AT Inbox: ‘American Pickers’ isn’t reality

Is illustration art catching up with fine art?

Dear Mr. Bradley,

You are doing such a good job for such a young-looking man. In your March 24, 2010, issue of AT, you had an interview with Mark F. Moran about the new issue of “Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2011.” He mentioned the new emerging areas to include illustrator art.

I was wondering if my oil painting was such an example of an emerging area of collectibles?

First I collected original art. Then I discovered the world of children’s art books, my first being “Tuesday” by David Wiesner. I began to pick up the books simply because I enjoyed the style of art rather than the written story. (Sorry about that, authors.) Since I collected art a bit, I often wondered if any of the artwork from the books would ever be for sale.

Then I moved from Johnson City, Tenn., to Cincinnati, Ohio. In the Sunday newspaper was an article about Loren Long and his artwork for a new book. Mr. Long had been an illustrator for Gibson Cards there in Cincinnati before this. The article mentioned that he had illustrated a book in which there are eight stories of dogs who were heroes, “My Dog, My Hero,” by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey, and Laurie Myers. The article mentioned that the illustrations were for sale at a gallery.

As soon as possible, I went up to the gallery. The pictures were as great as the one in the newspaper article. All eight were still for sale. There were some of Mr. Long’s other originals for sale also. He had done illustrative art for programs, local magazines, etc. I decided to buy one of the originals.

I chose the one that I did because it had a scene in the background, because one could tell from the picture pretty much what the story was, and because it was perhaps the only picture that I had ever seen where the main character had her back to the viewer. I said that I would buy the picture if I could also have an autographed book from Mr. Long. I did receive that. My dream had come true.

Sometime after that, I was watching the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He had Madonna on. She was pitching her new book, the second one that she had written. The artwork on the cover looked very much familiar. I was right. Loren Long had also illustrated this book for her. Since then, he has done more children’s books, including a remake of “The Little Engine That Could.”

Has illustrator art caught up with fine art yet? I would be interested in hearing a debate about that in your publication.

George Schaetzle,
Shreveport, La.

Adams doesn’t hold sale record

This is the misinformation I’ve seen in most articles on [the discovery of the Ansel Adams negatives]. (See the Aug. 18 edition, page 8).

The record for 20th century photography is for the Nautilus Shell by Edward Weston, a friend and cohort of Ansel Adams. It was sold by Sotheby’s [on Oct. 15 2007], for $1.3 million, including buyer’s premium. Another version of the same photograph sold in excess of $1 million [on April 13, 2010] also through Sotheby’s. I greatly admire both of these gentlemen’s work from when they collaborated as the Group f/64 but the record is still being held by Weston. 

Thank you,
George Gibison III
via e-mail

‘American Pickers’ isn’t reality

Dear Editor,

Thank you for printing Joel Shadden’s letter in the August 4 edition of Antique Trader. 

While there is no secret in the fact that there is very little reality in “Reality-TV,” the History Channel has written and staged a program which emphasizes and even romanticizes a certain “sleaze factor” that most of us, whether buying or selling, would like to avoid. 

Mr. Shadden’s appeal to the best in us in terms of ethics and integrity was a welcome affirmation of the basic human principles that most of us would like to see in our business on both sides of the bargain.

Stuart Kell
via e-mail


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