Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Tag: Collectors and Collections

The Metaverse Takes Manhattan

The Metaverse Takes Manhattan

Business
The difference now, of course, is that no one needs to be convinced that crypto is a good business. It’s already a trillion-dollar industry that has spawned dozens of huge companies, created dynastic wealth for early adopters, and attracted many of the best and brightest minds in Silicon Valley.And when I looked beyond the decadence in New York, I could see strands of Web3 starting to weave themselves into things real people might want.On Monday night, for example, I went to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to attend a party thrown by Friends With Benefits, a new kind of leaderless crypto-club known as a “decentralized autonomous organization,” or DAO. Right now, DAOs — which have been described as “group chats with bank accounts” — are mostly an experimental plaything. But optimists think they could...

Vinyl Is Selling So Well That It’s Getting Hard to Sell Vinyl

LifeStyle
Within the Indianapolis office of Joyful Noise Recordings, a specialty label that caters to vinyl-loving fans of underground rock, is a corner that employees call the “lathe cave.”There sits a Presto 6N record lathe — a 1940s-vintage machine the size of a microwave that makes records by cutting a groove into a blank vinyl platter. Unlike most standard records, which are pressed by the hundreds or thousands, each lathe-cut disc must be created individually.“It’s incredibly laborious,” said Karl Hofstetter, the label’s founder. “If a song is three minutes long, it takes three minutes to make every one.”This ancient technology — scuffed and dinged, the lathe looks like something from a World War II submarine — is a key part of Joyful Noise’s strategy to survive the very surge of vinyl popular...
The Curious, Astounding Collection of the Magician Ricky Jay

The Curious, Astounding Collection of the Magician Ricky Jay

LifeStyle
They took away so much. More than a dozen Buchingers. The 1903 “Houdini in Russia” poster, commemorating when the illusionist, stripped naked and locked in a Moscow cell, escaped in 28 minutes “to the unspeakable astonishment of the Russian police.” The 1898 window card with the vivid illustration announcing the latest achievement of Kellar, legendary magician: “Self Decapitation.”These, and so much more, to be transported elsewhere with the bang of an auctioneer’s gavel.But wait, ladies and gentlemen! Astounded though you certainly are by all that has come before, please remain plastered — in your seats, that is — for the stupefying conclusion to this tale!After Sotheby’s removed the nearly 2,000 items it had selected — 200 times 10, ladies and gentlemen! — Verges looked around.There were...
A ‘Holy Grail’ of American Folk Art, Hiding in Plain Sight

A ‘Holy Grail’ of American Folk Art, Hiding in Plain Sight

LifeStyle
John Foster was driving through St. Louis in 2019 when he spotted something unusual on the front porch of a home just east of Forest Park.“I thought, ‘That doesn’t look like just a piece-of-concrete lawn ornament,’” said Foster, a St. Louis-based author, historian and art enthusiast.He couldn’t stop at the time, but the remarkable carving — a pair of seated stone women, their bodies flecked with moss — stuck in his mind. He returned a few weeks later and knocked on the door.“Can I take a closer look?” he asked the couple who answered, Sally Bliss and her husband, Jim Connett.He bent down and examined it. The faces were obscured by the green moss, but the distinctive small mouths resting directly beneath vertical noses, nearly closed eyes, and contrast in surfaces between the flatness of th...

He Taught Ancient Texts at Oxford. Now He Is Accused of Stealing Some.

LifeStyle
He had impeccable credentials. No one disputes that.Dirk Obbink was an esteemed lecturer at the University of Oxford. He had received a MacArthur Foundation grant in 2001 for his work with papyrus, and held a prominent post helping to run the Oxyrhynchus Papyri — the world’s largest collection of ancient papyri, held by the Egypt Exploration Society and housed at Oxford’s Sackler Library.So roughly a decade ago when the craft shop chain Hobby Lobby began to build a collection of ancient artifacts related to the Bible, it made sense to touch base with Obbink.Hobby Lobby’s president, Steve Green, was leading an effort to create a national museum that focused on the Bible. So between 2010 and 2013, the chain says it paid about $7 million dollars to Obbink for seven batches of antiquities incl...
Anarchy, and $$$, in the Vintage Punk Clothing Market

Anarchy, and $$$, in the Vintage Punk Clothing Market

LifeStyle
“He was outraged,” Ms. Kim said. “He felt very strongly about protecting and defending his work. It was precious to him.” After the partnership between Mr. McLaren and Ms. Westwood was dissolved in 1984, the two had a long and high-profile feud that was never resolved, and the tension created a vacuum for forgers.Mr. Howard and Mr. Parker received a suspended sentence in the Banksy case, but the case concerning the fake clothing was dropped when Mr. McLaren died, in 2010, as he was the key witness for the prosecution in this area.As it turns out, however, Ms. Westwood’s family may have inadvertently created or fueled the industry around fake punk. “I created limited-edition runs of some early designs to raise capital to launch Agent Provocateur,” said Joe Corré, the son of Mr. McLaren and ...
Searching for Bird Life in a Former ‘Ocean of Forest’

Searching for Bird Life in a Former ‘Ocean of Forest’

Technology
Andrea Morales Rozo, who teaches biology at the Universidad de los Llanos in central Colombia, guided the team at the nets, from which she skillfully extricated birds unharmed. Ms. Morales Rozo has been studying the blackpoll warbler, a species that migrates between the Amazon and Canada; she was part of a group that recently compared museum specimens and field-caught birds and learned that the warbler’s northward range had shifted by nearly 400 miles in 45 years.Dr. Cuervo, the expedition leader, offered calm, fatherly support to those at the processing table. It’s not always obvious how best to describe a bird’s colors, for example, and second opinions were often requested. Was a wing “verde café,” greenish brown? Or was it “verde olivazo,” olive green? Was a female bird’s brood patch, t...
Smithsonian Acquires Rare Photographs From the First African American Studios

Smithsonian Acquires Rare Photographs From the First African American Studios

LifeStyle
Larry West was a mergers and acquisitions specialist when he happened upon an article in The New York Post in 1975 that said antique photographs were on the verge of becoming the next big collectible. Inspired, he walked into a shop in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and came across a daguerreotype — an early form of photography, made on highly polished metal plates that is almost startling in its hologram-like effect. It depicted an African American man in a tuxedo, elegantly posed before the camera. West purchased it for $10.70. “Including tax,” he said with a laugh in a phone interview.The find kicked off West’s 45-year-long passion — some might say obsession — with daguerreotypes, as objects of beauty and as records of American history, including the active role African Americans played as both make...
I Joined a Penguin NFT Club Because Apparently That’s What We Do Now

I Joined a Penguin NFT Club Because Apparently That’s What We Do Now

Technology
“There was huge meme potential in fat-looking penguins, so we decided to roll with that,” Mr. Patterson said.The first community NFT was the CryptoPunks, a series of 10,000 pixelated characters that was sold starting in 2017. They became a luxury status symbol, with single images selling for millions of dollars, and paved the way for other community NFTs, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a group of 10,000 cartoon primates that now sell for upward of $45,000 apiece.Mr. Patterson and his co-founders hope that Pudgy Penguins will end up joining the NFT pantheon. The original collection sold out within 20 minutes, and more than $25 million worth of them have changed hands overall, according to NFT Stats, a website that aggregates data on NFT sales. Early this week, it was still possible to ...
More Women Muscle In on the World of Vintage Cars

More Women Muscle In on the World of Vintage Cars

Business
Armed with a welding torch and bolstered by a college grant, a GoFundMe account and help from some enthusiastic classmates, she entered the 2017 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge in Florida, scoring a respectable seventh-place finish and coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Autoweek and other national media.Last year, Ms. Hackenberg earned her official Sports Car Club of America racing license. She is training as a mechanic at Arrow McLaren SP, a firm in Indianapolis that competes in the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series races.Whether their interest lies in vintage motorsports, automotive preservation and collecting, or all of the above, “more and more young women want to participate,” said Theresa Gilpatrick, former longtime executive director of the Ferrari Club of America. She urges yo...