Click here to load reader

Eastfield Et Cetera Oct. 7, 2015

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)



Text of Eastfield Et Cetera Oct. 7, 2015

  • Eastfield College Wednesday, October 7, 2015 Volume 47, Issue 3EteraEtera

    Bigger and BrighterState Fair brings new additions to an old tradition See page 7

  • By Victor Martinez and James Hartley [email protected]

    In the 1929 novel The Maltese Falcon, the Eastfield common book for 2015, author Dashiell Hammett created an iconic, hard-boiled detec-tive with Sam Spade, who was later immortalized on film by Humphrey Bogart.

    But no detective outshines Sir Ar-thur Conan Doyles Sherlock Holmes when it comes to name recognition and pop-culture exposure.

    According to Holmes expert Les-lie S. Klinger, who recently visited the campus as a part of the common book activities, Doyle created an in-ternational sensation and ignited a genre when the first novel featuring the character and sidekick Dr. John Watson, A Study in Scarlet, ap-peared in Beetons Christmas Annual in 1887.

    It was Harry Potter on steroids, he said. It was immensely popular.

    Klinger spoke twice Sept. 29 to audiences of more than 100 students, faculty and staff.

    Readers in the late 1880s were ra-bid for criminal stories, Klinger said. People followed real-life crime and regularly read publications about ex-ecutions.

    Holmes, a London-based con-sulting detective with abilities that sometimes seemed superhuman, caught the imagination of the mass-es. The character used logic and fo-rensic science and adopted numer-ous disguises to solve his mysteries.

    Holmes and Watson have re-mained popular over the decades through various incarnations.

    Recent additions include two movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, a BBC television series with Benedict Cumberbatch, a CBS television show with a female Watson and the 2015 film Mr. Holmes, fea-turing Sir Ian McKellen as the aging detective grappling with an unsolved case and his unreliable memory.

    Every adaptation seems to focus on a different aspect of Holmes and Watson, Klinger said.

    Klinger, who served as an ad-viser on the film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, talked about the extensive history of the Holmes stories and the many theories sur-

    rounding the detective. One theory suggests that the original stories were written by a Dr. Watson and published under the name of Arthur Conan Doyle because Doyle was a

    recognized name.One question that I usually get

    somewhere in the presentation is whether Sherlock Holmes is real or a fictional character, Klinger said.

    The answer is yes.Doyle said that Holmes was in-

    spired by Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for whom he had worked as a clerk.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015 The Et Cetera


    Holmes expert talks stories, adaptationsCommon


    By Hunter Cave [email protected]

    Like a detective searching for clues in a crime scene, art authentication expert Mer-edith Meuwly uses acute observation, scientific testing and background checks to appraise art-work and memorabilia.

    Meuwly is the director of appraisal services at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, where she has a unique job.

    People pay me to tell them what their stuff is worth, she said. To be their detective to find out what they have. I chose this because it was a good mix of my art history background and business. I liked the Why does this equate this value? What are economic trends?

    In honor of the 2015-2016 common book The Maltese Falcon, Meuwly decided to share her passion with about 65 attendees in her Fakes and Forgeries presentation last Wednesday.

    There are several methods used to deduce the authenticity and value of various items. Meuwly said factual information, such as pub-licity photos or statements from the artist, ath-

    lete or other person of significance, is useful to determine an items relationship to the person.

    If there is no such information, she searches for physical evidence through signature analy-sis, scientific testing, X-rays and infrared scan-ning. These forensic methods establish the age of the item being appraised and what materials and tools were used to make it.

    If a contradiction is found, the item is likely a forgery.

    Each test has limitations, so provenance and scholarly opinion are also valuable resources. Receipts help appraisers follow the collectibles paper trail, hopefully leading to the original owner or creator.

    When verifying a piece of artwork, Meuwly looks for a catalogue raisonne, a book that re-cords every known piece of work an artist has created. The author of the raisonne is often con-tacted to verify the piece.

    While contacting experts of the artist, such as family and scholars, can be very helpful, Meuwly said their opinions should be evaluated with caution. Family members might authenti-cate an artists work for financial gain, regard-less of whether or not they actually created it.

    Scholars may cause more problems and con-fusion with their disagreeing opinions, ship-ping costs and changing reputations. Some have even destroyed pieces they deem inauthentic, preventing further research and inciting clients to file lawsuits for destruction of property.

    Meuwly concluded her presentation with a sample case study: the coveted falcon figurine from the 1941 film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart.

    One of two known figurines used for the film was auctioned at Bonhams in November 2013, measuring 12 inches high and weighing about 45 pounds. The falcons description states, cast lead with dark patina, figure of a falcon on a pedestal with smooth breast feathers, almond eyes and rounded tail feathers. With Warner Bros. prop department inventory number WB 90067 to rear tail feathers and underside. Some scratches to head and chest, lower right tail feather visibly bent.

    The tail feathers were bent because Bog-art did drop the piece and he hurt his toes, Meuwly said.

    Identifying features such as this can help de-termine if the falcon is genuine. The falcon was

    compared to still images from the film, which confirmed a match. The piece sold for $4 mil-lion.

    Executive Dean of Student Engagement and Retention Courtney Carter-Harbour, who organized the event, said the presentation exceeded her expectations. Carter-Harbour praised Meuwly for her ability to connect with the students, to engage and excite them about the art appraisal profession.

    Meuwly earned her bachelors degree in clas-sical studies and art history from Duke Univer-sity in 2000 and a masters degree in modern art, connoisseurship and the history of the art market from Christies Education in 2001.

    She also works as an appraiser for PBSs An-tiques Roadshow, where she has valued many treasures, including a black forest carved wood clock, ca. 1890 valued at $3,000-$6,000 and a Handel bronze lamp, ca. 1900 valued at $1,500-$2,000.

    In 2015, the International Society of Ap-praisers honored Meuwly with the Distin-guished Service Award for her contributions and dedication to the field of personal property appraisals.

    Art sleuths separate forgeries from treasures

    SARA LOREDA/THE ET CETERASherlock Holmes expert Leslie S. Klinger discusses the history of Sherlock Holmes and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • By James Hartley [email protected]

    A drop in enrollment has prompt-ed minor budget cuts in some areas of the colleges academic divisions.

    Enrollment fell from 15,000 in fall 2014 to 14,251 in fall 2015, a differ-ence of 5.3 percent.

    This drop is the first since Presi-dent Jean Conway was appointed at Eastfield in 2011.

    Since then, enrollment had in-creased at Eastfield even as other campuses in the Dallas County Community College District faced dropoffs.

    Conway said students and faculty are not expected to see any effects of the decrease at this time. An Enroll-ment Research Task Force of college employees is looking into the issue.

    The task force has just been charged two weeks ago, Conway said. We dont know exactly what theyll come up with in their re-search.

    To offset the decrease, depart-ments were asked to cut 5 percent from select areas. Most divisions ap-plied the cuts to administrative func-tions such as office supplies.

    Were looking at making the ad-justments in the things that prob-

    ably dont affect these students that much, and the faculty are given what they need, Executive Dean of Career Technologies Johnnie Bellamy said. Maybe theres a little bit of fat we can trim off of supplies we dont need.

    Faculty have already started mak-ing adjustments to the way they use supplies.

    In our division, we tried to make certain that the brunt, the most of that 5 percent reduction, was in

    things like the use of the copy ma-chine, Executive Dean of Social Sci-ences Mike Walker said. Faculty have been very on board, too. Theyll find that maybe theres more than one thing we can put online or on a screen instead of paper.

    Walker said freshman-level class-es have seen the biggest drops in en-rollment.

    Some of the hardest hit classes were like History 1301 for our divi-

    sion, some of those classes that all in-coming freshmen are going to take, he said.

    Some administrators believe that the recent economic recovery has played a part in the decrease.

    With national unemployment down from 5.9 percent to 5.1 percent since last year, it appears some are going to work instead of attending college.

    The economy gets a little bit

    better, and there are some number of people who are less likely to feel the need to go back and get a little more education to better themselves in their job or to get another job, Walker said. Thats not to say we should just accept that, and we dont because theres a lot of people here in this community

Search related