Somethings Wonderful This Way Came

Somethings Wonderful This Way Came
1970's Vintage Caftan in At Play

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Being Rejected and Becoming Empowered

One of the first sites that comes up when a Harwood Steiger internet search is conducted is that of Pamela Coates Antiques.  This site offers the largest collection of Harwood Steiger silk screen prints for sale on the internet, and probably anywhere.  My understanding is that Ms. Coates used to live in Green Valley, AZ, a community located between Tucson and Tubac.  Apparently, Pamela Coates Antiques acquired quite an inventory of Steiger prints over the years, and probably towards the end of the studio's operations.  I salivate when I visit the website because there are so many different designs----some of which I've never seen in person.  You can imagine that for an addict like myself, this is a temptation that causes me to tremble.  The bad news is, I just can't afford the prices on the items offered.  They are simply beyond my ability to buy and good judgement to pay by credit card.  Nonetheless, it is the largest collection I've seen to date.  I would have gone down to visit Pamela Coates, but she apparently moved to New Jersey, taking her wonderful Steiger collection with her. 

When I reached the decision to write a book on Harwood Steiger textiles, I emailed her, telling of my intentions to publish a book and asking for her cooperation.  As a former antiques business person, I know the importance of exposure to the market and thought Ms. Coates would welcome the opportunity to  prominently appear in a book on Steiger.  Boy, was I wrong.  Ms. Coates wrote me and said that she had considered writing a book herself, and no, she wouldn't put me in touch with Steiger family members because they didn't want to be bothered.  I emailed her again asking if she would consider letting me use the photos on her website, or even permit me to produce new, better quality photos that she in turn, could use.  No reply.  She basically shut the door on me, cutting off access to the largest Steiger collection I could find.  Bummer!  If I had been able to gain her cooperation, the Pamela Coates Antiques collection would have been the core portrayed in the book.  But, that easy solution to research material was not to be.  Now what?

I thought about this for a long time.  I finally decided that the only thing to do was to go to Tubac and dig around some more.  In preparation, I made some flyers, briefly telling of the book project and asking for anyone having Steiger examples to get in touch with me.  Next, I started looking for a place to stay.  There aren't too many choices of accommodations within the village of Tubac.  But, I happened onto a curious place that described itself as a place for working artists offering heritage accommodations.  Aldea de Artisticas is a collection of historic structures converted into charming and comfortable accommodations in the heart of Old Tubac.  That sounded interesting.  So, I wrote to and heard back from Nancy Valentine.  Nancy is such a nice person.  She asked about the project and how I became interested in Steiger.  I learned that Nancy's parents had been among the early "colonists", and that the accommodations offered were in historic old adobe dwellings.  How could I possibly resist staying with Nancy, especially since she offered me a no cost stay as her contribution to the project? 

That's how I found my home away from home.  Nancy made available a lovely little pink adobe cottage.  It had two bedrooms, a huge, modern bath, a tiny, but complete kitchen and a living/dining room with a fire place.  The Pink House is located right across the street from St. Ann's church and in the heart of the oldest part of Tubac.  Totally charming is how I describe it.  I got to Tubac around noon and stopped to have lunch at the deli.  After that, I went straight to the Pink House and unloaded my things so I could get organized.  The door was open and Nancy had said she had a meeting in Green Valley and wouldn't be back until later in the afternoon.  I loaded up my brief case with flyers and started out, on the trail of Harwood Steiger.

1 comment:

  1. hi cynthia,
    i'm about to post about harwood steiger on my blog, laguna dirt. i write about outdoor living themes, ranging from gardening to outdoor decor, etc. please send me your email address. i'm going to post photos of some of my own fabric, as well as other pics. had some questions for you. thanks! janine