Thursday, December 03, 2020

The passing of Automaton-maker Keith Newstead

We've lost a large figure in the world of contemporary automata. Keith Newstead passed away on November 8th, 2020 at the age of 64.

I communicated with him via email. He was a very pleasent person. He shared with me a technical detail about how to work with a certain type of wire that I will always remember and always be grateful to have learned. I don't own many automata, but I did purchase one of Keith's called "Flights of Fancy". I will treasure it.

So many people have been entertained, enlightened, and inspired by Keith Newstead's work. It will remain to remind us of his genius and that art can be playful.

Here is a very fine obituary for Keith Newstead publsihed in The Guardian.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Potter & Potter’s automata auction - August 24, 2019

Potter & Potter Auctions will be auctioning more than 150 vintage and modern automata, marionettes, wind-up toys, and other figures dating back to 1860. The video shown here covers this amazing collection.

Here is a link to a great article about the sale by the Chicago Reader.

Here is a link to more information about the Potter & Potter automata sale.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Second AutomataCon at the Morris Museum, May 18th-20th, 2018

The next AutomataCon is almost here!

Following up on the successful first event held in 2016, AutomataCon returns to Morristown, New Jersey May 18th–20th, 2018. AutomataCon is a convention of and for artists, collectors, historians, and enthusiasts of automata and related kinetic art. It is a three-day event being held at and in conjunction with the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey, home of the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. The video above shows footage from the event in 2016.

This 2018 event will be somewhat larger in size and scope than the previous event. The Morris Museum will be showing a special exhibition in their large main gallery entitled Curious Characters: a cache of kinetic & interactive art, featuring the work of many talented contemporary artists. As such, the event will celebrate the affinity between historical automata and present-day kinetic art with programs that are for and by enthusiasts of every stripe.

Considering the venue, programs, and the list of attendees, this is certain to be an incredible event!

More information can be found on the website:

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