At the Pulse, Hall of Fame artist Jim Steranko frets about a piece of art he gave to a friend’s academic collection that is now being cold on eBay:
In the 1970s, I gifted the art to the Harry “A” Chesler Collection at Fairleigh-Dickenson University because I was a friend of Harry’s for many years (with many visits to my home or his) and I helped structure the collection at his request.
Most of Harry’s original comics pages were drawn by obscure artists in the 1930-40s and were not particularly impressive by today’s standards. I felt that a major piece of my work would not only bring the collection up to date, but also give it a fundamental cornerstone upon which other material could be added and built. I selected the FOOM Poster because it was large, viewable, well-known, and visualized all the primary Marvel characters, the ONLY such piece I have ever done. To make it even more sensational and valuable, I hand colored the art. Harry seemed touched by the gift and it deepened our friendship significantly.
I assure you that Harry did NOT provide his art collection and a sizable annuity to FD to maintain it so they could sell it off; I say this because I was THERE, every step of the way. Harry had a vision that his collection would grow annually, funded by the interest of the $100K+ gift he had granted the school, into America’s most IMPORTANT comics-related art gallery and reference library on the subject. The FD administration assured him that his dream would be realized. Instead, beyond the initial dedication event, FD has NEVER done a thing of significance with the HAC Collection—until Harry died. Then, they began to sell it off. I protested bitterly with letters and phone calls, but was rebuffed with an explanation that “higher administration” had made the decision to liquidate much of the collection.
The art in question was originally a cover for Marvel’s in-house fan mag FOOM. The eBay listing is here.
[Link via Dirk]