Friday, December 28, 2012

PGH Photo Fair Speaker Series #2: Deb Bell at Mattress Factory January 9th

In 2011, after 23 years in art sales, Deborah Bell became Vice President Specialist of the Photographs Department at Christie's auction house. Today, she admits, she is “still new to the business.” In the strictest sense, this may be true, but her long engagement with photography is as multifaceted as the medium itself. As a volunteer tour guide at the Walker Art Center during her teens, then as a BFA student, later as a freelance photographer, a printer, a professor, and, finally, as a professional dealer with her own gallery, Bell's scholarship and experience set a high standard.

Deborah Bell will share her insights and expertise as a part of the impressive lineup at the PGH Photo Fair Speaker’s Series. The evening will discuss market trends, the differences between running her own gallery and managing a full department at a major auction house, and the work she’s been doing to consolidate Christie’s tremendous reputation for “single-owner sales.” These sales consist of works drawn exclusively from a single collection. As more important early collections from the 1970s and 80s appear on the market, Bell explains, her department becomes more sensitive to their peculiarities. Unlike the “various owner” sales that feature objects from various consignors, single-owner sales often take fascinating biographical or aesthetic shapes, reflecting the character of the collector in surprising ways. Beyond the obvious appeal to collectors of photography, this talk will interest pretty much anyone who has an interest in the medium. But photography is not the sole topic of interest here. Anyone who has a passion for contemporary art and the role of the major auction houses in that market will be curious to hear what Ms Bell has to say.  

This is the second talk of the ongoing PGH Photo Fair Speakers Series. The first was delivered earlier this December by the curator and author Marvin Heiferman to a jam-packed Carnegie Museum apartment space in Lawrenceville. Following the format of this earlier event, Bell’s presentation will include a conversation with me followed by audience questions.

January 9, 2013
Mattress Factory Lobby
6:30, talk starts at 7:00, finish around 8:00
500 Sampsonia Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(guest contributing writer, Alexandra Oliver) 

Monday, December 17, 2012

New speaker series in Pittsburgh

The PGH Photo Fair is pleased to announce the PGH Photo Fair Speaker Series. The PGH Photo Fair, through the auspices of Fugitive Vision, LLC, is sponsoring six talks on photography at a variety of venues in Pittsburgh on the 2nd Wednesday of every month leading up to the fair on May 18-19, 2013. The series aims to augment the already rich art and photography scene in Pittsburgh with speakers who will focus on the state of the art, collecting, and connoisseurship. Please visit our website,, for more information, venues, and bios of the speakers.

Marvin Heiferman, author, curator, educator. Event date passed.
December 12, 2012 6:30pm
2013 Carnegie International Satellite Apartment

Deborah Bell, Vice President Specialist of the Photographs Department at Christie's, NYC
January 9 2013 6:30pm
Mattress Factory
500 Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Tom Gitterman, owner/founder of Gitterman Gallery in NYC
February 13, 2013 6:30pm
Mattress Factory
500 Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Fred & Laura Ruth Bidwell, noted collectors and founders of the Transformer Station in Cleveland, OH
March 13, 2013 6:30pm
The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212

David Howe, artist and collector. Founder of 601 Artspace in NYC
April 10, 2013 6:30pm
The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Nora Kennedy & Peter Mustardo, photo conservation experts; Ms Kennedy at the Met Museum and Mr Mustardo at the Better Image in NYC.
May 8, 2013 6:30pm
Carnegie Museum of Art Theater
4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213