Monthly Archives: April 2016

Art treasure discovered in church basement will be sold at silent auction next week

Organizing a silent auction and wine tasting for the Manning Ulster Refugee Project, we discovered treasure tucked behind an old desk in the warden’s office at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and solved a mystery.

For longer than anyone could remember, there had been a stack of framed art gathering dust in the office. No one knew who donated it many years ago, apparently for a sale or event that didn’t seem to have happened.

The background of committee member Alberta Nokes is in art history and when we pulled out the desk, she immediately saw that there were some exceptional things. First, a large, original stone lithograph, beautifully printed, an artist’s proof by Jack Nichols of an enigmatic dark angelic figure. According to Ms. Nokes, Nichols is among the most significant Canadian artists of the 20th century. He was an official war artist for Canada, a two time Guggenheim fellow and his lithos represented Canada in the 1958 Venice Biennale. Nichols’s work is unique in its emphasis on the human experience in war. The blackness of his medium and the haunting, timeless, atmospheric quality of works like “Dark Angel” grew out of his war experience.

Jack Nichols Dark Angel.jpg

Jack Nichols’ “Dark Angel”

We discovered that the Nichols and several other pieces including a 5 exquisitely framed hand-coloured etchings from the time of Jane Austen – 1805 to 1817, came from Budd Sugarman. Mr. Sugarman, for whom the park just to the east of the Rosedale Subway station is named was a civic activist and philanthropist who was instrumental preserving what was known as the village of Yorkville and creating the Village of Yorkville Park. He was an internationally known interior designer, operating “Hazelton House Prints”, an international company specializing in hand blocked printed fabric, from his shop on Hazelton Ave for more than 4 decades. There is a sculpted relief at the church dedicated in honour of Budd Sugarman and Gordon Johnson so he must have had a strong connection with the Church.

We think he’d be very pleased that the donation he made so long ago is helping now to re-settle refugees in Toronto. The Nichols has a value of $1,600, bidding starts at $160. The 19th century engravings are valued at $250 to $300 each and bidding sarts at 20.

So join us on May 3rd, at SMM for an evening of wine, food, entertainment and a silent auction of fabulous items!


Wine Tasting & Silent Auction Fundraiser!

Eventbrite - MURP Silent Auction

7 to 9 PM – TUESDAY, MAY 3 

Church of St. Mary Magdalene, 477 Manning Ave.

TICKETS $25.00 (includes admission, wine Waterfordand hors d’oeuvres), available here or at the door

             BIDS ON MANY ITEMS START AS LOW AS $2.00!

Bid for Silent Auction items while enjoying live jazz piano, superb wines fromAlsace,Tuscany and the Rhone Valley and gourmet charcuterie, finger foods and cheeses from Campagnolo and The Cheese Boutique. Auction items include:

AN ESCAPE TO ALSACE – 1 week’s accommodation for 6 in Andlau, voted the most beautiful village in FranceAndlau

Waterford crystal, and fine English bone china



1 week’s accommodation for 4 adults, 2 children at Casa Carole in the National Beach Reserve in a tropical, garden with a pool at Playa Grande


Tallis        TSO-Desktop COC               BlueJays

DINNERS AT FINE RESTAURANTS, AND OTHER ITEMS, INCLUDING A Second City Improv Class, Professional photo portraits and more!

CAMPAGNOLO_logo_black  HarbordRoomThe_Second_City-bnw-520x325

Tickets can be purchased in advance online, or  at St. Mary Magdalene after the 9:30 and 11:00 masses on April 17 and 24 in Hiscocks Hall. They will also be available at the door on May 3. Tickets and auction items may be purchased with major credit cards, personal cheques, or cash.

We hope you can join us!