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A portion of a Chaco great house

A portion of a Chaco great house

Book Cover


Enrique Zepeda is working on guest curating an exhibition of his Salvador Dali collection and I am hoping to be in Mexico City for the opening. It was tentatively scheduled for next month, but has been rescheduled for February. Since I shall be in San Miguel de Allende for the Writers’ Conference between the 12th and 15th of that month, I am hoping the opening will be at a time that permits my attendance. I am honored that he has asked to borrow a couple of items from my collection.


Speaking of Dali, I am proud to note that the count of the number of prints attributed to the Master that I have examined and appraised has topped 57,000! Really. There is certainly no other individual or institution that can make such a claim. Of course, many proved to be fakes, but making such a determination is what I do and I do not believe anyone else can because they do not have files of information based on so many examinations, federal prosecutions and research over thirty-eight years.


ARTFUL DODGERS: Fraud and Foolishness in the Art Market is selling well and getting some rewarding attention. If you do not have a copy and want one that is signed and dedicated, order your book at www.artfuldodgers.us. If you have already read it, I would appreciate your posting a review at www.amazon.com. Five stars, of course. So far there is only one tepid review and that is obviously from someone who does not wish me well or is threatened by me and my book.


So why did I write so many critical things about the art market and those who operate within it? I am trying to help the art market become what people think it is, what the players say it is and what it should be. Remember, it is the most unregulated market on earth. Even the international drug trade has some internal regulation.


Scrabble is a game that I have not played for quite a while, but I seem to remember that the rules preclude the use of words that are proper nouns. If that is so, I shall never b able to put up the name of a village just off Interstate 40 in Tijeras Canyon east of Albuquerque. The name of the town is “Zuzax”. Really. Do you think whomever named it had Scrabble in mind?


Chaco Canyon is an almost unbelievable site in the deserts of central New Mexico with massive Pueblo Ancestor ruins called “great houses”. It is the center of about 100 great houses scattered from Southern Colorado all the way to Northern Mexico. It you don’t know about it, check out the photographs on the internet. You will be amazed.


After three days of camping, hiking about 12 miles, climbing mesas in cracks and chimneys and seeing endless walls of beautiful masonry, what I learned is that Chaco Canyon is a great mystery. Even with excavations over a hundred years, we just don’t know very much. As an archaeologist myself I can only think that the only reason  had not been to Chaco was that the Universe was holding the experience until I could visit with David Grant Noble, the premier scholar on the place.