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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 12th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Default Couple Feel "Burned" about Park West Art Auction

Suspicions arise in cruise ship art sales
by UPI - Bend Weekly - Bend,OR,USA
http://www.bendweekly.com/Nationwide-News/4472.html

snippet below:

Quote:
The Arizona Republic reported that [names], while vacationing on a Caribbean cruise, were enticed into buying three limited-edition prints by Rembrandt and Dali from Park West at Sea, a company that conducts onboard auctions.

Despite paying $17,836 for the prints, which came with appraisals and letters of authenticity, Holloway found that he had trouble selling them on Eaby, getting no bid more than $1,000. Furthermore, he reportedly found similar prints being offered for one-quarter of his purchase price.
'''''

DOES THIS GET YOUR GOAT AT ALL?

It seems to me these art auctions have turned from a pleaseant little pasttime to a fulltime operation by the cruise line to bilk people out of their money. Where do these appraisals come from?

I think the world needs to know that if you buy art from a dealer without first checking the cross-pricing on the Internet you are close to insane. They tell you all kinds of thing, like how much a "similar" print went for, what they will be worth in 10 tears...etc. I would like to know what they told this couple!

I have seen more & more stories on this lately, including the princess scandal we reported about them actually selling unauthorized prints (there was more printed than the "limited run" said there was, and the artist was not getting paid anything for them).

It's dethpicable! as Sylvester would say.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Old April 12th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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We have purchased art onboard, though not in many years. The pieces we bought were, very well priced, nothing extravagant, or by such reknown painters as Erte, Dahli, or Picasso, as I have seen presented.

I have spoken to people on ships,who cruise just for the art, go figure. But for me I wouldn't buy that level of art on a ship, just as I would not buy a major diamond on the islands I visit.

The one time I ran into a problem was on a Princess ship, the auctioneer, was a retired basketball player,and an idiot. Princess sent the art in such an embarrassing condition it was amazing. Many, many phone calls later, I ended up settling with them, to my benefit.

Shame on some galleries for not being on the up and up
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Old April 12th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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I have found a "value" to the art auctions at sea. Here is what I have found:

1. When you get your auction number, you are given a raffle ticket for a drawing for a "free" print. You are also given a small "free" print with a COA and write up on the artist in a nice envelope.

2. There are usually "looky looky" or "quicky quicky" where you can pick up a print for less than $25.

These offers are wonderful. All you need to do is donate these prints to your favorite charity for auction and claim the value of the prints as charitable donations on your income tax.

It is a win win situation.

I learned a long time ago that purchasing the art is great ONLY if you like the painting/lithograph etc. The cost to frame the art far exceeds the value of the art. Don't expect the value to appreciate. Just enjoy what you purchase.

Bottom line.....a big rip off by the gallery and ship line, but used properly, a valuable tax deduction for you.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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I bought three Kinkades on the Ecstasy in 2005 and I paid $900.00 total for them. I went to a Kincade Gallery recently and asked theirvalue now by that Kincade Gallery..... $7395.00!!! Not a bad investment!!
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Mehawk...

I guess your experience does prove that it can be done. But I have a feeling things have changed in these art auctions lately as they found out some people were wiling to believe almost anything and take the bait every time.

Mehawk, ket me ask you. How long ago did you buy your Kinkades on the ship for $300, and when did you go to a gallery and see the higher price?
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Here is another complaint I received:

Quote:
Hi Paul. I saw your post on the cruisemates web site.

We got ripped off by Park West in a different way than others. It was on
Royal Caribean Freedom of the Seas ship.

We kept all our receipts on the ship, including two paintings we bid for.
We come back to see our charges on the credit card are more than $10k more than the $880 we paid for the paintings.

Park west sent a fake receipt with the exact same invoice number, folio
number, art auction number, and etc... it had two more line items for $6k
and $4k and the totals were different. We believe these guys targeted us because we have foreign names, but they didn't realize we were americans. They didn't bet that we would have the original receipt they gave us and we would fight back.

It's been 9 months we've been battling this and almost to closure since we have the evidence, but we are sure this happened to others as well. we're trying to help out others that may have lost their receipt or could not because they went back to their home country.

Have you heard of anything like this about Park West on any Royal ships?
My Answer:

Park West is on almopst every cruise line other than Princess, including
Holland America, Carnival, Celebrity, etc...

Your complaint is with the company, and not really related to the cruise
line itself, unfortunately. Have I heard aboutr such incidences on Royal
Caribbean? no, not any more than I hear complaints about art auctions on
ships in general.

I believe it is just an unnecessary diversion all these cruise ships have
taken as a money-maker, and in general I advice people never to buy art on
ships (or anywhere) as an investment. It just doesn't hold water.

I am sorry you got taken, if indeed this was not just a mistake. The bold
thing about over-charging you so much is that it is easy for them to say ,
"Of course, ANYONE would notice being overcharged by $10,000". And it is
true, it would be much harder for you to dispute a $200 charge.

My question is - why did you not just go to the credit card company first
and say "this is a mistake, please reverse it?" That is why we use credit
cards in the US, -- for protection.


Their reply:

Quote:
Hi Paul.

We did go to the credit card company and park west sent them a bogus receipt with the same exact signature that the original receipt has (we got faxed the same fake receipt). They say they do not use digital signatures, but that's debateable due to how we got our receipt from them. The credit card system completely failed us as law abiding citizens and rule obeying customers.

The process of arbitration took place and citibank believed the fake receipt essentially. Citibank will not talk to us about it at all. they refuse to, because it has been through their process and that's that.

We're filing with the attorney general of Florida and MI where they are based. That should light a fire under them as well as a new web site we have put together explaining the whole situation. It's going to include everything from top to bottom including scans of the receipts and update with the attorney general actions. It also includes what citibank did to us. It's going to be interesting on how the world reacts to this information. it's going to be a black eye on royal's and citibank...

Our theory is that they are targetting foreigners that leave the country since we can't find anyone specifically in the US. We've already written letters to every embassy out there in D.C. with all evidence and showing how we were not only defrauded, but how the billing agency, royal caribbean decided not to help even though they had all the evidence in front of them. One consulate general themslves and one embassy worker have already contacted me and they are writing memos for their citizens traveling on royal caribbean cruises in the US to watch out for this scam.

We're waiting for one more month to pass and everything is going to be out on the web. Just need to wait for the attorney general in florida and move forward from there.

The stealing of $10k is not only a crime, but the reason we are pursuing this is because we know other people are getting scammed and we cannot deal with that situation either. They tried to ripp off the wrong people. Too bad for them.

thank you....
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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I don't understand why would any cruise line would want to risk their reputations by allowing art auctions on board. Even the respectful auction houses have had problems in the past for various reasons, forgeries, passing stolen art, etc.

I think the Cruiselines need to eliminate the art auction and host art shows of artists that are local to the ports of call for that sailing; cut down on the amount of artwork littering the hallways and have 2 possibly 3 artists; depending on the legnth of the cruise. Let the artists name the price; let the cruising customers purchase something they like rather than try to make an investment that ultimately may not come to fruition. I for one never tend the art auctions; however, I would be very interested in seeing work of local artists from the various ports.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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Martha, I agree. I think that whatever money they make from them is negated by the bad will of thinking people who would prefer not to have car-salesman type tactics thrown in their faces while they are trying to enjoy their vacation.

For someone like me, my darling left-brained wife can fall in love with a piece of art (she did once) and the salesman suddly turned into her best friend. (THIS WAS NOT ON A SHIP) - the next thing I knew she was promising her an artist's proof - at a discount to the label price. (NOT AN AUCTION, EITHER)

You know what she was saying, "You obviously have a very good eye for art, and you have such strong feelings for this piece, just like me, that I am going to do you a favor..."

I'm thinking "how valuable can this be if she is promising her that?" but my wife is thinking "wow, what an opportunity!" This was a $12,000 piece (sculpture). She really wanted it. They were telling us how much his works had gone up in value in the last few years, that he was now dead (no more pieces being created), he was about to get a museum dedicated solely to his work (but they didn't know where, either Washington DC, or his home town in Arkansas - pretty big difference) or when it would be built.

She is salivating, so it was really hard to say "no, I don't think it is a good idea." I wish I had that kind of disposable income, but I don't.

Now, everytime I see an art dealer I have to think about my wife getting caught up in something leading to me having to play the tough guy and get rid of the salesman without embarassing him, my wife or myself. Ughh, just distasteful.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Paul, I stated in my post that I bought the Kinkades in 2005, it was June I believe. I went to the Kinkade Gallery in the Galleria in Houston this past week for the appraisals.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Couple Feel "Burned" about Park West Art Aucti

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
"Despite paying $17,836 for the prints, which came with appraisals and letters of authenticity, Holloway found that he had trouble selling them on Eaby, getting no bid more than $1,000. Furthermore, he reportedly found similar prints being offered for one-quarter of his purchase price."
'''''

DOES THIS GET YOUR GOAT AT ALL?
I assume these were adults who purchased the art? If so, it's their tough luck if they didn't do their homework.

Would you go and buy a car without comparing prices among several dealers? Would you go into a relatively complicated transaction ... such as bidding on art would be ... without doing your homework thoroughly first?

As far as I'm concerned, as long as Park West did not lie to their customers ... as long as the appraisal provided was a legitimate one ... then I say good for Park West. They made some good sales ... exactly what they are supposed to be doing with these auctions.

We are all adults and as such we should be capable of making educated decisions about how we choose to spend our money ... both on land and on a ship. What would this person do if they had lost $17,000 in the casino while onboard? Claim the cruise line "enticed" him to gamble and thus lose his money?

No, I say tough luck. He learned a very important lesson out of this ... albeit an expensive one. Do your homework first, and plan any large purchases carefully.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old April 28th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Sorry Rita, but I have to disagree. If these sales people are telling people that this art is an investment (and I have heard art dealers tell me that several times) then they are lying to these folks. Whether these folks did their homework is a valid point, but I still think it is a huge black eye to the cruise lines to have these shucksters onboard the ships taking advantage of people who don't know any better.

Not everyone who goes on a ship is as sophisticated as you or me. Is that an excuse to take advantage of them? Leave that mentality off of cruise ships is my opinion. A ship should be a safe haven. not a place where you have to worry about your aging mother spending thousands of dollars on a piece of art she thought was a good investment and later finds out is just a framed piece of paper.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
I bought three Kinkades on the Ecstasy in 2005 and I paid $900.00 total for them. I went to a Kincade Gallery recently and asked theirvalue now by that Kincade Gallery..... $7395.00!!! Not a bad investment!!
SORRY BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK A KINCADE GALLERY WOULD TELL YOU. NOW PUT THEM ON EBAY AND YOU'LL BE LUCKY TO EVEN GET YOUR MONEY BACK.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Marj and I avoid these auctions like poison. We do browse through the displays and find much of the stuff so garish and awful that we would not use them to line the parrot's cage . Yet hundreds sit there and buy this dreck while impared by vacation mania and alcohol.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Sorry Rita, but I have to disagree. If these sales people are telling people that this art is an investment (and I have heard art dealers tell me that several times) then they are lying to these folks. Whether these folks did their homework is a valid point, but I still think it is a huge black eye to the cruise lines to have these shucksters onboard the ships taking advantage of people who don't know any better.
I'm told lies by salespeople here at home all the time. "This is a great investment in your future ... this $10,000 real estate wealth building seminar" ... or "you won't find a better deal than the one I'm offering you here" and the list goes on and on. As an adult, I have to be able to siphon through all the BS and determine for myself whether or not something is a good deal or not.

If these people just took at face value what the Park West auctioneer told them, then those people need to learn to make decisions for themselves. Were I planning to spend a considerable sum of money on art work during a cruise, I would sure know exactly what it is I am looking to procure, and what it's approximate value "on the street" is. I wouldn't just go into something like an art auction blindly. I'd want to have that information in hand before I submitted a single bid.

I guess we're just gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, Paul. I say it's a shame these people were lied to, but then again ... they set themselves up for the results of the Park West employee's deceit.

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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:36 AM
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NEW GUY, I saw the prices in the dealer's catalog myself. I suppose if I were to put them on Ebay, I could fetch the stated appreciated price by some Kinkade fanatic.... maybe even some more... especially considering that these prints are NOT available even online. Plus they are signed with his DNA in the signature and numbers. That is not my intention though. I purchased them for MY pleasure.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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I am an artist, and last year my husband and I went on our first cruise, a Princess Cruise to the western Caribbean. I had heard about the art auctions and was kind of excited about it just to see what they were all about. We loved looking at the art, but I was amazed to see that most of the hand painted art was real cheezy stuff - the type that is mass produced, usually in Mexico, featuring clowns and harlequins, Native American girls hugging wolves, harbor scenes and the like. There were a number of higher end prints like from Peter Max, Thomas Kinkade and other artists everybody has heard of, and some God-awful sculptures the likes of which I expect to see at Job Lot stores and flea markets. Maybe attending an auction is a fun on-board distraction, but they should let you bid with Monopoly money because as far as I saw, the chances of you getting a "work of art" was nonexistent. If you want to buy art, go to a real gallery and buy a real work of art, an original work created by a real artist, something that you are buying because you LIKE it, not because you think you will have an investment. My husband likes Kinkaid paintings, but I have experienced his galleries - you buy a digital print on canvas that one of his "certified Kinkaid artists" has "enhanced" with a few blobs of paint - that is not art, blobbing paint on a print. You end up paying $700 or more for nothing more than a digital print. Maybe because they are "limited editions", someone somewhere may end up getting a greater appraised value on their investment. Maybe someday in the future, they can use Thomas Kinkaid's DNA from his limited editions to produce a clone who can paint a real honest piece of art, not just a numbered print. I agree with some of the other posters - know what you are buying. Mehawk, I am glad you didn't get burned and I hope you purchased prints that you appreciated. Caveat emptor when it comes to purchasing art. I am a strong believer in supporting your local artists.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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I stay away from the "art Auctions". It's a money grab and I dont fall for things like that to easily. Unles it is Porceleyne Fles, and I can see the makers mark, there is little else I would ever buy.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 12:17 AM
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IMO art auctions are one of the biggest rip offs on ships and I stay far away ... even though they easel them in the corridors to the point that it's hard to do it. I've been tempted to move some of them to be able to get the photos I'd like to get. Didn't - but was sorely tempted to do so.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Hi Descal. I did purchase the prints because they are what I had placed upon my "wish" list many years before. I did not expect an investment or appreciation. The only reason I had them looked at by the Kinkade Gallery is because I wanted to know if they were real and if I did get a good deal on them. They are still placed in the shipping container, as we "speak" and the container is in a bank vault with my precious metals that I have for investments.

Thanks for your input.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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My wife and I go to alot of auctions and I can tell you these are not real auctions their a joke! If you went to a real auction you would know what I mean, anybody that falls for this scam should know that's all it is a scam! If you want to throw away your money on a cruise play the slot machines.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
I bought three Kinkades on the Ecstasy in 2005 and I paid $900.00 total for them. I went to a Kincade Gallery recently and asked theirvalue now by that Kincade Gallery..... $7395.00!!! Not a bad investment!!
Appraisal numbers mean nothing, if you had offered the paintings to the Kinkade Gallery I doubt if you'd have been offered more than 10 % of the appraisal price. Classic postage stamps are the same, expect to buy from a dealer at 50% of the catalog price, they in turn will buy from you at 25% of the catalog price. You've been 'had'.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Dog
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
I bought three Kinkades on the Ecstasy in 2005 and I paid $900.00 total for them. I went to a Kincade Gallery recently and asked theirvalue now by that Kincade Gallery..... $7395.00!!! Not a bad investment!!
Appraisal numbers mean nothing, if you had offered the paintings to the Kinkade Gallery I doubt if you'd have been offered more than 10 % of the appraisal price. Classic postage stamps are the same, expect to buy from a dealer at 50% of the catalog price, they in turn will buy from you at 25% of the catalog price. You've been 'had'.
Gosh, in your most elequent wisdom, I believe you are on to something smashingly intelligent. Yes, the Kincade Gallery at the Galleria store in Houston, probaby wouldn't have offered me anything for them, afterall... they are in business to SELL, not to purchase. Value is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes the beholder will actually catch lightning in a bottle. I purchased the prints at 1/3 of the asking price that I had seen many times at the Kincade Gallery in Kemah and knew these were in my budget. As I stated, I did not purchase them for investment but for pleasure. To me, they are golden and when I am further into my golden years some 30 years into the future, they will still bring me pleasure that is invaluable and priceless. Your automobile might be valuable to you but to me, you've been "had". Now, take your childish attempts at hurting someone's feelings elsewhere my friend.
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Courage and perserverance have a magical talisman; before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into the air.

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Old February 20th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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My apologies, never meant to hurt you, just stated the real world. Enjoy your 'pics'
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Dog
My apologies, never meant to hurt you, just stated the real world. Enjoy your 'pics'
You know, I thought you were being sincere but then you spoke out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. [edited for content]
My art will entertain me for the rest of my life.
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Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Courage and perserverance have a magical talisman; before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into the air.

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Old February 25th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Art Autions on cruises are good for some entertainment and maybe a free glass of champaign That about it.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old March 12th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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Buying anything is a choice for the person involved. Don't believe everything you are told. If you are buying a car do you believe everything this sales person tells you ...or a timeshare. Do the research. Look at the picture you are interested in then go to the internet and check it out. Know what you should pay for it before you bid BUT BUY IT BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT. We have bought several pieces on previous cruises and they hang in our home and we enjoy them every day because we bought them for that... our enjoyment. If we make money in the future okay... but if we don't we have had years of enjoying what we like. Now we enjoy just going to the auctions and watching people but definitely NOT for that awful free champagne. My sister-in-law has a lovely picture in the closet because of that free champagne

I don't gamble but I don't think the cruise lines should remove the casinos because they are a rip off and don't payout.

Having a wide range of activites for people to do is a attraction for going on a cruise. It's up to the individual to be responsbile.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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I was "lucky" and won a print once during one of those GREAT auctions. I think it cost me more to ship it home than it was worth. It's still in its tube, hiding in the closet. Maybe someday I'll build a frame for it.

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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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I agree that cruise ship art is the cheesiest stuff in the art world. I wonder why people buy by those ghastly cottages with the garish shrubbery when they could support their local art scene and but art-works that REALLY have potential to go up in value. 99% of the shlocky stuff sold on ships does not have a market anywhere but on the ships.
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