Monday, April 28, 2008


Over the years, I have been called into the homes of clients who wish to have everything appraised...including posters. Unless they are of the vintage variety (think old advertising posters) they usually don't have much value. This includes Kentucky Derby posters signed by the artist. That is not to say you shouldn't buy one. Kentucky Derby posters are a great way to remember a certain year you attended the Derby but they are not something that will greatly increase in value (at least not in your lifetime!) I am often surprised by the reaction of clients who think their posters should be worth a lot more than they paid ten years ago if it is signed by the artist. In the end, posters are computer-generated reproductions. They are colorful, decorative, and fun. But not valuable.
If you would like to purchase this year's Derby poster visit this site.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Yesterday, I posted an article about how hot the Asian art market is. I specifically focused on Japanese art. Today it is going to be a bit more political...Chinese art. According to Charlie Finch in an article on entitled Fear Strikes Out "young artists in the Chinese academies are now career-oriented and not interested in politics and that Xu Bing, whose work long criticized Chinese government propaganda, has returned to China after decades as an expatriate." In a related story, bloggers Roger Simon and Ron Rosenbaum of Pajamas Media have started to solicit professional writers to focus on writing about boycotting companies that are sponsoring the Chinese Olympics. These writers claim that Chinese artists (and their work) should also be boycotted for providing the Chinese government another tool to use in the propoganda wars which propogate the atrocities in Tibet.

How will all of this affect the Asian art market? It is a fact that after any Olympics the economy of the area begins to improve. Undoubtably, a new interest in Asian art will emerge and the market will see a surge in sales. Or will it? China and Tibet are now seen in the news more and more. If the movement pushed by writers, academics, and celebrities to boycott anyone and everyone who supports the current Chinese government continues to gain momentum it may soon be unfashionable to collect Chinese art. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In Japanese, Kyōbai means "go, run and get it" and that is exactly what buyers did on April 3, 2008 at the auction of Japanese contemporary art, design and toys at Philips Dupury in London.
The sale, totaling £3,287,000 ($6.5 million) was a hit with buyers who are turning more and more toward clean lines, thoughtful color, and more modern design. Top lots include a fiberglass panda from 2003 by Takashi Murakami (ca. $2,716,000) and a Yoshitomo Nara portrait of a sinister little girl (ca. $144,000).
Chuckle (shown above) by HIDEAKI KAWASHIMA
If Japanese design interests you check out Kopilot in Louisville.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


original Jane DeDecker (left)
Fake Jane DeDecker (right)

Last week I spent several days inspecting "bronze" statues...and I became suspicious. The bronzes, while expensive, didn't seem to have the finishing touches that were required for a carefully crafted work. Then, I found Bronze Copyright. This is a group of artists who have gotten together to try and protect their work from people who steal their designs and then deceive the public. Often, the works are purported to be "crafted" by artists that don't even exist. The fakes I saw replicated Jane DeDecker's work. Once I saw the real thing I knew that my client's work was fake.

This is a massive problem for both the artists and the buying public. The artist's are losing money, the market is being flooded by fakes, and those that are buying are not investing...they are being ripped off.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Edward Timothy Hurley, commonly referred to as "E.T. Hurley" is most famous for being the leading Rookwood Pottery artist. Hurley studied at Cincinnati Art Academy under the famous Frank Duveneck. Although the artist was first popular for his art pottery, he later was known for his accomplishments in etching.

Currently, a wonderful selection of Hurley etchings is being offered at Treadway-Toomey Gallery in Cincinnati. One of my favorites is the etching at the top of this post depicting a circus scene outside of a tent with elephants, measuring 9" X 12" and on sale for $550. This rare 1936 scene captures bit of Americana and really showcases Hurley's skill.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Although I am still receiving tons of hits for this post, I have decided to take it down. Not because I think that I was wrong for pointing out the facts but because I simply don't have the time to answer all of the emails I receive about it.

To date, I have had two anonymous posts (strangely, one created a single page blog just to counter this post) claiming that the person I discussed was an ethical and honest man. I have also received quite a few emails from people worried that their pieces are fake and asking what they should do. These pieces were purchased from a wide variety of sources. I MUST ALSO POINT OUT THAT ALL PERSONS ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. For my part, I hope that all of this was just a large mistake on the FBI's part. I have to admit, stranger things have happened.

If you feel that you have been "taken", I would suggest contacting the art fraud division of the FBI found
here. You can also contact an art appraiser in your area here.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Artwork by Jim Dine from last year's ART CHICAGO

One of the best things about living in Kentucky for art lovers and collectors is our close proximity to so many other cities and art venues. Nashville is to the South, St. Louis is to the west, Indianapolis and Cincinnatti are both to the north. And then there is Chicago. It takes five hours to drive to Chicago but with gas prices you are better off flying on Southwest Airlines anyway. Right now during the week of April 25 you can fly Southwest from Louisville to Chicago for $49 each way.
There is no better time to go to the windy city if you are an art lover. From April 25-April 28 Art Chicago will be taking place. This show is a combination of five different art fairs all operated by the Merchandise Mart. There will be 180 galleries at Art Chicago as well as an exciting display called "New Insight". "New Insight" will feature the works of the best art graduate students from Yale, UCLA, RISD, and several other programs. Although the pieces from "New Insight" will not be for sale, you can get a glimpse of what to expect from these up-and-comers or you can write down their names and contact them later. If you just have to purchase something there will be plenty for sale during the main event.
Tickets are $20 for a one day pass or $25 for a multi day pass. You can purchase them online or on the first floor of the Mart. The same tickets will also get you access to the antiques fair.

Dates and Hours:
Thursday, April 24—Opening Night
PreviewFriday, April 25, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Saturday, April 26, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Monday, April 28, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Friday, April 4, 2008


It's Friday which means it is valuation day.
Gerry submitted a great serigraph by Charley Harper (see below)
Above: Charley Harper with one of his works

Charley Harper was born in West Virginia in 1922. During World War II Harper said he learned to sketch quickly. When he returned to the United States Harper first lived in New York and then moved to Cincinnati to attend the Cincinnati Art Academy (he later taught there).
The artist began his career as an advertising illustrator. Capable of creating realistic works he soon began to enjoy painting flat, graphic subjects and he began disliking the business of advertising. He died Sunday, June 10, 2007.
About your piece
Captivated by the way Koalas cling to their mothers, the artist once said, “Koalas "live Down Under, but they spend most of their lives up over”
2007 is said to be the year of Charley Harper. Not only did the Graphic Content at the Contemporary Arts Center create a tribute to Mr. Harper on its web site, his work was exhibited at Harper Studio at the Lloyd Library and the designer Todd Oldham released a book about him entitled, Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life. Mr. Harper’s work has also been seen on La-Z-Boy by Todd Oldham as well as appearing on napkins, plates, and other tabletop items by the gift company TAG.
At auction, Mr. Harper’s serigraphs often achieves over $100 and the replacement value can go well over $200. Down Under, Down Under is a highly desirable serigraph and because it is numbered and signed by this now deceased artist it is even more desirable. The value of this piece would range between $120-$250.

Charley Harper, Serigraph entitled “Down Under, Down Under”. Numbered and signed in the lower right corner “CA Harper”, measures 26 ¼” tall X 17 ¼” wide, edition of 2500

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


As many of you know I started the Gallery at the Brown and was the director/curator there for two years. I resigned in December because, coupled with my appraisal business, I was just too busy. However, before I left, I made sure to schedule a final show to coincide with the Kentucky Derby (it is the most important show of the year). The show is now an annual event and each year it features one of the best horse or horse-related artists in the state. This year, I scheduled Louisville artist Kathy Sullivan. Although Ms. Sullivan paints animals (including horses) I am most enchanted by her works depicting jockeys wearing silks. The bright colors, bold brushstrokes, and unusual perspective represent a new approach to a familiar subject. Gallery at the Brown's new director, Katie Bennett, has done a wonderful job taking over the gallery and she is currently hanging the show for the opening next week. If you are in the area beginning April 10 or over Derby don't miss this show!
Kathy Sullivan has long been involved with horses. However, it was not until the death of her own Thoroughbred that Ms. Sullivan became interested in horse racing for artistic reasons. When she began, Ms. Sullivan was a self-taught artist but more recently she has pursued an art education through the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a 2007 Recognition Merit Scholarship. She has also been mentored by the well known artists, Susanna Coffey, Jane Rosen, and Susan Howe.
Gallery at the Brown is located at 335 West Broadway on the Ground Floor of the Brown Hotel in Louisville Kentucky. They can be reached at (502) 583-1234 x7174. The Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00a.m.-6:00 p.m.