ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.7 - OCTOBER 1999
The Glad Family Trust Collection Is Truly Remarkable
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Advice on Collecting
When asked for advice about collecting, he advises, "Knowledge is your most important asset." He says you must educate yourself about what you are considering buying. A few years ago he made a bargain basement purchase from an auction house in Australia. The work was listed in the catalog as a Felix the Cat image by an unknown artist and from an unknown production. They didn't recognize this as a color Felix from the Van Buren Studio in the 1930s.
Glad suggests that people should consider buying inspirational studies, storyboard sketches, model sheets, rough and finished drawings and other works that are currently undervalued. He loves the rich colors of cels, but points out that they are just one part of a production.
Trading work with other collectors can be a valuable way to add works to a collection. He usually has a few items in his collection that he is willing to make available in trades. He has obtained some pieces knowing someone else would be happy to trade for them. I know one well-known Oscar nominated animator that traded one of his drawings to Glad for a Tex Avery drawing.
Glad does not look for financial gain when he buys works. When asked what advice he would give an investor, he says, "The easier it is to acquire a work, the less likely it will go up in value." He believes that very few works of importance are sold by the dealers that run showrooms that cater to walk-in traffic. He advises, "The best will get better faster than the second best."
Proper handling of work should be a major concern for anybody collecting important pieces of animation art. Glad notes, "An original work of art can never be replaced," so be sure everything is handled with archival materials and make sure nothing is exposed to direct or bright sunlight.
He warns that some people who have the best intentions do not handle works of animation art properly. Damage can occur. He has had professionals return cels scratched and with torn paint. Once he got back several frames that had grease on them as they were stored near the exhaust of a diesel engine. He says, "Nobody cares about your collection like you do!"
Karl Cohen is President of ASIFA-San Francisco. His first book, Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators, is published by McFarland Publishers. He also teaches animation history at San Francisco State University.
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