ART SUPPLY INITIATIVE | #BeyondThedoor

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Through this initiative, Latin American artists who cannot access or afford art materials are supplied paint, canvas, sketch pads, brushes, photography paper, i.e. 

Help us fill up suitcases for delivery #SomewhereInLatinAmerica

#ASI #BeyondTheDoor #SomewhereInLatinAmerica

DELIVER OR SHIP TO 49 JOHN ST., CHARLESTON, SC. 29403 

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On Traveling Cuba During the #TrumpEra

The Center for Cuban Studies is a founding member of RESPECT (Responsible Ethical Cuba Travel) and 60-70 of us met in Havana this past weekend. We issued the following statement in response to current DC actions against Cuba. More important than anything the Trump administration may choose to do is what WE choose to do. As members of the Center for Cuban Studies, I urge ALL OF YOU, your friends and colleagues, to TRAVEL TO CUBA. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY BLOWHARDS IN WASHINGTON.

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO TRAVEL TO CUBA AND MOST OF YOU WHO HAVE TRAVELED LEGALLY TO CUBA CAN CONTINUE TO TRAVEL TO CUBA LEGALLY.

Show that you stand up for the right of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba. WE CAN HELP YOU TRAVEL TO CUBA RESPONSIBLY, ETHICALLY AND LEGALLY. See our current list of trips and we can continue to organize CUSTOM TRIPS for you as well. Pass on the word and pass on this important RESPECT statement.

U.S. travel association opposes Trump administration's Cuba travel warning and pullout of embassy staff
Responsible Ethical Cuba Travel • September 30, 2017
Contact: Bob Guild, RESPECT Co-Coordinator201-755-0217respect@respectassociation.org
Meeting in Cuba, RESPECT*, the largest association of U.S. organizers of travel to Cuba, unanimously rejected the Trump administration's Cuba travel warning and its decision to withdraw diplomatic staff from its Havana embassy.

The reaction came in response to Washington's announcement that it is withdrawing 60 percent of non-emergency staff from the U.S. Embassy in Havana and is warning U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Cuba. The justification for both is unexplained health problems that 21 Havana-based U.S. diplomats have reported.

In addition, unidentified U.S. officials said the Consulate in Havana would suspend issuing U.S. visas to Cubans, indefinitely. The U.S. Embassy will continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Cuba.

"Based on the evidence thus far and the fact that the State Department says no other U.S. citizens have been affected, we believe that its decision is unwarranted, and are continuing to organize travel to Cuba and encourage others to do so," said Bob Guild, RESPECT Co-Coordinator and Vice President of Marazul Charters. He also stressed that U.S. citizens and residents can legally travel to Cuba under US law and that the State Department advisory in no way prohibits U.S. persons from traveling to the island.

RESPECT is joined by U.S. commercial airlines and others in the travel industry who have publically expressed their intention to continue Cuba travel. Gail Reed, RESPECT Co-Coordinator and MEDICC founder, noted: "Cuba remains a very safe destination for U.S. travelers."

The U.S. Foreign Service Association, the powerful union that represents U.S. diplomats around the world, also opposes any decision to withdraw U.S. diplomats from Cuba. Association President Barbara Stephenson said, "We have to remain on the field and in the game."

The U.S. complaint about the health issues originated almost a year ago during the Obama Administration when the two governments were working toward rapprochement. As acknowledged by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Cuban government responded immediately and initiated an investigation, inviting the U.S. government to cooperate.

At the invitation of Cuban authorities, the FBI went to Havana seeking evidence of what the U.S. described as "sonic attacks" resulting in hearing loss and other symptoms. However, its agents found no devices or other evidence to explain the mystery.

None of the 500,000 U.S. visitors to Cuba this year have reported similar health issues. Tillerson said this week, "We have no reports that private U.S. citizens have been affected...".

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, speaking at the UN this month, reiterated that Cuba takes very seriously the protection of all diplomats in its country and would never cause them harm or allow others to do so, in accordance with the 1961 Vienna Convention. He also urged the U.S. authorities to work more closely and effectively with the ongoing Cuban investigation, a point he raised again during his meeting with Tillerson this week.

Replying to the U.S. move to reduce its diplomatic personnel in Havana, Josefina Vidal, director general for U.S. Affairs at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, called the decision precipitous and said it will affect bilateral relations and cooperation in areas of mutual interest. She noted that Cuba had urged the U.S. not to politicize the matter and insisted that Cuba needed the active cooperation of U.S. authorities to arrive at a definitive conclusion.

"We fear that such hasty action by the Trump Administration, independent of scientific evidence, may be motivated by politics rather than concerns for health and wellbeing," said Walter Turner, RESPECT Co-Coordinator and President of Global Exchange. "Thus, once again we encourage all U.S. visitors to continue to travel to Cuba."

 

 

* RESPECT (Responsible Ethical Cuba Travel) is a 150-member US professional association of travel agencies, tour operators, non-profit entities, and other travel service providers dedicated to practicing and promoting ethical and socially responsible travel to Cuba. Founded in December 2016 on the anniversary of the opening announced by the US and Cuban presidents, RESPECT held a two-day meeting at the Meliá Cohíba Hotel in Havana this week, where its members hammered out a 2017 Action Plan to implement its 17 principles. These include ways US travel organizations and travelers can contribute to protecting Cuba's environment as it adapts to climate change, commit to non-exploitative relations with all Cubans and respect the country's cultural heritage and expressions. The Association also defends the right of all US citizens and residents to travel to Cuba and advocates lifting all US government travel restrictions to the island.

RESPECT se opone a la advertencia de viajar de Cuba y al retiro del personal de la embajada norteamericana
RESPECT • 30 de septiembre, 2017
Al reunirse en Cuba, RESPECT *, la mayor asociación de organizadores estadounidenses de viajes a Cuba, rechazó unánimemente la advertencia acerca de viajar a Cuba por parte de la administración Trump, y su decisión de retirar parte del personal diplomático de su embajada en La Habana.

La reacción fue en respuesta al anuncio de Washington de que está retirando el 60 por ciento del personal de no emergencia de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en La Habana y advierte a los ciudadanos estadounidenses que eviten viajar a Cuba. La justificación para ambas medidas son problemas inexplicados de salud que han reportado 21 diplomáticos estadounidenses de misión en La Habana.

Adicionalmente, funcionarios estadounidenses no identificados dijeron que el consulado de Estados Unidos en La Habana suspendería indefinidamente la emisión de visas estadounidenses a los cubanos. La Embajada de Estados Unidos continuará brindando servicios de emergencia a ciudadanos estadounidenses en Cuba.

"Basados en la evidencia hasta el momento y en el hecho de que el Departamento de Estado dice que ningún otro ciudadano estadounidense se ha visto afectado, creemos que su decisión es injustificada y continuaremos organizando viajes a Cuba y alentamos a otros a hacerlo", dijo Bob Guild , co-coordinador de RESPECT y vicepresidente de Marazul Charters. También enfatizó que los ciudadanos y residentes estadounidenses pueden viajar legalmente a Cuba bajo la ley estadounidense, y que el aviso del Departamento de Estado de ninguna manera prohíbe viajar a la isla a los estadounidenses.

RESPECT está acompañado de aerolíneas comerciales estadounidenses y otros en la industria de viajes que han expresado públicamente su intención de continuar con los viajes a Cuba. Gail Reed, co-coordinadora de RESPECT y fundadora de MEDICC, señaló que "Cuba sigue siendo un destino muy seguro para los viajeros estadounidenses".

La Asociación de Servicio Exterior de Estados Unidos, el poderoso sindicato que representa a los diplomáticos estadounidenses en todo el mundo, también se opone a cualquier decisión de retirar a los diplomáticos estadounidenses de Cuba. La presidenta de la Asociación, Barbara Stephenson, dice: "Tenemos que permanecer en el campo y en el juego".

La queja de Estados Unidos acerca de los problemas de salud se originó hace casi un año, durante la administración Obama, cuando los dos gobiernos estaban trabajando en su acercamiento mutuo. Como reconoció el secretario de Estado estadounidense, Rex Tillerson, el gobierno cubano respondió de inmediato e inició una investigación, invitando al gobierno de Estados Unidos a cooperar.

Por invitación de las autoridades cubanas, el FBI viajó a La Habana en busca de pruebas de lo que Estados Unidos describió como "ataques sónicos" que provocaron pérdida de audición y otros síntomas. Sin embargo, sus agentes no encontraron ningún dispositivo u otra evidencia que explicara el misterio.

Ninguno de los 500 000 visitantes estadounidenses a Cuba este año han reportado problemas similares de salud. Tillerson dijo esta semana: "No tenemos información de que ciudadanos privados estadounidenses se hayan visto afectados..."

El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores Bruno Rodríguez, en su discurso en la ONU este mes, reiteró que Cuba toma muy en serio la protección de todos los diplomáticos en su país y nunca les causará daño ni permitirá que otros lo hagan, según la Convención de Viena de 1961. También instó a las autoridades estadounidenses a trabajar más estrechamente y de manera más efectiva con la investigación en curso en Cuba, algo que volvió a plantear durante su reunión con Tillerson esta semana.

Al responder a la medida de Estados Unidos, Josefina Vidal, directora general para Asuntos de Estados Unidos en el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba, dijo que la decisión es precipitada y que afectará las relaciones bilaterales y la cooperación en áreas de interés mutuo. Señaló que Cuba había instado a Estados Unidos a no politizar el asunto e insistió en que Cuba necesita la cooperación activa de las autoridades estadounidenses para llegar a una conclusión definitiva.

"Tememos que tal acción precipitada de la Administración Trump, independientemente de la evidencia científica, pueda estar motivada por la política en lugar de preocupaciones por la salud y el bienestar", dijo Walter Turner, co-coordinador de RESPECT y presidente de Global Exchange. "Así, una vez más animamos a todos los visitantes estadounidenses a continuar viajando a Cuba".

* RESPECT (Responsible Ethical Cuba Travel – Viajes a Cuba Éticamente Responsables) es una asociación profesional de entidades sin fines de lucro de 150 miembros, agencias de viajes, operadores turísticos y otros proveedores de servicios de viajes dedicados a practicar y promover viajes éticos y socialmente responsables a Cuba. Fundada en diciembre de 2016 en el aniversario de la apertura anunciada por los presidentes de Estados Unidos y Cuba, RESPECT realizó una reunión esta semana de dos días en el Hotel Meliá Cohíba en La Habana, en la que sus miembros elaboraron un Plan de Acción 2017 para implementar sus 17 principios. Estos incluyen formas en que las organizaciones de viajes y de viajeros de Estados Unidos pueden contribuir a proteger el medio ambiente de Cuba a medida que la Isla se adapta al cambio climático, se comprometen con relaciones no explotadoras con todos los cubanos y a respetar el patrimonio y expresiones culturales del país. La Asociación también defiende el derecho de todos los ciudadanos y residentes estadounidenses a viajar a Cuba, y aboga por el levantamiento de todas las restricciones de viaje a la isla que ha implantado el gobierno de Estados Unidos.

ONWARD!

By Rebekah Jacob 

Published on the blog of Skirt! Charleston 

Passion and courage fuel the creative entrepreneur to move forward, innovate, and take risks that others wouldn’t dare. Passion and courage fuel us to believe in ourselves to do our best as our lives unfold. As Albert Camus wrote, “Life is a sum of all your choices. Large or small, our actions forge our futures, hopefully inspiring others along the way.”

Passion is energy, an emotion that must be channeled and there is no better time to hone that energy than now. In my own life and profession, sure a top-notch curator/dealer requires academic training, apprenticeships, travel, and a hard-drive of information and images; but most of all, I need the ever-burning passion and boldness to be in the game, no matter what.  Because in the freedom fight, more times than not, you get your ass kicked.

I also think of passion in regard to establishingand developing the RJG brand, a living organism. With full hearts and intense focus, everything we have tried to do is steeped in quality, ethics, humanity, and artistry. I hope that the brand’s touchstones and the source of our pride are respect, dignity, compassion, community, responsibility and authenticity. No matter what I have always been proud of the passion that our artists and our staff have spurred in their hearts, while venturing along this never ending, sometimes unpredictable, journey that honors the past while reinventing the future.

In life and our careers, there are moments when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, common sense, and the wise counsel of people we trust. Despite all risk and rational argument, we search deep, lean forward, and believe–no matter what–that we are choosing the right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we don’t know exactly where our actions will lead or if we have the skill-sets to follow them through. We become innately intuitive, holding our own counsel and putting one foot in front of the other, determined to scale the intimating mountain to reach the summit.

I  also think of boldness in regard to the innovation and creativity of  our brand, particularly through technology.  In my own business, innovation is about rethinking the nature of a brand and also its relationships, not just about retaining products. RJG has strived to build our technology so that  we receive a lot of traction from established and  new online social networks.  In our journey into the virtual world, we have worked hard to get on the front end and better understand / capitalize on the power of the web at large. Having learned from both established and new clients, our website  has evolved into more than a one-way suggestion box;  it can  has become a genuine opportunity to connect–and buy. There is no doubt that in a creative business, an online social media presence, versatile web based platform, and online marketplace cannot be discounted.

When runningmy own gig, mediocrity will not do. I have put in 10,000 hours and I am ready to put in 10,000 more.  Iam busy every hour of every day, ushering in deals, launching new projects, realigning staff, solving problems.  It can be overwhelming.  There is no time to waste, and I am often running gains against the clock. Running your own gig is a balancing act by which we will survive our crucible and thrive behind it, with heads held high but feet firmly planted in reality. Ladies, thisdelicate balance of passion, boldness, and innovation is key, as this is how we win. #Onward

 

Rebekah Jacob on Civil Rights Photography (1960-1965)

By Rebekah Jacob

To have studied and explored the archive of the renowned civil rights photojournalist James Karales has been a lifetime's privilege.   In early 2000, I was allowed the honor of sifting through thousands of contact sheets, work prints, mounted photographs, notes, and magazines still marked by his fingerprints.  Although we never met, I have come to know the greatness of a man revealed both by what he recorded and by what was left unsaid.  

I first immersed myself in these treasures in preparation for the exhibition 1969:  Controversy and Hope / Iconic Images by James Karales, organized for the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in the spring of 2009.  Karales was a lifelong and avid photographer.  Woven throughout his oeuvre of photo-essays in his trademark compassion for social injustice and eye for political upheaval, whether on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in Vietnam, in the integrated mining town of Rendville, Ohio, or during the turbulent years of the civil rights movement.  the civil rights story offered perhaps the richest materials to mine for a book.  

 

The modest Karales only occasionally printed his work and rarely presented it in exhibitions or publications beyond the initial assignment for which it was created.  delving into his meticulously preserved archive, I worked to share Karales's voice with a larger audience, focusing on the period 1960-65.  Together with Julian Cox, we spent two years editing and sequencing more than 2,000 images to arrive at a final selection of 93 plates.  A modest percentage of the images included in this book were published in Look magazine, and some have since been reproduced in books and magazines, but the majority have never been exhibited or published.  Our extensive research also included the study of vintage prints in museum collections, the Karales Archive in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, and a thorough review of the Look archives at the Library of Congress.  Photographs consigned from the Howard Greenberg Gallery and the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, were also vital resources.  Recollections shared by Karales's contemporaries Tony Vaccaro, Bob Adelman, Steve Shapiro, Matt Herron, and Paul Fusco added an invaluable human dimension to the project.  

 

The 190s were the heyday of the great photography magazines, providing working photographers with the opportunity to capture the spirt of the time in elaborate, multipage spreads with large images.  Civil rights leaders embraced the medium as a vehicle to inform and educate the general public and as a means to document their momentous journey.  Magazines were hungry to print images from the front lines.  Despite the dangers for journalists, photographers were drawn to the drama of the civil rights story and provided valuable witness to the demonstrations, arrests, riots, and burnings.  

With several camera slung around his neck and a cigarette in one hand, Karales focused his intense glaze on one of the most challenging issued in our nation's history.  He balanced the job's requirements with is own aesthetic to find a different story, one of tenderness and triumph.  Within the crowds his discerning eye discovered heroic portraits of individuals, such as a teenage boy enveloped by a massive, hand-stitched flag, or a youth with "vote" emblazoned across his forehead.  

Arguably the most signifiant work at this time comes from Karales's close access to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other key civil rights leaders.  One of only a few photographers to enter King's home, Karales crated images of Dr. King that go beyond the expected to portray quiet, telling moments.  One photograph reveals Dr. King's fatherly angst as he painfully broke the news to his young daughter that she was forbidden to visit an amusement park because of her race. The caption in the February 12, 1963, issue of Look reads:  "I told my child about the color bar."  

The photographs in this book, Controversy and Hope:  The Civil Rights Images of James Karales, present the range of civil rights assignments that Karales undertook in teh years 1960-1965:  nonviolent passive resistance training in Atlanta in 1960; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) convention in Birmingham in 1962; an intimate series of the King family at home in Atlanta in 1962; Dr. King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy's campaign in Birmingham in 1962, which includes pictures made in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, with Rev. C.T. Vivian, Rosa Parks, and other leaders in attendance.  The story concludes with a selection of images documenting the Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965, which provided the culminating and iconic images of a movement that had become so personal Karales.  

Despite the passage of time, or perhaps heightened by it, we are able to see the integrity and clarity of Karales's vision against the backdrop of a crucial juncture in our shared history.  His work continues to compel us to remember both what divides us and what unites us.  It is my hope that this publication reveals previously untold moments in this pivotal era of American history. 

Preface by Rebekah Jacob, published in Controversy and Hope:  The Civil Rights Photographs of James Karales, published by the University of South Carolina Press, 2013.  

Reflection of a Decade

I am a seeker.  Born from hundreds of scribbled legal pad pages, plus blood, sweat, tears, and a generous supply of bourbon, Rebekah Jacob Gallery celebrates a decade of searching out the socially charged, aesthetically progressive artwork on which we have built our national reputation.  The path has been far from easy, but after twenty years in the art business, I know that if you stay in it long enough, you get to the truly good stuff.

Everything starts with the art.  We choose artists and estates from the American South and Caribbean Isles based on instinct, creativity, breadth of work, price point, and attitude. We aggressively mine and exhibit enlightened work that evokes the modern age of these two regions riddled with complexity and never-ending exploration, and which deeply connected via indigo, cotton, and slave trade.  Whether emerging or experienced, these artists expand the conventional definitions of their medium including paintings, works on paper, photography and video.  

Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, I was wholeheartedly seduced by the art of the American South both for its stunning visuals and for the great divides it addresses.  Many Southern fine art photographers deeply engage in the essence of place, visually examining the relationship between past and present to make sense of the peculiarities of Southern identity. I seek out artists who stay true to their Southern roots not by solely focusing on the beauty of the landscape but also by exploring the conundrums of the place we call home.  These issues of poverty, race, and inequality have become a driving point of interest for me, strongly evident in my affinity for documentary photography, whether vintage or contemporary, as it relays a strong, intricate narrative that extends beyond the place where words end.  Bringing the work of Civil Rights photographers like James Karales to the forefront likewise highlights the need for continued discussion on issues that continue (unfortunately) to remain relevant today.  My favorite WPA authors/photographers like Eudora Welty and Walker Evans traveled the Carolinas, capturing in words and images this land of elegant decay, still struggling to heal from the Civil War. Similarly, many contemporary photographers like Richard Sexton poignantly capture and document fading structures and archetypal characters in a way that still entrances me.

In a parallel construction, I believe that there is no more magical place on earth than Cuba. Since my early twenties, I have made it a personal mission to share the rich visual vocabulary of Cuban artists and photographers informed by centuries of cultural and political discussion.  Revolutionary greats like Roberto Salas, Caralse, and Alberto Kordo helped incite the revolution in Fidel’s Cuba and made phenomenal exhibitions in my home state.  Later, having become well-versed in the emerging art scene, I had the opportunity to juxtapose the work of the two regions and have curated several exhibitions of Southern and Cuban artwork in Havana and throughout the Southeast.  Over the years, I have seen many of our monumentally-themed gallery projects––both exhibitions and publications—take on their own organic forms, becoming a voice for thousands who sacrificed to change the world.  

After years of diligent research and honing my skills, I at last opened my dream gallery in early 2004.  Rebekah Jacob Gallery began in a modest thousand square foot white box in the quiet, quaint area of lower King Street in downtown Charleston.  The odds were not in my favor; at this point, neither contemporary art nor photography had a strong foothold in the Charleston market. Yet I persevered, bolstered by the entrepreneurial spirit of my father, Les Jacob, whose voice I would often hear reminding me to put my head down and get to work, no excuses.  We not only survived, we thrived, and as the economy rebounded, we decided to triple our inventory and our space. Progressive art requires a progressive neighborhood, so we headed north to upper King Street, an area at the heart of the city’s creative culture renaissance.  The large walls of this sexy 3,000 square foot Chelsea-like gallery were necessary to keep up with the increased production from my artists as well as the increased demand from our clients.  A progressive but also an ardent preservationist, I was attracted to the traditional design by a Charleston architect that was flexible enough to allow for the modern edge instilled by my designer William Bates.

However, I failed to forecast how the mercurial rise of internet commerce and the radical redirection of marketing towards social media would dramatically affect my business. Technology trumped square footage, so I downsized our footprint and invested in our internet platform. Our physical location on Broad Street is secondary to our online presence, where the majority of our art is now sold to buyers around the world.  Instead of print media buys, we focus our energies on creating an e-commerce experience that is attractive and secure. 

My father said that success happens when preparation meets opportunity. I have spent my life preparing through academic training, apprenticeships, professional networking, and global travels.  As Rebekah Jacob Gallery turns ten, I think he would have been proud to see my diligence has turned into a legacy.

- Rebekah Jacob

On Eudora Welty

 Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty

I confess only one regret as a Mississippian:  that I never met Ms. Eudora Welty, the great writer and photographer whose words and images have offered me consistent, generous inspiration.  As I was reminded during a recent visit to her home at 1119 Pinehurst Street, Jackson, a failure of courage deprived me of a chance to have the privilege of knowing her. I have since tried mightily to rectify this misjudgment by immersing myself in her photography, learning about the person posthumously through her lens.  

Engrossed in my Southern Literature studies at Ole Miss back in 1997, my mind was full of Ms. Welty’s words and images as I drove to Jackson for a wedding garden party.  With the bravado of youth, I parked in front of Ms. Welty’s home at 1119 Pinehurst Street and telephoned my then-beau for a last-minute pep talk. Instead, he chided me for the southern sin of dropping by unannounced.  The sound of rapid-fire pecking on a typewriter echoed through her open window as I drove away.  I still hear that dirge nearly two decades later.

 Eudora Welty; ' Chopping in the Field'  1936

Eudora Welty; 'Chopping in the Field' 1936

Since then, I have been honored to appraise, consult, and broker various portfolios and loose prints of Welty’s photographs through Rebekah Jacob Gallery.  My deep desire to address her work with the appropriate respect led to copious (perhaps obsessive) research as my team and I have chased down every possible scrap of information.  We have diligently sifted through thousands of images and supporting texts and re-read every essay/book she ever wrote. The more I slipped into her photographic world, the more I started to see how the eloquence of her written narratives was also present in visual form in her photographs.  

The upper crust of Delta life that we both grew up in was such a dramatic juxtaposition to the images she shot alone on assignment for the WPA in the 1930s, way down back dirt roads.  Suffering and proud, everyday Mississippians were imbued with the politics and economics of this complicated land when seen through her compassionate lens.  From the images—supported by many discussions with Welty scholar Suzanne Mars—it is clear the gentle, cautious hand she took when approaching her fellow Mississippians for these photographs.  No pose was forced, no intimidation used.  Instead, Ms. Welty led with respect and the result was poignant portraits of strength and dignity.  Then she tightly trimmed her kitchen-sink prints using the same critical eye with which she edited her stories.  

This intense study has only fueled my quest to get to the source of her work and to share it with others who share my respect for her oeuvre.  The negatives from 1930-1950 are lovingly preserved at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History with rare portfolios (sometimes just a loose print, others as a full unit) elusively showing up in galleries and auctions. As scholarship builds, as more new photographs are revealed, interest in Welty’s photography continues to rise.  Given the current market, I think that Welty’s body of work on WPA-era Mississippi is one of the most compelling photographic studies of the American landscape available.  There is no doubt that  Ms. Welty’s work is now considered a must-have for any true Southern photography collection.

I will continue, like so many others, to gravitate towards my North Star of 1119 Pinehurst Street where I firmly believe her legacy lives on.  There is little doubt that she will continue to inform and inspire with words and images to tell the story of our mutual homeland with grace and dignity.  Transcending her time, Ms. Welty continues to be Mississippi’s most treasured documentarian and ambassador. 

In the meantime, I am eager to tackle yet another portfolio box of gems  that just arrived at my doorstep, ready for discovery anew.

- Rebekah Jacob 

 

The Rare William Eggleston: Red-Ceiling (Greenwood, Mississippi), 1973

“For any serious arts educator, rare photography lover, and collector of Southern photography, to build a significant Southern photography collection, it’s an imperative to hopefully acquire works by Eggleston, if one has the means.” says gallery owner Rebekah Jacob.

Jacob –– an expert in Southern photography and an Old Miss-educated curator of specific Southern genres — describes the photo as “powerful and intense.” This rare and famous dye transfer portrays a cross of white cable leading to a central light bulb mounted on a ceiling painted red. It was taken in the guest room of one of Eggleston’s dear friends in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1971.

William Eggleston emerged in the early 1960s as a pioneer of modern color photography, especially portraying the vernacular of the Mississippi Delta.

“Very few Eggleston "Red Ceiling" photographs were ever printed,” explains Jacob, “and at least two are locked up in the Metropolitan and Getty Museums, respectively. Few have ever been available for sale, so this is a rare window of opportunity for top-bidding collectors.

‘’I grew up along the Delta, mainly in Clarksdale, Mississippi, so Eggleston's subject matter is innately and intensely familiar to me,” says Jacob. “I visited the Metropolitan Museum in NYC last week just to view his current exhibition, ‘At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston.' It was touching to see the commonplace subjects of my Southern roots exhibited inside one of the highest levels of art exhibition in the world."

“Art dealing is truly an art form in itself. It is a long process of experience, credibility, smart business, and ultimately the invitation to participate." says Jacob. "Gratefully, my formal education, masters degree, apprenticeships with top photography dealers, certifications, and incessant world travel to curate rare works of art, I have mastered my eye and advanced my level of connoisseurship for top-quality pieces. The invitations to represent elite photography transactions are now trickling into RJG consistently." 
 

  Radio City is the second album by the American rock group Big Star. Released in 1974, Radio City was recorded during 1973 at Memphis' Ardent Studios

Radio City is the second album by the American rock group Big Star. Released in 1974, Radio City was recorded during 1973 at Memphis' Ardent Studios

ART EMERGENCY

The impending regional devastation to so many homes, businesses and lives was apparent over the past few days.  Many art works were submerged in water, completely destroyed by natural disasters. The scope of damage we encountered is yet to be fully determined.  The art world took a direct and intense hit.  

In ensuing days after the brutal storms that swept the Carolinas, we are working closely with our clients and conservators to develop a plan to transport, preserve, or dispose of art works.  

This includes:

  • Organizing short or long-term storage of art works, damaged and or in good condition.   
  • Arranging conservation and/or re-framing 
  • Creating digital archives for clients
  • Returning certain works to artists be "touched up"/ repaired
  • Documenting disposal of art that could not be saved
  • Appraising the art work for insurance purposes 

Here are a few tips for art collectors affected by the storms:

  • If the art work is damaged, make emergency plans to move the art work to a safe, dry place immediately.
  • Unframe any works on paper or photographs damp from the water; lay flat.  
  • Have a sense of how you can prioritize the evacuation of your collection, transport carefully with blankets, etc. 
  • Access your records (hard copy and/or digital) safely to a secure, off-site location and/or on a digital cloud 
  • Reach out to experts for sound advice regarding value of the art work, conservation, framing, etc. 

The Arts Thrive in Cuba

January 1, 2015

John M. Eger (Director of the Creative Economy Initiative at San Diego State University (SDSU) is also the Van Deerlin Endowed Chair of Communications and Public Policy)

The art of Cuba and why the market for Cuban art is set to explode is just beginning to be understood. 

I recently visited Cuba, on a tour with the International Folk Art Alliance, to see for myself what art in Cuba means to Cuba...and to America.

On the streets, in the Museums, and in the homes art is everywhere but closed to the outside world; that is unless you are like actor Will Smith and his wife. According to Victoria Burnett of The New York Times,"Kadir López was working in his studio at his elegant home here when the doorbell rang. It was Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith...(who) had bought Coca Cola-Galiano, an 8-by-4-foot Coca-Cola sign on which Mr. López had superimposed a 1950s photograph of what was once one of the most bustling commercial streets in Havana."

To better understand Cuba, and why collectors from around the world are buying up Cuban art, the doors to those mysteries are opening up now that the U.S. and Cuba are seeking to normalize relations after 50 + years.

As more is learned about Cuba, what Sujatha Fernandes meant in Cuba Represent! becomes clear.

"Particularly during the 1990's and the early twenty-first century, the arts have taken on a vital role in formulating, and articulating, and making sense of everyday life." 

According to Howard Farber of Cuban Art News,"The contemporary Cuban art scene is thriving and vibrant...(and that) there's terrific energy around the visual arts. Cuba has become a major supplier of great contemporary art in all media but most especially...video." Cuban Art News is now read in 171 countries.

Whether they yearn to be sculptors, or dancers, or visual or performing artists, young people are rigorously trained for 11 years at the art or music schools in Cuba ... all at government expense. Dance troupes, musicians, and painters are some of the best in the world. 

Moreover, the government funds culture centers in each of its 19 provinces. These centers promote free concerts, nurture local talent, and insure cultural activities are available to everyone. Cuba has over 265 museums "spread across the country, focusing on history, the Revolution, music, natural science, colonial and ornamental art, weapons, cars, religion, tobacco, rum and sugar." 

Occasionally a Cuban artist was discovered and a New York galley exhibited their work but often without the artist, because they could not get a visa to attend. Or, as it were under an exception to the rules, researchers or authorized tour groups would be permitted to visit the country and discovered an artist whose work was then purchased by some third country, a circuitous route to the U.S.

Now the demand for Cuban art is set to explode as individual collectors from around the world begin looking in earnest. Galleries too, are already establishing contacts in anticipation of the day when more relaxed rules governing such exports are forthcoming. The number of so-called "people -to-people" tours is increasing. And under the new travel rules adopted a few weeks ago, individuals can sort of "self-certify" themselves and make their way to Cuba.

Some artists, anticipating the demand, are busy storing their wares and increasing their production. The Wall Street Journal said that "Prices for Cuban art began climbing during the recession, driven by collectors like Mr. Farber and Miami-based philanthropist Ella Cisneros as well as major museums like London's Tate. Currently, prices for works by Cuba's living art stars like Yoan Capote, Carlos Garaicoia and the conceptual art duo Los Carpinteros swing between $5,000 and $400,000 apiece." 

It is believed this will be the biggest art market for the next decade or two. Somewhere it has been said, the next Picasso is in Cuba waiting to be discovered. Others, who have been lucky enough to buy a Wilfredo Lam, believe they have already found him.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-m-eger/...

The Art of Collecting Art

For those who want to follow his lead and start collecting seriously, now's a good time. A few genres, like modern European painting, have shown recent gains, but prices in most sectors are below their highs of the late 1980s. In full swing this month are the big spring auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's (BID) in New York. Galleries are also going into their final active period before summer closings and the big fall art fairs. And Christie's, Sotheby's, and established Internet players are taking art auctions online, potentially broadening the market for fine art.

Probably the first advice for novices is understanding the investment involved. It can be heavy, with no guarantee of a profit. Sure, Orley can boast that his Brosen canvas has appreciated in value since New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a work by the artist. And the art world does have its rags-to-riches stories, like the Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein works that sold for $4,000 to $5,000 in the 1960s and now fetch millions. But to most dealers, the idea of art as an investment is anathema. As Manhattan gallery owner Nohra Haime put it, buying art is ''the same thing as falling in love.''

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Posthumous Edition

 Untitled, possibly an illustration from an unknown, posthumous edition of Publius Vergilius Maro: Georgica (The Georgics of Virgil)

Untitled, possibly an illustration from an unknown, posthumous edition of Publius Vergilius Maro: Georgica (The Georgics of Virgil)

When an artist’s heirs give permission for the printing of an edition or second edition, it is known as a posthumous edition. Posthumous editions should be limited and documented just as in standard printing practice, though they are not necessarily hand-numbered. Editions that were pencil-signed in their original edition frequently bear stamped signatures authorized by the artist’s heirs or the publisher in their posthumous state. 

Source: http://www.ifpda.org/content/collecting_pr...