Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I was just reading in the Cape Cod Times where some family had this painting hanging on the wall for years and in the family since it was bought back in the 1800's.Turns out the artwork is worth somewhere around half a million dollars.You see the same thing happen on Antiques Roadshow once in awhile.Someone comes in with a painting they bought at a yard sale for 10.00 or found in someone's trash and it turns out to be some artwork worth lots and lots of money.I keep waiting for the day I discover my lost masterpiece.Maybe I should cruise Beverly Hills trash cans.The closest I ever came to a famous painting was a copy my parents had on the wall when I was a lad of some fishing scene with nets drying and large sail boats in a harbor with old fish shacks onshore.Years later I was watching"Soap" and there in the Dining Room on the set was the same painting.I've forgotten the artist.Then there was X-Mass of 1969.We had moved from one side of Rochester to the other and it's country club suburb of Pittsford,N.Y..My brother and I were waiting for the bus downtown to meet my mother for shopping and next to the bus stop were some X-Mass trees with no price or anyone around sitting roadside.As we waited a guy pulls up and says "how much for a tree" I looked at my brother and he looked at me and we said something like ten or fifteen dollars and he bought one.We wound up selling three or four trees in the 40 minues we waited and though we asked at the Pancake house right behind the bus stop no one knew who owned the trees as we wanted to give him/her the money.No one showed up so we got on the bus and with the money bought my mom a large copy of a painting called"In the Highlands" by T.Banks a painting my parents still have now in their apt.Anyhoo, the Rochester Democrat&Chronicle several X-Masses ago asked for holiday stories and I sent them mine.It was used in the story but my Mom did not want her picture taken with the painting like the paper wanted.Which leads me to my favorite art thing the skit back in the early years of Saturday Night Live where Dan Ackroyd wearing a leisure type suit with Larraine Newman as his guest played a public access guy with a show named E Buzz Millers Art Classics.There were several howlers about paintings but it was one towards the end I recall"This one here is an Impressionistic piece-it's by Manet,an Impressionist,a French guy,called Le Dejenoai ser Larbe which means Picnic in the woods.Now,you look close.These two guys are having lunch and this broad hasn't got a stitch on!Bon Appetit,boys!"

1 comment:

Colburn said...

John, didn't you know that women ALWAYS picnicked in the nude in 19th century France? They weren't all prudish like the English Victorians, who donned full body armor even for trips to the backyard.

Manet is top-notch, like Degas. It's a shame how they're always lumped in the same group as hacks like Renoir and Monet. (The views expressed here are solely those of the commenter, and do not reflect the opinion of Was You Ever Stung by a Dead Bee Inc. or any of its subsidiaries yadda yadda yadda)