A Lifetime In Africa -- The Auction

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"I grew up among the pygmies, learning everything that is their world...making my first bow and arrow, identifying birds and animals." Jean-Pierre Hallet

Jean-Pierre Hallet grew up on the edge of the Ituri rain forest in central Africa. As a child, the pygmies were his playmates. As an adult, his life's work was to defend and protect his pygmy friends. On May 9,and May 10, 2006, in New York City, Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries will represent the Hallet family in the offering of hundreds of significant artworks from the collection of Jean-Pierre Hallet, founder of The Pygmy Fund. The unprecendented auction of African art will be held in the auditorium of The Church of St. Paul the Apostle on Columbus Avenue between 59th and 60th Street.

Jean-Pierre Hallet was a man more intimately connected to Africa than perhaps any other westerner. His feats were legendary -- what one expects of fiction and adventure movies. Newspaper and magazine headlines over three decades reported his adventures in various ways: He Saves Little People: A Giant Comes to the Rescue; He's the Biggest of the Little People of Zaire; Humanitarian Sows Seeds of Hope and Pygmies Have a Friend in Hallet. Joanne Grant, President of Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries announced that a portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit The Pygmy Fund.

Born in 1927, Hallet was the son of Andre Hallet, the famed Belgian painter who lived in the Congo. At six, he left his pygmy playmates to go to school in Europe. He was already the height of an average adult pygmy in the forest. He returned in 1948 with a Sorbonne education and a degree in agronomy and sociology. He was 21 years old and 6 feet 5 inches tall. His incredible life was about to unfold.

Jean-Pierre Hallet lived with the pygmies and learned six aboriginal languages. He founded The Pygmy Fund in 1974, the only organization devoted to the preservation of the life and culture of surviving Efe forest pygmies. Appealing and charismatic, he charmed Tonight Show viewers as a guest of Johnny Carson and was photographed with Dwight Eisenhower. His three books about his lifetime of adventure, Pygmy Kitabu, Congo Kitabu and Animal Kitabu were translated into twenty-one languages including Chinese and Russian.

Those unable to attend the auction may participate as absentee bidders, by telephone or on e-Bay Live. An illustrated 160 page catalogue has been prepared for this event ($45 by priority mail).

For more information, visit http://www.midhudsongalleries.com or contact the auction house directly. 845 534-7828, 914 882-7356. Fax 845 534-7904. Contact person: Joanne C. Grant, Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries, P.O. Box 305, Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York 12520.

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