Collector’s Notebook

Tips, tricks and tools for building an art collection

Collector’s Notebook: Responsive Design

October | November 2014       Written By Eliza Cross      

“I love to make spaces look beautiful, but I don’t like everything to be too perfect or overdone,” says Yvonne Jacobs, president of Slifer Designs in Edwards, Colorado — a design…

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Collector’s Notebook: Painting the World

October | November 2016       Written By Rosemary Carstens       Illustrated By Daphne Gillam      

Like fingerprints on fresh clay, travel leaves its touch, its memory, on each of us. Throughout art history, exposure to new cultures and landscapes have been providential influences for artists.…

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Collector’s Notebook: Imagining the West One Dinner Plate at a Time

Spring | Summer 2009      

Western-themed china and tableware have existed since the early 1940s, an artistic and industrial response to America’s love affair with the cowboy. First designed to supply restaurants and dude ranches…

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Collector’s Notebook: Vintage Style

Summer | Fall 2011       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

In an age when homeowners are pushing the envelope of personal luxury and refining residential details no less unique than their own DNA — think high-tech media rooms and spa-like…

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Collector’s Notebook: Good for a Laugh

June | July 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Guarding Jon Iverson and Corrina Jones’ custom home near Paso Robles, California, is a grinning fat cat, a larger-than-life sculpture carved with wings so magical you’d think it flies when they…

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Collector’s Notebook: Hidden from View

Spring | Summer 2011       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

The classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe affirms every child’s fantasy — to live in a house with a hidden passageway revealing something magical. It is, perhaps, every…

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Collector’s Notebook: Electronic Frontier

Spring | Summer 2008      

Charlie Russell was notoriously out of step with the march of progress. He didn’t fancy electric lights. He didn’t like steam trains. He refused to ride in cars for a…

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Collector’s Notebook: Outdoor Life

August | September 2012       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

There’s an elephant wagging its trunk outside of Dan Ostermiller’s studio. Not a real one, mind you, but a bronze one named Lost, But Not Forgotten surrounded by a patch of…

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Collector’s Notebook: Wired

December 2013 | January 2014       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

In 1995 when Steven Stern was 20 years old, he decided to do something bold. The son of well-known gallerist George Stern, owner of Stern Fine Art in Los Angeles,…

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Collector’s Notebook: Art’s Impact Through Philanthropy

December 2016 | January 2017       Written By Corinne Garcia       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

Due to the generosity of others, the art world has prospered in a variety of ways. Patronage in the arts can be found as far back as medieval times, when…

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Collector’s Notebook: The Art of Illumination

Fall | Winter 2008       Written By Eliza Cross      

Call it the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of good architecture, the seemingly secondary factor that makes all the difference between an ordinary building and one that is stunning. Brilliant, professionally…

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Collector’s Notebook: History in the Making

Summer | Fall 2009      

Sold at $5.1 million, Charles M. Russell’s The Hold Up wrangled the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction’s top 2008 price. But its consignor and new owner were not the only ones…

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Collector’s Notebook: Feathering your nest

December 2017 | January 2018       Written By Corinne Garcia       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

When Liz Wright and her husband built a home in the Yellowstone Club, a private ski and golf community in Big Sky, Montana, they knew they wanted artwork that reflected…

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Collector’s Notebook: Historic Remodels

April | May 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

In March of 2011, the grand Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite did something it never attempted in its 84year history: Like the bears at the beloved national park, it quietly went into…

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Collector’s Notebook: Original Prints

Fall | Winter 2011       Written By Laura Zuckerman      

At a time when one-of-a-kind paintings by signal Western and wildlife masters like Frederic Remington and Carl Rungius are fetching sums that start in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,…

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Collector’s Notebook: The Artful Presentation

Winter | Spring 2010      

Almost 20 years ago now, I was the manager of a small ranch in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. In a side room of the main house were several large gun safes…

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Collector’s Notebook: Icon of the West

Premiere Issue      

The legacy of renowned artist Charles M. Russell has shaped the image of the American West the world over. This fall, the long-awaited Charles M. Russell: A Catalogue Raisonné (University…

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Collector’s Notebook: Go Big or Go Home

August | September 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Can there be such a thing as too much art? “No, never!” chime ardent collectors. At Western Art Week each March, enthusiasts nationwide flock to Great Falls, Montana, to dive into…

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Collector’s Notebook: Travel Treasures

December 2012 | January 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Byblos is an ancient port city, anchored by medieval ruins, caressed by the Mediterranean Sea. With bent grandmothers draped in head scarves and their men puffing smoke rings in the souk, the…

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Collector’s Notebook: Art in the Open

August | September 2017       Written By Marla Cimini      

Works of public art often become iconic landmarks in cities across the United States. Think of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) in Chicago, the Statue of Liberty in…

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Call of the West

      Written By Laura Zuckerman      

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Collector’s Notebook: Displaying Collectibles

April | May 2012       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

When little Melodie Eagle returned from a field trip to the Hopi and Navajo reservations in Arizona, she was so excited that the fourth grader convinced her parents to go there…

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Collector’s Notebook: Bidding from Afar

June | July 2016       Written By Corinne Garcia       Photography By Dana Aaberg      

For collectors, there’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of a live art auction. After the auctioneer’s gavel booms, closing a sale, the room grows silent for the introduction and display…

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Collector’s Notebook: Learning from the Masters

April | May 2015       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Over the past eight years, award-winning landscape artist Cody DeLong has led many a sojourner on plein air painting and rafting trips along the Colorado River. For guests, it’s the opportunity…

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Collector’s Notebook: Miniatures

Fall | Winter 2009       Written By Dina Mishev      

Maryvonne Leshe loves sculpture. Collecting them for 25 years she has more than 60 bronzes. There’s only one thing missing from her collection now: space. “I’ve run out of room,”…

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Collector’s Notebook: Have a Seat

October | November 2017       Written By Laura Zuckerman       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

Once fellow dinner-party guests learn Ben Walker is head of modern decorative art and design for the international auction house Bonhams, they invariably ask, “What should I be buying?” Art…

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Collector’s Notebook: Art Goes Corporate

Summer | Fall 2008      

In Microsoft’s warren of cubicles, offices and meeting rooms, employees hunch over computers, sip lattes and soft drinks, jiggle their sneaker-clad feet and spend long hours working for the largest…

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Collector’s Notebook: Frozen in Motion

February | March 2014       Written By Allen Morris Jones      

My father, the sculptor Burl Jones — back when he was still feeling his way as an artist — spent a number of weekends at art auctions, county fairs, trade shows.…

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Collector’s Notebook: Hail to the Toastmasters

February | March 2015       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

Gordon Huether makes big things. Things like 22-foot-high aluminum yucca plants. Then there’s the unforgettable wall of Corten steel spanning more than 200 feet in length. It’s no wonder that hospitals,…

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In Search of Western Art

December 2014 | January 2015       Written By Laura Zuckerman      

Fred Everett and his wife recently traveled from their home state of Georgia to see a side of Southwestern art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that doesn’t exist — at…

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Collector’s Notebook: Leaving a Legacy

April | May 2016       Written By Kathy Chin Leong       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

Our story unfolds at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a woman of humble means bolts through its doors with five children in tow. As she slips a…

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Collector’s Notebook: The Art of Appraisal

Summer | Fall 2010       Written By Johnny D. Boggs      

Brad S. Lomazzi gets a little frustrated whenever he watches Antiques Roadshow on PBS and an “expert” says something like, “If you were to put this in my gallery, I…

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Collector’s Notebook: Primary Industry

Summer | Fall 2009       Written By Johnny D. Boggs      

A former realtor, Alex Windsor Betts understands why people are forced to sell their homes or their art. “It’s the Five Ds,” says the owner of Windsor Betts Art Brokerage…

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Collector’s Notebook: Creating an Artful Sculpture Garden

August | September 2016       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

When Tom Christal designed his dream vacation home in Carmel, California, he chose to reference the Pacific Ocean only 300 feet away. Working with renowned artist Gordon Huether, who specializes…

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Collector’s Notebook: Palliative Pleasure

Winter | Spring 2011       Written By Isabelle Walker      

Prime-Care Physicians clinic in Albany, New York, is not a place people want to be. Whether actually sick, or working to stay healthy, patients enter the waiting room and run…

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Collector’s Notebook: Art on the Move

February | March 2017       Written By Corinne Garcia       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

When a San Francisco Bay Area art collector stumbled upon, fell in love with and ultimately purchased a valuable sculpture while traveling through London, the first thing he did was…

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Collector’s Notebook: The Art of Investing

Winter | Spring 2009      

As the global community experiences an economic slowdown resulting from the credit crisis, many investors have turned to alternative investment opportunities to replace or support their existing holdings. While fine…

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Collector’s Notebook: Stacking Up

June | July 2015       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood       Written By Richard Polsky      

“An art book is a museum without walls,” wrote French novelist and art theorist André Malraux. Indeed, bringing images and information about known and unknown works into your home and into…

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Collector’s Notebook: Beyond the Bidding

February | March 2016       Written By Marla Cimini       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

Experts agree that there is truly an “art” to navigating the world of auctions, and there is much to learn before raising a paddle and bidding on that coveted first…

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Collector’s Notebook: Provenance

February | March 2012       By Chase Reynolds Ewald      

The term provenance — derived from the French word provenir, meaning “to come from” — refers simply to the history of an artwork: its origin, proven or suspected, and the chronology…

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Collector’s Notebook: Authenticating Works of Art

June | July 2017       Written By Richard Polsky      

Authenticity is the bedrock of any art transaction. Though fakes are more closely associated with the contemporary art world (problems with bogus Warhols and Rothkos, for instance, are common), collectors…

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Collector’s Notebook: Finding Inspiration

October | November 2012       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

More than 15,000 ticket holders streamed through the doors of the recent San Francisco Decorator Showcase home, awestruck at the sumptuous sanctuaries nestled within the four-level, 11,500-square-foot historic structure. Among…

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Collector’s Notebook: Careful Conservation

Spring | Summer 2008       Written By Eliza Cross      

Stories abound about the restoration of historic artifacts gone bad, from the do-it-yourselfer who stripped the finish — and value — off a genuine Louis XIV chair, to the amateur…

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Collector’s Notebook: Weaving the Dance

August | September 2014       Written By Richard Polsky      

When it comes to the Native American textile market, the classic chief’s blankets are the superstars. But early 20th-century Yei rugs are the real sleepers. Yei iconography is related to Navajo…

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Collector’s Notebook: True Social Networks

February | March 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

This summer, more than 75 people gathered excitedly at The Center for Western Studies to view the art collection belonging to longtime Sioux Falls residents Frank and Jan Gibbs. It…

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Collector’s Notebook: Fine Art and Taxes

August | September 2015       Written By Todd Wilkinson       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

For “Catherine” the moment was bittersweet. As her mother’s last will and testament were being read, the surviving middle-aged daughter discovered that, much to her surprise, she’d just inherited several…

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Collector’s Notebook: Sanctuary

Spring | Summer 2010       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

The late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia possessed a secret passion: He loved bathing. In fact, he loved bathing so much he commissioned the world’s leading architects and designers to…

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Collector’s Notebook: Building a Collection with Identity

October | November 2013       Written By Kathy Chin Leong      

You’re on vacation and something in the gallery window magically beckons you in. Before you know it, you’ve fallen in love with that Gib Singleton bronze of a bedraggled sheriff.…

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Collector’s Notebook: The Fine Art of Framing

April | May 2017       Written By Shari Morrison       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

There are Cinderella stories in the art world, and this is one of those tales. A painting purchased by the Joslyn Art Museum in 1942 was thought to be a…

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Collector’s Notebook: Ancient Stone

April | May 2014       Written By Steve Winston      

When most people talk about something “precious,” gold, of course, invariably comes up. It’s no secret that it’s considered among the most valuable of metals. Turquoise is generally regarded as a…

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Collector’s Notebook: Artful Utility

Fall | Winter 2010       Written By Amity Moore      

In the early 16th century, Spanish Colonialists traveled up the Camino Real into territory that is now modern-day New Mexico. They brought with them guilds of accomplished furniture makers and…

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Collector’s Notebook: Diamonds in the Rough

October | November 2015       Written By Richard Polsky       Illustrated By Jesse Greenwood      

There isn’t a collector alive who hasn’t fantasized about discovering a little-known artist who eventually goes on to national recognition and sky-high prices. While this seems to happen with some frequency in today’s…

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Collector’s Notebook: Informed Collecting

Winter | Spring 2008      

My own interest in collecting and Western art began on a cattle ranch in Montana where my grandfather had built a study we fondly referred to as the little house.…

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Collector’s Notebook: Beginning a Collection

June | July 2012       Written By Laurel Delp      

It’s one thing to love art, another to own it. Where does someone without endless resources even begin to think about an art collection? Is it even possible in today’s…

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