KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC has announced the sale of the historical D. Jay Culver collection, valued at $163.2 million and offered at $15 million, with the owner considering payment in stocks from publicly traded companies. Last purchased in 2006 by its current owner, who understands the monetary value and impact of the cultural find to museums, historians, institutions and investors but wants to pass the treasure trove on because of his advancing age.  

“We have never seen such a significant archive in one place for such a reasonable price and with so many financial and philanthropic opportunities,” said Michael Simon, Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC.

This unique collection, including more than 4.5 million photographs, plates, line drawings, prints, engravings, playbills and other historical art, delivers a solid opportunity for substantial estimated return on investment. For example, the value of less than one percent of the collection exceeds the asking price of $15 million.

Several museums also have expressed an interest in various parts of the collection, providing the potential for a sizable social return on investment. Additionally, the 640,000 high-definition digital images are ready to be turned into an online business, and the new owner will be able to utilize the fair market value of the collection for a tax credit. 

The collection was assessed in August by a top fine art photography appraiser, who identified a retail value of $99.2 million. In addition, the 640,000 high-resolution digitized images were professionally estimated to be worth $100 each, bringing the total value to $163.2 million.

This archive spans nearly every era of world history from the 1600s to the 1900s, and today would rival the Getty collection. Culver amassed the collection from 1926 until his death in 1968.

Among other items, he acquired the largest assortment of movie stills from the 1900s to the 1930s by White Studios; the files of pioneer news photographers Edwin Levick and George Grantham Bain; opera pictures by the Mets photographer Herman Mishkin; photos from the Flo Ziegfeld collection on the performing arts; and works by Emmons, Weegee, Hamilton Wright and A. Audrey Bodine. In 1948, the Library of Congress purchased 1,600 photographic prints from his collection.

The digitized photographs are high-resolution (more than 300 dpi) TIF files of the front and back of each photograph, with a corresponding thumbnail image for visual cataloging.

For additional information, visit www.culverarchives.com

Media Contact:

Michael Simon 
(816)728-2103 or michaelsimon@culverarchives.com

Related Images

‘Priam redeems the dead body of Hector,’ 1775.
Engraving CRE CUNEGO, Domenico; (Italian; 1727-1794). AFTER HAMILTON, Gavin; (Scottish; 1723-1798). One of 11 prints by Cunego After Hamilton in Volume XX. 16½”x25½”, Small print from the original painting in the collection of the right HON. Lord, Grosvenour London. Original plate, left copy, Gavinus Hamilton Pinxit. Far right, Domenico cunego Sculpsi

Ziegfield Follies
Original 25″x19″ drawing for a stage design for Ziegfield Follies. We are unable to make out the artist’s signature in the lower right-hand corner, so contact michaelsimon@culverarchives.com if you recognize the designer’s signature.

Two Kings by Faustin, 14″x8″, 1870, original lithograph.
Two Kings by Faustin, 14″x8″, 1870, original lithograph. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faustin_Betbeder

PENROD, 1918 play adapted by Edward E. Rose first staged at Apollo theater in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo by White Studio. 11″x14″ The stage play was from the book called Penrod. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrod


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SOURCE Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC