Friday, February 19, 2010

Pictures at the Opening! Chris Steele Exhibits a Fabulous Collection of Antique Penny Scales

My eccentric friend Chris Steele is an artist, designer, model maker, inventor of of odd contraptions, spin-art virtuoso, founder of Citizens for a Better Skyline (pioneering the first murals to appear in the Short North), photographer, ceramist, and accumulator of assorted weird stuff. I first met him in 1972 when we opened Benchworks, a fine crafts collective in German Village. He brought an enormous old penny scale he had rescued from the then recent demolition of old Central Station. I agreed to let him place it at the entrance of our store and he came around regularly to collect his coins. The many scales he has kept on collecting throughout these past 4 decades now make part of the largest private collections of these once ubiquitous marvelous objects, sought by museums, history buffs and collectors all over the world. Find out how you can see that amazing collection by reading below.
The American Weigh: Christopher Steele Collection

The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space
50 W. Town St., Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-292-8861
Show opens February 2 - closes March 7, 2010
Reception: Friday February 26, 2010 5-7pm
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday: 11 am to 6 pm
Thursday: 11 am to 8pm

Free Admission

Special Arnold Sports Festival Hours
Sunday March 7th 11am to 6pm
(Closest Arnold Shuttle Stop: #5)
The American Weigh: Christopher Steele Collection
For a half century, Americans relied on penny scales to watch their weight.
At their peak, over 10 billion pennies were dropped into these colorful machines annually.
“The American Weigh” spotlights 50 different penny scales and spans
100 years of industrial design.

Pictures at the Opening Reception

Penny scale detail

Chris with a scale

Welcoming guests

Scales in-a-row

With good friend Candy

These functional, attractive scales were, at one time, as common as finding a wi-fi spot today. Who ever predicted they would become art pieces shown in galleries, museums or private collections?

"Gotta love them scales!" Chris and Trina each hugging a favorite.

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