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Collector Barney Smith is closing his quirky gallery — and selling his collection of 1,300 decorated toilet seats inside

ARTIST Barney Smith may soon be feeling flush because he has put his decorated toilet seat collection up for sale. Barney, 96, has more than 1,300 toilet seats he has decorated and displays in a gallery in San Antonio, Texas. Experts say they may be worth tens of thousands. Barney said: “I was a plumber […]

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ARTIST Barney Smith may soon be feeling flush because he has put his decorated toilet seat collection up for sale.

Barney, 96, has more than 1,300 toilet seats he has decorated and displays in a gallery in San Antonio, Texas.

Cade Martin
Barney Smith is shutting down his toilet seat gallery in Texas[/caption]

Experts say they may be worth tens of thousands. Barney said: “I was a plumber so found seats easy to come by.”

He is looking to sell up and experts predict that while not priceless, the collection could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Barney explained:”I used my first toilet seat when I needed a wooden shield to put little deer horns on and picked up a toilet seat – and that was the beginning of the collection. Now I have putting other material I collected onto toilet seats for the last 70 years.

“I was a plumber at the time I got started and my plumber friends would round up seats for me. I once got 50 toilet seats from a plumbing supply. They were brand new but damaged in shipment.

Cade Martin
Experts estimate Barney Smith’s toilet seat collection to be valued tens of thousands of dollars[/caption]

Cade Martin
Barney Smith started collecting toilet seats when he was working as a plumber[/caption]

Cade Martin
The artist’s toilet seat’s collection has now surpassed 1,300[/caption]

“They said they were putting them in the dumpster, so I said I would like them. Now it’s become a public museum.”

Barney didn’t open his collection to the public until 1992, and now only opens up the doors – and lids – by appointment.

But some of America’s biggest manufacturers of toilets and bathrooms are expected to try and lift the lid on his astonishing gallery – and increase Barney’s bottom line by a large sum of money.

Cade Martin
Barney Smith opened his toilet seat gallery in 1992[/caption]

Cade Martin
Barney Smith’s toilet seat gallery is the largest of its kind[/caption]

Cade Martin
The quirky attraction draws in thousands of tourists every year[/caption]

Cade Martin
Barney Smith started collecting toilet seats when he was 26 years old[/caption]

Cade Martin
The Texan native only opens up his gallery for appointments[/caption]

Cade Martin
Barney is now 96 and wants to enjoy a more peaceful life[/caption]

Cade Martin
Barney said his collection was easy to build as seats are ‘easy to come by’[/caption]

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Art and culture

Tracey Emin’s artworks to be celebrated at MTV RE:DEFINE’s HIV charity auction in Texas

WORKS by controversial British artist Tracey Emin will be the star of MTV RE:DEFINE, a HIV charity art auction in Dallas, Texas. The MTV Staying Alive Foundation has announced that the seventh annual fundraising event will take place on April 13 2018. The charity bash, run in partnership with The Goss-Michael Foundation, will be hosted by George Michael’s former […]

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WORKS by controversial British artist Tracey Emin will be the star of MTV RE:DEFINE, a HIV charity art auction in Dallas, Texas.

The MTV Staying Alive Foundation has announced that the seventh annual fundraising event will take place on April 13 2018.

Tracey Emin has been named as the honouree artist of next year’s HIV charity art auction in Dallas, Texas
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Kenny Goss George Michael
The charity bash will be hosted by George Michael’s ex-lover Kenny Goss, and his sister-in-law Joyce
Getty Images - Getty

The charity bash, run in partnership with The Goss-Michael Foundation, will be hosted by George Michael’s former lover Kenny Goss and his sister-in-law Joyce Goss.

Alongside musical performances, it will feature an auction to benefit the HIV charity and Texan art museum Dallas Contemporary.

As this year’s artist honouree, Emin will see her creations showcased alongside over 50 art works from major contemporary artists.

The 54-year-old from Croydon, south London, is best known for her “autobiographical” art, including “My Bed”.

Emin is known for her autobiographical art, including “My Bed”
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Arguably the Londoner’s most famous work, the piece consisted simply of Emin’s bed
Getty Images - Getty

The award-winning art installation depicting her unmade dirty bed sold for £2.5million in 2014.

Another of Emin’s most notable works is “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With”, a tent emblazoned with the names of the 102 people she’d ever shared a bed with.

The iconic 1995 piece, nicknamed “The Tent”, was destroyed in a London warehouse fire in 2004, and she has since refused to recreate it.

Another iconic creation of Emin’s is “Everyone I have Ever Slept With”
Tracey Emin

Over the past six years the annual event has become renowned on the Texas art scene, and has raised over £7.5million ($10mil) for HIV prevention.

Of the evening, Peter Doroshenko, Executive Director of Dallas Contemporary, said: “MTV RE:DEFINE is always the best extravaganza for great food, the best contemporary art, and iconic rock n’ roll – it’s a Dallas event like no other.

“Tracey Emin will push the limits of cool Britannia and the event’s electric vibe.”

Emin’s art will be showcased alongside over 50 works from other contemporary artists
Getty - Contributor

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Art and culture

Sculpture part of a £20,000 art installation at Lincoln Castle is mocked for looking like giant toilet plunger

A NEW sculpture has been mocked for looking like a big toilet plunger. The 18ft Tree Charter Champion Pole is part of a £20,000 installation at Lincoln Castle. The project is to help celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest. But the art work’s long oak “handle” and concrete base makes it […]

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A NEW sculpture has been mocked for looking like a big toilet plunger.

The 18ft Tree Charter Champion Pole is part of a £20,000 installation at Lincoln Castle.

The sculpture’s long oak ‘handle’ makes it look unmistakably like a huge plunger

The project is to help celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest. But the art work’s long oak “handle” and concrete base makes it look like a plunger, say critics.

Visitor Richard Robinson, 43, of Lincoln, said: “There is no denying it looks like a loo plunger.

“But it’s beautiful.”

The 6½-ton monument was carved by Simon Clements, 57, of Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire.

He said: “Calling it that makes me chuckle.”

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