Monday, August 04, 2014

My Word - Summer 2014

First and on a positive note I want to thank you all for your kind words of encouragement for my efforts on this blog and newsletter. While it is a labor that I enjoy, it is also therapy. Even though I was reasonably successful as a Naval officer many years ago, I seem to have acquired a resistance to authority. This problem seems to be exacerbated by the stupidity or the self serving agenda by the party imposing their authority. I will grant you that I have my perspective which hopefully will inspire some readers to do some research and find the answers on their own. We are all being challenged more each day on our freedom to choose our own path whether that be in the arts or in our daily lives. I finds it frustrating when I need to explain to a client that the U.S. government sees absolutely no difference in their 19th century African ivory mask and a common bangle made in 1998 in Kenya. Its disappointing when you see the government spending hundreds of thousands of dollars busting a collector in Indiana who openly gave tours of his collection. We still haven't heard a thing from Homeland Security or the FBI who conducted that raids last April on this man. Why  hasn't there been some follow up on the 4 Corners bust when the federal government spent an enormous amount of money trying to prove that a multi million dollar prehistoric pottery black market even exists. I don't bring my personal politics into this Newsletter because it is irrelevant, but one can't help acknowledging that art does in this case imitate life.

In this issue the ivory update is important. Also please read the piece on the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The issues being debated in this case are the core of a broader consideration of how we should handle patrimony issues in general.

Finally I again encourage everyone to sign up for the Committee for Cultural Policy newsletter at

To end on a positive note. This summer's Roadshow tour has been great. We have now completed shows in Bismark, Santa Clara, Austin, Birmingham, Albuquerque, and Chicago with only New York and Charleston, West Virginia left. Follow our progress on social media where we have documented our finds with photos and video. In Birmingham we shot a segment at the museum which should air after January 2015. This Fall they plan to air the segment from the McClung museum in Knoxville where we appraised some of the great Mississippian prehistoric treasures.

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