Old 03-28-2005, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default UPRR Art to be sold on E-Bay

Starts April 1:

Union Pacific museum group to sell art on eBay

The Friends of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum will offer 150 works of art for sale to raise operating funds for the museum, officials say.

The framed paintings, photographs and prints, donated to the group in November by Union Pacific Railroad, will be sold at two auctions, said Don Bowerman, a member of the Friends Board's art committee and coordinator of the online sale.

Museum director Beth Lindquist expects strong interest in the art, she said.

"I think we have some very nice art work that will be available to the public, and I think they are going to be excited about it," she said.

The items, some of which are duplicates of prints already in the museum's collection, were no longer needed when the corporation moved into its new headquarters building.

The initial five pieces will be posted on eBay Apr01 in the group's first sale in cyberspace, said Bowerman, who has been an avid buyer and seller on eBay since shortly after it began operating in 1995. Information and photographs will be posted at uprrmuseum.

"They will run for 10 days, and they will close 15 minutes apart," he said.

Depending on how the first sale goes, the rest of the works will be put on the auction block later, either online or in a live event in the area, Bowerman said.

"I think, eventually, we'll take the mass of those items to one public auction and have one sale where the public will be notified," he said.

That auction would be held at a location where the public would have the opportunity to see the remaining items and bid on them in a conventional manner.

The initial group of items, selected by Bowerman and committee member Verne Welch, includes historic works by some prominent artists and photographers, Bowerman said.

"We have some big-name people here," he said. "Some of this stuff is going to be one-of-a-kind. You're not going to get it anywhere else."

The works include:

- "Columbia River Portage Point," one of 12 railroad scenes created by oil painter Howard Fogg that are out of print, Bowerman said. Fogg painted the picture for the Union Pacific Railroad centennial.

"Howard Fogg was probably the most well known railroad painter and artist of the United States during the 20th century," Bowerman said.

- Omaha's Union Station as seen in a numbered photographic reproduction by photographer J.E. Stimson.

"J.E. Stimson was one of the official Union Pacific photographers in the late 1890s and into the earlier 20th century," Bowerman said. "He tried to capture the essence of the frontier during the early 20th century before it disappeared."

- "Country Connection" is a print of an oil painting by Donald Breckon, who was a famous British railroad artist.

- Photographic reproduction of a picture of Chicago-Northwestern engine No. 8050 on a siding.

- "The Harvest Season" is a signed, limited-edition print of a work by Jim Hansel.

"He's one of the country's most prominent wildlife artists," Bowerman said. "The thing about Jim Hansel is, he's been legally blind since an early age. He takes photographs of things, and then he has it blown up and he gets down next to it with his magnifying glass so he can do a painting."

Other members of the art committee include Brenda Mainwaring, Carla Chance, Wayne Kobberdahl, Ralph Wright, Kori Nielsen, Joanie Hess and Tom Lynch.

Art with special historical value will also be kept by the museum and displayed periodically. For information, call (712) 329-8307. - Tim Johnson, The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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Default New Auction - August 22

Friends of the UP post 15 pieces of railroad art on eBay

Friends of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum has put 15 works of railroad art up for sale in the group's third online auction.

The auction began Monday on eBay and continues through Thursday. The current auction, like the first two, is running for 10 days, and bidding on the items will close 15 minutes apart.

The bill of sale includes 10 prints of steam locomotives and trains by Shepherd, Tutwiler, Breckon and other artists and five Union Pacific Railroad advertisements - all framed. Two pieces are out of print, and two are signed and numbered. There is a signed and numbered print of the Challenger and a print of Big Boy.

"There's some great stuff on there," said Don Bowerman, member of the art committee and coordinator of the sale.

The works were among 150 donated to Friends by the Union Pacific Railroad last fall.

So far, bids and Internet hits are lagging behind those of the first two auctions, held in April and June, Bowerman said.

"There's some interest," he said. "They are nowhere near what they were in the first two."

The first two auctions went well, Bowerman said.

"We had really good results the two times we did it," he said. "I was very pleased, the board was pleased with our results. We advertised 10, and we sold nine. We got a good return on our investment."

The postings attracted a lot of hits, Bowerman said.

"The first time we did it, 1,000 people looked at it; and the second time, we had 1,400" hits, he said.

Most of the works were purchased by people from the local area, Bowerman said. Three Council Bluffs buyers bought a total of four items, and a Bellevue, Neb., bidder bought two.

"The very first buyer happened to be a gal who lived about two blocks from the museum," he said.

Bowerman still expects a "flurry of activity" during the last couple days of the auction but is not sure the results will measure up to those of the first two sales.

"There comes a point where, I think, maybe you hit a saturation level," he said.

Before a work can be sold, at least one bid must match or exceed a hidden reserve bid set ahead of time by the seller. If the highest bid falls short of that but is still worth considering, the seller can negotiate with the top bidder after general bidding closes.

The Friends group will likely hold its final online auction in November, then prepare for a formal auction somewhere in the local area, Bowerman said. - Tim Johnson, The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil
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