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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. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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