Published: Saturday, May 5, 2007
Battle of Gettysburg cyclorama up for auction
Battle of Gettysburg
cyclorama up for auction
RALEIGH, N.C. A towering 6-ton painting depicting the Battle of Gettysburg was sold recently in North Carolina after decades in storage, and it could resell quickly for more than $10 million, an art dealer said.
The 376-foot-long cyclorama depicting the bloodiest battle of the Civil War is meant to be displayed in a round room to give viewers the feeling they are there.
"When I saw it, I just about died. I was almost enraptured into it," said Larry D. Laster, a Winston-Salem fine arts dealer. "Everyone who has seen it has said the same thing, that you're dragged into the painting. And that's while it's lying on the ground."
Winston-Salem artist Joe King knew of the cyclorama's existence and spent 30 years searching for it. He found it in 1965 behind the wall of a burned-out Chicago warehouse. King was unable to find a home for the massive painting and willed it to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem when he died in 1996.
Laster said the painting was recently sold to three businessmen from North Carolina. Laster, who acted as the buyers' broker, said he expected the cyclorama to resell in the eight-figure range meaning $10 million or more.
The businessmen prefer to sell to an institution with the ability to publicly display the painting, which is about 22 feet high, but they are considering other offers, Laster said.
Basinger in court
in custody dispute
LOS ANGELES Kim Basinger went to court Friday as part of a bitter child custody dispute with ex-husband Alec Baldwin that saw him lash out at his 11-year-old daughter last month on a leaked voicemail.
Superior Court Commissioner Maren Nelson closed the hearing to the public and press minutes after it began, noting that coverage of the protracted dispute had been "emotionally traumatic" for their daughter, Ireland.
"This is only about the well-being of the child and nothing else," Nelson said.
Baldwin did not attend the hearing. He was represented by his attorney, Vicki Greene. About a dozen people from a parental rights group stood outside holding signs in support of Baldwin.
Basinger appeared with her lawyer, Neal Hersh.
Baldwin has spent the past few weeks trying to explain why he lashed out. He issued an apology on his Web site, sat down with TV talk-show hosts Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell and asked NBC to let him out of his "30 Rock" contract to devote time to the issue of "parental alienation."
will be sold at auction
LOS ANGELES A handwritten draft of John Steinbeck's novel "Sweet Thursday," along with an unpublished story and other works, will be auctioned by a writer who says they were sitting in a closet for 50 years.
"This stuff was unbelievable just laying in a box," said Joel Eisenberg. "I had this 'Aha!' moment when I realized not only what I had here, but what I had the responsibility to do."
He said the material belonged to a friend, the late theater producer Ernest H. Martin. Martin's widow asked Eisenberg in 2004 to sort through a box that had been sitting in her Hollywood Hills closet.
Eisenberg found a 188-page manuscript of "Sweet Thursday," the sequel to Steinbeck's famous "Cannery Row"; a manuscript from another book, "The Log from the Sea of Cortez"; an unpublished story, "If This Be Treason," set during the McCarthy era; the unfinished draft of a musical comedy called "The Bear Flag Cafe" and carbon copies of 13 Steinbeck letters from 1953.
The collection will be auctioned May 24 in San Francisco in two lots. The auction could generate more than $500,000.
Biel gets no respect
NEW YORK Jessica Biel says she still struggles to get respect in Hollywood.
"Parts that I really want aren't going to me," the 25-year-old actress says in Elle magazine's June issue, on newsstands Tuesday. "Like 'The Other Boleyn Girl' with Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. I don't want to say that there's nothing I love that I can have. But there's still the occasional script that the director doesn't want to see you for. They want that top tier of girls."
Biel, who began her career on the family-friendly TV series "7th Heaven," has starred in such movies as "The Illusionist," "Home of the Brave" and "Next." In July, she can be seen with Adam Sandler and Kevin James in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."
Lately, she has been a fixture in the tabloids and on red carpets, sitting front row at Paris fashion week and sending celeb gawkers into a tizzy over her reported fling with Justin Timberlake.
AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney is 73. Actor Lance Henriksen is 67. Comedian-actor Michael Palin is 64. Actor John Rhys-Davies is 63. Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 62. Rock musician Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) is 59. Rock singer Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 48. NBC News anchor Brian Williams is 48. Actress Tina Yothers is 34. Rock singer Skye Sweetnam is 19.