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A hefty fundraiser for the Autry Center and a party for a puppet

February 12, 2010 |  5:56 pm

Painting The “Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale” brought a total of $3.8 million, including $3 million in art sales, to the Autry National Center in Griffith Park. While the net hasn’t yet been calculated, organizers say the museum earns an average of $1.1 million each year between tickets for opening weekend festivities and a portion of the art sales.   

Many collectors of western art come to Los Angeles especially for the sale, not so surprisingly in cowboy hats and traditional western get-ups.  Jackie Autry, widow of “singing cowboy” Gene, was on hand to greet guests at a cocktail party to launch the exhibition and sale, which continues until March 7.

 "The Sound of a Distant Bugle" by Howard Terpning (pictured with his painting) sold for more than $1 million in the silent auction.

In Santa Monica, third generation puppeteer Basil Twist joined patrons of the Broad Stage at Fraiche Restaurant to celebrate the opening night of his puppet show, “Petrushka.” Originally commissioned by N.Y.’s Lincoln Center, the production featured nine hidden puppeteers animating the three characters caught in a classic love triangle, as twin Russian pianists Julia and Irina Elkina played Stravinsky’s music.   

Look for the more about these events here and in “Scene & Heard” in Sunday’s Image section.

-- Ellen Olivier 

Photo credit: Jamie Pham / Autry National Center.