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Under the appraiser's eye

The Eagle’s Nest Art Colony Collection at the Oregon Public Library got its seven-year checkup earlier this month.

Farhad Radfar, an art appraiser from MIR Appraisal Services, Inc., Chicago and Anne Zakaras, also of MIR, were at the library Oct. 1 to complete an updated insurance appraisal for the collection.

“Art collections need to be preserved for the community,” said Radfar. “The artists created these. These collections need to be preserved for generations. It tells the story of the history.

Radfar said the appraisal helps determine how the art pieces are holding up.

“The artists were inspired,” said Radfar. “Don’t forget it. We are doing our work to preserve these art works. Having art is not enough — preserving and maintaining is. We need to take care of them. The main thing is conservation.”

Pieces from the art collection are on display on the second floor of the library.

Selections include the working model for Lorado Taft’s Blackhawk Statue and The Blind.

The last appraisal of the collection was completed in 2002.

Only the Eagle’s Nest collection was appraised. Other works the library owns were not included in this appraisal.

“MIR will finish the appraisal in two-three weeks,” said librarian Marsha Zaccone. “These works of art are irreplaceable, but we need to put a price on them for insurance.”

An updated catalog for the collection will be posted on the library’s website after the final appraisal is completed, said Zaccone.

The online catalog may include photos and descriptions of the art as well as a brief biography of the artist.

The appraised value of the pieces will not be included in the online catalog.

During the appraisal process, Radfar and Zakaras carefully examined each piece and took updated photos.

“The art market changes,” said Radfar. “We examine the signatures and the strength of the canvas. It is our job to check the work and confirm it.”

Changes in condition were also noted.

Radfar said recognizing problems with a painting early can help with maintenance and making sure the paintings last for generations.

Some pieces may receive a recommendation about how to restore or preserve them.

“Having a group finance a piece is brilliant,” said Radfar. “It is much easier if one family steps forward to help.”

Signs under the paintings in the collection name donors who paid for the cleaning and restoration of the works.

Over time, every painting will need some work done to maintain the piece, said Radfar.

“Art needs to be inspected every five to seven years to be checked,” said Radfar. “You have to check them out.”

Throughout the appraisal, Radfar talked about the history of the collection.

“They all have a story to tell,” said Radfar. “They all have historical aspects. We don’t want to lose any of these paintings.”

As of Oct. 13, the results of the appraisal had not yet been received, Zaccone said.

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