National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia - WarmGlass.com

National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia

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Geri Comstock
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National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia

Postby Geri Comstock » Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:03 pm

Does anyone know anything about the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia?

I got a letter from them asking for a donation of a piece of glass sculpture to a fund-raising auction they're having. I don't donate to the many causes that request donations unless I know something about them and it's a cause I support. I've never heard of this museum and wondered if anyone has been there or knows anything about it. I took a look at their website already.

I can't figure out how they got my name/address unless they were searching the web for glass artists... did anyone else get this letter?

Thanks -

Geri

Doug Randall
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Postby Doug Randall » Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:26 pm

Geri, They hit me up last year and I had the same questions as you. I didn't get any answers from them when I emailed so I felt that it wouldnt be worth the while anyway, unless I actually was showing work in that area.

Marty
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Postby Marty » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:09 pm

I gave them a piece last year because "everyone" else did. The list of names was impressive and I thought why not, might be good exposure.
It was probably a mistake; I have no connection with the museum (a dubious cause, perhaps nebulous is a better word) and there was an awful lot of glass donated. I won't do it again.

Geri Comstock
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Postby Geri Comstock » Tue Mar 02, 2004 4:18 pm

Heh. This year the letter says they're having a "Glass Weekend", so how much ya wanna bet there's gonna be alot of glass again? LOL. All glass, all weekend.

Recently I read on another board about how some artists are starting to tell the groups requesting artist donations that they won't donate a piece 100%. The artists tell they group that they want a percentage of the auction price (20% or so) or else sell a piece to the group for a price somewhat less than wholesale.

I've done both of these, but it's always been a situation in which the group/museum made the offer to all of the artists who make a donation...

Sounds like an interesting strategy to me. Has anyone tried asking for this when it's not been offered and been successful with it?

Geri

Dani
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Postby Dani » Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:08 pm

I was hit up by them two years ago and after nosing around, was told (off the cuff) that it was a great place for wealthy people to buy glass cheap from famous artists. LOL. I took that as a compliment.... and didn't send anything. (As an aside, I notice they don't solicit the same artists from year to year.) I think I'll save my donated work for the warmglass auction and for the University of Oregon fundraising auction to benefit their new museum..... if they ever get around to actually staging it.

AVLucky
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Postby AVLucky » Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:10 pm

Fascinating...I live in the Philly area and never heard of the Liberty museum until just now! (Then again, I'm not too into the touristy stuff anyway...never even been to the liberty bell) I checked out their website http://www.libertymuseum.org and it seems they've only been around since 2000. But what a weird combination of events! Fighting social injustices, and glass. I'm going to have to check this place out. I'll volunteer myself as a scout if anyone wants to tell me when the auction is scheduled for. Otherwise, as soon as I get a chance to do a walk-through, I'll be back with a report. Any specific things you want to know?

Geri Comstock
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Postby Geri Comstock » Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:17 pm

Thanks for volunteering. The auction isn't until October 8-10, but they're looking for donations now.

I was also puzzled by their connection between glass, fighting social injustice and their establishment of the museum in the memory of 1000 firefighters, etc. who lost their lives in 9/11...

If/when you go there, let us know what you find out. I'm very curious. LOL.

Geri

Tom Fuhrman
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Postby Tom Fuhrman » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:20 pm

I donated a piece to their cause 2 years ago. They are legit. They have a very impressive group of collectors as their members including some of the owners of some big name galleries. They listed the following galleries as participating: Holsten Gallery, Habitat gallery, Riley Hawk Gallery, Maurine Littleton Gallery, Wexler Gallery, Gallerie International de Verre. Artists aprticipating include: Jiri Harcuba, Brain Kerkvliet, Pavel Hlava, Rick Eckerd, Stephen Dee Edwards, Dan Dailey, Dale Chihuly, John Littleon & Kate Vogel, Richard Ritter, Therman Statom, are just a few. If nothing else, a pretty inpressive group of glass artists. The piece I donated brought about a$100 more at auction than I valued it at. Just my $.02. Tenn. Tom

Marty
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Postby Marty » Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:42 am

Dani wrote:I was hit up by them two years ago and after nosing around, was told (off the cuff) that it was a great place for wealthy people to buy glass cheap from famous artists. LOL. ......


The collectors seem to get lesser work from the established artists for a song, the best work from those same artists at more than retail (they are deducting the cost as a donation, legally or not), and good work from emerging artists at just above wholesale. The big question, after accounting for the supporting-a-good-cause, is, does it get you the attention you want?

Amy Schleif-Mohr
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Postby Amy Schleif-Mohr » Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:43 pm

Geri,

I got the letter too. I have decided to donate a piece to the auction.

I called them to find out where they got my name. They asked me if I'm a member of GAS, I said no but I had a piece in the Pilchuck auction. They said that's where they must have gotten it from.

I also asked several other questions. Like what do I get for my donation. They give you 2 tickets to the black tie event. You can ask them to give you 25% of what the piece sells for. Of course you can give them 100% if you choose. There are a couple of other things too, but I don't have my letter here in front of me. I do recall several board regulars listed on the letter head and some pretty big honchos too. There are several silent auctions and a live one, just like Pilchuck. They do publish a catalog as well.

The woman I talked to was very nice and answered all of my questions, so you could call to have your own questions answered.

In my short experience of donating pieces to big auctions like this one, it has only been positive.

Amy

Doug Randall
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Postby Doug Randall » Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:53 pm

Good information Amy. Thanks for clarifying the situation with the museum. By the way...do they put out a catalogue like pilchuck does?

Amy Schleif-Mohr
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Postby Amy Schleif-Mohr » Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:01 pm

That is my understanding. You have to send them an image a month before the work is due so they can put the catalog together. I asked if they do the photography, they replied that they don't quite have the budget that Pilchuck does so they ask the artists to have the images taken. I will let you know when it comes out how it compares to the Pilchuck catalog.

Amy

Patty Gray
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Postby Patty Gray » Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:11 pm

Hi Doug,

Yes they put out a very nice catalog and they send information on who purchased your piece, etc. Several of my friends have donated the last couple of years and I know that I was contacted because I am a member of Glass Art Society (GAS).

Patty
http://www.pattygray.com

Geri Comstock
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Postby Geri Comstock » Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:16 pm

Heh. Well I've never juried to put anything in the Pichuk Auction, nor am I a member of GAS. Still wonder how they got my name.

Anyway, thanks for looking into it, Amy.

Geri

Brad Walker
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Postby Brad Walker » Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:24 pm

Geri Comstock wrote:Heh. Well I've never juried to put anything in the Pichuk Auction, nor am I a member of GAS. Still wonder how they got my name.


You don't have to be a member of GAS to be on their mailing list. They have around 16,000 names on the list and only 3,000 members.

In your case, I suspect someone got the name from one of the shows you've been in.

S. Klein
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Postby S. Klein » Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:35 pm

I have given a piece to the Liberty Museum the past two years. I have been in the Live auction both times and my piece sold between retail and wholesale. While that was disapointing, it's reality. I have taken the 25% offered. I give pieces to three auctions annually. I have very special feelings for Pilchuck as that is where I started and I ask for nothing. The other two, I ask for a %. I only make 30ish pieces per year and cannot afford to give 10% of that away. That being said, the Liberty Museum, in my opinion, presents a very worthwhile cause AND the exposure to collectors on the east coast has been very good for me. I always give what I think is my best work at the time to these auctions. I do not give seconds or any piece that I would not put into a gallery. I believe that it's important to present collectors the same quality that they would find in a gallery....................steve
Steve Klein Studio
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Orange, CA 92867

Geri Comstock
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Postby Geri Comstock » Mon Mar 08, 2004 3:12 pm

Thank you everyone for your input/experience with this museum. I'm still considering whether to make a contribution.

As artists, we often asked to contribute work to various causes. Marty gets some of the funnier requests I've heard...I'm glad I'm not famous enough to get requests like some he's posted about. LOL.

Some of the causes are very worthwhile and certainly good candidates for donations.

I appreciate all of your input.

Geri

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:26 pm

Geri Comstock wrote:Thank you everyone for your input/experience with this museum. I'm still considering whether to make a contribution.

As artists, we often asked to contribute work to various causes. Marty gets some of the funnier requests I've heard...I'm glad I'm not famous enough to get requests like some he's posted about. LOL.

Some of the causes are very worthwhile and certainly good candidates for donations.

I appreciate all of your input.

Geri


The Liberty Museum is not a cause that will be some great "benefit" to humanity. The reason to donate there is to get some publicity for yourself. Considering the 25% it will only cost some labor. Is it worth it to you to donate a piece and get some exposure to collectors?
Bert

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Amy Schleif-Mohr
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Postby Amy Schleif-Mohr » Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:31 pm

I forgot to also add that they pay you back for the shipping costs.

Amy

Dani
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Postby Dani » Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:51 pm

And remember that with donations like this, several years running will get you more noticed. Two years ago, when I asked the same questions, the replies from some were much more lukewarm than this round. I suspect after a few contributions (or ads or shows or anything else building name recognition), there's a greater reward. The 100th Monkey Syndrome applied to art buyers. :wink:


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