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Monday, August 25, 2014

Don’t Fear the Fine Arts – 10 Reasons to Register for ISA’s Appraisal of Fine Art Course

Early bird registration
ends Monday, Sept. 1

Appraising fine art can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you’re experienced in fine arts or completely unfamiliar with it, ISA’s Appraisal of Fine Art Course is the best way to quickly learn the terminology and research practices for these types of appraisals. After seven days of hands-on, interactive instruction, you will leave equipped with the skills you need to expand your appraisal practice and never fear the fine arts again. 

Here are 10 more reasons to enroll: 
  1. You don’t need prior knowledge. The new course has been re-imagined with an updated and expanded manual, focusing on how one approaches fine arts. It is no longer only for those with a fine arts degree or previous experience in museums and galleries. 
  2. You will learn how to talk the talk. Students will understand and adopt the vocabulary to properly describe art works, their condition and art conservation techniques. 
  3. You will get answers from the best. The inviting and interactive learning experience allows for an open dialogue between students and experienced instructors, Richard Casagrande, ISA CAPP; Cathy Peters, ISA CAPP; and Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP.
  4. You will explore connoisseurship. You will understand the specifics of the art collection world and how to identify the most prized works of art. 
  5. You will get hands-on experience. The course includes guided tours of the Art Institute of Chicago and a print workshop, where you will get up close and personal with print techniques and processes. 
  6. You will earn 52 ISA Professional Development Credits. Apply these credits to your requalification. 
  7. You will learn research skills applicable to your entire appraisal practice. The skills you learn while exploring fine art can be applied to any appraisal.
  8. Your course guide will prove a valuable manual for years to come. The new Guide to Appraising Fine Art manual is a stand-alone resource for all personal property appraisers, regardless of specialty or background.  
  9. You will eat for free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided every day of the 7-day course, excluding lunch on the final day.
  10. You won’t be limited in your appraisal practice. At some point in your career, you will be approached with a work of art to appraise. Now you can tackle the appraisal with confidence.

Whatever your specialty, ISA’s Appraisal of Fine Art course will give you the skills and best practices to perform any appraisal, not only those for fine arts. Take the next step in your appraisal practice and register today

Early bird registration deadline is Monday, Sept. 1. Course registration will close Friday, Sept. 5, at 11:59 pm CDT.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Congratulations to course attendees!

ISA recently hosted a Requalification Course in Naperville, IL. Please join us in congratulating our course attendees on taking the necessary steps to maintain their education and ISA credentials!

August 1-2 Requalification Course

Colleen Boyle, ISA
Wayne, PA

Andrea Boyles, ISA
Roswell, GA

Frederic Emmett, ISA AM
Miami, FL

Philip Hawkins, ISA
Atlanta, GA

William Irvin, ISA
Petersburg, VA

Jennie Kraehling, ISA
London, ON

Alyssa Loney, ISA
Carlisle, PA

Suzy McGrane – Hop, ISA CAPP
Cedar Rapids, IA

Natalie Ribkoff, ISA
Toronto, ON

Vicky Shaw, ISA CAPP
Townsville, NC

Natalie Waechter, ISA
Chicago, IL

Lynn Wesch, ISA
Marietta, GA

School is in session!
Make sure to take advantage of the many upcoming Fall Courses ISA is hosting in Naperville, IL:

September 15-21: Appraisal of Fine Art Course
September 29–October 4: Antiques and Residential Contents Course
October 6-12: Core Course in Appraisal Studies

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cast Your Vote by August 29

The ISA Board of Directors Election is underway. If you haven’t yet done so, now is the time to cast your vote.

This year, we have five candidates running for three open board positions in 2015 – all for a three-year term. Only current ISA Member, Accredited, and Certified Members in good standing are eligible to vote, so please check that your membership dues are up to date to ensure that your vote will be counted.
To place your vote: 

  1. Visit our online voting portal
  2. Verify your identify with your unique Voter ID, provided to you in two previous email announcements about the election
  3. Read statements from each candidate (provided next to candidate names)
  4. Select 0, 1, 2, or 3 candidates by clicking the corresponding checkboxes 
  5. Click on "Cast Your Ballot"

Remember to cast your vote by Aug. 29!

Thank you for your participation in this important process, and best of luck to each candidate!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ask Leon: What to do when people want you to appraise everything

ISA members are invited to send in their questions on all things appraising and education to Leon Castner, ISA CAPP. Leon will share his answers on the ISA Now Blog. Please send questions to

Question: I just finished the Core Course. I was at a party and I mentioned the class. Now people want me to appraise everything including stamps and rings. How on earth do I start appraising rings? (J.M.)

Answer: The short answer is that you only appraise what you are competent to appraise-no matter what class you took. However, we all have general specialties, either fine art, antiques & residential contents, gems & jewelry, etc. It’s the next step in the education and membership process. Take a specialty class! It will provide guidelines for many of the things you will encounter on a fairly regularly basis. However, classes do not take the place of hands-on experience, which one learns diving into things. In a sense, it’s like a Catch 22-if you recall the old Joseph Heller book. (You shouldn’t appraise items you’ve never done but you can’t get to the next step until you actually appraise them.)

Many of our members have a mentoring process and/or use interns and new appraisers. They assist the appraiser in physical examinations, research, and ancillary jobs that provide them training in items they may not be qualified to appraise on their own.

We learn by doing. Almost every job provides an opportunity to expand our expertise and broaden our specialty field and, yes, we often encounter items we haven’t seen. (The methodology you’ve learned usually applies across the board.) How else does one learn to skate or swim or ride a bike without attempting to do it?

Of course, I think one should be very careful about tackling a type of item they’ve never done before, particularly if it falls out of the general category of one’s background and interest. After all, we not only have ourselves to think about but our clients and third parties! (If our bike crashes they go down as well!)

To your particular question: Stamps are a paper collectible that are not the same as furniture, glass, or art. If you’ve never heard of a Scott’s number or a perforation, stay away. “Rings” could be anything, but in all probability involve precious metal and gemstones. Having no training in either leaves one up the creek without a paddle (and probably without a boat).

That’s why we love to network at ISA. We can often share our assignments with those who are competent. We can send emails and digital photos. We can ask questions and be the eyes and ears for others more qualified. As we share we begin to see the fruits of our labor. Our own expertise begins to grow and we develop a strong network of associates. The business pie gets bigger…and so does our slice.