Brava

January 2012

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play in your free time Art Throb Beauty in anonymity by Pete Lundberg Part of the enjoyment of art is getting to know the creator, or in the case of a de- ceased artist, learning about their life, works and progression of their style. But what if the artist's identity is unknown? Does it detract from the value of the piece? When we talk about evaluating art, we appraisers look at comparables. With living artists, it's relatively easy to see how their works are selling at galler- ies, shows or studios. With deceased artists, we carefully examine auction records, noting all factors that determine value: size, condition, subject matter and, of course, quality of a particular piece. With a work of art whose identity is un- known, it's a whole different ball game. A work may be unsigned, illegibly signed, or even erroneously signed (i.e. a forgery). While such works rarely bring the kind of money that an authentic, attributable work does, you might be surprised how much money an anonymous work of art can fetch. Some of my favorite paintings in our collection are unsigned, with little hope of ever knowing the identity of the artist. Perhaps the mysterious nature adds in- terest and appeal, as well as the hope that someday the creator will be discovered. Art, like life, is full of mysteries just wait- ing to be solved. Pete Lundberg is not only an art lover but owner of Janus Galleries in Madison. Above: This beautifully rendered nude was never signed, yet clearly it is by a very capable painter. Many exquisite works are never signed, or the signature is illegible. Collectors can spend a lifetime trying to determine the identity of the artist. Right: An unsigned piece, there are still some clues to this late 19th century Dutch impressionist gem. The wood panel was manufactured in New York, yet a paper frag- ment on the reverse shows it was exhibited in Europe. Perhaps an American artist painting abroad? Museum happenings this month: Jan. 8: Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen, a weekly chamber music series, kicks off the year with a performance by Duo Coriolan. Performances begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. Visit chazen.wisc.edu. Jan. 14: The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art opens ¬°Tierra y Libertad! Revolution and the Modernist Mexican Print, showcasing works from one of the most extensive Mexican print holdings in the Midwest. Visit mmoca.org. 70 BRAVA Magazine January 2012 Book Club Business leaders share their paths to success both on the job and off Start Something That Matters By Blake Mycoskie You don't have to choose between achieving success, finding happiness and making an impact, says TOMS shoe founder Blake Mycoskie. After building a business known for giving back worldwide, he shares how to craft a career that is completely yours and completely meaningful. Published by Spiegel & Grau, $22 My Life in Leadership: The Journey and Lessons I Learned Along the Way By Frances Hesselbein Frances Hesselbein started her climb as a Girl Scouts troop leader and became a pioneering CEO. In her intimate mem- oir, this Presidential Medal of Freedom winner recounts how she approached her life and work to make her the renowned leader she is today. Published by Jossey-Bass, $28 Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul By Howard Schultz Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz believes there's a right way and wrong way to achieve success. In a memoir that is as much about growing a business as it is about growing personally, he offers a perspective that speaks to Wall Street, Main Street and all employers and employees in between. Published by Rodale, $26 Weaving Dreams: The Joy of Work, The Love of Life By Tami Longaberger Tami Longaberger has come a long way from an impoverished childhood. The CEO of the Longaberger Basket empire shares how she learned to dream big and actually get there, while practicing gratitude along the way. Published by Wiley, $25

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