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The National Portrait Gallery London Acquires Painting of Dylan Thomas, and a 1913 Nickel Is Sold for $4.5 Million

Plus, a New Zealand museum acquires a fountain pen that inspired the disposable, hypodermic syringe.

Augustus John's portrait of Dylan Thomas (1937-38), oil on canvas, (copyright: © The estate of Augustus John / Bridgeman Images)
Augustus John’s portrait of Dylan Thomas (1937-38), oil on canvas, (copyright: © The estate of Augustus John / Bridgeman Images)

The National Portrait Gallery has purchased a painting of a young Dylan Thomas (c. 1937) by his friend Augustus John. The painting has been on long-term loan to the Gallery and up on display for the past 20 years. In a deal brokered by Christie’s, the painting sold for £214,750, with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (£94,800), the Art Fund (£70,000), and the Thompson Family Charitable Trust (£49,950). This is one of two portraits by John, with the other portrait on display in the National Museum Wales. In 2019, the newly acquired portrait will go on loan to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea, Thomas’s hometown. This is a part of the Gallery’s Coming Home project, in which 50 portraits will travel to the places they are most closely associated with.

Frederic Remington, "The Rattlesnake" (1906), bronze, 23 1/8 x 17 3/4 x 14 1/2 in, collection of the Newark Museum, Gift from the Charles A. Serventi Collection, 2017 (image courtesy of the Newark Museum)
Frederic Remington, “The Rattlesnake” (1906), bronze, 23 1/8 x 17 3/4 x 14 1/2 in, collection of the Newark Museum, Gift from the Charles A. Serventi Collection, 2017 (image courtesy of the Newark Museum)

The Newark Museum has been bequeathed two bronze Frederic Remington sculptures from the collection of Justice Marie L. Garibaldi. Garibaldi, who passed away in 2016, was the first woman appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court and the first woman to serve as President of the New Jersey Bar Association. The Remington sculptures include “The Rattlesnake” (1906) and “Mountain Man” (1916). The sculptures were passed down to Garibaldi by her grandfather, A. Charles Serventi, who was friends with the Bertelli family. Ricardo Bertelli founded Roman Bronze works in 1899, an important bronze foundry of the time. [via email announcement]

Dean Mitchell, "Laid Back" (2001) (image courtesy of the Gadsen Arts Center & Museum)
Dean Mitchell, “Laid Back” (2001) (image courtesy of the Gadsen Arts Center & Museum)

The Gadsen Arts Center & Museum in Quincy, Florida has recently acquired the Dean Mitchell oil painting “Laid Back” (2001) for the museum’s permanent collection. This painting features a portrait of Eddie Lee, a local mechanic in Quincy. Mitchell was raised in Quincy and is best known for his watercolors. The painting was gifted by Jack and Luanna Morris. Jack Morris is a prominent art dealer who has run galleries in Arizona, New Mexico, and South Carolina, and he was museum director of the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina. This is the fourth painting by Mitchell to enter the museum’s permanent collection. [via email announcement]

 

The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head nickel (image courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries)
The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head nickel (image courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

Stack’s Bower’s Galleries has sold a 1913 Liberty Head nickel for $4,560,000 at their auction of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. This makes the nickel one of five most valuable coins sold at auction and the most valuable non-precious metal coin ever sold. The coin, one of only five “Eliasberg” nickels, named for Louis E. Eliasberg, who bought the coin in 1948, has been featured in a number of exhibitions as well as on the cover of The 100 Greatest American Coins.

Alphonso Wong, "Old Master Q - Rock 'n Roll" (1964) (image courtesy of Sotheby's)
Alphonso Wong, “Old Master Q – Rock ‘n Roll” (1964) (image courtesy of Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s single-lot “Old Master Q – Rock ‘n Roll” (1964) online sale brought in $650,000 on August 10. The artwork, by Alphonso Wong, was the cover for the second issue of Old Master Q, a popular 1960s comic that appeared in newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong.

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota received a gift of 351 paintings from the artist Carl Grupp to create the Carl Grupp Legacy Collection. Carl Grupp is a South Dakota artist who founded the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery, and he has helped build the Carl Grupp Permanent Art Collection which includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Degas, and Warhol, among others.

Colin Murdoch's fountain pen, which inspired the invention of the disposable syringe (image courtesy of the South Canterbury Museum)
Colin Murdoch’s fountain pen, which inspired the invention of the disposable syringe (image courtesy of the South Canterbury Museum)

The South Canterbury Museum in Timaru, New Zealand recently acquired the fountain pen of Colin Murdoch through a donation by his widow, Marilyn Murdoch. The pen inspired Murdoch to create the “medical-changing,” or disposable, hypodermic syringe. Murdoch was a pharmacist and medical inventor from Timaru, who also created the tranquilizer gun and the childproof cap bottle. His inventions are used worldwide for both human and veterinary purposes, with the disposable syringe being especially useful to the diabetic community. The pen will become part of the museum’s local inventors display.

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