Regarding Telepraisal, the firm that supplies values for paintings by telephone (People & Innovations, November 1983): I object to the implication that information of this sort is in any way a valuation. Having spent many years in the field, I assure you that the value of an appraisal depends upon the eye for quality, and not upon computerized auction records.

Computers do have a place in art appraisal, but not in the definitive valuation of unique objects. I always insist on viewing objects before consulting past precedents. This practice is a cornerstone in every by-law and code of ethics in such organizations as the Appraisal Association of America and the American Society of Appraisers.

It is a free country, and I do not object to Telepraisal providing data processing services; INC., however, should not give the impression that anything like this service can replace or compete with "the old line theory that seeing is believing."

Published on: Feb 1, 1984