City Beat and Arts & Entertainment Editor
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Dozens of members of the city Police Department took part in active shooter response training drills this week. The training classes were conducted at Saratoga Springs High School during the school winter break, from Feb. 17-21.
“Our entire department is involved. Everyone who’s not on vacation or gone for this week takes part in the training, said Saratoga Springs Police Sgt. Paul Veitch. “Probably we’ll have 55 or 60 go through.”
City police conduct the training sessions at least twice a year, in a varying number of locations. This week’s sessions marked the first time in a few years the sessions were staged at the high school.
“What we train here is for things that are school-specific. If we’re doing something say at SPAC, it would be more of a large crowd-mass casualty incident. This is more of a school active threat,” Veitch said.
Twenty-four shootings had occurred on K-12 school properties domestically in 2018, and 25 in 2019 that resulted in firearm-related injuries or deaths, according to Education Week – a self-described independent news organization that provides comprehensive coverage on K-12 education news, analysis, and opinion. The organization notes five such shootings – three of which took place in Texas and two in California – thus far in 2020.
Despite the high profile of school shootings in recent years, however, a study published in June 2018 by James Alan Fox and Emma E. Fridel, “The Three R’s of School Shootings: Risk, Readiness, and Response,” points to a more violent past than circumstances of the present-day. According to the report – which researched school shootings and mass shootings between 1992 and 2015 - schools are safer now than they were 20 years ago, and that shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the 1990s.
Local police started the trainings shortly after the Columbine High School incidents in 1999, Veitch said. The most recent training procedures involve having a rescue task force, which includes fire department medics, closer at hand.
“Two or three years ago they would wait for us to go in first then they would come in later and help. It’s slowly evolved; now they want to come in with us as soon as they can to help as many people as they can,” Veitch said.
This week’s training solely involved the city department, and the costs involved during the course of the training are all city costs, with no federal grant money provided, Veitch said.
The weeklong school winter break – with no students present - provided an opportunity for the training to take place at the school.
“We do not train active shooter with students,” Veitch said. “The school is responsible for teaching them lock-downs and what happens in their internal procedures and policies. For us, we focus on what we’re doing, we don’t include need to include them because frankly the school does a good job on their own.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — More than three million residents aged 65 and older currently live in New York, reflecting a boom of older adults during the past decade in nearly every corner of the state.
Saratoga County – which has experienced a 55 percent spike over the past decade - depicts the largest county growth in the elder population statewide, dwarfing neighboring communities in Albany County (a 23 percent increase), Rensselaer County (a 32 percent increase), and Schenectady County, which experienced a 13 percent increase in its older adult population over the past decade, according to the Center for an Urban Future analysis of the U.S. Census from 2007-2017.
In specific numbers, the 65-plus age group in Saratoga County has increased by 14,300 from 2007 to 2017, from just over 26,000 to more than 40,000. The county’s under-65 population meanwhile has remained relatively flat during that same period.
To meet current trends, the Saratoga Senior Center, located in Saratoga Springs, is making plans to build a new senior center to accommodate the explosive growth in senior population.
“When I took over in 2010, we served 300 seniors a year, now we have more than 2,000 a year, and every day we have 125-150 seniors walk through our doors,” says Lois Celeste, the agency’s executive director.
Founded as the Golden Age Club in 1955, the Center started with just 35 members. The group purchased their own building at 162 Circular St. in 1960. A larger and more modern facility named The Robert Gass Senior Center was erected in May 1979 at 5 Williams St.
“We’re out of space and we need to build a larger facility to serve our existing population and for the influx of ‘boomers’ to come in the very near future,” Celeste says. “We looked at the current building to see if we could expand, but we can’t really go out, or up,” she says of the agency’s Williams Street location, which stands in a city-owned building.
The agency is currently involved in siting a new venue in Saratoga Springs. Celeste isn’t prepared to specifically identify the site at this point as project details have yet to be finalized, but explains that the agency has plans for a new, larger building that could be announced “in the next couple of months,” with a targeted completion of the new center expected in 2021.
The announcement of a new building comes as the non-profit, non-residential community center celebrates its 65th anniversary.
At the Center, adults age 50-and-over can join for $25 per year and participate in programs, trips and social activities tailored to adults and seniors.
Earlier this month, the Center started opening its doors on Saturdays to accommodate the growing demand and changing needs of its seniors. The expanded activities – grant funding was provided by the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust – feature varied activities such as yoga, dance, billiards, computer skills training and arts workshops, and take place 9 a.m. – noon on Saturdays.
The Saratoga Senior Center will also host a “Leap Of Kindness Day” from 10 a.m. – Noon on Saturday, Feb. 29. The event is free and open to the public.
The Saratoga Senior Center is located at 5 Williams St., Saratoga Springs. For more information, call 518-584-1621, or go to: saratogaseniorcenter.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Melodic punk from Albany, syn-trash from Troy, cow-punk from Akron, art-rock from New York City. The Super Dark Collective – which has been operating at Desperate Annie’s on Caroline Street since the closing of its former staging ground at One Caroline Bistro in 2018, continues to present some of the most unique sounds in the Spa City on Monday and Thursday nights. The shows are free, start time is 9:30 p.m., and a full lineup of artists may be found at: superdarkcollective.com.
This week’s shows feature: Ceiba, Alkemi, and Thanks on Super Dark Monday Feb. 24, and Motorbike, Belle-Skinner, and Grayling on Super Dark Thursday Feb. 27.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — D. W. Gregory’s “Radium Girls” and Clare Barron’s “Dance Nation” highlight Skidmore Theater’s 2020 Spring Season.
“Radium Girls,” directed by Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly. Performances: Feb. 28 – March 5 at 8 p.m. (Sunday Matinee at 2 p.m.) at the Main Stage Theater, Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater on the Skidmore College Campus.
Synopsis: In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Skidmore Theater alum and recent Drama League Fellow Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly guest directs this production using her trademark elements of movement and magic.
“Dance Nation,” directed by Audrey Erickson. Performances: April 10 -11 and 13-18 at 8 p.m. at Black Box Theater, Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater on the Skidmore College Campus.
Synopsis: Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay. But in Obie Award winning playwright Clare Barron’s raucous pageant of ambition and ferocity, these young dancers have more than choreography on their minds, because every plié and jeté is a step toward finding themselves, and a fight to unleash their power. Directed by Audrey Erickson ’20 and featuring an all-student production team, this Pulitzer Prize finalist play, will celebrate its visceral and humorous take on youth, desire, competition, and sexual awakening.
Rod Stewart’s back. The pop singer returns to SPAC July 29. He last performed at the venue in July 2017, with Cyndi Lauper.
This time around, he will be accompanied by Cheap Trick at a majority of summer concerts – although that won’t be the case at Saratoga.
An opening band is anticipated to be named in the near future.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — To date, promoter Live Nation has announced the following shows to stage at Saratoga Performing Arts Center this year. Additional shows and/or support artists for these previously announced shows are expected. For a comprehensive list of performances at SPAC not presented by Live Nation – which includes NYCB, and Saratoga Jazz Festival, among others, go to: spac.org.
June 6: The Lumineers - III: The World Tour
June 7: Celtic Woman
June 13: Zac Brown Band: Roar with the Lions Tour
June 24: KIDZ BOP Live 2020 Tour
June 30: Steely Dan with Special Guest Steve Winwood
July 2: Tedeschi Trucks Band - Wheels Of Soul 2020
July 8: Alanis Morissette w/special guest Garbage and also appearing Liz Phair
July 10, 11: Dave Matthews Band
July 12: Countryfest 2020 with Brantley Gilbert & More
July 21: Chicago with Rick Springfield
July 22: Nickelback: All The Right Reasons Tour
July 24: Matchbox Twenty 2020
July 25: The Black Crowes Present: Shake Your Money Maker
July 26: The Doobie Brothers: 50th Anniversary Tour
July 29: Rod Stewart
Aug. 1: Journey with Pretenders
Aug. 3: Dead & Company
Aug. 4: Disturbed: The Sickness 20th Anniversary Tour with Staind & Bad Wolves
Aug. 9: Foreigner: Juke Box Hero Tour 2020
Aug. 11: Incubus with 311.
Aug. 18: Sammy Hagar & The Circle and Whitesnake with special guest Night Ranger.
Aug. 23: Goo Goo Dolls: The Miracle Pill Summer Tour.
Aug. 31: Daryl Hall & John Oates.
Sept. 6: Maroon 5.
Sept. 6: Meghan Trainor.
Sept. 11: Backstreet Boys: DNA World Tour.
Sept. 12: The Australian Pink Floyd Show: All That You Feel World Tour 2020.
GREENWICH – Bob Gustafson was 38 years old when Macaulay Culkin stared back at him from the video store shelves, a look of shock on the child’s face after being accidentally left “Home Alone” by his family on their Christmas vacation.
Gustafson, who today is 67, is old enough to remember when the Video Home System videocassette format – that is, VHS - was first introduced in North America and the subsequent VHS vs. Betamax format wars that followed. During his time in the industry, he’s seen the bricks-and-mortar retail delivery of movies accompanied by the advent of things like Netflix and YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Prime, Thumb Drives, DVDs, Blu-ray, Digital Download, Cable TV’s Video-on-Demand, and a myriad of other movie streaming services.
“In June it will be 30 years since I started this,” says Gustafson flanked by the 10,000 or so titles inside his shop, Video Korner II. He estimates those titles are pretty evenly split between DVD’s and VHS tapes, which he still rents as two movies for two days at a rental cost of two dollars. But, the clock is ticking; those days coming to an end.
After 30 years, he says, “I’m going to retire.” He was asked if he’s got any set plans following his retirement. “Not a ding-dang thing,” he says with a laugh. “I’m going to take it easy for a while.”
Gustafson anticipates soon putting the store and the land he owns which it sits upon up for sale. He says he’s already got a person who is interested in the property, and that the proposal does not include the continuation of a video store.
Gustafson first got in to the business in 1990 when he and a partner opened a 500-square-foot store at the far end of the village in Greenwich. The partners started their business with 500 movies and built our own shelves. A few years later, Gustafson bought his co-owner him out of the partnership and has been operating the business on his own ever since. In 2000, he relocated the business to Main Street, bought the land and constructed a free-standing building more than six times the size of the original store. He re-named it Video Korner II. Business was booming, and he says he paid off his 20-year mortgage in 4-1/2 years.
“How many video stores are even left in this country today?” Gustafson asks.
In July 2000, Billboard Magazine reported there were nearly 28,000 video rental storefronts in the U.S. By 2004, video rental lender Blockbuster was at its peak, boasting about 9,000 stores globally. Today, a Blockbuster store in the city of Bend, Oregon is the only one which remains. In December 2017, financial news and opinion company 24/7 Wall St. published an article on rapidly changing industries, and reported that about 86% of the 15,300 video rental stores that were operating in 2007 had, by a decade later, been shuttered.
“I have people tell me they watch them on their telephone. How do you compete against that?” asks Gustafson, who despite the changing video retail industry says the state of the industry has nothing to do with his moving on. Simply, the time has come for him to retire.
“It’s time. It’s been the best job I ever had; there’s nothing like being your own boss.”
As far as the movie titles and all those VHS tapes, Gustafson says he’s not sure what will happen with the inventory. For now, he’s letting his customers know of his future plans are and putting together a list of titles they’re interested in purchasing when a sale of the location is finalized.
Video Korner II is located at 40 Main St., Greenwich, and is open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
MALTA – The Board of Directors of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership has unanimously approved the appointment of Shelby Schneider as President and CEO. Schneider had served as the interim President and CEO during the past month.
“Shelby has nearly two decades of experience working in economic development and is well respected among community and business leaders both in Saratoga County and throughout the state,” Saratoga Partnership Board Chairman Kevin Hedley said, in a statement.
Schneider has more than 17 years of experience in economic, workforce and community development in Saratoga County. Since 2016, she has served as Director of Business Retention and Expansion, and as Vice President of the Saratoga Partnership. She had previously spent 13 years at the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, where she was a member of the economic development team that brought GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Saratoga County. In addition, she led one of the most successful Empire Zones in New York State, helping businesses throughout Saratoga County to access millions of dollars in state tax benefits to support expansion and growth.
"The Prosperity Partnership plays a vital role in the economic development strategy of the County and Shelby, a long-time fixture in the region's economic development scene, is the right person to lead the organization into this new chapter," Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Preston Allen said, in a statement.
The Prosperity Partnership is a Saratoga County-based economic development organization. According to a company statement, it has achieved success in siting the Key Capture Energy project, the state’s largest battery energy storage facility in Stillwater, New York; the transformation of the Proctors-Universal Preservation Hall, in Saratoga Springs, into a year-round, world-class arts and cultural venue in downtown Saratoga; Land Remediation Inc.’s new $1.8 million corporate headquarters in Waterford; the opening of Esperanto’s 2,700-square-foot Oboy commercial baker in Ballston Spa; and the $60 million adaptive reuse project that will transform the long-vacant 230,000-square-foot industrial building in the Village of Victory, into 186 workforce housing units and along with the availability of commercial space.
Under Schneider’s leadership, the Saratoga Partnership team will continue Next Wave Communities Initiative which assists communities within Saratoga County in developing economic development plans tailored to their particular strengths, needs, and aspirations. The Saratoga Partnership has been working with the Towns of Moreau, Malta, Galway, and the Village of Ballston Spa by leading a series of activities including interviews with key government, business, and community stakeholders.
“I thank the Saratoga Partnership board for its confidence and support and am honored to have the opportunity to lead the organization. With a strong and growing economy in Saratoga County, I am excited to lend my experience to leverage new public and private investment and create jobs and opportunities in our communities. I look forward to working closely with the board and am committed to fully engaging all of our stakeholders including elected officials, and businesses and community leaders,” Schneider said.
“As an organization, we are well positioned to help Saratoga County’s communities plan for future success, by partnering with employers, developing our workforce, and serving as an advocate for initiatives that will drive a vibrant and prosperous future.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — It was the second Sunday of the new decade, and Tulane Stadium in New Orleans was filled with more than 80,000 people. Jack Casson was one of them.
“There were about 12 of us, all ad agency people,” recalls Casson, of that Super Bowl IV week a half-century ago.
“The year before we all went down to Miami for Super Bowl III when Joe Namath and the Jets won,” he says. “In New Orleans we went down about a week before the game to play some golf, but the weather was just terrible. It got up to 60 degrees for gametime, but that was the highest reading we had for the whole week.”
The Super Bowl featured The American Football League champion Kansas City Chiefs - coached by Hank Stram and led by quarterback Len Dawson, against the National Football League champion Minnesota Vikings, who played under the direction of coach Bud Grant and boasted a defensive line nicknamed the “Purple People Eaters.”
By the time it was over that January day in 1970, the Chiefs had upset the Vikings by the score of 23–7. It was the last Super Bowl that matched the AFL against the NFL – the two leagues merged into one at the conclusion of the game – and marked the last time the Chiefs appeared in the Super Bowl. That 50-year string will come to an end this Sunday, when the Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers.
Casson settled in Saratoga in 1972. He grew up in New York City and in the late ‘60s worked for the Estee Lauder company. “I procured their promotional printing, mailings the stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bonwit Teller would do. Everything with Estee Lauder was high-end.”
While Super Bowl IV was memorable because of the Kansas City Chiefs upset, there was also a segment of the half-time activities that particularly stands out in Casson’s mind, attended the game with a dozen of his industry friends, one of whom had brought along a camera.
Newspaper reports of the day document a “bizarre” military reenactment with booming cannons and thick blankets of smoke filing the air. There were marching bands. There was an on-field Mardi Gras parade. But, Casson and his friends captured something apparently out of the TV broadcast eye.
"At halftime there was this big gondola with a Viking in it. It was kind of tied down but got loose when the wind took it. We saw it come right across (the endzone), right to our side, where we were like 8 or 10 rows up,” Casson says. “It got all tangled up. Some people got hurt. And several people were taken off in stretchers. I don’t know to what extent their injuries were..."
The price of his ticket: “Twenty dollars! Now? forget it,” he says. Sports Illustrated reported this week that the average ticket for Super Bowl LIV is going for $6,390.
“See, back then everybody could afford it. You didn’t have to be a big money-maker. The expense would be flying there, or getting transportation,” Casson says.
“I used to know a number of the (New York football) Giants in the ‘60s. Back then they had second jobs. Dick Lynch was the cornerback and he worked for an outfit out on Long Island. They were promotional printers and I used to do some business with Dick in the off-season. Another player was Andy Robustelli - he was defensive end and an All-Pro, and he worked for the Fugazi Travel Agency in Manhattan. When he retired, he opened up his own travel agency out in Stamford, Connecticut where he lived. And Alex Webster, he coached the Giants and before that he was a fullback, he worked for an outfit that made printing plates for the printing industry. So, they all did that. We’d sit around a table at a restaurant in a private room and ask him questions about the game,” he says.
“Baseball was the same way. In the ‘50s, the teams would play doubleheaders on Sundays, so I would get on the subway, get off at River (Avenue), come up and there was Yankee Stadium,” Casson recalls. “I’d go in and sit in the right-center field bleachers. The ticket was 60 cents. I mean, can you imagine?”
City Mayor Meg Kelly Delivers State of The City Address
Parking Garage • City Hall Opens • Firehouse • Green Belt
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Accompanied by the members of the City Council and city supervisors, Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly on Jan. 28 led the annual State of The City address.
Kelly referenced challenges faced during last year’s SOTC address, the status of those challenges, and city goals in the new year.
“At that time, we were facing the results of the lightning strike of 2018 - an extraordinary event that tested us - took us out of the safety and comfort of our workplace and moved us into a gym,” Mayor Kelly said, recalling the results of a mid-August storm which caused extensive fire and water damage to City Hall. The building housed they city’s government and its court system. Workers were relocated to the Vanderbilt Avenue recreation center, and the city court to Lincoln Baths – quarters where each have remained since.
“This year, we are facing a more positive challenge: a smooth return to a repaired City Hall that has been renovated to meet the needs of city government in the year 2020.” City departments have notified the Department of Public Works that they would be prepared to move back into the building at the end of February.
“We plan to begin our transition back into City Hall at the end of next month,” reported Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, whose department spearheaded the renovation and restoration of the near 150-year-old building. A final price tag is not yet known, but previous estimates placed the renovation/restoration costs at just over $11 million, and an anticipation that the city would recover $4 to $5 million of those costs via insurance.
The “new” City Hall will feature upgraded plumbing and electrical, an HVAC system providing temperature controls throughout the building, the installation of lightning protection to ensure such a strike never happens again, and realized energy efficiencies with LED lighting and the removal of window air conditioning units, Scirocco said.
Additionally, the Music Hall will be preserved and enhanced and once again host events, and in its renovation project the city satisfied the state mandate for a second hearing room and adequate court space for a second full-time City Court judge.
With the recreation center used to house city business throughout 2019, the Recreation Department responded to the loss of its space by fostering relationships with the YMCA, Saratoga Springs Schools, St. Clements School, Spa Catholic High School and Gavin Park in Wilton to regroup and reestablish programs for children and adults, Mayor Kelly said. “Hats off and endless thanks to the employees of the City of Saratoga Springs.”
Highlighted achievements during 2019 and plans for 2020:
• The East Side Fire Station, currently slated to be sited on Henning Rd., is closer to realization than any time in recent history.
• The Geyser Road Trail project, idling since 2008, is ready for groundbreaking. The resolution of Lawsuits that had stalled have been resolved, allowing the project to move forward. The planning department led the work to secure the funding, complete the bidding process, and prepare the contract for its construction.
• The Code Blue emergency homeless shelter has found a new temporary home on Adelphi Street, where it will be sited for two years. Through strong working relationships among city, county and Shelters of Saratoga (S.O.S.) leaders, Mayor Kelly said: “We expect long-term solutions to homelessness to be built upon these relationships.”
• The development of the City Center Parking Structure and Flat Rock Centre is underway.
• As part of the Uniform Development Ordinance (UDO), the city is updating the zoning ordinance to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2015. The draft UDO was recently presented to the City Council and was the focus of three public workshops. “This is another very important project that will continue into 2020,” Kelly said.
• Workforce Housing: The city facilitated the purchase of two workforce housing units through the city’s Workforce Housing Program. Regarding affordable housing, the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority broke ground on The Promenade affordable housing project at Stonequist. The project includes 63 affordable housing units – 18 townhouses, and 45 apartments; Pre-construction efforts on two new buildings with 24 units of affordable housing at the Jefferson Street Terraces are underway; A project on the west side - called Intrada - includes 158 affordable housing units, as well as over 10 acres for public recreation. Two of the four Intrada buildings were completed.
• Saratoga Collaborative to End Homelessness: Staff and public officials will participate in both the design and leadership teams during the first 100-day “sprint cycle” of the Saratoga Collaborative to End Homelessness. The project is spearheaded by Shelters of Saratoga and Presbyterian New England Congregational Church. During this sprint cycle, specific solutions will be designed, tested, and implemented.
• In 2019, the Building Department reports there was a 12% increase in permit applications compared to the previous year, with 16% more permits issued. Inspectors performed 2,410 inspections in 2019, an annual increase of 9% over 2018.
• On Jan. 21, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled his 2020-2021 Executive Budget. Among the items listed, Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid for the city of Saratoga Springs has been eliminated. In 2020, the city anticipated receiving $2.3 in VLT aid revenue, which equates to 5% of the city’s general operating budget. As a goal, the city aims to have that aid restored.
• This year, the Canfield Casino in Congress Park will celebrate its 150th anniversary. DPW is planning a celebration of the milestone. The City Historian announced it will present a program on April 29 titled: Convention Hall 1893 – 1965. The program, part of a new series called “Rec Talks,” is designed to encourage members of the community to share their Convention Hall stories
• Newly elected Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton reported the police department is currently staffed with 74 sworn police officers, including three recent academy graduates and four recruits in the current academy, and five sergeants currently deployed on military duty. The police department employs 17 civilian employees, including 11 dispatchers, three Parking Enforcement Officers - two of whom are also Animal Control Officers, and 2 employees for records management. The police department responded to 29,394 calls for service in 2019; The Saratoga Springs Fire Department is staffed with 64 firefighters who provide both fire and EMS response services for the city. Last year the fire department received 3,670 emergency medical calls and responded to 67 fires.
• 2020 marks the start of a four-year, $4.2 million water infrastructure improvement plan to upgrade undersized water mains; the replacement of four and six-inch mains with eight-inch water mains will improve water delivery to the public. DPW will also undertake significant upgrades to the Water Treatment Plant this year. A planned water treatment intake valve replacement project will replace 3, circa 1800’s intake valves, bringing water from Loughberry Lake into the plant. A section of the intake lines and an overflow structure from approximately the 1870s will also be replaced. This replacement project represents a $2.3 million investment.
• At the county level, construction will continue on a new public safety facility in the town of Milton near the jail, to expand administrative space for the Sheriff’s Office, as well as to move the probation and Public Health departments to that space. Regarding VLT aid, the county stands to lose about $775,000 in revenue, and plans to bring a full board resolution to its February meeting to advocate for the funds.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Later this month, Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art auction will offer two exceptional Sir Alfred J. Munnings paintings from the collection of the late Marylou Whitney.
The live auction, which begins at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31, includes Sir Alfred J. Munnings’ My Horse Anarchist - estimate $200,000 / $300,000, according to Sotheby’s. and Mahmoud Being Saddled for the Derby, 1936 - estimated in excess of $3.5 million.
The latter painting was commissioned by Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III, a horse breeder, to commemorate his record Derby Victory with the horse Mahmoud. Aga Khan was a shrewd breeder, and his family had been associated with horses since sixth century Arabia.
With the advent of World War II, Aga Khan accepted a bid from an American consortium, led by Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny” Whitney, for the purchase of Mahmoud in 1940. Mahmoud became the star stallion at the Whitneys’ farm in Kentucky and a horse who sired one of the most important lines in modern American racing. For more information about Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art Auction, go to: https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2020/19th-century-european-art?locale=en.
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