Viva Las Vegas Part 2: Proving Provenance on Paper

The Personal Property Conference Committee (which I chair) has chosen Ephemera and Provenance as recurring subjects at the ASA International Appraisal Conference in Las Vegas this October.  Ephemera is a term applied to typically written or printed items that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness.  Provenance references origin. Our sessions examine historical documents, autographs, photographs, a publishing company’s archive, prints and printmaking.

Atlanta gallerist Arnika Dawkins will elucidate the contemporary fine art photography market, particularly the work of Black photographers Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems and Omar Victor Diop.  She’ll share how the market has recently responded to images by and about people from the African diaspora and African Americans.

Carrie Mae Weems, Kitchen Table series
Omar Victor Diop, ALT+SHIFT+EGO

Texas appraiser, Genice Lee, will be Telling Untold Stories about appraising African American Historic Collections including material culture, photography and documents from the Johnson Publishing Company archives. Chicago appraiser Diane Dinkins-Carr will present a case study of African American artists from the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement where authentication measures were drawn from local sources in the community from which the artist lived and served.

Artists of the Harlem Renaissance

I have relied upon the expertise of Stuart Lutz, an historic documents specialist on several occasions and am excited to hear some of his stories about challenges with authentication.  He has worked on autographs and letters of ALL the Presidents, prominent Civil and Revolutionary War figures, and signers of the Declaration of Independence.

We will hear the story of Master Printer Steve Campbell’s change in printmaking practices, technology, marketing and pricing of artwork over the last forty years. Steve joined Landfall Press, Chicago in the 1980s and established Black Rock Editions in Santa Fe in 2020.

Landfall Press

If you love ephemera as much as I do, these sessions will enhance your connoisseurship skills and make you a better collector.  You can register here for virtual or in-person participation.

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