Laurie Taylor Column

November 4, 2005

" Fears grow that universities will soon sell off their art collections " - The Times Higher, October 28

From: The Vice-Chancellor

Subject: Artworks

It was recently agreed at a meeting attended by myself that this university should sell some of its current art collection as a means of reducing the budgetary deficit.

The first auction will take place in the atrium of the Corporate Management Block on Wednesday, November 9. Below is a sample of the treasures that will be available on that day.

Lot 43: The Thinker

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is regarded as the father of modern sculpture.

This full-size plaster cast of his original work is stamped "Wolverhampton 1953" and still stands outside the former philosophy department as a reminder of the times when thinking without writing was a legitimate academic exercise.

Lot 74: Buck's Fizz

This large photograph of the 1980s pop group is signed by original members Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan, Jay Aston and Bobby G. and dramatically captures the moment when Mike and Bobby ripped the skirts off Cheryl and Jay during their Eurovision performance of Making Your Mind Up .

Lot 259: A Bar at the Folies-Bergere

This work by Edouard Manet (1832-83) shows why the artist is considered the godfather of impressionism. Our elegantly framed reproduction appropriately hangs behind the bar in Kinnock College where its attractions have been slightly impaired by the addition of the words "John Peel lives" to the principal figure's corsage. Worth seeing.

Lot 224: The Vice-chancellor by W. T. E. Frobes-Johnston

This portrait of Poppleton's second vice-chancellor hangs in the Conference Office. Although the pose is formal, the casual rendition of the left wrist has led to the portrait being affectionately known as Hello Sailor . No details are available about the artist, W. T. E. Frobes-Johnston, who may be a misspelling.

I am also delighted to announce that the auction will feature a number of fine photographs of university scenes taken on my new digital camera.

N.B. In my absence, these have been signed by Mrs Dilworth.

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