Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whence came a painting.

It would be fair to say that our approach to art acquisition is "all of the above".  

Case in point: about three weeks ago, V and I were in Manhattan with the baby and we saw an old portrait in the window display of the Angel Street charity thrift store in Chelsea and we both immediately liked it. Sadly, it wasn't for sale yet - the store manager told me that it would go on sale, along with a bunch of other fancy items in the window, on Feb 25 and he didn't know the price yet.  

So, yesterday at 10:15 I rushed out of the office to be at the store by their 11am opening time.  Turns out Chelsea isn't as far from my office as I thought and, thanks to a well-timed train I made it to the store in 15 minutes.  I was the only person there and I stood reading in the cold while people lined up behind me (although other people didn't start showing up until ten minutes before the door opened).  At one point I worried that since I didn't know where in the store the portrait would be, I might miss it and lose it to someone in line behind me while searching for it, but just before they opened the doors, I saw an employee place it on the front counter beside the register.  Obviously, there was also the possibility that when I did reach it the price would be unacceptable and all would be for naught.

Things worked out.  I got in first and got the painting and the price was reasonable.  Although while I was admiring my claim, an older gentleman walked up and tried to take it out of my hands as I was looking at it.  He said, "oh, I would like to see this."  And I said, "Yes. But sorry. I am purchasing it." And he had his hands on it and was trying to turn it around to look at it himself and said, "May I?" And I said, "Sorry. No."  And he said, "What?" And I said, "Yes. I am purchasing it."  And he said, "Oh no!"  And I said, "Yes."  And he seemed sad and gave up.  Then, as I wandered about a little to see what else there was, I heard a couple more people asking the manager where the portrait of the boy was and I heard him replying, "It is sold already."  And, of course, that made me feel very nice indeed.
So now we own this slightly crazy portrait:

Size Approx 14" x 18" - photo of painting as first seen in thrift store window

It's a little beat up and crackly, but V thinks it is wonderful and I really like the way the light is breaking through the clouds over his left shoulder.  It will inevitably cost more to frame it than it cost in the first place if we go to a frame shop so I guess we need to start thrift-shopping for the perfect frame.

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