Saturday, April 4, 2009

ArtsBuzz: Norton photo auction raises more than $100,000

Kelly Gottlieb, vice mayor of Manalapan,
and her husband Michael pose next to
a photograph by Dong Jun with Charles Stainback,
the photography curator at the Norton Museum of Art.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

By Katie Deits

WEST PALM BEACH -- More than $100,000 was raised for the Norton Museum of Art during its photography auction March 21, according to figures released this week.

More than 250 people attended the auction, whose proceeds benefited the museum's photography exhibitions program. Before the live auction, which there were 15 lots, there was a silent auction of 63 lots.

The photographs ranged in price from $500 to $10,000. Many of the images had been donated to the museum for the auction, which also included work by local photographers such as Cheryl Maeder and Barry Seidman.

Norm and Ilene Adams at the Norton photography auction.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

Ilene Adams, marketing director at the Armory Art Center, attended the auction with her husband, Norm. Their favorite work included a series of three "Rayographs" by Gene de Bartolo, made from drawings with Chinese ink on rice paper. De Bartolo uses the drawing as a negative and places it on a sheet of photographic paper before making the exposure.

Rayographs were so named by the American photographer and artist Man Ray, who experimented in the darkroom by placing objects (or hands, and sometimes people’s heads) onto light-sensitive paper and exposing them to light. He created abstract shapes and surrealistic images with this technique.

Although the technique had been practiced before, it was Man Ray who elevated it to a fine art.

Speaking of photography, if you haven’t seen the Norton’s blockbuster exhibit Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities, make a point to do so soon as the exhibit closes May 3. Ansel Adams’ 54 black-and-white nature photographs, beautifully printed by the master himself, are exhibited with 40 of O’Keeffe’s paintings of the Southwest.

The Norton Museum of Art is located at 1451 S. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach. For hours and information, call (561) 832-5196.

Artist Debbie Brookes of Ocean Ridge and her daughter, Dana,
view a photo of a tulip by Barry Seidman.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

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