Case Studies: Problems and Solutions in Artist Estates

Margarete Bagshaw, Bruce Bernstein, Kate Fitz Gibbon, and David Rettig

IARC Speaker Series, SAR Boardroom

Thursday, April 19, 2012, 2:00–5:00 pm, Free


YouTube Audio: Listen to the event “Case Studies: Problems and Solutions in Artist Estates.”

Leaving behind an artistic legacy for future generations is a difficult and complicated process. No one knows this better than the families and executors who become charged with acting in the best interests of the artist’s estate. In this panel discussion, representatives of artist estates will discuss the various challenges and benefits involved with managing these estates. Speakers include Margarete Bagshaw (granddaughter/daughter and executor of the Pablita Velarde and Helen Harden estates), Bruce Bernstein (executor of the Harry Fonseca estate), and David Rettig (Curator of Corporate Collections for the Allan Houser, Inc.). Arts attorney Kate Fitz Gibbon will provide a legal perspective to the discussion.

Margarete Bagshaw is descended from a long line of artists from Santa Clara Pueblo. Her late mother was noted painter Helen Hardin, and her grandmother was the great Pablita Velarde. As executor of both estates, she now runs the Golden Dawn Gallery, which showcases and markets the work of Hardin and Velarde.

A modernist painter, Bagshaw is known for her use of color, composition, and texture. Bagshaw’s work has been featured in many publications, including The Santa Fean Magazine, Southwest Art, Native Peoples, and New Mexico Magazine. She has also exhibited in many museums, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2011 and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in 2012. Bagshaw is also a featured lecturer across the country. In September 2010 she was the keynote speaker at the International Folk Art Society Annual Conference, and in March 2011 she spoke in Washington, DC for “Women’s History Month” at the Smithsonian.

Kate Fitz Gibbon during the “Case Studies” eventKate Fitz Gibbon during the “Case Studies” eventIARC Speaker Series with Margarete Bagshaw, Bruce Bernstein, Kate Fitz Gibbon, and David Rettig,  on April 19, 2012.
Kate Fitz Gibbon during the “Case Studies” event
David Rettig and Bruce Bernstein during the “Case Studies” eventDavid Rettig and Bruce Bernstein during the “Case Studies” eventIARC speaker series with Margarete Bagshaw, Bruce Bernstein, Kate Fitz Gibbon, and David Rettig, on April 19, 2012.
David Rettig and Bruce Bernstein during the “Case Studies” event

Bruce Bernstein is the executor for the estate of famed Maidu/Hawaiian/Portuguese painter Harry Fonseca. He is also the Executive Director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), which is renowned for presenting the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. From 1997 to 2007, Bernstein served as the Assistant Director for research and collections at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Previously, he was the director and chief curator at Santa Fe's Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology. He also held positions at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and the University of New Mexico's Maxwell Museum of Anthropology.

Dr. Bernstein holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico, where he was mentored by Alfonso Ortiz.

Kate Fitz Gibbon obtained her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she received the Helen S. Carter Prize and the Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law. She has a Master's degree from St. John's College and a Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College. She was honored to serve on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to the President for both Presidents William Clinton and George W. Bush. She received the George Wittenborn Memorial Award from ARLIS in 1997 and was named a Cotsen Scholar at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC in 2002.

Nationally and internationally, she works in art law and cultural heritage issues, as well as the legal management of private collections. She is an authority on Asian art and an author and contributor to eight books covering both art and art law. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and in numerous magazines, and she is a frequent lecturer at museums and conferences.

David Rettig is the Curator of Collections for Allan Houser, Inc., a family corporation established in 1982 to preserve and present the lifetime work of the modern American master artist, Allan Houser. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he previously worked as gallery director for Elaine Horwitch Galleries and Heydt-Bair Gallery in Santa Fe. He also served as writer, editor, and bureau chief for ARTlines and was a partner in Rettig y Martinez Gallery, also in Santa Fe. Mr. Rettig has been with Allan Houser, Inc. since 1995.

Sponsored by Anne Ray Charitable Trust

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