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Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997) is a well-known artist who created large and small pieces made of metal and glass. In 1970 she made an 18-foot-tall sculpture for the front of a corporate office building. She charged $20,000. The corporation that owned the building and sculpture was swallowed up by mergers, so the sculpture was sold at an auction in 2007 without being moved from the site. The sculpture sold for about $150,000 to a collector who still had to move it and then someone had to fill in the hole it left in front of the building. More huge company sculptures are coming on the market. Some are being donated to the city or a museum, some are scrapped, some are bought by private collectors. There is an effort to save these works of art, but price and the difficulty of moving the piece often make it impossible. (From an article in the Huffington Post, Jan. 12, 2011.)

claire falkenstein sculpture leaping fires detail














Photo: Sculpture shown is "Leaping Fires" detail, Fulton Mall Public Art, www.downtownfresno.org

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