that evening, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Both the exhibition and the party are free and open to the public.

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


Exquisite 19th century French cast-iron fountain figure labeled 'Bertrand Forest LYON,' 48 inches high. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Material Culture image.

Exquisite 19th century French cast-iron fountain figure labeled ‘Bertrand Forest LYON,’ 48 inches high. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Material Culture image.

1950 Pontiac Chieftain convertible, in original condition, serial #W8TH9008, automatic transmission, running, overall fair condition. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Material Culture image.

1950 Pontiac Chieftain convertible, in original condition, serial #W8TH9008, automatic transmission, running, overall fair condition. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Material Culture image.

Henry Marques (American): 'Caego and Hunter,' titled 'Caego' of dog and twice signed and dated 'Henry/1942' on figure, painted concrete. Hunter 37.5 inches high; dog 15.5 inches high.  Estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Material Culture image.

Henry Marques (American): ‘Caego and Hunter,’ titled ‘Caego’ of dog and twice signed and dated ‘Henry/1942’ on figure, painted concrete. Hunter 37.5 inches high; dog 15.5 inches high. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Material Culture image.

Justin McCarthy (American, 1891-1977), 'Hatted Beauty,' 1962, oil on board. Size: 18.5 inches x 15 inches. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000. Material Culture image.

Justin McCarthy (American, 1891-1977), ‘Hatted Beauty,’ 1962, oil on board. Size: 18.5 inches x 15 inches. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000. Material Culture image.

Antique Flemish wing chair, upholstered in Aubusson tapestry. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Material Culture image.

Antique Flemish wing chair, upholstered in Aubusson tapestry. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Material Culture image.

Group sets Rosie the Riveter record at former bomber plant

A real-life Rosie the Riveter operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tenn., working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber in 1943. Image by Alfred T. Palmer, U.S. Office of War Information, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

A real-life Rosie the Riveter operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tenn., working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber in 1943. Image by Alfred T. Palmer, U.S. Office of War Information, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A real-life Rosie the Riveter operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tenn., working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber in 1943. Image by Alfred T. Palmer, U.S. Office of War Information, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) – A group trying to save a portion of a Detroit-area assembly plant where Rosie the Riveter once worked is the proud owner of a new Guinness World Record.

Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant officials announced Monday that Guinness has officially recognized the 778 “Rosies” who gathered March 29.

The publishers of the Guinness book wrote that the group now holds the title of “largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter.”

The record attempt was part of an ongoing effort to raise the cash needed to save part of the former Willow Run bomber plant in Ypsilanti Township and transform it into the new home of the Yankee Air Museum.

The group said Monday it must raise $1.25 million by May 1 to prevent demolition.

___

Online:

http://www.savethebomberplant.org

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

AP-WF-04-21-14 1403GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


A real-life Rosie the Riveter operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tenn., working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber in 1943. Image by Alfred T. Palmer, U.S. Office of War Information, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A real-life Rosie the Riveter operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tenn., working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber in 1943. Image by Alfred T. Palmer, U.S. Office of War Information, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Bid, Dick, bid: ‘Dick and Jane’ artworks to be auctioned

Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the 'Dick' character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.
Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the 'Dick' character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.
Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the ‘Dick’ character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.

BROOKLINE, N.H. (AP) – In the portrait, the little boy’s blue eyes twinkle as he looks straight ahead. His apple cheeks shine. There’s a gap in his teeth, and his reddish-brown hair is just slightly tousled. He’s an All-American boy.

He’s Dick, of the illustrated “Dick and Jane” series that helped teach generations of American schoolchildren to read from the 1930s to the 1970s.

He’s also Nancy Childress’ childhood neighbor and the model for the drawing by her father, Robert Childress, that along with Jane, Sally, Spot the dog and others brought the pages of the reader to life.

Nancy Childress is selling her father’s artwork at auction in New Hampshire at the end of April. Along with Dick, there are other portraits, black-and-white drawings of John F. and Jackie Kennedy and offerings from his collection of pastel paintings of college buildings around the country.

“As an artist, there were many illustrators during the time my father was working,” said Nancy Childress, who lives in Gilmanton, N.H. “This was the day of the illustrator. What’s different about my father’s illustrations is that most could either do landscape or people, and he had the uncanny ability to do both equally well.”

Childress’ realism will remind the viewer immediately of Norman Rockwell’s illustrations and that’s not a complete coincidence: The two were friends.

Nancy Childress said her father, who retired to Warner, N.H., and died in 1983, never took an art class, learning to paint with a set given to him as a gift from an aunt and uncle before he was 10. And he didn’t just use the neighbor boy as a model for the series that he illustrated during the 1950s and ’60s: Nancy was Sally, her sister Susan became Jane and their mother was also one of Robert Childress’ inspirations.

“We loved it,” she said. “My sister and I loved getting into costumes. And he would always include us. He would ask us, ‘What do you think of this? Is it too green? Is it too blue?’ But the opinion that mattered was my mother’s.”

Born in South Carolina, Childress was living in Ithaca, N.Y., when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of H.E. Babcock, a former chairman of the board for Cornell University. Through his connection with Babcock, he met Duncan Hines, the home food entrepreneur whose cakes and other products still stock grocery shelves. Childress painted the portrait of Hines that would adorn his product packaging and Childress launched a career in advertising.

He moved the family to Old Saybrook, Conn., where Childress painted ads for Coca-Cola, Mobil, Wonder Bread and the Campbell Soup Co., among others. Some of the ads are included in the auction.

Auctioneer Ronald Pelletier of Brookline Auction Gallery said estimates for the roughly 50 lots of Childress art run from $100 to $2,000 and because it is an “absolute auction” there is no reserve bid, meaning the lowest bid wins. He said there is a market for original art, but he couldn’t predict how the Childress collections would fare.

He is most struck by how multidisciplined Childress was.

“I mean, the man could work in any medium,” he said.

The live online auction will be held April 30.

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AP-WF-04-20-14 2101GMT

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.

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 LOT OF NOTE


Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the 'Dick' character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.
Robert Childress watercolor portrait of the ‘Dick’ character with five photographs of the model. Image courtesy of Brookline Auction Gallery LLC.

Sculpture struck by truck due to return to Ind. museum

'Helmholtz,' 1985, by Mark di Suvero, painted and stainless steel. Image courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
'Helmholtz,' 1985, by Mark di Suvero, painted and stainless steel. Image courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
‘Helmholtz,’ 1985, by Mark di Suvero, painted and stainless steel. Image courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – A large steel sculpture damaged by a truck that barreled across the lawn of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art has been repaired and could return home soon.

The abstract steel sculpture Helmholtz depicting a bull could be back in the city between mid-May and late June, museum Executive Director Charles A. Shepard III told The News-Sentinel.

The 8-ton, 26-foot-tall sculpture made largely of steel I-beams was damaged last June 16 when police say Colton Adamonis of Fort Wayne drove into it. The sculpture was taken apart in August and shipped by truck to the Petaluma, Calif., studio of artist Mark di Suvero for repair by the sculptor and his staff.

“They were able to fix it perfectly,” Shepard said.

When it returns to Fort Wayne depends on how soon di Suvero’s staff can take it apart, load it on a truck and drive it to the city, Shepard said. He should know more about its arrival date within the next two weeks.

“We’d like to get it delivered and installed before the Three Rivers Festival,” he said.

If it can’t be done before the festival in mid-July, the museum will wait until after the event because cranes and other equipment needed to install Helmholtz could pose a danger to festivalgoers, Shepard said.

The art museum wanted di Suvero to repair the piece to preserve its artistic integrity and market value. The work, which has been part of the museum’s collection since 1985, would have been valued at $1 million to $1.5 million before the damage, Shepard has said.

Once in Fort Wayne, Helmholtz will return to its location in Freimann Square beside the Arts United Center, Shepard said. There will be changes aimed at preventing future damage: di Suvero wants to attach it to the concrete pads on which it stands, rather than merely resting on them, Shepard said.

The museum’s insurance company also wants it to install a concrete bench or other barrier to prevent vehicles from hitting Helmholtz, Shepard said.

Shepard has said previously that no city or tax dollars would be used to repair the sculpture. The costs were paid by the museum’s insurance policy and by Adamonis’ insurance, he said.

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Information from: The News-Sentinel, http://www.news-sentinel.com/ns

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

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Helmholtz,' 1985, by Mark di Suvero, painted and stainless steel. Image courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
‘Helmholtz,’ 1985, by Mark di Suvero, painted and stainless steel. Image courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

Ohio Historical Society will update its ‘antiquated’ name

The Ohio Historical Society's Ohio Village with the Ohio History Center in the background. The site is located at 800 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

The Ohio Historical Society's Ohio Village with the Ohio History Center in the background. The site is located at 800 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.
The Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio Village with the Ohio History Center in the background. The site is located at 800 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The 129-year-old Ohio Historical Society is being rebranded as the Ohio History Connection, after many state residents said they saw the organization as “inaccessible and antiquated.”

The switch will happen on May 24, following public opinion polls that showed “a disconnect between the quality of services we’re providing and the image,” says executive director Burt Logan.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Logan – who was brought in five years ago to take charge of the financially struggling nonprofit organization – and the board of directors are taking on the task of changing the society’s admittedly stodgy image.

The society said in a statement that research showed it “is seen as exclusive and not having an image across the state that people find welcoming.”

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AP-WF-04-21-14 1037GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Ohio Historical Society's Ohio Village with the Ohio History Center in the background. The site is located at 800 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.
The Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio Village with the Ohio History Center in the background. The site is located at 800 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.