Newsletter #188

August 17, 2002

Greetings Accumulators!

Yes, it happens every August. We travel, and I'm unable to send the newsletter. For those of you who have been frantically emailing me because you haven't been getting the newsletter, thanks for your concern. In the past month we've been hit with two horrible heatwaves in the Northeastern US. We've tried to escape from the heat, sometimes successfully. In the interim, I caught a slight stomach bug, and my dear Uncle Aaron has passed away. He was the quintessential New York character, a man with a heart of gold, and I'll miss him terribly. Uncle hasn't been featured in any of my books or articles so far, but keep your eyes peeled - he'll be arriving sometime soon.

Jeff Swanson of Davenport, Illinois is selling his head on eBay. The highest bidder gets to tattoo a message or advertisement on Jeff's head. Swanson, 39, set the starting bid at $100,000, and will agree to keep the tattoo exposed for a full year, which means he must keep his head shaved the whole time. He figures someone will pay that much for the publicity, and plans to use at least some of the money to finance his kids' college tuition. Why, just this morning I was thinking that if I had $100,000 to spend on an advertising campaign I'd feel that the most effective way to use the money would be to see to it that the campaign took place on someone's head.

Is it just me or is the definition of "artist" getting broader by the minute? The late Piero Manzoni of Italy made his "contribution" to the art world in 1961 by canning some of his own feces and selling it as "art". He enclosed 30 grams of you-know-what in each of 90 tins. Over the years about 45 of these tins are rumored to have exploded, making Mansoni's "artwork" even rarer than when it started out. The remainig tins have been selling for various amounts, from $28,000 in 1998 to $75,000 for a tin in 1993 (which would indicate that somehow the value of Manzoni's "work" is going down). The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Tate Gallery in London recently announced that it purchased tin No. 004 for $38,000. Very interesting, considering that the price of gold is only about $300 for 30 grams. Further proof that the London art scene is truly in the toilet. Note to the Tate gallery: actually what you bought was Number 002.

Smithsonian Favorites: The Smithsonian Institution's curators have gathered more than 450 objects that represent their favorites in several major categories, such as politics, sports, people, business, etc. Take the virtual tour and see fascinating objects, from a phrenology head to a Hell's Angels jacket, that chronicle our history and culture. LINK
Drive-In Movies: If you've never been to a drive-in movie, you're missing one of the best things in life! Artie and I go frequently, as there are still some drive-ins near the country house. Imagine your own movie theatre, with great sound (it comes through the speaker system in your car) and really comfortable seats, and no jerks talking in the seat right behind you - well no jerks except the ones you invited. You have your own private environment and great first-run movies, sometimes double features! And if the movie is boring and your husband falls asleep and starts snoring, no one except for you will be annoyed. To locate a drive-in movie near you, visit the site at LINK.
Truth or Fiction?: Okay, for all you people who keep sending me dire warnings about men in supermarket parking lots and pop-up videos, and cash rewards for passing along email - stop it! Before you send me (or anyone else) one of those silly emails, check them at this site. It clearly separates the true stories from the fictional ones, and they're arranged by category, such as Missing Persons, Religion, Promises. Please - save us all some bandwidth and check here before forwarding! LINK.

Accumulators, It's been a wild and woolly month. I'm flattered that you missed the newsletter, but this is going to happen every August. I'm attempting to catch up with a workload that's been piling up while I've been gone, but I'm glad to be back with you, you crazy bunch of Accumulators. Tomorrow I'd love to sleep all day (that's a lie! I never sleep in the daytime), but we must go to the country house and see if our plants survived the heatwave, collect some mail, maybe even do some actual work on the house. And I have to put together a care package for the lovely Greer Ferguson, who is now a Plebe at the US Merchant Marine Academy. I believe that mass quantities of sugar is the antidote to military life. Have a wonderful week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #188
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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1996-2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.