A Quilterly Matter from the Past

I recently got an email from a client who bought one of my quilted art pieces.

The art, “After Great Pain”, was exhibited at the Japanese Gardens here in Portland in 1998. The client saw it at that exhibit and fell in love with it instantly. She bought it, and since then it has been hanging  in the offices of the University of Oregon Graduate School. However, she has retired, and the size of the piece makes it impossible to hang in her own home.

So she wrote to let me know about the whereabouts of the art and to ask if I knew any secondary markets on which it might be sold.

[Click on the image to expand it to its proper proportions.]

JOU, After Great Pain, 29″ x 98″, hand-dyed and commercial fabrics, applique & reverse applique, machine stitched, 1998

At this time, a couple of things occur to me. First, I am delighted to find out that the piece has been hanging at the University of Oregon. I had no idea that that was where the art was.

The second thought is that the photographic records of my art have improved with the advent of digital photography. Even though this piece was professionally photographed, it was done in slide format only. I transferred the slides to a digital format, using a Nikon CoolPix camera with a special device; at the time the 3 megapixel camera was quite upscale. Now it seems seriously limited;  although I know the art is heavily quilted (as can almost be seen in the detail above), the slightly larger details don’t show that, and of course the large size of the piece precluded any stitching in evidence in the photo at all. Having the use of a good digital camera to begin with, rather than transferring the files, makes a world of difference.

My final thought is that I know less than nothing about the secondary market for quilted art. It’s the kind of thing I try to avoid thinking about. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas to help my client sell “After Great Pain,” I’d be delighted to forward them to her. I know of many places that take donations of quilts of this size and are very pleased to acquire them, but I don’t know of any that buy them.

So a two-edged email — good to know the piece has been in good hands, but sorry to hear it’s looking for a new home. –June

This entry was posted in Portland, quilting, Secondary art market, textile, Textile art and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Quilterly Matter from the Past

  1. Olga says:

    Powerful work, powerful title!
    What an interesting question you pose – to which I have nothing new to contribute as answer. I presume that your client has explored the possibilty that the university might want to keep the work – doubtless of course in these constrained days without parting with cash, unfortunately!

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  2. Pingback: The Secondary Art Market? An artistic conundrum « June O. Underwood

  3. juneu says:

    Jan, I think there’s a murder of crows here. And you are on target about selling the first time ’round. In fact, someone suggested I buy it back, which I would if I could but I can’t so I won’t. But I still watch crows with amazement and delight.

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  4. jan2bratt says:

    How many crows are there in this piece? I have no idea how one would go about trying to sell this again. I’m more concerned with how I can sell my pieces for the first time, ha ha. Good luck to the owner, seems as though your previous commenter steered you well.

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  5. june says:

    Good suggestions: thanks, Jean. I have just now put it on the SAQA list, but hadn’t thought of Marilyn Hendrion or Faith Ringgold. “Preciate.

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  6. Jean M. Judd says:

    Boy, June, this is a tough question. It may be worth suggesting it be auctioned at one of the large auction houses in their Decorative Arts auctions. I’m thinking Christies, Sotherby’s, or more local fine art auction houses.

    I wonder if Marilyn Hedrion may be able to answer this question for you since she has been in the art quilt genre forever. Also maybe ask Faith Ringgold may have some suggestions. I would also suggest putting this out on the SAQA Yahoo group if you haven’t already.

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