James E. Billings

Appraiser of Fine and Decorative Art from Europe, East Asia, and the United States

With over 30 years of experience, James Billings is dedicated to bringing you the most accurate appraisals of fine decorative art for the purpose of insurance, charitable donation, liquidation, and estate settlement. Located in the Twin Cities, James Billings specializes in appraising artwork from Europe, East Asia, and the United States.

James Billings has been a member of the Appraisers Association of America since 1982, and services Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnesota, and beyond.

Successfully completed a 15-hour course. on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, the Congressionally-recognized set of standards promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation, effective through 5 May 2015, and a 7-hour course effective through 5 June 2014.


Rembrant in America

Rembrandt in America; Collecting and Connoisseurship
The Old Times, August 2012
By Jim Billings

MINNEAPOLIS - Paintings by 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt (Harmenszoon van Rijn) are holding their final reunion at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Through this travelling exhibition, Rembrandt in America; Collecting and Connoisseurship, viewers can savor and compare 50 works borrowed from American museums and a few private collectors. This chance to become friends with many masterpieces, mostly portraits, continues through 16 September.

Continue reading...

American Dollar Coin

American dollar coin, whence it came, whitherit goes
The Old Times, June 2007
By Jim Billings

SAUK CENTER, MINNESOTA - The United States Senate authorized a dollar coin with George Washington's image. That was 1792. Washington, then president, reportedly disapproved and the House rejected it.Despite his wishes, Washington has circulated on the paper dollar since 1869, the "quarter" since 1932. Now in 2007, we have Washington on the dollar coin - stylized, stern, and heroic.

Continue reading...

Japanese Nature Scrolls (sumi-e scrolls)

The Old Times, March 2007
By Jim Billings

MINNEAPOLIS - The Japanese nature scroll painting - ink on paper or on silk - has been preserved by a master-student tradition over centuries. Whether vertical (hanging) or horizontal (hand), the scroll may be rolled up, becoming petite, storable, and portable, freed from trouble or from oversight by authority.

Continue reading...


James E. Billings has taught theoretical and applied economics at the University of Minnesota, Hamline University, and Augsburg College. He has created and taught several interdisciplinary college seminars as well as lectured on art-related topics to a wide range of audiences including:

  • Honors seminar on Art and Popular Culture at Augsburg College
  • Seminar on Economics and Visual Art at Augsburg College
  • Lectures on art-related topics at Macalester College, Augsburg College, Normandale Community College, Hennepin County Education Board, Twin Cities Area Antique Clubs, and Minnesota Antique Dealers Association



  • BA in Economics, magna cum laude, minor in History from Michigan State University, 1963
  • MA in Economics, minor in Statisitcs, University of Minnesota, 1967
  • Completed course work and preliminary exam for Ph.D in Economics, University of Minnesota
  • All three degrees included many courses in art history and considerable independent study and formal, non-degree study in the visual arts


  • Workshop on strategies for writing on popular culture, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Center for Art Criticism
  • Video workshop on art criticism, UC Video
  • Intensive workshop on architectural criticism, Center for Art Criticism, conducted by Michael Sorkin


James E. Billings has served as curator and advisor for several exhibitions including:

  • Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings of Peter Carl Teigen, Sons of Norway Cultural Center, 1985
  • Exhibition of Genre Art, Augsburg College, 1978
  • Exhibition of Ancient Roman Imperial Coins, Michigan State University, 1961
  • Advisor for Animals in Art, Minnesota Museum of American Art



  • Appraiser's Association of America, since 1982
  • Minnesota Antique Dealers Association
  • Asian Art Council, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (on advisory board 1981-1982)


  • Minnesota Arts Forum
  • Commissioner on the Minneapolis Arts Commission
  • Board of Directors, Forecast Public Artworks
  • Victoria Society of America, American Numismatic Society
  • Advisor to Minnesota Museum of American Art, Animals in Art