Sunday, January 25, 2015

This is a Music Town

We have booked for many of the simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera at or local “Palace”, The Lensic Theater.  It was literally the Movie Palace of Santa Fe once upon a time before the Multiplexes.  Then it fell into disrepair and William and Nancy Zeckendorf resurrected it and helped make it a cultural center of town with across the board events including, the simulcasts, concerts, old movies, theater, lectures and dance.

The simulcast we saw a week ago was the Met’s production of Franz Lehár’s, “Merry Widow” translated into English.   We so enjoyed it that as soon as we got home looked up what the New York Times had written about it.  They totally agreed on the wonderful voices of Renée Flemming who played the title role for the first time and Nathan Gunn as her amour, Danilo.  The direction and choreography was by Susan Stroman who is famous for her Broadway productions but the Met was a first for her.  What wonderful music and great performances!

As a light operetta, it had been chosen for the Met’s New Year’s Eve Gala.  The New York Times reviewer, however, had a problem with all the intimate dialog which was difficult to understand in the huge Metropolitan Opera House.  I chuckled when my wife read this to me because we had no such problem.  In the simulcast the camera focuses on the individuals speaking and we had a much better vantage point than those sitting in the Met itself.  What was supposed to be intimate was.  Obviously, there are advantages to be sitting in the opera house for a live performance but we have been lucky enough to have seen opera live around the world and can well appreciate being right there on stage with the singers.   My father who loved opera, and in later years had a Met subscription, lamented the fact that the auditorium was so large, having heard opera in many of the smaller houses in the capitals of Europe.

If you want to buy a ticket in the orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera it will cost hundreds of dollars.  If you go to a simulcast with an unbelievable savvy audience in Santa Fe it will cost you $22.  One often hears applause in an audience essentially watching a film.  You get a lot more than you pay for.  It is, however, not so simple to bring this amazing mix of art and technology to an audience.  When 2 founding directors of the Lensic, Bill Zeckendorf and Patricia McFate, learned that the Met planned the simulcasts they became very excited about the idea.  It took a leap of faith, however, to think that there would be enough of an audience here particularly in tiny Santa Fe with a population of only 100,000 in Santa Fe County at the time.  They decided, however, to put up and raise the $80,000 to acquire a high definition digital projector and install an HD audio interface so that the satellite transmitting from New York could communicate with the Lensic system.  The projection booth had to be refitted to accommodate this new equipment The sound system which had left something to be desired before had to be greatly improved since there is nothing worse that an opera with poor sound particularly on the high notes.  Their faith proved well worth it.  The subscription series for the actual simulcasts have been regularly sold out with the encore performances that run the same evening are well filled, if not quite to capacity.

The next day we were back at the Lensic to hear the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra composed entirely of local artists. A short piece by Mozart, the Ballet from Idomeneo, was followed by the Concerto for Two Cellos  by Vivaldi.  For this there are only strings on stage with two excellent cellists Joel Becktell and Dana Winogrand. The latter received her BA and MA degrees from Julliard and has performed at Carnegie Hall.  She moved to Santa Fe in 1999.  Mr. Becktell received his degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and was awarded the Rubenstein prize for Cello.  In other words these are not amateurs but very accomplished musicians as the entire orchestra seem to be.

The last piece was Mahler’s Symphony #1 where there must have been close to 100 musicians on stage.  What an incredible performance! It was so well done that the small woman playing the triangle in the back could be clearly heard and I believe that there were 7 or 8 French Horns alone. The guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa was amazing.  What he pulled out of those musicians was inspiring and you could tell that they were inspired as well.  At the end of the performance, with never-ending applause, Figueroa had each section of the orchestra stand up to receive their due from the enraptured audience.

I have heard comments from people living elsewhere like, “We don’t get as much culture in our town in a year as you can get here in a week”. We are extremely lucky that Santa Feans have such love of music.  We enthusiastically support what is brought to us from cultural capitals but we also have a wonderful symphony, which compares well with orchestras from larger cities and, of course, we have the world class Santa Fe Opera during the summer that draws people from all over the world.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Art World

I would very much like to put to rest the idea that there is such a thing as The Art World.  It is a bit like saying the Wine World if all wines could be thrown into one category.

Yet, over and over again we read headlines about how the art world is doing.  After 9/11 everyone believed the art market would tank and for the most part it did except for one area, American Paintings.  For whatever psychological reason people felt not only comfortable but also patriotic by buying American paintings so that market experienced a boom while other areas were not so lucky.  I remember my reaction,, I bought some stock in Southwest Airlines just because I wanted to show support!

Even though you can find many surveys and analyses showing one area of art or the other being up over the last decade it is no indication that any one work of art is going to increase in value.  I made the mistake years ago of assuming because we sold a great deal of Louis XV furniture that I should stock up only to see tastes change and people no longer wanting the curvy lines of the Louis XV style but preferring the straight lines of Louis XVI.  Not so surprisingly, it happened in other areas too.  At about the same time Art Nouveau again with many curves, went out of fashion, and Art Deco with its straight lines took its place.

Art can better be compared to the fashion industry.  Chanel or Dior may be popular this year but there is no guarantee that it will be next season.  Listening to the critics regarding what the stars wear to awards ceremonies it is clear that there are wide differences of opinion in dress as there are with art.  When a look goes out of fashion, it does not disappear altogether, but it will fade for a time and have very few patrons which naturally reduces demand and therefor the market depreciates.

After many a headline on how well the art market was doing or not I would inevitably have someone come up to me and commiserate or congratulate me as if there were a direct correlation to my area of the art world.  More often than not the opposite was true.  I have done very well at times when other art worlds were foundering and vice versa.

Speaking of one art world, why have artists regularly asked if they could exhibit in my gallery?  Wouldn’t you think that an artist who wanted an exhibition would want to find a gallery with a compatible direction?  If you look up Stiebel, ltd. or now Pahaana, LLC on line and find my site you won’t find any contemporary art there.  One time I answered an enquiring artist, I thought nicely, that we only deal in Old Masters i.e. ones no longer living and I hoped that it would be a very long time before this person qualified.  I received a vitriolic email in return saying he had never been so insulted and treated so badly.  The result is I no longer try to be helpful and respond.

Art is not easy.  You can enjoy it but it requires time and effort to learn and understand a given area.  People, however, often don’t take the time to learn and want it all spelled out for them.  A very sad result of all this is that we set up certain people, sometimes critics, curators, or collectors, and believe that what they say is right and we have to follow their lead.  I ask, why?   Of course, we all want to know the secret, whatever that may be, and if we can have our choice blessed by a known scholar or collector, we feel secure.

Unfortunately, these people are not infallible and I know more than one story of the expert being discredited or even have the ill fortune of dying and a new expert comes in denying what his or her predecessor said. This, of course, affects the market value of a work. Even more frequently taste simply changes and the demand for one field gives way to another.

 If you are buying for investment the odds are very strong that you will lose a lot of money.  If you buy because you love a work of art you can only come out ahead, buffered against the vagaries of “the art world”.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy

Fred Harvey is a legend in these parts and much has been written about him and  Hollywood spread his fame through the classic Judy Garland movie, “The Harvey Girls”.

Written in 1946 for the film, the song, “The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” was released already in 1945 by Capitol records sung by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers.

I certainly remember the music from my childhood as it was still popular in the 1950’s.  It all had little meaning to me, other than being a catchy tune, until we started to come out west where the stories of Fred Harvey and the Fred Harvey Company were no longer a thing of myth but of reality.  But the stories also helped feed the mystique of a state known as “The Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico.

As we walked down a flight of stairs at the New Mexico History Museum I noticed that on the staircase as you come into the gallery below it says, The Harvey Mezzanine. With this exhibition that opened late last year a gap has been filled in the history of the state.  While there were references before there is now a succinct little exhibition that tells the Harvey story.  The press release says it will be on until December 31, 2030.  When I commented to Kate Nelson, Marketing Manager and de facto Communications Director for the museum, she explained this was just another way of saying it will be on permanent view for the foreseeable future.

Fred Harvey was an Englishman who began his life in America as a dishwasher in New York but he saw the railroad pushing west and had the vision that the passengers would need to be fed along the way.  Fred Harvey made a deal with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and the rest is history.  At its height the Fred Harvey Company covered 15 states with over 60 locations.

We became fully aware of the name Fred Harvey by knowing a couple of hotels, known as Harvey Houses, that were built by his company.  The one we have stayed at a few times is La Posada in Winslow, Arizona in the middle of Indian Country and like all Harvey hotels and eateries it is located next to the railway tracks.  Not only does the passenger train still let people off right at the hotel but freight trains run well into the night. So, if you go be sure to get a room on the other side of the hotel.

The focus of the History Museum exhibition, however, is New Mexico.  Santa Fe used to be on a spur from the main East-West rail line that ran through Albuquerque. To encourage stopovers the Harvey Company bought and enlarged the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, that, recently refurbished, still welcomes visitors. This was the starting point for the “Indian Detours” the Harvey Company organized and promoted beginning in 1926.  These were guided automobile tours into the heartland of Indian Country designed to help the Easterners better understand the different world they were now in.

Here is an image of a bowl by Susan Folwell, a contemporary Santa Clara ceramicist, depicting an Indian Detour to a pueblo on the Hopi mesas.

New Mexico is also where the concept for the Harvey Girls was hatched by Tom Gable in Raton, New Mexico in 1883.  The idea caught on with the Company, that young well bred women in black and white uniforms would make the passengers feel a little more comfortable coming to the wild and wooly west.

Tom Gable, saw the concept a little differently.  He said, “Those waitresses were the first respectable women the cowboys and miners had ever seen--- That is, outside of their own wives and Mothers.” 

The Harvey Company had an entire concept, which continued from a place to eat while traveling to hotels where you could stay a night or two.   Clients would also eat off of proper china designed for the company with proper silverware.

Mary Jane Coulter, a former art teacher and painter, was hired to design most of the Harvey buildings to reflect local traditions and the romance of the west, including the Indian Building at the Alvarado Hotel and the rooms at La Fonda.

The Albuquerque train station had along side of it the Alvarado Hotel, which, in turn, housed the “Indian Building” where people were introduced to the art of the Native Americans from the pueblos.  The chief buyer of Indian art for the Harvey company, Herman Schweitzer, immigrated from Germany in 1885.   He began his curio trade when he came to be in charge of the Coolidge, New Mexico Eating House on the Santa Fe Railroad.   Fred Harvey’s daughter encouraged Schweitzer to collect and he built a huge collection for the Indian Building.  Although much of it was for sale, some was kept for the Company’s collection.  Some of these pieces were eventually sold to the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery (today known as the Nelson-Atkins Museum) in Kansas City, which, if I may slip in a plug, was coincidentally was the museum where Ted Coe founder of the Ralph T. Coe Foundation was curator and director.

If you are interested in New Mexico’s history don’t wait until 2030 to see this informative exhibition.  The curator of the museum’s 19th and 20th Southwest collections, Meredith Davidson, has enlightened us about an important period spanning close to one hundred years of New Mexico’s history as the Harvey family legacy continued until the death of the founder’s grandson and was sold in 1968.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Small Museum in a Small Town: The Dennos

Whenever we visit my older son, Danny, and his family in Traverse City, Michigan (population 15,000) we go to the Dennos Museum at Northwestern Michigan College.  I have visited many a museum in small towns where once is quite enough but at the Dennos they have regular changes of exhibitions.

There seem to be two regular landmarks, however, one is an interactive gallery which is always a hit with the younger set and truth be told to some older folk as well!  Also, there is the Inuit Gallery.  The museum has a collection of over a 1,000 Inuit prints, sculptures, drawings, textiles. and more giving an overview of the art from the Baffin Island area of Nunavut, Canada.  The works, which are regularly alternated cover the modern period from 1950 to the present.

There are always one or more temporary exhibitions and this time there were two of 3 that I found rather intriguing.  The first of these is titled, “Li Hongbo & Matt Shian: Stacked & Folded Paper As Sculpture”   Matt Shian is from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He is a paper engineer by profession (one that I had not heard of before) and his work lies somewhere between art and engineering.  He is involved in print media, book arts and commercial design. He works with scientists and researchers who are interested in the practical connections between paper folding and folding at microscopic and macroscopic scales.  I admire the students at the college that can grasp these issues.  For me the interest is in the results.  We usually think of paintings or drawings as two dimensional and sculpture and objects as 3 dimensional.  In this case Shian’s pictures are both.  The images are created by lifting the surface off of the 2 dimensional plane.  Here is an example called “Wave”.

Photo Credit: Cullen Stephenson

The other artist in this show, Li Hongbo,  is  from Beijing.  In his former career as book  editor and publisher he developed a fascination with paper.  He stacks thousands of sheets of paper and glues them together.  He can then saw them into shapes and sandpaper details into them.  He makes sculptures that are fantasy people but also recognizable sculptural paper portraits.  I kept staring at his tree trunks which looked like they were solid wood.  Since we know paper comes from wood what a concept that in this case the wood comes from paper! Flipping nature upside down! Here is his “Wooden Cube” made from paper.

The Executive Director of the Dennos, Eugene A. Jenneman, who was kind enough to supply the photos for the above show went to visit the artist outside of Beijing after seeing his work at Art Miami.  At this point I was planning to insert a single link to a YouTube video of the artist at work.  When I looked, however, I saw so many I decided to just point you in the right direction.  I stopped counting his videos at 20!

The next exhibition, which I found even more interesting was “Chul Hyun Ahn, Infinite Space”. This artist uses lights and mirrors.  Some 35+ years ago when my wife was curating 20th Century Decorative Arts (today known as Design) at the Metropolitan Museum we went into the Heller Gallery in New York, which specializes in glass art.  A young artist, Paul Seide, was installing his exhibition of small light sculptures.  Remember, this kind of art was quite new at the time, and I asked, “How long will the bulb last”.  He replied “Oh 5 years which is long enough”.  Our perspective when we are young is quite limited.

Chul Hyun Ahn, was born in Korea in 1971, and now lives and works in Baltimore.  I find his optical illusions most effective.  The best one in the show, in my opinion, is called, “Tunnel” 2013.  It is an edition of one.  It is made with cinderblocks, mirrors and fluorescent light.  It stands 2 to 3 feet above the floor but one is tricked into thinking that the museum cut a hole in the floor and that this goes down to the basement.  Here are two images.  The first is as the artist wanted you to see it and is taken by the author.  The next is a photo taken by my son, Hunter, of my grandson, Aidan,  he calls it “Farewell Nephew”!

How does an artist become inspired to create pieces like this?  In Ahn’s case it was when he began to practice Zen and became a Buddhist.  He wishes to create an environment that could be, in his words, outer space or a spiritual environment. 

Every once in a while I see contemporary art that gets me thinking and that is just one more reason that art is a never ending journey.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Resurrection of a Sculpture

Tulio Lonbardo (circa 1455-1532) was one of the most important sculptors of the Rennaissance.  He was commissioned in the early 1490’s to create a large marble sculpture of Adam for the tomb of Andrea Vendramin, the Doge of Venice.   

Metropolitan Museum Photo Studio/Joseph Coscia, Jr.
Metropolitan Museum Photo Studio/Joseph Coscia, Jr.

Late in the day of October 6, 2002 the wooden pedestal on which this life size sculpture stood at the Metropolitan Museum collapsed. It was both a tragic and embarrassing event for the Museum.  When it hit the floor of the Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco (formerly known as the Blumenthal Patio after its donor), the head separated from the body.  Jack Soultanian, who headed the restoration project, told the New York Times that there were 28 recognizable pieces and hundreds of smaller fragments.  As the head was being placed back on the torso the Museum Director Thomas P. Campbell together with Conservators Michael Morris, Carolyn Riccardelli, and Lawrence Becker looked on.

Metropolitan Museum Photo Studio/Christopher Heins.

At first it was thought to be a total loss but one does not give up so easily on a masterpiece that has been called the most important piece of Renaissance sculpture in North America.  Jack, with the backing of the Director at the time, Philippe de Montebello, assembled a team to do the necessary research to begin a painstaking restoration.  In the end, it took a team of conservators, conservation scientists, engineers and curators 12 years to complete.

Carolyn Riccardelli, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan’s recent press release mentions that the tomb was originally located in Santa Maria dei Servi and then moved to the basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in the early 19th century.  By 1821 Adam had been removed from the monument and brought to the Verndramin Calergi palace.  In 1844 it was acquired along with the entire palace by the Duchesse de Berry and Adam descended through future generations of her family.  He eventually arrived in Paris and was acquired by Henry Pereire, a French railway tycoon.  The press release goes on to say that the sculpture was sold in 1935 to an art dealer and the Met purchased it the following year.   What they do not mention is that the dealer was Hans Stiebel of the firm that became Rosenberg & Stiebel.  Hans was my uncle and he had two house-guests at the time, his brother and sister-in-law (my father and mother).

The reason this has always interested me is that as I grew up I heard the story more than once that my mother dried her stockings by hanging them over Adam’s arm, a practice that might be frowned on today .   My father told me that one day a French dealer came in by the name of François Germain Seligman, a member of the famous Seligmann family of art dealers.  He said, “vous pouvez le considérer comme vendus” (you can consider it as sold), a boast that some dealers make if they really want to take a work of art from another dealer on consignment without paying for it up front.  In this case, he succeeded but my parents never knew where it went until they emigrated to New York, and visited the Metropolitan Museum.  There they were surprised to find their long lost friend!

Needless to say the Met is making a great fuss about the resurrection of the Tulio and a special exhibition has been arranged around it.  It is also the subject of Volume 49 of the 2014 Museum Journal as well as past and future lectures.

The museum chose to bring the Adam back at the same time as they were creating a new Venetian and northern Italian sculpture gallery.  For 8 months Adam will have the room to himself with didactic panels giving an in depth account of its restoration using text and digital screens.  Later other important pieces will join him but Adam will continue to be the focal point of the gallery which he must feel is his due after his ordeal!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Artist Cards from Holidays Past

The History Museum in Santa Fe had the wonderful idea to mount a small Christmas card show for this holiday season; “Gustave Baumann and Friends; Artist Cards from Holidays Past” curated by Tom Leech, director of the Palace Press, and guest curator Jean Moss.  Baumann was a German-born artist who came to Santa Fe in 1918.  He was already well known in the U.S. as a print maker when he came here.  The wide distribution of prints throughout time has spread images across time and nations.  So it was with Baumann’s prints of New Mexico making this part of the world better known throughout the states and internationally.

Ann Baumann, Gustave and Jane’s daughter, left to the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library in Santa Fe a collection of original cards that her parents had received and others that they had sent.  There are about 400 cards in the collection and one quarter of them have been chosen for this exhibition.  Here is a photo of Jane and Gustave Baumann with their daughter Ann in 1954 courtesy of the Ann Baumann Trust.

The tradition of Christmas cards started in the times of Charles Dickens and soon were printed en masse by commercial houses.  If you have ever sent out Christmas cards you know it can be an expensive endeavor and artists usually do not have that kind of money to spend frivolously.  Many of them therefore made and printed their own.

The cards in this show are cleverly divided into categories such as, Angels and Madonnas, Santa and the Mailman, and Greeting Irreverent and Belated plus many others.  Of course, since the period of 1918 to 1971 when Baumann died included the Great Depression there is a selection from that time as well.

As said, the show is quite small and in a long narrow gallery but it is dense with gems.  It is a bit like one of those racks of sayings you might find at the Five and Dime and can’t tear yourself away from.  One is continuously surprised by the humor and insights on the cards.

In 1929 the Baumanns received a very appropriate and simple Christmas card from their friends Mary Lou and Oswald Cooper, it says, “We view with frugal disregard; The customary Christmas Fuss; You may have heard that times are hard- This card is all you’ll get from us”.

The label for the card of mother and child says “Jenny Owens, age 17, linocut, date unknown.  I had a dyslexic moment and read instead of undated, updated, which I thought appropriate for this particular Holy Family.

Playing on the fact that there is too little rain in New Mexico and water is a continuous source of anguish one of the Baumann greetings says, “The Baumanns send you their best umbrella: Just in case it decides to rain in 1955”.  The printing process was woodcut and marble papered collage and came from the collection of David Carter and Geneva Austin.

In 1956 the Baumanns came up with a theme that I would love to appropriate considering our interest in the Hopi tribal culture.  It says, “The Hopi are a Peaceful People, Here’s to a Hopi Year for all of us”.

The exhibition also includes audio of the family’s reminiscences and all in all opens a time capsule into the life of an artist, family and friends.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Getting Ready for an Exhibition

The Ralph T. Coe Foundation is just starting out as a going concern under the leadership of Rachel Wixom, President & CEO and Bruce Bernstein, Executive Director & Curator.  As a trustee, and volunteer archivist,  I am delighted with our progress. It has been just over a year that the Coe has had its own unusual two-story space in Santa Fe and already it has received attention with two exhibitions that it created, one in conjunction with a fair and the other on its own premises.  A collector has even expressed the wish to donate objects to the Foundation. 

We have lent works of art to other museum exhibitions but now, for the first time, the Coe has been asked to organize an exhibition for another institution!  There are over 2,000 works of art in our collection so it should be no problem but no museum exhibition is that simple.  Probably one of the most difficult parts of creating a show is picking the objects that tell the story that you wish to tell.  In this case, the theme quickly became apparent: The exhibition will tell the story about our founder and his collecting journey. 

Ralph T. Coe was known to all his friends and colleagues as Ted. He started out professionally as a curator in several institutions in this country and abroad.  His longest stint was at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri where he rose from curator to director of the Museum.  He left there in 1982 and after a short period at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. he came to Santa Fe to pursue what always interested him the most, collecting and learning about indigenous peoples.   He collected art from all over the world but mostly that of the Native Americans and many of them became his close friends. 

Ted was born in 1929 and acquired his first pieces of indigenous art in the early 1950’s.  He never turned back and continued, often with very little money to collect.  He went to some very good dealers and received guidance from them but he also went out on his own, travelling thousands of miles on a single journey, which would take him all over the United States and Canada.  A single trip of 7,000 miles was not at all unusual.

How are we going to get a handle on this exhibition?  First of all our Executive Director assembled his advisory committee, consisting of dealers, artists and museum professionals to make a quick and dirty tour of the collection pointing out objects that they would like to see in the show and then asking them to explain why.  In some cases the reason was as simple as the fact that the object was something Ted regularly wore or that it was central to one of the stories he told, like the piece he bought from a Cherokee gas station attendant.

The next step in putting the exhibition together was to review all these, not necessarily related works, and try to make an aesthetically pleasing assemblage of them that told Ted’s story.  Bruce decided that an excellent guide to Ted’s essence was the three exhibitions that defined him.  The first was called “Sacred Circles” which he curated in 1976 and was very proud that it did not just show in this country but was also presented at the Hayward Gallery in London.  He was looking to demonstrate the artistic merits of Indian art and overcome neglect and prejudice.  As a matter of fact, our Native heritage was better preserved abroad than at home and Ted set out to change that.

The second exhibition was “Lost and Found Traditions” which traveled to many institutions here and abroad.  Ted conceived of it as evidence that though we are always saying that some tribe is no longer making art in a certain medium such as textiles or basket, it turns out that they never stop, though there may be ebb and flow as to how many artists are working in the medium. 

The final exhibition that was done just for him took place at the Metropolitan Museum in 2003.   About 200 wonderful works of art from his collection were shown and eventually donated to the Museum.  It was called, “The Responsive Eye” and told of Ted’s collecting legacy, passed down from his parents, and his passion for people, education and connoisseurship.

Note, that this all sounds simple but each object has to be carefully taken out of its storage unit and put to one side (in this case metal racks) to see it in the newly-established context.  Thank goodness the Coe had the good fortune to find a student intern who had recently graduated from Williams College, Mariam Hale, who has handled and worked so well with the objects over the last few months that our curator has said “she is at least a curatorial assistant by now!”

Once the objects are out and mostly on racks they must be carefully scrutinized for conservation purposes and to make sure that no material would offend any cultural entity.  The committee was then again called together to see other works of art such as textiles that had been kept in boxes in the dark until now for reasons of space and  conservation.  When one piece, a painted buffalo hide, was shown to us we learned from Teri Greeves, of the Kiowa Nation and a board member, that since the painted decoration was abstract, it was probably created by a woman.  When I asked how she knew that she explained that men were the historians so they painted figures on hide to tell specific stories, leaving the women to do the abstract work which could be appreciated for its decorative and artistic value.  At this particular meeting another board member, Tad Dale, one of Ted’s oldest friends who sometimes even went on buying trips with him was able to point out Ted’s first acquisition as well as tell stories of other purchases they made together.

Have I forgotten something?  Oh, you may be curious as to where and when this exhibition will take place.  The opening is scheduled for mid July of 2015 at Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum, the preeminent museum devoted to Southwest Indian art.

One of the next steps will be to find out whether the director of the museum, Jonathan Batkin has any personal wishes as to what he would like to see or not see in the show as well as continuing consultation with their curator, Cheri Falkenstien-Doyle.  Then a very exciting moment will come when we show their designer, Lou Gauci if he is available, what we have put together and discuss with him how he will install the exhibition ... stay tuned for further developments.