Meadowlark Gallery: Blog

So the man looked at me after I stated we were going to start a blog on our website with a little disbelief and tongue in cheek hysteria. There will be subjects from the various intricacies of the art market to even some sporting and hunting activities and, or events for your enjoyment with a little photography. As the man once said on the radio, stay tuned.

Pending posts.

 

Posted: August 19, 2019

For a person of the 1700 and 1800's, to go outside for a walk always consisted of some basic elements which were quintessential to basic existence. Those basic elements were a firearm, a possibles bag and a powder horn. As those walks continued in the eastern United States and then from St. Louis west, the basic elements were extended to include possibly another firearm, a knife, and a hatchet for survival.

Laura F. Fry is the Senior Curator and Curator of American Art at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For her contribution in “Return to Calgary: Charles M. Russell and the 1919 Victory Stampede” exhibition at the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, she sadly stepped out of her element by casting aspersions. Her citations included the biography of Kit Carson by Hampton Sides in 2006. (“Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West” by Hampton Sides; Anchor Books, New York, 2006.) The citations from the Sides book were interesting for they included pages 9 and 10, however, they list the entire book as 460 pages. On the advertising of the paperback trade copy of this book, it enlightens the reader with “How the American West was really won, an epic tale of shame and glory.”

Cecil Brooks was once asked about learning about black powder firearms and he answered by stating the only way to learn was to shoot them. These supposed sources most likely have never shot a reproduction black powder firearm of any sort. Just imagine for a moment of not being on a typical shooting range but on the Western frontier of the mid 1800's. Most of your interaction with the society at this time was at a maximum range of sixty yards with little time for discussion or diplomatic insights offered.

I would allow myself to step out on a limb at this juncture in offering my opinion. For I am sure Kit Carson could have been described as a natural born killer and extremely brutal. (Ibid.) For if we were placed in the same time period of history with those basic elements, we would have been natural born killers and extremely brutal as well.

Posted: August 18, 2019

During all of the years of doing research and marketing various artists one variable is of most interest. Sure there are the sales and then the interesting times of dealing in historical or deceased work. Still, the most interesting is when works come out on the market purporting to be by a certain artist and are simply forgeries. Forgeries coming out on the market are a good indication of strong sales for the designated artist.

I know call me weird, strange or even obsessed but forgeries are very interesting. In the late 1980's I was fortunate to meet and develop a great friendship with the renowned expert on Edward Borein, Harold Davidson. He once described and wrote in one of his books about the “Brotherhood of Forgers, Fakers and Crooks.” Harold was often called upon to authenticate works by Edward Borein. He would often comment to me how the forgers were just not well educated. His authentication fee was $200.00 which was very respectable for the times. Often certain attempts would continue to appear and want his authentication. He told me the authentication fee income was better than Social Security. One item kept coming up repeatedly for his review. After he had given his opinion, the requester listened intently and took the item and tore it up. Harold said this action was definition of class.

Several years ago I commented to an auction partnership on how a certain painting supposedly done by Gollings was definitely not true. The painting depicted a canoe pulled up on the shore under or near a large fir tree. The partners commented how if the buyer determined the painting was not real then they would refund later his money.

From time to time when I see an item purporting to be done by Gollings, I pick up the phone to call the auction house on the west coast. An upcoming sale in 2015 had an item proclaiming to have been done by Gollings. Of course, the item had a large signature in a red tone with the name Gollings. Sadly the palette, stature, drawing capabilities and candor were not those of the artist Bill Gollings.

I can remember how the lady at the auction house said they would change the description to being inspired by the artist or done in a time of the artist. After stating my thoughts I left the lady with her conscience and the work hammered a price of $793.00.

Scrolling through an upcoming auction, I paused to review one lot for the painting looked very familiar. I kept looking at this painting done by Carl Moon (1879-1948), and sure enough it was the model for what a forger had used in 2015.

I had another Gollings owner who explained how the artist did not sign their painting on the front but on the back upon request. They told me how the work had been commissioned with the signature of the artist to be done on the reverse side of the canvas. Ah yes I thought as the man whom I had known for almost thirty years clarified how he truly thought of me. Of course after he revealed photographs of the back of the canvas, it was clear the writing was not of the artist.

Yes I will still call auction houses when they have a questionable work for sale. The old adage often used by auctioneers is how they sell the item as is. This industry needs to do more but it will never be the case. A supposed signed work does not constitute its legitimacy in the market.
So the next time one is tempted to wave their bidding number, make sure they have done the due diligence. Happy bidding.

 

Posted: July 22, 2019

Often young artists will talk to me about why or why should they not use an art gallery. The answer is simple for those artists who use an art gallery and are loyal to the gallery system will show a stronger market for the future. Unfortunately there are always the so called big name contemporary, i.e., living artists, who supposedly do not need an art gallery. They will tell folks how they want to deal directly with the customer. Also some customers will state how they like dealing direct with an artist. Sadly the objectivity of purchases becomes lacking and often later those same collectors will expound on how they will never buy artwork again. The role of an ethical art dealer is a valuable tool for both the artist and potential buyer. The old adage of the starving artist is not a scenario for the potential collector to place themselves with for a transaction.

Over many years after the death of an artist, one will find how the market is confused if not significantly diluted. For many years after LeRoy Greene’s death in 1974, the market received inflated and vague pricing as to his work for there was little gallery representation. The collector found they could go out upon the market and find similar works at less dollars by contemporary artists.

Slowly we have brought the market back to being a reliable area for the works of LeRoy Greene. At one time some family members felt they should hold back his paintings for the future. I tried tactfully to explain how marketing of his works was more credible than waiting forty years to bring paintings out for sale.

LeRoy Greene’s work was just wonderful and has a pleasing eye for either the home or office. From time to time we regularly receive his paintings so just stay tuned for the future. If you are interested in being contacted about an offering please email me.

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