Before the existence of lowbrow art, Juxtapoz magazine or the Kustom Kulture lifestyle, there was the Brucker family. During the 1970s, Jim Sr. and sons Jim Jr. and Dan ran Movieworld, a museum in Buena Park—while amassing what is probably the world's greatest collection of lowbrow art, including creations and personal effects of artist Von Dutch, paintings by Robert Williams and Easyrider artist Dave Mann, drawings by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, and hundreds of other items. And on May 13, it will all be auctioned off at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
"It is the first-ever Kustom Kulture auction to be held, as far as anyone can really track," says Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Auctions, a car-auction company launching its new art division with the sale. "People are coming out of the woodwork."
Registering to bid costs $100. The cheapest lots—vintage auto-racing handbills and ephemera—are expected to fetch at least several hundred dollars. But you can view the collection for the cost of a museum ticket. When will you ever—ever—get the chance again to see early Robert Williams paintings, including his seminal Pachuco Cross or his 1964 Four Knights? Or to check out Von Dutch's famous pinstriped paint box, or an assortment of his guns, knives or paintings? More than a dozen Ed Roth drawings are there, as well as thousands of his Ed Roth Studios decals from the '60s. Not to mention the car from the 1937 movie Topper and a bunch of photos of Steve McQueen.
You should go, if only to kick yourself for not having enough money to buy something—or for not having gone to Movieworld when Roth and Von Dutch were alive and worked there. That'd be okay, too.
The Brucker Collection at Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (800) 211-4371. Previews begin Tues., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Items on display daily through May 12. Auction May 13, 10 a.m. Museum admission, $3-$10.