Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ask an Instructor: Office Hours and Appraising Experience

ISA members are invited to send in their questions on all things appraising and education to ISA's instructors. One of ISA's instructors will share answers on the ISA Now Blog. Please send questions to directorofeducation@isa-appraisers.org.


Question: When is the next Office Hours webinar?

Answer: The next Office Hours with the Director of Education will be held on December 5th at 2pm CST. It’s a free webinar open to all ISA members for a lively question and answer session on the topics of your choice. Mark your calendar now!

Question: I’m having a little bit of trouble obtaining my 700 USPAP-compliant hours to reach the ISA Accredited Member (AM) level. Any suggestions for ways to gain more appraisal-specific experience hours?

Answer: Yes! I can certainly help. There are lots of ways for you to gain qualified hours. Remember that the hours must be towards the development and report of a USPAP-compliant appraisal. Thus, the hours can be your actual time spent performing the appraisal, both billable hours and non-billable (gratis) hours. Contact me today at directorofeducation@isa-appraisers.org to discuss a plan of action that would work best for you

- Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP
Director of Education

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Signing Your Appraisal Report

Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP
I was recently asked about where you should sign your appraisal report. It may seem like a silly question, but it’s actually not. Although USPAP does not dictate the form, format, or style of how to prepare an appraisal report, it is very specific in that the written appraisal report must include a signed certification statement. See USPAP 2016-2017 Edition Standards Rule 8-2(a)(xii) for Appraisal Reports and Standards Rule 8-2(b)(xii) for Restricted Appraisal Reports, which each state, “include a signed certification in accordance with Standards Rule 8-3.”

The ISA Appraisal Report Writing Standards states that “the appraisal must contain the appraiser’s signature plus the signatures of non-dissenting collaborating appraisers, if any.” See Lesson 17-4 in your Core Course manual, revised April 2016 edition. Thus, USPAP requires the certification statement be signed, and ISA requires that the appraisal report be signed. Thus, “where do you sign your appraisal report?” becomes a really good question.

The answer is one of two ways:
  1. Include the certification statement in the Cover document of your appraisal report as a separate page with its own signature. Then you can continue writing and sign the report again.
    OR
  2. Include the certification statement at the very end of the Cover document and sign immediately thereafter, so that you have a signed certification. There is no need to sign the report again.

The key point to remember is that you cannot have other text after the certification and then sign the Cover document. You need to be sure to sign the certification statement. With this information in mind, most appraisers choose option 2, as it kills two birds with one stone by allowing them to sign the appraisal once, right after the certification statement.

And let’s not forget that USPAP also specifies in Standards Rule 8-3 that “An appraiser who signs any part of the appraisal report, including a letter of transmittal, must also sign this certification.” As such, anyone signing the report must also sign the certification statement, whether that is in one place or two places in the Cover document.

As the requests for charitable donation and other types of appraisals are likely to increase as we near the year’s end, now is a great time to review your appraisal formats to make sure you are signing your appraisal report in the right place.

For questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at directorofeducation@isa-appraisers.org.

Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP
Director of Education

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

California, Here We Come!


I am delighted to invite you to my home state of California, March 9-12, for the International Society of Appraisers’ annual conference: Assets 2018 - The Gold Standard: Innovation & Valuation.

California’s mild climate and bountiful landscape are as appealing as the full slate of exceptional educational opportunities being offered. With in-depth and hands-on presentations, Assets 2018 is designed to both enrich and strengthen our professional appraisal practices.

K2 Intelligence’s Senior Manager, Jordan Arnold will share innovative technology and advancing new standards related to authenticity and provenance; Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Decorative Arts and Design Assistant Curator, Staci Steinberger will explore innovative California design from missions to Modernism; Heritage Auctions’ Director Holly Sherratt will discuss Post-War and Contemporary Fine Art trends; and Brooke Sivo, Bonham’s Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts will provide an analysis of good, better and best examples in American furniture and silver.


Do not miss Ansel Adams Gallery Director of Photography Sales, Brittany Moorefield’s good, better and best discussion, Bruce Orr’s talk on studio glass, Tim Luke’s expertise on Street art and Rosalie Sayyah, aka Antique Roadshow’s Rhinestone Rosie’s guidance on costume jewelry. These are only a few among many other worthwhile presentations scheduled for conference.

Consider signing up early for a one-day Advanced Appraisal Methodology Course. This fresh and compelling new class is being prepared and presented by ISA’s Director of Education, Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP and ISA’s Core Course Instructor, Kirsten Smolensky, JD, ISA CAPP with focus on relevant personal property case studies. And while in California, you may also wish to enroll in ISA’s onsite 7-hour USPAP Class and/or our two-day onsite Requalification Course, both available immediately following conference.

Gardens at the Huntington Library

Customized tours include exploration of one of the world’s great cultural, research and educational centers, The Huntington Library, Collections and Botanical Gardens. Tour the Gamble House, an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture with house and furnishings designed by architects Charles and Henry Green; or see the acclaimed exhibit: Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor at the Norton Simon Museum, an institution known for its encompassing collections of 19th and 20th century art.

I know you will enjoy the quintessential California style and surroundings in Pasadena at the Westin, near stunning gardens, first-class art and historic architecture. Pasadena is within proximity of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Hollywood; and not too far from the beach communities of Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu. It is a perfect venue to network with fellow colleagues, friends both old and new, as well as industry experts.

Please take a moment to look at ISA’s comprehensive Assets 2018 program and to register early for savings.

Looking forward to seeing you in California. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses!

-  Perri Guthrie, ISA CAPP, Vice President of ISA

Monday, October 2, 2017

What's This Print Worth?

Daniel W. Deyell, ISA, MA, MTS
Inevitably, art appraisers get the email or text message: “I have this art work on paper; what’s it worth?” Just about as inevitably, I have to say, “the value of the frame!” I may be exaggerating, but potential clients can have trouble discerning original works of art from reproductions, and may not understand that reproductions tend to be worth far less than the original.

As an appraiser, it helps to understand the basic processes of printmaking in order to determine whether the item you’re appraising is a reproduction or not. In this post, I will describe the main techniques and touch on some important developments in the world of printmaking so you’ll have a better understanding next time you see one of these items.

What Is a Print?


The original print is an image that has been conceived by the artist as a print. It is produced as a print, not as a drawing, painting, or three-dimensional work. Each print is considered an original; no one print or drawing or painting is considered the original prototype from which other prints are made. The size of the edition, or the number of prints produced, is decided by the artist and the prints (after a small number of artist’s proofs) are numbered sequentially. Subsequent production of any prints or print editions should be differentiated by “states” of the prints and suffer corresponding depreciation of value.

Note: the blanket statement, “[just] the value of the frame,” may not be always accurate for reproductions if they gain value outside the field of art (as a recent auction of movie posters demonstrated), but if the appraiser’s focus is works of art rather than collectibles, reproductions are substantially less important than any object directly created by an artist. Additionally, some prints by artists (think Paul Gauguin's monoprints or works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec) may be of significant value. Appraisers are encouraged to do research and approach the topic of prints with care when assigning value to an item.

Printmaking Processes


While the field of printmaking and multiples today has become muddier as contemporary artists explore techniques of photo-mechanical processes for their own art creation, it’s important for appraisers to get acquainted with the classical processes of creating multiple art images first, before venturing into contemporary artistic multiples processing.

Printmaking processes
(courtesy of the Printers' National Environmental Assistance Center)

Classic methods of processing multiples (like etchings, engravings, relief prints, lithography, and serigraphy) and even contemporary processes (like some giclée prints) result in works of art because the artists intentionally use those processes to create individual works of art unique to the medium. The fact that a work is created in multiple numbers of prints or sculptures is a result of the artist’s intention, not a result of the efficiency of the process.

Based on this criteria, an artist who employs offset lithography or giclée printing to reproduce the image of a painting does not create a new work of art; if an appraiser can reference a framed picture back to an identical painted picture, the subject of investigation is a reproduction and deserves the evaluation, “only the value of the frame!”

The traditional forms of printmaking include:
  • Intaglio (also known as “gravure” to commercial printers). Includes etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint, and mezzotint. Images are created on a metal or plastic plate by direct incisions, or by using acid to incise lines or pits into the plates. These incisions or pits are filled with ink, which is then transferred to a medium such as paper to produce an image.
  • Relief. Includes wood block, lino cut, and stonecut. In relief printmaking, material is removed from a base of wood, linoleum, stone, or even potato to leave a relief that is then inked and pressed against a medium such as paper to produce an image.

    Relief carving for stone cut print

  • Planographic. Includes lithograph, serigraph (aka silkscreen), and stencil. Lithographic stones or metal plates are prepared to receive oily or greasy drawings which adhere ink to the drawings, and are then transferred to a medium such as paper to produce an image. Stencils can be created using a variety of media, and are sometimes attached to screens (now usually fine nylon screens), through which ink is pressed with a squeegee onto a medium like paper to produce an image. Planographic printmaking usually does not include offset (or photo) litho, inkjet, or giclée, although some conceptual artists have deliberately used those processes for creating multiples.
Pulling an image from a lithograph stone


Printmaking through History


Prints from the 14th and 15th centuries to the early modern era were not usually numbered. They may carry the names of the printer as well as the artist in the image.

Since the early 20th century, traditional prints have usually included signatures in pencil with notations of print number out of (/) a numbered edition. Signatures however, do not guarantee authenticity of a traditional process, nor do they guarantee a limit on the number of works in an addition or numbers of editions or states. (For instance, a very well-known twentieth century artist issued editions of 5000 silkscreens each for a number of regions of North America and Europe). Any work containing a signature added (in pencil or pen, for instance) to an image that already has a painted signature is more than likely a reproduction.

Passing ink through a screen with a squeegee

In the past few decades, a number of artists have begun to explore computer-generated art, including digital printing with processes like giclée (which confusingly is more often a popular process to produce high-quality reproductions). Photography, which also can result in multiple images, is considered a completely separate field of artistic process.

What to Remember About Printmaking


The differentiation of original works of art as multiples from reproductions occurs when the artist is directly involved to some degree in the creation of the works of art. If the work being examined is directly the result of the creative process, it is an original print.

If the work is a copy of an image created at another time, in another size, in a different medium whether by the artist or not, whether signed (again) or not, it has been produced to be marketed more broadly without further artistic contribution and it is a reproduction.
Artist wiping an etching plate with ink

Daniel Deyell is a member of the International Society of Appraisers, He has twenty years’ experience in the field of fine arts and earned degrees in art and art history from University of Regina and University of British Columbia supplemented with professional museum and arts management certificates from Banff Centre and American Law Institute/American Bar Association. He has worked with public art galleries across Western Canada, including Mackenzie Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, Glenbow, Alberta College of Art Gallery, Muttart Art Gallery, Penticton Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery and International Museum of Cultures in Dallas in varying roles from preparatory to curatorial to managerial. At the Mendel, he prepared condition reports and digitized the catalogued collection of 4,400 objects for inclusion in a museum collection database.

Recommended Reading:
Glossary of commonly-used terms related to printmaking

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