Saturday, October 26, 2013

Unsigned Treasure

I'm a docent at the largest art museum in the state. I regularly get to hang around priceless works of art and discuss them with fellow art lovers and visitors to the museum. Most of the art work I have in my own home however are prints and, while signed and numbered, it's a good deal less exciting than an original work by an artist.

So what makes something a treasure?

The artist's signature? The subject matter? Something else?

I was contemplating this notion of value recently while working on Project Empty Nest. You may remember a few posts ago when I featured my son's art work I grouped as a collection on the landing.

While decorating my studio space I used a large canvas I picked up at a yard sale a couple of years ago. It was a seascape that was part of a large mural that adorned a restaurant in Memphis that my husband use to frequent with his parents. We even went there a few times as a young married couple. The panel I have isn't part of the main scene which featured a ship's crew in action during a battle. Mine would have been an end piece showing ships in the distance.


In these photos you can see that Decor-Cat is supervising. I tried to smooth the canvas out and attach it to a piece of plywood. Difficult since it had been rolled up for a few years once it was removed from the restaurant.

So it turns out that this mural was done by a fairly famous regional artist, Burton Callicott. It isn't a signed panel, but it is a unique work to display and acts as a bit of family history. I recently framed a map of our county printed the same year our house was built.  Anything that is representative of your family's history or tells part of your story is worth displaying.

And the art work I would rush to save in a fire? Any of the signed and numbered pieces? This unsigned Callicot? Nope.

My son's work.

The things that mean the most to you are the most valuable. Nothing else comes close. 

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