Welcome to Cynthia Shaver Asian Art Appraiser Newsletter January 2020,
Happy New Year.
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Please go to https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/exhibitions/james-tissot-fashion-faith for Tissot exhibit.
Anyone interested in cloth has a feast for the eyes.
Last month I evaluated a collection of Balinese Batuan drawings by Rudolf Bonnet from the 1920’s, 30’s, and late 40’s. The art came to the client by inheritance and estate planning is in the process.
My scope of work included correspondence with the curators from the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums (both Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor and the deYoung Museum) and the Asian Art Museum. Each of those individuals gave me resources to read, and links to books and resources with photos to train my eyes. I listened to docent lectures given at the de Young Museum about Indonesian art in general and read about Balinese art in particular. Before completing, I examined the collections at the Achenbach Foundation in person, and the Asian Art Museum Bali collection online.
I made an appointment with The Achenbach Foundation at the Legion of Honor to examine their collection of six Balinese drawings and spent one hour doing an inspection. The ink and watercolor drawings in shading and sizes were similar, and none had signatures. The Achenbach Foundation drawings, gifted in 1963 by Mr. Achenbach, all have the title in pencil “Balinese Student Drawing”. Bonnet established with another colleague an art school in Bali in the 1930’s and it may be Bonnet’s writing on the artwork denoting ‘Balinese Student Drawing’ from his academy.
The words ink and watercolor on the museum registrar’s inventory sheet lead to a most interesting discussion of ink and how shading is achieved. According to correspondence with Natalie Pollolio, assistant curator at Achenbach, watercolor is pigment mixed with a binding agent such as gum arabic, while ink is just pigment dissolved in a solution. One could achieve a similar effect of shading by diluting ink, but not all inks are water-soluble so it would depend on the ink used. (Another curious note: Japanese and Chinese ink dyed silk threads react differently, corroding at different times)
In researching auction sales, it became apparent this artwork is traded primarily in Bali and The Netherlands. That is best market. There were also sales in USA, London, Germany and Australia. Artwork with Rudolf Bonnet signature (over 1,000 artworks) brought best values. It was this information I summarized for the client.
Here is link to CultureGrrl 2019 summary https://www.artsjournal.com/culturegrrl/2019/12/the-year-in-culturegrrl-2019-edition-museums-become-easy-targets-in-difficult-times.html
Azerbaijan is a new destination for those wanting to explore, or go on pilgrimage to the Silk Road, from Asian Art Newspaper
For anyone with mahjong fever, wanting to play online https://myjongg.net/Game/Lobby
Happy New Year 2020.