*** Note posted November 25, 2000: Since this article was originally published in August of 1999, it has come to our attention that the ADEC/Art Price Group is engaging in questionable tactics in order to improve their positioning on major search engines. Read Alert: Artprice.com Clogs Search Engines With "Decoy" Websites to find out more. ***
The ADEC/Art Price Annual Group is the world's leading publisher of art auction price information. They record sales results of local, regional, national and international art auctions and make them available to the public in book form as auction record compendiums, as CD-ROM's, and as a fee-based researchable database at their website www.adec.com. All three formats include auction records for paintings, drawings, prints, posters, miniatures, sculptures and photography.
This year's ADEC/Art Price Annual CD-ROM, 1987-1999 is bigger and better than ever and is the most comprehensive art price reference available in either book or CD-ROM format. It contains 1.6 million records of paintings, drawings, miniatures, prints, posters, sculptures and photographs by 152,000 artists sold at 1630 auction houses in 40 countries from 1987-1998. This is an increase of 300,000 more auction records, 10,000 more artists, and results from 370 more auction houses than were included on last year's version. An additional bonus is that it includes names of artists who had no auction records during this time period, but are still significant enough to be monitored by dealers and collectors.
For art business professionals who really want up to the minute results, the art price database at www.adec.com has everything on the ADEC CD-ROM plus up-to-the-minute auction sales results that are, according to ADEC, added at the rate of about 1,500 per day. Online database prices range from $1.00 per search if purchased in a quantity of 20 separate searches to $.50 per search if in a quantity of 1,000. Access to prices in this manner is not necessary unless you're dealing or collecting at a very high level or need to track moment to moment changes in the marketplace.
For those of you who prefer your art prices in book form, ADEC/Art Price Annual 99 contains 190,000 auction records of works of art by 50,000 artists sold at 4,500 international auctions during 1998. Whenever you're researching art prices or buying or selling art, make sure you check ADEC in one form or another. If you don't, it could end up costing you dearly.
ADEC/Art Price Annual CD-ROM, 1987-1999, Art Price Annual S.A., Paris, 1999, 1,600,000 auction records. New subscription: $399. Annual update: $146. with return of previous year's CD-ROM.
ADEC/Art Price Annual 99 edited by Ehrmann. Art Price Annual S.A., Paris, 1999, hardbound, 2,799 pages, 8 3/4 by 11 3/4 inches, $119. Back issues are available for $69. per volume.
Available from Dealer's Choice Books, P.O. Box 710, Land O' Lakes, FL 34639 or call 1-800-ART-AMER.
Guide to Identifying Architectural Plans
Very little has been written about working reproductions of architectural drawings, commonly but not always accurately known as blueprints, especially with respect to their history and evolution. With increased attention being paid to the work of famous architects and to the study and appreciation of their work, the timely appearance of Architectural Photoreproductions: a Manual for Identification and Care makes it an invaluable research tool for students, scholars, historians, collectors, and conservators alike. Anyone can use it to visually identify various reproduction types-- no special training in photography, preservation, or architecture is necessary.
Architectural Photoreproductions begins with a background and history of reproduction processes, a glossary of terms, and a flowchart for identification of drawings, plans, and documents. Twelve distinct reproduction processes are then discussed individually and accompanied by numerous color illustrations and 15X magnifications of details in order to facilitate identification. Appendices include notes on storage, handling, and exhibition of architectural drawings and prints, current methods of reproducing architectural plans (as of 1996), and a classification chart for different types of prints.
Interest in architectural photoreproductions has also been on the rise from a fine art standpoint. As the definition of art grows to encompass an ever increasing variety of creative endeavors, collectors are beginning to display architectural plans, drawings and diagrams as art objects. Once again, Architectural Photoreproductions comes in mighty handy. It's a fascinating book even for those of you who have only a passing interest in architecture. I highly recommend it.
Architectural Photoreproductions: a Manual for Identification and Care by Eleonore Kissell and Erin Vigneau, Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE, 1999, softbound, illustrated, 8 1/2 by 11 inches, 138 pages, $65. plus shipping. Available from Oak Knoll Press, 310 Deleware St., New Castle, DE 19720 or call 1-302-328-7232.
Women Artists of Color
In recent years, greater attention has been focused on women artists as well as on American artists of different ethnicities and nationalities. Women Artists of Color, edited by Phoebe Farris, combines the two as it examines this under explored area of 20th Century American art. The book has chapters on Native American, Latin American, African American, and Asian Pacific American women artists. Each has an introductory essay followed by alphabetized entries of distinguished artists. Every entry includes biographical data, a list of selected exhibitions, publications and writings either by or about the artist, an artist statement, collections that own artworks, and a biographical essay. The book focuses on how these women achieved success, what makes their work important, and what influences their work is likely to have in the future.
From a collecting standpoint, Women Artists of Color makes an excellent guide for navigating the marketplace as it introduces a number of contemporary artists who may be well known within certain circles, but are not necessarily household names. If you enjoy reading about women artists or are thinking about building a progressive art collection, check out this book.
Women Artists of Color edited by Phoebe Farris, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1999, hardbound, illustrated, 496 pages, 6 3/8 by 9 1/2 inches, $95. Available from Greenwood Publishing Group, 88 Post Road West, Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881 or call 1-800-225-5800. Access their complete online catalogue at www.greenwood.com.
Artful Players, Artistic Life in Early San Francisco by Birgitta Hjalmarson documents 19th century art activities in this part of the country and chronicles the evolution of a distinctly California style of painting. Her well researched book recounts the appearance and rise of culture and fine arts in the Bay Area between the Gold Rush and the Great Earthquake of 1906. The book makes a good read as it mixes personal tales and anecdotes of early artistic life with essential biographical information.
A number of California's greatest and most highly collectible artists were active during this period. Local collectors know them well and pay dearly for top quality examples of their work, but many of their names like Norton Bush, Giusepppe Cadenasso, Alice Chittenden, Ella Hopps, and Oscar Kunath are still not that recognizable outside of the immediate Bay Area. If you're interested in art from this part of the country or suspect that you may own a piece of early California art, check out Artful Players. The artist biographies at the rear of the book will be especially helpful.
Artful Players, Artistic Life in Early San Francisco by Birgitta Hjalmarson, Balcony Press, Los Angeles, 1999, hardbound, dustjacket, illustrated, 256 pages, 6 3/8 by 9 1/4 inches, $34.95. Available from Chronicle Books, 85 Second St., SF, CA 94105 or call 1-800-722-6657.