The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., noted for its collection of American Impressionist paintings. Image by Pi.1415926535. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Conn. brothers plead guilty to series of burglaries

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., noted for its collection of American Impressionist paintings. Image by Pi.1415926535. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., noted for its collection of American Impressionist paintings. Image by Pi.1415926535. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – Two brothers from Old Lyme have pleaded guilty to charges they burglarized homes throughout southeastern Connecticut between 2009 and 2012.

The Day of New London, Conn., reports 27-year-old Justin Weissinger and 23-year-old Karl Weissinger entered their pleas to larceny charges Wednesday under the Alford Doctrine, which means they don’t agree with the prosecutors version of events, but acknowledge the evidence exits to secure their convictions.

Prosecutors say the brothers stole jewelry, precious metals, antiques, guns and other valuables during their burglary spree. Under a plea deal, Justin Weissinger is expected to receive a 9-year prison sentence. Karl Weissinger has agreed to a 3-year sentence.

A Mystic, Conn., jeweler charged with receiving more than $200,000 worth of items stolen by the brothers, is scheduled to enter a plea on July 30.

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Information from: The Day, http://www.theday.com

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., noted for its collection of American Impressionist paintings. Image by Pi.1415926535. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., noted for its collection of American Impressionist paintings. Image by Pi.1415926535. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee.

Monaco palace to part with Napoleon collection

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee.

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l’Armee.

PARIS (AFP) – The Prince’s Palace of Monaco will auction the contents of its museum dedicated to Napoleon this November in what experts describe as the “sale of the century” for fans of the period.

French auction house Osenat confirmed reports on Thursday that the palace’s museum would hold the auction on Nov. 15 and 16 in Fontainebleu, near Paris.

The collection, consisting of nearly 1,000 items including manuscripts, weapons and paintings, was mostly put together in the early 20th century by prince Louis II of Monaco.

A black felt cocked hat, which was worn by the emperor during his imprisonment on the island of Elba, is valued at between 300,000 and 400,000 euros ($410,000 to $545,000).

There are also items from other nobles of the age, including a gold, diamond-encrusted sword that belonged to Russian Csar Alexander II valued at between 600,000 and 800,000 euros ($820,000 to $1.1 million).

Experts told AFP it will be the “sale of the century” for buyers interested in the period, but not everyone is pleased.

“I regret that the contents of the museum are being dispersed,” said Jean Etevenaux, head of the “Remembering Napoleon” society, which brings together connoisseurs on the era.

“I suppose French museums will attempt to acquire some pieces, but will they have the means?”


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee.

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l’Armee.

2009 photo of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels. Credit: Michael Wal, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and1.0 Generic license.

Court orders extradition of Jewish museum shooting suspect

2009 photo of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels. Credit: Michael Wal, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and1.0 Generic license.

2009 photo of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels. Credit: Michael Wal, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and1.0 Generic license.

VERSAILLES, France (AFP) – A French court on Thursday ordered the extradition to Belgium of a man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, but his lawyer said he would appeal the ruling.

The court in Versailles, west of Paris, said Franco-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, who was detained several days after the attack, should be handed over to Belgian authorities for killings “with a terrorist connotation.”

There had been a European warrant issued for Nemmouche’s arrest and an extradition request from Belgium.

But his decision to appeal means there will be a further delay.

His lawyer Apolin Pepiezep told reporters that it was his client’s “right” to appeal “and he intends to exercise it.”

Nemmouche, who had spent more than a year fighting with radical Islamists in Syria, did not show any emotion at the verdict.

He was arrested on May 30 in the southern city of Marseille in a bus coming from Brussels during a random check by customs officials.

A revolver and Kalashnikov rifle were found in his luggage – similar weapons to those used in the shooting – as was a portable camera.

A Jewish couple was killed in the May 24 shooting, as was a French woman and Belgian man.

The French government is deeply concerned about the radicalization of its nationals after several citizens have gone to fight with jihadists in Syria.

It unveiled an anti-terrorism plan in April to prevent radicalization, thwart online recruitment and make it more difficult for aspiring jihadists to leave the country.

Since then, apart from the arrest of Nemmouche, authorities have also deported a Tunisian accused of recruiting young jihadists to fight in Syria.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


2009 photo of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels. Credit: Michael Wal, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and1.0 Generic license.

2009 photo of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels. Credit: Michael Wal, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and1.0 Generic license.

The Perez Art Museum, Miami. Image by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Perez Art Museum.

Vote underway to recognize Florida’s best new buildings

The Perez Art Museum, Miami. Image by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Perez Art Museum.

The Perez Art Museum, Miami. Image by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Perez Art Museum.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Floridians are being given a chance to recognize their favorite local buildings.

The Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is holding the People’s Choice Architecture competition.

Online voting is underway through July 18. Buildings built in the past five years that contribute to the life and well-being of residents are eligible.

Among those already nominated are the new Perez Art Museum in Miami and the Perdido Key Fire Station and Community Center in Pensacola.

The Palm Beach Post reports the winners will be announced at the architecture group’s annual convention July 19 in Miami.

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Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com

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

AP-WF-06-25-14 0704GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Perez Art Museum, Miami. Image by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Perez Art Museum.

The Perez Art Museum, Miami. Image by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Perez Art Museum.

Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Commemorative Air Force / American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum). Image by Kogo.This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Japanese Zero fighter artifact back in Hawaii 73 years later

Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Commemorative Air Force / American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum).  Image by Kogo.This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Commemorative Air Force / American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum). Image by Kogo.This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

HONOLULU (AP) – A metal plate with the serial number of a Japanese Zero fighter that crashed during the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor has returned to Hawaii.

The plane careened into palm trees and a group of artillerymen at the entrance of an ordnance machine shop on Fort Kamehameha 73 years ago. The crash killed four men and the Japanese pilot.

The serial number “5289” was cut out of the plane’s aluminum fuselage. It was hidden in an envelope for decades until it was auctioned on eBay in March.

Honolulu attorney Damon Senaha bought the plate for $12,225 to donate to the National Park Service and the museum at the USS Arizona Memorial.

He turned it over on Monday, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

“I believe this belongs to the American people,” Senaha said. “This was an attack on this country, (and for it to remain in that envelope), where it’s hidden and people cannot appreciate just the profoundness of what happened in history and what really shaped Hawaii, would be unfortunate.”

Park officials called the serial number significant and very rare.

“I think that’s the coolest piece of airplane wreckage I’ve seen that we have, and I would love to have it publicly displayed,” said Scott Pawlowski, chief of cultural and natural resources for the park service.

He called the donation “very generous.”

Pawlowski said the museum will research the serial provenance, determine whether it needs conservation to protect the paint, and make it available to researchers before it goes on public display.

___

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 2058GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Commemorative Air Force / American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum).  Image by Kogo.This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero (Commemorative Air Force / American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum). Image by Kogo.This file is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Picture of the last four full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines, circa 1860s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Chicago’s Field Museum to return Aboriginal remains

Picture of the last four full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines, circa 1860s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Picture of the last four full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines, circa 1860s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Field Museum in Chicago is returning the remains of three Aborigines taken from Tasmania at a time when European colonists, doctors and natural history researchers were looting burial grounds and massacre sites.

Aboriginal rights campaigners will attend a signing ceremony Wednesday at the museum. The documents will transfer the partial skulls to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Center, which for years has been seeking the return of remains from museums and other institutions around the world.

“It is a wonderful feeling to be part of an event like this, where we each do what we can to repair the damage done in the past,” said Annette Peardon, one of the visiting Aboriginal delegates.

Tasmania is an island state of Australia, south of the mainland. Tasmania’s indigenous Aborigines were almost wiped out by white settlement in the 19th century. Thousands were killed when they were pushed from their ancestral lands.

Aborigine bones and skulls were taken to Britain during the 19th century when Australia was still a collection of six British colonies. The thriving trade in Aboriginal remains would eventually scatter those bones among museums throughout the world.

The remains being returned this week date back to that period but were not acquired by The Field Museum until 1958.

They were part of a 7,000-item collection of Pacific materials that the museum bought from English collector Capt. A.W.F. Fuller. Fuller did not travel to the Pacific himself, but bought artifacts in the early 20th century from individuals, auction houses and institutions.

The three partial skulls were never put on display at The Field Museum, and museum officials have found no record of them ever being used for research.

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 1922GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Picture of the last four full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines, circa 1860s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Picture of the last four full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines, circa 1860s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

'Star Wars' creator George Lucas. Image by Nicholas Genin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas selects Chicago for museum

'Star Wars' creator George Lucas. Image by Nicholas Genin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas. Image by Nicholas Genin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

CHICAGO (AP) – Star Wars creator George Lucas announced Tuesday that he has picked Chicago to host his much-anticipated museum of art and movie memorabilia, in a major victory for the nation’s third-largest city.

San Francisco and Los Angeles also had sought the museum. Lucas said in a written statement that he hopes to open the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in 2018.

“I am humbled to be joining such an extraordinary museum community and to be creating the museum in a city that has a long tradition of embracing the arts,” Lucas said.

The selection was somewhat of a surprise, given Lucas’ close ties to California: He is a native of the state, Lucasfilm’s visual effects division is based in San Francisco and the headquarters for Lucasfilm and Skywalker Sound is across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.

But Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed hard for his city. And Chicago was always given a good chance at the Lucas museum, in large part because Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, a prominent businesswoman, is from Chicago and the city closed down Promontory Point along the Lake Michigan shore so the couple could host a star-studded party to celebrate after the couple’s California wedding.

For the Lucas museum, Chicago offered up a slice of real estate along the lakefront that is near other attractions, including the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. At the same time, San Francisco suffered a setback when it rejected Lucas’ first choice of a location near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Emanuel has long been trying to portray Chicago as a global destination. Throughout the decision process, a spokesman for Lucas praised the city for the attention it heaps on culture, architecture, innovations and education – some of which are the themes Lucas’ museum will seek to promote.

“Chicago’s a great city. We have a tradition that resonates closely with the way George Lucas has described his museum, as a museum of visual storytelling,” said Gillian Darlow, CEO of Polk Bros. Foundation and a co-chair of Chicago’s site selection task force. “He wants to help inspire other people, especially kids, to have bold visions the way he did.”

Emanuel met with reporters briefly Tuesday evening at City Hall to announce the decision. “I can’t thank George and Mellody enough,” Emanuel said. He pledged to work with the community to develop plans for the museum.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s news really didn’t come as much surprise in San Francisco after a board rejected Lucas’ proposal to build the museum near the Crissy Field, a former U.S. Army airfield in the Presidio. The board then offered Lucas a second site near a digital arts center.

“We are very disappointed to see Mr. Lucas go to Chicago,” said Sam Singer, a spokesman for the park. “The Presidio Trust turned down his concept for the main location, but we immediately offered him a second locale.

“He never responded back to our generous offer.”

Singer said Lucas’ team called Tuesday afternoon with the decision.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said in a statement that he hopes to continue working with Lucas and his foundation on “other endeavors that will help educate the young people of the Bay Area, his home.”

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AP writers Terry Collins in San Francisco, and Carla K. Johnson and Kerry Lester in Chicago contributed to this report.

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

AP-WF-06-24-14 2352GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Star Wars' creator George Lucas. Image by Nicholas Genin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas. Image by Nicholas Genin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

Le Destin, Plate XVI. Est. £5,000-7,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Matisse prints to be offered at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury sale July 3

Le Destin, Plate XVI. Est. £5,000-7,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Le Destin, Plate XVI. Est. £5,000-7,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

LONDON – Henri Matisse’s cut-outs have been receiving floods of visitors at the Tate Modern exhibition “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs,” which opened earlier this year. On Thursday, July 3, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions will offer collectors and investors the opportunity to take home some of the fascinating and rare cut-out works from the final chapter of Matisse’s diverse and influential career in a sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Despite ill health that left him immobile and unable to paint or draw freely, Matisse embarked on a new phase of his career that would prove to be his most influential and celebratory. Taking inspiration from the circus, he used a pair of scissors to cut lively shapes from brightly colored gouache-painted paper creating a series of paper cut-outs, papier decoupés, which were published in Jazz, 1947, a limited-edition book containing color pochoirs of the paper cut collages, accompanied by his written thoughts. Widely regarded as the most important artist’s book of the 20th century, it is scarce that individual plates from Jazz, such as these, should appear at auction.

A union between drawing and color, Matisse called this dynamic style “painting with scissors.”

Originally intended as illustrations for a poetry collection, Matisse instead replaced the verse with his own notes, which were originally written with a paintbrush in looping letters.

Henri Matisse: “You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk … There are leaves, fruits and a bird.”

The combination of vivid colors with abstract and figurative subject matter evokes a glorious celebration of life against adversity. These highly sought after Jazz prints echo today as one of the most beautiful and groundbreaking series of 20th century art.

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


Le Destin, Plate XVI. Est. £5,000-7,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Le Destin, Plate XVI. Est. £5,000-7,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

La Cour, Plate VII. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

La Cour, Plate VII. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

La Lagon, Plate XIX. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

La Lagon, Plate XIX. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Le Lagon, Plate XVII. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Le Lagon, Plate XVII. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Le Loup, Plate VI. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

Le Loup, Plate VI. Est. £1,500-2,000. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions image.

The Samuel Betts (London, active 1645-1673) ebonized bracket clock, circa 1660-1665, realized $109,250. The winning Australian buyer won the clock through LiveAuctioneers in a heated battle against seven phone bidders and numerous other Internet bidders. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

Rare English clock rings up $109,250 at Jeffrey Evans auction

The Samuel Betts (London, active 1645-1673) ebonized bracket clock, circa 1660-1665, realized $109,250. The winning Australian buyer won the clock through LiveAuctioneers in a heated battle against seven phone bidders and numerous other Internet bidders. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

The Samuel Betts (London, active 1645-1673) ebonized bracket clock, circa 1660-1665, realized $109,250. The winning Australian buyer won the clock through LiveAuctioneers in a heated battle against seven phone bidders and numerous other Internet bidders. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – A rare 17th century English clock made by Samuel Betts of London sold for a record price of $109,250 during the firm’s 26th semiannual cataloged auction of Americana, antiques, and fine and decorative arts, held June 21. The winning Australian buyer won the clock through LiveAuctioneers.com in a heated battle against seven phone bidders and numerous other Internet bidders.

The circa 1650-1665 ebonized-case bracket clock, with engraved brass dial signed “Samuel Betts London” in script, featured a double-fusee movement. It carried a pristine provenance, coming from the collection of Kenneth Henry Leach, who purchased the clock circa 1911-1912 from an antique shop in rural England; thence by descent to the consignor Maurice Derby Leach Jr. and Virginia Baskett Leach, of Lexington, Va. The clock also came with an extensive examination report prepared for the Leach family in 1991 by W. David Todd of the Smithsonian Institution.

Samuel Betts (active 1645-1673) was an important early English clockmaker who made both watches and bracket clocks. Betts is often associated with Edward East (1610-1693), who is generally regarded as one of the finest clockmakers of the period and served as clockmaker to Charles I and Charles II.

As always, Evans and his staff offered a fine selection of important Virginia furniture and decorative arts, which drew strong interest and heated bidding. Leading the way was a rare mahogany Chippendale side chair attributed to the shop of Robert Walker in Fredericksburg, circa 1745-1760, with a lovely shaped crest and heavily scrolled ears. It sold for $28,750 against a $3,000-$5,000 presale estimate to an advanced Virginia collector (Lot 434). Several other early Virginia chairs were offered including a circa 1785-1795 mahogany transitional Chippendale corner or smoking chair from the Petersburg, Va., area. It had descended in the prominent Sydnor family of Richmond and Petersburg and sold for $16,100 against the $5,000-$8,000 estimate (Lot 433). Case furniture included a fine figured walnut Chippendale desk with a slightly later bookcase top, made in the Tidewater area circa 1760-1780, that survived in fine condition. The condition, combined with its direct descent through 10 generations of the Woodhouse and Davis families of Virginia, pushed its final selling price to more than 10 times its low estimate ending at $23,000 (Lot 443).

The auction offered an array of fine art including a Porfirio Salinas landscape painting measuring only 8 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches, depicting a lush field of bluebonnets. Salinas’ work is much admired in Texas and attracted strong attention from bidders in that part of the country, selling for $8,050, far over the estimate of $1,000-$2,000 (Lot 636).

Among the decorative objects offered, a Limoges dinner plate from the Lincoln White House sold to a descendant of Mary Todd Lincoln for a strong result, realizing $9,200, even though the rim had sustained significant damage in one area. Its estimate was reasonable, $300-$500, and its final price proves the adage that rarity sells well even if condition moderates the price paid (Lot 659). The plate had recently surfaced and was formerly in the collection of Dorothy Fowler Cooper of Washington, D.C.

After the auction company president and head auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans commented, “Outstanding fresh-to-the market merchandise with no reserves and conservative estimates continues to excite bidders. This is especially true for Southern material that retains its provenance. Buyers are looking for pieces that tell a story that they can relate to.” He went on to add, “One of our main objectives when cataloging is to bring out these stories, place the material within an historical context, and research and record as much of the history/provenance of the piece as possible. That is what brings these objects to life and engages collectors.”

The 679-lot auction realized $544,000 including the 15 percent buyer’s premium. More than 2,500 bidders from 31 different countries registered for the sale.

For further information email info@jeffreysevans.com or call 540-434-3939.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The Samuel Betts (London, active 1645-1673) ebonized bracket clock, circa 1660-1665, realized $109,250. The winning Australian buyer won the clock through LiveAuctioneers in a heated battle against seven phone bidders and numerous other Internet bidders. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

The Samuel Betts (London, active 1645-1673) ebonized bracket clock, circa 1660-1665, realized $109,250. The winning Australian buyer won the clock through LiveAuctioneers in a heated battle against seven phone bidders and numerous other Internet bidders. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

The circa 1785-1795 mahogany transitional Chippendale corner or smoking chair from the Petersburg, Va., area, sold for $16,100 against the $5,000-$8,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

The circa 1785-1795 mahogany transitional Chippendale corner or smoking chair from the Petersburg, Va., area, sold for $16,100 against the $5,000-$8,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A rare mahogany Chippendale side chair attributed to the shop of Robert Walker in Fredericksburg, Va. circa 1745-1760 sold for $28,750 against a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A rare mahogany Chippendale side chair attributed to the shop of Robert Walker in Fredericksburg, Va. circa 1745-1760 sold for $28,750 against a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A fine Virginia figured walnut Chippendale desk with a slightly later bookcase top, realized $23,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A fine Virginia figured walnut Chippendale desk with a slightly later bookcase top, realized $23,000. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A Limoges dinner plate from the Lincoln White House sold to a descendant of Mary Todd Lincoln for $9,200, even though the rim had sustained significant damage in one area. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A Limoges dinner plate from the Lincoln White House sold to a descendant of Mary Todd Lincoln for $9,200, even though the rim had sustained significant damage in one area. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A fine Porfirio Salinas landscape painting measuring only 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches sold for $8,050. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A fine Porfirio Salinas landscape painting measuring only 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches sold for $8,050. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A diminutive painted-decorated pine blanket chest from Pennsylvania, circa 1830, sold for $7,475. Its unusual design, condition and size brought lots of attention and it sold for three times the estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

A diminutive painted-decorated pine blanket chest from Pennsylvania, circa 1830, sold for $7,475. Its unusual design, condition and size brought lots of attention and it sold for three times the estimate. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image.

'Man with a Plaid Blanket' by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter.

Frankfurt artist becomes first German to win BP Portrait Award

'Man with a Plaid Blanket' by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter.

‘Man with a Plaid Blanket’ by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter.

LONDON – German artist Thomas Ganter was named winner of the BP Portrait Award 2014 on Wednesday at the National Portrait Gallery. The prestigious first prize – in the 25th anniversary year of the competition – was won by the 40-year-old Frankfurt artist for Man with a Plaid Blanket, a striking portrait of a homeless car-windshield cleaner.

Ganter was presented with £30,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £5,000. The portrait can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday, June 26, when the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition opens to the public.

A chance sighting outside Frankfurt’s Städel Museum provided the artist with the inspiration for his first prize-winning entry, the first for a German artist in the competition’s history. Having spent a rainy afternoon viewing the Städel’s collection of Old Masters, Ganter was struck by the similarities between many of the museum’s paintings and the homeless man he noticed on a nearby street.

The second prize of £10,000 went to Bath, UK-based teacher and artist Richard Twose, 51, for Jean Woods, a portrait depicting the model and star of the documentary Fabulous Fashionistas.

The third prize of £8,000 went to Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist David Jon Kassan, 37, for Letter to my Mom, a portrait of his mother including a written tribute in Hebrew inscribed into the painting.

Ganter is an artist and illustrator from Frankfurt/Main, Germany. His winning portrait of Karel, a homeless man he encountered following a visit to a museum, invites the viewer to contemplate the coexistence of wealth and poverty.

“After being in a museum, I saw a homeless man and was stunned by a similarity: the clothes, the pose, and other details resembled what I just saw in various paintings. However, this time I was looking at a homeless person wrapped in a blanket and not at the painting of a saint or noble in their elaborate garment. By portraying a homeless man in a manner reserved for nobles or saints, I tried to emphasize that everyone deserves respect and care. Human dignity shouldn’t be relative or dependent on socio-economic status,” noted Ganter.

Karel, who tries to earn some money by cleaning car windshields in the artist’s neighborhood, attended five sittings for the portrait. After these, in which the head and the hands were painted, Ganter used a life-size doll, and painted the clothes and the blanket before finally adding the artificial flower at the bottom right.

Ignacio Estudillo Pérez, 28, is the winner of the BP Young Artist Award for a portrait of his mother, Juana, a hospital worker in the family’s hometown of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Pérez now lives in Malaga after studying at the School of Arts and Crafts in Jerez de la Frontera and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes of Seville while also attending art classes with Spanish realist painter Antonio López García.

Painting in oils, Estudillo took two and a half years to complete the work, a lengthy process that required numerous sittings in the artist’s living room. After abandoning an earlier effort that he felt failed to capture his mother’s spirit, he switched to a “less forced pose, showing a direct relationship between us” and experimented with several differently colored backgrounds before choosing a “disagreeable white, rather than a white of purity.” In 2012, the Spanish artist received second prize in the BP Portrait Award for a study of his grandfather.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Man with a Plaid Blanket' by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter.

‘Man with a Plaid Blanket’ by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter.