Telfair announces top auctioneer at Sotheby’s will be auctioneer for Telfair Ball, auction

By February 18, 2012Local NewsWIRE

Telfair announces top auctioneer at Sotheby’s will be auctioneer for Telfair Ball, auction

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) – The Telfair Museums has selected well-known Sotheby’s auctioneer C. Hugh Hildesley as auctioneer for the 2012 Telfair Ball February 25. As Senior Auctioneer, Hildesley has conducted some of Sotheby’s most prestigious sales, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Sale, the sale of the Property of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and The Barry Halper Sale of Baseball Memorabilia.

Philip A. White, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, is also planning to attend the Telfair Ball.

Hildesley and Sotheby’s have donated his auctioneer time to the Telfair and are paying for his flight to Savannah.

“I am thrilled someone of Mr. Hildesley’s caliber is leading the auction at this year’s Telfair Ball,” said Helen Williams Johnson, chair of the Telfair Ball. “He has handled so many of the biggest auction events in the world.” She laughingly recounted that she had identified Hildesley as the auctioneer she was hoping to secure, and then very soon after her aunt, Celia Dunn of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty, dropped by the Sotheby’s office in New York and unofficially arranged to have him come.

Hildesley joined Sotheby’s in 1961 and played an integral role in Sotheby’s formative years in New York. Hildesley is Executive Vice President of Client Development, New York; Director, Sotheby’s Canada Inc.; and Chairman, Sotheby’s Canada Advisory Board. He has lectured widely on the art market and is author of The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling at Auction.

Hildesley was the auctioneer responsible for the sale of the Guennol Lioness, of 3000 B.C., which sold for $57 million—a record for any sculpture sold at auction at the time. He was also the auctioneer for the sale of Paul Kane’s Scene in the Northwest – Portrait, which sold for $5.2 million in 2002 and remains the record for any Canadian painting.

“An experienced auctioneer like Hildesley is critical to the success of a live auction,” said Lisa Grove, Director / CEO of Telfair Museums. “Great auctioneers have the ability to engage and excite the audience and encourage them to raise their paddles to benefit the museum.”

The Telfair Ball is the biggest fundraiser for the Telfair Museums and helps make its exhibits and educational programs possible, Johnson explained.

“I’m always amazed to see what they’re doing in educational programs,” Johnson said, adding that she’s hoping to be able to buy some computers for the educational areas since they currently only have four old computers. The Telfair Museums offers extensive educational programs, some free of charge, for adults and children.

“The Telfair’s exhibits are amazing,” Johnson said. “The Telfair brings major exhibits that Savannahians otherwise couldn’t see without traveling extensively.” In December, the Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center for the Arts will be one of only four museums in the U.S. that will host an exhibition of Italian masterworks by artists such as Botticelli and Titian from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. One of the world’s greatest art museums, the Uffizi Gallery dates to 1560 and began its storied history as the repository of the priceless collection of Florence’s famous Medici family.

“I don’t think Savannah would be the same without the Telfair,” Johnson said. “It’s such an important part of the community and its culture. It embodies the old with the new.”
The Telfair Silent Art Auction will take place Thursday, February 23. The 32nd Annual Telfair Ball will take place February 25. The Telfair Bash will take place later that night. Hildesley will be the auctioneer for The Telfair Ball auction.
The Telfair Silent Art Auction will take place Thursday, February 23 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 for members and $85 for non-members. Guests can wander the halls of the Jepson Center and bid on artwork from well-known local artists at the newly popular Silent Art Auction. Featuring over 100 pieces of phenomenal artwork, the Art Auction will be on display and available for view online beginning on February 11 for silent auction bidding. Guests can bid until the night of the event when winners will take home their auction prizes at the end of the night.
The Telfair Bash will take place February 25 at 9 p.m. at Telfair Academy. Bash tickets are $100 for Telfair members and $135 for non-members. Back by popular demand, the Bash will treat guests to fine food, cocktails, and a live band as well as an opportunity to participate in the silent auction. Ball participants will join the Bash after dinner to conclude the evening with dancing and celebration.
A highlight of Savannah’s social scene, The Telfair Ball benefits the museums’ exceptional exhibitions, educational programs, and acquisitions. The Ball is open only to Directors Circle members of the Telfair; for information about joining the Directors Circle, call 790-8864. The Ball has a separate auction. Levy Jewelers has donated a diamond and sapphire bangle bracelet. Ray Ellis has donated an original work of art for the Ball auction for the 29th consecutive year, and world-famous portrait photographer Dan Winters has donated to the Ball auction a portrait setting and portrait. Another item is a trip that includes two nights at the George V in Paris and two nights at the Goring Hotel in London. One of the many other items is a dinner for 36 at Local 1110 with wine pairings and more on the Perch (rooftop deck).
Guests will enjoy some of the best food and entertainment the Hostess City has to offer. The silent auction and cocktail reception takes place in the Telfair Academy’s Sculpture Gallery, and the fast-paced live auction will take place in the Rotunda. Dinner will be in the Jepson Center.
About Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty: Known for its tradition of integrity, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty specializes in residential and commercial properties in Savannah and the Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina. Founded in 1981, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty is noted for outstanding service to its clients, thorough knowledge of Savannah and the South Carolina Low Country, and excellent staff, in addition to having one of the region’s top property management departments. The owners are natives of Savannah who have more than 60 years’ combined experience in real estate. The offices are located at 9, 13, and 17 West Charlton Street on Madison Square in Savannah and 336 Buck Island Road in Bluffton, S.C. For more information, call Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty at (912) 234-3323 or visit www.celiadunnsir.com . To contact the Bluffton office, call (843) 836-3900.
About C. Hugh Hildesley:
From 1964 – 1970 he was the first Head of the Old Master Paintings Department in New York, going on to form Sotheby’s Appraisal Company in 1970. Educated at Sherborne School, Dorset, and Brasenose College, Oxford, Mr. Hildesley studied Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings at the Rijksbureau Voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie in the Hague. From 1973 – 1976, Mr. Hildesley was responsible for the Jack R. Dick Sale of Sporting Paintings in London, a record-breaking sale that sparked a renewal of interest in this area of collecting. As Senior Auctioneer, he has conducted some of Sotheby’s most prestigious sales, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Sale, the sale of the Property of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and The Barry Halper Sale of Baseball Memorabilia. He was the auctioneer responsible for the sale of the Guennol Lioness, of 3000 B.C., which sold for $57 million—a record for any sculpture sold at auction at the time. He was also the auctioneer for the sale of Paul Kane’s Scene in the Northwest – Portrait, which sold for $5.2 million in 2002 and remains the record for any Canadian painting. Mr. Hildesley trains Sotheby’s new auctioneers, and conducted 60 benefit auctions in 2010, raising over $11 million for charitable purposes. He has lectured widely on the art market and is author of The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling at Auction. Mr. Hildesley is Chairman of the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (F.R.S.A.), and Trustee of the Royal Academy in London.

About the Telfair Museums:
Telfair Museums, the oldest public art museum in the South, has been an integral part of Savannah’s social landscape for over a century. Since opening its doors to the public in 1880s, the museum has grown from a renovated family mansion into a distinguished cultural institution boasting three architecturally-significant buildings; a permanent collection of approximately 4,000 works of art from America and Europe, dating primarily from the 18th-21st centuries; and a history of dynamic educational programming, community outreach, and exciting exhibitions. Located in Savannah’s vibrant historic district, the museum consists of the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House — two circa 1820 National Historic Landmark buildings — and the contemporary Jepson Center for the Arts. Visit www.telfair.org.

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