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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Blog!

Lately the weather has been changing a lot, almost too much; one minute it’s freezing cold and the next it’s broiling outside. Luckily for us, we know that this is Mother Nature’s way of making positive changes in order to welcome summer back into our lives. Well, just as the weather has been indecisive and somewhat unclear, so has our blog. We have been working hard this past month to bring you—our devoted readers—a better publication. A publication that not only can inform you about various artists but can also foster reader interaction and encourage growth in the arts. We are proud to officially launch our new blog at and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
You can find our new blog at:
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Thank you for reading.

George Rickey

While you patiently wait for our new blog site to be fully up and running, please enjoy this article about renowned artist, George Rickey-written and researched by one of our appraisers, Margaret Smilowitz.

George Rickey blended many styles to create his kinetic sculpture. Like his predecessor, Alexander Calder, Rickey was interested in the possibility of movement in sculpture and like his contemporaries, such as Sol Lewitt or David Smith, Rickey created minimalist works which examined the beauty of individual shapes. Rickey’s combination of movement, and minimalism created dynamic sculptures that are able to totally change and rearrange the environment they inhabit and truly capture their audience.

Rickey was born in 1907 in Southbend, Indiana. He spent the first part of his life studying art at various art schools in the United States and in Paris. After receiving his art education, Rickey taught art at many Midwestern schools, including Know College, the University of Indiana and Olivet College. In this part of his career, Rickey was a painter. Inspired by artist in the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) Rickey’s early work was influenced by Social Realism. However, after his years in the army during WWII and after he studied at the Bauhaus Rickey’s art began to change.

In the late 1940’s Rickey began his work with moving geometry. He started to attach simple forms like rectangles and metal spears to podiums and stands. The shapes would be secured by an intricate system of bearings which would allow the shapes to shift or sway from movement. These works exemplified the beauty of possibility. The chance that the shapes might move creates a type of suspense for the sculptor’s viewer. The sculpture has the possibility to change each time it is looked upon and it is this dynamism which makes Rickey’s sculpture so unforgettable.

Rickey continued to make sculpture until he died in 2002. He created several public art works, installing his work in many places all over the globe, including his 57 foot sculpture at the Hyogo Museum in Japan. His work remains in museums, private collections and at the universities he taught at. Rickey’s work will be remembered for its ability to blend the styles from many periods to make unique sculpture which combined geometry with action.

Works sited:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coming soon...

Hello to our loyal followers, and to our new readers as well!

In an effort to improve our blog, we are in the process of making some changes:

  • First of all, our blog is under new "management"!
  • Secondly, we are transferring our blog platform from Blogger to Word Press. (You will be able to reach our new blog through this site for a limited amount of time.)
  • When our new site is ready to launch I will post the new address, please be sure to visit & subscribe!
  • We are also looking at some content & format changes.
We are very interested to hear your thoughts and comments on these changes. Feel free to leave a comment attached to this posting or e-mail

~Caitlin Luetger

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpès

Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes (1880-1958) was a Belgium artist from Brussels who spent his early artistic career traveling the world, painting the things he had seen. In 1932, however, he landed in Bali and found a place so beautiful he could paint it for the rest of his life. He once explained, "I am an impressionist. There are three things in life that I love: beauty, sunlight, and silence. Now could you tell me where to find these in a more perfect state than in Bali?" Le Mayeur's passion for Bali, its beauty and its people can certainly be felt in his work. His broad brush strokes, use of light and color, and depiction of the female form give his paintings a pristine and mythical beauty that provides the viewer a glimpse of a forgotten world.

Le Mayeur spent his time in Bali painting in a garden paradise. After a few years and some successful exhibits, he built a house on the beach at Sanar and married his longtime model, Ni Pollok. Ni Pollock remained Le Mayeur’s muse and appeared in most of his paintings. Together they created works which showcased the beauty of the environment around them; works like Women Making Offerings at Sacred Pond (1958) depict a group of women in traditional Balinese costume, framed by blossoming flowers and littered with glittering light. The nymph- like figures dance around the frame and tend to an illustrious garden pond. Ultimately, it is Le Mayeur’s ability to create this type of mythical mirage from another time and place that make his paintings so successful and sought after. [To the right, Le Mayeur and his wife Ni Pollock; Attribution: Tropenmuseum of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)]

Le Mayeur continued to paint in Bali until his death in 1958. During the Japanese Occupation of Bali from 1942-45, Le Mayeur was on house arrest. Sequestered off in his house without access to art supplies, Le Mayeur painted on wood scraps and rice sacks in order to continue his work. After his death, Ni Polok continued to live in their house at Sanar. Upon her death and according to her husband’s wishes, the house was left to the Indonesian government and remains a National Museum in Bali. To this day, Le Mayeur’s work continues to serve as a testament to the beauty of Bali.

MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.

Principal Appraiser: Farhad Radfar, ISA AM
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601

(312) 814-8510

Researched and Written by: Margaret Smilowitz

Edited by: Caitlin Luetger

Works cited:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wojciech Adalbert Kossak

Known for his paintings depicting scenes of Polish patriotism and battle, Polish artist Wojciech Adalbert Kossak is unique in his loyalty to the same nationally beloved subjects throughout his career, even as his contemporaries embraced fluctuations of styles between Western Europe and traditional Polish art. Kossak was born in Paris in 1857 to famous Polish artist Juliusz Kossak. Wjciech Kossak first studied drawing under his father before entering Krakow’s School of Fine Arts in 1871, he then moved to the Munich Academy of Fine Arts four years later. Kossak returned to Krakow in 1876 to serve in the Krakow Cavalry Regiment for a short period of time before focusing on his art career

Kossak’s father, Juliusz, greatly influenced his career and popularity as a painter of historic themes and battle, especially cavalry. Juliusz worked mostly in watercolor, painting the lifestyles of members of the gentry and nobility to whose estates he was invited to visit and observe. In addition to some portraiture, Juliusz was particularly passionate about horses and painted many riding, racing, and hunting scenes. Wjciech Kossak immediately embraced his father’s style and favorite subject matters, beginning with his return to Krakow in 1876.

In addition to his father’s influence on his work, Kossak was inspired even further by his time in the Cavalry Regiment and would flourish in the coming decade after he returned to Paris in 1887 to study at the École des Beaux Arts under Alexandre Cabanel and Leon Bonnat. In 1884, Kossak moved back to Krakow and began to work on large scale oil and watercolor paintings of historic themes, including the Napoleonic Wars and famous Polish battles and uprisings against foreign invaders. Kossak also did some portraiture, painting family members, nobility, military figures, and occasionally himself.

At the end of the 19th century, Polish artists began to merge these popular themes with Impressionism. At the arrival of WWI, artists moved back to historic themes, but after the war they embraced cubism, abstractionism, and expressionism. Perhaps as can be expected, as the horrors of WWII played out in Poland, Polish artists once again focused on patriotic scenes. Despite the constant changing of artistic styles in Poland, Kossak continued to paint only the popular battle and historic themes he was known for. Patrons of Kossak were especially fond of his depictions of horses in cavalry scenes and occasional hunting scenes. Kossak painted some works of contemporary events such as WWI and the 1920 military campaign, but he mostly stuck with events like the Polish uprising against Russia.

The majority of Kossak’s well known paintings depict famous Polish battles. Inspired by revered Polish artists Jan Matejko and Wojciech Gerson, Kossak and a few other choice painters of his time painted a massive circular oil panorama in honor of the 100th anniversary of the victorious Battle of Raclawice, celebrating Poland’s bravery in defense of Polish independence. Kossak also painted panoramas of the Battle of Berezyna and the Battle of the Pyramids.

After a long career devoted to celebrating Polish patriotism and defense against international oppression, Kossak died in Krakow in 1942. His work hangs in many private collections in addition to the National Museum in Warsaw. He will continue to be known for his loyalty to traditional Polish styles and themes within his art, despite the often-changing directions of his contemporaries.

MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
Principal Appraiser: Farhad Radfar, ISA AM
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-8510

Works Cited:

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    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    Welcome to our blog site! MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. is a fine art and personal property appraisal company dedicated to serving clients throughout the United States and abroad since our incorporation in Chicago in 1994. We specialize in the multi-faceted field of appraising fine art, jewelry, antiques, and decorative items. We also provide professional fine art restoration and conservation treatment for various media, including but not limited to, artworks on canvas, board, masonite, and paper. We offer professional and precise appraisal services carried out by our team of accredited appraisers for the purposes of insurance coverage and claims, charitable donations, estate planning and probate, equitable distribution and fair-market value. We started our art commentary blog site as a venue for colleagues and fellow art enthusiasts to share their experiences within the art community.