This Hongshan Culture jade ware piece with design of clouds carries an estimate of $300,000-$400,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

Asian art, carvings featued at Elite Decorative Arts auction Sept. 20

This Hongshan Culture jade ware piece with design of clouds carries an estimate of $300,000-$400,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

This Hongshan Culture jade ware piece with design of clouds carries an estimate of $300,000-$400,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A Chinese Hongshan Culture jade ware piece estimated to bring a staggering $300,000-$400,000, a large Chinese Kangxi period red and blue porcelain vase, and an antique Chinese hand-painted lacquered wooden wall panel depicting dragons are just a few of the expected top lots at Elite Decorative Arts’ Fine Asian Carvings & Works of Art Auction on Saturday, Sept. 20 beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. Internet live bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.

The Hongshan Culture jade ware, having a design of clouds and calcification and crystallization throughout, may have actually been estimated conservatively. It was featured in the 2012 Spring Arts Auction at Macau Chung Shun, one of China’s most prestigious auction houses, where it was valued at $500,000 ($100,000 more than Elite’s high figure). The item is 13 5/8 inches long.

The large and impressive Chinese Kangxi period (1662-1722) porcelain vase is hand-painted in iron red and cobalt blue tones. It has gilt accenting throughout and depicts birds of paradise with flowers on branches and rock formations. It was previously purchased by the consignor from Ban-Lao in Paris and has a presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000. The vase stands 18 1/4 inches tall.

The antique Chinese hand-painted lacquer wooden wall panel depicts five dragons among clouds with rock formations and is 32 inches high by 43 1/2 inches wide (est. $8,000-$12,000). Also sold will be a circa 17th century (late Ming to early Qing dynasty) Chinese red cinnabar lacquer relief charger depicting lotus blossoms in a relief design, 12 inches in diameter (est. $10,000-$15,000).

An antique Chinese bronze cloisonné three-footed vase, standing 14 inches tall and with lion’s head handles and a floral and Buddha lion decoration over a light blue ground, is marked to the base Chien Long and should realize $25,000-$35,000. Also, a large Chinese hand-painted blue and white porcelain vase depicting flying dragons and flaming pearls, should hit $2,000-$3,000.

A pair of Chinese hand-painted enameled yellow ground famille rose vases, each one measuring about 11 1/2 inches tall and depicting lotus blossoms with scrolled vines, will be offered as one lot, with a presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000. The sides hold inline red zhuanshu calligraphy Qianlong (1736-1795) reign mark, which are of the period. A fitted presentation box is included.

An antique Chinese mottled green jadeite handled urn, featuring foo lion handles carved in relief, 4 inches in height, should garner $1,000-$1,200. The vessel is etched with beautiful scroll design and loop handles extending from the foo lion’s mouth. The pale green matric display patches of brilliant green apple and spinach-green striations. The lot comes with a fitted base.

A Chinese silver and enameled wisteria box measuring 4 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches tall, with a beautiful enameled floral design to the top and enameled wisteria hanging to the sides (weighing 12 troy ounces) should command $5,000-$6,000. Also, a handmade Chinese coral and a woman’s 14K yellow gold ring (size 11), custom made in the 1970s for $15,000, having a red coral bird of paradise with turquoise, lapis, peridot and amber accent stones, should reach $5,000-$7,500.

A watercolor on paper set in scroll depicting a rooster by Xu Beihong (Chinese, 1895-1953), with calligraphy poems to the left and right, each having two red seals, with an image area of 39 inches long by 15 inches wide, is expected to rise to $8,000-$12,000. Also, a huge green Chinese celadon glaze bowl having an incised lotus blossom design throughout, made circa the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 6 3/4 inches tall by 14 3/4 inches in diameter, should fetch $4,000-$6,000.

Rounding out just some of the day’s expected top lots is an important set of four antique Chinese panels, each one containing four hand-painted plaques (16 plaques total) depicting various birds (est. $1,000-$2,000). The plaques appear to be turn of the 20th century, in newer wood mounts. The wood finish is beautiful, both front and back. The total length, with wood mount: 61 inches tall.

To learn more about Elite Decorative Arts and the Sept. 20 Fine Asian Carvings & Works of Art Auction, call them at 561-200-0893 or send an e-mail to info@eliteauction.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


This Hongshan Culture jade ware piece with design of clouds carries an estimate of $300,000-$400,000. Elite Decorative Arts image.
Antique Chinese mottled green jadeite urn featuring foo lion handles carved in relief, 4 inches tall (est. $1,000-$1,200). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Antique Chinese mottled green jadeite urn featuring foo lion handles carved in relief, 4 inches tall (est. $1,000-$1,200). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Large and impressive Chinese hand-painted iron red and cobalt blue tone vase, 18 1/4 inches tall (est. $6,000-$8,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Large and impressive Chinese hand-painted iron red and cobalt blue tone vase, 18 1/4 inches tall (est. $6,000-$8,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Antique Chinese bronze cloisonné footed vase with lion's head handles, 14 inches tall (est. $25,000-$35,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Antique Chinese bronze cloisonné footed vase with lion’s head handles, 14 inches tall (est. $25,000-$35,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Chinese 17th century red cinnabar lacquered plate depicting lotus blossoms in a deep relief design (est. $10,000-$15,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Chinese 17th century red cinnabar lacquered plate depicting lotus blossoms in a deep relief design (est. $10,000-$15,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Large Chinese hand-painted blue and white porcelain vase depicting two flying dragons (est. $2,000-$3,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Large Chinese hand-painted blue and white porcelain vase depicting two flying dragons (est. $2,000-$3,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Antique Chinese hand-painted lacquered wooden wall panel depicting five dragons among clouds (est. $8,000-$12,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Antique Chinese hand-painted lacquered wooden wall panel depicting five dragons among clouds (est. $8,000-$12,000). Elite Decorative Arts image.

Ancient Thrace stater coin, 305-281 BC, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Bid through LiveAuctioneers.com to win items at Rago sale Sept. 12-14

Ancient Thrace stater coin, 305-281 BC, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Ancient Thrace stater coin, 305-281 BC, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – LiveAuctioneers.com will facilitate Internet live bidding for Rago Arts and Auction Center’s big sale Sept. 12, 13 and 14. Rago will offer a  huge variety of estate and unreserved property during the three-day auction.

The sale begins on Friday, Sept. 12, with more than 550 lots of unreserved jewelry, silver, decorative and fine art and furnishings, followed by the first section of Rago’s Great Estates Auction featuring more than 160 lots of silver, coins and currency. The Great Estates sale continues on Saturday, Sept. 13, with 700 lots of fine furnishings, art, decorative accessories, Asian, militaria, books and ephemera. A 1,000-lot day of unreserved 20th century art and design follows on Sunday, Sept. 14.

“We have been offered a record amount of desirable property this summer. This sale reflects it and then some,” said Rago partner Miriam Tucker. “It is massive, but still choice. It includes significant property from fine private homes as well as affordable pieces of great design. We’ve been attracting more and more young people with our unreserved auctions, which is really exciting. The price point’s right and the fact that the high bid – no matter what it is – buys the lot, adds to the appeal. So does our staff. We like teaching people about buying at auction, whether they are looking at a lot worth $10,000 or $500.”

An important item to watch Friday is a Lot 600, monumental Christofle silver-plated centerpiece that is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

From the Stokes Family Collection to be sold Saturday during the Great Estates Auction are a Rhode Island block-front slant-top desk, estimate: $3,000-$5,000; a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, estimate: $5,000-$7,000; and an embroidered American sampler depicting a Pennsylvania farmhouse, estimate: $2,000-$3,000.

Collectibles will include a Babe Ruth autograph on a miniature baseball.

Chinese antiques are highlighted by a white jade hanging vase estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Sunday’s lineup includes a large pottery flower frog by George Ohr, an Alvar Aalto Paimio chair and a Victor Vasarely (Hungarian, 1906-1997) untitled screenprint.

For details contact Rago Arts and Auction Center; email info@ragoarts.com or phone 609-397-9374.

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


Ancient Thrace stater coin, 305-281 BC, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Ancient Thrace stater coin, 305-281 BC, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Victorian curio cabinet, $800-$1,200. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Victorian curio cabinet, $800-$1,200. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Monumental Christofle silver-plated centerpiece, $15,000-$25,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Monumental Christofle silver-plated centerpiece, $15,000-$25,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Mounted Sevres porcelain centerpiece, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Mounted Sevres porcelain centerpiece, $5,000-$7,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Art Deco ‘Moi et Toi’ diamond and platinum ring, $1,500-$2,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Art Deco ‘Moi et Toi’ diamond and platinum ring, $1,500-$2,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Georg Jensen Danish silver bowl #665, $500-$1,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Georg Jensen Danish silver bowl #665, $500-$1,000. Rago Arts and Auction Center image

Nathan Hilu, 'Isaiah 3:16.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Yiddish Book Center hosts Nathan Hilu ‘outsider art’ exhibit

Nathan Hilu, 'Isaiah 3:16.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, ‘Isaiah 3:16.’ Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) – The French call it “art brut,” which translates as “raw art” or “rough art.” The English equivalent is “outsider art” – artwork that’s made outside the conventions of the academy, often by people with little or no formal training.

Nathan Hilu certainly meets the latter definition. The elderly New York artist spent a good part of his working life in the army, which he joined during World War II, at age 18. But for years now, Hilu has been chronicling his own story and examples of Jewish life in energetic, vivid illustrations that have begun to attract the notice of critics and Jewish cultural centers.

Selected parts of that work are now on display through September at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst in “Nathan Hilu’s Journals: Word, Image, Memory.” The title, exhibit curator Laura Kruger says, is an indication this isn’t a typical art exhibit – not surprising, she adds, because Hilu isn’t a typical artist.

“He uses his drawings to record his life and his beliefs,” Kruger said in a phone call from the Hebrew Union College museum in New York, where she serves as curator. “This is a man who does not stop drawing … he has been chronicling his life, his experiences, his neighborhood and his love of Judaism in a way that is quite unique.”

Hilu, who is in his late 80s or possibly 90 – there is uncertainty about his age – lives in subsidized housing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a historically Jewish neighborhood. Living on his army pension, the lifelong bachelor uses sharpies, crayons, and pastels and whatever “canvasses” he has at hand – like the cardboard liners from his dry cleaning – to fashion rough-hewn images.

His drawings are often full of text and sometimes take the form of collages, with stitched-on parts affixed with clear tape. Kruger notes that Hilu will sometimes find that his latest image is becoming too large to fit on his initial drawing surface, so he’ll simply continue the drawing onto another piece of cardboard backing and tape the pieces together.

But what’s most unique about Hilu’s work, which from a technical standpoint would not be out of place in a comic book or graphic novel, is his subject matter: It’s a wild kaleidoscope that merges memory, history, biblical stories and perhaps the artist’s own fantasies. Synagogues, famous religious figures, Nazi prisoners of war (Hilu once was a guard at the Nuremberg Trials), Lower East Side delis – they all have their place in Hilu’s universe.

It’s both art and autobiography – and a glimpse, Kruger notes, of Hilu’s vision of the bible.

“He’s not a fabulist,” she said. “He’s a very literal person, and these stories are very real to him. He has a sort of wide-eyed passion for Judaism – he reveres rabbis – and that comes through in his work.”

Kruger, who has curated previous shows at the Yiddish Book Center, says she came across Hilu’s art about five years ago during a group exhibit of senior citizens on the Lower East Side. “I was gobsmacked,” she said. “The colors, the vitality, the immediacy – it reminded me of (the work of Marc) Chagall.”

What she discovered about Hilu’s background was even more surprising. It turned out Hilu was the older brother of a longtime family friend, Sam Hilu, a New York textile and clothing dealer who during World War II had served as an aide-to-camp to Kruger’s uncle, a U.S. Army officer.

Kruger, thinking the name Hilu was pretty unusual, got on the phone to Sam Hilu and asked him if he knew a Nathan of the same name. “Sure, he’s my older brother,” she remembers him saying.

The brothers were the sons of Syrian Jews who had settled in New York in the early 20th century. Nathan Hilu, born on the Lower East Side sometime around 1925-26, moved with his family to Pittsburgh when he was a boy and then grew up predominantly in central Pennsylvania. He never had any formal art training, Kruger believes, but did develop an interest in drawing. His first language was apparently Arabic, his second English, and his third Yiddish.

Joining the army at 18 during World War II, Hilu has said he later became the only Jewish guard of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg prison and then at the trials themselves, held from late 1945 to October 1946. There, he observed and also spoke with German kingpins like Hermann Goering, Rudolph Hess and Albert Speer.

In a Youtube interview that dates from 2011, Hilu talked of what it was like to learn about the Nuremberg prisoners and their deeds. “I myself, I didn’t know what they did, anyway. I was just 18 … then you find out how they made people into soap.”

His time at Nuremberg and his military experience, including service during the Korean War and Cold War era, have figured prominently in his artwork. The Yiddish Center exhibit includes a drawing/collage inscribed with the words “I served under Patton 1945” that depicts the famous U.S. general astride a snorting white horse; taped onto Patton’s waist is a holster with one of the ivory-handed revolvers that the general, a notorious military peacock, liked to display.

Hilu’s art also recalls seminal figures from World War II who played a part in saving or helping Jews. One drawing shows Archbishop Damaskinos Papandreou, of the Greek Orthodox church, who helped save Torahs from Greek synagogues during the Nazi occupation and also oversaw an effort to issue fake Christian baptismal certificates to Greek Jews.

Other artworks, like The Seven Plenteous Years and The City of Jericho Will Fall commemorate biblical stories, while Garden Cafeteria East Broadway celebrates the time Hilu met the acclaimed Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer in a Lower East Side eatery; Singer did two drawings of the writer, on one of which his text says “When I gave him my paintings he gave me his book on the Golem.”

Maureen Turner, the Yiddish Center’s communications coordinator, says she and other staff were struck by how much writing Hilu’s drawings contain; the annotations frequently run on both sides of the drawings. “It’s very unusual, and his pictures are like a serial of his life.”

“The text is an enforcement of the image, a way to give greater understanding to the viewer,” Kruger added.

Kruger notes that Hilu, some time after he left the military, worked for Bookazine, a New York distributor of books and magazines, for which he did some art displays. He’s also had a small but growing number of public exhibits in recent years, and the current show is slated to continue at additional locations as well. Some sales of his artwork, arranged through Hebrew Union College, have also helped the artist financially, she notes.

Not that Hilu seems to need public endorsement to inspire him. As the book center’s exhibition notes put it, Hilu is “as immersed in piety as in celebration of the totality of Jewish life and thought. It is clear from the works in this exhibition that he is the exemplar of the very modern and contemporary American Jewish artist.”

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

AP-WF-08-28-14 1518GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Nathan Hilu, 'Isaiah 3:16.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, ‘Isaiah 3:16.’ Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, 'Garden Caffateria East Broadway.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, ‘Garden Caffateria East Broadway.’ Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu,'Garden Caffateria: Isaac Bashevis Singer.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu,’Garden Caffateria: Isaac Bashevis Singer.’ Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, 'Jacob Receives the Glad Tidings.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, ‘Jacob Receives the Glad Tidings.’ Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

View of Folkestone, a port city on the English Channel in southeast England. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

German artist’s concept creates gold rush on British beach

View of Folkestone, a port city on the English Channel in southeast England. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

View of Folkestone, a port city on the English Channel in southeast England. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

LONDON (AFP) – Thirty gold bars have been buried on a beach in Britain by a German artist, prompting a flood of bounty hunters with metal detectors to seek their fortune Friday.

The gold bars, worth a total of £10,000 (13,000 euros, $17,000), were buried in Folkestone, southern England, by Berlin-based Michael Sailstorfer as part of an arts festival.

Members of the public will be allowed to keep any of the 24K bullion they find.

“There are 30 gold bars buried there, along with a lot of washers, so if you bring your metal detector you will find a lot of washers before you find any gold,” festival curator Lewis Biggs told the BBC.

“We will never know if the gold has been found or not.”

One treasure hunter, John Coker, told the Guardian newspaper: “It is the first art in the world where I’ve hopped in a car and drove to see it straight away, so that’s something.”

The bars, worth around £300 each, are a few centimeters long.

The Folkestone Triennial’s website said the German artist behind the project was interested in “the disruption of the everyday.”

“Sailstorfer is intent on expanding the notion of classical sculpture and Folkestone Digs is a continuation of his aim ‘to make art that comes less from the head and more from the stomach,'” it said.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


View of Folkestone, a port city on the English Channel in southeast England. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

View of Folkestone, a port city on the English Channel in southeast England. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Jade is greatly treasured in China. According to a second century Chinese text, the 'fairest of stones' represents five virtues – benevolence, loyalty, wisdom, courage, and integrity. Image by Greg Neise © The Field Museum.

New China exhibition to open at Field Museum next June

Jade is greatly treasured in China. According to a second century Chinese text, the 'fairest of stones' represents five virtues – benevolence, loyalty, wisdom, courage, and integrity. Image by Greg Neise © The Field Museum.

Jade is greatly treasured in China. According to a second century Chinese text, the ‘fairest of stones’ represents five virtues – benevolence, loyalty, wisdom, courage, and integrity. Image by Greg Neise © The Field Museum.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Field Museum is announcing plans to open a new permanent exhibition on China.

Museum officials say the Cyrus Tang Hall of China exhibition covers thousands of years of China’s history, from the Paleolithic era to the present. It is scheduled to open next June.

Officials say the exhibition showcase more than 350 artifacts in five different galleries, including pottery, jades, textiles, paintings, burial objects and a puppet theater. It will also include a multimedia presentation telling stories about the people who both made and used the objects.

Visitors will examine artifacts recovered from the 13th-century Java Sea shipwreck, and learn how China became a leader in global trade by moving goods, ideas and innovations across boundaries, building powerful networks that changed the world.

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

AP-WF-08-26-14 1908GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Jade is greatly treasured in China. According to a second century Chinese text, the 'fairest of stones' represents five virtues – benevolence, loyalty, wisdom, courage, and integrity. Image by Greg Neise © The Field Museum.

Jade is greatly treasured in China. According to a second century Chinese text, the ‘fairest of stones’ represents five virtues – benevolence, loyalty, wisdom, courage, and integrity. Image by Greg Neise © The Field Museum.

LOVE Park in Philadelphia's JFK Plaza features a Robert Indiana sculpture. Image by Smallbones, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

‘LOVE’ artist Robert Indiana at center of exhibit

LOVE Park in Philadelphia's JFK Plaza features a Robert Indiana sculpture. Image by Smallbones, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LOVE Park in Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza features a Robert Indiana sculpture. Image by Smallbones, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

VINALHAVEN, Maine (AP) – Maine-based pop artist Robert Indiana plans to participate in a celebration of his art in countries across the world called International HOPE Day.

The artist is best known for his “LOVE” image, in which the L and a leaning O sit atop the V and the E. His “HOPE” image follows a similar theme. It will be a part of installations and events in Munich, Caracas, Miami, New York City and Vinalhaven, Maine, on Sept. 13, his 86th birthday.

Indiana will make a public appearance outside his residence and studio on Vinalhaven Island on that day. There will be a large “HOPE” sculpture installed for the event.

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

AP-WF-08-27-14 2140GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


LOVE Park in Philadelphia's JFK Plaza features a Robert Indiana sculpture. Image by Smallbones, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LOVE Park in Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza features a Robert Indiana sculpture. Image by Smallbones, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Museum of Flight's 1929 Boeing Model 80A-1 (foreground), the only survivor of this model. It was recovered from a dump in Alaska in 1960. Image by Zendcee. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Volunteers spend golden years restoring vintage aircraft

The Museum of Flight's 1929 Boeing Model 80A-1 (foreground), the only survivor of this model. It was recovered from a dump in Alaska in 1960. Image by Zendcee. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The Museum of Flight’s 1929 Boeing Model 80A-1 (foreground), the only survivor of this model. It was recovered from a dump in Alaska in 1960. Image by Zendcee. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) – Pete Graven got hooked on aviation as a young boy, listening to stories from his uncle, a World War I fighter pilot.

Jim Jackson was among the first mechanics to work on the B-29 bomber during WWII.

Norm Constan spent nearly four decades with the Boeing Co., delivering airplanes.

Now, in their golden years, these volunteers spend a day or two a week at Paine Field, fixing up vintage aircraft at the Museum of Flight Restoration Center. Many are well into their 80s. The oldest is 99.

“The people here have just as many interesting stories as the aircraft they’ve worked on,” said Tom Cathcart, the museum’s director of aircraft collections. “It’s just as much about the guys out here working as the aircraft the museum ends up putting on display. The aircraft is getting a second life, but some of these guys are, too.”

The restoration center opened at Paine Field about 30 years ago. In 1988, the center moved into the two hangars it now occupies near Airport Road. These days, it’s one of several historic aircraft attractions at the Snohomish County Airport, which also hosts the Future of Flight, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Historic Flight Foundation.

The restoration center is no dark, dingy workshop. It’s open to the public most days of the week. Adult admission costs $5.

Walk inside, and you’ll see about two-dozen aircraft. There are immaculate specimens – and others that look like they barely escaped the scrap heap.

The collection includes a restored F2G-1 Super Corsair, a fighter built by Goodyear Aircraft Corp., near the end of WWII. There’s also a nearly display-ready Chance Vought XF8U-1 Crusader, the first-ever example of a legendary jet that hit Mach 1 – breaking the sound barrier – during its initial flight in 1955. The Crusader went on to enjoy remarkable longevity, with the last one retired from service in 2000 by the French Navy. Elsewhere, you can spy jumbles of raw machinery: radial and V-12 engines alongside some of the jet propulsion systems that replaced them.

A Lockheed Jetstar from 1957 still conjures up the magic of the early jet age, even without paint or much of an interior. A silver, banana-shaped U.S. Air Force helicopter built in 1951 by Piasecki Aircraft Corp. sits out back like a classic car on blocks.

Need a tour guide? There’s bound to be somebody nearby who didn’t merely study history, but lived it.

“The tourists say, ‘It’s great to come in and talk to you guys,’” said Pete Graven, 86, of Bellevue, a retired mechanical engineer who spent his career selling heavy equipment for General Electric.

Graven has been volunteering 24 years – “without pay” – he adds. He got started as a docent at the Museum of Flight’s main facility in Seattle, then found his way north to the restoration center.

Graven said he acquired his love of aviation as a boy in Chicago. His “whiskey-drinking uncle” would tell him stories of flying fighter planes during WWI and rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous aces of the day.

Graven got his pilot license in 1961, but it was a hobby, not a profession. These days, he leads a small crew fixing up a Pratt-Read PR-G1 Glider, a light, engineless aircraft that seats two.

“I’ve been the lead on this one, because I’m the only glider pilot in the bunch,” he said.

The same type of plane set an altitude record in 1952, soaring to 44,255 feet. The record stood until 2006, when two men flew a glider dubbed the “Perlan” – Icelandic for “pearl” –to 50,727 feet.

The 2006 glider is on display with the Museum of Flight in Seattle. If things work out, the Pratt-Read glider will join it.

First, there’s some work to do.

More than seven years into the restoration, Graven’s team has finished reverse-engineering the intricate woodworking of one of the glider’s wings.

“There are 88 ribs in there and every one is different,” Graven said.

On a Wednesday last month, he and two other volunteers brushed poly-fiber fabric over the wooden wing structure. A chemical smell emanated from the table where they mix the compounds.

“We call it my cocktail lounge,” quipped Norm Constan, a 78-year-old retiree from Seattle.

Constan worked 39 years for Boeing, mostly delivering airplanes.

“I started on the B-52 – I’m an old guy,” he said.

A retired middle- and high-school teacher rounded out the team that day.

“I’ve always been a model-airplane nut and this seemed like the ultimate model-airplane project,” said John Grove, 81, of Mercer Island.

They hope to finish the glider next year.

The restoration center accepts volunteers age 18 and above, subject to a background check.

“We’re a little low right now,” said Sheree Van Berg, the center’s aircraft maintenance technician. “We usually have between 80 and 100. We have about 80 right now.”

The largest group of volunteers, about 35, has been working to restore an example of the world’s first commercial jetliner, a DH 106 Comet by Britain’s de Havilland Aircraft Co.

“It’s never an individual effort,” Cathcart said. “It’s always a team effort.”

Nineteen years and going, the Comet is also the longest-running project at the center.

The longest-serving volunteer presides over a workshop stocked with vacuum-tube components and other high-tech antiques. At 93, Joe Polocz has outlived most everyone from the time when he started volunteering in 1986.

Polocz, a widower, typically shows up three days a week, four if they ask him. He enjoys working with the radio tuned to classical music.

“It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and to exist,” he said. “It’s a good hangout for me. It’s more or less a lifesaver. It keeps me going.”

The nonagenarian is renowned for his skill at bending stock sheets of metal into missing airplane parts. His electronics know-how also is in high demand. He’s helped rescue four WWII-era flight simulators from oblivion.

Born in Hungary, Polocz grew up around his father’s blacksmith shop, where he learned the trade. During World War II, he served in the Hungarian Air Force as a mechanic. Later, he fled the threat of “Uncle Joe” – Joseph Stalin – and landed in America. He soon found work in Camden, N.J., with RCA, on “whatever technology was going on at the time.”

After retirement, Polocz and his wife moved west to be closer to their daughter. He now lives in south Everett.

“That guy can make anything out of wrought iron and he can shape sheet metal like you wouldn’t believe,” Cathcart said.

Polocz isn’t the senior volunteer.

That distinction belongs to 99-year-old Jim Jackson of Everett.

Jackson was among the first mechanics on the B-29 bomber, which saw heavy use in the Pacific theater during WWII.

“We were the first guys to do any work on them,” he said. “No manuals. No instructions.”

Though his tall, thin frame has become less steady with age, Jackson’s skill for making parts continues to inspire reverence.

“He can work most younger guys under the table,” Carthcart said.

Jackson deflects the attention.

“I’m just one of the guys,” he said. “We all work together. I’m nothing special.”

____

IN YOU GO:

The Museum of Flight Restoration Center

Open for tours most days of the week.

Address: 2909 100th St. SW, Everett, WA 98204

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (June through August); Tuesday through Thursday, Saturday (September through May)

Price: Adults (18 and up): $5; Youths (5-17): $3; Children (4 and under): Free

More info:www.museumofflight.org/restoration ; 425-745-5150.

___

Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com

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

AP-WF-08-27-14 1833GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


The Museum of Flight's 1929 Boeing Model 80A-1 (foreground), the only survivor of this model. It was recovered from a dump in Alaska in 1960. Image by Zendcee. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

The Museum of Flight’s 1929 Boeing Model 80A-1 (foreground), the only survivor of this model. It was recovered from a dump in Alaska in 1960. Image by Zendcee. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

'Mobile Lovers' by British artist Banksy

Banksy art sale saves struggling British youth club

'Mobile Lovers' by British artist Banksy

‘Mobile Lovers’ by British artist Banksy

LONDON (AFP) – A work by the British street artist Banksy has saved a struggling youth club from closure after it was sold to a collectorfor £403,000 ($668,000, 506,270 euros).

The piece — “Mobile Lovers” — which shows a couple embracing while gazing at their phones, appeared on the wall of the Broad Plain Boy’s Club in April.

It was attached to a piece of wood and screwed onto the wall, so youth club members were able to remove it with a crowbar and sell it.

Banksy confirmed that the club, which is based in the southwestern city of Bristol, owned the artwork in a rare letter to owner Dennis Stinchcombe.

The 120-year-old club sold it to a private collector for £403,000, more than three times what the centre needed to save it from closure.

Stinchcombe told a news conference on Wednesday that the club was “incredibly lucky” to have had the piece donated by the artist.

“Within 12 months we could have well been closed, which means 120 years of exceptional youth work in Bristol would have been lost.

“That would have been a tragedy for Bristol… Banksy came along at the right time.”

Members of the youth club decorated the wall where the painting had been with a mural reading: “Thanks Banksy”.

Banksy is believed to have started out as a graffiti artist in the city, although the artist’s identity remains shrouded in secrecy.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


'Mobile Lovers' by British artist Banksy

‘Mobile Lovers’ by British artist Banksy

Lalique frosted glass Bacchantes vase, 20th century, signed Lalique France, 9 1/2 inches high by 8 1/4 inches diameter. Estimate $1,800-$2,000. Gray's Auctioneers image.

Lalique, cloisonné featured in Gray’s auction Sept. 10

Lalique frosted glass Bacchantes vase, 20th century, signed Lalique France, 9 1/2 inches high by 8 1/4 inches diameter. Estimate $1,800-$2,000. Gray's Auctioneers image.

Lalique frosted glass Bacchantes vase, 20th century, signed Lalique France, 9 1/2 inches high by 8 1/4 inches diameter. Estimate $1,800-$2,000. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

CLEVELAND – For both avid collectors and novice explorers, Gray’s Auctioneers will conduct their 80th auction Wednesday, Sept. 10, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern. This auction features large collections of modern furniture, cloisonné and Lalique. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

Those looking to add some art glass to their space will be enchanted by the extensive collection of work by Lalique featured in this auction. Of particular note is Lot 2, a Lalique frosted glass Bacchantes vase. Bacchantes are mythological women who followed Bacchus, the Greek god of wine. Posed in various drunken states, these women encircle the vase. The juxtaposition of the female nudes, with the tranquil monochromatic glasswork, makes it sensual and classic.

This auction also has a large collection of cloisonné works (lots 132-147). Whatever the collector fancies, there are groupings of vases, napkin rings and figurines from all walks of the animal kingdom. The works are colorful and inviting, and add a great finishing touch in a corner or on a cabinet.

Moving from the small accent pieces of the cloisonné, the auction also presents a collection of modern furniture. Interesting pieces, include, lots 272-282, four chair groupings of Vico Magistretti reinforced fiberglass Vicario Chairs by Artemide. There is also a beautiful collection of Knoll Furniture, lots 283-300, in very good condition. Lastly, a modern furniture collection would not be complete without the quintessential pedestal tables, lots 303-307.

Condition reports will be provided upon request.

Gray’s Auctioneers and Appraisers accepts consignments daily and offers complimentary valuations for the community every Friday by appointment. For more information please contact Serena Harragin at 2160-458-7695 or by email at serena@graysauctioneers.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


Lalique frosted glass Bacchantes vase, 20th century, signed Lalique France, 9 1/2 inches high by 8 1/4 inches diameter. Estimate $1,800-$2,000. Gray's Auctioneers image.

Lalique frosted glass Bacchantes vase, 20th century, signed Lalique France, 9 1/2 inches high by 8 1/4 inches diameter. Estimate $1,800-$2,000. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

Lot 143, collection of Chinese cloisonné decorative items, 20th century, composed of two lidded jars, two vases and a shallow bowl. Estimate $100-$200. Gray's Auctioneers image.

Lot 143, collection of Chinese cloisonné decorative items, 20th century, composed of two lidded jars, two vases and a shallow bowl. Estimate $100-$200. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

Lot 307, a group of three Eero Saarinen-style enameled metal and Formica pedestal tables, 20th century, largest dimensions: 29 1/2 inches high x 48 inches diameter. Estimate $60-$80. Gray's Auctioneers image.

 

Lot 307, a group of three Eero Saarinen-style enameled metal and Formica pedestal tables, 20th century, largest dimensions: 29 1/2 inches high x 48 inches diameter. Estimate $60-$80. Gray’s Auctioneers image.

The entrance to the Kwong Lam Museum of Art in Jiangmen, China. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

China’s prestigious Kwong Lam Museum of Art to open Sept. 25

The entrance to the Kwong Lam Museum of Art in Jiangmen, China. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

The entrance to the Kwong Lam Museum of Art in Jiangmen, China. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

JIANGMEN, China – The long-anticipated Kwong Lam Museum of Art, housing a highly important collection of Chinese antiques and art, will open Sept. 25. The museum is named for its benefactor, Kwong Lum, the Chinese-born artist who also owns Gianguan Auctions on Madison Avenue in New York City.

Today, Kwong Lum holds the distinction of being the only living artist to be honored with a museum in his name in China. (The artist’s name, Kwong Lum; and the slightly different form seen in the museum name, Kwong Lam; reflect the provincial and Cantonese spelling variations, respectively.) Lum is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts in traditional and modern Chinese art and antiques and is a researcher and consultant to the Beijing National Museum of China.

Kwong Lum moved to the United States in 1964. Since then, he has spent more than four decades in New York City, working, painting, writing, collecting and studying traditional artwork, and carrying out cultural activities to popularize China’s traditional legacy in the West.

Lum’s formal training as an artist began at the age of 9 in Hong Kong. He also began collecting ancient Chinese artwork under the guidance of his art teacher, Ding Yanyong.

Since the early 1970s, Lum has immensely enlarged the volume of his original Sai Yang Tang collection by adding in ancient masters’ painting and calligraphy, bronzes, sculpture and porcelain ware of different dynasties, purchased throughout the world at auctions or from private collectors. His Sai Yang Tang Collection, boasting of its invaluable art treasures of ancient China, enjoys a far-reaching reputation of “a smaller-sized overseas Palace Museum.”

For the past 60 years, Kwong Lum has set a goal of collecting traditional Chinese arts and cultures, and promoting them further, in a hope to bring back many national treasures back home

At a chance visit from the mayor of Jiangmen to Lum’s Soho loft, a blueprint was drawn for a museum to be built to house these treasures.

In 2009 the Kwong Lam Museum of Art, a government-funded museum laid its foundation on the north edge of Xinhui district, in the Botanical Garden, city of Jiangmen, Guangdong in southern China. Over 700 Chinese antiques and art treasures, which were collected by Lum that were kept oversea for a few decades, had now been donated and returned to China and found their home in the museum where these precious ancient art treasures will be permanently displayed.

The facility has been designed as a cultural exhibition center with more than 5,500 square meters and built with an atrium and four stories, to be used for multiple functions of art and heritage exhibition and education. The second, third and four floors house Lum’s collection and his own works of calligraphy and painting. On the ground floor is an art gallery for regional artists with rotating exhibitions. Admission is free.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


The entrance to the Kwong Lam Museum of Art in Jiangmen, China. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

The entrance to the Kwong Lam Museum of Art in Jiangmen, China. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

A gallery at the Kwong Lam Museum of Art displays traditional Chinese artworks. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

A gallery at the Kwong Lam Museum of Art displays traditional Chinese artworks. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

Kwong Lum talking with guests at a museum preview. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.

Kwong Lum talking with guests at a museum preview. Kwong Lam Museum of Art image.