NEW YORK – The evening of 24 May, Sotheby's was full of the sounds of history as Vy Higginsen's Gospel Choir of Harlem performed in front of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment and other important documents sold during Two Centuries of American History. Before a moving and soul-lifting concert of songs including "Amazing Grace" and "Down by the Riverside," the group (hailing from Higginsen's Emmy Award-winning Mama Foundation for the Arts) was introduced by Sotheby's Senior International Specialist Selby Kiffer. Seth Kaller, an expert on rare American documents and advisor to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, also spoke about "how inspiring it is to stand in front of these documents that brought out country alive." Click ahead for scenes from the performance and evening. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
NEW YORK – Vy Higginsen, a noted author, playwright, and radio and TV personality, has made it her mission to honour the music she grew up hearing – a goal she has pursued passionately at her Emmy Award-winning Mama Foundation for the Arts, where gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues music is presented and preserved for all generations. On Tuesday night, in celebration of our upcoming auction Two Centuries of American History featuring the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, Higginsen's Gospel Choir of Harlem will give a concert inspired by the legacy of these important documents: History Through Song. Ahead of their performance, we spoke with Higginsen about the value of music, how gospel speaks to the African American experience and what the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment mean today. VY HIGGINSEN. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE MAMA FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS.
NEW YORK – Widely considered one of the world's foremost experts on rare American documents, Seth Kaller has built a career (and many museum-quality collections) by securing, authenticating and appraising some of the most important artefacts on the market. Documents he has worked with have been exhibited at or acquired by notable institutions including the Gettysburg National Civil War Museum, Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian, the Lincoln Museum, and the Gilder Lehrman Collection, which he has represented since its inception in 1989. Ahead of Sotheby's 25 May auction Two Centuries of American History auction, which includes many documents Kaller himself worked with including the 13th Amendment and Emancipation Proclamation, we asked him about his career and why these two documents in particular carry such importance. SETH KALLER. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SETH KALLER INC.
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