Thursday, June 8, 2006
Art gallery fund-raiser successful
By SUE WATSON
Art enthusiasts turned out Saturday night to support a fund-raiser for the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery, which houses the body of work of the late Holly Springs artist who studied under the great American Impressionist William Merritt Chase in New York.
The artist’s painting “Summer Landscape,” went to an art collector from New Orleans who owns an extensive collection of works by southern artists. When the bidding in the live auction ended, the painting brought $46,500, according to Vicki Webb, president of the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery Trust.
“The auction sets a benchmark for the value of Kate Freeman Clark’s paintings,” Webb said.
Nearly 100 other items sold during the evening at silent auction brought the total collected for maintenance of the gallery and preservation of the paintings to over $70,000, she said.
“We are grateful to the many donors who gave items for the silent auction and others who gave art pieces and items for the live auction,” Webb said.
Proceeds go entirely for the upkeep and operation of the gallery as well as preservation of the collection, according to Ann Callicutt, a member of the gallery board of trustees for eight years, who, along with her husband, Edwin, chaired the event.
At her death in 1957, Kate Freeman Clark left money in her will for the building of a gallery to house all her work - over 1,200 canvases and drawings.
Three of Freeman Clark’s works were selected for auction this year.
The museum has a fund-raiser about every four years - a necessity to keep the museum open and preserve the collection.
Other sources of funds are the renting of the facility for teas, weddings, business meetings and other social functions. Gallery goers pay a nominal fee to tour the museum, according to Callicutt.
Kate Freeman Clark’s work exists primarily in the Holly Springs gallery, she said. Some paintings are occasionally loaned to other galleries or for exhibitions.
The Kate Freeman Clark collection is very important to the community for school children to tour and receive inspiration that could lead them into the arts, Callicutt said.
“It’s just a wonderful collection,” she said. “There are not many towns that would house a collection by one artist. It’s just a jewel to the community.”
Kate Freeman Clark, born in 1875, began her study at age 19 in New York after her mother took her to the city where she studied under Chase, eventually becoming recognized as rising American artist of her own, Callicutt said.
Known locally as “Miss Kate” after her return to Holly Springs in 1922, she discontinued painting and never married.
At her death, executors of her estate were surprised at the huge volume of her paintings, much of which had been stored in a New York warehouse.
The collection was retrieved from the warehouse and, according to her will, the gallery was built to house it. Very few have been sold, and only for raising funds for the upkeep of the gallery.
Anyone interested in touring the gallery or renting it for an event should contact Ann Callicutt or any trustee. Members of the board are Bea Green, John Dabney Brown, John Loftin, Fort Gholson, Janey Fant, Ben Martin, George Bassi, Ann Callicutt and Vicki Webb.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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