Monday, November 17, 2014

My Word Fall 2014

In the Christmas Newsletter we should have an update on the ivory ban. November meetings with Fish and Wildlife and reflections on the November elections should provide some insight what at least the immediate future holds. Regardless of your political preferences the election will make it more difficult for the Obama administration to pursue this ban.

As a consequence of traveling around the country with Antiques Roadshow all summer, we have been fortunate to find more interesting objects which we will feature in the coming months. A good portion of our time has been devoted to appraising some major collections. We have just finished working on the Alan Sawyer Collection of Andean art of over 800 objects for the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia. Appraising and authenticating is fascinating work that certainly compliments all that we do on Antiques Roadshow and in the gallery.

I think even the most optimistic art experts would not have predicted that the Sothebys sale of Myron Kunin's African collection would gross 41 million dollars. Clearly Sothebys' marketing was brilliant; and clearly these results don't mean that the African auction market is back at all levels. Myron was a very complex guy that played his hand close to the chest. He would have been very amused and vindicated by this outcome.

"Detroit’s price tag for lawyers, experts and other costs of the bankruptcy proceedings was $150 million." And this doesn't ensure that Detroit will not again fall into trouble. When the Detroit Institute of Arts was required to pledge 100 million toward the pension fund, we wonder just how log will it take will it takes this institution to again be financially stable. 

Finally we have been amazed at the extraordinary discoveries over the past few years at Teotihuacan in central Mexico just north of Mexico City. has done a great job keeping up and sharing these moments with us all. We also highly recommend the newsletter published by the Committee for Cultural Policy which cover the latest events in cultural patrimony, endangered species, and other related issues. See

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