Bruce Burnham and his family have been trading Native American Art for five generations, with 2017 marking the second year that RB Burnham & Company Trading Post is partnering with Museums of Western Colorado and Horizon Drive District to present the Native American Art Auction & Appraisal Clinic, April 7-8.
“We had worked with and visited Bruce Burnham, his wife Virginia and daughter Sheri on several occasions, and I also had the pleasure of seeing Bruce do Native arts auctions at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Arizona,” says Museums’ Executive Director Peter Booth. “Burnham Trading Post cooperates with accredited museums throughout the nation to present similar auctions, so we feel very confident in their reputation in bringing this type of educational event to the Grand Valley.”
The auction comprises a variety of inventory consigned by weavers, potters, katsina doll carvers, jewelry makers, and Native artisan dealers and traders. On Friday, April 7 from 6-7 p.m., interested parties can attend an appraisal clinic where informal, verbal evaluations on specific items are available for educational purposes; full written appraisals also may be provided for an additional fee.
On Saturday, April 8, the auction preview opens at 10 a.m., with the auction commencing at 1 p.m. Up for auction will be 250-275 pieces, including rugs, pottery, baskets, jewelry, Katsina dolls and other Native art. Most pieces are contemporary Navajo, Hopi or Zuni, made available directly from the artisans, but antique (early 20th century) rugs, pots or baskets often are found at auction, as well.
Booth says that the success of last year’s event inspired the Museums to present the appraisal clinic and auction again in 2017: “We were pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of interest in learning about the art of Native peoples. It was amazing to see how many people really crave information on a particular Native art piece they own. In many cases, they received the artwork as a gift, but never had information on its significance. The opportunity to learn from experts like the Burnhams is rare; these events provide great opportunity in a format that is truly enjoyable and unique.”
The event will be held in Grand Junction at the Grand Vista Hotel, sponsor of the clinic and auction along with Horizon Drive District and the Museums. The auction is free, but registration is required: 242-0971. To reserve a spot at the appraisal clinic ($15/item), contact Carla Hatch at 970-242-0971 x212. For further details on the clinic or auction, contact Peter Booth at 970-242-0971 x204.