Innovative and Fresh Display From Europe
REFERENCES to Keynote Lecture Synergy 3: The Good, BAD and the UGLY in the Age of the Internet

Blue And White Tears

Have you ever thought that maybe it could be a good thing that you haven't sold some of your best work? By holding onto your finest artwork....perhaps the right collector or an important exhibition will come along. 

I never consider any of my exhibition work as "old" inventory.  I don't even call it "inventory" (except to the I.R.S.).  

Boston Chinese Tea Teapot from recycled tin cans printed with Blue and White ceramic patterns
Boston Chinese Tea    2005        Harriete Estel Berman

Here is one story and revelation:

Several years ago a "collector" purchased one of my favorite teapot sculptures, "Boston Chinese Tea".  I was thrilled. This one piece sold for enough to keep me out of the "red zone" in my accounting for several months.

Boston Chinese Tea Teapot in Blue and White by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans.  B
Read more about Boston Chinese Tea teapot here.

An artist always hopes that their work goes to a good home.  I also had the name and contact information of the collector to keep track of my work so that it could be loaned for an exhibition if invited.

Boston Chinese Tea Teapot Handle from recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel Berman

In early 2012, curator Emily Zilber from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston wanted to borrow Boston Chinese Tea for an upcoming show at the museum based on Chinese blue and white porcelain.

Boston Chinese Tea Teapot detail constructed from recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel Berman

Unfortunately, no matter how hard we both tried (along with some other people) to contact the collector, in every which way we could, the collector would not reply to the letters and emails.

My heart is broken weeping blue and white tears as the exhibition has opened at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and it looks magnificent. What an honor it would have been to participate in this show. It is very disappointing that my teapot could not be included.

Boston Chinese Tea Teapot by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin Cans.OUTdetail

Go to the Museum of Fine Arts website for a look at some of the work in the show. There are a few images from the show titled, NEW BLUE AND WHITE.

If you are lucky enough to visit or live near Boston, the show is up until July 14, 2013.

New-Blue-White at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New-Blue-White LINK to the video by curator Emily ZilberXTo the left is an image, CLICK on it to go to the website, there is a link to an excellent video with Emily Zilber, Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she discusses some of the work in the exhibition. It is definitely worth watching this short video.

LESSONS LEARNED:
Price your best work high enough to make it worth selling.

Always get the complete contact information of the collectors who buy your work.

Keeping your best work for an important exhibition may be key for building visibility and your professional reputation.

Know the value of your work even if it doesn't sell.

Value is not always determined by whether a piece sells.


P.S. There is more to say about this issue including the shocked look of the I.R.S. auditor. Stay tuned.  

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