Here is the latest article regarding the Gee's Bend lawsuit, courtesy of Black Threads blog. Read it and tell me what you think.
I'll tell you what I think...you knew I would. Once again, I will state that I feel the women of Gee's Bend were taken advantage of because of their isolation and poverty. I think that I could find an appraiser to value the quilts at whatever I wanted those quilts to be valued at...whether it be between $10 and $750 or between $50,000 and $1,000,000. The Arnett's are the ones who decided to elevate the quilts into the art world and secure art world prices. It doesn't matter how old they actually are, it matters that the "Gee's Bend" mystic has become big business and the enterprises of the Arnett's "spoke" for the images of the quilts. The women who made these quilts have been cheated, their families have been cheated and their community has been cheated. Not from the cheaters viewpoint, I understand., but definitely from the viewpoint of those being cheated...and from my point of view. When all the paperwork is in with the dates coordinated in a time line alongside the verbal promises, we will see what happens. And this foolishness about the quilts being returned after two years...puleeeez! Oh, I'm sorry. I "borrowed" your car for two years and now I'm giving it back after you decided to sue me. Yeah. I can see how the Arnett's might think giving the quilts back could work in their favor. No harm done. My eyes are rolled so far back in my head, I think they are stuck. That's even too sarcastic for me.
Wealth is a sticky point for people who have it. They don't want to give it up, but they sure don't mind exploiting someone who might not know any better to get more. These women could have passed wealth on in their families and community if this were a fair situation, if all that we-just-wanted-to-help-them-and-get-them-the-recognition-they-deserved b.s. was really meaningful...which it wasn't. If you really want to help people, then you help them. If you want to use people, then you do that. Sometimes the actions look similar. The gray area is for lawyers.