* Some in my readership may know that I wrote my master's thesis about the photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston, and I retain a soft spot for female photographers, particularly those with a feisty bent. I was delighted to read this article in the New York Times about the work of German photographer Elisabeth Hase (1905-1991), whose work is being exhibited in the United States for the first time at the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. Reviewer Vicki Goldberg highlights the themes and experiments in Hase's work that were later explored by Cindy Sherman and describes Hase's defiant spirit. My personal favorite section of the article discusses her reaction to criticism by photographer Paul Wolff: "Mr. Wolff wrote his former assistant nasty letters, calling her headstrong, defiant, and a rival who was merely copying him. Ms. Hase wrote him angrily that she never considered his way the only way to see the world."
Elisabeth Hase, "Zwei Gefangene” (“Two Prisoners”), 1950, Estate of Elisabeth Hase and Robert Mann Gallery, Photo from The New York Times
*Design*Sponge published a great interview on Tuesday in their "Life and Business" series with San Francisco-based jeweler Emi Grannis. In addition to sharing a number of observations and insights that I suspect will resonate with many small business owners (they certainly did with me), what really caught my attention was how clearly Grannis expressed the sensation I experience when working with a client's treasured objects.
Here's the comment I wrote about it on Design*Sponge: "I loved this interview. As a small business owner of a personal property appraisal firm I could relate to Emi’s insights and philosophy, especially her description of her discovery, 'I realized it matched my making style — creating three-dimensional, tiny, precious objects with attention to detail and purpose. I liked the idea that jewelry was a physical product that people cherish and hold onto for decades, if not for their entire lives, passing it down through generations. Such a tiny piece of metal can be imbued with so much meaning.'
This is a beautiful articulation of how I feel when I interact with clients in my appraisal firm. As a personal property appraiser, I necessarily must work in the context of financial value, but I am always extremely aware and respectful of the other forms of value, particularly the strong emotional meaning an object may carry for a client. I consider it a great privilege to be able to participate in the ongoing history of clients’ cherished heirlooms. Many thanks to Emi for sharing her business journey and wisdom with us (and her gorgeous jewelry!)"
David Bunton is the President of the Appraisal Foundation and this article installment is aimed towards the growing number of people facing situations where they need to begin the process of downsizing or handling an estate. Bunton discusses how it can be very helpful to hire a qualified personal property appraiser for an on-site consultation at the very beginning of the process so people can move forward making informed decisions and protect themselves and their family's interests during the process of downsizing.
I offer an affordable on-site consultation option in my appraisal firm for this specific purpose, and I know many of my fellow appraisers do as well. (Call me at 703-543-2567 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or set up an appointment!) Clients don't always need a full written appraisal or have items where it would be cost-effective to appraise them, but an on-site consultation from a qualified personal property appraiser can dramatically reduce the stress of the downsizing process and help families move forward with the peace of knowing what they have.
* In honor of the cherry blossoms that have been magnificent of late here in Virginia, this post's "Object of the Week" is a pair of six-panel folding screens from 17th Century Japan titled "Cherry Blossom Viewing at Itsukushima and Yoshino" that are part of the Metropolitan Museum's collection (as a side note, I'm sorry Met, goodness knows I'm a sucker for anything Marcel Breuer-related, but it is going to take me a very long time to find anything on your redesigned website...) The Edo-period screens are cataloged as dating to the first half of the 17th century and are made of ink, color, and gold leaf on paper (2015.300.107.1, .2 Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015)