Morton Bartlett, photograph of sculpted and painted plaster doll in hand-sewn clothes and wig, ca. 1950. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy Marion Harris Gallery
Managing an artist’s career or estate requires extreme sensitivity and astute business skills. Often, outsider artists present dealers and scholars with a somewhat unique quandary of management and interpretation, as the artists are frequently either dead when their work is discovered, or are perceived as having a limited ability to talk about the meaning of their art and make decisions about the trajectory of their careers. This panel discussion will bring together four professionals who have been tasked with navigating this difficult terrain, to talk about the ways in which they have helped shape our understanding of the work of artists who were unable to shape it themselves. Together, they will discuss both the rewards and potential pitfalls of this task of stewardship, and how their lives have been shaped by the work of these remarkable artists.
Panelists include Karen Patterson, curator of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, who will talk about her relationship to the work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein; gallerist Marion Harris, who will talk about finding and promoting the work of Morton Bartlett; and Tom di Maria, director of the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA, who will discuss the life and work of Judith Scott.