THE DAY I QUIT MY JOB
I have to be one of the luckier ones, I love what I do. I have for 30+ years. Eventually the creative destruction and ill conceived market disruption would catch up with me.
Overtime the good parts have been taken over by a wave of technological musts that are mostly slightly interesting and occasionally a real irritation.
The computer has gone from a relatively convenient atm to a demanding task master, the ruination of traditional commerce and the transformation of my area of interest into the wild west. I guess in a way one used to learn by working for an expert for a substantial period of time. Now everything that appears about the same is assumed to be the same by buyers and sellers. Museum people I have had the pleasure of knowing generally will not offer much of an opinion based on photographs. Now this is considered fairly standard practice.
Grumpy old Fragmort went to heaven or hell roughly 60 years ago. She was slightly drunk, bitter and vicious. Most of her treasure sat quietly in a barn till the land became too valuable. A small local estate seller liquidated the contents. Many famous names appeared, or more interesting did not. At this point unfinished goods where tax exempt for import from Europe. A small Egyptian bust with some paint emerged came to be ours for a while. One small problem is that it was too beautiful. A rather young but very famous scholar decided it might be part of the most sophisticated fakes being currently made from a photo. He worked at a top museum and is highly regarded. Months passed and the bust was sold to a collector that was informed of the pieces curious journey. A year passed and a record of the bust showed up in an old inventory as the gift of a famous collector to Fragamort. Was the bust authentic? Probably. The inventory placed the carving back to the 1930’s. At that point fakes and authentic pieces where curiosities and generally not valuable enough to make a complicated fake. The creators were not from a long formal tradition of carving and generally they would include contemporary conventions unwittingly making significant stylistic errors. In any case it was not a modern best quality fake. Had the expert handled the bust he might have judged it differently.
Today starts my new job. The relentless and soul crushing part of my work I gladly gift to some poor soul. If it is done badly few will notice as the sheer quantity of material floating in various clouds will certainly cover up most of it. For my part I will continue with the part I love as long as I can.
A very good beautiful and kind acquaintance died unexpectedly in her sleep last night. I am very sad for her family and in a way for all of us. She always went out of her way to make me feel welcome. At the moment kindness is in short supply. In the face of such mind numbing corruption and greed it is the good among us that will allow us to survive and thrive. Do not underestimate the power of kindness. If you have a chance try some. Remember that it works it way quietly and should you choose to brag you have missed the point.