This weekend I was lucky enough to be part of the Palm Desert Historical Society's Art Appraisal Day. I was asked to be the appraiser for an Antiques Roadshow-style event which was part of the month long Desertscapes.
The annual event takes place every April focused on celebrating the art of the desert. The Palm Desert Historical Society did a great job finding desert locals to bring their Southwestern and California paintings, drawings, prints, and photos for an informal evaluation.
I saw mixture of great southwestern art, including artworks by Conrad Buff, Edgar Payne, James Swinnterton, among lesser known Palm Springs artists.
The best part was meeting the interesting people who found these treasures at flea markets, auctions, or inherited them from family members. While many of the artworks were of a modest value, some of them were Western artists considered among the best in California and the Southwest.
The desert art historian, blogger, and writer Ann Japenga, who helped organize the Desert Appraisal Day, recently sent me a great article on an art discovery.
A Connecticut man recently decided to sell two oil paintings that hung in his basement. After an estate removal company offered the man a measley $125 a piece,the decided to get a proper appraisal done by a certified appraiser. As it turns out, he had two paintings by one of the most important American artists of the 19th century (with auction records of up to $2.5 million!)
You can read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/arts/design/jasper-f-cropsey-paintings-of-the-hudson-river-school-turn-up.html?_r=1