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MASS MoCA 15th Birthday Silent Auction

This auction - which tells the story of our last 15 years - takes place from 4-10pm on Saturday May 24th at our 15th birthday party celebration. If you can't attend, but would like to bid - no problem! Simply fill out an absentee bid form and fax/email it to Rebecca Wehry at 413.663.8548 or rwehry@massmoca.org by noon on Friday, May 23rd.

Download Absentee Bid Form (PDF) here.


Mark Dion

Lot #1

Lunch with Governor Dukakis

Many of the buildings that form the MASS MoCA campus were built by Arnold Print Works in the 1860s. In 1930, the 13-acre complex became headquarters to Sprague Electric Company. During Sprague's zenith 4,000 people worked here; Sprague's 1985 closing pulled the plug on the economy and the city's spirit. At about the same time, Tom Krens, director of the Williams College Museum of Art, was hunting for space to show outsized contemporary art that wouldn't fit in the college museum. In 1986, North Adams Mayor John Barrett showed Krens "Sprague's," and the idea of creating a contemporary art center took shape.

With support from Governor Michael Dukakis (who understood that the Berkshire economy was linked to cultural tourism), the Massachusetts legislature in 1988 granted $35 million in matching funds to build MASS MoCA. Locals pledged $1 million of support. Governor William Weld took office and told MASS MoCA to raise "serious" money. Raising $8 million got his attention and in 1999 Governor Paul Cellucci and Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift opened MASS MoCA Phase I, a 200,000 SF renovation of what would grow to 400,000 SF over the next 15 years. To celebrate, Governor Dukakis is donating a morning in Boston: the winner (plus 3 guests) can sit in on his undergraduate class in public policy at Northeastern University, then join him for a campus tour and lunch during which you can talk politics with a former presidential candidate. Our thanks to Governor Dukakis for this donation! (Note: class is taught Monday-Thursday in May and June, and is good for 2014 or 2015.)

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $100


Party in Kidspace

Lot #2

Party in Kidspace

In 2000, MASS MoCA, the Clark Art Institute, and Williams College Museum of Art created Kidspace, an educational program and child-centered art studio and education gallery to get kids into museums and support student improvement through arts-based learning. Now under the umbrella of MASS MoCA, Kidspace reaches every teacher and student in six schools - over 1,600 students (Pre-K to 8th) and 100 teachers/administrators, many of them multiple times per school year. Every year over 25,000 visitors -- adults, families, teens -- visit Kidspace, which is always free.

But Kidspace is not just for kids -- the winner of this item gets a party in Kidspace - your own private Night at the Museum, which includes touring the galleries and making art at Kidspace's ArtBar. We'll serve cocktails and appetizers, and a wide range of art supplies. When was the last time you designed a new urban park out of pipe cleaners? Let us bring out your inner child, and come have fun playing sans kids! (For up to 8 people.)

Minimum Bid: $150
Bidding Increment: $50

All proceeds from this item directly fund Kidspace’s educational initiatives - how great is that?


Porches Inn Pool Party

Lot #3

Porches Inn Pool Party

When the first stage of MASS MoCA was completed, and the revitalization of North Adams had begun, it became apparent to Jack Wadsworth and Nancy Fitzpatrick that the city could use a memorable place to stay, and where else to look for this location than former mill worker homes directly across the river from MASS MoCA? The Porches Inn, which opened in 2001, has 47 rooms of retro-edgy, industrial granny chic ambiance, wrapped up in the classic exterior of a renovated row of Victorian-style mill worker homes. With a decorative style that juxtaposes old and new, Porches has earned what Travel & Leisure calls "earnestly homey and at home with irony."

With an outdoor pool and hot tub that are heated year-round, Porches has donated a pool party for up to 20 people and a one-night stay for two people. The pool party includes use of its pool house, pool, and sauna for an evening - you just bring the food and drink. It's a perfect spot for a Super Bowl celebration, or someone's birthday. Then send your friends home and enjoy a night at the inn. Thank you, Porches! (Dates are based on availability, and exclude holidays - book early to get your choice date!)

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $100


Bang on a Can Ringtone

Lot #4

Bang on a Can Ringtone

Led by composers Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and Pulitzer prize-winner David Lang, the Bang on a Can All-Stars is a New York-based music collective that for over 27 years has done more to promote adventurous classical music than perhaps any other group. In 2002, in a collaboration we were never to call Banglewood, they teamed up with MASS MoCA for a three-week Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, filling galleries, courtyards, and nooks and crannies with performances, teaching & composing sessions, and their exhilarating Marathon concert.

Now in its 13th year, Bang on a Can returns to MASS MoCA July 16 - August 2nd inviting young international composers and performers to immerse themselves in new music. Thirty-six Bang on a Can Fellows compose, rehearse, and perform with 20 faculty across the MASS MoCA campus and all over North Adams. You can hear them year-round if you win this item: a custom one-of-a-kind ring tone that is sure to make your callers jealous...or at least wondering.

Minimum bid: $25
Bidding increment: $25


Storey Publishing Pitch Lunch

Lot #5

Storey Publishing Pitch Lunch

When MASS MoCA opened, the museum had no endowment - but it did have empty space (400,000 square feet, to be exact), and from the earliest days the museum welcomed tenants. These tenants not only contribute to the bustling atmosphere, but also pay rent that is critical in paying utility bills, and supporting the exhibitions, programs and performances that make MASS MoCA tick. Today MASS MoCA is home to 20 companies and individuals who work in some of the 28 buildings on campus. Tenants include a photographer, law and accounting firms, an antiques store, two restaurants, a stained glass restoration lab and a lifestyle book publisher - Storey Publishing.

"We love it here because of exhibits like Ann Hamilton's corpus in 2003," said publisher Deborah Balmuth. "It's inspiring to see art on your lunch break!"

Thanks to tenants Gramercy Bistro and Storey Publishing, this auction item might be called Pitchapalooza. You (and a friend) will have lunch at Gramercy Bistro with publisher Deborah Balmuth, where you are invited to pitch non-fiction book ideas to her, or seek advice on publishing. After lunch, she'll take you to Storey's headquarters (across the courtyard) for a tour. You'll end up in the stacks, where you can begin or embellish your homesteading library by choosing ten books to take home -subjects range from beekeeping to knitting to urban homesteading.

Minimum Bid: $75
Bidding Increment: $50


Dance Party Tickets and Tour

Lot #6

Dance Party Tickets and Tour

MASS MoCA is a romantic place. On Oct. 28, 2004, a guy proposed to his girlfriend in our galleries, and three couples who had their first dates at our Warehouse Ball back in 1989 ended up getting married. (Our dance parties are that good.) But did you know that you can rent space at MASS MoCA for weddings in the evenings when the museum and courtyards (get it?) aren't open to the public? Eighty-three couples have tied the knot here, including one where the groom arrived on horseback, and a few who have made it to the fashion and society sections of The New York Times and Vogue. Private space rentals such as weddings help pay the museum's bills and support our exhibitions. The winner of this lot will receive 2 dance party tickets of your choice and a private evening tour of the museum with wine.

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $50


Ticket to New York benefit

Lot #7

Ticket to New York benefit

In 2005, a trustee of MASS MoCA had an idea: have a benefit party in New York City to raise money and awareness for MASS MoCA. Our first party was in a warehouse-turned-gallery in Chelsea called Eyebeam. Cynthia Hopkins sang a specially-composed ode to MASS MoCA, accompanying herself on a saw from the catwalk balcony. David Byrne arrived by bike, and 200 people turned out to support the museum. The party caught on and it's turned into an annual tradition; last year over 300 people partied at our New York benefit. Plus the entertainment isn't bad - Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, and Yo La Tengo have all donated their performances at our benefits.

This is an important night for MASS MoCA - we introduce new Manhattan audiences to what we're doing in the Berkshires, and we raise about 10% of our annual operating budget through ticket sales and the evening's live auction. This year's New York benefit is October 6, 2014 and one of our favorite bands - Lucius - is playing. (Did you see them on Conan? We think they are skyrocketing to fame.) The winner of this lot can check it out because we're giving away one ticket to our 2014 New York benefit (a $500 value) - we'll make sure to seat you at a fun table, too.

Minimum Bid: $200
Bidding Increment: $100


Plane Ride

Lot #8

Plane Ride

Just down the road from MASS MoCA, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is a vibrant research and education center for the visual arts, and has been a key partner of ours since 1995, when the Clark started funding exhibitions at MASS MoCA organized by students in the Clark Art Institute/Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. In 1999, for example, "The Clark@MASS MoCA" brought to North Adams Natalie Jeremijenko's Tree Logic, a bio-sculpture installation suspending six maple trees upside-down. In 2006, a Clark student discovered the work of Kamrooz Aram, an Iranian artist whose thought-provoking work brought together traditional and contemporary cultural references to create scenes reflecting the absurd, magical, and scary present day. Now on view is the 12th show in this productive collaboration, In Transit: Between Image and Object, which explores the parallels between the movement of artworks physically and the circulation of visual information across media in the digital age. Each year we look forward to our collaboration with a Clark graduate student - part of both institutions' commitment to education at all levels. The Clark is re-opening in July with an expanded campus designed by Tadao Ando, and the winner of this lot will be treated to a bird's eye view in a plane ride over the beautiful northern Berkshire Hills with Director Joseph Thompson. (For two people.)

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $50


Contemporary Circle Membership

Lot #9

Contemporary Circle Membership

For more than 30 years, renowned conceptual artist Jenny Holzer has presented her ideas and arguments in public places and exhibitions worldwide, including Times Square, Venice Biennale, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a stone bench, an LED sign, a t-shirt, or a painting, is writing. MASS MoCA is proud to have Jenny as a neighbor, friend, and member since opening in 1999.

In 2007, Holzer also became one of our artists when she turned MASS MoCA's Building 5 gallery into her first interior light projection in the United States. With just light and text (plus giant beanbag chairs) her Projections filled the football field-sized gallery with an immersive environment of poetry that was equally intriguing, disorienting, and soothing. If you are a member, you can return week after week and see such exhibitions free of charge. The winner of this lot and his/her family will become $500 Contemporary Circle members for a year, which includes free admission, guest passes, 2 dance party tickets, and invitations to opening parties and special events with artists and performers. (If you are a current member, you will be upgraded to Contemporary Circle, or receive a second year free.)

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $100


Private LeWitt Tour and Lunch

Lot #10

Private LeWitt Tour and Lunch

After nine months of building renovations and six months of drafting and painting by a team of 65 artists and art students, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective) opened in 2008.

Designed with the artist shortly before his death, this exhibition was a collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, and marked the beginning of MASS MoCA's significant longer-term collaborations with artists, collectors, and institutions. Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective features 105 LeWitt wall drawings from 1969 to 2007. LeWitt, who stressed the idea behind his work over its execution, is widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of Minimalism and Conceptual art, and is known primarily for his deceptively simple geometric structures and architecturally scaled wall drawings. His experiments with the latter commenced in 1968 and were considered radical, in part because this new form of drawing was purposely temporal and often executed not just by LeWitt but also by other artists and students whom he invited to assist him in the installation of his artworks.

The winner of this lot (and 3 guests) will be treated to a private curatorial tour of the museum, paying particular attention to the techniques behind Sol LeWitt's work (sometimes called a PhD in masking tape!); then lunch will be served to you in a cozy lounge area suspended between the LeWitt building and Building 5. Thanks to Lickety Split for lunch.

Minimum Bid: $75
Bidding Increment: $50


Shopping Spree

Lot #11

Shopping Spree

MASS MoCA doesn't exist in a bubble - we are part of a community of cultural resources, and we define community broadly. Within a 5-mile radius, you'll find MASS MoCA, MCLA, the Clark, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown Film Festival -- great cultural and educational assets that create a critical mass beyond the individual elements. To join them requires many ideas, from the mundane (joint ticket sales) to regional co-marketing. As part of this effort to reach across this amazing arts valley, in 2009 we opened MASS MoCA by Design on Spring Street in Williamstown.

The winner of this lot receives a shopping spree for 4! We'll open MASS MoCA by Design (or Hardware at MASS MoCA in North Adams) and it will be yours for an hour one evening - you'll get a seriously deep discount (50% off everything), the place to yourself, no limit on the shopping spree...you can go nuts. We'll provide wine & cheese and music - you provide the friends and have fun with some carefree shopping. (Can be used anytime during the next twelve months, subject to availability - perfect for the holidays! For the winner and 3 guests).

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $50


Two Passes to FreshGrass

Lot #12

Two Passes to FreshGrass

2010 was the year we first brought you Solid Sound, a performing arts festival curated by Wilco, which The New York Times called "a jubilant success" with a deep "spirit of communion between the band and its fans." This music and arts festival has continued to grow (from 3,500 fans the first year to 8,000 fans last year), bringing together a large family of loyal fans from around the country, as well as an eclectic group of bands picked by Wilco. It led to FreshGrass, MASS MoCA's annual festival of bluegrass and roots music, which happens again September 19-21, 2014. This year's lineup includes Emmy Lou Harris, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sam Bush, The Gibson Brothers and many others.

The winner of this lot will receive two weekend passes to FreshGrass 2014, a family-friendly music festival rich in both traditional and cutting edge bluegrass, and inspired by our first music festival's great success. Plus, we'll throw in a few baseball hats to keep you comfy as you soak up the music on a beautiful September afternoon in the courtyards and Joe's Field.

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $50


Star of a Marketing Campaign!

Lot #13

Star of a Marketing Campaign!

You're about to get 2011 minutes of fame: Be the star of a MASS MoCA advertising campaign! Marketing is at the heart of any business - you can have the best exhibitions, the most awesome performances, the most soulful children's programs, but if no one knows you exist, you'll go out of business soon. "The man who stops advertising to save money," said Thomas Jefferson, "is like the man who stops the clock to save time." The winner of this lot (or your children, if you prefer) will be in MASS MoCA's next marketing campaign - it could be your face in our brochure, on a billboard, on our website, or in advertisements... it all depends on the campaign, but you'll be the star.

Minimum Bid: $200
Bidding Increment: $100


North Adams Walking Tour

Lot #14

North Adams Walking Tour

The first mill on this property was built in 1862 by Arnold Print Works, and the 150th anniversary of that was in 2012. These buildings have a lot of history - MASS MoCA is the third tenant in 150 years, preceded by Arnold Print Works as well as Sprague Electric Company, both leaders in their fields.

Historian Joe Manning will take you on a non-traditional historic walking tour of North Adams, talking about folklore and vernacular history, the mills and the immigrants who worked here, as well as urban renewal and redevelopment. The tour will end at MASS MoCA, where you'll have coffee with Joe Manning as well as with John Sprague, former president of Sprague Electric Company and son of its founder, who can answer questions about Arnold Print Works and Sprague Electric's history, and give you an autographed copy of The Birth of Electric Traction, the recently published biography of his grandfather, electrical inventor Frank J. Sprague, who grew up in North Adams. The 2-hour tour is for 4 people, to take place in the spring or fall at a mutually convenient time. Thanks to Joe Manning and John Sprague for this informative auction offering.

Minimum Bid: $100
Bidding Increment: $50


Kiefer Tour and Picnic

Lot #15

Kiefer Tour and Picnic

In 2013, MASS MoCA undertook a major collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation, the keystone of which is a long-running exhibition of sculpture and paintings devoted to the art of Anselm Kiefer.

Kiefer, who first visited MASS MoCA in 1990 when it was in the early planning stages, ranks among the most important post-World War II German artists working today. Born in 1945 in southern Germany during the final days of the collapse of the Third Reich, Kiefer experienced firsthand a divided postwar Germany. Across his body of work, he argues with history, addressing controversial and taboo issues with bold directness and lyricism. His works are often realized in large formats, which in turn demand special exhibition space...in the case of MASS MoCA, a 10,000 square foot, 1 million gallon concrete water tank, which the artist transformed into a skylit gallery.

MASS MoCA is adept at collaborating with artists, collectors, foundations, and institutions to bring important bodies of art to the public, perhaps best exemplified by its 2008 Sol LeWitt exhibition partnership, and more recently this partnership with the Hall Art Foundation. Extending its collaboration, the Hall Art Foundation recently installed a monumental outdoor sculptural ensemble of Franz West's Les Pommes d'Adam. (The sculpture was previously installed at the Place Vendôme in Paris next to Napoléon Bonaparte's Vendôme Column. ) The winner of this lot and 3 guests will be treated to a private tour of the Kiefer exhibition with MASS MoCA Curator Susan Cross, followed by a picnic lunch in the Franz West courtyard.

Minimum Bid: $200
Bidding Increment: $50


Your Name on a Gallery Bench

Lot # 16

Your Name on a Gallery Bench

As of May 2014, we've been open 15 years. We're just getting started. Our mission is to catalyze and support the creation of new art, reveal the visual and performing arts in all stages of production, and contribute to the economic, social and cultural life of our home community. MASS MoCA has helped foster perhaps more new work in the visual and performing arts than any other site in the United States during the past decade and a half. And we pride ourselves on doing more with less - our annual cost of operations per visitor and per square foot runs about one-third of that of comparable arts institutions.

We have big plans for the next 15 years, too, and we need your support. The winner of this lot will get a private tour of the "back 40" - parts of the complex you've probably never seen - and hear about our exciting plans. Moreover, the winner of this item will be permanently recognized: your name will go on a bench in one of the galleries. Your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be able to sit down and reflect on your contribution to the revitalization of North Adams.

Minimum Bid: $2,000
Bid Increment: $1,000



   
 
 
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