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Historical Society bags $3.2M from auction of Audubon works

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The Indiana Historical Society has bagged $3.2 million from the auction of complete sets of valuable pictorial works by John James Audubon.

The society paid $4,000 for "The Birds of America" in 1933 and $900 for "Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America" in 1951. On Tuesday, Southeby’s New York sold “The Birds of America” for $3,525,000 and "Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America" for $245,000.

The Society will pocket $3.2 million of the larger $3.77 million total, the group said Tuesday. The proceeds from the auction will allow the society to acquire more state-specific items and increase its storage.

“We look forward to the new stewardship opportunities this sale presents for us, and wish the new owners the same joy we have shared in possessing them,” said IHS CEO John A. Herbst.

A new collections stewardship fund will be used to support acquisition of Indiana items that might otherwise slip away from the state, such as the Civil War letter from a Hoosier soldier with the 28th United States Colored Troops regiment that was sold at auction in March 2013.

Audubon established himself as the United States' dominant wildlife artist before his death in 1851. His "Birds of America" series was sold by subscription from 1827 to 1838 and featured 435 hand-painted plates depicting America's native birds. His "Viviparous Quadrupeds" was published between 1845 and 1854 and includes 150 color lithographic plates.

IHS officials said that they had been discussing selling the items for some time, because they didn’t fit the society's focus on Indiana and the old Northwest Territory, and the society isn't a place that attracts people interested in rare art books. The group held off until now because of the economy.
 

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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