I’m going through my dad’s things and there are a few items that seem collectible but I have no idea how one sells such things:
Probably the most valuable if I can get it to the right person to sell it - a typed, signed letter from Charles G. Finney the author of The Circus of Dr. Lao (the book was made into a movie). In the letter Finney discusses Circus and several other works. He ends with “Thank you for not asking me to explain.” Its a great letter. My dad’s fave book. However, the letter doesn’t mean all that much to me personally.
a handwritten and signed postcard from Dwight Eisenhower to my grandfather who had some county government post (election related?) It has a photo of Dwight and his family on the front.
a handful of I Like Ike buttons
I have a bunch of art slides of famous photographers works. From eBay these do not seem worth much. However, I have a weird set of Steiglitz negatives that are different from these teaching slides. My dad had a strong interest in photography - we had a Weston print and an Angel
Adams in our home growing up - so it’s possible these negatives are something of value but I don’t know enough about photography to know.
Finally, Dad used a large format negative camera for a lot of his photos from the late 60s- early 70s. There’s some family photos I’d like to print. Does anyone know how you print from a big negative like this? Especially an old one?
I think you need to talk to antique dealers, like Antiques Roadshow types, not “the junk guy down the street”. It’s important to talk to many people, too, so you can weed out the con artists.
I can’t remember your location, but are you near a major metropolitan center?
Are there any sci-fi-oriented shops in Chatta? (what IS the nickname for where you live now, lol?) Also find out about SF conventions.
GOOD LUCK. But seriously, military collectors - they usually publish ads in the classifieds of every printed paper extant - might be interested in it. This goes for #3, as well. Also, if DDE has a Presidential Library, they might like what you have. Or the county where your grandfather served; maybe they have a museum?
Local art galleries, perchance? Museums?
I have photos of the first pouring of concrete into the the Hoover Dam, on which my maternal grandfather worked, as well as other photos. Best way to get shed of them is to have them appraised, then donate them to a museum and then report it on my income tax, I GUESS, because who wants to buy such a thing?
I mean, I get Indiana Jones and it should be in a museum…but Indy had a DAY job; pirating and being a mercenary certainly isn’t as regular as being a university professor, is it, LOL? Why can’t the museum buy it (don’t they usually have fairly-well-to-do board members, not always, though?) then take it off their taxes? At any rate, I don’t even remember where I put the album now.
With the negatives, you may just be able to take them to a photo shop and see what they can do. And local schools - high school to college, I’d think - might be able to help, too.
would the presidential-related things be of interest to your local historical society, or heck, is there an Eisenhower library somewhere that would be interested in them? as for the large format negative, try calling a local printer – they might be able to help point you to whoever could reproduce it. i’m almost 100% certain that it can be scanned with a large flatbed scanner or drum scanner and turned into a positive/photographic print.
I’m in Chattanooga. Nashville and Atlanta are close by and probably the best bets for the letter. My aunt and uncle in Atlanta are into some high dollar collectible stuff - not the letter type of thing but maybe through someone they work with locally I can gt a referral. And my stepsister does architectural collectibles so maybe she knows people in the antiques business there in Nashville.
I hadn’t thought about military collectors. I just thought someone might be into collecting Presidential stuff. I do know a person who did Civil War memoriabilia who maybe knows someone in the industry. I bet it was autopen. Certainly they had the tech then. Otherwise why would he personally pen something to a guy in a tiny county in Missouri.
Ditto on scanning the negative. You should be able to get a nice image file from it. A home scanner with a scanning negative option might even work (where the light comes from the lid through the negative, rather than from below bouncing off an opaque image).
I’m trying to figure out from a personal level how much time and effort to put into these old photos. Yes, my dad took some lovely pictures of my mom when she was pregnant with my sister and some beautiful photos of her during her babyhood. Now she is in her mid 50’s. My parents are divorced. Dad is dead. I’m thinking of making curating a little photo book of these things for my family Christmas gifts. And then just storing the remaining items.
And the 400 negatives of shots Dad took of the dam in Helena, AL I have no idea what to do with. Trash heap?
Please check with a local historical society/museum first! Sorry, I just hate the idea of photos of anything going in the trash. My mum tossed enlargements my dad made himself of his photos that my brothers and I wanted without asking us, and an artist’s family I know had a bonfire after he died suddenly to get rid of his work sketches etc. A friend we both knew helped and mentioned it casually several years after his death, and another friend present who was an admirer of his work burst into tears on the spot when they heard.
One person’s abundance of junk is another person’s treasure.
My mum did offer some of my dad’s other photos to the Canada National Exhibition archives, and they were thrilled to take them because a) they didn’t have many photos of the era when he took his photos there and b) they were better quality than most of the photos they already had for that time period.
I’m wondering if this might have been a directive? Some artists burn the work that doesn’t sell or gift, or they feel is somehow inferior in order to keep only the good works circulating both before and after death. It also helps with future income to have a reputation for a good standard of skill.
Related: When I was studying beginner courses at the Wichita Art Association, we had a running joke with the Wichita Historical Society (located in the clock tower building). We called them the Hysterical Society, and they called us the Art Assassination.
The big issue with the art work is that it is photography. I am not exaggerating to say that I have around 400 negatives of photos of the Helena Dam. They are negatives, not prints. There’s an art to the process of printing. I have no idea how to judge from the negatives which might be best candidates for printing and then from there how to get them properly printed as darkrooms are going away and I do not really know my dad’s process. I can think of a couple of people who might be willing to select. It’s just a lot to figure out and I’m not sure who is motivated to do it. If it were journals or something at least there would be some limit to it but there is just so much and it is so similar and it’s not finished art work.