"Complete Shutdown of a Private Liberal Arts College - 12 Department Buildings of Assets!" reads the header on the info page for Marylhurst University's auction, set for Thursday, November 1. Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1893, the onetime women’s college just south of Portland went co-ed in the 1970s, and in recent decades attracted many older and part-time students: the median age of its undergrads last year was 34; graduate students, 38. Total enrollment peaked during the Great Recession, but last year it was down to about 750. The school announced in May that it would close after the summer term.
What are the hot items in a Catholic college’s liquidation? Sure, there’s a hefty Bible collection, a Sabathil & Son harpsichord (or is it a spinnet?), and the occasional saint statue, but there are also appliances, tools galore, models of Neanderthal skulls (Marylhurst was not one of those religious schools that pooh-poohed evolution), graduated-cylinder-filled science labs (our style editor would like someone to please buy these for her Christian high school, which did pooh-pooh evolution), old lockers, gym gear, a model of the Globe playhouse, and enough AV equipment to trick out many a home theater.
You can bid on kilns (one of our associate editors says a kiln would make a perfect Christmas gift for her mom), old darkroom equipment, and works from the collection of the university’s Art Gym, a well-respected contemporary gallery, including four-decade-old photographs by Craig Hickman of his fellow Blue Sky Gallery cofounders, many with sweet ’70s weird beards, and a Mel Katz outdoor sculpture listed as needing some conservation work due to “biological growth.”
If you want to kick-start your art collection, make your house look like a hotel lobby, or score an air hockey or Ping-Pong table, you need to register with the auction site, enter a valid credit card, and agree to a lot of terms and conditions (including a buyer's premium and pickup within three days of the auction). The auction begins at 10 a.m. Pacific time November 1.