I laughed at this, even though I’m pro-choice. And I’m also a little confused by the second half of the statement. I see an ad campaign in this, though.
If you believe in killing babies, not giving people a chance to live, or making people die because of your mistakes then abortion is for you.
As a museum curator and historian, I field a lot of queries and research requests. Often I get requests for valuations that are not-so-subtly couched in these inquiries. My response is always the same: “I would be more than happy to direct you to a number of local, qualified appraisers.” It might be that I’m no expert and I would be overstretching my knowledge base by assigning a value on something with which I have little experience. Why I say it, and regardless of whether I have the knowledge or not, I will say it 100 per cent of the time, is because I am not allowed to. Period. I don’t assign a valuation to anything untilafterit becomes part of the museum collection.
Allow me to explain.
In my role as a curator, I am not allowed to work as an appraiser. To do so would be a huge conflict of interest. What I appraise should only be for the museum’s objects, either for tax receipts to donors or for insurance purposes. Yes, it’s true I am at an advantage when I am looking for objects for myself, which is why I have to officially disclose my purchases to the museum’s acquisitions committee. I must not collect in competition with the museum.
A public museum isn’t collecting in order to make a profit on its collection. It’s not in the business of buy-and-sell; rather, a museum accepts objects in order to preserve a record, history, build an academic record, etc. When I look at people’s offers of donation, I don’t want their decisions to be biased by market value and I don’t want the museum’s desire for something based on its value. Additionally, I need the time to do some research on the objects before I present them to the collections committee.
When I first began in this position, I was quite horrified at the prospect that I would have to accurately value objects coming into the collection. I mean, I didn’t know about anything ! I was amazed how quickly I got the hang of researching market values.
Folks, there’s no secret to appraisal work. It’s actually a combination of knowledge and market value (what people are willing to pay). And when an object is an unknown, we make an educated guess. Value changes based on issues of rarity, condition, and, ultimately, desirability. If no one wants something, it doesn’t matter that its material and labour cost may be high; people aren’t going to buy it. If a lot of something is made available to the market at once, prices go down.
See? Appraisal isn’t rocket science. You, too, can come up with ballpark values to help inform you of what you want to buy or sell.