Million-Dollar Mannequin: "Male Mannequin," a 6-foot-tall, anatomically correct fiberglass sculpture of a male nude by Los Angeles artist Charles Ray, was sold for $2.2 million to New York dealer Lawrence Luring on Thursday night at Christie's in New York. The sculpture, which was expected to bring $700,000 to $900,000, commanded the top price in a $12.7-million auction of contemporary art and set a record for the artist. "Male Mannequin" was produced in an edition of three. Another example is on view in the L.A. County Museum of Art's "Made in California" exhibition.
Getty Grant: The financially troubled Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pa., has received a $500,000 planning grant from the J. Paul Getty Trust. The grant--which is the first large donation to the Barnes since it announced a $15-million emergency fund-raising campaign last summer--is intended to develop and implement a strategic plan to assure the institution's programming and economic stability. Founded in 1922, the Barnes maintains a renowned art collection and operates an art-appreciation school.
Rosie the Scribe: Following in the footsteps of Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell is the latest daytime TV star to venture into the magazine business. The talk-show host has a deal to relaunch the 125-year-old women's magazine McCall's. O'Donnell will be editorial director of Rosie's McCall's, which is scheduled to hit the newsstands in the spring. O'Donnell said Thursday the new McCall's will be "less spiritual than Oprah's magazine, more pragmatic than Martha Stewart's, and with my annoying, Democratic political agenda somewhere in the middle."
A Salute to Oprah: Speaking of Winfrey, she will receive the Frank G. Wells Award at Disney's American Teacher Awards at the Shrine Auditorium tonight. Winfrey will be honored for "using the power of the media for the noblest purpose: to inspire a passion for learning and understanding among her millions of viewers and admirers." The awards, saluting educators from across the country, will be shown Dec. 22 on cable's Lifetime.
A Whole Lot of Rockin': ABC's "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve" is adding two hours to its usual 90-minute, countdown-to-midnight broadcast. The popular special, now in its 29th year, will air for the first time in prime time and run 3 1/2 hours. "'It gives us the opportunity to present many more musical performances and to bring some elements to the show that we have never featured," Clark said Thursday. Clark, who is the executive producer, will be at his usual Times Square post but will also be joined by correspondents on the streets of New York.
Film Festival Flap: The 11-year-old Palm Springs International Film Festival, scheduled to run Jan. 11-22, has been thrown into chaos after its founders resigned and sponsor Nortel Networks considered pulling its sponsorship amid questions about the event's nonprofit status. The departures of executive director Craig Prater, head programmer Jennifer Stark and board chairman Fred Linch came after philosophical differences led to acrimony on the board. Some support the festival's push for greater prominence, while others want the event to maintain a more local flavor, according to the Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety. In October, Festival of Arts Cinemas, where the Palm Springs International Film Festival is held, hosted a selection of films that had recently screened at the American Film Institute's AFI Fest in Los Angeles. AFI came at the invitation of theater programming director Nancy Dolensek, a festival board member. The theaters are owned by board members Ric and Rosine Supple. For an organization to maintain its nonprofit status in California, its board members must put the interest of the nonprofit before their personal interests. Daily Variety reported there is concern that the theater owners may have violated that statute by inviting another film festival to utilize a space closely identified with the Nortel-sponsored event in January and because the AFI screened two titles the Nortel festival planned to show.
Letters From the Heart: The family of award-winning Looney Tunes animation director Chuck Jones--the creator of the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew and Michigan J. Frog--is asking his fans to write him fan letters. The family hopes to collect 1 million letters by next Valentine's Day and to compile and publish a book of as many as possible. Letters can be submitted electronically at http://chuckjones.com/lettersfromtheheart or by mail to Chuck Jones, Letters From the Heart, P.O. Box 2319, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-2319. All letters should include a disclaimer sentence giving the family permission to use it in the book.