Monday, July 12, 2010

Auction Report: "The Gallery of Creation, a Museum of Natural History, Created by Joseph Hurt Studio, Inc."

Video: The Gallery of Creation Adventure of Lion & Lamb
Watch robotic animals discuss the creation of the world from a biblical prospective. Found here.

Regular Morbid Anatomy readers might recall a recent blog post about the a Georgia-based creationist natural history (sic) museum--"The Gallery of Creation, a Museum of Natural History"--being disseminated at public auction. Morbid Anatomy reader Sarah of the blog A Discourse on the Arts and Sciences was curious to know the outcome of that auction; Following is her exclusive investigative report, for your reading pleasure:
While the contemporary art market has struggled over recent months in terms of desirable material entering the market, the antiques market has been blessed. In particular, the genres of natural history, taxidermy and, surprisingly, kitsch have been a virtual goldmine in recent weeks, which have been bolstered even further by interesting provenances as well.

The Australian sale of the Owsten Collection (see report here) sold extremely well, with numerous pieces of highly significant natural history selling well above high estimates. I was particularly in love with the collector’s cabinets, myself.

Another captivating sale which I heard of, via Morbid Anatomy (thank you), was the de-accessioning of the collection of "The Gallery of Creation, A Museum of Natural History" on June 25th and 26th in Social Circle, Georgia (more on that here).

This Creationist natural history museum was founded by William Hurt Studios and catered to church groups, school classes and family outings. I wish I had gotten a chance to see it before it closed.

I have to admit, my first reaction was one of sheer captivation. What a great combo, natural history and that special kind of kitsch which only seems to happen in the South. Maybe my family stopped at too many tourist destinations during my childhood, but I shamelessly confess to a love of this kind of nostalgia. I envisioned lots of big blonde hair waving paddles for--quite simply--one of the oddest assortment of items I have ever come across available for sale in one place.

This particular sale was one of those examples of the sometimes odd attractions collectors can have. It certainly wasn’t about the ‘finest’, or art--it was about the sometimes most determined aspect of our attractions --nostalgia --as well as an occasional appreciation for good old fashioned camp.

In following up to the sale, I found that many of the pieces did sell quite reasonably. Prices do not include buyer’s premiums.

Oil Painting on Canvas of the Ark
8’6” wide x 5’ high

Model of a Velosoraptor

Vitrine Display of Various Skeletons & Skulls
14 feet wide x 9 feet high x 4 feet deep

Vitrine Display of Seascape with Animation Features
12 feet wide x 9 feet high x 4 feet deep

Vitrine of Mounted Birds, including Peacock, Toucan,
numerous parrots (Sphinx Macaw) and others
13 feet wide x 9 feet high x 4 feet deep

Large Animated Vitrine of Lion & Lamb Conversing

Another upcoming auction item worthy of pangs of nostalgia, as well as camp, is none other than Trigger himself, the trusted companion of Roy Rogers to be sold on July 14th in New York. The dispersal of the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Collection is being handled entirely by Christies and will take place on July 14th and 15th; more on that here.

TRIGGER (1934-1965)
Estimated $100,000 - $200,000.
Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Collection

Entertaining the masses so thoroughly for over two decades, Roy Rogers and Trigger were one of America's most recognizable duos, becoming instant classics in people's eyes, hearts and imaginations. Trigger also reached legendary status in his own right, and is undeniably one of the most memorable horses that ever lived. Trigger was apparently purchased for $2,500 back in the day.
Thanks so much, Sarah, for the excellent report. More information of the Museum of Creation can be found here. For backstory on the auction, click here. Click here to find out more about the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Collection auction. Click here to check out guest-poster Sarah's lovely blog A Discourse on the Arts and Sciences.


Paul Baxendale said...

I love that you are giving us auction results! So cool!!! I think the mounted bird vitrine was a pretty good deal for $4100!

Anonymous said...

I was actually at the Creation Auction for a while and then I saw that most of the items were being won on the online auction and we went home to finish the day out online. The photos in the catalog did not do the items justice- they should have used something for scale- because many of the items were quite large. I was able to purchase a few items and see some once in a lifetime type things. Very Cool.