Kraft Auction Services conducted an online auction with 2,000 items, among them was “the original wood model given the American Bridge to build the Chicago Picasso” according to the auction site.
January 21, 2019-A Picasso related artpiece which had been owned by the Gary Community School Corporation for nearly 50 years was quietly sold in an online auction over the weekend. According to kraftauctions.com, the piece represented “a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase the original wood model given to American Bridge to sculpt the “Chicago Picasso.” The piece was included in an auction of approximately 2,000 other pieces and received little fanfare. A 2005 article in the Chicago Tribune discussed the significance of the piece and suggested it could be very valuable. (See How Much for that Wooden Picasso, James Janega, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 28, 2005 https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2005-12-28-0512280169-story.html )
The wooden piece stands 12 and a half feet tall according to the auction listing which described the item as “Original Chicago Picasso Wood Working Model.” Despite suggestions in the 2005 Chicago Tribune article of various methods of authentication to enhance the value of the piece, it appears that little in the way of verification was offered to potential bidders. The Auctioneer included the 2005 article as well as a 1970 article showing that the piece was donated to the Gary Community School Corporation.
The cash strapped Gary Community School Corporation has a vast collection of artwork and the worth of the pieces is not known to residents. In 2015, after it was discovered that several valuable pieces of art were left unsecured in Lew Wallace High School, Administrators stated they moved all artwork to a secure location and purchased insurance on the artwork.