Gallery Report: February 2015

ATLANTA – On the 1st of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall gathers top auction highlights from around the United States and beyond. Here’s what made headlines since last month’s report:

WWII Purple Heart, $5,100, Mohawk Arms

The Purple Heart awarded to U.S. Cpl. Joseph E. Oleskiewicz, one of the “Filthy Thirteen” dropped into Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 during World War II, sold for $5,100 at Auction #72, an Internet and catalog auction that ended Dec. 5-6 at Mohawk Arms Inc., in Bouckville, N.Y. Also, a German Luftwaffe silver pokal (footed chalice) awarded to the Nazi flying ace Karl Nordmann realized $9,912; and a Civil War Confederate wooden canteen with iron bands and strap loops in good condition made $4,200. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

Pair of Tiffany silver vases, $33,600, Nadeau’s Auction

A rare and monumental pair of Tiffany & Co. silver vases, 23 inches tall and Art Nouveau repousse, sold for $33,600 at a New Year’s Day Auction held Jan. 1 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn. Also, an 18K yellow gold Van Cleef & Arpels convertible duet pin, set with two large diamonds and 13 pearls, went for $36,000; a Patek Philippe men’s wristwatch, rectangular form and 18K gold, fetched $9,600; and a painting by Frederick H. Kaemmerer (Dutch, 1839-1902), titled Avery, hit $20,400. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

Mills Violano Virtuoso, $34,100, Stanton’s Auctioneers

A Mills Violano Virtuoso, an automatic player single violin with automatic piano, sold for $34,100 at an auction of antique music machines and related items held Nov. 20-22 by Stanton’s Auctioneers in Charlotte, Mich. Also, a Cremona Orchestral “K” nickelodeon with excellent panels of stained and leaded glass breezed to $33,000; a Regina 27-inch “dragon front” automatic changing disc Style 8 music box with oak cabinet hit $17,600; and an Edison Class M Concert cylinder phonograph rose to $16,500. Prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

Mercantile Bank of India note, $18,270, Archives International

A 1948 Mercantile Bank of India (Hong Kong issue) $500 specimen banknote sold for $18,270 at an auction held Jan. 10 by Archives International Auctions (based in Fort Lee, N.J.) in Hong Kong. Also, a 1907 Deutsch-Asiatische Bank (Peking branch ) $1 banknote hammered for $16,750 (both lots were discovery notes, possibly unique); a 1932 $1 “Birds Over Junk” Chinese coin gaveled for $1,980; and a Chinese Hunan Government Bank 1906 error note, saying 5 “Teals” and not “Taels,” made $2,130. Prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.

Georg Kolbe bronze nude, $56,120, Palm Beach Modern

A bronze nude rendering by German sculptor Georg Kolbe (1877-1947), 21 1/2 inches tall, sold for $56,120 at a modern design and luxury goods Auction held Jan. 17 by Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla. Also, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird convertible sped off for $43,920; a set of eight Afra & Tobia Scarpa “Pigreco” chairs hammered for $10,370; a Wendell Castle coffee table, “Parallelogram,” coasted to $19,520; and a White House book signed by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis brought $4,575. Prices include a 22 percent buyer’s premium.

1902 Marklin locomotive, $121,000, Noel Barrett

A Marklin locomotive with tender and two cars produced in 1902 to replicate the high-speed Stephenson’s Rocket (in service from 1829-1840) sold for $121,000 at an antique auction held Dec. 5-6 by Noel Barrett in New Hope, Pa. Also, a quarter-scale display model of a 1932 Hudson car, made for the New York Auto Show and one of only seven known, in all-original condition, sold for $29,040; and an original C.W. Parker striding carousel camel, the only one designed to move up and down, made $17,470. Prices include a 21 percent buyer’s premium.

Tibetan thangka, $18,800, Michaan’s

An 18th or 19th century Tibetan thangka featuring a Medicine Buddha sold for $18,800 at a New Year’s Estates Auction held Jan. 4 by Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda, Calif. Also, a custom-made sapphire, diamond and 18K white gold ring and earrings set brought $5,605; an Indian carpet gaveled for $3,245; an original pen and ink Charles Schulz drawing for the musical score of Charlie Brown by Roger Bullock achieved $2,360; and a New England walnut painted creamery retail cupboard realized $1,416. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

Sevres portrait tea service, $17,035, Kaminski Auctions

A complete Sevres portrait tea service composed of 11 pieces on a cobalt blue background with finely detailed portraits sold for $17,035 at a New Year’s sale held Dec. 28 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Mass. Also, a painting by Le Pho (Vietnamese, 1907-2001), titled Roses Tremieres, hammered for $13,200; an Italian carved gilt mirror with beveled glass and intricately carved frame hit $15,600; and a bronze sculpture on a marble base by Demetre Chiparus (Romanian, 1886-1947), titled Ayouta, made $13,200. Prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

Titanic survivor letter, $11,875, RR Auction

A three-page letter handwritten by Titanic survivor Lady Duff-Gordon, dated May 27, 1912, penned on her personal stationery and signed “Lucy Duff Gordon,” sold for $11,875 at an auction held Jan. 22 by RR Auction, based in Boston. Also, punk rocker Johnny Ramone’s 1965 Mosrite Ventures guitar fetched $71,875; an Apollo 11 Robbins medal originating from the family of Neil Armstrong rose to $56,250; and a letter from Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia to a Vogue cover model brought $32,500. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Chippendale desk, $665,000, Christie’s

Chippendale carved cherry wood desk-and-bookcase made circa 1765 in Lancaster, Pa., sold for $665,000 at an American furniture, outsider and folk art auction held Jan. 23 by Christie’s in New York City. Also, a Major Luther Metcalf Federal brass-mounted inlaid mahogany tall-case clock, made in 1796 in Medway, Mass., went for $329,000; a Chippendale figured mahogany serpentine front chest-of-drawers (Mass., circa 1765-1785) realized $209,000; and a Queen Anne turret-top card table (circa 1740-1760) hit $149,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

1793 U.S. copper penny, $2.35 million, Heritage

A United States copper penny (or one-cent piece) sold for $2.35 million at a numismatic auction held Jan. 7-12 in Orlando, Fla., by Heritage Auctions, based in Dallas, Tex. The coin is nicknamed the “chain cent” because the design on the back shows 15 linking rings, symbolizing the 15 U.S. states at the time. It is rare because the design changed soon after its striking, in March 1793, because too many people thought the chains suggested slavery. The coin first appeared at auction in 1876, when it sold for $76. The recent price includes a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.

Pooh illustration, $471,750, Sotheby’s

E..H. Shepard’s original ink drawing of Christopher Robin, Piglet and Pooh on the famous “Poohsticks” bridge from the book Winnie the Pooh sold for $471,750 at an auction held Dec. 9 by Sotheby’s in London, England. It was a new world record price for any book illustration at auction. First published in A.A. Milne’s celebrated The House at Pooh Corner in 1928, the drawing is one of the most famous book illustrations of the 20th century. It had been in a private collection for the last 40 years. The price includes a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Diamond and emerald ring, $11,250, Schwenke Auctioneers

A European 18K gold cut diamond and emerald ring, size 7, with paired diamonds one carat each and an emerald center stone also about one carat, sold for $11,250 at the annual Holiday Fine Estates Auction held Dec. 7 by Schwenke Auctioneers in Woodbury, Conn. Also, a Martele sterling silver monogrammed centerpiece bowl, with the mark of Gorham Mfg. Co. (Providence, R.I., 1913), rose to $7,500; and an English bone or ivory chess and checkers set made by G. Merrifield (1819-1855) hit $5,000. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

Chinese celadon vase, $35,700, Clars Auction Gallery

A Chinese Longquan-type celadon vase from the estate of U.S. Navy Capt. Edward S. Pearce sold for $35,700 at an estates auction held Jan. 17-18 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, one lot of three 19th century Royal Worcester urchin and dolphin compotes went for $10,115; a color woodblock print titled Nude (1950), by Kiyoshi Saito breezed to $14,280; a 19th century Continental pietra dura side table made $7,700; and a circa-1890 French gilt bronze lighthouse clock and barometer rose to $7,100. Prices include a 19 percent buyer’s premium.

Lincoln collection, $803,889, Heritage

The Dow Collection of Abraham Lincoln assassination memorabilia sold as individual lots for a combined $803,889 at an Historical Americana Auction held Jan. 24 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The display of photos and autographs related to Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth and Boston Corbett, the soldier who shot and killed Booth. Included were four paintings created for a carnival side show displaying mummified remains – supposedly Booth’s – and a letter written in 1861 by Booth. The price includes a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

N. C. Wyeth painting, $435,750, Freeman’s

A painting by N. C. Wyeth titled I Stood Like One Thunderstruck, Or As If I Had Seen an Apparition, sold for $435,750 at an American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionist sale held Dec. 7 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, Daniel Garber’s The River Road realized $327,750; Garber’s Up Jericho went for $207,750; George William Sotter’s The Hill Road, Winter gaveled for $147,750; and N.C. Wyeth’s And No Sooner Had He The Arms In His Hands … went to a determined bidder for $267,750. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

1891 Russian icon, $250,000, Jackson’s

A Russian icon dated 1891, 12 inches by 10 inches, depicting three saints and signed by court iconographer Josif Chirikov, sold for $250,000 at an auction held Nov. 18-19 by Jackson’s International Auctioneers & Appraisers in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Also, an oil on board showing a festive Indian encampment by American artist Laverne Nelson Black (1887-1938) rose to $115,000; and a 39-inch-by-32-inch oil on canvas by Le Pho (French/Vietnamese, 1907-2001), of two women drinking tea, made $40,000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

Indian raven rattle, $62,500, Bonhams

A Northwest Coast raven rattle sold for $62,500 at a Native American Art Auction held Dec. 8 by Bonhams in San Francisco. Also, a Santa Clara carved blackware jar, 2006, by Tammy Garcia went for $47,500; a San Ildefonso polychrome turtle by Tony Da made $27,500; a Chilkat blanket realized $35,000; a Cape Dorset dancing bear sculpture by Pauta Saila rose to $18,750; a bronze sculpture by Allan Houser, titled Mother’s Blessing, went for $35,000; and a Roxanne Swentzell ceramic sculpture hit $25,000. Prices include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

Chippendale-style chest, $10,800, Capo Auction

A Chippendale-style mahogany chest of drawers with a serpentine fronted top over four drawers sold for $10,800 at a Holiday Auction held Dec. 13 by Capo Auction in Long Island City, N.Y. Also, a pair of Meissen porcelain urns, 15 1/2 inches tall, each having snake-form handles and classical scene decoration on a cobalt ground, garnered $7,800; a lithograph on paper by Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), titled Haystack (1938), made $1,320; and a dazzling Mughal Filigree pendant necklace hit $6,000. Prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Erte bronze sculpture, $2,875, Direct Auction

An Erte bronze sculpture of a woman, 21 1/2 inches tall, sold for $2,875 at an auction held Nov. 4 by Direct Auction Galleries in Chicago. Also, a 1970 Steinway & Sons 5 1/2 foot baby grand piano played a sweet tune for $6,095; an 18K white gold women’s ring with 18.56-carat tanzanite and one carat weight diamonds sold for $2,875; a handsome Herschede nine-tube grandfather clock chimed on time for $1,495; and an oil on canvas painting by John Kelly Fitzpatrick (Alabama, 1888-1953) fetched $4,370. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

Ives clockwork toy depicting Ulysses S. Grant, made from wood, metal and cloth, circa 1870. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000). Cottone Auctions image

President Grant items highlight Cottone auction Feb. 20-21

GENESEO, N.Y. – Items descended in the family of President Ulysses S. Grant, an 18K gold presentation box purportedly given by France’s Louis XVI to Marquis de Lafayette, a gyratory kinetic sculpture by George Warren Rickey (American, 1907-2002) and a watercolor painting by Charles Burchfield (American, 1893-1967) will all come up for bid Feb. 20-21. They’re just a few of the expected top lots in a two-day fine art and antiques auction being held by Cottone Auctions, in the firm’s gallery at 120 Court St. in Geneseo.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

About 750 lots will come under the gavel at Cottone’s first big auction event of 2015. Start time for the Friday, Feb. 20, session, consisting of 323 lots, will be noon Eastern time, 11 a.m. for the Feb. 21 session.

The auction comes with an impressive pedigree, featuring items from the collections of Walter Vogel of Rochester, N.Y., a pioneer collector and dealer; Richard F. Brush, also of Rochester, the founder of Sentry Safe; Richard Bright and Kyle Goodman of Corning, N.Y.; the Memorial Gallery of Rochester; the Strong Museum in Rochester; plus items from estates and individuals.

It’s worth noting that Richard F. “Dick” Brush is one of Rochester’s leading philanthropists. The son of a Universalist minister, Brush became an inveterate collector, with much of the work acquired during worldwide travel. His fierce love of 20th century American art is evident is his collection of work by Alexander Calder, Richard Diebenkorn, Albert Paley and George Rickey.

Rickey, in fact, is probably Brush’s favorite artist. His gyratory kinetic sculpture is titled Three M’s and One W II (est. $50,000-$80,000). One of three produced, the stainless steel work is 8 feet 9 inches tall and signed and dated 1987 by Rickey. Rickey is regarded as the father of precisely engineered kinetic sculpture. He studied in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Paris.

A favorite to take top lot honors is the Charles Ephraim Burchfield painting, a lovely 30-inch-by-22-inch watercolor titled Dreaming of Christmas. The work, monogrammed lower right and artist-titled in pencil, is expected to hit $75,000-$100,000. It was originally purchased from the collection of the Kennedy Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. Burchfield lived and worked in both Ohio and New York. His passionate and visionary landscapes influenced succeeding generations of artists.

The items descended in the family of Ulysses S. Grant would stand on their own as desirable collectibles even if they weren’t linked to the Civil War general and president. One lot, a Rose Medallion punch bowl (est. $10,000-$15,000), shows Grant’s monogram within a laurel leaf and was part of a unique 360-piece service ordered in 1868 and used by the Grants in the White House.

The second lot is a rare Ives clockwork toy depicting Grant, made from wood, metal and cloth around 1870 and standing 14 inches tall (est. $8,000-$12,000). The third is a 5-inch-tall cut crystal seal made for President Ulysses S. Grant (est. $3,000-$5,000), in the original light blue leather box with the maker’s name on it: Ayer & Taylor Company, Jewelers (Washington, D.C.).

The fine and diminutive 18K gold presentation box, made in Paris circa 1778, is believed to have been given by France’s King Louis XVI to Marquis de Lafayette celebrating the May feast at the Versailles Opera Theater. It was retailed by Charles-Raymond Granchez, Paris, and was descended in the family of Count de Linares, son of Queen Maria Luisa (est. $10,000-$15,000).

An oil on canvas rendering of a mother and daughters in springtime by the Irish-born American and Canadian artist William John Hennessy (1839-1917) carries an estimate of $15,000-$25,000. The 30-inch-by-54-inch work is signed lower left. Hennessy was a versatile landscape artist, genre painter and illustrator who was also active in the Young Ireland movement of 1848.

A Sevres cobalt and gold enameled tureen, circa 1812, is descended in the family of William Weightman, who used it in his house in Moumt Airy, outside Philadelphia, were he entertained lavishly. Upon his death the house was given to the Catholic Church, which converted it into a girls school. The tureen has a conservative estimate of $5,000-$8,000. Also selling will be a late 19th century Bakhtiari rug with overall pattern, pulled from a Pennsylvania estate and measuring 17 feet 2 inches by 16 feet 11 inches. The rug is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

For details call Cottone Aucitons at 585-243-1000 or email them at info@cottoneauctions.com.

 

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Italian Manufacture, screen, circa 1950. Estimate: €5,000-€6,000 ($5,648-$6,778) Nova Ars image

Nova Ars Auction presents more Italian design Feb. 11

ASTI, Italy – An interesting collection of 20th and 21st century Italian design will be sold at Nova Ars Auction on Feb. 11. Ceramics, furniture, lamps, chandeliers and glass works comprise the 113-lot auction.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

Many of the objects were designed and made in Italy. Designers represented include Angelo Mangiarotti, Bruno Munari, Ettore Sottsass and Paolo Venini, without overlooking other talents from different countries.

Special items of note include a Toni Zuccheri, Venini, turkey; a pair of signed MGA, Albisola wall lamps; an Agenore Fabbri, Tecno, Nastro di Gala bench; and an important Otello Rosa pottery fountain, Sanpolo.

For information contact Valeria Vallese: +39 328 9667353 or valeria@novaars.net or e.art.auctions@gmail.com

 

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A WWII photo portrait of General Charles de Gaulle of the Free French Forces and first president of the Fifth Republic serving from 1959 to 1969.

France’s de Gaulle enshrined in Chinese national museum

BEIJING (AFP) – A statue of French president Charles de Gaulle was unveiled in Beijing on Friday to be permanently displayed in the National Museum on Tiananmen Square in an exceptional honor for a foreign head of state.

The bronze, by Jean Cardot, is a replica of one on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, showing the French leader striding along in military uniform and his distinctive kepi.

It was unveiled by visiting French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, at the culmination of year-long commemorations of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Paris and the People’s Republic.

De Gaulle broke ranks with the United States in 1964 to establish full formal ties with Beijing, as part of an effort to forge a separate role for France in a Cold War dominated by the US and Soviet Union.

“More than half a century ago General de Gaulle had these words about his decision: ‘It was the weight of evidence and reason,'” Valls said. “Long live Franco-Chinese friendship,” he added.

Earlier Valls told an audience of Chinese businessmen: “France did not wait for your glorious rise before having confidence in you.”

De Gaulle commands admiration in China as both a strong leader and for the diplomatic move, which helped Mao Zedong’s government gain global recognition at a time when most Western countries recognized Taipei instead.

Earlier Friday, Valls met Chinese President Xi Jinping, who told him that Beijing wanted to go “higher and further” than the 50-year commemorations to seek “the happiness of the Chinese, the French, and all the peoples of the world.”

The French premier is seeking a “rebalance” in Franco-Chinese trade, where the Asian giant enjoys a multi-billion-dollar surplus.

After talks with Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday, Valls said he hoped “French products will have better access to the Chinese market.”

At the beginning of the year-long diplomatic anniversary the bullet-sprayed car in which de Gaulle escaped assassination, as portrayed in Frederick Forsyth’s 1971 thriller “The Day of the Jackal” and the subsequent film, went on show at the same museum in Beijing.

The black Citroen DS 19 sped de Gaulle and his wife to safety in 1962 despite taking around 20 shots from opponents of Algerian independence.

At the time of that exhibition Wu Jianmin, a former Chinese ambassador to Paris, told AFP: “General de Gaulle was the first Western head of state to see, to predict the rise of China.”

“This car represents the courage of the general. His decisions were truly of great significance, and for decisions of this type there is a price,” Wu said.

Lot 422: 'Dirty Hands.' Roland Auctions NY image

Roland Auctions NY offers early works by Yayoi Kusama, Feb. 7

NEW YORK – On Feb. 7 Roland Auctions NY will present an important sale featuring over 500 lots of fine and decorative arts selected from choice estates throughout New York City. Most notable among the fine art in this auction are three early works on paper by the pioneering Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

Yayoi Kusama’s innovative and influential career spans the entire postwar period and continues through present-day shows and exhibitions of new work worldwide. Throughout her life she has pushed the boundaries of burgeoning and established artistic movements from surrealism, pop and minimalism, to performance art and video. Kusama’s works are included in the permanent collections of important institutions including of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

These three early works were all created in Japan, prior to Kusama’s move to New York City in 1957, and as such are important rarities. This group of blue-chip art has been in the procession of the Beinfield family for nearly half a century. Originally given as a gift from noted New York City artist, film maker, and collector Babbette Beinfield Newburger to her brother William H. Beinfield, these essential works have been preserved in private hands ever since.

Remarking upon Roland’s good fortune in securing this consignment of important art, directly from the heirs of Beinfield, co-owner and principal auctioneer William J. Roland said, “None of these significant art works have come to us without considerable effort … though it is always nice to reap the rewards of the chase.” Indeed, the Feb. 7 auction is certain to be lively and well attended with the addition of blue-chip gallerists, museum representatives and collectors to Roland’s Greenwich Village salesroom.

Taken individually these pieces offer an enticing blueprint for later iconic themes found throughout the artist’s extensive body of work. Lot #421, Hidden Flame [1956]; Lot #422, Dirty Hands [1954]; and Lot #423 An Eye [1952] are all accomplished on paper in a myriad media including pastel, ink, gouache and watercolor. Embedded in these early works are elements of a then evolving visual vocabulary that reoccurs in following decades throughout her oeuvre: dots, eyes, pumpkins, “Infinity Webs” and undulating cosmic forms, all evocative of natural, astrophysical and spiritual sources.

Roland Auctions NY’s reputation for discovering and reintroducing significant works of fine art is further earned as bidders vie for paintings, prints, bronzes and other media not available in the marketplace for decades. This month’s estate pieces span European Old Master works through modern vanguards and contemporary emerging artists. Sought-after artists include Angel Botello, Dan Namingha , Erte, Frederick Prescot, Jean Puy, Louise Nevelson, Peter Beard and Adrien E. Gaudez.

In addition to 20th century modern art, mid-century design is strongly represented at Roland Auctions NY this month. Standouts among dozens of pieces in this category sought by collectors and enthusiasts will include Isamu Noguchi lighting, a Gilbert Rohde drop-front desk, Heywood Wakefield furniture, a Zolsnay iridescent glass vase, and a Loetz art glass tree trunk vase.

In tandem with this auction’s exposition of modernism are dozens of traditional 18th and 19th century American, French, Italian, and English tables, chairs, desks, and commodes. Among these fine pieces is a 19th century French bronze mounted table with multiple Sevres porcelain inserts.

Estate jewelry, in platinum, gold, and silver, is also available at every bidding level. These vintage and modern settings include diamond, sapphire, emerald and other precious gem stones in a wide variety styles. Standing out in this category is an Art Deco diamond encrusted and sapphire brooch.

 

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The Rev. Martin Luther King was pictured on Jan. 3, 1964 cover of 'Time' magazine as Man of the Year. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Heritage Auctions.

MLK’s children work to settle dispute over Bible, Nobel prize

ATLANTA (AP) – The children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. are trying to settle a lawsuit over their father’s traveling Bible and Nobel Peace Prize without going to trial, according to a judge’s order.

King’s estate, controlled by his sons, last year asked a judge to order King’s daughter to surrender the items. In a board of directors meeting last January, Martin Luther King III and Dexter had voted 2-1 against the Rev. Bernice King to sell the artifacts.

The case, considered by many to be the ugliest in a string of legal disputes that have divided the slain civil rights icon’s children in recent years, was set to go to trial next month. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney on Wednesday temporarily halted all action in the case at the parties’ request to allow them time to settle the matter. A hearing will be held March 25 if a settlement hasn’t been reached, McBurney wrote in his order.

The stay of proceedings in the case comes on the heels of the dismissal last week of another lawsuit that effectively pitted the two brothers against their sister. The Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. on Jan. 22 voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit it had filed in August 2013 against the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Dexter Scott King is president and CEO of the estate and Martin Luther King III is chairman of the board. Their sister, the Rev. Bernice King, is CEO of the King Center.

That suit centered on a licensing agreement between the estate and the King Center for the use of King’s name, likeness, works and memorabilia. The estate claimed the King Center had violated that agreement and was storing King artifacts in unsafe and unsecure conditions.

When that lawsuit was dismissed, Dexter had said in an emailed statement that it was a show of good faith as he and his siblings worked to resolve the issues dividing them.

“None of us want to see the legacy of my parents, or our dysfunction, out on public display,” Dexter said in the statement.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-29-15 1550GMT

India Art Fair 2011 venue. Image by Noopur28. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Rising demand has dealers confident at India’s art fair

NEW DELHI (AFP) – With a giant stainless steel elephant, a graffiti mural and a dying tree branch, the Indian Art Fair opened Friday hoping to tap into the country’s growing demand for contemporary art.

Growing wealth has fueled an interest in art collecting among India’s super rich, but the New Delhi fair’s organizers said a rapidly rising middle class has also played a role in recent years.

“Delhi is the most promising and largest art center in India and something that is growing exponentially,” Neha Kirpal, fair founder and director, told AFP.

“The rising middle class in Delhi and love for art is something that is enabling strong commercial interests,” she said.

Spread across pavilions over 215,000 square feet, the fair features more than 3,500 works from 1,200 artists from India and overseas.

The event has been phenomenally successful since its first edition in 2008 and now draws hundreds of thousands of members of the public over three days.

Coming on the heels of Christie’s second auction in the country in December that raised $12 million, art dealers said demand for a range of Indian works was high.

“A few years ago, you know, there was concern in the market, but now steadily things have been rising,” Parul Vadehra, director of the Vadehra Art Gallery, said of the market’s slump after the 2008 global economic crisis.

“With prices rising in the market, obviously that creates a lot of confidence among the collectors and the galleries as well as the artists,” Vadehra said.

This year, themes at the fair range from environmental degradation to the responsibility of power.

A stainless steel elephant with lotus-shaped cut outs by Indian sculptor Sonal Ambani portrays the “responsibility of power,” while a large dry tree branch with plastic bags as leaves depicts global “environmental degradation.”

A large mural by a graffiti artist known as Daku shows life on a busy Delhi street, including pedestrians, rickshaw pullers and a pot-bellied police man.

French artist Julian Segard, who spent months with Delhi’s homeless, portrays the city’s underbelly with pictures made from scrap paper and cardboard collected on the streets.

Claude Monet’s oil on canvas painting 'The Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil' (A Corner of the Garden with Dahlias) was painted in 1873 and is one of the many works of art that will visit Philadelphia this summer. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Janice H. Levin, in Honor of the 50th) Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art

Impressionist exhibit making lone US stop in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A major impressionist exhibit featuring works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas is making its only U.S. stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this summer.

The museum said Wednesday “Discovering the Impressionists” will feature more than 80 paintings that help tell the story of the movement’s rise to prominence.

The exhibit running June 24 to Sept. 13 will be organized into case studies exploring art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel’s support of impressionist artists and influence in spreading their works worldwide.

The exhibit opens in Philadelphia after stops in London and Paris.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-01-28-15 1832GMT

Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Smithsonian exhibits Alexander Graham Bell recordings

WASHINGTON (AP) – National Museum of American History is hosting a series of programs this year about American innovation, and the first exhibit is focused on early sound recording.

Beginning this week, recordings and documents that inventor delivered to the Smithsonian are going on display for the first time. The museum holds some of the earliest audio recordings made in the 1880s. The exhibit includes early audio discs and listening stations.

Bell made the experimental recordings at his Volta Laboratory in Washington. Scientists played back Bell’s early recordings for the first time in 2011 using new technology that can read the grooves in the aging wax disc. Experts identified Bell’s voice on one recording in 2013.

The exhibit, “Hear My Voice,” will be open through October.

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Online: http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/hear-my-voice

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'Lincoln,' painting by George Peter Alexander Healy (1869). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Museum plans events to mark Lincoln’s birthday, anniversaries

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A birthday party for the 16th president and other events are planned for February at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The museum and library are celebrating their 10th anniversary throughout 2015. The 10th day of every month is Family Day at the museum. With admission, families may make birthday cards for the president or Valentine’s Day cards for loved ones and get a sweet treat.

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination.

Historian Mark DePue will speak on the war’s Siege of Petersburg on Feb. 5. Living history interpreters will appear on the president’s birthday Feb. 12. The winner of the “LincolnSelfie” contest will be announced.

Other events are planned as well.

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Online: http://www.illinois.gov/alplm/tenthanniversary/

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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