Unofficial farewell to summer –welcome fall!

Photo of Edward Curtis courtesy of muskegonartmuseum.org.

Plenty of sales and auctions coming up for September

Now that we’ve arrived at the end of unofficial summer, thoughts turn to the kids getting back to school, autumn-themed activities – apple picking, hay rides and other fall fun, but there’s still a few weeks of summer left on the calendar.

Officially fall doesn’t arrive until September 23, so there’s still some summer left; although I’ve noticed that the days are getting shorter, a sure sign of autumn.

Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the beautiful changing colors of the leaves, the crisp air, taffy apples, and of course, the cooler weather that means the air conditioning unit can take a rest from the higher electric bills that have arrived during the hot, summer months.

Last week, Rosemary McKittrick’s informative column featured Edward Curtis, a photographer who devoted his professional (and possibly private) life to taking photographs of Western tribes Native Americans. Two years ago, my sister and I made the trip to the Muskegon Museum of Art to view hundreds of pictures taken by Curtis that belong to the museum thanks to a librarian’s foresight more than 100 years ago. I was extremely impressed by this man’s body of work –so much so that I ordered a book that is packed with the photos Curtis took. At our visit to the museum, more than 720 photos were displayed and it took quite some time to view many of the poignant pictures of bygone Native Americans and their way of life. I also purchased a second book, “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis.” For anyone who has an interest in photography, or Native American tribes, this book offers a biography of Curtis, who came from a humble background. It’s a wonderful look into a complex, passionate man who saw the beauty of the Western native peoples and did his best to document their lives. He did an admirable job. Included within the pages are several photographs taken by Curtis.

The following is an excerpt of an article I found online at pbsnewshour.org about Edward Curtis and the Muskegon, Michigan collection of his photos:

“In 1907, a Michigan librarian named Lulu Miller had a wild proposal. She wanted her library in Muskegon, then a bustling industrial port on the shores of Lake Michigan, to subscribe to a set of photos documenting North American Indian tribes living west of the Missouri River. She managed to convince the library board to pay $3,000 — roughly $80,000 today — to purchase 20 volumes from photographer Edward S. Curtis, who was largely unknown at the time. The small town library joined a handful of other subscribers, mostly wealthy and famous, including the King of England, President Teddy Roosevelt and Alexander Graham Bell. In the years that followed, Edward S. Curtis became one of the most well-known photographers of his time, especially of North American Indians.”

Those looking to attend some festivities, auctions and sales this coming week have a wide range from which to choose. Here’s a few upcoming events:

An antiques, furniture and fine jewelry auction is planned for Saturday, September 7th, by Woody Auction, online and at the auction hall in Douglass, Kansas, starting promptly at 9:30 a.m. Central time. Headlining the sale will be the lifetime Americana collection of James R. and Barbara A. Miller of Colorado. In all, 378 lots will cross the auction block. Internet bidding is provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Jason Woody at (316) 747-2694; or, you can email him at info@woodyauction.com.

A Summer Antiquities Discovery Sale #78, an online-only auction is scheduled for Saturday, September 7th, by Ancient Resource Auctions, based in Montrose, Calif. The sale is packed with over 375 lots of authentic antiquities from Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Near Eastern and Pre-Columbian cultures, as well as other interesting items, starting at attractive values. The auction will start at 9 a.m. Pacific. Online bidding is via LiveAuctioneers.comInvaluable.com and bid.AncientResourceAuctions.com.

If you need additional information about this sale call Ancient Resource Auctions at (818) 425-9633; or, send an email to ancientresourceauctions@yahoo.com.

A nearly 600-lot auction titled “Mantiques!” is planned for Saturday, September 14th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., online and at the gallery in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. It will be the second man cave auction from Miller & Miller and, much like last year, this year’s event will be packed with manly memorabilia, to include advertising, signs, automobilia, petroliana (including gas pumps, air meters and ephemera), coin-ops, militaria, railroad collectibles, aviation, sports memorabilia and more. Internet bidding will be via LiveAuctioneers.comInvaluable.com, Miller & Miller Live and HiBid.com.

If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Ethan Miller at (519) 573-3710 or (519) 716-5606; or, you can email him at info@millerandmillerauctions.com.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. And don’t forget to check out this issue of Collectors Journal for listings and ads for upcoming sales, markets and auctions! Please keep us in mind and contact us with Auction Action news; mystery items; unusual collections; club and convention news and any other antiques-related matters at editor@collectorsjournal.com or meego929@aol.com; or via telephone at (319) 472-4763.