Former Atlantic resident bequeaths valuable artwork to the library


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic resident has bequeathed a valuable art collection, mostly sculptures and glass pieces,  to the Atlantic Public Library. During the City Council meeting Wednesday evening, Councilman Dana Halder reported on the donation from Richard Hellman, who took over a successful metalworking business that his father founded in 1919. When Richard Hellman retired, he sold the business and settled in Oceanside, California.  

Halder said Hellman, who passed away, left 51-pieces of artwork to the Atlantic Public Library and five-pieces to the Danish Immigrant Museum. The works of art are currently in California, and the library has the right to do dispense the pieces as they see fit. Officials with the Atlantic Public Library plan to sell the art, and reap the proceeds.

The appraised value of the works, which includes pieces by Oregon artist/sculptor Bill Kasper, and Georgia sculptor Jim Karg, is approximately $175,000. Halder say it’s hoped the library will receive 60-percent of the appraised value when the items are sold. Library Director Meredith Scherb told KJAN News the plan is to sell the collection to an art dealer. Halder said that’s because of the liability issue involved with storing and displaying the works.