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Archive for November, 2009

Transparent Auction Prices are Not Entirely Transparent

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, General | No Comments

Subscribe to or to witness auction activity.

Search auction activity by artist and then by medium, then observe dimensions.

What you don’t see is the condition, which has a large bearing on value.

Was the illustration good enough to judge the quality of the artwork’s execution?

The artwork’s date is not always known or disclosed.

Is the auction a top-tier forum for the sale of this artist’s work?

Was the auction well attended by buyers interested in this artist’s work?

Did the auction take place during a strong period of positive recognition for this artist?

Was the sale well publicized?

What was the general state of the market, such as the economic downturn currently in place?

Each of the above considerations must be weighed along with the sometimes sketchy information provided in a printed or an online catalogue, especially if you are using these prices realized as a guide as to the value of this artist’s work.

Corinne Cain of

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Dreamers in Dream City

Friday, November 20th, 2009 | General | No Comments


Frank Gehry, international architect

Frank Gehry, international architect


The sleeper exhibit at the Autry National Center in Burbank is a photographic expose of 54 movers and shakers, who have helped to shape Los Angeles over the last century plus.  The photographer, Harry Brant Chandler, a local man from one of the more prominent families in Los Angeles, pairs images of these individuals as well as interesting quips about what drove these special individuals to follow their dreams.

September 25, 2009 through January 3, 2010  represents the run of this entirely inspiring presentation !

Corinne Cain of


Amelia Earhart, international pilot

Amelia Earhart, international pilot

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Autry Museum’s Basket Exhibit Dazzles !!!

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, Exhibition news | No Comments

Pomo Gift Basket with Feathers and Shells

Pomo Gift Basket with Feathers and Shells


Hopped a plane, like a routine jet setter, to the Burbank Airport in Southern California.  6.7 miles from the airport is the Autry National Center situated in Griffith Park, across from the Zoo.

Actually a breakfast stop was required, at which time I discovered a foodie’s hole in one, called Porto’s–a Cuban bakery restaurant with pastries, cakes, cookies extraordinaire with plenty of space for sit down customers.  Drive just 3 miles in the wrong direction from the Burbank Airport to reach Porto’s (3614 W Magnolia Blvd)–wrong if you are headed directly for the National Autry Center.

At the Autry’s exhibit, A Living Tradition The Art of Native American Basketry, stop at the electronic kiosks to examine some baskets in the enlarge mode.  Your eyes will “feel” basket fibers, due to the intense magnification.  Then plan to spend about an hour reading plaques and staring at baskets from every region in the United States, including Alaska. 

Know what baleen is conceptionally?  Here at the museum, you are invited to stroke a section of baleen with your hand.  Hands-on-learning cements information into your memory.

Another bonus is reading whether the basketry form you are oogling was made for the maker’s use or for tourist consumption. 

There are brief videos of current basket weavers talking about how they chose to make baskets, who influenced their work and what it is like just locating the raw materials before actually weaving a basket.

You come away with a deep appreciation of an art form simply called basketry.

Something fun in their gift shop is a basketmaking kit. It allows you to fashion a basket of your own, without having to wander in fields to locate the raw materials.  Cost is about $20.

This exhibit will close May 30, 2010, which means you have 7 months left to travel to Southern California to experience this impressive exhibit!

Corinne Cain of

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