|Red Cross Sells Pieces of Historic Collection to Cut Deficit |
In this photo provided by Heritage Auction Galleries via The American Red Cross, the doll named Rose Percy, which was originally sold in 1864, complete with her own Tiffany jewelry and accessories, for the sum of $1,200 to raise funds for the U.S. Sanitary Commission (precursor to the American Red Cross) is shown. The late owners gave the doll back to the Red Cross, where it was kept in a museum display. It will be auctioned Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009. The American Red Cross is auctioning dozens of treasures and archival items it has amassed over the decades to address a $50 million budget deficit. AP Photo/Heritage Auction Galleries.
By: Brett Zongker, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON, DC (AP).- Rose Percy has a long history with the American Red Cross. Complete with an extensive wardrobe and her own Tiffany jewelry, this 23-inch wax doll was first sold for $1,200 back in 1864 to benefit the U.S. Sanitary Commission the precursor to one of best-known U.S. charities.
Now, Rose Percy, is on the auction block again.
On Tuesday, Percy will be sold in one of the first rounds of an extensive sale of treasures the American Red Cross has amassed over the decades. The current bid online: $5,000. The Red Cross also is selling a rare four-faced Cartier clock lamp, nurse uniforms from World War I and what could be the last Civil War-era flag of the forerunner U.S. Sanitary Commission.
"There's an opportunity for people to purchase a part of the Red Cross history and at the same time contribute to our humanitarian mission," said Red Cross spokesman Roger Lowe. At a time when many companies are cutting back on such vast archival collections, 128-year-old charity, he said, is asking itself, "Do I really need all of this?"
For the past two years, the charity whose core mission is disaster relief has been working feverishly to erase a $209 million operating deficit a shortfall that now stands at $33.5 million. The national headquarters laid off a third of its 3,000 employees last year and made a rare appeal to Congress for help that produced a one-time, $100-million infusion. But the cost-cutting isn't over.
What once was a collection of more than 135,000 objects, images, books and reels of film kept in a Lorton, Va., warehouse outside Washington is being drastically scaled back. The warehouse will be closed next year to save $3 million annually.
Many items predate the time in 1881 when Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in Washington. Some have been sent to the National Archives under a long-standing partnership, the most historically significant art and objects will be kept at the Washington headquarters and others will be auctioned in the largest sale in years, archivist Susan Watson said.
The charity will honor donor intent and keep its best and most historically significant art and objects, Lowe said. That will include original paintings by Norman Rockwell, Howard Chandler Christy and African-American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner, among others. Rockwell was commissioned to do paintings for the Red Cross as the basis of posters asking people to join or donate.
In the case of the uniform collection, there was room to pare back, Watson said. Some examples of nurse and officer uniforms ranging from World War I to those worn by "doughnut dollies" in Vietnam were kept. Some were sent to the National Archives.
"But even with all of that, there were still many, many duplicates," she said.
The online auctions began this month through Heritage Auction Galleries and will continue through February.
Gone is a French bleu compote presented to the American Red Cross in 1937 by Albert Lebrun, then president of France. It sold last week for $2,031.50 at the Dallas-based auction house. Still to go are assorted Christmas seals and international stamps, as well as about 75 original Red Cross illustrations created by artists including Haddon Sundblom, known for his pictures of Santa drinking a Coke.
One document to be sold was responsible for saving a woman's life during the Holocaust. It was issued by the Swedish Red Cross in 1944 under Raoul Wallenberg in Hungary to provide safe passage for an Austrian Jewish chemist who was seeking refuge from the Nazis.
Jared Green, vice president of Heritage Auction Galleries, said they conservatively estimate the sale will bring in about $200,000.
For the Red Cross "it doesn't make sense to them to hold onto these pieces indefinitely," he said. "What's more important is at the end of the year, it's helping as many people as it can."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
November 18, 2009
Christie's Latin American Evening Sale Totals $14,691,900 - Botero Leads Sale
Getty Museum Announces Acquisition of Two Drawings by Klimt
Sotheby's Hopes "Zero Art" Sale will Raise Plenty of Cash
North Carolina Museum of Art Tunnels' through to New 127,000-Square-Foot Building
Masters' Drawings in "Codex Resta" Restored at Biblioteca Ambrosiana
Red Cross Sells Pieces of Historic Collection to Cut Deficit
New Series of Books About the Sistine Chapel to Come Out in Italy
A Rich Array of Victorian & British Impressionist Art Offered at Christie's
Bonhams Showcases Best of British at 20th Century British Art Sale
Ed Kienholz Transforms the National Gallery into Red Light District
China Steps Up Pressure and Calls for Return of Art Treasures from Abroad
Paris Exhibit by Gerard Rancinan Serves Revisions of Old Masters
Collection of Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers Soon to Become Public
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Sculpture Commissions
"Interventions" by Contemporary Artists at Belvedere Continues with Werner Reiterer
Eretz Israel Museum Showing People, Faces, Masks and Beliefs
Cranbrook Artist Anders Ruhwald to Receive a $12,000 Ole Haslund Artist Foundation Grant
Louis Vuitton Auction Raises a Total 495,000 to Benefit the Red Cross
Elderly Irish Dare to Bare All for Painter
Smithsonian Exhibit on Commercial Holiday Displays
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 'Feeling Van Gogh' makes art accessible for visually impaired visitors
2.- Art lovers get naked for new exhibition tours at the National Gallery of Australia
3.- Broken in life, Billie Holiday enjoys revival on the 100th anniversary of her birth
4.- Research reveals significantly different composition in Jean-Honoré Fragonard's Young Girl Reading
5.- Retrospective exhibition of photographs by Luke Smalley opens at ClampArt
6.- Jewish teenager Anne Frank died at least a month earlier than thought, new study says
7.- Archaeologists find items that attest to the existence of an Egyptian administrative centre
8.- 'All the Rage in Paris: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes' on view at the McNay Art Museum
9.- Exhibition illustrates the fascinating creativity of Gustave Doré in an era of great changes
10.- Cynthia Lennon, British first wife of John Lennon, dies aged 75: Julian Lennon
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|